Murdoch academic named PR Educator of the Year

November 25, 2014

A senior Murdoch academic has been named Educator of the Year at the prestigious Public Relations Institute of Australia’s (PRIA) national Golden Target Awards.

Associate Professor Christine Daymon from the School of Arts was presented with the award at PRIA’s annual conference in Brisbane on Monday night.

“I’m thrilled to win this significant accolade and receive the recognition of students, fellow academics and professionals,” said Professor Daymon.

“Over the years I’ve endeavoured to create a learning experience for students that motivates them not to settle for the conventional but to ask questions and to think strategically, critically and creatively. This award is an endorsement of my approach to teaching and learning.”

Professor Daymon has worked as an academic in the UK and Australia for 22 years, following a successful career in international public relations.

She joined Murdoch University in 2010 to design, coordinate and teach the Masters in Communication Management to a cohort of international and local professional students seeking to upgrade their industry skills and knowledge.

She has continued to teach units in strategic communication and public relations at postgraduate and undergraduate levels and to supervise candidates completing doctoral studies in public relations.

She is also the director of a collaborative research centre between Murdoch University and the Communication University of China. Researchers in the Asia Pacific Centre for Media Economics and Communication Management Research aim to undertake comparative studies of media, communication and management in Australia, China and the Asian region.

In addition, Professor Daymon leads a multi-university project which aims to improve the learning experience of Chinese students undertaking the study of PR in Australia. Funded by a prestigious Australian government Office of Learning and Teaching grant worth $200,000, the project aims to develop innovative research-based resources for lecturers in China and Australia. A future extension to the project is an executive training scheme in intercultural communication for PR professionals.

“My approach to teaching is based on all of my experiences in post and undergraduate course design and curriculum development, incorporating the intertwining of professional practice with theory and my own research,” said Professor Daymon.

“It’s been wonderfully satisfying over the years to meet up with former students who now head international consultancies and corporate communications teams and to know that I’ve had some input into their careers.

“Even more rewarding has been to see students discover the thrill of learning and to watch them grow in confidence as they become more fulfilled through their process of discovery.”

Professor Daymon said her career highlights included working on various research projects with researchers from around the world and writing two books, one of which won the 2013 Outstanding Book of the Year from the Public Relations Division of the United States-based National Communication Association.

For now Professor Daymon  is looking forward to visiting Chinese universities to present findings from her comparative research about public relations education in Australia and China, and what each country can learn from the other.

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