UQBS lecturers cited as some of the best

5 Aug 2010
Three UQ Business School lecturers are proving to be top teachers, having just been awarded a prestigious Australian Teaching and Learning Council (ATLC) Citation. The trio received the citation for their work in the Commercialisation in Practice course offered to postgraduate students through UQBS, and were officially awarded the grant on August 3. Course co-ordinator Martie-Louise Verreynne, Clint Ramsay, Entrepreneur in Residence at UniQuest, and Stewart Gow, manager of the Queensland Government's Venture Capital Attraction, were all thrilled to receive the nation-wide award. "It is nice to receive recognition for your teaching effort, however, I think it is more important that it recognises the excellent work that staff in the Innovation area of UQBS are doing, and to receive recognition for the effort that all of us have put into developing our delivery," Dr Verreynne said. "The people who teach the innovation management programs at UQBS have received several school, university and national teaching awards over the past few years." The ATLC citations recognise those who have made an outstanding and significant contribution to the quality of student learning over a sustained period. "Our ability to engage industry in the learning experiences of business students has created a unique learning model and fertile learning environment for the students enrolled in CiP," Dr Verreynne said. "Students have found that CiP inspires and motivates them to apply their prior learning to a distinctive business sector with the knowledge that there are very tangible outcomes for them. These include improved business acumen, critical thinking and networking skills and the ability to deal with adverse business situations." Mr Ramsay said students have 'directly contributed to the charter of UniQuest, which is to identify, package and commercialise university technologies and expertise'. "Since the inception of the course, their efforts have assisted in UniQuest securing more than $20 million of venture capital investment for our portfolio companies," he said. Past Commercialisation in Practice students Lucie Novakova and Mek Cheng also praised the course. "The course was a fantastic opportunity for a student to get out of their comfort zone of ordinary university course work," Ms Novakova said. "And after completing this course I was able to undertake a three-month summer internship at UniQuest. Straight after that I started working as a Research Assistant at the UQ Business School, where I have had an opportunity to work on lots of interesting projects - the most recent one was the Brisbane Innovation Scorecard 2010, which was launched just last week." "The course is different from other academic courses; it allows students to be exposed to the real commercial and different technology industries. It is very helpful, because through writing a business plan, you get to learn from all aspects such as prior art searching, market analysis, competitor analysis, financial models, etc. It exposed me and help me to pursue my career as a analyst," Ms Cheng said. "Martie-Louise, Clint and Stewart were very helpful throughout the course, and even if you do not have a business background, you can definitely still benefit from the course." Dr Verreynne, Mr Gow and Mr Ramsay were also awarded a UQ Citation for the subject last year, which led them to enter their ATLC proposal. "We have to acknowledge a few people who were crucial in this process. First, Dr David Gow originally developed the course 6 years ago, and we were lucky to have such an innovative idea to build on. The staff from TEDI have been excellent, especially Caroline Steele who helped us prepare our last application, and Jenny Bjarnesen who helped us with the first one," Dr Verreynne said. While the finer details of what will be done with the grant, Dr Verreynne said it would be used to enhance their teaching practice. "We still have to discuss it, but the money that we received from a UQ Citation last year was reinvested in the course to implement alternative methods of delivery," she said. Ms Novakova said it was this implementation of alternative teaching methods and reinvestment of funds into the course made for a valuable learning experience. "This course really strikes a balance between the real business world and academia, and the continuous improvement of the way the course is delivered puts it at the top of many students' lists." "I really enjoyed every part of the course, as it offers a great variety. During the first class, professionals from UniQuest pitch their projects to the students and students have a chance to select a project according to their preference. "In the next stage, students meet with their UniQuest team on a weekly basis, complete tasks as per set schedule, and still attend regular classes where they are given much needed support, mainly moral, from Martie-Louise, Clint and Stewart." UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Deborah Terry praised citation recipients, with 10 citations received by UQ, including three in the BEL faculty. "The result reflects the University's enormous strengths in teaching and learning, and cements UQ's record of winning more national awards for teaching than any other Australian university since the national awards system began in 1997," Professor Terry said.