Celebrating Academic Excellence

UNSW has a national and international reputation for outstanding educators. Each year the University celebrates the outstanding achievements of its highly dedicated teachers through the UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence.

The 2021 Award Recipients

2021 continued to challenge the education sector with remote learning and working, as well as forced lockdowns brought on by the pandemic. However, amongst these challenges came huge growth in the teaching practices of our educators. The 2021 awards recognised innovation and excellence in education, teaching and research; and celebrated the positive outcomes made possible by our hard-working teachers.

This year, the annual teaching award ceremony was delivered during the Friday afternoon event of the Education Festival. The awards were presented by Professor Merlin Crossley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic & Student Life.

Congratulations to these exceptional educators who received awards for their contribution to teaching this year. You can read more about the 2021 awards in this article.

Congratulations Associate Professor Christopher Michaelsen, School of Global and Public Law, Faculty of Law, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Sustained Excellence in Teaching.

Congratulations Dr Nicholas Apoifis, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence​ - General Category.

Congratulations Dr Arash Khatamianfar, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, Faculty of Engineering, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence​ - Early Career Category.

Congratulations Dr Vinod Kumar Maseedupally, School of Optometry and Vision Science, Faculty of Medicine, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - General Category.

Congratulations Associate Professor Terry Ord, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning​ - General Category.

Congratulations Associate Professor Ang Liu, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning​ - General Category.

Congratulations Dr Melanie Fentoullis, School of Medical Education, Faculty of Medicine and Health, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning​ - Early Career Category.

 

Congratulations Dr Lana Ly, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning​ - Sessional Staff Category.

Congratulations Dr Thomas Britz, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Wellbeing.

Congratulations Rose Amazan, Katherine Thompson, Aunty Maxine Ryan, Josephine Holecek and the Eastern Suburbs Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (ESLAECG), School of Education, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, who are award recipients of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning​ Educational Partnerships and Collaborations Category.

Congratulations Christine Mathies, Tam Nguyen, Janis Wardrop, Josh Keller, Heather Crawford, Courtney Wright, Scott French, Michael Katz, Sandeep Kirpalani, Kevin Liu, Conor Clune, Catherine Collins, Thomas Ruf and Sam Kirshner, UNSW Business School, who are award recipients of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning​ - Innovation in Curriculum Design and Pedagogical Practice Category.

Congratulations Associate Professor Christine Mathies, UNSW Business School, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Heinz Harant Award for Teaching Innovation.

Congratulations Associate Professor ​Belinda Ferrari, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision.

Congratulations Associate Professor Ziv Hameiri, School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision (Emerging Supervisor)​.

Congratulations Associate Professor ​Maria Markoulli, School of Optometry and Vision Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Leadership.

Congratulations Scientia Professor ​Justin Gooding, School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, who is an award recipient of the 2021 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Promoting Industry Engagement in Higher Degree Research.

Students' Choice Awards

This is a new exciting category, introduced in 2021. Find out what it recognises and what it means to the award recipients here. And read the heart-warming student nomination statements here.

 

Congratulations Mr Marc Chee, School of Computer Science and Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, who is an award recipient of the 2021 UNSW Students' Choice Teaching Award.

Congratulations Dr John Napier, School of the Arts and Media, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, who is an award recipient of the 2021 UNSW Students' Choice Teaching Award.

Congratulations Dr Theron Schmidt, School of the Arts and Media, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, who is an award recipient of the 2021 UNSW Students' Choice Teaching Award.

Congratulations Dr Leesa Sidhu, School of Science, UNSW Canberra, who is an award recipient of the 2021 UNSW Students' Choice Teaching Award.

Congratulations Mr Nicholas Jordan, Publications Coordinator at Arc, who is an award recipient of the 2021 UNSW Students' Choice Award for Professional Staff Category.

The 2020 Award Recipients

2020 was without doubt a year that challenged the education sector to reassess its learning methods and respond agilely towards new teaching practices in the digital realm. Our educators have risen to the challenge, sourcing innovative ways to engage students in remote learning environments and maintain a positive student experience. 

This year, the recipients of the following awards have demonstrated by example their commitment to improving learning outcomes and delivering quality teaching despite a tumultuous year. Congratulations to all our 2020 recipients. You can read more about the Teaching Awards Ceremony in the news article.

Congratulations Associate Professor Isabelle Jalbert, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Science, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence - General Category.

Congratulations to Dr Susann Beier, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW Engineering, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence - Early Career Category.

Congratulations to Dr Nirmani Wijenayake Gamachchige, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW Science, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - General Category. 

Congratulations to Dr Simit Raval, School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, UNSW Engineering, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - Postgraduate Coursework Teaching Category. 

Congratulations to Dr Megan Catherine Rose, School of Social Sciences, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - Sessional Staff Category.
 

Congratulations to Dr Maria de Lourdes Melo Zurita, School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - Early Career Category.

Congratulations to Dr Deborah Barros Leal Farias, School of Social Sciences, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning - Early Career Category.

