Flinders honours its top professors

Flinders University has honoured a group of its most eminent professors with the inaugural award of the title of “Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor”.

Announcing the awards, which were presented to a group of 14 professors at a ceremony today, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber said the new title gave the University a formal mechanism to recognise and reward exceptional members of professorial staff.

“These 14 professors have made extensive contributions to the University across the fields of teaching, research and leadership,” Professor Barber said.

“The new award, the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor, enables the University to acknowledge appropriately the exceptional eminence and breadth of achievement they embody, and the outstanding contributions to the field of scholarship and to Flinders University they have made.”

Following the initial round, Professor Barber said that subsequent awards would be rare, reflecting the high standard of the criteria and the level of distinction they confer.

The first Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professors are listed below:

•    Professor Fran Baum (School of Medicine) is one of Australia’s leading public health researchers, specialising in the field of social and economic determinants of health. She established the Southgate Institute of Health, Society and Equity at Flinders, and developed public health programs within the University. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, she has occupied senior policy positions nationally and internationally.

•    Professor Neil Brewer (School of Psychology) has established an international reputation through his influential research on psychology in the area of criminal justice, notably in the area of eyewitness confidence and accuracy, which has had broad, practical impact. In addition to his teaching and research, he has held several administrative positions. A Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, he is the editor-in-chief of the prestigious Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

•    Professor Marcello Costa (School of Medicine) has held a personal chair in neurophysiology since 1986 and has won numerous research grants. He has published prolifically in the area of enteric neuroscience and gastrointestinal motor functions. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Costa has been a committed teacher of neuroscience to students at all levels and to the general public.

•    Professor Margaret Davies (School of Law): an internationally recognised legal scholar and is the author of several books. Her research covers several areas of Legal Theory. A Fellow of both the Academy of Social Sciences and the Australian Academy of Law, she is Associate Head, Research, in the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law.

•    Professor Dean Forbes (Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Communities) has a strong research record as an academic geographer, with a focus on urban renewal and regeneration. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He has held responsibility for the University’s international students and programs since 2000, and has overseen significant increases in enrolments and in overseas programs.

•    Professor Iain Hay (School of the Environment) has focused on improving the quality of teaching and student learning within and beyond his own discipline of geography. He has received numerous national and international honours and grants for his work and research, including the Prime Minister’s Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year in 2006. He has disseminated his research widely through numerous publications.

•    Professor Mary Luszcz (School of Psychology) has a remarkable record of grant success for her research on ageing, includiing her work as principal investigator on the unique Australian Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Her numerous journal publications have been widely cited internationally, and she has also contributed to policy-making. As well as her teaching role, she edits and serves on the boards of several journals, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

•    Professor Richard Maltby (Executive Dean, Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law) has a strong research record in the field of American cinema history, which has led to numerous publications, including a standard international textbook. Winner of several international awards and honours and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, he has also held a series of senior managerial posts at Flinders.

•    Professor Karen Reynolds (School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics) heads the Medical Device Research Institute at Flinders and has a strong record in research and postgraduate supervision as a biomedical engineer in the area. She also directs the successful Medical Device Partnering Program. A Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, she is the recipient of numerous professional awards, and was made South Australian Scientist of the Year in 2012.

•    Professor Sue Richardson (National Institute of Labour Studies) has a long and prominent research record in the field of labour economics. In addition to numerous books and research papers, she has authored several major commissioned reports. She is former president and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. She has served on several boards and advisory committees and was formerly a Commissioner of the Industrial Commission.

•    Professor Sharyn Roach Anleu (School of Social and Policy Studies) is a sociologist of international reputation, especially for her long-term research into Australia’s criminal justice system. She has published widely on her research. A former co-editor of the Journal of Sociology, she is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and has held a number of administrative and advisory positions within the University and on professional bodies.

•    Professor Marika Tiggemann (School of Psychology) has a strong record as a teacher, researcher and administrator. Her research on body image, particularly in establishing the contributing influence of the mass media, has resulted in numerous publications, and is widely cited internationally. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

•    Professor Graham Tulloch (School of the Humanities) is an internationally respected scholar of Scottish literature, and has written numerous critical works as well as editing authoritative editions of works by Sir Walter Scott and other authors. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, he has also held a number of managerial posts at Flinders.

•    Professor Graeme Young (School of Medicine) is one of Australia’s pre-eminent researchers in the area of gastroenterology and colo-rectal cancer, and was instrumental in developing and establishing Australia’s national bowel cancer screening program. The Head of the Flinders Centre for Cancer Prevention and Control, he was South Australian of the Year in Health in 2007 and is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

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