Major international recognition for Bond’s Associate Professor of Management Amy Kenworthy-U’Ren recently, with the announcement she has won one of the most prestigious teaching awards in her field.
Amy has taken out the 2006 ‘New Educator’ award, an honour bestowed by the Organisational Behaviour Teaching Society (OBTS).
“Being selected for this award by the oldest, most well respected organisation in management education is something I am deeply humbled by”, said Amy.
The new educator award recognises a person who has shown early promise to make a difference in the field of management education.
More specifically, the new educator shows promise as a new voice and brings new ways of thinking about and practicing management education. The criteria for winning the award include a track record of excellent teaching evaluations, innovation in teaching, published scholarship on teaching, and a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of management education.
“To me, teaching is a privilege. I am passionate about my job and there is absolutely nothing else I would rather do. With that in mind, it is a genuine thrill to be acknowledged in this way, not only for myself, but also for the university”, she said.
Even more of a coup for Amy is the fact that this is the first time the award has been given to an academic outside the United States.
The OBTS judges were impressed by what they referred to as Amy’s ‘deeply student-focused teaching technique’, saying the quality of her work is obvious and her commitment to pedagogical innovation and promise well-documented.
Innovative teaching methods are a key part of Amy’s classroom environment.
Her key teaching tool is service-learning, which sees her students working on consulting projects for local community non-profit organisations. Amy teaches them to use the skills learned in her classes to address community needs.
Amy’s students are also quick to acknowledge her exceptional commitment in the classroom.
MBA graduate Karl Giertsen was one who offered his support to his former lecturer’s nomination for the New Educator award.
“Dr Kenworthy-U’Ren is very inspiring in her teaching style, very knowledgeable in her field, and encourages a high level of student participation in her classes, which means being prepared is essential to gain personal development,” said Karl.
“She was a great motivator for me during my MBA studies and she has been an inspiration when choosing the direction of my professional career.”
Professor Cyn D Fisher also acknowledges Amy’s award as a huge accomplishment.
“This type of recognition acknowledges Amy’s many efforts in the areas of teaching and learning over the past five years. We are very happy for her,” she said.
Amy turns the praise back on her mentors here at Bond, and Bond’s small group teaching initiatives which she believes are a key to this success.
“I believe the teaching environment at Bond nurtures this type of commitment and opportunity for success. We describe Bond as one of the top learner-centred environments in Australia and the world, and that means our focus must be on being the best,” she said.
“We have educators in every Faculty here at Bond engaged in cutting edge teaching practices, and I believe this award is one step toward acknowledging that, which is a coup for Bond on the international academic arena,” Amy said.
“Working at Bond is an excellent fit for me, I have such a high level of support from my colleagues here, in particular Dr Cyn .D. Fisher and Dr Ben Shaw, they have really encouraged me to be the best I can be in every aspect of my job,” she said.
Amy’s academic qualifications are numerous. Beginning with a Bachelor of Science in Business Communications and a Masters of Business Administration, both at Bentley College, she then completed her Ph.D. in Organisational Behaviour at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.
At Bond since September 1999, she teaches mainly in two areas, organisational behaviour and negotiation, on the undergraduate, MBA and EMBA levels.
She received the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching award in January 2005, while the previous year, the Business Students Association singled her out for the student-nominated Outstanding Teacher award.
She is also widely published, with articles and chapters in numerous journals, book chapters and papers.
Amy’s contribution is not just in the classroom. She has also taken on administrative roles, serving as the Head of Department from 2001-2003, and serving as the Faculty’s Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, for the past two years. She is also an active member of the University’s Teaching & Learning Committee, headed by Duncan Bentley, Dean of the Law Faculty.
Amy will travel to the States for a conference in June to receive her award.
For Amy, this award signals the beginning of an ongoing relationship with the OBTS organisation she holds in such high regard. In fact she is already slightly overwhelmed by the company she will be keeping with the organization’s executive members, as the OBTS is recognised as having the most cutting-edge and committed teachers in academe.
It is an elite group and one which Amy will be proud to meet and now become a part of, as she takes her seat on the 2007 New Educator award selection committee, and then becomes Chair of the selection committee in 2008.
Amy believes it is an amazing opportunity for Bond to have such a prominent link with these people and this organisation. But in the meantime, she remains as committed as ever to her role, and the chance to make a difference in her students’ lives.