Vale Dr Ken Sutton

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Vale Dr Ken Sutton receives a special mention in the University of Newcastle Excellence Awards for his incredible efforts in coordinating Work Integrated Learning.

Dr ken sutton

As the Course Co-ordinator for the School of Behavioural Science’s Work Integrated Learning program since 2015, Ken organised appropriate work opportunities to enhance students’ learning and employability. Proactive in his approach to adapting the course in line with the changing landscape and impacts of COVID-19, Ken worked tirelessly to ensure that students not only completed the course, but secured quality placements to suit each individual’s preferred psychology career areas.

Right up until his passing, Ken fully appreciated and understood the true value of experiential learning and went out of his way to help students gain valuable insight into the industry and workplace.

“Ken was loving, selfless, giving and committed to the School of Psychology. He was, and always would be, a core part of our school and his death has not changed this – Ken will remain an important part of our school’s history. He will be very much missed by all who knew him.” - Professor Kristen Pammer, Head of School, School of Psychology, The University of Newcastle

To allow his students to complete the Work Integrated Learning course when placement opportunities dwindled due to the pandemic, Ken connected with the Careers Service and incorporated their Employability Modules into his course. Acting as a self-directed employability learning tool, students were able to assign their Work Integrated Learning hours to various modules – enabling them to complete the course.

As a natural advocator for Work Integrated Learning, Ken was meticulous in his placement matching so that students were paired with appropriate supervisors and organisations that suited both parties perfectly. He spent hours cultivating relationships with industry partners to guarantee each student was well placed.

Ken loved teaching and was always looking for new ways to heighten his students’ learning experience. We thank Ken for his dedication, hard work and spirit – an exceedingly excellent man who deserves to be recognised.

Some words from Ken’s colleagues

‘Ken ‘retired’ in 2015, but it was hard to tell the difference. As a Conjoint Senior Lecturer he continued to supervise research students at all levels and was Course Coordinator for the School’s new Work Integrated Learning (WIL) course. The WIL course ran both semesters and required significant outreach to organisations who could provide suitable placements. I was concerned at the time demands this placed on Ken but, to quote him, he used to say “That’s OK. It’s my way of giving back.”’ - Conjoint Associate Professor Miles Bore, School of Psychology, The University of Newcastle

‘Ken has been such an important influence in my life. He has shown me how to combine passion and work ethic in a highly structured yet caring way. I am most honoured to be continuing some of Ken’s work and taking over a course he was part-way through when he passed. I will do my very best to deliver these programs in a way that will make Ken proud and honour his memory. I will miss Ken terribly, and will carry him in my heart. If I ever need direction or advice with work, I will think to myself, what would Ken do? and I will have my answer.

It has been a privilege to know such a wonderful man. Ken will be sadly missed by many.’ - Dr Rebecca Allen, School of Psychology, The University of Newcastle

‘In working with Vale Dr Ken Sutton in PSYC3002 I recognised him as a true believer in the value of experiential learning. Coming from an industry and education background, he saw the benefits of students undertaking placement. He advocated for this type of learning and saw it as a positive way for students to apply their theory in practice and understand the reason why they were learning various academic topics. Ken was committed, agile, approachable, a great leader in this space and loved by his students.’- Renée Smith, Team Leader Student Engagement | Careers Consultant

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