Academic excellence recognition recipients

View the 2018 University Medallists below.

University Medallists 26 July 2018

The two University medallists presented below were recommended for the University Medal by the University Medal Committee following its meeting of 26 July 2018.

Patrick da Roza in his graduation ceremony

Patrick da Roza

Nominated by the Department of Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Patrick da Roza first excelled in his Bachelor of Psychology studies, but switched to the field of Biotechnology for his postgraduate studies, earning nine High Distinctions in the first year of his Master of Biotechnology. He transferred to the Master of Research (MRes) in 2017, and his thesis on the development of a new method to measure and visualise the storage polysaccharide paramylon in microalgal cells gained an overall mark of 93.6, the third highest for the entire cohort of MRes students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering for 2017.

Jessica Witherow in her graduation ceremony

Jessica Witherow

Nominated by the Department of Health Professions, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Jessica Witherow is the first Macquarie University graduate from a postgraduate coursework degree to receive the University Medal under the University’s updated policy and criteria. As well as an almost perfect record of High Distinctions (19, with three Distinctions and one Credit in her first year of study), Jessica won a slew of Physiotherapy Prizes including the APA Award for Academic Excellence, the Doctor of Physiotherapy Research Excellence Award and the Doctor of Physiotherapy Excellence in Clinical Practice Award. She is also the first student in the Doctor of Physiotherapy to be awarded the academic, clinical and research excellence awards.

University Medallists 22 February 2018

The eight University medallists presented below were recommended for the University Medal by the University Medal Committee following its meeting of 22 February 2018.

Andrew Bain posing for a picture

Andrew Bain

Nominated by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts

Andrew Bain achieved 97 per cent, the highest score of any Master of Research (MRes) student in Philosophy to date and had the highest grade average for his cohort in the first year of the degree. His studies prior to the MRes included a PhD in Economics and History and a Bachelor of Economics/Bachelor of Arts (Hons Class 1). Just before commencing his MRes, he completed a Graduate Diploma of Arts with Macquarie finishing with two Distinctions and six High Distinctions. His MRes thesis "Immanuel Kant on Toleration" was highly regarded by both examiners.

Joel Couchman posing for a picture at home

Joel Couchman

Nominated by the Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Joel Couchman demonstrated sustained academic excellence in his undergraduate studies with an almost perfect record of High Distinction grades over the three years of his Bachelor of Science degree. His performance at undergraduate level has been recognised through the award of a significant number of prizes, including the Frederick Chong Prize at both levels two and three, and the Alan McIntosh Analysis Prize. This excellence continued with his studies in the first year of the Master of Research program, where he obtained High Distinction grades in all but two units (which received Distinction grades). His thesis was also marked highly, with one examiner noting it “opens a new direction of research” in Lie-Rinehart algebras.

Natasha Fernandes posing for a picture

Natasha Fernandes

Nominated by the Department of Computing, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Natasha Fernandes graduated first in her cohort of Computing major students in the Bachelor of Science, earning scholarships, a place on the Dean’s list, and an invitation to participate in the Talented Student Program. Natasha undertook her Master of Research (MRes) studies after a number of years in the industry and was awarded the inaugural Cyber Security MRes Computing Prize in 2016. Her thesis, dealing with technical issues related to privacy policies on the release of documents possibly containing sensitive information, was marked highly by both examiners, with one giving it a perfect score of 100.

Daniel Guilbert posing for a picture

Daniel Guilbert

Nominated by the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences

Daniel Guilbert finished first in his Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) cohort and has been awarded the Australian Psychological Society Prize for Honours in Psychology. During his undergraduate studies, he received a number of prizes (Department of Psychology Prize for Research Methods in Psychology, the Sandra Cotton Prize for the Psychology of Human Relationships) and was named on the University Merit List. His honours thesis received high marks and praise for its clarity and originality.

Merril Howie in her graduation gown

Merril Howie

Nominated by the Department of English, Faculty of Arts

Merril Howie was nominated by her department for her excellent, unblemished academic record having topped her class in many of her subjects. She demonstrated sustained academic excellence in her undergraduate and Master of Research studies, receiving a VC’s commendation and participating in the Merit Scholars program among other prizes. Both examiners praised her thesis (The Power of the Literary Image: Mediating Memory and Managing Emotion in the Literary Memoirs of Virginia Woolf and Helen Garner) highly, with one commenting that it was “a model of its kind”.

Jody Musgrove

Nominated by the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Faculty of Arts

Jody Musgrove was the leading student in a large Master of Research (MRes) cohort in Modern History, and was awarded the University’s Irish Famine Memorial Prize for his essay in the MRes unit “Remembering Trauma”. His undergraduate studies were completed to a high standard via Open Universities Australia and he is believed to be the first University Medallist to have studied with Macquarie via the OUA. Jody’s nomination and examiner reports highlighted the strong interdisciplinary aspects of his thesis which was lauded by both examiners.

Carla Sullivan Myers on campus

Carla Sullivan-Myers

Nominated by the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences

Carla Sullivan-Myers graduates as the top-performing student in her Master of Research (MRes) cohort, having undertaken this degree in Psychology following studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate level in Chiropractic. She received a Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for outstanding academic achievement at the undergraduate level and won the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia Award for Preclinical Studies. Carla continued this level of excellence in her MRes studies, achieving excellent scores for her thesis and being commended for a systematic review of a treatment method for breast cancer-related lymphedema.

Jie Zhu in his graduation gown

Jie Zhu

Nominated by the Department of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies, Macquarie Business School

Jie Zhu will be undertaking PhD studies in Health Innovation, but his University Medal is awarded for his strong academic performance in Applied Finance. He completed a Bachelor of Applied Finance with six High Distinction grades and 14 Distinction grades, earning a Merit Scholarship. His Master of Research degree was completed to a similar high standard, with his thesis receiving a High Distinction mark. The thesis examiners both commented favourably on the thesis, particularly noting Jie’s analytical approach, and the comprehensive nature and systematic presentation of the work.