From the Interim Director; Farewell Michelle Picard; Recognition of Attainment Ceremony - Ourimbah; Yapug wins two grants; For Your Diary; Research News; Language Centres; Pathways Precinct; McMullin Issues; Work Health & Safety
From the Interim Director
Welcome to the July edition of ELFSC Link. Since our last newsletter, we have enjoyed spending time together at a number of events, both in person and over zoom at various locations, including at the Language Centre morning tea at Callaghan campus (with a very impressive spread of food contributed by staff), at the inspirational Recognition of Attainment Ceremony at Ourimbah, and at the recent ELFSC based UON strategic planning sessions. The commitment, collegiality, professionalism and creativity of ELFSC staff is so impressive. These get-togethers and events provide the space for us to learn from one another as we strive to continuously create enjoyable, inspiring and rewarding learning environments for our students.
We have also attended a number of welcome morning teas and farewells, including for DVCA Prof Darrell Evans and Assoc. Prof. Michelle Picard. We wish them both well in their exciting new positions and endeavours. Murdoch University (Michelle) and UON’s Faculty of Health and Medicine (Darrell) are very fortunate to be welcoming them.
This month we welcomed back Jenny Williams from a trip to Europe, which included some very impressive cycling activities. A very big thank you to Lynette Dennis and Sally Curzi for their outstanding work when taking on extra Executive Officer duties during that time and to Elizabeth Bridges for coordinating various important ELFSC projects, including the current Pathways Precinct User Group.
Just announced is news that Kristen Allen and I (ELFSC), along with Mark Rubin, Penny Jane Burke, Peter Howley and Suzanne Macqueen (UON is the lead institution), as well as Sarah O’Shea (Wollongong), Carmen Mills (UQ), Maria Raciti (USC), Nida Denson (WSU) and Ryan Naylor (La Trobe), are collaborating on a multi-institutional team that has just been awarded a Department of Education grant to explore ‘Success from the Perspective of the Successful: Students from LSES Backgrounds, Success and Completion in Higher Education’. This a topic closely related to Kristen’s current PhD study and a very important project for ELFSC because it enables a more inclusive framing of educational success for policymakers, particularly of the pivotal aspects which are not readily visible in routine quantitative data. This work is also critical given an increasing focus on performance based funding approaches. The project includes people from Indigenous and low SES regional and remote backgrounds to determine the factors, including initiatives, to which students attribute their success. Developing better insight into the experiences of students, and how they understand their success to have been achieved, will expand the evidence base, and has the potential to inform more precisely targeted approaches and interventions (including retention and completion strategies) to improve outcomes for these cohorts overall.
Thank you to all staff who contribute to ELFSC newsletters and, in particular, to Maureen Jones and Leah Hill who do a marvellous job every edition coordinating all of the information, as the ELFSC Link editorial team. Please keep reading the following for more important news and highlights.
Farewell Michelle Picard
On 4 July, staff of the Centre and colleagues bade farewell to Associate Professor Micelle Picard,
Deputy Director ELFSC. After 3 years with UON and the Centre, Michelle is moving west to take up the role of Dean Learning and Teaching (College of Arts, Business, Law and Social Sciences) at Murdoch University.
Michelle has contributed so much to the Centre and across UON, from managing and mentoring staff and being responsible for all things learning and teaching in Enabling, to more recently working more closely with Language Centre staff and managing the University-level Course Enhancement Project. Her work has been both important and far reaching.
Michelle has worked across all the ELFSC campuses and she has engaged with a wide range of staff and projects. She has enabled staff from across the various areas to collaborate and achieve important outcomes. Most notably, she has supported staff with course reviews and curriculum renewal as well as responding to student feedback. Michelle has supported staff in explicitly unpacking the written and unwritten rules and expectations of ELFSC and the University in Staff Manuals and ‘just in time’ communications.
Over her years in ELFSC, Michelle has worked with a clear commitment to assisting our staff and students.
