Award of excellence for an Old Girl



L-R: Di Weddell, Branch Manager for Higher Education at the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, on behalf of Senator Simon Birmingham presents Dr LeBard with her award. 


Microbiologist and Abbotsleigh Old Girl Dr Rebecca LeBard (Smith 1995) was honoured in September 2016 with a national award for teaching excellence, presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

After finishing her education at Abbotsleigh, Rebecca completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a PhD at the University of Sydney (UNSW). 

Dr LeBard now teaches first-year biology and lectures in biochemistry for the science, medicine and optometry program at University of New South Wales. She is one of three UNSW lecturers who, along with a UNSW teaching team, received Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning as part of the Australian Government’s 2016 Australian Awards for University Teaching program. 

Dr LeBard was recognised for “engaging students in the practice of 'being a scientist' and taking a scholarly approach to helping students overcome obstacles in learning scientific inquiry”.

Her research in the School of Biotechnology and Bimolecular Sciences is focused on the molecular genetics of microbes, understanding how plasmid DNA is inherited in archaea, and how molecular markers can be used to trace sources of water pollution.

“I have continued to be interested in how science is taught and communicated and I am honoured to receive an Australian award for university teaching,” Dr LeBard said.



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