Researcher biography

Dr Sowmya Shetty is a teaching focussed academic at The University of Queensland. In her role as Lecturer in Interprofessional Education at Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, she coordinates a first year large cross faculty course called HLTH1000 (Professional, People and Healthcare) . Sowmya leads the HaBS faculty-based Interprofessional Education curriculum, embedded into approx. 40 undergraduate and postgraduate offerings, across the year, within multiple programs at the faculty. Sowmya is also Discipline Lead for Oral Biosciences at the School of Dentistry.

Sowmya recently led the Early Years Experiential Learning In Dentistry team that won a UQ Teaching Award in 2023 for Academic Programs that Enhance Learning. The team comprising of Drs Sowmya Shetty, Matthew Nangle, Jessica Zachar and Nicole Stormon were recognised by this prestigious award for their ongoing work in an early years' program change embracing specific technology enhanced learning, novel collaborative team teaching, leveraging student staff partnerships to embed authentic student input and co-creation of digital assets with over 20 student partners and finally for driving authentic teaching and assessment strategies: all to infuse clinical relevance into the early years of the BDSc Hons Program to improve student engagement and learning outcomes.

The EYLiD team acknowledges the support from current and past school leadership and the vast contributions from multiple teaching and learning teams led by the EYELiD members, at UQ Dentistry. Additionally the team is grateful for the 30+ student partner grants from UQ SSP initiative, two library grants from UQ Library that enabled newer videos and OERs to be co-created and finally the Digital Learning Uplift Team that assisted us in creation of newer assets in 2022. The team is immensely grateful to Prof Pauline Ford, our previous Head of School who mentored us all and led a Technology Enhanced Grant back in 2015, creating the foundation on which this team and its initiatives were built and greatly nurtured.

Previously, in 2022, Sowmya was awarded a HABS Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (COCSL). She was nominated for her teaching practice and the support of learning that influences, motivates and inspires students to learn, utilising authentic simulation and engagement strategies to foster critical thinking approaches and motivate dental students towards life-long learning. She is also part of the 2022 award winning UQ Dental Clinical Simulation Team led by Dr Jessica Zachar. This team was awarded a HABS Excellence in Clinical and Professional Skills Education (ECLiPSE) Award for their work in independantly designing and implementing a sustainable, novel dentally relevant emergency training module for year 3-5 BDSc Hons students at UQ.

Previously she has served in a range of service roles within UQ Dentistry since starting in 2011, including Research Higher Degrees Coordinator, interim Teaching and Learning Chair, Program Coordinator, External Engagement and Placements Coordinator and more recently as Student Experience Coordinator for 2022.

She is currently focussed on student partnerships for improving course design, assessment and feedback, and is motivated to improve clinical and observational placement experiences for students especially in interprofessional education. She is currently working on creating open educational resources in collaboration with year 1-3 course coordinators with a view to co-design custom open access textbooks for UQ dentistry courses. These are being developed with student partner contribution and feedback, via Student Staff Partnership grants through UQ.

Her research interests stemming from her PhD primarily focussed on dental materials testing, especially methodology. She worked to understand dentine permeability and its relationship to both tooth sensitivity and dentine bonding effectiveness; virtual surface mapping in tooth wear; CAD/CAM, fatigue test design and evaluation; fracture surface analysis and failure forecasting. Dental Materials is a primary focus of her teaching portfolio in the early years of the dentistry curriculum.