The University of Newcastle's Dr Kit Messham-Muir went to great lengths to explain philosopher Edward Burke's concept of the sublime to his first-year fine art students. He demonstrated the notion by facing his fear of heights and jumping out of a plane, placing the clip of his experience on YouTube for his students.
His extraordinary efforts have earned him the Early Career Award in the 2009 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Teaching Excellence. Dr Messham-Muir is one of eight academics to be honoured by University colleagues and students for outstanding contributions to student learning.
Renowned conductor of the award winning University of Newcastle Chamber Choir, Dr Philip Matthias, took out the major prize - the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support 2009.
Dr Matthias also picked up the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in the Faculty of Education and Arts. Brendan Boyle is the recipient from the Faculty of Business and Law.
Other recipients are: Anthony Morrison (Business and Law), Melissa Coote (Education and Arts), Tracey Kelty (Education and Arts), Josephine Smith (Health) and Rowena Cooper (Science and Information Technology).
The annual awards honour outstanding teachers and recognise individuals who have made a substantial contribution to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching at the University.