2023 BEL Awards for Excellence

The 2023 BEL Awards for Excellence celebrated the achievements of our exceptional staff and HDR students.

Individuals and teams across the Faculty were recognised for their achievements and dedication over the previous 12 months. The Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths, Faculty Executive Manager Dr Zoe Cahill, incoming Associate Dean (Academic) Professor Tyler Okimoto and Associate Dean (Research) Professor Martie-Louise Verreynne presented the awards and congratulated all staff on their outstanding work during the year.
 
Congratulations to the 2023 award winners and nominees.

2023 Awards for Excellence in Citizenship

See nominations for Excellence in Citizenship

Award for Innovation

Winner: Corene Crossin, Business School
Corene is receiving this award for her exceptional contributions in transforming the education portfolio in the Business School – in particular her expertise in learning design and innovation within Executive Education and in support of the MBA Program Review.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Corene Crossin
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Corene Crossin

Award for Service

Winner: Dr Ivano Bongiovanni, Business School

This award recognises Ivano’s extensive service contributions in the area of cybersecurity, IT and innovation. Ivano is a leader in engaging with industry, peers, students and the broader community. His service contributions and successes are plentiful, and he has embodied the UQ values and elevated the Business School and University’s reputation.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Ivano Bongiovanni
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Ivano Bongiovanni

Winner: Liz Hargans-Mackaway, Michael Bruxner and Chloe Lethbridge Salt, BEL Student Administration Champions, BEL Faculty Office.

These three members of the BEL Student Centre provide exceptional front-line service to students across the Faculty. They show commitment to providing accurate advice in a respectful and empathetic manner, and are integral to enhancing the student experience.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with BEL Student Administration Champions
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with BEL Student Administration Champions

Award for Leadership

Winner: Associate Professor Jacquelyn Humphrey, Business School

Jacquie received two nominations for our transformative leadership as the Finance Discipline Leader. In this role Jacquie has supported the discipline in realising stretch goals, and invested time to mentor academics and foster an inclusive academic community that has achieved impact well beyond her own discipline.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Associate Professor Jacquelyn Humphrey
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Associate Professor Jacquelyn Humphrey

Award for Equity, Diversion and Inclusion

Winner: Brooke Szucs, School of Law

Brooke has shown unwavering commitment to celebrate and embrace cultural diversity, promoting understanding and unity within the community. She has led and supported multiple initiatives, including the EDI Unconference, the launch of UQ DIAN, and involvement in student clubs and societies to progress the University to be a culturally rich educational environment. 

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Brooke Szucs
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Brooke Szucs

Award for Improving Workplace Culture

Winner: Shelley Goward, Business School

There are many reasons for which Shelley could be given this award, but on this occasion it is in recognition of her culture-creating Desko Disco activity. Shelley sets a musical theme and calls for song submissions, which culminates in a Friday playlist for the staff on level 2 Colin Clark. This fun and thoughtful activity has helped to build connections, interaction and positively impact workplace culture. 

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Shelley Goward
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Shelley Goward

Winner: Ana Abubakar, BEL Faculty Office

Ana is receiving this award for her creation and continuous support of The Happy Bowl. The Happy Bowl, a bowl of delicious help yourself treats in the office, boosts staff morale, provides mental health breaks throughout the day, and serves as a safe conversation starter to foster inclusivity. She even provides for special dietary requirements and healthy alternatives! And if you ever need to catch our Executive Dean… perhaps linger around the Happy Bowl.

Winner: Dr Katie Williams, Business School 

Katie is our third deserving recipient of this award for her transformative impact with the Master of Business Analytics program development team. Her proactive engagement in collaborative design rebuilt team unity and confidence, fostering a positive and inclusive team dynamic. Katie’s dedication lifted staff morale and student outcomes, making her a driving force for a more positive workplace culture. Her effort and commitment are truly commendable.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Katie Williams
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Katie Williams

2023 Awards for Excellence in Education

See nominations for Excellence in Education

Award for Excellence in Designing Student Learning

Winner: Dr Kate Power, Business School 

Kate has transformed MGTS7610 Management Communication, a core postgraduate course that has a large international, English as Additional Language cohort. Through inclusive strategies guided by Buber’s notion of “I thou” relationships, Kate innovatively combines pedagogical interventions, course design, and engaging activities that include social outings with students. Her approach has been highly effective in enhancing students' sense of belonging, safety, and willingness to take academic risks.

