VC's L&T Award recipients

VC's L&T Award recipients

2019 Vice-Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Award recipients

Early-Career Award

This award recognises staff, with less than five years of teaching experience, for their quality teaching.

Winner

Alexandra Bhatti
FACULTY OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH SCIENCES

Alexandra Bhatti’s teaching philosophy focuses on delivering transformative learning experiences with strong connections to realworld public health practice. She’s passionate about engaging students early in their learning journey at Macquarie by providing them with interactive, real-world experiences that set them up for future success.

Highly Commended

Dr Christopher Lustri
FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND
ENGINEERING

Dr Christopher Lustri demonstrates a wider context of mathematics by bringing examples of real research and industry trends into the classroom. This provides students with practical tools and experiences that will set them up for career success. He inspires his students to see maths as more than just numbers, but rather as a way to understand more about the world we live in.

Dr Chong It Tan
MACQUARIE BUSINESS SCHOOL

Dr Chong It Tan creates a personalised, interactive learning experience for his students that suits both learning environments: classroom and online. A key focus is to build confidence in his students, allowing just the right amount of scaffolding at each step of the learning process to encourage active participation as they build a deeper understanding of the topic.

Educational Leader Award

This award recognises staff educational leaders and how their leadership has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or student experience.

Winner

Professor Catherine Dean
FACULTY OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
SCIENCES

Professor Catherine Dean motivates her students by using the power of real-life stories to demonstrate the impact of health conditions on people’s lives. She’s also passionate about setting her students up for success throughout their studies at Macquarie and in their career by building their confidence early and providing learning experiences that offer authentic, relevant insights into the current healthcare industry.

Highly Commended

Dr Matthew Bulbert
FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND
ENGINEERING

Dr Matthew Bulbert is driven to empower his students with the skills and desire to become lifelong learners, capable of making meaningful and self-fulfilling contributions to society. In his quest, he’s applied a sustained, strategic and integrated approach to delivering on employability goals, and has initiated and designed pre-university programs; discipline-focused postgraduate PD opportunities; and award-winning undergraduate curricula, including the widely impactful and novel biology capstone.

Dr Pamela Humphreys
MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY
INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE
ENGLISH LANGUAGE
CENTRE

Dr Pamela Humphreys motivates and inspires her colleagues with her positive, enthusiastic and engaging way of working. She’s known for her commitment to quality and excellence in all she does, together with her keen focus on supporting and enabling continuous professional development for our teachers.

Dr Prashan Shayanka
Mendis Karunaratne
MACQUARIE 
BUSINESS SCHOOL

Dr Prashan Shayanka Mendis Karunaratne believes with the right teaching and learning environment, higher education can be for anyone. He inspires his students to embark on successful learning journeys by using threshold concepts to convey the relevance of the discipline being discussed. He’s also committed to helping students succeed by providing them with effective learning tools based on learning taxonomies.

Learning Innovation Award

This award recognises staff for their development and implementation of innovations to improve learning, teaching or assessment to enable, motivate, support and inspire students to learn.

Team Winners

Associate Professor Kira Westaway, FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND
ENGINEERING

Michael Rampe, FACULTY OF ARTS

Matthew Cabanag

Associate Professor Kira Westaway, a lecturer with a passion for caves, sediments, fossils and discovery; Michael Rampe, a senior designer, a technologist and founder of the Pedestal 3D platform; and Matthew Cabanag, a VR guru and portable VR rig builder, have worked together to create REIM – Reality Embedded in Motion – a discipline-connecting, imagination-capturing tool that’s taking the Macquarie campus by storm.

Highly Commended

Dr Mauricio Marrone
MACQUARIE 
BUSINESS SCHOOL

One of the ways Dr Mauricio Marrone inspires his students is by keeping them focused on their dream job while they undertake their learning journey at Macquarie. He asks his students at the start of the session to search for advertisements of their ideal job and then reflect on what they’re learning with this in mind.

The Foundation and
Diploma Direct Entry
Program Team led by
Alejandra Vazquez
MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY
INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE
ENGLISH LANGUAGE
CENTRE

The Foundation and Diploma Direct Entry Program, which aims to motivate and inspire students to succeed by taking a 100 per cent student-centred approach to learning and teaching. Course activities and assessment tasks have been carefully designed to address pathway students’ specific challenges and needs.

Dr Robyn Westcott
LEARNING SKILLS UNIT,
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Dr Robyn Westcott believes that good teaching welcomes students into conversation – with academic and professional staff, with scholarly enquiry and with each other. Her commitment to empowering students through dialogue has informed the development of WriteWISE, the University’s student-led writing support program. WriteWISE provides a constructive, community focused environment in which peer-directed conversations build student confidence in academic writing.

Sessional Staff Award

This award recognises sessional/casual staff for their commitment to student learning and effective teaching approaches.

