Our recent University Medal winners

Meet the students nominated and awarded the University Medal.

The University Medal is the University's most prestigious academic award. The University Medal is awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic excellence throughout their University studies. The University medallists presented below were recommended for the University Medal by the University Medal Committee using assessment criteria from the University Medal Policy and Procedure.

University Medallists 2020

Lily Davies

Nominated by the Macquarie Law School

Lily Davies graduate at the top of her cohort in Law with First Class Honours and a LAWS WAM of 85.238. During her studies she achieved 14 High Distinction grades and 7 Distinction Grades and was top student in 4 Laws units. Lily has received numerous awards for academic excellence and was on the Merit List in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Tess Watterson

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

Tess Watterson has a sustained record of excellence throughout her time at Macquarie University. For her Bachelor of Arts, she achieved a GPA of 3.957/4.0, and for her Master of Research, her GPA was 7/7. Crucially, she achieved an excellent result of 93% for the research thesis in the Master of Research and her thesis result was the second-highest in the Faculty of Arts in 2019. She received a number of prizes during her undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

Samuel Wessels

Nominated by the Department of Ancient History

Samuel Wessels completed his Bachelor of Ancient History degree in 2017, achieving an exceptional overall GPA of 4.000 on a 4-point scale and also 4.000 on a 4-point scale at 300-level, and winning numerous prizes. He continued to carry out his studies to the same high standard during his Bachelor of Philosophy candidature in Ancient History in 2018, achieving straight High Distinction grades. This resulted in a GPA of 7.000 on a 7-point scale. Samuel received an outstanding thesis mark of 94% and a final weighted mark of 92.3% for his Master of Research, with one examiner encouraging him to contribute material from his thesis to a major international research project.

Katrina Woodforde

Nominated by the Macquarie Law School

Katrina Woodforde is an outstanding student who graduated at the top of her cohort in Law with First Class Honours, a GPA of 4/4.0 and a LAWS WAM of 85.81. In the course of her studies she achieved 14 High Distinction grades and 7 Distinction grades with no grade lower than a Distinction. Katrina was the top student in five of her units during this time, was on the annual Merit List four years in a row, and was awarded numerous prizes.

Benjamin Cronin

Nominated by the Department of Health Professions

Benjamin Cronin achieved 18 High Distinction grades and 3 Distinction grades for the 21 units he undertook for the Doctor of Physiotherapy. As well as coming first or equal first in a range of these units, Benjamin also received Excellence Awards for his First Year and Second Year studies, and for Research and Clinical Practice. He also demonstrated academic excellence in his earlier studies, having completed a Bachelor of Chiropractic Science and Master of Chiropractic at Macquarie University before his studies in Physiotherapy.

Katarzyna Odgers

Nominated by the Department of Psychology

Katarzyna Odgers had an outstanding academic record throughout her candidature as well as being the recipient of an impressive 9 departmental prizes. She has also been on the University Merit List since 2018. During her undergraduate studies she achieved 6 High Distinction grades at 3rd year level, a total of 14 High Distinction grades for Psychology units, and an overall GPA of 4/4.0. In her honours studies she obtained 56.4 out of 60 for her empirical thesis and 36.2 out of 40 for her coursework units.

Kirilee Wagner

Nominated by the Department of Cognitive Sciences

Kirilee Wagner achieved 92% for her Master of Research degree in December 2019, including a thesis mark of 93% and was the top performing eligible student in her cohort. She also obtained the degree of Bachelor of Clinical Science achieving a GPA of 3.667/4, and she achieved a GPA of 6.5/7 for the first year of her Master of Research degree. Kirilee had the highest overall thesis grade of the 2019 Faculty of Human Sciences cohort, with one examiner awarding a grade of 95%, the other awarding a grade of 90% and both recommending straight award with no amendments.

Yvette Bauder

Nominated by the Department of Biological Sciences

Yvette Bauder was studying the Bachelor of Science at Macquarie University as a part-time student in 2015 when she was invited to transfer to the Bachelor of Advanced Science on the strength of her academic results. She achieved a GPA of 4.0/4 for the 14 units she completed in the Bachelor of Advanced Science, earning a mark of over 80% in all 14 units. She earned 7 High Distinction grades and 1 Distinction grade for her studies in the first year of the Master of Research degree, with her second year thesis achieving an overall grade of 93%.

