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Achievements and Announcements

Moving up the ranking list

UniSA has moved up 13 places to rank 48 in a listing of the world’s Top 100 universities under 50 years old.

UniSA is the youngest Australian institution to feature in The Times Higher Education Top 100 list.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says he is delighted with the results.

“As an institution which is just 22 years old, to be placed in such an advanced position is a great achievement,” he says.

“What is important here is that we are moving up and what’s clear is that much of our improvement relates to core university activities such as teaching and research and our strong relationships with industry.”

For more information see our media release about this.

Jeffrey Smart honoured with new building naming rights

Jeffrey SMART, Self portrait at Papini’s, (detail) 1984–85, oil and acrylic on canvas, Private collection, © the artistJeffrey SMART, Self portrait at Papini’s, (detail) 1984–85
oil and acrylic on canvas, Private collection, © the artist

UniSA will honour the life and contribution of the great Australian artist Jeffrey Smart by naming its major new learning centre building, the Jeffrey Smart Building.

The decision to honour the artist was made by the University Council on June 20, only hours before learning of Smart’s death in Tuscany, although the artist’s permission to use his name in this way had been obtained several weeks before that.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the contribution Smart has made to Australian art has been significant and enduring.

“We were privileged to hold a unique retrospective of Jeffrey Smart’s lifetime’s work last year in our Samstag Museum - Master of Stillness: Jeffrey Smart paintings 1940 -2011 - which was a very special event and one that showcased the great talents of this artist,” Prof Lloyd said.

“His highly individual style, his commitment to his work and his lifelong passion for always learning and innovating in his craft were evident in every piece. It is that spirit we will honour in the naming of our learning centre, located at the heart of the city where Jeffrey Smart first explored his talent.”

For more information about this see our media release.

Honours for our alumni

Fiona HALL, Different Forms of Intelligence, 2007, bronze, marble wood cast-glass, vinyl and fluorescent light, 3.97 x 5.90 x 4.20, University of South Australia Art Collection. Photograph Sam Noonan.Fiona HALL, Different Forms of Intelligence, 2007, bronze, marble wood cast-glass, vinyl and fluorescent light, 3.97 x 5.90 x 4.20, University of South Australia Art Collection.
Photograph Sam Noonan.

An acclaimed Australian artist, former lecturer in photostudies at UniSA’s SA School of Art, and honorary doctor of the University, Fiona Hall was awarded the Office of the Order of Australia for her contribution to art and society in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June.

She joins a group of 18 alumni and friends of the University who were honoured in a wide range of fields for their contributions to society.

Recognised as one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, Hall has made her mark in a career that spans 40 years. Her work, including photography, sculpture, public art, installation and graphic design, focuses on nature and culture and the challenge of the environmental issues facing the world today.

She has exhibited in Sydney, New Zealand and Moscow and has won many accolades – in SA, the Premier’s Award for Lifetime achievement and the SA Great Award for achievements in the arts, and the Contempra5 Art Award at the National Gallery of Victoria.

With support from ArtsSA she developed a permanent work for UniSA - Different forms of intelligence - which marks the entrance to the Hawke Building (pictured above). In 2012 she was made an Honorary Doctor of the University.

Among the other winners were many professionals who have been acknowledged for excellence in their fields.

Dr Pamela Schulz who began her studies at UniSA in the 1980s with a Graduate Diploma in Women’s Studies, continued through to achieve three further awards, a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Education Studies and a Doctor of Communications. She was awarded an OAM for her services to public relations and the community.

Assistant Police Commissioner in SA Paul Dickson was awarded an APM for his outstanding leadership and management in the force. He completed a Graduate Certificate in Management at UniSA and a Bachelor of Business in human resource management.

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd said the recognition the Queen’s Birthday honours bestow is an important acknowledgement of the contribution made by education.

“All of these worthy recipients are lifelong learners and lifelong doers,” Prof Lloyd said.

“If you look at the group they come from all fields - the arts, health sciences, business, social services, and communications - but what they have in common is a passion for learning and a desire to use their education to enhance their work and to deliver better outcomes for the wider community.

“I expect that the skills they have gained at UniSA have supported their success but I also believe some of the graduate qualities we hope to impart – leadership, continuing learning, being a great communicator and inspiring others - have also been reflected in their success and the honours they have been awarded. We are rightly proud of them.”

A full list of the UniSA’s Queen’s Birthday honours is available here.

unijam quick wins

UniSA’s world first unijam event may be over but the work on putting so many ideas into action is well underway.

