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Recognition for two outstanding teachers

8 March 2021
Australian Awards for University Teaching
Two Sydney academics were awarded citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in the Federal Government's Australian Awards for University Teaching.

The Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) recognise teaching excellence and reward the diverse contributions made by individuals and teams to student learning. In the 2020 awards recently announced by Universities Australia, Dr Fiona Stanaway from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and Dr Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam from the Faculty of Engineering, received citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Education) Professor Pip Pattison congratulated Dr Stanaway and Dr Shirvanimoghaddam on their citations.

“The awards recognise and celebrate the impact of educators on student outcomes and are an outstanding testament to the innovative approaches taken to support and engage students with their learning,” said Professor Pattison.

“Congratulations to our colleagues on being recognised for their extraordinary work to enhance learning experiences and contribute to a culture of excellence in teaching, delivered during a period of significant challenge and uncertainty for higher education.”

Teaching is one of my passions and has also been a great creative outlet.
Dr Fiona Stanaway
Dr Fiona Stanaway

Dr Fiona Stanaway

Dr Fiona Stanaway

Dr Stanaway, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Epidemiologyreceived her citation for developing clinically authentic and creative learning experiences that inspire clinician students to develop and apply epidemiological skills to drive improvements in patient care.

“I am thrilled to have received recognition for my commitment and dedication to high-quality teaching and my efforts to inspire and motivate my students to learn epidemiology," said Dr Stanaway.

“Teaching is one of my passions and has also been a great creative outlet. Coming up with innovative ways to explain complex ideas and engage my busy clinician students in an online environment has not been without its challenges, but the effort has definitely been worth it.”

Master of Clinical Epidemiology student Aileen Zeng said Dr Stanaway taught fundamental skills that underpin her delivery of evidence-based practice.

"Her flexible style of teaching provides an open space for students to collaborate and explore the practicalities of applying research in an evolving clinical environment.

"As healthcare professionals, we are decision makers and her teaching inspired and shaped us to be critical thinkers but also have the confidence to advocate for better delivery of healthcare.”

I am delighted to have received recognition for the Idea Factory, a multidisciplinary student learning framework we initiated in 2018.
Dr Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam
Dr Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam

Dr Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam

Dr Mahyar Shirvanimoghaddam

Dr Shirvanimoghaddam, Academic Fellow in Telecommunications, received his citation for enhancing the learning experience by engaging students in multidisciplinary learning and developing work-related capabilities and critical thinking skills.

“I am delighted to have received recognition for the Idea Factory, a multidisciplinary student learning framework we initiated in 2018. Since then more than 300 engineering and business students have participated in the project, which resulted in more than 30 innovative product ideas and prototypes," said Dr Shirvanimoghaddam.

"The project enables students from various disciplines to work together in groups and develop a commercial product from beginning to end. I hope this can be further expanded across the University to engage students from all disciplines to solve real-world problems.

“I would like to thank my colleagues at the School of Electrical and Information Engineering and Sydney Business School, the tutors I have been working with, and all the students who have contributed to the development of the Idea Factory.”

Master of Commerce graduate Stella Qui discovered how important the collaborative aspect was to fostering high-quality project outcomes.

“When I would do a project with business students, we would focus on whether the idea was creative and attractive – are there any other similar products in the market already and are people willing to buy this product?” she said. 

"In this project, the engineering students provided many professional suggestions from the practical and technical sides. It made it more like a project that we would do in the real working environment, and it was my favourite part of the Idea Factory.”

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