Deakin University lecturers scoop national teaching honours

12 October 2009

Two Deakin University lecturers have taken out national honours for their teaching at the 2009 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

Claire Macken, from the School of Law received the Early Career Award while Abdel-Hakeem Kasem, from the School of International and Political Studies, received the Humanities and the Arts Award.

The Awards, from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, recognise the nation's top university teachers and the most outstanding programs and services aimed at improving the quality of student learning. They celebrate the exceptional effort made by university teachers and general staff to improve the student experience of Australian higher education; each award is valued at $25,000.

The award caps off an exciting week for Ms Macken who also received notification that her PhD investigating whether Australian Preventative Detention Law complies with International Law had successfully passed examination and was 'exceptional', 'highly original' and a 'pleasure to read'. Ms Macken also received a citation earlier this year from the Australian Teaching and Learning Council for her Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

Ms Macken received the national award for her research-led engagement strategy for the purpose of developing both generic and professional skills, high quality learning and to create an overall a positive student experience.

"It is a great honour to receive this recognition," Ms Macken said. "It is wonderful to be recognised for an engaging and creative approach to teaching law, and I am equally as thrilled to learn from others in the exciting world of higher education".

Mr Kasem received his award for pioneering Australian in-country internship programs in the field of Arabic language and cultural studies. He also developed Deakin's progressive online Arabic program which has led to new approaches to tertiary level language teaching nationally.

Mr Kasem's achievements in teaching and learning were recognised nationally through an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in 2008 and, at Deakin, through faculty and university-wide teaching awards.

"I am humbled and honoured to receive such a prestigious award in recognition of my work in developing a vibrant Arabic language program at Deakin," he said.

"Deakin Arabic online program has proven successful in enhancing student intellectual and educational outcomes and the quality of their experiential learning. It is also attracting national interest via innovative partnerships with other universities."

Deakin University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Philip Clarke, said receiving these awards was a tremendous achievement for Claire and Hakeem and "reflected the high quality of teaching and learning occurring at Deakin University".

"Deakin aims to provide national leadership in teaching and these two staff members personify that goal," he said.

"We are delighted with their success."


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Rebecca Tucker
Media and Corporate Communications
03 5227 8568, 0418 979 134
Email Rebecca

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