Innovative teaching practices recognised with national PR award

Gwyneth Howell PRIA

Dr Gwyneth Howell with Professor Jim Macnamara, Chair of the National Education Committee, PRIA.

The teaching excellence of the University of Western Sydney has once again been formally recognised with Public Relations Senior Lecturer Dr Gwyneth Howell taking out the 2013 Public Relations Institute of Australia Golden Target Award.

Dr Howell was named 'PR Educator of the Year' in recognition of her skill at preparing students for professional life in the unpredictable and ever-changing digital media landscape.

"Gwyneth's innovative and effective teaching methods develop her students' understanding of communication practice, and foster desirable Public Relations graduates," says Terri-Helen Gaynor, PRIA President.

Dr Howell's passion for her students and their learning outcomes are seen in her use of a variety of blended learning activities which help engage students in the Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations) program and postgraduate communication courses, and understand the challenges of public relations practice.

"My aim when teaching contemporary public relations is to ensure students understand how new digital media empower individuals to voice their opinions in real-time to a global audience, causing organisations to face new and complex communications environments," says Dr Howell.

Professor Peter Hutchings, Dean of the School of Humanities and Communication Arts, says Dr Howell's award demonstrates the importance of using professional experience to teach and prepare students.

"UWS prides itself on having research-led academics with industry experience, and Dr Howell is an excellent example of someone who uses deep knowledge of her field to help make our students work ready," says Professor Hutchings.

"UWS has a comprehensive Blended Learning strategy, which includes providing iPads to first year students enrolled in a University of Western Sydney Bachelor program, and Dr Howell's award shows the effectiveness of this technology in engaging students."

Dr Howell was also the winner of an Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching Citation for an Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2012.


19 November 2013

Contact: Hannah Guilfoyle, Media Assistant

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