And continuing the collaborative approach, participants were given the opportunity to vote for their preferred ‘quick five wins’.

The most popular idea was a UniSA shuttle-bus pilot between the metropolitan campuses.

Following that in popularity was creating a university community gardens project, a smoke-free university and a UniSA App.

And tied in fifth place was moving to full video recording of lectures and college wear student merchandising.

The University is now considering how to implement these suggestions.

A team of interested people are already working together on the community garden initiative. They have organised a meeting for interested staff and students on Monday July 22 to share ideas.

As for other unijam initiatives not included in this six quick wins, a new strategic action plan will be released in August.

Telecommunications engineer receives entrepreneur award

Professor Alex Grant.Director of UniSA’s Institute for Telecommunications Research (ITR) Professor Alex Grant, has received the Pearcey Entrepreneur Award for South Australia.

The Pearcey Award recognises people who have “taken a risk, made a difference and been an inspiration in the Australian ICT and Digital Media industries”, says Pearcey Foundation chairman Wayne Fitzsimmons, who presented the award in June.

Prof Grant is a telecommunications engineer and his research focuses on the mathematical foundations of communications.

Based on research done at the ITR, Prof Grant together with colleagues Dr Paul Alexander and Dr Lars Rasmussen co-founded spin-off company Cohda Wireless in 2004.

Cohda Wireless is the company behind the so-called ‘talking cars’ – an advanced wireless communications technology which allows cars to communicate with each other to avoid accidents.

Congratulating Prof Grant, UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd, says the Pearcey Award recognised the important relationship between research excellence and the application of research ideas in a real world framework.

For more information see a media release about this.

UniSA radio documentary makes waves in New York

Sharon Mascall-Dare with her two awards.A radio documentary produced by UniSA researcher Sharon Mascall-Dare has taken out two awards in the recent 2013 New York Festival’s International Radio Program Awards.

Broadcast globally by the BBC World Service, ‘ANZAC’ explores multiculturalism within the context of Anzac commemoration and remembrance. The documentary was also aired in Australia on Anzac Day this year by the ABC.

‘ANZAC’ won both a Silver Award for 'Best Writing' and a Bronze Award for 'Best History Programme'.

Mascall-Dare, who is based the School of Communication, International Studies & Languages, says the documentary reveals the forgotten stories of Anzac Day.

“The Anzac story is an Australian story, a story of courage and resilience, but it’s also about mateship in an international context, connecting Australians to other nations who’ve also experienced the horrors of war in the last century,” Mascall-Dare says.

“The documentary also includes Australians who have been left out of the Anzac story until now. We hear about Anzacs from Chinese backgrounds and Indigenous backgrounds. Their stories are now being rediscovered, as Australia prepares to mark the Anzac Centenary in 2015.”

Head of the School of Communication, International Studies & Languages, Professor Clayton MacKenzie congratulated Mascall-Dare on the award-winning documentary, which was produced as part of her PhD.

“This is a significant achievement by one of our higher research degree students. The International Radio Program Awards attract thousands of entries from broadcasters throughout the world and have been called the 'Oscars of Radio’,” Prof MacKenzie says.

“Sharon has brought the Anzac story to the world and has now been recognised internationally for her fantastic efforts during her studies at UniSA.”

Mascall-Dare was recently appointed as a Captain with the Australian Army Public Relations Service. Her appointment follows a six-month recruiting process and the submission of her PhD which is currently under examination.

Be illuminated – research degree event

Mostafa Razzaghmanesh is a PhD student at UniSA.An information session will be held later this month about research degrees at UniSA.

Illumination, UniSA’s research degree information event, will showcase where a research degree can take you and what scholarships are on offer. It also gives participants an opportunity to meet academics and current research students.

UniSA PhD candidate Mostafa Razzaghmanesh recommends students who have a novel or new idea start or continue their research degree at UniSA.

“Finding a practical, innovative and interesting research topic that could help to solve a human problem is one of the challenges of a research degree,” Razzaghmanesh says.

Razzaghmanesh is working to develop resilient green roofs as part of a project jointly funded by the South Australian Government and Aspen Development. He says green roofs, which cover the highest part of a building or structure with vegetation, address some of the problems associated with urbanisation.

Come along to Illumination on July 24 to find out more about how research degrees at UniSA provide valuable experience in engaging with industry, government, education providers and professionals to solve real-world problems.

Illumination will be held from 3.30-6.00pm at the Kerry Packer Civic Gallery on UniSA’s City West campus. For more information see here.

