Educators recognised with national teaching excellence awards

Published 26 February 2019

Two University of New England academics have been recognised with national awards for their outstanding contribution to student learning as part of the 2018 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Annabelle Duncan congratulated Associate Professor Bernice Kotey from the UNE Business School and Professor Darren Ryder in the School of Environment and Rural Science on their citations, saying this prestigious award recognised their commitment to delivering the best possible outcomes for their students.

“These citations are the result of years of hard work and dedication, of putting the student at the centre of the learning experience. I am very pleased that A/Prof. Kotey and Prof. Ryder have been acknowledged as being among Australia’s most exceptional university educators,” Prof. Duncan said.

A/Prof. Kotey’s, who specialises in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, was recognised for her positive impact on student learning, student engagement and the overall student experience.

“My teaching has always been guided by the philosophy of bringing the real world to the classroom while instilling the entrepreneurial characteristics of creativity, critical thinking and calculated risk-taking in my students. It is my desire that students build on what they learn from my classes for successful careers in the real world of business,” A/Prof. Kotey said.

“A good teacher facilitates students' learning by providing the resources they need to learn and then putting students in charge of their learning. Students are supported to engage with the resources and to actually add to them via their own ideas, experiences, research, and discussions with others within and outside the class. An outstanding teacher makes learning fun, is approachable, and respects and treats students as his/her equal.”

A/Prof. Kotey was previously a finalist for the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Research and Teaching awards.

“Teaching aquatic ecology in the pristine rivers of North Coast NSW is a highlight of every year. I design teaching experiences to accommodate students’ different learning styles, create opportunities for active participation through field work and ensure that students receive prompt and effective feedback,” Prof. Ryder said.

“My teaching recognises UNE’s proud history of providing access and opportunity to higher education for people from all walks of life, with a vast range of experience and, like most of us, leading busy lives. Quality teaching comes from our outstanding teaching and professional staff that design curricula and provide supportive learning environments to help students succeed.”

The Citation Awards Committee commended Prof. Ryder on his commitment to continual reflection and improvement, student engagement, mentoring and the dissemination of the pedagogy to a wide audience.

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