8 February 2012

Story by Shamini Darshni

Thomas presenting a paper at the World Universities Forum in Greece.
Thomas presenting a paper at the World Universities Forum in Greece. 
 
 

A Monash University Sunway campus staff member was bestowed the Graduate Scholar Award 2012 for excellence in scholastic achievement and leadership skills.

Susan Thomas, Lead Coordinator of the Medical Education Unit under the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was presented the award during the World Universities Forum held between the 8th and 10th of January in Rhodes, Greece.

Thomas, who was the only Malaysian among six recipients, is currently pursuing her doctorate at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Malaya.

“I feel grateful that I was selected. My teaching background and qualification enabled me to work really hard for Monash University Sunway campus, contributing to the academic community for the past five years,” she said.

Thomas has given talks at public schools on innovative methods for teaching and learning and contributed to numerous projects for the School.

“I am glad that I have been given the platform to share my ideas. I always question myself, ‘what have I done today that brought meaning to someone else?’ In a way, this challenges and motivates me,” she said.

Thomas (right) with (from left) Dr Badariah Ahmad,  Associate Professor Uma Palanisamy and Associate Professor Leanard Cairns at the forum in Greece.
Thomas (right) with (from left) Dr Badariah Ahmad, Associate Professor Uma Palanisamy and Associate Professor Leanard Cairns at the forum in Greece. 
 
 

Thomas’ winning entry was due not only to her impressive academic track record in her postgraduate studies , but also her involvement in projects that introduced innovative teaching assessment processes and tools for the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

“These included analysis and design of the peer review instrument, teaching evaluation questionnaires, processing mechanism, standard operating procedures and the design and implementation of the Unit’s educational website and blog,” she explained.

At the World Universities Forum, the primary role of the graduate scholar was to chair parallel sessions which included introducing the session, speakers and facilitating questions and working with the conference organising team.

The graduate scholar was also expected to participate in the conference presentation. More importantly the award was deemed useful to the professional and career development of the recipients.

Thomas presented two of her research papers at this conference: “A Leap of Faith: Innovative Changes in Problem-Based Delivery on Malaysian Campus” whom she co-authored with Dr Badariah Ahmad, Senior Lecturer at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The second paper, co-authored by Professor Tessa Dunseath, a Visiting Professor from Monash University was entitled “The Support, Strategy and Development of Teaching Evaluation”, which explains their primary work in developing the Medical Education Unit for the School.