VC’s awards acknowledge excellent staff

VC’s awards acknowledge excellent staff

Alison Dance

10 December 2013: More than 50 University of Canberra staff have been acknowledged for their contribution in areas including teaching and research at the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards.

A total of 20 awards were presented by Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker including for teaching excellence, equity and diversity, student-led teaching, research, professional staff and years of service.

Senior research fellow Bernd Gruber was “surprised to have won” the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for an Early Career Researcher in the area of science, health and technology.

“The prize is great but it’s not just mine. I am very lucky to work in an office with an open research environment and good colleagues, which makes the difference,” Dr Gruber said.

Bernd Gruber

Bernd Gruber won a Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for an Early Career Researcher, presented by Vice-Chancellor Stephen Parker. Photo: Michelle McAulay

Dr Gruber currently works with the University’s Murray-Darling Basin Futures CRN as an ecological modeler.

“I’m looking at the biodiversity in the region. Some areas are more species rich and I’m looking for an optimal way to have both human and environmental needs fulfilled and maintained in the ecosystem,” he said.

Dr Gruber has also been regularly published, including a book chapter and 39 refereed articles in a scholarly journal. He has also supervised eight PhD students and two honours projects.

The team winner for the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Professional Staff went to the Research Students’ Office, managed by Jane Macintosh, with staff Benita Eversons, Anushya Kumar, Cath Raby and Jennie Robens.

“It’s a testament to the individual team members and their strength. The team is dedicated and hardworking, especially with the huge increase in research students over the year,” Ms Macintosh said.

Research Student’s Office

The Research Student’s Office took were the team winners for the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Professional Staff. Photo: Michelle McAulay

“As the team manager I think it is well deserved and it was wonderful for the nomination to have come from outside of the team. It’s very affirming and is great to have feedback which shows the work we do is done well and appreciated.”

Ms Macintosh believes the team’s innovative work may have attributed to their win, with the introduction of the new Research Graduate online portal (RGrad) and the number of higher degree research students doubling over the past five years at the University.

“In his speech at the awards the Vice-Chancellor spoke a lot about innovation. I think our work, especially in the RGrad, demonstrated our capacity to use innovation,” she said.

The individual winner of the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Professional Staff was course manager Mark Thompson.

Mark Thompson

Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Professional Staff individual winner was Mark Thompson. Photo: Michelle McAulay

“I felt too shocked that I had won to feel much else at the time. I am very grateful to those who nominated me, it is very affirming to receive the award,” Mr Thompson said.

The modest recipient believes his efficiency may have helped him stand out.

“I try very hard to be responsive and helpful to staff in the University while maintaining some quality to the processes I manage,” he said.

Mr Thompson said his biggest highlight while working at the University has been the “people I have met and developed close working relationships with”.

To view the full list of Vice-Chancellor’s Award Winners click here.