RMIT talent on show at national teaching awards

RMIT talent on show at national teaching awards

Educators from across RMIT’s STEM, business and justice disciplines have taken home six accolades at this year's Australian Awards for University Teaching, the most of any university.

The Australian Awards for University Teaching recognise university educators who have demonstrated outstanding leadership through a commitment to innovation, delivery of quality teaching and a sustained dedication to improving student experience and learning outcomes.

Five individuals and a teaching team from RMIT received awards this year from Universities Australia, with Dr Jessica Danaher and Associate Professor Nic Connelly each receiving individual awards for overall teaching excellence.  

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Vice-President, Professor Sherman Young, congratulated all the award winners, saying RMIT was proud to see educators’ teaching practices showcased and celebrated on a national stage.

“Our students tell us that applied, authentic and industry-connected learning is why they choose to study at RMIT so it’s great to see our teaching philosophy recognised and celebrated,” he said. 

“These awards confirm that there is outstanding teaching across RMIT and we’re committed to supporting all of our educators to deliver amazing learning experiences for our students.”

Dr Jessica Danaher received an award for teaching excellence as an early career science educator.

Danaher is a researcher and an early career educator teaching in nutritional science who was recognised for her innovative approach to learning engagement and overwhelmingly positive student feedback. 

Connelly is an industry fellow with over 30 years’ experience as an air traffic controller. The recipient of multiple industry awards, her teaching practice leverages her industry experience to bring the real world into the classroom.

Both Danaher and Connelly have developed considered blended learning approaches to better engage students with self-paced online learning resources supplementing interactive classroom experiences. 

Associate Professor Nic Connelly received an award for teaching excellence as an early career engineering educator.

Three educators and a teaching team also received citations for outstanding contributions to student learning, awarded for innovations in teaching with a focus on connecting with industry, providing simulated experiences and practical and authentic applications.

  • Dr Brianna Chesser: a supportive, influential and motivational teaching approach that enhances learning and achievement outcomes to produce work-ready graduates in the criminology and justice discipline
  • Associate Professor Ling Mei Cong: innovation and leadership in authentic and digital learning designs that improve students’ career development skills
  • Associate Professor Nicolas Menicucci: successfully leading and supporting students to learn advanced quantum physics in a first-year undergraduate course through research-led innovations in content and assessment
  • Cardiorespiratory Biology team (Dr Elizabeth Verghese, Dr Jonathan Mcqualter, Dr Narin Osman, Professor Steve Bosinovski, Associate Professor Stavros Selemedis and Professor Ross Vlahos): challenging students to collaborate and apply knowledge and skills to real world problems with industry projects and case studies in cardiopulmonary disease

Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson congratulated the 2022 winners, highlighting the important roles of educators in society.

“Teachers continue to go above and beyond to empower students to be confident and curious learners, and set them up for bright and fulfilling careers,” she said.

“Beyond these awards, we say thank you to all teachers across the country for leading by example with great tenacity and inspiring the lives of so many.”


Story: Grace Taylor


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.