Inspiring USQ educators awarded national honour
CELEBRATIONS appear to be in order for University of Southern Queensland’s cohort after four of its educators became the subject of national honours.
Senior Lecturers Dr Ashley Jones and Melissa Fanshawe, Dr Kerstin Braun and Associate Professor Noeleen McNamara were this month recognised for their efforts in the sector.
The group was honoured at the recent Australian Awards for University Teaching program, with each educator earning a 2020 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.
The awards acknowledge significant contributions teachers have made on improving the quality of student learning in higher education.
Despite specialising in a variety of areas – creative arts, law and justice and education – it is evident the group shares a common goal.
Media expert Dr Jones said he was humbled to be acknowledged for his student-centred approach and ability to promote career aspirations in his students.
He said a crucial part to success involved promoting close industry engagement and activities that produced job-ready graduates.
“It is testament that this approach is vital in university education as we educate the next generation moving into the media industry,” he said.
Meanwhile, Melissa Fanshawe was recognised for the development of initiatives focused on supporting education students through their studies.
These include a school partnership service, an online community with other students and teachers, and a maths curriculum that aligned university and school approaches.
“The joy for me is knowing my students feel supported,” she said.
“We have such a diversity of students and they all come with a different background. I just want to make them feel confident in their abilities to go out and teach our future students.”
It was, however, Senior Lecturer Dr Kerstin Braun and Associate Professor Noeleen McNamara’s efforts in supporting first-year law students which earned their honours.
Dr Braun said the pair had offered new students increased confidence to successfully navigate their challenging studies.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Nelson commended the deserving group on their respective wins.
She said it reflect USQ’s commitment to helping their students succeed with their studies and post-schooling.
“Quality learning and teaching is highly valued at the University and fundamental to student success,” she said.
“Our best teachers are those who are passionate about teaching and truly care about student learning and are willing to invest a lot of time and energy to ensure the best outcomes for our students.”
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.