1 November 2005

At a time when the work of teachers is more important than ever in nurturing the leaders of tomorrow, The University of Queensland has recognised some of its most innovative, dedicated and exceptional mentors at a teaching awards ceremony.

UQ held a ceremony at Customs House on October 31, the first day of the University`s fourth annual Teaching and Learning Week, rewarding its best teachers.

They include School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering senior lecturer Dr Peter Sutton who has devised new and efficient ways to immediately respond to student and peer feedback.

As well as utilising more traditional methods, he has established a webpage for anonymous feedback for every course he runs and has introduced SMS text messaging for this same purpose.

Responses to feedback are displayed to students and are discussed in class, enabling both staff and students to gain a better understanding of the processes of teaching and helping those in large classes feel more engaged.

The Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Research Higher Degree Supervision and Enhancement of Student Learning recognised nine individual winners and two group winners (see list of winners, their citations and contact details below).

Another Excellence in teaching Award winner was Biomedical Sciences lecturer Dr Claire Aland whose fresh and innovative approach to teaching and revisions of the Human Biomedical Anatomy program have raised student enthusiasm for the subject to new levels.

She relates Anatomy to real life situations, and actively involves students in learning by encouraging questions and discussion.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Michael Keniger said the award winners were a credit to the University.

“Teachers are the backbone of the University and these awards recognise their achievements in shaping the next generation of Australia leaders,” he said.

“To many students their teachers are more than just the people who mark assignments, they are friends and mentors.”

“I congratulate those teachers who are showing our students the way forward.”

Professor Keniger said the awards were designed to recognise, encourage and reward sustained excellence in teaching, in higher degree research supervision and excellence in the learning environment.

The winners are:

Awards for Excellence in Teaching ($10,000 each)

- Dr Claire Aland (lecturer, School of Biomedical Sciences, 07 3365 7485, click here for citation)

- Dr Nancy Pachana (senior lecturer, School of Psychology, 07 3365 6832, click here for citation)

- Dr Judith Seaboyer (lecturer, School of English, Media Studies and Art History, 07 3365 2135, click here for citation)

- Dr Peter Sutton (senior lecturer, School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, 07 3365 4854, click here for citation)

- Associate Professor Catherine Turner (Coordinator of Research and Research Higher Degrees, School of Nursing, 07 3346 4852, click here for citation)

Awards for the Enhancement of Student Learning ($20,000 each)

- Dr Elizabeth McGraw (project leader), The Advanced Study Program in Science…enhancing the science experience at UQ, Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences; Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture (07 3365 7404, click here for citation)

- Dr Catherine Manathunga (project leader), Research Student [Virtual] Portfolio (RSVPTM): a tool for student and advisor development, TEDI; Graduate School; School of Engineering; School of Medicine (07 3365 6459, click here for citation)

Awards for Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision ($10,000 each)

- Dr Donald Cameron (lecturer in Rural Systems, School of Natural and Rural Systems Management, 07 5460 1324, click here for citation)

- Professor Jürg Keller (Director of UQ`s Advanced Wastewater Management Centre, 07 3365 4727, click here for citation)

- Professor Hugh Possingham (Director of the Ecology Centre, School of Integrative Biology, 07 3365 9766, click here for citation)

- Associate Professor Janet Wiles (lecturer in complex and intelligent systems, School of Psychology and School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, 07 3365 2902, click here for citation)

Citations for all the winners can be viewed here.

To find out about more of the events taking place during Teaching and Learning Week, visit www.uq.edu.au/teaching-learning

Media: For more information, contact Chris Saxby at UQ Communications (telephone 07 3365 2479, email c.saxby@uq.edu.au).