Celebrating the 2020 UNSW Teaching and Research Excellence Awards

30 Nov 2020
View of the John Clancy building at UNSW Kensington

Best and emerging educators and research supervisors at UNSW recognised for their outstanding achievements at the 2020 L&T Forum.

The UNSW Teaching and Research Excellence Award ceremony was held at the 2020 Learning and Teaching Forum on 20 November 2020. The awards celebrate UNSW’s best and emerging educators and researchers for their profound contributions to student learning and/or academia at UNSW.  

In a highly competitive year where staff have risen to the challenges of moving classes online and finding new ways to engage students in remote learning, two teams and eight individuals won awards for Teaching Excellence, Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, Teaching Innovation and developing Programs that Enhance Learning. 

"We are delighted to share and celebrate the outstanding achievements of UNSW colleagues through these awards," said Professor Rorden Wilkinson, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Education and Student Experience.

"The recipients have led by example, finding innovative ways to enrich the student experience, improve learning outcomes and deliver quality teaching throughout a challenging year. Well done and congratulations!” 

Two teams and two individuals were awarded the inaugural UNSW Higher Education Heroes Award for their support to colleagues during COVID-19 in unexpected or exceptional ways. Awardees were nominated by their peers for generosity and kindness in the areas of teaching, service, or academic development. 

From a strong pool of applicants, four academics were recognised for their excellence in supervision of research candidates, and for outstanding leadership in Higher Degree Research (HDR). Their efforts have been critical in helping UNSW's candidates build the skills they need to succeed now and long into the future.

“It has been fantastic to celebrate the outstanding performance of these four academics,” said Professor Jonathan Morris, Dean of Graduate Research.  

“Academics play a critical role in training UNSW’s HDR candidates. All of this year’s award winners have strong track records in HDR supervision, have demonstrated exceptional leadership and initiative, and provide candidates with the highest level of care and support.” 

Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence 

General Category 

  • Associate Professor Isabelle Jalbert, School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Science 

Early Career Category 

  • Dr Susann Beier, School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW Engineering 

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning 

General Category 

  • Dr Nirmani Wijenayake Gamachchige, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW Science 

Postgraduate Coursework Teaching Category 

  • Dr Simit Raval, School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering, UNSW Engineering 

Sessional Staff Category 

  • Dr Megan Catherine Rose, School of Social Sciences, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences 

Early Career Category 

  • Dr Maria de Lourdes Melo Zurita, School of Humanities and Languages, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences 

  • Dr Deborah Barros Leal Farias, School of Social Sciences, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences 

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Programs that Enhance Learning 

Innovation in Curriculum Design and Pedagogical Practice Category 

  • 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 

Postgraduate Coursework Teaching Category 

  • Heather Bailey, Sandra Killick, Sandeep Kirpalani, Tom Ray, Lucas Olmos, Ben Pecotich and Katilyn Percival, UNSW Centre for Social Impact 

The Heinz Harant Award for Teaching Innovation 

  • Dr Yenni Tim, School of Information Systems and Technology Management, UNSW Business School 

UNSW Higher Education Heroes Award 

  • Associate Professor Dijana Alic, Monica McNamara, Kathy Argyropolous, Ellen Clapin, Tom Richards, Dean Utian and Anjalika Wijesunrendra, Built Environment Associate Dean Education Unit 

  • Mr Edward Sze-Tu, UNSW Global 

  • Dr Victoria Clout, School of Accounting, UNSW Business School 

  • Mr Craig Smith, Ms Shalini Saverimuttu, Ms Tracey Beacroft and Ms Carolina Alamos, South Western Sydney Clinical School 

Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision 

Leadership Category 

  • Associate Professor Melissa Hart, ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes 

Supervision Category 

  • Professor Sarah Williams, UNSW Law 

Supervision - Emerging Supervisor Category 

  • Dr Hoa Nguyen, School of Education, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences 

  • Dr Lina Yao, School of Computer Science and Engineering, UNSW Engineering 

Winners of the 2020 Vice Chancellor's Awards
                             Winners of the 2020 UNSW Teaching and Research Excellence Award

Read about awardees from previous years