Nabomita Mukty

Nominated by the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Nabomita Mukty completed a Bachelor of Science at Macquarie University in 2017 with a 4.0/4.0 GPA including 4 High Distinction grades and 6 Distinction grades at the 3rd year level. She was named on the Merit List in 2017 and 2018. She completed the first year of her Master of Research in 2018 with a GPA of 6.250/7.0 (with 2 High Distinction grades and 6 Distinction grades) and received the award of the Australian Institute of Physics prize for best performance at Honours/Masters level study. She then went on to do a MRes Y2 research project in theoretical quantum physics which received glowing examiner reports and a final mark of 92.

Sixian Tang

Nominated by the Department of Actuarial Studies and Business Analytics

Sixian Tang has demonstrated academic excellence in her undergraduate and postgraduate studies, earning an undergraduate GPA of 4.0/4 and a postgraduate GPA of 6.375/7. She obtained High Distinction grades in most of her units, five subject prizes, appeared on the merit list for all three years of her undergraduate studies and earned the Macquarie University Award for Academic Excellence for the Bachelor of Applied Finance. Her final thesis mark in the Master of Research of 83 is one of the highest awarded in this Department.

University Medallists 2019

Rhiannon Bell, a 2019 University medallist wearing a white dress.Rhiannon Bell

Nominated by the Macquarie Law School

Rhiannon Bell earned fourteen Higher Distinction grades and eight Distinction grades during her studies in the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and achieved the highest credit weighted average of all students eligible for 1st class Honours in her cohort. She participated in the Jessup International Law Moot, the most prestigious International legal mooting competition reserved for only the best law students. Rhiannon has consistently performed at the highest level and has received numerous awards for academic excellence including the Law Society of New South Wales Award for Sustained Academic Proficiency in Law units, and the Dean’s Award for Meritorious Contribution to the Affairs of Macquarie Law School. Rhiannon held the role of President of MULS in 2017 and made an outstanding contribution in that role. In particular, promoting a positive and productive relationship between staff and students.

Elizabeth Bennett, a 2019 University medallist wearing a white shirt and navy blazer with the sleeves rolled up.Elizabeth Bennett

Nominated by the Department of Sociology

Elizabeth Bennett demonstrated sustained excellence during her studies as well as making a strong contribution to the student experience of her peers. Her undergraduate results were consistently high, achieving a GPA of 3.696 (out of 4), and this increased to 3.857 at 300 level, consistent with her development as a scholar through her studies. She also contributed to undergraduate student culture by starting a Facebook page featuring talks and events linked to the Political Economy and Social Policy major. She received a GPA of 6.750 in the first year of her Master of Research and a grade of 90 overall in year two, which currently places her in the top 10 across the Faculty.

David Chapman

Nominated by the Department of Ancient History

David Chapman achieved a GPA of 3.957 out of 4 in his undergraduate studies with Distinctions and High Distinction in all units bar one (where he achieved a Credit grade). He has been placed third in the overall Faculty of Arts cohort of successful Master of Research candidates with a final score of 91.9%, only two percentage points short of the top student in Anthropology who achieved 94.1%. He has been a strong supporter and regular attendee at extra-curricular activities such as those held by the University Students for Egyptological Research (USER), Rundle Foundation events, the Australian Centre for Egyptology annual conferences and Macquarie Ancient History Association events.

Laura Harris, a 2019 University medallist wearing a cream patterned shirt.Laura Harris

Nominated by the Department of Ancient History

Laura Harris completed her Bachelor of Arts degree between 2014 and 2016, with a Major in Ancient History - Egypt and the Near East, achieving an overall GPA of 3.739 out of 4 and an exceptional 4.00 out of 4 for her final year studies. Laura continued to carry out her studies to a high standard during the first year of her Masters by Research in Ancient History in 2017, consistently achieving Distinction and High Distinction grades, resulting in a GPA of 6.375 out of 7 for her first year coursework studies. She subsequently received an outstanding thesis mark of 93% and a final weighted mark of 92.4% for her Masters degree. It is also worth noting that she achieved her outstanding results while also carrying out related extra-curricular activities eg participating in excavation work in Egypt and while acting as a co-organiser of the Macquarie University Students for Egyptological Research (USER) group.

