Congratulations to the Victoria University recipients of the OLT Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

2016 citation recipients

As the 'University of Opportunity' Victoria University attracts many diverse, non-traditional and equity group students.

To better support and transition these students into higher education within the College of Arts Dr Julie Fletcher designed, developed and delivers an innovative, deeply inclusive first year foundation unit.

She incorporates transitional, critical and inclusive pedagogies to draw upon student diversity, foster student voice, and reflective use of personal experience to inspire, engage, motivate and enable first year students.

Dr Kathy Tangalakis received her Citation for "Enhancing learning and teaching of bioscience and the overall student experience.

Dr Tangalakis has over 9 years, made an outstanding contribution to enhancing the transition, student learning and overall student experience for culturally and linguistically diverse commencing student cohorts.

She led improvements to the learning and teaching of Bioscience (Physiology).

This has resulted in improved foundational knowledge and outcomes for students in Biomedical and Health Sciences courses at Victoria University.

2015 citation recipients

Recognising the challenges faced by pre-service teachers in science education, Bess inspires early childhood education students about the wonder of science and maths through interactive learning and hands-on activities.

She started teaching science subjects in VU’s Bachelor of Education in 2011, after teaching a range of education subjects in the University’s Diploma of Children’s Services for many years.

Bess is also co-author on an award-winning primary school textbook, A Sense of Wonder: Science in Early Childhood.

"I’m passionate about my students and the opportunity they have to make maths and science a positive, fun and motivated learning experience. Supporting early childhood teachers, who will in turn influence the engagement and outcomes for generations of students to come, is crucial."

For more than 20 years, Associate Professor Shi's excellent teaching has developed engineering students as independent, life-long learners. She is a pioneer in the University’s problem-based learning approach since it was introduced in 2006.

Associate Professor Shi involves industry and the community to engage students and allow them to solve real-life problems, and more broadly promote STEM education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Associate Professor Shi coordinates VU’s Women in Engineering and Science group to mentor female students. She also set up and coordinates an international partnership with FJ Joanneum-University of Applied Sciences that offers VU engineering students a three-month paid combined study and industry placement in Graz, Austria.

"It’s important to bridge the gap between theory and practise and create opportunities for our students to develop not only strong technical skills but professional and interpersonal skills in many contexts."

After completing his PhD at VU in 2013 and receiving a prestigious Australian Institute of Sport scholar award, Dr Varley started teaching undergraduate-level exercise physiology.

His award is for restructuring the curricula of the subject to improve engagement and learning for the increasing numbers of students enrolling in VU’s sport courses.

In July 2015, Dr Varley took up a teaching role in Qatar but remains an adjunct fellow at VU’s Institute for Sport, Exercise and Active Living.

2014 citation recipients

Dr Naomi Augar, a senior lecturer in the College of Business, was recognised for the innovative industry-focused way she teaches about information systems.

Dr Augar, who joined VU in 2010, uses scenario-based teaching that allows students to take on roles of programmer, tester and project manager within fictitious companies.

The unit now runs in a VU foundation business course and has been adapted for undergraduate and postgraduate project management units.

It is also incorporated into courses run in Asia.

Mary Grant, a career education and professional development lecturer in the College of Sport and Exercise Science, was recognised for her outstanding work helping sport students distinguish themselves as graduates in a highly competitive employment market.

Through her broad engagement with industry, Mary surveyed hundreds of employers to identify their specific needs in order to maximise graduate opportunities. This research helped rejuvenate some VU sport curricula.

A long-time sport management professional, Mary joined VU in 2007 in its adapted phys-ed program.

Dr Brian Mundy, a lecturer in the College of Education, brought his 30 years of secondary school teaching to the tertiary sector when he joined VU in 2010.

He teaches the next generation of educators from the success of his own classroom experiences, clearly linking theory and practice, and developing important support networks in teaching placements.

Dr Mundy was recognised for his thoughtful, inclusive and reflective approach to the teaching and learning of VU’s pre-service teachers.

2013 citation recipients

Professor Maureen Ryan for pioneering a culture of collaborative enquiry that makes the research journey part of the lived experience of non-traditional postgraduate research students.

Dr Samy Sakkal for early career contributions to student engagement and learning in immunology through the use of novel analogies and strategic scaffolding.

Anne Venables and Yen (Grace) Tan for ten years' exemplary development of innovative information technology curricula that enhance student learning and dissemination of practice through sustained scholarship of information technology learning.

2012 citation recipient Hong (Helen) Yang for outstanding contributions to developing knowledge about how international Chinese students learn though developing a comparative teaching approach and through leadership in transnational academic programs.

Dr Thinh Nguyen for increasing student engagement through student-focused approaches to teaching using learner-centred techniques that include Problem-Based Learning, Peer-to-Peer Learning and Just-in-Time Teaching.

2011 citation recipient

Dr Srikanth Venkatesan for improving the quality of student learning in undergraduate engineering education at Victoria University through Problem Based Learning and Work Integrated Learning.