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Top award for UC design professors

Marcus Butler

24 October 2017: A lot of  “blood, sweat and tears” goes into teaching in the higher education sector, but it’s all been worth it for a pair of University of Canberra design professors who have been recognised with a top award from the peak body for university visual arts, crafts and design education in Australia.

Associate Professor of Creative and Cultural Practice Lisa Scharoun and Associate Professor of Industrial Design Carlos Montana-Hoyos both received Distinguished Teaching Awards from the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS), which  represents over thirty Australian university and TAFE art and design faculties, schools and departments.

Dr Montana-Hoyos has been teaching at university level since 2001, and said he’s grateful of the support of his colleagues, family and students.

“It’s an honour to receive this award,” Dr Montana-Hoyos said. “I’m really proud to have been recognised by the highest authority for design education in Australia as an outstanding teacher.

Dr Montana-Hoyos said the University’s industrial design community is a tightknit group, but he estimates having taught as many as 400 students in about seven years at the University.

“For me, the most gratifying moments as a teacher are when I see my students flourish, grow and fly on their own,” he said.

“Often, just a sincere “thank you”, or seeing students getting excited and engaged with a topic or project can make my day.”

Dr Scharoun’s teaching career spans 14 years. She started at the University of Canberra in 2010 and said creating opportunities for students to go abroad and expand their skillsets was one of her biggest passions.

“I’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into organising study tours for our students since 2012 and have been working with [Dr Montana-Hoyos] in this area since 2013,” Dr Scharoun said.

“I’m overjoyed that this effort has been recognised on a national level. There are so many amazing teaching moments that I’ve had on every one of the six overseas study tours that I have facilitated and managed. Each trip we’ve done, there has been at least one student that will say this is their first time leaving Australia and in some cases flying on a plane.

“It is so rewarding that we’ve been able to expand our students’ horizons and give them an opportunity to learn about design through the perspective of another culture.”