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Outstanding Business School teachers recognised at ALTC award ceremony

17 Aug 2011

ALTC University of Sydney Business School academics have been formally recognised for outstanding teaching at an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) ceremony last night at the Sydney Opera House.

As recently reported, Associate Professor Rosina Mladenovic from the Discipline of Accounting received a $25,000 award for teaching excellence recognising her dedication to students and passion for the field. This is the first award of its kind that has been received by a University of Sydney applicant with only 22 awards being given across all Australian tertiary institutions this year.

Rosina excels in teaching research, and is currently the 17th highest contributor to accounting education research worldwide. Along with her research and work with students, Assoc Prof Mladenovic has led numerous teaching-related projects across the University and acted as a mentor to fellow teaching staff.

Rosina said in her application, "From the beginning, my work has centred on engaging, motivating and inspiring students by helping them to see the significant impact they can have on the world as future leaders in business and government."

Sandra Seno-Alday from the Discipline of International Business recently received a citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the 2011 Australian Awards for University Teaching from the ALTC. 210 of these citations are awarded each year to deserving academics across Australia and are seen as a stepping stone for academics who might otherwise not consider applying. The Australian Learning and Teaching Council was established in August 2004 as a national focus for the enhancement of learning and teaching in higher education. The organisation will dissolve at the end of 2011 and while the future of the awards is uncertain it is likely they will continue in another guise.

Upon receiving her award Sandra was recognised for creating integrated assessments across large and diverse class settings, and fostering a dynamic environment that motivates students to rigorously apply their knowledge and skills to real-world scenarios.

The judges from ALTC said Sandra had "effectively designed integrated assessment systems that inspire active and progressive learning, leading to increased dynamic learning capacity." Importantly, the award recognises Sandra's progressive assessment approach which "supports individual and group learning, scaffolded by an empowering support and feedback system. Consequently, students acquire key competencies taking charge of their own learning in dynamic complex environments."

One of Sandra's most recent students said: "I always recommend people to take the course…I hope your course will help more people see the world in a different perspective."

Associate Professor Catherine Sutton-Brady has also been recognised in her field as an outstanding marketing educator. Catherine was one of only 16 academics across the University of Sydney to be recognised for excellence in this year's Vice-Chancellor's teaching awards for Outstanding Teaching and will officially receive her award at a ceremony later this year. The selection panel commented on the strong field of applications this year but made note of Catherine's excellence in many different facets of teaching including lecturing course design, assessment, preparation of teaching materials (including text books) and responsiveness to students - which enable students to become effective learners. Her passion for quality higher education and assessment has seen her publish extensively in this area.

Catherine has previously won the prestigious University of Sydney Business School Wayne Lonergan Award for Outstanding Teaching on two occasions and has been awarded an ALTC citation for enhancing student learning.

For Catherine, however, it is the students who matter most, as they actively engage with, and enthusiastically respond to, exciting new learning experiences and forms of assessment which - they say - don't even feel like assessment. Driven by her personal passion for ever-improving learning outcomes, Catherine is constantly renewed in her teaching by students' creativity, cooperativeness and originality.

Acting Dean of the University of Sydney Business School, Professor Tyrone Carlin said: "The thing I notice most about all these colleagues is they have been recognised for making the classroom a fun and engaging learning environment and have taken the time to build strong relationships with their students."

"Quite simply, Sandra, Rosina and Catherine are fine examples of the passionate academic staff engaged by the University of Sydney Business School. We are extraordinarily proud of them and want to shout from the roof tops at every possibility about how much we value their contribution to the learning experience at the Business School and how excellent teaching is a key part of our fabric."