We know that Torrens University Australia attracts a high proportion of female enrolments, averaging 63% female enrolment rate.
We are also ranked highest among Australian universities in enrolling women in non-traditional areas – in this case, the STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – fields.
We also know that our health science program bucks the expected trends and usual stereotypes. Fantastic women power it at a 70% to 30% ratio.
Following on from International Women’s Day 2020 we want to highlight two of our health science learning facilitators and share their research.
Dr Danielle Burgess, Learning Facilitator – Health Science, PhD, BSc (Hons) Danielle is a Learning Facilitator in Health Science at Torrens University in Brisbane. She is incredibly passionate about teaching and bringing enthusiasm to students in Biological Sciences. Her predominant teaching focus is Anatomy, Physiology and the building blocks of the Human Body.
Danielle is Secretary for the Queensland Perinatal Consortium, a group of perinatal researchers, clinicians, midwives and students across South-East Queensland who strive for healthy parents, pregnancies, babies and future generations. Strong women within her family – her Grandmother and Mother are nurses and her Aunt a Biochemist – allowed her to visualise her career in STEM. She completed her PhD investigating the impacts of alcohol during the early stages of pregnancy, with the hopes of supporting all families raise the healthiest children possible.
Danielle believes International Women’s Day increases visibility so all women know they can break through the glass ceiling and achieve their passions, careers and lives they desire. “Torrens University is forging ahead in workplace equality, and the more discussion, events and enthusiasm toward this goal, the wider-reaching these efforts will be!”
Dr Dhivya Rajasekaran, Senior Learning Facilitator – Health Science, PhD, GradCert Learning & Teaching, MSc, BSc Dhivya is a Senior Learning Facilitator in Health Sciences at Torrens University who teaches Biochemistry units, leads multiple Science subjects and supports academic administration nationally, in particular, the Melbourne Campus.
In 2014 Dhivya’s Biological Sciences PhD she screened traditional medicinal plant extracts from the rainforests of Borneo, Malaysia against influenza viruses. This study identified plant extracts with antiviral activity against influenza viruses. During her PhD candidature, she commenced teaching at Swinburne University and moved to THINK Education in 2015, where her passion for teaching grew.
She became more interested in educational research and is currently completing a Masters in Education at Torrens University. She is working on an educational research project funded by the David Wilson Award, developing a model to improve online student engagement under the mentorship of Dr Cheryl Ross. She hopes to continue to improve her skill set and land a leadership role in education.
According to Dhivya International Women’s Day is a celebration, a moment to take pride in being a woman, to honour the strengths of previous generations of women without whom her current independence would not have been possible. “It matters, as women are largely underrepresented in most fields, around the world, and this gender-imbalance has negative consequences over building a sustainable future where everyone feels included.”
She believes Torrens University provides an inclusive working environment, and we celebrate diversity with women from all over the world on staff working towards shaping the future through education. She hopes moving forward, Torrens University may offer scholarships or part-time work to female students who excel in studies but have financial hardships to support their University study.
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