Academic and Innovative Achievements recognised at The University of Notre Dame

The University Medal recipient Samantha Ennis who was also awarded The Vice Chancellor’s Medal, pictured with The University of Notre Dame Australia Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond

21 May 2015

The University of Notre Dame Australia this week recognised and celebrated its students and staff members for outstanding academic achievement at its annual Awards Ceremony held in Sydney.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond, said the ceremony was an opportunity to recognise the embodiment of the University's Objects in its staff and students and to publicly acknowledge the achievements of the University's highest academic achievers.

"We also acknowledge and celebrate those in our staff body who have demonstrated excellence in the performance of their work and duties," Professor Hammond said.

"All of you award recipients have been given a good strong intellect, a capacity for academic excellence and an inherent capacity for love and compassion. These gifts are wonderful and we are delighted to have such gifted people in our community, but, we are not rewarding you for having these gifts. The thanks and credit for that belongs to God," Professor Hammond said.

"What we are recognising and rewarding here today is what you have done with your gifts. We are recognising your effort, your initiative, your perseverance and your dedication to your studies. We acknowledge and praise you for using your God-given intellect in such a way that you have achieved academic excellence. We salute you for using your talents and gifts, we congratulate you on the wonderful results you have achieved and we encourage you to continue to strive towards doing your best."

A leading academic in the Sydney School of Arts & Sciences, Marco Ianniello, received the Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Supervision in the category of Innovation in Curricula, Resources and Approaches to Student Learning.

Mr Ianniello received this award for his innovative application of problem-based learning models in the Film and Documentary Studies program.

A distinctive feature of Mr Ianniello's approach is the use of assessment tasks that mirror the methods and work flows of a professional screen production team. This creates a learning environment that reinforces the skills and discipline required for creative work and adds a layer of industry-style accountability and professionalism that students will take into their working life.

The University Medal, the highest academic honour awarded to a Notre Dame graduate, was presented to Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery graduate Samantha Ennis. The University Medal is reserved for the highest achieving student to graduate from an undergraduate course on the Sydney campus in 2014

Samantha Ennis’s two awards

The Vice Chancellor's Medal, awarded to an undergraduate student from each school with the highest average weighted percentage mark for eligible units in the previous academic year went to: Alex Chung (Arts and Sciences) Ereeny Alexander and Sean Murray (School of Business), Monica Cunneen (School of Education), Tihana Mandic, (School of Law), Samantha Ennis, Angela Galanopolous, Helena Obermair, Richard Pow (School of Medicine), Madeleine Burns (School of Nursing), Christine Fisk and Joseph Murphy (School of Philosophy & Theology).

The Archbishop of Sydney Prize for Excellence in Postgraduate Theology was awarded to Christopher Hayman for excellence in postgraduate theology in 2014, while completing a postgraduate degree, full time at the University.

Naomi Hayek received The Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP Prize for excellence in the Logos programme in 2014, while completing an undergraduate degree at the University.

Academic Merit Scholarships were also presented to a number of commencing students across the University's seven academic Schools. These were awarded to Gemma Brocklehurst, Alexandra Ratcliffe, Joy Marie Hurtado, Madeleine Pearman and Robert van Gend

Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;