Professor Sherman Young at 2016 VC Learning and Teaching Awards

Together we are the light

Last night, a few of us from across the university sat in the Lakeside Marquee to wine and dine with some of the brightest beacons in learning and teaching at Macquarie University. These individuals were recognised for their achievements in innovative curriculum and pedagogy, engagement of students, and otherwise inspirational dedication to their craft.

The details about the winners of the VC Learning and Teaching awards can be read in the recent This Week post covering the event. However, there’s something missing from that story. That article talks about one set of winners but there is another couple of winners not mentioned who have also made important contributions in the learning and teaching community – our very own Teche award winners.

The Teche awards recognise contributions to the recognition and discussion of learning and teaching practices and to those elements that affect those practices. Teche writers aim to support convenors and other academics more directly involved in the classroom by communicating their work, extending the conversation about important and interesting developments, and disseminating other important information across the larger learning and teaching community.

Rebecca Ritchie and Olga Kozar – this year’s Teche award winners – have shown their dedication and commitment to providing that support. They were recognised for their achievements in their Teche contributions, but that involvement is simply one manifestation of their tireless efforts. From both within the faculties (Rebecca is a Senior Learning Designer in the Faculty of Human Sciences) and at the centre (Olga is a Senior Learning Designer in the Learning Innovation Hub), these awardees are focused on the information and support their can provide to our academics.

Rebecca Ritchie at 2016 VC Learning and Teaching Awards

Rebecca won two awards this year. She was recognised with both the People’s Choice (Best post) for her piece, Brave Girl, Transgender Teen, and Post with the most impact, Why we need dogs at work at Macquarie.

Dr Olga Kozar at 2016 VC Learning and Teaching Awards

Olga was presented this year’s award for the People’s Choice (Learning and Teaching) for her article, University assignments: why students rarely go ‘outside of the box’.

Our very own PVC-Learning and Teaching, Sherman Young, who MC’ed last night’s event, discussed Macquarie’s emblem, the lighthouse. He noted that it is not the structure itself that is significant as a symbol of learning and teaching but the light it emits. Further, he said that is was not either the students or the teachers that are the light but that “together we are the light”. I would go a step further.

Without the entire learning and teaching community, the light cannot reach its full brightness.

In tandem with the students and instructors, learning and teaching support staff complete the brilliance of the light that Macquarie University. In addition to the significant, important, and inspiring contributions made by our VC Learning and Teaching award winners, our recognition would be sorely incomplete with recognising the shining examples put forth by our Teche award winners as well.

Congratulations again to Rebecca and Olga! Thank you for your continued dedication and support.

Written by Tanya Rose

Tanya Rose is the Strategic and Innovation Lead for the Learning Innovation Hub. Her experience in education ranges across the spectrum from high school and university instructor to higher education researcher to curriculum and policy developer. Working in the spectrum of organizations and institutions in both the private and public sectors has only fanned her curiosity about and enthusiasm for pursuing new and evolving approaches to effective, meaningful, and inspiring teaching and approaches to learning.

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