I write this welcome having had a week away from UQ spending time with the family in the stunning setting of New Zealand’s central-South Island. Many other colleagues took advantage of the school vacation to have some time off work; and for those who were unable to do this, thank you for covering for us!  As you will see below, the rhythm of activities and achievements continues regardless.

HASS researchers recognised for excellence

Researchers from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences were celebrated for their outstanding contributions earlier this month at both the 2016 UQ Research Awards and HASS Research Awards.

Congratulations to Cameron Parsell (ISSR), Margaret Barrett (Head of Music), Gerhard Hoffstaedter (Social Science) and Francisco Perales (ISSR). Read more about each of their achievements here.

Additionally I think it is fitting to also recognise an award that was not given, but perhaps should have been, to Joanne Tompkins for her outstanding leadership of the research portfolio in HASS.

The Academy of Social Sciences in Australia

The Academy of Social Sciences Australia (ASSA) announced the election of new fellows this month, including Martin Mills from the School of Education. Martin will become an academician at the ASSA annual general meeting in November – I am looking forward to participating in the same ceremony. Three other researchers from UQ were also elected – you can read more here.

Our Faculty performs well in terms of the overall number of Fellows of the Academy of Humanities Australia (AHA) and the ASSA; we currently have 50 in total (19 FASSA and 31 FAHA), including current staff, Honorary staff and Emeritus.

This is indicative of the high regard that exists for HASS staff among our peers in Australia.

Journalism students experience international field reporting

20 UQ journalism students are currently reporting from the streets of Mumbai as part of a work-integrated learning project led by Bruce Woolley from the School of Communication and Arts. See full story here.

They have also been accompanied by Manager of the School’s Media and Production Support team Paul Smith, who is helping them to capture all their new experiences – from palm reading to deadly driving – which you can keep up-to-date with on the JACdigital website.

This experience was made possible due to funding from the New Columbo Plan which also funded the School’s very first international field reporting project, Vietnam Reporter, five years ago. Bruce explains in detail here.

A new $300,000 joint project from the School of Communication and Arts, UQ International Development and the Sustainable Minerals Institute has also recently been launched, which teaches Mongolian journalists specialist reporting of the resources industry. Read more here.

Shakespeare in the Great Court

Join us for some Music and Madness in the Great Court next month as we celebrate Shakespeare’s memorable theatrical moments performed by the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble. Apart from the intrinsic value of the event itself, UQ increasingly wants to use the Great Court as an interactive and creative space that can benefit students, staff, and members of the public.

The event is free, so spread the word, pack your picnic rug, and join us on 21 October from 4pm – 5pm. More details here     

 Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

Earlier this week the 2016 Australian Awards for University for Teaching Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning were presented at GOMA on behalf of the Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham.

These awards are highly competitive. I am delighted to report that two colleagues from HASS were among 28 state-wide winners.

Judith Seaboyer (Communication and Arts) for developing sustainable feedback-rich, technology-assisted assessment strategies that markedly increase pre-class reading, engagement and learning, and foster pleasure in literary studies, and Phil Orchard (POLSIS) for inspiring and engaging political science students with an experiential learning curriculum including simulations which are designed to prepare them for real work challenges.

A third winner, Kenneth Pakenham (Psychology) also teaches into the BA in psychology and was awarded for scholarly leadership in integrating self-care into a psychotherapy curriculum that builds resilient clinicians able to relieve human suffering.

More Teaching and Learning Success

HASS has had recent success in the latest round of the Teaching Innovation Grants with six projects in total – two under the early career category – totalling over half a million dollars.

Congratulations to the following teachers and their innovative projects: ‘strengthening the gateways’ led by Karen Moni (Education); ‘revitalising language assessment’ led by Marisa Cordella (Languages and Cultures); ‘doing digital humanities’ led by Kerry Kilner (Communication and Arts); ‘developing a database of innovative assessment techniques’ led by Mair Underwood (Social Science); ‘a framework for journalism design led by Skye Doherty (Communication and Arts); ‘multimedia technologies be used to privilege Indigenous voices?’ led by Carlos Rivera-Santana (ATSIS).

Museum Award

Graeme Were from the School of Social Science has recently returned from the opening of the Doi Moi exhibition in Vietnam with a medal for his achievements in museums.

He received an outstanding achievement award from the Socialist Government of Vietnam for his support of Vietnamese culture, sport and tourism. Read more here.