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And the winner is... and the winner is

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

OUSA Supervisor of the Year awards announced

Hearing her name announced as winner of the Division of Sciences Supervisor of the Year award was gratifying enough, but then when Dr Tamlin Conner, a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology heard it called again, this time for the ‘OUSA Supervisor of the Year’ award, she was stunned.

“Receiving these two awards mean the world to me,” said Dr Tamlin Conner. “I invest an incredible amount of time and effort into my students, and to receive this recognition gives me the motivation to keep up that investment,” she continued.

Dr Conner and her students’ current focus is on interventions to improve health and well-being in young adults.

“Supervising students is the most challenging and meaningful thing I do in my career”

“We have various projects testing the effectiveness of mobile mindfulness apps to improve well-being, text-messaging interventions to reduce young adult alcohol use, and nutrition-based interventions to improve mental health. Our most recent study is an intervention to test whether eating kiwifruit or taking vitamin C tablets can improve well-being,” she says.

Dr Conner’s students have also enjoyed academic success recently, with two of her PhD students receiving fellowships for research visits in the USA.

“My PhD student Benjamin Riordan just left for Brown University for one year as a Fulbright Fellow and PhD student Jayde Flett is currently at Berkeley for four months as a Claude McCarthy Fellow.”

Together, her undergraduate, Masters and PhD students have co-authored 27 journal articles and chapters over the last nine years, including first authored articles in Appetite and PLOS one. She proudly adds that current and former PhD students have won numerous conference presentation awards, poster prizes and graduate student speaking awards.

Over the past nine and a half years, Dr Conner has supervised 37 students (10 PhD students, 9 Master’s students, and 18 Honours students).

“Supervising students is the most challenging and meaningful thing I do in my career”, Dr Conner asserts.

The Graduate Research School’s list of ‘10 most important qualities of the ideal graduate research supervisor are:

  • support
  • availability
  • interest and enthusiasm
  • knowledge and experience in the field surrounding the PhD
  • interest in student’s career
  • good communication
  • constructive feedback
  • providing direction and structure
  • approachability and rapport; and
  • experience and interest in supervision.

Managing to tick all of the above, Dr Conner confesses, “I have a particular interest in cultivating their scientific writing and presentation skills. Also, I think I have softened a bit in the last two years, becoming more attuned to their personal needs in addition to their academic needs”.

Other finalists across Sciences in the 2017 OUSA Supervisor of the Year award were Professor Mike Colombo of Psychology and Associate Professor James Crowley of Chemistry. Well done to you all.

Read about all the top supervisors from across the University.

Tamlin Conner SOY