Associate professor in Adult, Vocational and Higher Education, University of Wollongong

Dr Sarah O’Shea is an A/Prof in Adult, Vocational and Higher Education in the School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences. Sarah has over 20 years experience teaching in universities as well as the VET and Adult Education sector, she has also published widely on issues related to educational access and equity.

In 2015, Sarah was awarded a prestigious OLT National Teaching Fellowship in recognition of her work in the educational equity field. This has included working with students from a diversity of backgrounds to explore their transition, engagement and participation in the HE sector. In 2014, Sarah led an OLT Seed Grant entitled Breaking the Barriers: supporting and engaging mature age first-in-family university learners and their families. This was a multi-institutional grant with University of Newcastle and Open Universities Australia. Sarah is also a CI on an ARC Discovery Project (2014 - 2016) that is exploring the role of mentoring within Indigenous higher education in order to understand how university students mentor Indigenous school students. In 2012, Sarah was awarded an OLT Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning: For sustained commitment to student transition to university and educational equity in order to facilitate a culture of engagement.

Experience

  • 2015–present
    Associate professor, University of Wollongong
  • 2010–2015
    Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong

Education

  • 2009 
    University of Sydney, Doctor of Philosophy

Publications

  • 2015
    Avoiding the manufacture of “sameness”: First-in-family students, cultural capital and the higher education environment, Higher Education
  • 2015
    Shifting the blame – academic staff, social inclusion and inclusive teaching practices. , HERD Journal
  • 2015
    ‘We are history in the making and we are walking together to change things for the better….’ Exploring the flows and ripples of learning in a mentoring program for Indigenous young people. , Education as Change
  • 2015
    “I generally say I am a Mum first… but I’m studying at uni”: The narratives of first in family, female caregivers moving into an Australian university. , Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.
  • 2015
    Arriving, Surviving and Succeeding- exploring the first year of university, Journal of College Student Development.
  • 2015
    “I ‘feel’ like I am at university even though I am online.” Exploring how students narrate their engagement with higher education institutions in an online learning environment. , Distance Education

Grants and Contracts

  • 2015
    “Engaging Families to Engage Students": Exploring how university outreach activities can forge productive partnerships with families to assist first in family students navigate their higher education journey.
    Role:
    Fellow
    Funding Source:
    Office of Learning and Teaching
  • 2014
    Mentoring and Indigenous higher education: Understanding how university students mentor Indigenous school students
    Role:
    CI
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2014
    Breaking the Barriers: supporting and engaging mature age first-in-family university learners and their families.
    Role:
    Lead CI
    Funding Source:
    Office of Learning and Teaching

Honours

Australian National teaching and Learning Fellow; UOW Woman of Impact