News

Seven outstanding teachers recognised


20 September 2012

(L-R) Mr Giuseppe Carabetta, Associate Professor Rafael Calvo, Dr Alison Kuiper (Institute for Teaching and Learning), Associate Professor Lynette Mackenzie (accepting on behalf of Professor Anita Bundy), Dr Patricia McCabe, Professor Derrick Armstrong (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education), Gabrielle Foster (accepting on behalf of Dr Kirsty Foster), Professor Rick Benitez.
(L-R) Mr Giuseppe Carabetta, Associate Professor Rafael Calvo, Dr Alison Kuiper (Institute for Teaching and Learning), Associate Professor Lynette Mackenzie (accepting on behalf of Professor Anita Bundy), Dr Patricia McCabe, Professor Derrick Armstrong (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Education), Gabrielle Foster (accepting on behalf of Dr Kirsty Foster), Professor Rick Benitez.

Seven members of the University of Sydney's academic staff have received a national award for their outstanding teaching.

The seven academics, from six different faculties, were among the 152 winners nationally of the 2012 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. The citations are awarded annually by the federal government's Office for Learning and Teaching to recognise quality teaching practice and contributions towards student learning.

"Our best teachers succeed because they are driven by the passion and academic rigour to make a difference," said University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence.

"They inspire and motivate our students to explore and push their own frontiers of knowledge.

"The University greatly values the work of our many committed teachers and the crucial role they play in contributing to the overall student experience. I congratulate all the award winners for the commitment they have shown to their students."

This years winners from the University of Sydney are:

  • Professor Rick Benitez (Faculty of Arts and Social Science) who sees mutual respect as the foundation stone for good teaching and learning. A former student of Benitez said that he 'goes out of his way to help students understand their own thinking.' As a teacher of philosophy, he has a particular interest in Plato and incorporates Plato's remarks in his approach to teaching. Read more about Rick Benitez.
  • Professor Anita Bundy (Faculty of Health Sciences) for her 30 years of guidance and mentoring for her research students. She sees her role as 'walking the path' with her students, always looking for cues as to what help they need to go forward. She has a strong interest in researching the benefits of play for children with disabilities.
  • Associate Professor Rafael Calvo (Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies) - for his commitment to helping engineering students gain invaluable writing skills through innovative online tools. The tool, iWrite, has now been made available to academics outside of engineering. He is interested in investigating how people can learn better with the support of technology.
  • Giuseppe Carabetta (Business School) - who incorporates students' own experiences, pop culture references and his own research to bring concepts in business law to life. He has been teaching business and employment law for almost 10 years and sees it as his dream job. Read more about Giuseppe Carabetta. 
  • Dr Kirsty Foster (Sydney Medical School) - for her care and support of medical students, which is vital to their success given the intense pressure medical students are under. She has also taught doctors and nurses in East Timor and Vietnam making a real difference to healthcare in developing countries.
  • Dr Patricia McCabe (Faculty of Health Sciences) - for her innovative use of clinical cases to help her students apply theory to real situations. This allows her students to move away from looking at individual pieces of knowledge and see the whole picture. Her main research area is in treating speech impairments in children.
  • Dr Siegbert Schmid (Faculty of Science) - whose enthusiasm for teaching chemistry has seen him find new and interesting teaching methods. He creates a richer learning environment for his students by challenging them to find examples of chemistry at work in the real world.

The citation winners received $10,000 in prize money. The presentation ceremony took place on Tuesday 25 September at the Webster Theatre, the University of Sydney.


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Enquiries: Sally Sitou, 9351 8647, sally.sitou@sydney.edu.au