Connected Conversations | Dr Danijela Menicanin

What happens when you love your work and you’re asked to stay home? You adapt and start planning for the future! We spoke to senior lecturer, Dr Danijela Menicanin to learn about the innovation in teaching and student engagement she’s working on, in our latest edition of Connected Conversations.

Dr Danijela Menicanin

Tell us about yourself.

I am Danijela, senior lecturer, education specialist at the Adelaide Medical School and a course coordinator of Human Anatomy and Physiology. Every year I am very excited to welcome hundreds of first-year students into our world, to join them in the lecture theatres, tutorial rooms and laboratories and witness their learning as they embark upon their academic journey, as well as their growth, as they transition into life at the University. I live at Mawson Lakes, with my husband and our adopted cat–I think both of them feel a little overwhelmed by the amount of attention they’ve been getting from me lately!

What do you miss most about physically being at University?

I miss the students and seeing my friends and colleagues. I have now realised how much fun I used to have at work every day–I miss that. 

Has the current situation enabled you to do more/less in your area of work/research? 

A change in my schedule and work scenery has prompted and provided space for a surge in creativity and I have dedicated a lot of time to development of novel teaching resources and ways to engage and interact with the students. 

What opportunities do you see for the future?

I am truly excited about all the innovation to come out of this time to change the way we deliver our teaching and communicate with students. I am passionate about student engagement and their experience at the University and so I am really looking forward to the many improvements I see coming our way.

Name one thing during this time that has been pleasantly surprising for you.

Human adaptability. 

What are you doing to stay motivated?

I have always been in love with my work, so creating and innovating in my field keeps me motivated. However, to maintain motivation through the moments of struggle and anxiety I turn to yoga, meditation, music, journaling and exercising at the beach.

What are you doing to stay connected to your peers, friends, family etc? 

Zoom dinner dates, WhatsApp group chats (awesome for meme sharing!) and social media.

What’s the best advice you have heard to stay positive during this time?

I’ve heard two things I like... ‘embrace discomfort–it’s where the best lessons hide’ and ‘let go of the need to control–we were never in control of much anyway.’

Name three things you won’t miss about this current moment in time.

Worrying about friends and family all over the world, a lack of travel and lack of hugs. 

And the three things you won’t forget…

Being witness to the entire planet stopped in its tracks; being reminded of what truly matters and all the amazing online courses I am currently taking!

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