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First Students' Choice Awards provide unique insights into learning experience

20 Nov 2013

First Students' Choice Awards provide unique insights into learning experience

Just how do students view their lecturers and tutors?

The answer to that question can be found in the hundreds of nominations submitted in the Students' Choice category of this year's University of Sydney Business School's annual Academic and Professional Staff Awards.

According to students the winners were variously inspiring, innovative, accessible, creative, patient, passionate and supportive. One nomination form carried a note that simply said, "I am lucky to be his student".

"Our student body is truly outstanding and it is important that we take heed of their feedback on the learning experience within the Business School," said Co-Dean Professor Tyrone Carlin. "It was for this reason that we decided this year to include a Students' Choice category in our annual staff awards."

"As we pursue even greater excellence in our teaching and learning environment, there is no group of stakeholders better able to comment on the quality of our work than the students that we strive to serve," Professor Carlin said.

The Students' Choice Award winners were chosen by a panel of students from more than 600 nominations.

One of the two awards for lecturing went to the Discipline of Finance's Dr Angelo Aspris. "Dr Aspris is a talented, inspirational, honest and dedicated academic who is obviously very committed to furthering his students' education beyond that which is expected in a university course," commented one of his students.

The other went to Dr Boris Choy, a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Business Analytics. Dr Choy was described by a student as "having a passion for his subject" and as "inspiring".

The two Students' Choice Awards for tutoring went to Angela Hecimovic, in the Discipline of Accounting, who was said to be "open to student suggestions", and to Vycke Zheng Wu in Finance, who was praised for her "versatility and innovative teaching style".

"These Awards required students to reflect on the teaching practices that best helped them to learn," said a Business School Learning and Teaching Project Officer, Susan Ellicott-Darke. "The students were encouraged to understand how they learn and this is the key to higher learning."

In addition to those decided by students, awards for outstanding teaching and research were presented across all disciplines.

The Wayne Lonergan Award for Outstanding Teaching was presented to the Discipline of Accounting's Angela Hecimovic, who had created a "vibrant learning environment" for her students, and the Discipline of Business Information Systems' Dr Olivera Marjanovic, who was praised for "developing a relevant and challenging curriculum".

The Wayne Lonergan Award for Outstanding Teaching, Early Career, went to Dr Massimo Garbuio in the Discipline of International Business. Dr Garbuio was praised by the judging panel for his "creativity and commitment to developing challenging, engaging, relevant and even fun learning experiences".

Dr Chris Wright in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies was presented with a prestigious University of Sydney Postdoctoral Research Scholarship.

Wing Yiu, Educational Designer from eLearning, was awarded the inaugural Profesional Staff Excellence Award in recognition of his "invaluable contribution to student learning".

In a printed welcome to the award ceremony, the Co-Deans Professor Tyrone Carlin and Professor David Grant, said its highly talented academic and professional staff made the University of Sydney Business School an exceptional place for learning.

"Such excellence is critical to ensure our students have an inspiring, far-reaching learning and research experience, preparing and further enabling their leadership in the workplace," they concluded.