Staff Spotlight: Nurturing student success

Published: Monday 28th September 2015

trevor ianna 

Canberra-based Academic Skills Advisor Trevor Ianna is dedicated to assisting students achieving the best educational outcomes they can.

Trevor says when students come to university they bring vastly different levels and types of academic skills with them depending on their education background and the path they have travelled to get here.

“I love this variety and engage with students on an individual level to look at what areas of their academic language and learning they would like to develop,” Trevor said.

“We can then put into place a strategy for increasing their skills which will suit their individual needs and learning style.”

Trevor has been working in the Academic Skills unit since 2012 after working in the ACU Canberra Student Centre for just under a year. His background is in Primary School Teaching and Applied Linguistics and has worked in student services roles at universities in NSW, the Northern Territory and ACT since 2004.

He is currently working on some increasingly accessible methods of engaging with students.

“In addition to the one-on-one appointments, drop-in sessions and generic skill development workshops, I am now working with academic skills advisers across all campus to create more interactive, online content,” he said.

“We are creating videos, quizzes and downloadable tip-sheets for online students and those who are facing increasingly tight time schedules.

“Additionally, we are now investigating holding online face-to-face consultations which may be expanded to include live online workshops.”

Trevor enjoys working on the Canberra campus. He says he shares the ACU community values on education, inclusion and social justice and also appreciates the small campus atmosphere and collegial attitude that make for a particular engaging working environment.

“Working with Equity Pathways on programs like ACU Smart, Education Reconnect and Uni Step-up are really rewarding,” he said.  

“I also enjoy working with lecturers on embedding academic skills development in their lectures and this is another great way to reach the largest number of students for me. “

Trevor said timetables are particularly tight on the Canberra Campus so it is often best to catch students where they are currently required to be.

“Lecturers often have me come and speak to their classes about a particular academic writing style such as reflections or oral presentations,” Trevor said.

“Additionally, for first year students, they see the benefit of a conversation about essay planning processes, academic integrity and referencing conventions. “