Winner

Lauren Florentia
Ehrenfeld
FACULTY OF
HUMAN SCIENCES

Lauren Florentia Ehrenfeld motivates and inspires her students by creating a learning environment where they can focus on aspects of their field of study that particularly excite them. As the tutor for the Principles of Behaviour Change unit, she also works with students on developing and implementing a behavioural change intervention for themselves, which she believes is a powerful tool to enhance student engagement and learning.

Highly Commended

Dr Frances Chang
MACQUARIE BUSINESS
SCHOOL

Dr Frances Chang uses a combination of deep-thinking and problem-solving exercises to create an inspiring environment that encourages student engagement and participation. She will often ask her students to articulate their own views on theoretical concepts and then share her own industry experience to bring their theories to life.

Charanya Ramakrishnan
FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Charanya Ramakrishnan creates an immersive learning environment using a ‘chalk and talk’ approach, where students are not distracted by technology and are empowered to learn through writing. She also uses the ‘PIP’ technique in providing feedback: praising students for their efforts, providing feedback on areas of improvement and praising them again for positive reinforcement.

Dr Saartje Tack
FACULTY OF ARTS

Dr Saartje Tack’s teaching aims to empower all students to speak up and think differently about the world we live in. She encourages students to critically interrogate the ways in which structures of oppression operate in all aspects of our lives, providing them with the conceptual and theoretical tools to investigate how inequalities affect them individually, and the impact of inequality on the world.

Student Nominated Award

This award recognises teachers who have been nominated by students for teaching excellence and making a difference to learning.

Winners

Alexandra Bhatti
FACULTY OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
SCIENCES

Alexandra Bhatti’s teaching philosophy focuses on delivering transformative learning experiences with strong connections to realworld public health practice. She’s passionate about engaging students early in their learning journey at Macquarie by providing them with interactive, real-world experiences that set them up for future success.

Dr Bruno Alves Buzatto
FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND
ENGINEERING

Dr Bruno Alves Buzatto is passionate about biology and evolution, and believes that his passion, together with his enthusiasm and love of teaching, makes a real difference to students’ learning. He encourages critical thinking in his students, for example, by exploring their misconceptions about evolution and challenging their ideas, which often leaves them cognitively uncomfortable but equally curious and engaged.

Associate Professor
Tiffany Jones
FACULTY OF
HUMAN SCIENCES

Associate Professor Tiffany Jones is the convenor of the Exploring Australian Education: Social and Historical Contexts unit, which introduces students to the sociology of education. The unit challenges students to consider all four orientations to social issues in education – conservative, liberal, critical and post-modern – as well as education sector issues, time/place lenses and identity analyses that students may be inspired by. She believes that this unit seeds differing motivating, or success, factors in her students.

Highly Commended

Dr Paul Crosby
MACQUARIE
BUSINESS SCHOOL

Dr Paul Crosby has observed the needs and aspirations of university students rapidly evolving and believes that it’s more important than ever to provide transformative learning experiences that help students build meaningful, agile careers. He believes that the discipline of economics offers fascinating insights into the world around us and works hard to create a learning environment where students engage in learning activities that enhance their appreciation of economics.

Dr Joel Fuller
FACULTY OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
SCIENCES

Dr Joel Fuller’s teaching is underpinned by a belief that facilitating highlevel engagement with his students and planning innovative projects that naturally stimulate their curiosity enables successful learning. His passion for teaching and focus on helping students to succeed in their chosen profession is well known by students and peers alike.

Dr Gaurav Gupta
FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND
ENGINEERING

Dr Gaurav Gupta believes that every student learns at their own pace and in their own way, so his teaching style underlines the value of persistence over natural capability. He’s seen how easy it is for students to get discouraged because some subjects are easier for others, so he actively helps his students build the valuable skills of persistence, patience and resilience.

Daniel Lombardo
MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY
INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE

Daniel Lombardo engages his students by showing how powerful a working knowledge of mathematics and programming can be in today’s world. He does this by showing them not only what they can build but also what they can reverse engineer – hack – and relates every concept he teaches to the real world, using examples like popular games, applications, websites and cybersecurity to embed the learning.

Roderick Smith
FACULTY OF ARTS

Roderick Smith recently took the Law School mooting team to Geneva for the Nelson Mandela world competition. Macquarie came second out of 190 participating universities. After their win, one student wrote, “Rod, somehow, you transformed me into a better mooter despite having been doing this for five years. I probably wouldn’t have improved my style if you hadn’t suggested subtle changes in the always respectful fashion you did. We wouldn’t have made the final without you”.