Congratulations to Dr Jonathan Bollen, Dr Erin Brannigan, Dr Meg Mumford, Dr Theron Schmidt, Dr Bryoni Trezise and Dr Caroline Wake, School of Arts and Media, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, who are award recipients of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - Innovation in Curriculum Design and Pedagogical Practice Category.

Congratulations to Heather Bailey, Sandra Killick, Sandeep Kirpalani, Tom Ray, Lucas Olmos, Ben Pecotich and Katilyn Percival, UNSW Centre for Social Impact, who are award recipients of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - Postgraduate Coursework Teaching Category.

Congratulations to Dr Yenni Tim, School of Information Systems and Technology Management, UNSW Business School, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - The Heinz Harant Award for Teaching Innovation.
 

Congratulations to Associate Professor Dijana Alic, Kathy Argyropolous, Ellen Clapin, Monica McNamara, Tom Richards, Dean Utian and Anjalika Wijesunrendra, Built Environment Associate Dean Education Unit, who are award recipients of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - UNSW Higher Education Heroes Award.

Congratulations to Edward Sze-Tu, UNSW Global, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - UNSW Higher Education Heroes Award.

Congratulations to Dr Victoria Clout, School of Accounting, UNSW Business School, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - UNSW Higher Education Heroes Award.

Congratulations to Carolina Alamos, Tracey Beacroft, Shalini Saverimuttu and Craig Smith, South Western Sydney Clinical School, who are award recipients of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning - UNSW Higher Education Heroes Award.

Congratulations to Associate Professor Melissa Hart, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision - Leadership Category.

Congratulations to Professor Sarah Williams, UNSW Law, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision - Supervision Category.

Congratulations to Dr Hoa Nguyen, School of Education, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision - Emerging Supervisor Category.

Congratulations to Dr Lina Yao, School of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW Engineering, who is an award recipient of the 2020 UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision - Emerging Supervisor Category.
 

The 2019 Award Recipients

Congratulations Dr Sally Nathan from the UNSW Faculty of Medicine who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – General Category.

Congratulations Dr Jenny Richmond from the UNSW Faculty of Science who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – General Category.

Congratulations Associate Professor Adrienne Torda from the UNSW Faculty of Medicine who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – General Category.

Congratulations Dr Pramod Koshy from the UNSW Faculty of Science who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – General Category.

Congratulations Dr Justine Rogers from the UNSW Faculty of Law who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Design and Development of Programs Category.

Congratulations Dr Susanne Schmeidl from the UNSW Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Design and Development of Programs Category.

Congratulations to The BABS Technical Team from the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences who are an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Design and Development of Programs Category.

Congratulations Professor Serkan Saydam from the UNSW Faculty of Engineering who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Postgraduate Research Supervision Category.

Congratulations Dr Naama Carlin from the UNSW Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Rising Star in Early Career Category.

Congratulations Dr Stuart Clark from the UNSW Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Rising Star in Early Career Category.

Congratulations Dr Chaturaka Rodrigo from the UNSW Faculty of Medicine who is an award recipient of the 2019 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Rising Star in Early Career Category.

The 2018 Award Recipients

Congratulations Dr Anne Galea from the UNSW Faculty of Science who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – General Category. Throughout Anne’s 12-year career as a science educator she has inspired her students, her peers and the next generation of educators through teaching that is engaging, innovative and responsive to the needs and feedback of learners.

Anne champions the digital learning environment in its role to both stimulate and support the distinctive educational experiences that UNSW strives to create and deliver to our students. And through multifaceted team projects that develop a range of graduate attributes and professional skills, she has brought together communities of science students to transform and invigorate the first-year experience.

Congratulations Associate Professor Peter Heslin from the UNSW Business School who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence | General Category.

Peter has developed (with his former doctoral student Dr Lauren Keating), the concept of being in learning mode, defined as holding a growth mindset while systematically working through the experiential learning cycle. This valuable concept is published in leading scholarly (Heslin & Keating, 2017) and practitioner-oriented journals (Keating, Heslin, & Ashford, 2018). The in learning mode concept also provides the foundation for experiential learning about leadership and management development, self-management, feedback giving and receiving, as well as community building, within the Executive Blueprint course that launches students into the AGSM MBA(Executive) program.

Congratulations Dr David Kellerman from the UNSW Faculty of Engineering who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence | General Category.

David’s teaching is student centred. He continuously seeks new, and better, ways to deliver engaging, personal student experiences. David is comfortable pioneering and adopting new technologies to give Engineering students better learning experiences, creating engaged learning communities and collaborating with UNSW teams and external partners to push boundaries of the possible and deliver teaching and learning excellence. His efforts are recognised through consistently high student evaluations, peer evaluations and industry invitations to share his practice. He contributes generously to UNSW's learning and teaching as well as his global disciplinary education communities. He is most deserving of this nomination.

Congratulations Associate Professor Justine Nolan from the UNSW Faculty of Law who was an award recipient at the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence.

