University of Newcastle academic named Australia’s ‘PR Educator of the Year’

From the University of Newcastle Media Unit:

University of Newcastle teaching excellence is again in the spotlight with Communication Senior Lecturer, Dr Melanie James, named Australia’s “PR Educator of the Year” at the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s (PRIA) National Golden Target Awards held last night in Hobart. A short video was filmed by Dr James’ students and was shown on the awards night as Melanie took to the stage to accept her award – click to view in new window.


Image of "Melanie James" "Dr Melanie James"

Dr Melanie James, Senior Lecturer in Communication

Dr James, Deputy Head of the School of Design, Communication and IT said the result highlighted the caliber of the communication degree offered at the University of Newcastle (UON).

“This award recognises the innovative teaching practices applied to the teaching of PR and Communication subjects at UON, and strong track record of producing talented and successful graduates,” said Dr James.

"Melanie James award"

Golden Target Award 2015 National Winner PR Educator of the Year

Dr James said her teaching style encouraged students to gain valuable real-world insights to prepare them for a successful working life.

“My teaching philosophy centres on the view that teaching is not about delivering content but is the act of designing experiences that encourage and enable student learning.

“My teaching has always focused on providing opportunities for students to construct contextual meaning rather than focusing on students being passive receivers of information that I impart to them – a constructivist approach to learning,” said Dr James.

With experience working in senior management roles in strategic communication, government communication and public relations across a number of sectors, Dr James brings extensive professional expertise to the classroom.

She has authored four books, numerous journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. Her most recent book, “Positioning Theory and Strategic Communication: A new approach to public relations research and practice” was published by Routledge in 2014.

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