‘Engaging’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘dedicated’ are just some of the words students used to describe Associate Lecturer Tracy Huang.
Late last year, Ms Huang was honoured with the Built Environment Award for Teaching for Blended Learning Excellence. She received a $1,000 and a certificate, which was presented to her at a UNSW Built Environment end of year event.
“Winning the Built Environment Award for Teaching means an enormous amount. It’s an honour to be recognised by the faculty for the continuous developments I’ve implemented in my teaching,” she says.
“Receiving this recognition has provided reassurance for the risks I have taken and encouraged me to continue and better my teaching practices.”
The Built Environment Learning and Teaching Excellence Award recognises individuals for their outstanding learning contributions and teaching impact within the faculty.
It recognises the diverse contribution that academic staff make to the quality of the student learning experience.
Ms Huang, who teaches Interior Architecture, combines traditional and innovative methods of class learning to deliver an outstanding student experience.
Throwing her passion into every classroom, her detailed-honoured approach focuses on real-world issues, problems and applications that are relevant to both society and the practice of interior architecture.
“Students are motivated by tasks that are authentic,” she explains.
“The assessments are designed to embrace the diversity of our students and their experiences to generate innovative responses to some of the biggest challenges of our cities.”
When assigning tasks, Ms Huang says she aims to provide a balance between provocation and industry applicability. She explains that, by doing this, it “enables students to bring their own perspectives, while also learning skill sets that are relevant to their future employment.”
After graduating with a Bachelor of Interior Architecture at UNSW herself, Ms Huang reflects on how her own learning experiences have enabled her to empathise with the students.
“Graduating from the degree that I am currently teaching has been an incredible help in developing my teaching style.
“I am able to reflect on what I valued in a teacher and how I wanted to engage with my students.
“My most enriching experiences were with teachers that are absolutely passionate about design and challenged me to take risks while being incredibly generous and supportive. I would like to be a teacher that does the same for my students.”
It appears she is. Comments from her students say Ms Huang is an “encouraging, detail-oriented teacher” with “an excellent ability to connect with students”.
One remarked that she had “the most profound impact towards my two years of education at university”.
Ms Huang says what motivates her in the classroom is that she is regularly inspired by the future generation.
“As the next generation of leaders in the industry, they are asked to question the current practices and push the boundaries on how we think about constructing interiors and, more importantly, why and who are we constructing it for.”
“I am grateful for the opportunity to be able to teach the next generation and welcome them into our community.”