Albury-Wodonga lecturer wins award

Albury-Wodonga lecturer wins award

06 Feb 2008

Dr Susan Lawler, senior lecturer within the Department of Environmental Management and Ecology at Albury-Wodonga campus, is a joint winner of the 2007 Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence. This award was from the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering at La Trobe University, which includes staff at the Bundoora, Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga campuses.

The selection committee which reviewed the applications for the Dean's Award said: "This is an exceptional application, highlighting immense enthusiasm and an excellent teaching record. The applicant's overall approach to teaching and the motivation delivered to enhance the student learning experience is extremely impressive."

Dr Lawler has been teaching genetics and evolutionary ecology at La Trobe University's Albury-Wodonga campus for 15 years. Susan is known for her enthusiasm in the classroom and the hands-on experiences she provides to students both in the laboratory and in the field, which both engages and inspires the students.

A highlight for her 2007 Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology class was the very successful field trip to the Strathbogie Ranges, where the second year students surveyed the biodiversity of hanging bogs in farmers' paddocks - with their research findings making a significant contribution to the scientific knowledge in this area. The class then produced a field guide to the flora and fauna in these unique ecosystems for the landholders, the local landcare group and the Catchment Management Authority.

"I just love getting students to exceed their own expectations. Let's face it, I can't teach them anything unless they really want to learn, but once they are really interested in what we are doing together, they cannot help but learn," stated Dr Lawler.

"I am especially proud of the many former graduates who committed themselves to their study and are now making a difference in their chosen field of environmental management, which is such an important part of everyone's future."

The award includes a $2500 cash prize which the winner can use to support their academic activities. Dr Lawler plans to use the prize to fund her attendance at research conferences.

To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact:

Reinhard Beissbarth
La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga
Phone: 02 6024 9874
Email: r.beissbarth@latrobe.edu.au

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