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Campus News : July 2011
14 Campus News July 2011 University of Wollongong www.uow.edu.au Awards, achievements and accolades Vera's Japanese literary award Professor Vera Mackie from the Faculty of Arts has won this year's Inoue Yasushi Award for Outstanding Research on Japanese Literature in Australia. Professor Mackie received the award for her chapter Reading Lolita in Japan in the book Girl Reading Girl in Japan. In this essay she analyses the popular novel Shimozuma Monogatari (also known as Kamikaze Girls), for its insights into subcultures, processes of inclusion and exclusion, and the pleasures and perils of growing up as a female in contemporary Japan. The award is named in honour of Inoue Yasushi (1907-1991), one of Japan's most popular and prolific writers. The Inoue Yasushi Award is awarded annually for the best refereed journal article or book chapter on Japanese literature to have been published in English by a researcher based in Australia or New Zealand. Professor Mackie is the fifth winner of the award established by the Inoue Yasushi Memorial Foundation in order to encourage Australian interest in Japanese literature. She received her award at a ceremony at the University of Sydney on April 15. Professor Mackie is an ARC Future Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and member of the Institute for Social Transformation Research (ISTR). SB Jessica's journey an inspiration UOW student Jessica Sparkes' inspirational journey from a life-saving double lung transplant to outstanding academic results has earned her the region's premier youth achievement award and a $1500 scholarship. Jessica took our the tertiary academic category of the 12th annual Wests Illawarra-WAVE fm Illawarra Youth Achievement Awards presented at Wests Illawarra Leagues Club in May. Jessica is studying for a double degree in Law and Journalism as well as a Diploma of French. She has achieved High Distinctions and Distinctions in her first year at university, and has won a coveted law clerk's cadetship with Kells the Lawyers against students from all years. Jessica has also been pursuing opportunities in journalism with articles published in national and local newspapers and doing work experience with a local radio station. But what impressed the judges most about Jessica's high achievements and huge workload is that just two years ago she had a double lung transplant operation which saved her life. Jessica, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, is now a passionate campaigner for organ donations and competed in the World Transplant Games in Sweden in June. "I realise how lucky I am to be alive, and I am now determined to take every opportunity that comes my way," Jessica said. She plans to use her prizemoney to help establish a program to promote organ donations. Fellow UOW student Halina Leung won the award for Achievement in the Arts for the second successive year. The 21-year-old Medical Chemistry student is an outstanding musician, playing the piano, oboe and recorder. Halina has won more than 100 sections for the three instruments at eisteddfods and other competitions around Australia, including first prize in the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition in 2010. Her hundreds of performance credits include a live recital for ABC Classic FM. She also received Outstanding Musician awards at two international competitions in Italy in 2010. NH Commerce tops for customer service Customer Service Benchmarking Australia (CSBA) presented the much coveted award for Excellence in Telephone Customer Service to the University of Wollongong -- Faculty of Commerce at the 2011 Australian Tertiary Education Management conference held in Cairns. The focus of the conference was Who our customers are and what they want from us. It examined the needs of students as well as needs of the contact centres. As part of the service expectation focus, CSBA assessed 28 institutions using the unique CSBA customer service model. Each institution was contacted at least 20 times in January through to March and simple questions were asked to determine how effectively the institution met the caller's needs. Calls were rated using over 30 different criteria that reflect the service quality of each call. The results were then collated to determine the winner. Announcing the award, CSBA managing director Paul van Veenendaal said: "The University of Wollongong (Faculty of Commerce) set the benchmark for the tertiary sector. This is a great result for the University as it demonstrates their commitment to customer service excellence. It isn't enough anymore just to have an excellent academic reputation. For a tertiary institution to stand out they need to provide students with a visible and accessible support network." Faculty of Commerce Quality and Student Services Manager Michelle Rankin said the award was recognition of the excellent service that the Commerce Central team provides to all students and clients. MC E-learning expert given life honour The Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite) has awarded Associate Professor Geraldine Lefoe a Life Membership award to recognise her service to the society. Members of ascilite are tertiary education practitioners and researchers who investigate and develop e-learning technologies that improve teaching and learning outcomes for students. Professor Lefoe has been a member of ascilite for 15 years and served as Vice- President for four years. She initiated a community mentoring program which encouraged younger ascilite members to develop their knowledge in the field. She co-led the Carrick (now the ALTC) Exchange Project which engaged members and e-learning professionals throughout the sector. "It's interesting to look back to the mid-nineties where it was rare to find educational technology in use for learning and teaching within the university sector. Now it is impossible to avoid it as it has been integrated in so much of campus activity," Professor Lefoe said. She said she was proud to receive the award from her peers, in particular as there are only a small number of ascilite life members. "I'd like to thank the ascilite community for nominating me for the great honour. I'm proud to be associated with an elite group in the educational technology field," she said. Professor Lefoe is now working in the academic leadership field and is acting head of the University's Centre for Educational Development, Innovation and Recognition (CEDIR). Her recent work concentrates on supporting sessional staff by developing leadership skills of subject coordinators. SB UOW students Jessica Sparks (right) and Halina Leung won categories of the Illawarra Youth Achievement Awards. Professor Vera Mackie The Faculty of Commerce's winning team (from left): Lena Ivancevic, Casey Potter, Susan Branch, Sula Giannakenas and Michelle Rankin. Associate Professor Geraldine Lefoe