The eight recipients of the 2011 Vice-Chancellor's teaching awards will be officially honoured at the University of Newcastle’s graduation ceremonies this week.
“These recipients have made a significant contribution to enhancing the student experience and learning outcomes for University of Newcastle students and we are very proud of them,” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen said.
“Enthusiasm is a vital ingredient for inspiring students to learn and our eight award recipients have that in spades.”
The awards are in three categories.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards For Teaching Excellence and Learning Support
Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
• Dr Chris Kellett, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Dr Kellet teaches computer engineering and is being recognised for the successful creation and promotion of student-centred critical learning environments through research-led teaching. He is awarded the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support. Dr Kellett is unable to attend to receive his award.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence for Sessional Staff
These awards recognise outstanding performance in a range of categories with an overall focus on substantial, significant contributions to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning. The 2011 recipients of these awards are:
Faculty of Education and Arts
• Ms Emma Joel, School of Humanities and Social Science. Ms Joel’s research led to the implementation of a course curriculum that incorporates current feminine, Indigenous, and international perspectives in the field of Australian literary and cultural studies. Ms Joel will collect her award at the 10am ceremony on Saturday 14 April.
• Mrs Narelle Eather, School of Education. Mrs Eather is a health and physical education lecturer in the university’s Teacher Education Program and is being recognised for her engaging, evidence-based teaching and learning experiences Mrs Eather will collect her award at the 6pm ceremony on Saturday 14 April.
• Mr Nick Riley, School of Education. Mr Riley specialises in primary school health and physical education and will collect his award at the 6pm ceremony on Saturday 14 April.
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
• Dr Liam Phelan, School of Environmental and Life Sciences. Dr Phelan has inspired and motivated students in the online Master of Environmental Management course to overcome the challenges presented through distance education. Dr Phelan’s work supports the development of a sense of community to enhance learning experiences and outcomes. Dr Phelan will collect his award at the 2pm ceremony on Saturday 21 April.
Faculty of Health
• Mrs Jo Smith, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy. Mrs Smith has developed innovative learning resources, support services, and an improved curriculum to assist students studying lower limb anatomy. Her students are provided with a structural basis for the diagnosis and effective application of podiatric principles in clinical practice. Mrs Smith is unable to attend to receive her award.
The Vice-Chancellor’s School Teacher Award
The award for secondary school teachers recognises the value that students and the university place on high school education experiences. It highlights the vital role that these educators play in the choices that young people make about their future, including the decision to come to university. Recipients are nominated by university students in the final year of their studies and nominations are assessed by an expert panel.
• Mr Mitchell Brain, mathematics teacher, Newcastle Grammar School. Mr Brain was nominated by Laura Lavis, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Biomedical Science. Mr Brain’s impact on his students as an educator and guide has been profound. A teacher who approaches his subject with humour and creativity, Mr Brain goes to great lengths to help every student and to prepare them for life after school. He will collect his award at the 6pm ceremony on April 12.
• Mrs Jo Newton, English and ancient history teacher, Kotara High School. Mrs Newton was nominated by Sonia Carpenter, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts. Mrs Newton is described as an exceptional, passionate teacher with a strict, but supportive style. She is currently leading her students on an ancient history tour across Turkey. The award will be accepted in her absence by husband, Kel Newton at the 10am ceremony on April 14.
Contact information: Carmen Swadling, Media and Public Relations Officer, phone 02 4985 4276 or 0428 038 477.