RMIT University has presented two international education leaders with its highest honour, an Honorary Doctorate.
Professor Dennis Gibson AO (right) with RMIT Chancellor Dr Ziggy Switkowski.
Professor Robert Dennis Gibson AO, former Chancellor of RMIT and first Vice-Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, and Singaporean higher education leader, Adjunct Professor Lee Kwok Cheong, received their awards at a recent ceremony in Melbourne.
Adjunct Professor Lee was presented with a Doctor of Business Honoris Causa, while Professor Gibson was admitted to the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa.
RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the pair had a passionate belief in quality higher education.
"They are united in their commitment to higher education," Professor Gardner said.
"They demonstrate values that RMIT seeks to live by.
"Today they join the list of eminent past recipients, a list that crosses geographical, cultural and professional divides, but is consistent in its acknowledgment of an outstanding personal contribution to our community."
Adjunct Professor Lee has been CEO of Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) Global Education since 2005 and is a member of its Board.
For the past 27 years RMIT and SIM have worked in partnership, delivering quality higher education in Singapore.
The collaboration is Australia's largest transnational education partnership and was the first to be established between Australian and Singapore educational institutions.
Adjunct Professor Lee was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2010 Singapore National Day Awards, in recognition of his contribution to education and IT, and in 2011 became a member of the Singapore Computer Society Hall of Fame in recognition of his contribution to the development of the IT industry in Singapore.
In a long and distinguished career, Adjunct Professor Gibson has held various positions through which he has shaped Australia's Higher Education sector.
He was Department Chair to the Australian Research Council, was instrumental in creating the Australian Technology Network of universities, and served on the Dawkins review of higher education in the late 1980s that created the unified national system under which institutions such as QUT and RMIT became universities.
Adjunct Professor Gibson has a science degree with first class honours from the University of Hull, where he received the University prize in mathematics; and a PhD in a field of applied mathematics, magnetohydrodynamics, from the University of Newcastle (UK).
He was awarded a Higher Doctorate of Science in 1987 by the UK Council for National Academic Awards and has honorary doctorates from QUT and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Forty-two PhD candidates graduated at the ceremony, and staff and students were also recognised for academic excellence and outstanding contributions to the University community.
The Francis Ormond medal was presented to Elena Ayre in acknowledgement of staff commitment, dedication, excellence and exceptional service to the University.
Ms Ayre has worked at RMIT for 17 years, starting out as a Technical Assistant (Dental) in the Department of Health and Clinical Sciences.
Currently Senior Project Officer - Vocational Education in the Science, Engineering and Health College Office, her previous roles have included teaching in the Dental Assisting and Dental Technology program as well as Project Officer and Academic Services coordinator in the vocational engineering area.
The Ralph McIntosh Medal was presented to Professor Felicity Roddick in acknowledgement of outstanding service to students.
Professor Roddick is the Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) in the School of Civil, Environmental and Chemical Engineering.
She began working at RMIT in 1971 and is the second longest serving member of staff.
Professor Roddick has coached, mentored and empowered the school academic postgraduate coordinators to proactively address areas where student satisfaction could be improved.
She has promoted the importance of publishing, timely completion and conference attendance to HDR students and supervisors.
Other awards and prizes were:
- RMIT Award for Higher Education - Jordan Lockett, who finished his Bachelor of Social Work with First Class Honours last year.
- RMIT Award for VET - Sonam Sarita, who completed her Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology - Electrical in 2013.
- Patricia Guthrie Memorial Award - Katherine Babatsikos. who was conferred with the degree Bachelor of Business (Information Systems) last year.
- Beazley Award - Michael Mortlock, who completed the Certificate III in Plumbing program in 2013.
- J. N. McNicol Prize - Ricardo Saracoglu, who graduated with the Bachelor of Business (Economics and Finance) with Distinction last year.
Professor Gardner (left) and Dr Switkowski (far right) with student award winners (left to right): Jordan Lockett, Sonam Sarita, Katherine Babatsikos, Ricardo Saracoglu and Michael Mortlock.
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