Viktorija Popovic

Nominated by the Macquarie Law School

Viktorija Popovic has completed her dual Applied Finance/Law (Honours) degree without achieving a grade below Distinction level, a remarkable achievement. She has received prizes for her studies in both degrees, culminating in an honours thesis which received a total mark of 92/100. Both examiners praised the work highly noting that Viktorija’s thesis easily exceeded the standards expected from honours students.

Katherine Smith

Nominated by the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Katherine Smith has a consistently outstanding record of performance across her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees for which she has received a number of awards, and produced outstanding masters research of international significance. Her Master of Research Thesis into the theoretical framework What is the Problem Represented to be (WPR), was examined by the academic who devised the Framework, Professor Carol Bacchi. Professor Bacchi has since referred to Katherine’s findings in her work with other academics, a very high accolade indeed. Both her examiners recommended the Master of Research be awarded without further corrections to the thesis.

Daniel Tranter-Santoso

Nominated by the Department of Anthropology

Daniel Tranter-Santoso consistently scored High Distinctions and Distinctions in his first year of the Masters of Research degree, giving him a GPA of 6.750 on a 7 point scale, before he went on to an outstanding final mark for his research thesis of 95% and a final weighted average for the degree of 94.10%. He achieved at a similar level in his undergraduate studies, and has demonstrated an outstanding ability to engage with great diligence on the study of cultures other than his own, earning a reputation as one of the Department’s most talented students.

Guy Webster

Nominated by the Department of English

Guy Webster developed from a strong undergraduate student displaying excellence in his chosen area of English as well as his other subjects, to excel in his Master of Research studies, where he achieved a GPA of 6.875, out of 7. His MRes thesis received excellent marks and comments from both examiners, leading to the award of the H W Piper Memorial Prize for excellence in the English Master of Research Program, the latest in a number of academic awards he has received during his studies at Macquarie University.

Edwina Keen, a 2019 University medallist wearing a red blouse and silver necklace.Edwina Keen

Nominated by the Department of Psychology

Edwina Keen finished first in the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) cohort for 2018. She has had an impressive academic record throughout her candidature as well as being the recipient of five departmental prizes, including being on the University Merit List since 2016. In addition, she was recently awarded the Australian Psychological Society Prize for Honours in Psychology for 2018.

Victoria Page

Nominated by the Department of Health Professions

Victoria Page first graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Science degree and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence before undertaking the Doctor of Physiotherapy. In both degrees, she has achieved no less than a Distinction grade for every unit undertaken, an enviable record of sustained academic excellence. Her achievements in the Doctor of Physiotherapy have seen her win prizes for her academic, clinical and research work, and she obtained the highest average mark of any student in the degree.

Supreet Saluja, a 2019 University medallist wearing a cream blouse and check skirt.Supreet Saluja

Nominated by the Department of Psychology

Supreet Saluja achieved 91.8% for her Master of Research degree including a thesis mark of 92%. Her previous studies in the Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) saw her achieve a GPA of 3.917/4, including a First Class Honours award with an Honours mark of 91. Supreet was equal highest in the Faculty of Human Sciences’ Master of Research cohort with a thesis grade of 92%.

Tim Ghaly, a 2019 University medallist wearing a grey t-shirt and an unzipped hooded jacket.Timothy Ghaly

Nominated by the Department of Biological Sciences

Timothy Ghaly was awarded the highest grade (94) of MRes students in Biological Sciences in 2018, and earned GPAs of 4 at 300 level and overall in his Bachelor of Science degree at Macquarie University. In the first year of his Master of Research, all but one of his eight units received a High Distinction (he earned a Distinction grade for the other unit). Timothy has authored four peer-review scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals during his studies and was nominated for the inaugural Dean’s MRes Thesis Prize. He was also awarded the Biology MRes Year 1 prize for the highest performing year 1 student in 2017.

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Last updated: 05 Jan 2022