Justine is a highly committed and engaged teacher who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching for more than a decade. Her approach to teaching is based on empowering and engaging students in a way that inspires, encourages and galvanizes them to fully engage in the learning process. She has consistently received exceptional feedback and has been a significant innovator, having developed the Law Faculty’s first interactive online course, first overseas intensive course and co-founding a new degree.

Justine has also taken on leadership roles in teaching and is the Associate Dean (Academic) for the UNSW Law Faculty.

 

See Justine's video submission to the UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence below:

Congratulations Dr Jayashri Ravishankar from the UNSW Faculty of Engineering who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence | General Category.

Jayashri has a reputation for her creative and innovative approach to education. She creates learning environments that manifest empathy and patience while motivating and inspiring students by working in partnership with them to support their learning. Her innovative initiatives to introduce blended industry lectures and flipped mode teaching models, have created an excellent learning environment and promoted an inclusive classroom, particularly for international students.

Jayashri is regarded as an astute mentor by her students and an inspiration by her peers, to improve and innovate in their teaching.

See Jayashri's video submission to the UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence below:

 

Congratulations Associate Professor Nicodemus Tedla from the UNSW Faculty of Medicine who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence | General Category.

Nicodemus’ teaching philosophy is shaped by his personal story that made him believe that academic excellence can be achieved regardless of ones' circumstances if given opportunities. Nicodemus was born in Eritrea, trained as a Trauma Surgeon in Ethiopia and East Germany, and then worked as a frontline Surgeon in the Ethiopian Armed Forces. He migrated to Australia to escape war and because of his strong desire to pursue a career in biomedical research, as well as teach the next generation of doctors and biomedical scientists.

Nicodemus is passionate about fostering genuine student interest in evidence-based clinical practice and cutting-edge medical research. He endeavours to achieve this through face-to-face teaching that emphasises the principles of basic science and research in a clinically-relevant context and by using cutting edge teaching resources developed in partnership with his students.

Congratulations Lauren Butterly from the UNSW Faculty of Law who was an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Rising Star and Early Career.

 

Administrative law is a compulsory core course that has a reputation, even amongst senior members of the legal profession, as being really tough: dry, complex and technical. Lauren’s teaching philosophy seeks to disrupt this by making administrative law real and relevant so that students feel invested and capable of getting across this subject. In opening up the world of administrative law, Lauren seeks to focus on the real people and diverse communities impacted by administrative law. This includes classes focussed on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage issues, LGBTIQ refugee cases and decisions made under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

See Lauren's video submission to the UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence below:

Congratulations Dr Alex Hui from the UNSW Faculty of Science, School of Optometry and Vision Science, who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence | Rising Star and Early Career.

As an early career educator, Alex utilises his experiences as a student, clinician and educator to develop and inform his teaching. He has implemented innovative teaching techniques including team based learning and online, distance teaching to tailor and augment the student learning experience and create a community of self-responsible learners. Alex’s teaching activities at the undergraduate, postgraduate and clinical levels exemplify all the key aspects of the UNSW Scientia Educational Experience and allow him to be an effective and continually developing educator.

Congratulations Marco Olea from the UNSW Faculty of Law who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence – Rising Star and Early Career.

With an academic background originally in psychology and teaching, Marco graduated from the UNSW Law School in 2015, receiving the Juris Doctor Medal in the process. Despite receiving various job offers from prestigious firms, Marco was offered a role as a sessional lecturer in his own area of legal experience - the criminal law. Having broadened his teaching experience across three different core law subjects, he has undertaken a key role in the Inspired Learning Initiative funded digital uplift of the core course "Court Process, Evidence, and Proof", whilst continuing to love every second in the classroom.

See Marco's video submission to the UNSW Awards for Teaching Excellence below:

Congratulations Dr Cristan from the UNSW Faculty of Medicine who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Design or Development of Programs.

Cristan is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Medical Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW Sydney. He is a passionate educator with a keen interest in the development and use of e-Learning resources. Cristan also convenes two large introductory courses in Pathology for Medical Science, Science and Exercise Physiology. Recently, he has led projects that have successfully transformed these into fully blended courses and developed a suite of interactive online resources. These inspiring innovations have enhanced flexibility of learning, increased formative feedback provided to students and significantly increased student engagement and motivation in these courses.

Congratulations Associate Professor George Shinkle from the UNSW Business School who is an award recipient of the 2018 UNSW Awards for Design or Development of Programs.

Increasingly the business environment is dynamic and unpredictable - making situational awareness of managers critical to organisational success. Desiring to enhance the competence and confidence of our MBA graduates, Associate Professor George Shinkle initiated an activity to design and integrate a world-class experiential activity into the MBA program.

George worked with experts and a local supplier to develop an event where two-person teams fly a simulated Boeing-737 aircraft that experiences difficulties. In this event, students need to be aware of unfolding developments and make decisions under uncertainty. This event taps into the transformative power of in situ experience on knowledge creation.