25 October 2007

The University of Queensland has rewarded a dedicated and inspirational group of academics at its annual teaching awards held on Monday, October 29.

The 2007 UQ Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Awards for the Enhancement of Student Learning recognised five individual winners and two group winners (see list of winners, their citations and contact details below).

Six commendations for excellence in teaching were also announced during the awards ceremony at Brisbane’s Customs House, addressed by Queensland Minister for Education and Training, Rod Welford.

The announcements come within weeks of UQ again topping the nation by winning a total of six Carrick Awards for Teaching Excellence and Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning schemes. The result continues UQ’s record of winning more national awards for teaching than any other Australian university in the awards’ history.

Students from a wide range of both undergraduate and postgraduate study programs offered through UQ including medicine, occupational therapy, Japanese language translation, food science, education, social work, and psychology learn from the 2007 University-wide teaching winners.

An outstanding winner of one of the five Awards for Excellence in Teaching in 2007 was Director of the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre within UQ’s School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, Associate Professor Paul Memmott.

Dr Memmott has inspired an independent field of study into Aboriginal built environments against a wider social reform context.

In honour of his pioneering work, Dr Memmott also received a Commendation for Excellence in Teaching (Indigenous Education) in conjunction with his overall award.

In 1998, he initiated Australia’s first curriculum on Aboriginal people-environments in an architecture course.

The centre he heads is a national and international point of reference for resources on Indigenous housing, architecture and a related set of socio-cultural problems.

Where possible, his teaching is also informed by field experience – a recent initiative has been the establishment of the Arid Zone research station at Camooweal in western Queensland.

His recent book, Gunyah, Goondie + Wurley, published by University of Queensland Press (UQP), turns on its head a widely held belief that Indigenous people were devoid of houses or towns when Europeans first reached Australian shores.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Michael Keniger, said the University-wide awards provided crucial recognition for teachers, many of whom went on to compete for and win national teaching awards. For instance, all four of the UQ academics who recently won an individual Carrick award had previously been recognised in UQ teaching awards, as had at least one member of each of the two UQ teams that won national awards.

“This confirms the value of the internal scheme in terms of recognising and rewarding teaching excellence,” Professor Keniger said.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), Professor Deborah Terry, said UQ students, and ultimately the wider community, benefited from UQ’s exceptional quality of teaching.

“I congratulate all our UQ Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Awards for the Enhancement of Student Learning winners,” she said.

The 2007 winners are:
Awards for Excellence in Teaching ($10,000 each)

– Dr Marie-Louise Dick, School of Medicine (07 3365 5380, m.dick@uq.edu.au). Dr Dick has ensured the general practice course within UQ’s Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) program remains in touch with community expectations as well as the learning needs of individual students. Click here for citation.

– Dr Madan Gupta, School of Land, Crop and Food Sciences (07 3365 0358, m.gupta@uq.edu.au). Dr Gupta won a 2006 Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning and together with two colleagues, developed an interactive Seed Identification Key using a computerised database to identify noxious weed seeds prohibited/restricted by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service. Dr Gupta has since integrated the Key into his teaching of Seed Science and Technology students at UQ Gatton. Click here for citation.

– Dr Cliff Mallett, School of Human Movement Studies (07 3365 6765, cmallett@hms.uq.edu.au). Dr Mallett’s crowning achievement since joining UQ has been the initiation, development and implementation, in conjunction with the Australian Sports Commission, of an innovative and highly successful suite of online postgraduate programs in sports coaching. Click here for citation.

– Associate Professor Paul Memmott, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture (07 3365 3660, p.memmott@uq.edu.au). Dr Memmott has inspired an independent field of study of Aboriginal architecture. Click here for citation.

– Dr Lisa Nissen, School of Pharmacy (07 3365 2868, l.nissen@pharmacy.uq.edu.au). 2002 Young Pharmacist of the Year and an outstanding communicator, Dr Nissen has a flair for explaining complex information in simple terms. Click here for citation.
Commendations for Excellence in Teaching

– Associate Professor Karen Healy, School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences (07 3365 1847, k.healy@social.uq.edu.au).

– Dr Matthew Hornsey, School of Psychology (07 3365 6378, matthewh@psy.uq.edu.au) and winner of a 2007 UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award.

– Dr Jayne Keogh, School of Education (07 3346 7227, j.keogh@uq.edu.au) and winner of an Australian Teacher Education Association Pearson Education Australia Teacher Educator of the Year award in 2007.

– Dr Greg Marston, School of Social Work and Applied Human Sciences (07 3365 3024, g.marston@social.uq.edu.au).

– Professor Philip Poronnik, School of Biomedical Sciences (07 3365 2299, p.poronnik@uq.edu.au) and winner of a 2004 UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award.
Commendation for Excellence in Teaching (Indigenous Education)

– Associate Professor Paul Memmott, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture (07 3365 3660, p.memmott@uq.edu.au), click here for citation.
Awards for the Enhancement of Student Learning ($10,000 each)

– Masters of Arts (MA) in Japanese Interpreting and Translation e-Learning Translation Project, School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies
(Yuki Sayeg 07 3365 6317, y.sayeg@uq.edu.au). Unique within Australian universities in its use of flexible delivery in the teaching of translations, project initiatives include the use of a web cam to allow students and instructors to see and talk with one another “face-to-face”. This facilitates a more personal rapport. Click here for citation.

– The Industry Experience: Engaging Graduating Occupational Therapy Students in Authentic Industry Partnerships Division of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (Desleigh de Jonge 3365 2793, d.dejonge@uq.edu.au). This initiative helps solidify students’ growing sense of professional identity following their completion of their prerequisite two semesters of full-time professional practice. Click here for citation.

The School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences at UQ has this year instituted Excellence in Teaching Awards to recognise outstanding individuals and teaching teams within the School.

Innovation and results characterise the work of the award winners.

Dr Liz Ward, who was part of a national team that received a 2007 Carrick Grant and a Commendation in the UQ Teaching Excellence Awards, was further recognised for her outstanding teaching evaluation results, receiving an Individual Award for Teaching Excellence.

An Early Career Award for Teaching Excellence (for staff within their first five years of an academic career) was presented to Donna McCook, whose use of students to role-play as patients provided a creative and interesting learning experience for students.

A Team Award for Teaching Excellence or Enhancement of Student Learning was won by Associate Professor Sylvia Rodger (Team leader), Associate Professor Jenny Ziviani, Dr Pauline Watter, Dr Gail Woodyatt and Dr Julie Marinac. The award is further recognition of this multidisciplinary team’s sustained excellence in provision of innovative learning experiences, in particular promotion of inter-professional knowledge, practice and teamwork, which has received international recognition.

The Awards for Excellence in Teaching were established in 1988 and the Awards for the Enhancement of Student Learning were established in 2001. Both awards are funded by the University.

To find out more about events taking place during Teaching and Learning Week, please visit http://www.uq.edu.au/teaching-learning/.
Media inquiries: Shirley Glaister at UQ Communications (07 3365 1931). For photos of the winners, contact Diana Lilley (telephone 07 3365 2753, email d.lilley@uq.edu.au).