Vice-Chancellor and President's Awards for Excellence

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Vice-Chancellor and President's Awards for Excellence


Each year, through the Vice-Chancellor and President’s Awards for Excellence, exceptional achievements are recognised and rewarded in the key areas of:

  • learning and teaching
  • research
  • engagement
  • service

In 2017, nine staff members and teams received Vice-Chancellor and President’s Awards for Excellence.

For Excellence in Learning & Teaching

Dr David Schoeman
Associate Professor of Biostatistics
School of Science & Engineering
Faculty of Science, Health, Education & Engineering

Dr Schoeman was nominated for this award for his significant contributions to the delivery of high-quality teaching, learning and graduate outcomes.

Dr Schoeman is recognised for his excellence in academic leadership, including his provision of mentorship within the School, and in curriculum development, through the design, accreditation and administration of courses and programs that have gained international recognition.

As a result of Dr Schoeman's commendable leadership, USC's Bachelor of Animal Ecology has come to be an exemplar of both the development process and curriculum design within the School and beyond. His combination of research and teaching strengths have helped position Animal Ecology and the University for future success.​​

For Excellence in Learning & Teaching (Sessional)

Mr Leonardo Cavalli
Sessional staff member
Faculty of Arts, Business & Law 

Leonardo was nominated for this award for his valuable contributions across several courses in the Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology program.

Leonardo is well respected by his colleagues and students alike, and is described as an exemplary professional who goes above and beyond, evidenced by glowing SETAC results and comments. In Semester one, Leonardo took on ATMC course co-ordination responsibilities at short notice and received excellent feedback on this contribution.

​The leadership team within the School of Business has noted his quiet achievements, willingness to contribute to the ICT team and program in his own time, and the high regard in which he is held by both staff and students. Leonardo is recognised for bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge into the classroom, which both engages and inspires students.

For Excellence in Engagement​​

Natalie McMaster
Associate Lecturer in Education
School of Education
Faculty of Science, Health, Education & Engineering

Natalie was nominated for this award for her achievements in engagement, which have benefited the University and the broader community.

Natalie has worked diligently to establish relationships with schools and community personnel that enhance educational experiences for USC students and the wider community. In doing so, she has single-handedly brought three distinctive new initiatives to the School of Education, including the iEducate program; the Active Bodies are Better Able inclusive activities workshops; and the Graduate Teachers' Celebration.

Natalie's tireless energy and entrepreneurial spirit have ensured these initiatives are now well established in the School of Education, and continue to encourage solid partnerships between USC and the wider community.

​​​For Excellence in Research

Professor Peter Timms
Professor of Microbiology
Centre for Animal Health Innovation
Faculty of Science, Health, Education & Engineering

Professor Timms' strong research performance in koala conservation has received extensive external recognition. He is also recognised for his research leadership, through guidance and mentoring of staff with career and grant development and his significant cohort of successful HDR students, whom he has helped navigate through to completion.

Professor Timms' very strong publication record and initiative in the commercialisation of his research is exemplary within the University community.

For Excellence in Research (Early Career Researcher)

Dr Gemma Read
Research Fellow
Centre for Human Factors & Sociotechnical Systems
Faculty of Arts, Business & Law

A rising star in USC's Centre for Human Factors & Sociotechnical Systems, Dr Reed has received outstanding results in research performance, achievements and leadership for a recent PhD graduate. She is well published in her field and has demonstrated a strong trajectory for receiving ARC grants and other funding opportunities in the future.

Dr Reed's ability to utilise her nine years of industry experience as a human factors specialist to inform her academic work is achieved with particularly skilful application, and her strong research success is to be commended.

​​For Excellence in Service

Nathan Gordon
Manager of USC Sport

Nathan is acknowledged for the organisation and exceptional service he has demonstrated in his leadership of USC Sport. Nathan understands the higher order strategic purpose of USC Sport, and has made a significant contribution to the High Performance Sport project, bringing his vision, knowledge and experience to the project operations and steering group.

​Nathan has been instrumental in marketing the USC Sport precinct and building relationships to attract and host national and international sporting teams of the highest calibre. He continues to play a key role in managing stakeholders successfully through excellent interpersonal communication and engagement with academic staff, professional staff, students and the community. ​

For Excellence in Service

ATMC Team, School of Business
Faculty of Arts, Business & Law​

Dr Peter Baxter, Kylie Batten, Lucy Johnson, Patty Wu and Stefanie Hawkins within the School of Business were nominated for this award for their excellence in service to students, staff and corporate citizenship.

The team has contributed to driving and achieving rapid growth in student numbers through USC's relationship with the Australian Technical and Management College. To achieve this, the team has combined a high level of dedication, hard work, experience and expertise. The team has managed and operationalised a successful launch within a very tight timeframe, and continues to contribute to the ongoing dev​elopment of sustainable and scalable procedures and processes, across multiple departments, to ensure quality outcomes for students and maintaining USC's reputation.​​

For Excellence in Service

Dr Denis Podger
Manager of Technical Services
Faculty of Science, Health, Education & Engineering

Dr Podger is recognised for his long tradition of going well beyond the call of duty to deliver timely and impactful outcomes in his work, many of which fall outside the formal scope of his role.

Dr Podger continually demonstrates what it means to be an exemplary corporate citizen, with a strong ability to liaise, negotiate and meet the needs of many key stakeholders, and to achieve compromise when needed to deliver the best outcomes for USC.

Dr Podger's capacity to understand the intricacies and complexities of our teaching programs, and his ability to manage and communicate issues as they arise, has informed the design, fit-out and provisioning of a variety of different laboratories across USC sites and campuses. While managing the expanding operating environment that comes with new campuses and study locations is not a part of his defined role, he has assumed responsibility for these high-impact activities willingly.

For Excellence in Service

Melanie Belton
Coordinator of Faculty Support
Faculty of Science, Health, Education & Engineering

Melanie is acknowledged for the outstanding level of service she provides to the University, and her professional and collegial approach. Of particular note, is her level of organisation and attention to detail, and her ability to work effectively with a diverse set of Program and Course Coordinators to ensure precise and accurate outcomes. During Melanie's decade of corporate service to USC, she has demonstrated a quiet but inspiring style of leadership characterised by an unwavering commitment to the highest standards of service, and a selfless dedication to advancing the work of her Faculty and the University as a whole.

​Melanie's ability to remain positive and encouraging during high-pressure situations is a solace to those around her, and one of the many reasons why she has enjoyed such wide-spread respect and admiration in the USC community.

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