The University of the Sunshine Coast has appointed award-winning academic Professor Denise Wood AM as its new Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students).
Professor Wood is currently employed as Engaged Research Chair and Director of the Centre for Regional Advancement of Learning, Equity, Access and Participation at Central Queensland University.
She has a PhD in Education and Masters of Educational Technology and Design, and throughout her career has held key learning and teaching roles at the University of South Australia and as Adjunct Professor at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa.
Professor Wood is due to start at USC at the end of September and will be responsible for ensuring support to students, from pre-enrolment to graduation, to help them succeed.
Her role will be strongly focussed on enriching the overall student experience at USC, ensuring a respectful and inclusive environment, and boosting student retention.
Professor Wood has earned numerous national and State awards for her work.
In 2017, she received a Member of the Order of Australia Award (AM) for significant service to education as an academic, researcher and practitioner in the field of participation, inclusion and access.
She gained an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning in 2010 for “sustained excellence in engaging undergraduate students through service learning and research activities that promote social and ethical action and enhance the student learning experience”.
Her other awards include the Telstra-TJA Christopher Newell Award for Telecommunications and Disability in 2010, and the South Australian Premier's Public Sector Engagement Award (Building Communities category) for Sustainable Online Community Engagement Project in 2009.
Professor Wood is a member of the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training, Equity Research and Innovation Panel, the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Advisory Committee, and the Queensland Statewide NDIS Workability Advisory Group.
She is also Deputy Chair of the Australasian Congress of Undergraduate Research and convened the 2016 Australasian Conference on Undergraduate Research.
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said he was delighted to recruit such a high-profile academic to this key Executive role.
“USC places great importance on its reputation as a student-centred university, and we’re very comfortable with Professor Wood’s potential to further develop relationships with our students,” he said.