Citizen Science set to grow at UniSA

A community science program that has been running at UniSA for the past several years has been taken to a new level with funding for an ongoing research initiative.

The $1.5 million initiative, Creating Biophilic Cities through Citizen Science, is a five-year program which will see a new research unit created at UniSA’s Barbara Hardy Institute.

The program will expand on the successes of previous Citizen Science projects such as the Great Koala Count and Operation Magpie. New large-scale citizen science projects and community events will be developed following extensive community and stakeholder consultation.

The program includes a partnership with New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington to further underpin research into the way people engage with nature.

Project leader, Philip Roetman, said public participation in research activities would increase community understanding of, and interaction with, local species and natural environments around South Australia and further afield.

“Everyone can play a part: from outlining what concerns they have about their local environment, to collecting ecological data and sharing their own observations,” Roetman said.

“New media and developing web and mobile-based technologies will further encourage community involvement.

“Projects will be designed to inform government planning and policy and results will be delivered back to the community for further education.”

The initiative was launched at UniSA in early June, and a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Victoria University of Wellington.

Scholarship success for 135 UniSA students

Lorrie Bruun (left) presenting student Kayla Kennedy with the St. Andrew’s Hospital Nursing Experiential Learning Grant.Lorrie Bruun (left) presenting student Kayla Kennedy with the St. Andrew’s Hospital Nursing Experiential Learning Grant.

UniSA’s Scholarships and Grants ceremony this year has seen more than 130 students set to benefit from scholarship funding totalling $480,000.

The ceremony which took place at the start of June, recognised the range of students in receipt of scholarships and provided an opportunity to acknowledge the generosity of donors who support them.

The ceremony, attended by dignitaries including the Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Grace Portolesi, and the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Lee, was deemed a philanthropic success by UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd.

“It highlights the importance and joy of giving,” Prof Lloyd said.

“For our students it is an opportunity to thank their supporters and for the donors it is a chance to see just how important their contribution is in making education possible.

“Students who display exceptional ability but who, due to an array of cultural, geographical and socio-economic circumstances, might not otherwise have had the chance to realise their true academic potential and their success are afforded a vital educational opportunity through individual and corporate philanthropy.”

Learning and Teaching grants

UniSA has been awarded funding for two projects in the Office for Learning and Teaching 2013 grants (round one).

Associate Professor Denise Wood from the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages will lead a $211,000 project into the design of inclusive, technology-enhanced learning environments.

Assoc Prof Wood says the project will provide guidelines for academics on the design and redevelopment of inclusive online curricula and develop a prototype of an open source responsive learning system which adapts to individual student needs.

She will partner with the Queensland University of Technology, the Australian National University, University of Adelaide and Media Access Australia on the project. The project team also includes Dr Sheila Scutter (School of Health Sciences), Dr Tina Du (School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences), Drs Leanne Glenny and Collette Snowden (School of Communication, International Studies and Languages), Deidre Tedmanson (School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy), Bruce Underwood (School of Education) and Tracey Johnson (Education, Arts and Social Sciences Divisional Office).

Associate Professor Shane Dawson from the Learning and Teaching Unit will lead a $208,000 project using video annotation software to develop student self-regulated learning.

Assoc Prof Dawson says the project seeks to further research and develop a social annotation technology called the Collaborative Lecture Annotation System – a tool developed by the project team comprising academics from UniSA, the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of British Columbia and Athabasca University.

“The technology allows students to assess their learning progression and allows teachers to monitor the development of self-regulated learning skills and identify the need for learning support and guidance that is both automated and scalable,” he says.

Engaging with Industry

University of South Australia’s Senior Researcher Dr Karen Nelson-Field’s leading research into viral marketing has earned her a place as a speaker in this year’s MIC-ON 2013 Marketing Week.

Dr Nelson-Field will present on August 14 at Adelaide’s very own Marketing Week with industry partner, Unruly Media’s Phil Townend.

Dr Nelson-Field has led research in the social media space, particularly in social video, at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and has been has been internationally recognised both in academic and industry circles.

This presentation will showcase some of Dr Nelson-Field’s work over the past two years and provide insight to marketing managers in terms of how emotions are related to video sharing and memory, and along the way dispel several branding content myths.

“The challenge for marketers is calculating what kind of video content is most likely to be successful in igniting engagement with consumers and delivering return on investment," Dr Nelson-Field says.

Her presentation at Marketing Week comes ahead of the launch of her book, Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing. The book covers new knowledge on sharing, memory and the influence of creative devices in the social media space.

To see Dr Nelson-Field present register at MIC-ON.