Michele will be greatly missed by the centre and we wish her all the very best in this important role.
Recognition of Attainment Ceremony - Ourimbah
Our Newstep and Open Foundation students who successfully completed their studies at Ourimbah in 2018, were presented with their certificates at a beautiful Recognition of Attainment Ceremony (ROAC) on the evening of 4 July in the Fine Art studio at the Ourimbah campus. Once again our student speakers spoke of their personal journeys, each recognising that, without the opportunity to complete an enabling program, their lives would be so much different. Laura Johnstone (Newstep) recounted her anxiety issues and the difficulty completing high school, declaring Newstep as her saviour. Laura is now enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work at Ourimbah. Hayley Vandermeel, our Open Foundation speaker reflected on the challenges of returning to study as a mature age student, while raising 4 sons. Hayley has just completed her first semester of the Bachelor of Nursing. Hayley and Laura are pictured here with Dr Anna Bennett.
Another highlight for the centre was the Ph.D. awarded to our very own Dr Rosalie Bunn. Recently retired from ELFSC (and now a Conjoint with us), Rosalie’s thesis was titled “The History and Impacts of the University of Newcastle’s Open Foundation Program”. Rosalie was surrounded by family and friends for this long-awaited milestone and celebration. She is pictured here with Ourimbah colleagues, Dr Annika Westrenius and Dr Joyleen Christensen.
NAEEA/EPHEA CONFERENCE: Enabling Excellence through Equity – 24-27 November, University of Wollongong
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATIONS CLOSING SOON– 30 July (Reduced rate for members)
For more information, click here
Language Centre Grants
Congratulations to the following ELFSC staff from the Language Centre. All have been awarded project funding through the inaugural 2019 Small Grant Scheme for Language Centre staff (Callaghan & Sydney):
- Louise Noell, Natalia Soeters & Katy Jones – Assessing the potential of VR in the English language classroom
- Jacky Worsdell, Jacqueline Westwood & Sonia Carpenter – Developing the intercultural competence of international students in UON pathway programs
- Doris Ayala – Sydney City international student activities
The scheme aims to support staff to undertake projects relating to Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for English Language Education and/or the development of International Student Experience initiatives. It is intended to assist grant recipients to produce learnings for continuous development of programs and courses for UON’s international students. We look forward to hearing more about these projects as they progress.
Please make contact with Jo if you have any research news or project updates for future newsletters.
Yapug Team Wins Two Grants
Sharlene Leroy-Dyer and Hannah Pipe in collaboration with Evonne Irwin have received a CEEHE Parity of Participation grant of $7k for the project: Increasing Access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students Through Blended Learning in the Yapug Enabling Program
Sharlene, Hannah and Evonne have also received a grant from Teaching Innovation Investments scheme (CTL) for $4959 to incorporate blended learning artifacts into Yapug EPABOR112 core course.
ELICOS Professional Development Day
The Sydney Language Centre will host a cross-campus ELICOS Professional Development day on Thursday 18 July, during the course break. Callaghan Language Centre staff will join the Sydney staff for the day, which will include workshops on Contemporising the Curriculum, presented by Lisa Soviero, from Eluciated, along with updates on the UECA Peer Review Project (Ben Doran) and Sydney’s EAP for Business program (Keely McCauley).
Gamifying student engagement outside and inside the classroom
The Sydney Language Centre has been gamifying the student experience program through the use of the mobile app ‘Goosechase’ since March this year. Students work together and individually to complete scored ‘missions’ around Sydney to reach the top of an online leaderboard. The missions are aimed to introduce students to key sites and services around the city, while giving them an opportunity to build networks with their peers. They can see the online leaderboard in real time and compete for the top spots. In June, the students with the top eight highest scores went into a draw to win a $100 gift card, and the winner was Eli Shrestha Karki.