Aleksandar Stefanovic
MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY
INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE
ENGLISH LANGUAGE
CENTRE

Aleksandar Stefanovic’s teaching philosophy is grounded in communicative language teaching, which has a clear focus on language learning being an active, student-centred process, emphasising pair work and group work to prepare for success. He believes that teaching shouldn’t be limited by any one approach and that providing a learning environment where students can successfully achieve their goals is what’s most important.

Associate Professor Naomi Sweller
FACULTY OF
HUMAN SCIENCES

Associate Professor Naomi Sweller notes that even though statistics classes are not wildly popular with psychology students, she’s still determined to help her students get the most out of her lectures. She cares deeply about the subject matter – research methods and statistics are key underpinnings of psychological research and practice – and believes that bringing this energy and passion to every student interaction she has helps them be successful.

Dr LayPeng Tan
MACQUARIE
BUSINESS SCHOOL

Dr LayPeng Tang says, “Teach from the heart, for the heart summarises what teaching is all about”. She believes her role as a teacher is much more than just empowering her students with knowledge about their chosen area of study. Rather, she’s committed to helping all of her students develop their potential and capabilities, so they can achieve their goals within and beyond the classroom.

Dr Sonya Willis
FACULTY OF ARTS

Dr Sonya Willis’ approach to teaching law is about fairness, knowledge and practical legal ability, and she works hard to create a learning environment where these three attributes are enhanced in her students. She also inspires her students with her own passion for the subject and her engaging style, and by explicitly and practically applying the principles she teaches.

Teaching Excellence Award

This award recognises staff for their excellence in teaching and support of learning, and the impact they have on motivating and inspiring students to learn.

Winner

Associate Professor
Matt Bower
FACULTY OF 
HUMAN SCIENCES

Associate Professor Matt Bower ran the world’s first blended-reality tutorial that enabled remotely located students to participate in face-to-face classes using virtual world avatars. In 2018, his book Design of Technology- Enhanced Learning won the AECT Design and Development Outstanding Book Award, and his educational technology research has been cited more than 2500 times. He often receives almost perfect scores on his teaching evaluation returns, and student feedback indicates that he inspires them to new levels of career success.

Highly Commended

Dr Matthew Bulbert and Associate Professor
Martin Whiting
FACULTY OF SCIENCE AND
ENGINEERING

Fiona Jones
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

Serene Lin-Stephens
STUDENT CAREERS AND
EMPLOYMENT

Within the biology capstone, the team created a think tank scenario in which students are professional consultants of BioCap Corporation working on ‘commissioned’ projects and self initiated discovery projects based on their interests. Students learn in a dynamic, problem-based way. They attend professional development workshops to gain the skills required to complete work, including science communication to generate public support and research and development funding. The students also advocate for the STEM profession in the STEM Careers Forum through networking with other professionals and peers.

Dr Prashan Shayanka
Mendis Karunaratne
MACQUARIE BUSINESS
SCHOOL

Dr Prashan Shayanka Mendis Karunaratne believes with the right teaching and learning environment, higher education can be for anyone. He inspires his students to embark on successful learning journeys by using threshold concepts to convey the relevance of the discipline being discussed. He’s also committed to helping students succeed by providing them with effective learning tools based on learning taxonomies.

Dr Yves-Heng Lim, Dr Adam Lockyer and Fred Smith
FACULTY OF ARTS

The team believes that students perform at their best when they’re empowered to take full ownership of their learning. A simulation unit that the team developed achieves this by creating conditions in which students are put in a unique position of responsibility. In the main scenario driven simulation, students act as experts in their respective fields and their team relies on their expert judgement to make policy recommendations.

2018 Vice-Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Award recipients

Citation award

Carolyn Kennett (Faculty of Science and Engineering) For empowering students to become confident, flexible and creative users of mathematics.
Dr Jillian Kramer (Faculty of Arts) For developing strategies that inspire and motivate cultural studies students to engage with critical theory and analytical skills that will equip them for life-long learning.
Dr Alys Moody (Faculty of Arts) For building students’ independence and engagement by making challenging concepts relevant to their lives in 200-level English units.
Dr Karen Peebles (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) Building Bridges: using a physiological approach to help students understand the integrated nature of body systems to develop outstanding physiotherapy practice and research.
Dr Murray Taylor (Faculty of Business and Economics) Early Career Excellence in shaping immersive learning environments that support diverse cohorts and positively impact student, educator and institutional engagement.
Dr Kerry-Ann O’Sullivan and Dr Jennifer Barr (Faculty of Human Sciences) For supporting Initial Teacher Education students to prepare and enhance their literacy skills for professional accreditation through the innovative provision of self-directed online learning resources.

Program award

The Human Anatomy Program

A/Professor Goran Strkalj, A/Professor Richard Appleyard, Anneliese Hulme, Michael Rampe, Dr Mirjana Strkalj

This team has transformed anatomy into a vibrant, student-centred program for students in several different degree programs

Excel Skills for Business

Dr Yvonne Breyer, Nicole Bull, Phil Goody, Prashan Karunaratne, Tim Keighley, Nathan Sollars

In partnering with online learning platform Coursera, this team delivered a high-quality, transformative Excel education to a global community.

