B.Sc. (hons 1) Department of Parasitology, University of Queensland, 1994 Ph.D. Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Queensland, 1999
Andrea has worn many hats are CSU from lab manager to sub dean learning and teaching in 2 different faculties and uses the experiences to inform her teaching, mentoring and research. A first in family to attend university from a rural area she has a unique appreciation of CSU’s regionally located students. Having worked in another country as a research scientist she can also appreciate the value of international discourse in both the teaching and research spheres and enjoys the vibrancy that mixed cohorts bring to discussions.
Andrea sees her highlights as being what is happening now and the opportunities to be innovative and explore ideas - her idea of success is seeing those she interacts with realise their potential and happily achieve more than they thought possible.
Andrea is keen to work with potential research students who are interested in exploring the intersection of science/health and enhancing public capacity to understand and engage with information.
The development of my teaching philosophy and its implementation draws heavily on my past as a research academic and laboratory manager. I approach each teaching opportunity as if it were an item to be investigated with the aim of developing methodologies that are effective and represent best practice. I also acknowledge the human elements such as apprehension, motivation and anxiety and look for ways to manager these in the most constructive and sensitive manner possible. In its simplest form, my philosophy could be stated as "I teach my students". However, behind that statement lays a large element of research into "who" my students are (changes relative to cohort and subject) how who they are affects how they learn (many prefer a collaborative based environment with some control over the education process) and thus which strategies are the most effective (primarily those that provide flexibility and multiple means of interacting with content) for developing environments conducive to their education.
Health/Science/ Sustainability literacy Andrea’s interest in this research foci stems from her own attempts to explain research to her own non-university educated family. In this situation literacy refers to an individuals capacity to not just understand the information but to be able to use the information in a critical manner relative to their own context e.g. understand that woodsmoke is a form of pollution is one level with the next being an understanding that their wood fireplace is contributing to the local particle pollution that is negatively affecting their health and that of their neighbours and then finally the decision to change heating sources and telling others about the issue. A population that can understand the research and health information is a society that can take an active role in creating a better society.
Effective use of technology to support teaching: Andrea describes her focus in this area as a reflective analysis of online teaching environments following the addition of various teaching tools and strategies. She has a strong interest in the application of effective technologies in teaching science, and in analysis of students' use of resources and academics time.