Dr Kate Smithers

Dr Kate Smithers

TTRC Research Officer

School of Education

Career Summary

Biography

Kathleen is a PHD candidate in the School of Education with an interest in the intersection of tourism and education in Zimbabwe. In particular, her research explores the phenomenon of philanthropic tourism in Matabeleland North. 

Kathleen also works as a casual academic in the School of Education and as a Research Officer. This has extended her work to research on Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence in schooling. In 2019, she began work as a research assistant with Associate Professor Jess Harris on the nature of Contract research in Higher Education. 

Kathleen has also spent time developing the social and support networks in the School of Education, through the formation of the 'School of Education HDR Club'. The club runs multiple events throughout the year and has allowed students to network and socialise within the faculty. Through the club, Kathleen has presented a workshop for students: 'Time Management and Organisation'. Kathleen has also been an invited guest speaker for a faculty workshop entitled, 'Making the most of your HDR', in which she outlined the benefits of making a HDR about more than just a thesis. 

In late 2019, she was appointed as a Student Peer Advisor for the Office of Graduate Studies. A role which has allowed her to expand her understanding of the current issues that student's face. This role enables her to work one-on-one with students to provide access to resources, or a friendly supportive chat. 

In 2020, Kathleen was elected to the role of Vice President for the Newcastle University Postgraduate Association (NUPSA). This is a role in which she hopes to advocate for students and work to make changes to increase the social supports and activities for students on campus. She hopes this will allow all students to feel welcome during their time at the University of Newcastle.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Teaching (Honours), University of Newcastle
  • Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, University of Wollongong

Keywords

  • Zimbabwe
  • developmentourism
  • foucault
  • higher education
  • sociology of education
  • virtual reality

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
390203 Sociology of education 30
390303 Higher education 30
399999 Other education not elsewhere classified 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic - WWC University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Education
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2020 Dean's HDR Excellence Award
University of Newcastle
2020 FEDU HDR Student Engagement Award
Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Distinction

Year Award
2018 Three Minute Thesis Faculty Finalist
Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Scholarship

Year Award
2018 Alison Lee ‘Theory in Educational Research’ Scholarship
Australian Association for Research in Education [AARE]

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
EDUC4940 Research design and critique
The University of Newcastle
Marker 1/3/2019 - 30/6/2021
EDUC6785 Educational Foundations
The University of Newcastle
Sessional Tutor 26/1/2021 - 1/8/2021
EDUC3800 Intercultural Understanding for Educators
The University of Newcastle
Sessional Academic 1/8/2018 - 1/12/2018
EDUC1103 Schooling, Identity and Society
The University of Newcastle
Sessional Tutor and Lecturer 1/8/2018 - 1/12/2021
EDUC1038 Foundations of secondary education
The University of Newcastle
Marker 1/3/2019 - 30/6/2021
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Southgate E, Grimes S, Scevak J, Smithers K, Saxby S, Kilham J, et al., ''It makes you actually interact with the things you are learning about'', Virtual Reality in Curriculum and Pedagogy: Evidence from secondary classrooms, Routledge, New York (2020)
Co-authors Jill Scevak

Journal article (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Smithers K, Harris J, Goff M, Spina N, Bailey S, 'Ethical responsibilities of tenured academics supervising non-tenured researchers in times of neoliberalism and precarity', Journal of Educational Administration and History, (2021)

Neoliberal reform of the university sector has resulted in increasing numbers of academics employed on casual or fixed-term contracts. While there is an emergent body of literatur... [more]

Neoliberal reform of the university sector has resulted in increasing numbers of academics employed on casual or fixed-term contracts. While there is an emergent body of literature on issues of precarity in the academy, relatively little attention has been paid to the roles and responsibilities of those tenured academics who employ and manage non-tenured researchers. The work involved in hiring and managing a contract researcher is rarely acknowledged or supported, and managers receive little to no training. In this paper, we draw on Dorothy Smith¿s feminist sociological approach to analyse interviews with 22 non-tenured researchers to examine how managerial relationships shape the employment experiences of those working precariously. We argue that tenured academics have ethical responsibilities to provide a working environment that is fair, supports the ongoing development and wellbeing of non-tenured staff, and challenges dominant discourses of precarious academics as ¿other¿.

DOI 10.1080/00220620.2021.1881458
Co-authors Jess Harris

Software / Code (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Smith S, Southgate E, Langridge R, Gruppetta M, Smithers K, 'Robo WordQuest (Android)', 1.1, Google, Google Play App Store (2019)
Co-authors Erica Southgate, Shamus Smith
2018 Smith S, Southgate E, Langridge R, Gruppetta M, Smithers K, 'Robo WordQuest (iOS)', 1.1, Apple, iTunes App Store (2018)
Co-authors Shamus Smith, Erica Southgate

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Harris J, Smithers K, Spina N, 'More than 70% of academics at some universities are casuals. They re losing work and are cut out of JobKeeper', : The Conversation (2020)
Co-authors Jess Harris

Report (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Harris J, Knipe S, Smithers K, Ross AM, 'Transitions from remote delivery to reopening: A review of evidence on school improvement for schools impacted by COVID', Victorian Department of Education and Training, 50 (2020)
Co-authors Annemarie Ross, Jess Harris
2019 Southgate E, Blackmore K, Pieschl S, Grimes S, Smithers K, McGuire J, 'Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies in Schools Research Report', Australian Department of Education (2019) [R1]
Co-authors Karen Blackmore, Erica Southgate
2017 Langridge R, Smith S, Smithers K, Southgate E, 'Participatory design with children and young people: An annotated bibliography', DICE Report Series (2017)
Co-authors Shamus Smith, Erica Southgate
2016 Southgate E, Smith SP, Smithers K, Budd J, 'Serious games and learning: An annotated bibliography.', Digital Identity, Curation and Education (DICE) Research network, 139 (2016)
Co-authors Erica Southgate, Shamus Smith
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Dr Kate Smithers

Positions

TTRC Research Officer
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Academic - WWC
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Administrative Officer
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Research Assistant
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Academic
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Research Assistant
School of Education
College of Human and Social Futures

Contact Details

Email kate.smithers@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4055 3385

Office

Room CT310
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