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Funded by Business Events Perth, the University of Notre Dame Australia Aspire Award is one $5,000 scholarship that will be presented to an UNDA staff member to assist in their personal and professional development through attendance at a relevant international conference in their chosen field of endeavour.

2020 The University of Notre Dame Australia Winner, Michelle Katavatis

 

Michelle Katavatis, a pivotal Teaching and Learning Coordinator and Senior Lecturer from the University of Notre Dame Australia will have the opportunity to attend an international conference on online education in the university sector thanks to Business Events Perth’s Aspire Awards.

Now in its 21st year, Business Events Perth’s Aspire Awards sponsor local academics and researchers to attend (and often present at) a relevant international conference in their discipline, to further their professional development and profile Western Australian research on an international stage.

University of Notre Dame Australia educator Michelle Katavatis won the Aspire Award for her expertise in delivering online university courses, particularly for Nursing and Midwifery in both local and rural and remote areas.

Business Events Perth Chief Executive Officer Gareth Martin said he was delighted to support the ongoing professional development of Mrs Katavatis, who will share her expertise with the world.

“Business events like international conferences are a forum for collaboration and the sharing of ideas,” Mr Martin said.

“It is wonderful to have Mrs Katavatis representing Western Australia on an international stage and bring back any learnings by attending the conference. COVID-19 has led to universities needing to innovate in many ways to continue to educate and transfer knowledge for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, this work is essential to the continuation of flexible learning in a socially distanced world and we’re delighted to support her.

During COVID-19 Mrs Katavatis was instrumental, leading the move to online delivery within the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Fremantle.  Furthermore she has led the beginnings of the design and development of a blended program for enrolled nursing students living in rural areas, particularly the Kimberley, giving them the opportunity to become registered nurses, leading to greater access to healthcare for regional communities.

“Given the current global pandemic I believe we will need to become an agile, transformational and future thinking university in the years to come, rethinking the way we ‘do’ learning and teaching,” Mrs Katavatis said.

“The opportunity to attend The Blackboard World Conference is invaluable to me personally and will also provide me with the knowledge to further build on my skills to lead and support not only Notre Dame, but my colleagues in other educational institutions in the Western Australia using Blackboard to deliver exceptional, high class education.”

University of Notre Dame Pro Vice Chancellor Professor Selma Alliex said that Michelle’s work is essential for the University as it transitions from a face to face environment to an online environment.

“Blackboard is the learning platform the University uses and to have Michelle’s expertise in improving the students experience in using it, is very pertinent to a quality learning experience,” Professor Alliex said.

“The University would like to congratulate Michelle for receiving this award. Michelle’s presence at an International conference on online learning will be an important benchmarking exercise for the University with world leaders in this space. It is also an opportunity for Michelle to showcase the University, the city and the state internationally.”