Two University of Southern Queensland lecturers have been placed amongst the top university educators in the country.

Dr Dianna Jones and Ms Suzanne Maloney each received a prestigious Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning from the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT). The awards recognise and reward the diverse contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning around the country.

Senior Lecturer (Broadcast Journalism) Dr Jones’ teaching is based on the principle that the best way to learn to be a journalist is by ‘doing journalism’.

‘My students work in real newsrooms. They write stories about real people, events and issues for live broadcast in news bulletins and online publications,” said Dr Jones.

“My goal is to help them get jobs and to become the best journalists that they can be.”

Her former students strongly back Dr Jones’ approach as well.

Caitlyn Gribbin is a two-time Walkley Young Journalist of the Year (Radio) and a three-time finalist for the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism, currently a federal political reporter for ABC News in Canberra.

She said Dr Jones was one of those rare teachers who pushes, backs and inspires her students.

“It was Dianne’s guidance and belief in me that undoubtedly helped me land my first job as a journalist,”Gribbin said.

“She is someone I will consider a mentor for life.”

Fellow AAUT citation recipient Senior Lecturer (Accounting) Suzanne Maloney has been praised for her approach to teaching.

Ian McLean is the director of Bush AgriBusiness Pty Ltd and knows first hand how passionate and dedicated Ms Maloney is towards education.

“In the face-to-face lecture sessions she got to know her students, in particular what they did so she could relate the course material specific to their industry/profession,” said McLean.

“She interviewed business people, other lecturers or professionals in relation to various topics covered to explore application of theory in real world and recorded them for students.”

Understanding that quality accounting education needs to be about ‘more than numbers’, Ms Maloney has dedicated herself to helping students realise their professional expertise by developing empathy towards real work people and real work issues.

“My use of stories is to inspire student learning and their awareness that it’s not the accounting numbers themselves that have power,” Ms Maloney said.

“It is the individual’s experience of their financial reality, and how, in turn, this alters their perceptions of the past and their hopes for the future.”

Dr Jones and Ms Maloney will be recognised at the Australian Government Department of Education and Training’s presentation of the 2017 Queensland Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning at Customs House, Brisbane, on 5 October.

See socials from USQ Toowoomba’s 2017 Open Day here.