School of Social Work and Social Policy
Dr Margaret Shapiro» VIEW VIDEO

Dr Margaret Shapiro is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Work and Social Policy. Margaret has an international reputation in the health area and teaches courses in health policy and psychosocial health. Her particular research interests are in the social context of health and illness, community health and the provision of health services. She has been the Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies in the School for 6 years and has served on many School, Faculty, and University committees concerned with teaching, research and postgraduate matters. Margaret has been Chair of a number of Queensland Ministerial Committees, is a member of the Health Practitioners? Tribunal, the General Practice Advisory Council and the Primary Health Care Advisory Council. She is also on the editorial board of two journals.

During her six years as the Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies in the School, research higher degree enrolments have increased significantly, completions have increased dramatically, and the School has attracted a growing cohort of international students. Margaret has been instrumental in developing and implementing the policies and procedures for student recruitment, admission and induction, access to school facilities and resources, training for supervisors, and strategies to encourage successful and timely completions. The most original of her initiatives has been to conduct weekly thesis-writing seminar for new research high degree students in the School. The seminars are based on the premise that there is great value in a collaborative learning process concerned with shared generic issues of research design, conceptualisation, social theory, research ethics and research methods.

These initiatives have produced a significant improvement in the research culture in the School. She has been involved in the supervision of 21 research higher degree students, 10 of which have completed. Four of her completed students are academics within the School and themselves now demonstrate a high level of supervision skills and a clear ability to conduct independent research.

Margaret?s supervision is quite pioneering. She has developed an outcome directed model of supervisory practice as she finds it the most favourable way to facilitate a pro-active approach. Within this model the supervisor creates an environment that encourages the student to grow and flourish. The supervisory relationship is a collaborative arrangement that entails a series of tasks, activities and responsibilities that lead, through mentoring, to explicit outcomes in critical reasoning and intellectual rigour. Margaret?s students speak highly of her professionalism, empathy, enthusiasm and support, combined with her respectful and tactful demeanour that enhances an already supportive environment.

Dr Shapiro supervises a very large number of students (11) from diverse backgrounds and it is clear that one of the reasons she is able to do this so effectively is that she encourages her students to attend conferences and to publish their work, to be in touch with broad scholarly networks. She works with them to set clear deadlines and expectations and provide continual verbal, and swift written, feedback.

From her discipline background, Margaret has developed a model of outcome-oriented supervision that acknowledges the social, political, and institutional context in which her work and that of her students takes place. As one might expect, Margaret Shapiro?s supervision is compassionate, supportive, confidence-building, and collegial at both the School and individual levels.

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