Remarkable achievements from our very own ANU Academics

10 March 2021

In perfectly coincidental timing around International Women's Day, three female ANU lecturers have been recognised with 2021 Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

Senior French lecturer Dr Gemma King, Music Professor, Sam Bennett and archaeologist Dr Sofia Samper Carro, all from the College of Arts and Social Sciences, received the awards for their outstanding contributions to, and passion for, teaching. The awards also recognise the impact exceptional teaching and learning has on students.

Dr King said it was an honour to be 'recognised as a leader in university education not only as a young woman, but as a teacher of many young women'.

Dr Sofia Samper Carro believes the award 'shows everyone that females are a leading force in academia, and a leading force in the workforce'.

Dr King a senior lecturer who teaches French cinema and language, was nominated by her students.

"Teaching is the part of the job that made me most excited and was most rewarding', Dr King said.

Her award recognises her approach to teaching, as she aims to teach her students a range of skills to ensure they have a deeper understanding of their own place in the world and in their culture, which creates value beyond just speaking a new language.

Professor Sam Bennett from the School of Music, was awarded her AAUT award in recognition of the work she has done in teaching music technology, including the sound recording and production course that is run right out of an ANU studio, and also an intensive sound archiving course that is run in conjunction with the NFSA.

When Professor Bennett's courses had to move online in 2020, she focussed on keeping the student experience at the very forefront, and thinking about what is going to be enjoyable and beneficial. Similarly, Dr Sofia Samper Carro, researcher in archaeology at the College of Arts and Social Sciences has been recognised for her efforts in redesigning courses to give students some 'practical skills and some real life skills for archaeology to become archaeologists'.

This involved giving them experience in a lab and running them through the processes you would have to follow if you were to work in that field. Seeing her students so passionate and how they evolve over the course of their studies, really motivates her teaching and her career.

The Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) was established by the Australian Government in 1997 to recognise the extraordinary work our academics play in educating our students. Each year Universities Australia encourages students and staff to nominate academics they believe have demonstrated exceptional teaching. Nominees then must make a submission of the work they have done and why they are worthy of recognition.

Nominee registration for the 2021 awards will open on Friday 16 August and we encourage all staff and students to consider nominating an outstanding teacher who has contributed to your ANU experience.