MSA Teaching Awards

It's about saying thank you

Held annually since 2014, this entirely student run awards program is a greatly valued demonstration of the lasting impact thoughtful, innovative and considerate acts by staff members can have on the student learning experience.

Congratulations to all our 2018 recipients.

Rising Star Award

For a new academic staff member who has provided an excellent learning experience.

R-Coo Tran

R-Coo tutors Criminology in the Faculty of Arts. She was nominated for her teaching in the unit “Race Crime and Difference”. R-Coo started at Monash this semester and since then has been praised by her students for being energetic, humble, passionate, kind and knowledgeable. Students noted that they looked forward to every class with her.

Above and Beyond Award

For a staff member who has exceeded the outlined requirements of the role to provide their students with a truly exceptional learning experience.

Ari Pinar

Ari has been nominated for his teaching in Neuroscience of Communication, Sensory and Control Systems and Human Neurobiology in both Science and Biomedical Science. Students praised Ari for always being available for help, whether it be with unit content, concerns about other units or even just a chat. He adapts his teaching to suit many different learning styles and explains things so that everyone can understand. Ari really takes the time to get to know his students, their likes and dislikes and their aspirations.

Innovation Award

For an academic staff member who has provided an outstanding accessible learning environment to students with a disability.

Aamir Cheema

Aamir Cheema has been nominated for his teaching within the faculties of Engineering and IT. Students praised Aamir for always being responsive to questions and giving insightful but concise and helpful answers. They said that he makes dry content interesting through his use of memes and also a character called Alice to make the content personal and more relatable.

Student Support Award

For a staff member who has provided outstanding support to MSA projects throughout the year and has demonstrated a commitment to improving the experiences of Clayton campus students.

Eliza Kelly

Eliza Kelly has been nominated for her teaching in Communication and Media in the faculty of Arts. She has been noted for taking an interest in all of her students, learning all of their names and their interests and even including one of their podcasts as a part of her teaching material. One student noted that she followed up with a student who made a joke about their mental health, just to double check that they were ok. They said that, "After being taught by Eliza in my first year of university, I fear that other tutors will not live up to the high standard she has set. I have nothing but good to say of her and neither do any peers I have spoken to. The encouragement and support I have received from her are the reason I have the confidence to pursue a major in Communications and Media, and possibly a career in academic writing about it."

Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards

For academic staff members who have provided outstanding teaching in their faculty and ultimately creating a better student learning experience.

Kathleen Neal - Arts

Kathleen was nominated for taking care to include students of all genders and abilities, making available transcripts and captions from her classes and using teaching methods to include all. She gets to know all her students and always made sure to take note of and follow up on questions.

Marco Lecci - Monash Business School

Marco received an overwhelming 17 nominations this year for his teaching. His students have described him as engaging students in content that might otherwise be dry and some even said that Marco has inspired their choice of major and their decision to undertake further study. He encourages students to be critical of the facts and themselves, meaning that they were able to truly learn the content, not just memorise it. Marco also won this award in 2017.

Konstandina Dounis - Education

Konstandina, known to her students as Dina, received perhaps one of our most heartfelt nominations. She was described as “accepting, caring, courageous and kind, helping all students to feel at home in her classroom”. She helped students to relate to the content through her personal stories and was praised for her progressive outlook on social and global issues. She was supportive of her students in all aspects of their lives.

James Saunderson - Engineering

James has been praised by his students for giving them absolutely every opportunity to succeed. He made specialised notes for his classes and kept them up-to-date throughout the semester. These were summarised in videos for exam revision. He always answered Moodle questions in a clear and concise way and often included extra answers from questions he received by email. He was present and interactive in tutorials and often stayed back to help students once the classed had ended. To sum up, his nominating student said that “I think he should be given a pay rise”.

Ian Lim Wern Han - IT

Ian’s nominating student said that he is “by far the best tutor and lecturer at Monash. He gives clear explanations and his confidence in teaching shows that he truly knows and is passionate about the topics, helping his students to trust him completely.”

Colin Campbell - Law

Colin Campbell is a much-loved figure among law students. He prepares extensively, covering what’s important and always challenging students to express opinions on any contentious legal area. By adopting a slow pace, Colin works to ensure students never fall behind, and if they need extra help, he is always around for an extended one-on-one meeting. Colin’s infectious humour and his charming persona makes students want to learn with him, and makes students want to attend his classes.

Craig Taylor - Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Craig Taylor, known to his students as Squiz, was nominated for his work in Paramedic Management of Mental Health. "I have not yet had a lecturer who brought such a personal and emotional tone to a unit that not only moved myself, but my fellow colleagues, from laughter to tears within the same seminar". He understands the seriousness of mental health and is always the first one to offer support to those students who are struggling or having a hard time. His guidance and support is highly appreciated by all his students and I consider myself very lucky to have been taught by someone so insightful.

Christopher Thompson - Science

Chris Thompson is an icon of the science faculty. From initial interactions in first year chemistry even the most resistant of students can feel comfortable learning from him. He goes above and beyond to help students think outside the box and approach difficult topics in new ways. He’s also developed programs such as Performing Elements: a creative and fun, performance-based alternative to learning typically analytical subjects. Much of his teaching strength comes from being able to get his students to relate to him with personal anecdotes (such as the time someone broke into his garage to steal his cymbal collection) that keeps them listening and engaged. Chris puts his heart and soul into teaching so it’s not surprising he took home The Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s Educator of the Year this year.