Published on 5 October 2016
A University of the Sunshine Coast student has received an international leadership award for his enthusiastic work as a driving force within the University’s peer academic assistance program.
Education/Science student Raymart Walker recently travelled to the Australasian PASS and Peer Learning Conference in Sydney to accept an Outstanding Senior Peer Leader award – one of just four presented in the Australasian region.
Raymart, 21, who is a student member of the USC Council, began assisting in physics in USC’s Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program in 2014, and has since helped dozens of his fellow students improve their academic performance.
The Sippy Downs resident has become a strong advocate for PASS, which delivers free, out-of-class, peer-facilitated study sessions for students enrolled in a range of USC courses.
Raymart said he was honoured to receive the Outstanding Senior Peer Leader award at a presentation at the University of Technology Sydney.
“I think this award is a recognition of USC’s PASS Program and the incredible difference it makes,” he said.
“I initially got involved in the program because I love physics and I thought I’d like to help my peers in that course. Since that first semester, I’ve seen so many people progress in their studies and they’re smiling while they’re doing it.
“It’s really rewarding to see students grow in confidence as they attend PASS. It gives you a bit of joy.”
In addition to his combined Education/Science degree, Raymart is undertaking a Bachelor of Environmental Science and is a member of USC’s Student Representative Council.
He recently returned from a second research visit to the Australian Synchrotron – a huge machine in Melbourne that can accelerate electrons and deflect them through magnetic fields to create extremely bright light for research purposes.
Raymart, an aspiring physicist, said he intended to remain involved in the PASS program throughout his studies.
“Not everyone learns in the same way,” he said. “So use active learning tools like academic games, and that can really help people get their heads around tricky concepts.
“It’s beneficial to both the PASS leaders and participants, because students at a similar level get their knowledge reinforced.”
— Gen Kennedy