For the past ten years Siobhan Hickling has been teaching at the School of Population and Global Health and loved every moment of it.
Her passion for teaching is only equalled by her passion for research and Siobhan is a true believer that the two go hand-in-hand to create the best student experience.
“I believe my research work can add so much to my teaching. I can bring this experience into the classroom and it’s a great way to pique the interest of students.
“That’s the foundation of my teaching philosophy. I work hard to enthuse and engage students and part of this includes finding ways to bring the subject matter to life for them.
“We all know about the culture shift that’s occurred, with students preferring to access information online rather than attend lectures – it’s important we move with the times too and ensure we package the information in a way that suits their needs, but still encourages them to engage and collaborate,” she says.
Spending the last two years coordinating the undergraduate major means Siobhan spends a lot of her time talking to prospective students, or first year students trying to work out if Population Health is the right option for them.
“Directly engaging with students is a part of my job I really love. It’s great going out to high schools and speaking with students who are still trying to figure out what area of the world excites them, and where to focus their studies.
“It’s a thrill to speak to them about Population Health because they don’t really have any concept of what it is before I walk in that room – but you can see this change as time goes on.
“Because it’s such a diverse area it doesn’t take long for the pieces of the puzzle to start to take shape and students start to identify with topics or issues that interest them.
“It’s the same when I teach. You can see when students have ‘ah-ha’ moments. They begin to get excited when they can visualise what difference they could make on the health of a whole population – and that’s really rewarding for me as a teacher,” she says.
Siobhan says she’s looking forward to taking part in UWA’s first Health Campus Open Day taking place on Sunday.
“It’s a great way to showcase not only Population Health but all of UWA’s health-related disciplines.
“We’re welcoming the whole community to the UWA Health Campus (QEII site) to explore our state-of-the-art facilities.
“It’s a great initiative to ensure prospective students are aware of exactly what UWA can offer within the broad brush of health and it’s going to be a really great day,” she says.