The Sydney ELICOS teachers then learned how to use ‘Goosechase’ in a mini-PD session run by Doris Ayala on June 20th. In the workshop, teachers learned how to create their own missions and brainstormed ways to use this in the classroom setting. For example, Katie Robins created a Goosechase with missions based on the EAP Business Course team presentation assessment requirements.
Student Achievement Award
The Sydney Student Achievement Award was presented Wednesday 26 June for the January-June 2019 period. There were six nominations for commendation, and the group included students from China, Lebanon, Mexico and Nepal. The commended students were Li Ran, Hind El Masri, Yuan Meipaya (Bella), Gerardo Cornejo Cabestany, Wang Yubin, , and Lucky Limbu.
Bella, Yuan Meipaya, was the winner of the $500 prize for her excellence in active learning, engagement with the community, and leadership. Watch her nomination video here.
Our congratulations to Bella, as well as all of the commended students!
(Photo caption: From left to right: Li Ran, Hind El Masri, Yuan Meipaya (Award winner), Gerardo Cornejo Cabestany, Wang Yubin).
Upcoming business lecture
In other news Dr. Sudipta Bose and his PhD students will be presenting to EAP students on their areas of research on August 6. Dr. Bose is a senior lecturer in Accounting from the Newcastle Business School, This event is part of the ongoing guest lecture series that Sydney ELICOS is running with the Business School.
Short-term and Study Tour Students
Next intake, the Language Centre at Callaghan will welcome a number of ELICOS Only short-term and study tour groups from partner institutions in Japan, Korea and China.
Short-term integrated groups include 10 students from China’s Ningbo University who will complete 14 weeks ELICOS in addition to a 30 hour tailored-program focusing on Research & Communication skills. In addition, we welcome a number of Korean short-term ELICOS Only students, with 25 from Chungnam University for 5 weeks and 15 students from Cheju Halla for 5 weeks. We also have a number of students from long-term Japanese partners including 5 students from Kyorin University for 3 weeks.
Study Tour groups include 11 students from the Shanghai University of Medical and Health Sciences who will complete a tailored program with the Language Centre whilst also completing a program focused on Medical Imaging with the Faculty of Health and Medicine. 7 students from China’s Wanjiang University of Technology will also complete a Study Tour program with the Language Centre over the course break.
Recognition for the Language Centre’s Student Experience Passport continues, with the initiative just nominated for the 2019 English Australia Award for Innovation, sponsored by ETS TOEFL. Congratulations to Anne Burnett and the SEP team on this great program which was the joint-winner of the 2018 NSW Government Community Engagement Award and earlier this year was endorsed as a Premium Product by NEAS.
Transition to University
On Friday June 28th the Language Centre organised the second Transition to University seminar for 2019. Over 150 students enrolled in our EAP program attended the event which is aimed at assisting students in their transition from ELICOS to their destination programs at UON. The day included information on International Admissions and the role they play in activating students into their degree program, as well as guest speakers Erin Knox and Lillian Courtney-Pratt from Student Advice regarding all the amazing services available to students as they embark on the next stage of their student journey, and a great session from Learning Adviser Nicholas Collier from the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The Language Centre aims to deliver these seminars once every 10 weeks so that all students who access our EAP program prior to further studies are well prepared for the next stage of their student journey.
Student Achievement Awards
The 2019 Student Achievement Award winner from the Language Centre is Shiori Uchibori from Japan. Shiori’s teachers regarded her as the epitome of a good language leaner and she was nominated for:
- Academic Excellence
- Active learning
- Engagement with the community
Shiori received a $500 award and a certificate as recognition of her achievement
For your diary
Callaghan - Wednesday 17 July commencing at 10am in the Great Hall
Ourimbah - Thursday 18 July commencing at 10am in LT101
Semester 2 commences Monday 29 July.
ELFSC Award for Excellence in Teaching (Enabling and ELICOS) – nominations will open on 15 July (close on 16 August). More information to follow.
In preparation for the scheduled relocation of Callaghan Foundation Studies staff to the refurbished GP building later this year, the Pathways Precinct User Group (PPUG) has now been established. Thank you to all who nominated.
