Recognised for Excellence

Wednesday 30 September 2020

Mater Research student Ms Grace Fitzallen has recently been recognised for her excellence in teaching. The University of Queensland’s School of Psychology awarded the winner of this year’s Tutor Excellence Award to Ms Fitzallen for her flexibility and organisation in response to rapid changes to teaching in a COVID-19 world.

Course Coordinator Dr Melissa Day spoke highly of Ms Fitzallen’s transparent and informative communication with students, her ability to help other tutors prepare for online tutorial delivery with the use of different engagement techniques, and for leading the guest speaker program which involves community members sharing their lived experiences with mental health diagnoses.

“Grace was a driving force behind providing an adapted, online delivery of the guest speaker program–which is consistently described by students as a rich learning experience. I recommend Grace for this award with enthusiasm and immense gratitude.”

An Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Ms Grace Fitzallen joined Mater Research in January 2017 for her Psychology Honours thesis focusing on childhood anxiety and depressive disorders following preterm birth. She has continued with Mater Research for advanced research training.

Currently she is pursuing her PhD jointly through Mater Research and School of Psychology at The University of Queensland. Her PhD research, the Nurturing ChAMPs study, is a multinational project endeavouring to better understand psychopathology in children and adolescents who were born preterm as well as the well-being of their families.

“I am sincerely grateful to the thousands of preemie families who have been a part of the Nurturing ChAMPs journey and have shared their experiences with me.”

Mater Research Group Leader, Associate Professor Samudragupta Bora has consistently fostered Ms Fitzallen’s research and academic development, and has celebrated her success on several occasions over the years.

“Ms Fitzallen is an extremely talented, promising young researcher. I am confident that she will make valuable contributions to the fields of paediatrics and psychology over the coming years.” 

For her work, Traumatic, Life-Changing, Inspiring: A Parent’s Journey to Flourishing, Ms Fitzallen recently received third place in the Higher Degree by Research division at Mater’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. She was also awarded “The student most likely to guide us on how to live our best life” in the School of Psychology 3MT competition.

Ms Fitzallen is a member of the Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up and Outcomes group led by A/Prof Bora, where they work to improve the quality of life of high-risk babies, including those born prematurely, and their families. Their research is supported by Mater Foundation and A/Prof Bora is incredibly grateful for their commitment to the research studies he is leading to improve child health outcomes in Australia and worldwide.