UC teaching fellow wins award the ‘write’ way

UC teaching fellow wins award the 'write' way

Jessica Schumann

Sarah St Vincent Welch

Sarah St Vincent Welch

9 August 2011: Creative writing teaching fellow Sarah St Vincent Welch is one of four staff members to receive an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

The award recognises the diverse contributions individuals and teams make to student learning.

Ms St Vincent Welch received the citation for taming the terror of the bare page: devising playful writing spaces that surprise, stimulate and support creative writing students to write and keep writing.

Ms St Vincent Welch has been teaching at the University of Canberra for six years.

In her creative writing tutorials she creates a safe space for her students, encouraging them to use concepts or techniques from the class that work and enable them to write.

“My classes are very relaxed and consist of small class activities to interest and inspire them,” she said.

“Students can then later reflect on these activities and apply them in other units or types of writing.”

The activities range from taking a walk with a notebook to jot down inspirations through to impromptu writing about an object brought into class.

The citation is a first for Ms St Vincent Welch and came as a surprise but she said the 12-month application process was well worth it.

“The process is one of reflection,” she said.

“Reading through feedback from previous years, participating in workshops and sharing other techniques with staff from different faculties- it really makes you critique your teaching methods.”

Dr Chris Kilham, Dr Linda Li and Associate Professor Mary Walsh also received the same citation.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Carole Kayrooz congratulated all the recipients.

“Their work reflects the University’s focus on the five key signature themes for our courses; research-led education, work integrated learning, greater student access choice and flexibility, interdisciplinarity and internationalisation,” Professor Kayrooz said.

The 2011 ALTC Awards and Citations ceremony will be held in Sydney on August 16.