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Awards presented at Coffs Harbour graduation


Brigid Veale
30 May 2009
Southern Cross University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Clark, was made an Emeritus Professor in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the University at the graduation ceremony in Coffs Harbour today (May 30).

Professor Clark, who has been with the University since 2004, will retire as Vice-Chancellor in August of this year.

The Chancellor, the Honourable John Dowd AO QC, said Professor Clark had contributed to the strong growth in student numbers at the Coffs Harbour and Lismore campuses and had been instrumental in establishing a new campus at the Gold Coast.

In giving the Occasional Address during the second ceremony on Saturday, Professor Clark said it was an honour to receive the title of Emeritus Professor.

He also encouraged all the graduates to make the most of their strengths and to enjoy their work.

“Work must be fun – you need to enjoy what you are doing. If you are presented with choices, take the most adventurous route,” he said. “This is not a trial run, so make sure you commit yourself to whatever you do.”

Also topping the bill at the graduation ceremonies were three psychology students who each received a University Medal for outstanding academic achievement and the demonstration of exceptional academic ability.

Desiree Kozlowski, Tara Cuddy and Rod Armour, all graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours (First Class Honours).

The three medallists are all now going on to complete PhDs at the Coffs Harbour campus, conducting research into various aspects of behaviour and neuropsychology.

For Desiree Kozlowski, winning the medal was a complete shock and ‘such a thrill’.

“I have loved my studies, and loved my time here which is why I am extending it,” Desiree said.

“I have always wanted to do research in neuropsychology and have now secured a scholarship of $20,000 a year for three years.

“I am working on developing a web-based system of longitudinal tests for Parkinson’s disease, to provide information about how the disease progresses.

“I’m interested in the theory, but I also like the part where the rubber hits the road. I love the learning but I need to know it will relate to people and be worthwhile.”

Desiree, who has swapped a career in corporate management for study, is undertaking her PhD through the laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Behaviour at the Coffs Harbour campus.

“Parkinson’s disease is tricky to manage and there’s a lot of scope for improvement. I am trying to come up with a web-based tool and fairly simple tests that will be easy to access.”

In addition to her University medal, recipient Tara Cuddy was also presented with the Australian Psychological Society Limited (APS) Prize.

Photo: University medallists (from left) Rod Armour, Desiree Kozlowski and Tara Cuddy all graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours (First Class Honours). Their medals were presented at the Coffs Harbour graduation.