Griffith University: Griffith leaders receive Vice Chancellor awards

Two respected Griffith Business and Law academics have received Vice Chancellor’s awards as thousands of students celebrate their own success at graduation ceremonies being held in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Associate Professor Stephanie Schleimer from the Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) has been named 2020 Vice Chancellor’s Griffith University Teacher of the Year while Associate Professor Kylie Burns (SFHEA) from Griffith Law School received the 2020 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Griffith University Education Leader of the Year.

A grateful Associate Professor Burns said that central to her teaching innovations and educational leadership was a profound commitment to the transformative power of human connection and human experience in education.


Associate Professor Kylie Burns
“Given the high rate of mental health issues in lawyers and law students, my goal has been to ensure that students develop as legal professionals who are self-compassionate and understand that engagement in the human context of legal problems is essential to being an authentic, ethical and empathetic professional,” she said.

“I recognise the many Griffith staff who have persevered during COVID-19 to continue to support, engage and encourage our students and our amazing students who persevered to achieve their dreams in difficult circumstances.

“I was blessed to receive my award at the graduation ceremony for the Griffith Law graduates who continue to inspire us, their teachers.”

Associate Professor Burns has had a sustained impact on learning and teaching at Griffith and her efforts have been recognised through a range of learning and teaching citations and awards within the University, along with an Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning and recognition as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).


Associate Professor Schleimer is the Program Director of the Griffith Business School’s MBA Program and led a recent refresh of the program to embed a values-based approach.

In 2020, the MBA Program was ranked number 1 worldwide in the ‘Corporate Knights Better World MBA Rankings’ and the ‘Australasian Green Gown Learning and Teaching Awards’ for its sustainability focus.

Associate Professor Schleimer said she was extremely humbled to receive the 2020 Teacher of the Year award but there were also others to thank.

“It takes a village to make this a world-leading, value-based program focused on teaching excellence,” she said.


“I would like to recognise the many outstanding professional and academic staff members, my wonderful colleagues, who continue to work tirelessly with me on all aspects of the program and who devote so much passion and love to the program and its courses,” she said.

“Equally, I would like to celebrate our Griffith MBA students and alumni who never cease to amaze me.

“I am immensely proud of their dedication to learn despite having such busy lives, their honest feedback that pushes us to strive for excellence and most importantly, for believing in and embracing a postgraduate business education based on responsibility and sustainability.

“To receive my award at the graduation ceremony of my remarkable student cohort meant a lot, especially listening to the student speaker and recent MBA graduate Melanie Arnost give such a brave and touching speech about her journey throughout the program.”

The Griffith University Teacher of the Year is awarded to the most outstanding recipient of the winners of the Group Excellence in Teaching Awards. The Education Leader of the Year award is given to the strongest recipient amongst the winners of the Group Awards for Education Leadership.

Mid-year graduation ceremonies continue, with more than three thousand students conferred in July across Griffith campuses.

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