Inspiring academics receive top medals

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Inspiring academics receive top medals

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Published on 4 May 2012

4 May 2012

Two University of the Sunshine Coast academics who are inspiring the next generation of teachers, artists and designers have been rewarded for their exceptional work.

Senior Lecturer in Art and Design Dr Lisa Chandler and Associate Lecturer in Education Karen Shelley each received a Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Learning and Teaching at the University’s recent Graduation ceremonies.

Dr Chandler, of Mt Coolum, has worked as a visual artist, educator, graphic designer, gallery director, curator and journalist in commercial and community contexts.

She has coordinated and taught courses in art, design and visual communication at USC and was foundation director of the University Gallery.

“I started at USC in 1996 and have seen it grow over the years while keeping that strong personal connection with students as individuals,” Dr Chandler said.

“I’m pleased with this award because I get a lot of joy out of teaching students to be creative thinkers and USC has a very high standard of teaching practice.

“It’s heartening to receive consistently positive feedback from my students and see them go on to successful careers in design and communicatioUSC Vice-Chancellor's Medal recipient Karen Shelleyn.”

Dr Chandler was awarded for developing innovative teaching materials and using a broad range of visual media and technologies to engage students and foster independent learning.

Karen Shelley, of Buderim, taught health and physical education at secondary schools for 18 years before joining USC in 2007 to do a Master of Science by Research.

“After I had my fourth child I was looking for new challenges professionally and decided to do more study. USC asked me to tutor in Public Health and now I have tutored in four different courses across education and health,” she said.

Ms Shelley said she was motivated by the excitement, challenges and rewards of teaching.

She now lectures and coordinates courses while undertaking her PhD on the use of critical pedagogy in pre-service teacher training in health education.

“Critical pedagogy is about encouraging students to question issues of equity and fairness in society,” she said.

“My passion is presenting information to students to shake up their beliefs and find better ways of doing things. These pre-service teachers will be teaching my children one day and I want to make sure they’re the best quality teachers they can be.”

Ms Shelley was awarded for respecting and supporting the development of students as individuals and her ability to influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.

Medal recipients receive $5,000 to support their work.

Julie Schomberg

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