21 November 2002

The University of Queensland will announce the winners of its teaching excellence, research supervision and enhancement of student learning awards at a gala ceremony at Customs House in Brisbane at 6.30pm tonight (Thursday, November 21).

Eight individual winners will receive $10,000 each and two groups will be awarded $20,000 each at the presentation ceremony, which this year forms part of the inaugural UQ Teaching and Learning Week from November 18-22.

“The awards are designed to recognise, encourage and reward sustained excellence in teaching, supervision of research higher degree candidates, and excellence in the learning environment and provision of student services,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Margaret Gardner.

Funded by the University and The Alumni Association of The University of Queensland Inc., the Awards for Excellence in Teaching were established in 1988.

This year’s winners are:
* Associate Professor Ian Cameron (School of Engineering) whose inspirational and dedicated teaching spans all levels of undergraduate and postgraduate education. He has made a sizeable contribution to the design and development of UQ’s chemical engineering curriculum and learning environment through a strong focus on a teams approach with significant industry involvement. His versatility and ability to address various student needs are impressive, as are his classes, which capture students’ interest and enthusiasm with concepts and ideas supported by professional and industrial anecdotes.

* Dr Simon Cool (School of Biomedical Sciences) has been an enthusiastic and dynamic collaborator in curriculum design and teaching, and a strong advocate for change and improvement in teaching and learning. He has taken traditional teaching methods and remodelled them so they are contemporary, informative and exciting. His professional and humorous presentation style has seen him recognised for his pursuit of excellence in all aspects of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in basic and advanced human anatomy.

* Associate Professor Jay Hall (School of Social Science) is an outstanding and innovative teacher at all tertiary levels. His course development has helped bridge the gap between archaeology and ancient history and he has challenged this area of teaching by forming an archaeological teaching site – the only one of its kind at an Australian university campus. A popular, charismatic and effective communicator, he motivates and inspires his students and challenges them by using a broad range of assessment techniques. He also undertakes a strong mentoring role and has developed efficient and effective approaches to research supervision.

* Dr Debra Henly (School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences) personifies a contemporary professional teacher. An exceptional planner and presenter, she has contributed significantly to, and impacted on, curriculum and teaching development in biochemistry and molecular biology, including the introduction of problem-based learning and the development and delivery of foundational, specialist and vocational courses. She has built collaborative relationships across schools and programs, established innovative modes of teaching delivery, including self-directed learning, and has created a significant research program to attract honours and higher degree research students.

* Mr Dan O’Neill (School of English, Media Studies and Art History) is a highly committed and inspirational teacher who has a thorough understanding of traditional literary scholarship, its philosophical implications and its relevance to contemporary living. He teaches his students to think about text, ideas and values in relation to their intellectual, political and social lives. He also encourages students to extend themselves beyond their present capabilities and is consistently praised for his dedication, intellectual generosity and commitment to students’ needs.

Commendations in teaching excellence will be awarded to Dr Mehmet Kizil (School of Engineering), Dr Peter Newcombe (School of Psychology), Professor Kamal Puri (School of Law), and Dr Elizabeth Ward (School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences).

This year, the University will implement two $20,000 teaching awards for teams, programs and organisational units. Instituted by the University Academic Board, the Awards for Enhancement of Student Learning are designed to recognise and promote excellence in the learning environment and the provision of student services.

This year’s winners are:
* Enhancing Community Well-Being Through Teaching and Learning, UQ Community Service and Research Centre (CSRC), represented by CSRC Director Bruce Muirhead (category two: innovative and practical approach to the provision of education services to the local and/or regional and/or professional community).

The UQ Community Service and Research Centre is an integral part of the University’s community engagement strategy. Situated at UQ Ipswich, it strives to develop democratic, mutually beneficial partnerships between UQ and the community with the aim of building a sustainable, inclusive and socially just community. It is a national finalist in the institutional section of this year’s Australian Awards for University Teaching, to be announced on December 3.

CSRC undertakings that have demonstrated a significant community partnership include the Goodna Service Integration Project. As part of the project a Graduate Certificate in Social Science (Interprofessional Leadership) was developed and participants from government and non-government agencies in the Goodna region engaged in understanding, developing and sustaining collaborative work.

* Undergraduate Site Learning Program, Catalyst Centre, School of Engineering, represented by Catalyst Centre Director Professor David Radcliffe (category three: curriculum team-based innovative and practical approach to the enhancement of the quality of teaching and learning).

The Undergraduate Site Learning Program is an innovative work-based learning program that aims to provide a broader set of attributes in engineering graduates by giving final-year students the option of receiving academic credit for being placed in an participating organisation. The program aims to simultaneously consolidate students’ technical knowledge, enhance their problem formulation and solving, communication, teamwork and lifelong learning abilities while developing practical appreciation of their professional responsibilities. Plans are underway to implement the program across all of UQ’s engineering programs.

A commendation in enhancement of student learning will be awarded to Studio IV Scenario, information environments program (School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering).

The Awards for Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision are an initiative of the Graduate School and the UQ Union and were established in 2000.

“UQ created an Australian first three years ago when it introduced official university awards for excellence in research higher degree supervision. They signal the University’s commitment to quality supervision for its higher degree students,” said Dean of Postgraduate Students Professor Alan Lawson.

This year’s winners are:
* Professor Victor Callan (UQ Business School) has successfully supervised 25 research masters and PhD students, 17 of them as principal supervisor. His research focus is on organisational behaviour, in particular aspects of organisational change, workplace communication, performance review and job satisfaction. He has developed policies and procedures to build a strong and supportive research environment and aims to have a collaborative partnership with his students, based on the core values of mentoring and the principles of adult learning and centrality of reflective activities. He develops research independence in his students and a productive focus on quality academic publications.

* Associate Professor Ed Conrad (School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics) is a leading researcher in biblical studies whose research interests extend into numerous applied areas. He instils in students the ambition and belief that they can publish early and often in highly-regarded journals. He is dedicated to providing a community of learning and encourages students to form autonomous research sub-groups sharing solutions to common problems and making contact with international research groups. Under his leadership the Faculty of Arts developed the University’s first faculty-wide induction and research skills course. He has supervised 13 research higher degree students to completion and is currently supervising 13 more.

* Dr Margaret Shapiro (School of Social Work and Social Policy) has been the School’s Director of Research and Postgraduate Studies for the past six years, during which time research higher degree enrolments and completions have increased significantly. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing policies and procedures for issues such as student recruitment, training for supervisors and strategies to encourage successful and timely completions, including weekly thesis-writing seminars. A health policy and psychosocial health teacher, she has been involved in the supervision of 21 research higher degree students, 10 of which are completed. She has developed a collaborative outcome-directed model of supervisory practice to encourage students to grow through mentoring to create explicit outcomes in critical reasoning and intellectual rigour.

Certificates for meritorious research supervision performance will be awarded to Associate Professor Maree Smith (School of Pharmacy) and Associate Professor Carole Ferrier (School of English, Media Studies and Art History).

Media: Full citations will be available from Friday morning at www.uq.edu.au For further information, contact Joanne van Zeeland at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2619, email: communications@uq.edu.au).