The PPUG met for the first time on 18 June and will meet monthly. The group consists of 11 people with a mix from across all areas of enabling staff at Callaghan:
Academic/Teaching staff – ongoing
Academic/Teaching staff – sessional
Sharon Boyd (also support staff)
A SharePoint site will be established in the near future to share news from the group and also developments, plans and timelines in readiness for the move. Through this site staff will be able to access and comment on any updates associated with the relocation. Please keep an eye out for a Staff Survey, to assist in the planning for the move. Staff will also be invited to an interview to raise any concerns they may have. In addition, small group discussions (with professional staff, support staff, etc.) will be held over the coming months to consider how their operations will translate to the new space.
Elizabeth Bridges will keep the PPUG on track, and will establish an issues register for the ELFSC Executive and wider Project Group to consider.
The Ground Floor of the GP building has now been completed. These photos give a glimpse of the fabulous space our students and staff will enjoy. Please note, for the moment, the Ground Floor is being occupied by NIC while refurbishments are underway on Level 3 in the NIC space.
ELFSC staff interested in a brief tour of the Ground Floor will be invited to two opportunities in Week 3 (week beginning 12 August). Please keep an eye out for this invitation.
Please note, that we also anticipate offering a range of workshops for staff prior to the move, hopefully to effect a smooth transition.
You are encouraged to raise any issues with any member of the PPUG or directly with Elizabeth Bridges.
McMullin building – Foundation Studies Office and staff relocations
Due to ongoing issues with water seepage, the Foundation Studies Office and selected staff are being relocated to the top floor of the McMullin Building, in the area previously occupied by the School of Law. Classrooms MCLG58 and MCLG59 have also been taken off the timetable for semester 2.
Staff relocations are as follows:
Foundation Studies Office (Chelsea Trimble, Lynda Lomax,
Maureen Jones/Alexandra Fowler)
Sally Curzi, Elizabeth Bridges
Staff will be progressively moving over the next week or two. Please note that the area being vacated on the lower ground floor will be closed for all use after the relocations have occurred. Staff will still have access to the staff lunch room, but staff pigeon holes, stationery, printer/photocopiers etc. will all be moving to the top floor.
Health & Safety
QPR Training: as published in a recent “In the Loop”, the University is pleased to offer staff and students to a short online suicide prevention training course.
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 (three) simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. QPR training is a short (approximately 45 minutes) online course which will provide you with:
* knowledge and skills to identify warning signs of a suicidal crisis
* confidence to talk to someone about their suicidal thoughts
* tools to connect them with professional care
The course is targeted at audiences with no assumed knowledge of mental health. A certificate is provided on completion.
1. Visit the Everymind website
2. Then click on the link in the line “To access your free QPR training, click HERE” - you will be redirected to a QPR Shopping cart.
3. Select 1 licence and click ‘Checkout’. You will be redirected to PayPal. Although the licence cost is $10 you will not be charged and the cart total will read $0.
4. You will receive an automated emails from firstname.lastname@example.org containing your QPR username and password
5. Login to the QPR online training here using the username and password emailed to you.
Did you know that the University health Service located on Level 1 in the Student Services Building at Callaghan Campus offers free Routine Skin Checks with Dr Michael Schien (MBBS, FRACGP DipRACOG, Dip Anaesth (UK). Dr Michael Schien is a GP with a special interest in skin disorders, including screening for skin cancer. Most excisions are done on site. He also undertakes regular rural locum work in anaesthesia and emergency medicine. Opening times are Monday to Friday 9am-5pm during semester and recess, call 02 49216000 to book your appointment or book online using HotDoc.
Items for the ELFSC Link Newsletter are always welcome. The newsletter is published early each month, with items due 2 weeks prior to publication. Please forward any items to Jenny Williams, Maureen Jones or Leah Hill. Thanks for reading this edition of ELFS Link.