OLT Award Recipient: Dr Regina Belski

'We have an amazing group of teachers here at La Trobe, and many have unique and innovative approaches which contribute to student learning.'

We are pleased to announce that Dr Regina Belski, Senior Lecturer in the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, was awarded the prestigious Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) 2014 Citation for outstanding contribution to student learning this year. This was awarded for her dedication in creating an engaging, practice-oriented learning environment in nutrition and dietetics which inspires students to become self-reflective, independent, life-long learners. Regina said she was 'very humbled by being awarded the OLT citation' she hopes 'to continue to inspire and motivate students.'

Regina was also named one of the Top 10 Teachers at La Trobe University in the 2014 La Trobe Student Union (LTSU) Teaching Awards. The LTSU Teaching Award is nominated and voted for by students and aims to recognise an academic who has shown exceptional dedication to the student learning experience. She is currently teaching DTN2PNU: Principles of Human Nutrition, DTN3NDS: Nutrition and Disease, and DTN4LPN: Lifespan Nutrition at our university. In June, Regina was named as a 2011 Fresh Scientist by the Australian Government Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, in recognition of her work.

As an accredited practising Dietitian her work focuses on nutritional influences in the management and prevention of obesity and chronic health conditions as well as optimal nutrition for sport and performance. Regina is also an emerging researcher in the area of nutrigenomics. She completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia undertaking research focused on weight management and reduction of cardiovascular disease risk in overweight individuals utilising novel functional foods.

Regina is currently involved in a number of projects including

  • exploring optimal sports nutrition & hydration for elite athletes
  • nutrigenomics - moving towards personalised nutrition,
  • functional Foods for Health,
  • the role of sports clubs in promotion healthy eating,
  • cognitive dietary restraint and menstrual dysfunction in sub-elite female athletes
  • and use of novel herbal supplements for weight management and metabolic health.

She is also undertaking research in education practices and has recently published work in the journal Teaching in Higher Education, on cultivating student skills in self-regulated learning through evaluation of task complexity.

Regina encourages staff to 'consider how they could make learning and teaching more fun for both them and their students.' And to 'start a discussion with other members of their team about what teaching strategies they have tried that they feel have worked well and students have enjoyed and gained a lot from.'

'We have an amazing group of teachers here at La Trobe, and many have unique and innovative approaches which contribute to student learning - sharing this wisdom with each other could further strengthen our teaching and hence learning.'

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