Meg and Umut recognised for teaching excellence

27 November 2018

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Associate Professor/Senior Policy Fellow

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Professor Michael Wesley, Dean of The Australian National University (ANU) College of Asia and the Pacific, honoured five exceptional teaching staff at the College as part of the 2018 Awards for Excellence in Education.

Initiated in 2007, the Awards recognise and encourage excellence in coursework teaching and research supervision at the College.

Professor Wesley presented the Award for Excellence in Tutoring to Dr Umut Ozguc, who is a security studies tutor at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

Dr Ozguc was recognised for her sustained excellence in tutoring in security studies, and because of her efforts to put students at the centre of her teaching philosophy, which is underpinned by empathic listening – to truly ‘hear’ students’ needs and expectations.

The success of her culturally sensitive and compassionate approach was supported by strong student feedback. She actively encourages her students to embrace their own independent views on the subject area and to find their their ‘critical spirits’ in order to understand the difference between opinion and argument.

“I think the students really liked the discussion component of my tutorials,” said Dr Ozguc.

“I really encourage students to think critically about the questions we raise throughout the course and to develop a good foundation. My students know that I don’t like unsupported arguments.”

One of her students commented ” Umut maintained an email and in-person corespondence with me to assist during the writing of my research essay. It went above and beyond reasonable expectations of what is required of a tutor. It gave me a really rigorous understanding of International Relations theory and how it can be applied to empirical case studies. I feel like I’ve come out of an intro course with a much more advanced skill and knowledge level than I was expecting - all thanks to her.”

Also from the Bell School, Associate Professor Meg Keen was recognised for her encouragement of excellence in individual and social learning approaches. She draws on her diverse Pacific Studies career spanning academia, consultancy, policymaking and political analysis to inspire her students to think about regional policymaking issues from many angles, and to never assume one agency or discipline has a monopoly, or is privileged. Meg co-convenees the Regional Policymaking for Pacific Development field school where she uses reflective teaching practice, underpinned by pedagogy, which encourages students to explore their career aspirations and use this field school to develop their professional skills.

One of her students commented “The courwse absolutely showed me how our research and analysis back at ANU is relevant and can be applied. It was a great privilege to meet your many connections and to see just how interesting, impactful and broad-ranging a career in the Pacific can be. It has absolutely reaffirmed for me that I can see where I am headed and that I enjoy my studies and what they may bring. I am also certain that when I look back on my lecturers and course convenors you will be someone who will stand out.”

Full list of awardees:

Award for Teaching Excellence

Dr Yuko Kinoshita, School of Culture, History and Language

Award for Excellence in Language Teaching

Dr Tami Sato-McGrath, School of Culture, History and Language

Award for Excellence in Tutoring

Dr Umut Ozguc, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs

Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

Associate Professor Meg Keen, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs

Wattle Award

Dr Bethwyn Evans for ASIA2308 Linguistic Histories in Asia and the Pacific, School of Culture, History and Language

_ Image: recipients of the CAP 2018 Awards for Excellence in Education: (left to right) Dr Tami Sato-McGrath, Dr Umut Ozguc, Dr Yuko Kinoshita, Professor Michael Wesley, Associate Professor Meg Keen, Ms Grazia Scotellaro on behalf of Dr Bethwyn Evans and Associate Professor Carol Hayes._

Tags: Awards, education

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