Students pictured standing and sitting outside Building 67 on campus, with lots of trees and grass in the background. Photo: Michael Gray

Outstanding UOW academics shine in prestigious University Awards

Outstanding UOW academics shine in prestigious University Awards

Four exceptional lecturers recognised for creating dynamic teaching environments

Four exceptional academics from the University of Wollongong (UOW) have been recognised for their leadership, support for students, and passion for teaching in the 2023 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

UOW received the four national citations during an online ceremony yesterday (Monday 26 February) as part of the Universities Australia conference.

Associate Professor Bonnie Dean, Head of Academic Development and Recognition; Associate Professor Tam Ha, Lecturer in the School of Health and Society; Dr Mercedez Hinchcliff, Director of Academic Programs for Marketing, Public Relations, Sports Marketing and Entrepreneurship; and Dr Pariz Lythgo-Gordon, Lecturer and Career Development Fellow in the School of Law all received the prestigious Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

The Citations recognise and reward the diversity of contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning.

A split image of Mercedez Hinchcliff on the left and Tam Ha on the right Dr Mercedez Hinchcliff and Associate Professor Tam Ha

Dr Mercedez Hinchcliff, an early career researcher and former corporate banker, has become known for her passion to creating inclusive and exceptional learning experiences for her students.  Recognised in the category of Business, Management and Commerce, Dr Hinchcliff focuses on a student-centred approach to teaching, creating a dynamic and engaging teaching environment.

Associate Professor Bonnie Dean, who was honoured in the Multidisciplinary category, has spent much of her extensive career focused on Work Integrated Learning (WIL) for students. In her role as Head of Academic Development and Recognition, Associate Professor Dean has led the charge in mapping WIL across into UOW subjects to elevate academics to embed WIL in their teaching. Through her engagement in the Australian Collaborative Education Network, Associate Professor Dean has made significant contributions in the national space by motivating, upskilling and inspiring WIL practitioners to improve graduates’ overall employability.

Associate Professor Tam Ha, an academic in Epidemiology, is a renowned teacher with extensive global experience. By creating superior and unique learning experiences for her students, Associate Professor Ha is dedicated to training the next generation of public health professionals. She was recognised in the Health category of the AAUT citations.

Dr Pariz Lythgo-Gordon, who was honoured in the Society and Culture category, is a dedicated educator who has developed a first-year teaching model for law students to proactively address the mental health problems that many students in the field of law face. Her work is centred on motivating and inspiring students, including through innovative gamification methods, ensuring they feel engaged and are active participants in their learning.

Pariz Lythgo-Gordon and Bonnie Dean in a split image Dr Pariz Lythgo-Gordon and Associate Professor Bonnie Dean

Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin, UOW’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and Student Life), congratulated the recipients on their success in the awards.

“I am delighted to see our incredible academics receive national recognition for their dedication to and passion for their subjects,” Professor McLaughlin said.

“We are proud of our exceptional teaching and learning at UOW. Our academic staff make a true impact on the lives of students, guiding them through their degrees and providing support that often goes well beyond the classroom. Congratulations to Associate Professor Dean, Associate Professor Ha, Dr Hinchcliff, and Dr Lythgo-Gordon.”