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December 2005 Issue
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Supervise me! Postgrads' best of the best

 Learning & Teaching

Associate Professor Terry Williamson was more than a little surprised when he was told he'd won the University of Adelaide Postgraduate Students' Association Supervisor of the Year award.

Dr Williamson, from the School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, was interstate on business while the awards night was on last month.

"I was honoured to be nominated, and really surprised to have won," he said. "I thought I didn't have much of a chance of winning it so I was in Melbourne and about to fly back to Adelaide when I got a call from one of my students telling me the good news!"

The success caps off a good year for Dr Williamson: earlier this year he also received official recognition of having served on University staff for 25 years.

He currently supervises four PhD students, with another four completing their PhDs under him in the last 18 months. He also serves as Associate Dean of Postgraduate Coursework in the Faculty of the Professions.

"I think a large part of what makes a good supervisor is sharing that passion, that sense of the chase, that the student does," he said. "At the same time, you have to be dispassionate and be able to take a critical view towards what they are doing, but if you can also share in the excitement of learning new knowledge then I find it can really help.

"I also think being available as often as possible helps students as well, and not treating them the same: each student and each topic are different and bring their own challenges."

Awarded annually, the PGSA awards recognise the contribution and effort made by staff and departments towards assisting postgraduate students.

Other winners were:

Supervisor of the Year runner-up:
Professor Lee Parker (Commerce)

Lecturer of the Year:
Dr Georges Baume (Adelaide Graduate School of Business)

Lecturer of the Year runner-up:
Mr David Knight (Computer Science)

General Staff of the Year:
Dr Peter Apoefis (Chemistry and Physics)

General Staff of the Year equal runners-up:
Ms Lena Mastrogiacomo and Ms Kankana McPherson (both Office of Industry Liaison)

Department of the Year:
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology

Department of the Year runner-up:
Public Health

Story by Ben Osborne

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Associate Professor Terry Williamson

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