The course – which is available for free to Macquarie staff – has received rave reviews from more than 60,000 learners worldwide in its first year.

Teaching Excellence award

Dr Penny Van Bergen (Faculty of Human Sciences)

Dr Penny Van Bergen has 10 years’ experience teaching educational psychology to undergraduate education students. She is passionate about inspiring research engagement amongst large undergraduate cohorts and empowering her students as future ‘teacher scholars’. In her first year at Macquarie, she founded and convened the inaugural School of Education Summer Research Scholarship Scheme. This scheme is now in its 10th year and has seen the appointment of 44 undergraduate scholars, each working in partnership with academic research mentors. Penny has engaged over 2,500 students in authentic educational research projects, co-developed an acclaimed online research report-writing tool used by more than 4,000 students, and engaged regularly with the media about best-practice teaching and assessment in higher education.

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2017 Vice-Chancellor's Learning and Teaching Award recipients

Citation award

Dr Matthew Bailey (Faculty of Arts)

Innovative flipped classroom curricula for diverse student cohorts enrolled across multiple, integrated modes of delivery

Dr Karen Pearlman and Dr Iqbal Barkat (Faculty of Arts)

Facilitating student engagement, collaboration, communication and employability in screen production through a blend of intensive, online, student-led activities and face-to-face learning and teaching
Jean-Christophe Froissard, Professor Deborah Richards, Amara Atif and Dr Danny Liu (Faculty of Arts) Innovative learning analytics solution that enhance the learning and teaching student experience
Dr LayPeng Tan (Faculty of Business and Economics) Excellence in designing and delivering innovative and connected curricula that transforms students and their learning journey
A/Professor Kerry Sherman, Dr Sue Ferguson, Dr Jessica Alcorso, Christopher Kilby, Michael Rampe and Michael Catabay (Faculty of Human Sciences) Providing an online, interactive and contextually-rich learning environment for undergraduates in the applied discipline of Health Psychology
Dr Kate Scrivener (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) Creating an authentic learning environment integrating evidence and professional experiences to enhance future physiotherapists’ management of individuals with complex neurological conditions
Dr Kira Westaway (Faculty of Science Engineering) Reigniting student curiosity for Earth science by creating effective learning environments that support different learning styles and positively impact the student experience

Program award

PACE International (Professional and Community Engagement) Strengthens student employability and professional capabilities, while enabling them to become active and thoughtful global citizens. It provides undergraduate students from any discipline the opportunity to contribute to the work of an international community development organisation.

Teaching Excellence award

Dr Jana Lay-Hwa Bowden (Faculty of Business and Economics) Dr Jana Bowden is a passionate educator, focused on a highly participative, collective coproduction of the educational journey, and a mutual partnership with learners in relation to unit content and evaluation.  
Prashan Shayanka Mendis Karunaratne (Faculty of Business and Economics) Prashan Karunaratne is an inspirational and innovative teacher of entry-level economics at Macquarie University. His enthusiasm for teaching economics, and passion for improving student outcomes, have inspired and engaged students for more than a decade. He nurtures students to develop a desire to engage in the field of economics, and is a firm believer that the learning journey benefits both teachers and students. Inspiring students to want to learn – by emphasising the ‘why’ of learning, and empowering students to navigate their own learning journey – by focusing on the ‘how’, creates valuable experiences in his classroom and beyond. This highlights the 'wow' moments that students will remember in years to come.  
Dr Verity Pacey (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences) As an early career academic, Dr Verity Pacey has developed and delivered unique and innovative curriculum, including leading the design of the paediatric physiotherapy curriculum, within the Doctor of Physiotherapy program in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Her teaching challenges students to extend their clinical reasoning skills and alter their clinical practice to provide a more holistic approach to individuals with rare and complex disorders. Verity takes her students outside their usual comfort zones by engaging in reflective and authentic clinical and research experiences that promote a deeper understanding of individuals with rare and complex conditions. And explores the idea that collectively, rare diseases are common
Dr Wayne Warburton (Faculty of Human Sciences) Dr Wayne Warburton’s teaching philosophy is informed by student feedback and his own undergraduate experiences. It embraces learning through reciprocal engagement, reflection, practical experience, critical and independent thinking, engaging students with Macquarie research, and assisting students to find their own passion and direction. Wayne’s enthusiasm, passion, clarity of communication, and ability to engage students and impart knowledge, have helped students find their own passion for psychology, learn in both a practical and theoretical sense, and make a positive social impact as psychology professionals.

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If you would like information about earlier award recipients, please contact the Office of PVC L&T.
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