Prestigious awards for five University of Newcastle staff

Teaching Staff Awarded

29 August 2013

Prestigious awards for five University of Newcastle staff

Five University of Newcastle teaching staff have received acclaim in the Office for Learning and Teaching 2013 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Recognising diverse contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning, the awards are granted to those who have made a significant contribution to the quality of student learning. 

"These award recipients represent the high standard of teaching at the University of Newcastle," said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parfitt.

Dr Vivienne Chuter, Dr Tim Connor, Dr Jocelyn McKinnon, Dr Ruth Reynolds and Dr Mark Rubin each received a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning:

  • Dr Vivienne Chuter,Senior Lecturer, School of Health Sciences - For development of an innovative, progressive, accelerated curriculum that maximises student engagement using unique integrated clinical resources
  • Dr Tim Connor,Lecturer, Newcastle Law School - For developing creative in-class activities and establishing supportive learning environments to motivate diverse student cohorts to master and critically reflect on complex business law topics.
  • Dr Jocelyn McKinnon,Lecturer, School of Creative Arts - For designing and implementing a dynamic research driven degree major in Creative Arts that fosters independent thinking and innovative art making.
  • Dr Ruth Reynolds,Associate Professor, School of Education - Outstanding impact on an area of curriculum and teaching - Humanities and Social Sciences education.
  • Dr Mark Rubin, SeniorLecturer, School of Psychology - For developing a unique collection of high-quality online guides that explain academic skills in psychology and that have enhanced students' learning and overall experience.

Award recipient Dr Mark Rubin said that student feedback enriched his teaching.

"My students provided valuable feedback about my psychology student guides, they are partly to thank for this recognition."

Dr Tim Connor also sought in-class feedback as well as regular peer review as part of his strategy for continual improvement. He has developed an innovative ensemble of teaching strategies including an in-class adaptation of popular television game show, "Who wants to be a Millionaire", or rather, "Who wants to win a Mars bar".

"One of my strategies was to shift the focus from lectures which summarised the textbook to learning activities which are not only challenging but also fun and non-threatening," said Dr Connor.

Award recipients will receive their awards at a ceremony in Sydney on 17 September 2013.

Contact: Sheena Martin
Contact Phone: +61 2 4921 8714
Contact Email: media@newcastle.edu.au