Winner: Dr Lee Slaughter, Dr Niki Macionis, Dr Noreen Breakey and Dr Mireia Guix, Master of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management Foundation Teaching (MTHEM) team, Business School 

The MTHEM team has researched and addressed challenges faced by their predominantly Culturally and Linguistically Diverse first year postgraduate cohorts by recognising their students’ lack of readiness for academic studies in a new country, the impact of culture shock, and the higher risk of mental illness among this cohort. In response to these concerns, the MTHEM team collaboratively designed an innovative 'Stressbuster Program’, which has alleviated stress levels for students, fostered an increased sense of belonging, and supported a more successful transition into UQ and the MTHEM program.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Master of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management Foundation Teaching (MTHEM) team
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Master of Tourism, Hospitality and Events Management Foundation Teaching (MTHEM) team

Award for Excellence in Enhancing Employability

Winner: Dr Nicolas Pontes, Business School

Nicolas has significantly enhanced student employability through the establishment of Australia's first student-run marketing agency, Newish Communications. As a true communications agency, Newish allows students to develop practical skills, work on real-world consulting projects, and receive mentorship form industry professionals. This approach has been very successful, with student teams having won 2 national advertising competitions, completed 35 projects with business clients, and provided $240,000 of pro-bono work for the business community. Nicolas’ innovative approach and commitment to enhancing employability has had a transformative impact on students, the marketing discipline, and the UQ Business School.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Nicolas Pontes
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Nicolas Pontes

Award for Excellence in Leading Teaching

Winner: Dr Suzanne Bonner, School of Economics

Suzanne has demonstrated exceptional leadership in teaching through her transformational redesign of the course, ECON2101 Cost-Benefit Analysis. This included the development of innovative instructional materials including a comprehensive OpenTextbook with 13 chapters of entirely new content and over 200 interactive activities which foster a student-centred learning environment. Suzanne’s impact has been recognised globally, with institutions in Italy and South Africa using her OpenTextbook, along with colleagues in the World Bank. Suzanne's commitment to her students, as well as promoting educational equity through open access resources and inclusive practices, is exemplary.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Suzanne Bonner
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Suzanne Bonner

2023 Awards for Excellence in Research

See nominations for Excellence in Research

Award for Excellence in HDR Supervision

Winner: Associate Professor Jie Wang, Business School 

Jie’s commitment as the HDR coordinator in the tourism discipline is truly commendable. She has initiated approaches such as an 'HDR student profiling database' that serves as a bridge to introduce every new member to their academic community. She is approachable, supportive and that applies equally to our own and visiting PhD scholars. With her own students, Jie teaches learning novel techniques, enables them to establish strong industry connections, and under her guidance, students have achieved numerous academic awards, published in prestigious journals, and enhanced their employability.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Associate Professor Jie Wang
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Associate Professor Jie Wang

Winner: Associate Professor Stan Karanasios, Business School

Stan's contributions to HDRs in BIS exemplify exceptional dedication and innovation. He pioneered the highly sought-after "BIS Paper Writing Workshops," which has swiftly reached maximum capacity, showcasing the extraordinary demand for his expertise. This and other initiatives cultivate a supportive, globally informed academic environment, making him a prime candidate for this recognition. His developmental and supportive manner has made a strong difference to BIS students’ performance and their career prospects.

Award for Excellence in HDR Research

Winner: Sarah Kendall, School of Law

Sarah is close to submitting her PhD and has already developed a significant research profile. She has published 9 peer reviewed articles in leading law journals, such as the Melbourne University Law Review, Sydney Law Review, and Public Law Review and seven pieces in The Conversation, exceeding expectations for the discipline of 1-2 high quality research outputs a year. Her work is impressive in its breadth and depth, covering press freedom, national security, and issues associated with domestic violence and criminal law. She has made a substantial contribution to the Law School through her leadership and coordination of research assistants.

Award for Excellence in Early Career Research 

Winner: Dr Tapani Rinta, Business School 

Tapani is an inspirational early career scholar whose academic achievements include outstanding research papers, practice papers, grants. He has published six A* articles in Information Systems leading outlets including MISQ, EJIS and the like, mostly as first author. He has translated his scholarly work into practice papers guiding organisations such as SAP, peak bodies and government, and has recently been awarded an ARC DECRA, recognising his strong contributions to Information Systems theory and practice. He has also been successful in attracting industry funding and competitive grants in Finland and is clearly headed towards a stellar career as a researcher.

Award for Excellence in Engagement and Impact

Winner: Professor Nicole Gillespie, Dr Caitlin Curtis, Dr Steve Lockey and Dr Javad Pool, Trust in AI Research Team, Business School. 

The Trust in AI team has been conducting a 4-year program of research in partnership with KPMG, that has created exceptional impact on policy and practice - including informing the Australian Government’s AI Action Plan and recent consultation and discussion paper on Safe and Responsible AI. This impact has been achieved through the team’s rigorous and ambitious research, and close collaboration with industry to develop 5 timely, influential research reports and actionable recommendations, models, and guidance on the trusted and responsible use of AI - as well as through extensive engagement with policy makers, government and industry leaders, and media.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Trust in AI Research Team
Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Trust in AI Research Team

Award for Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Winner: Dr Stuart Middleton, School of Business

Stuart has developed a global research profile in management education, which has been recognised through his appointment as Associate Editor for the A* Academy of Management Learning and Education journal as well as the Journal of Management Education, a book on Advancing the Future of Management Education Research, and invitations to present on management education research in London and Australia. His teaching innovations in strategy implementation are available to students globally through a partnership with Sage Publishing.

Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths with Dr Stuart Middleton

Photos from the BEL Excellence Awards are available here.

Last updated:
17 January 2024