Helping hand: Meet Anna Maldoni

05 October 2020

Crawford School introduces our fantastic staff, so you can meet the people of Asia and the Pacific’s leading graduate policy school.

Today, Graduate Research and Academic Skills Advisor Anna Maldoni chats about working together with students to improve their academic skills, and making their day a little brighter on the way.

What is your role at Crawford School and what do you enjoy most about it?

My role at Crawford School is Graduate Research and Academic Skills Advisor. A key part of my role is to provide support mechanisms for students to develop and strengthen the academic and research skills they need to succeed in graduate study. I also assist students to develop new ways of thinking and learning within course-specific frameworks, which promote a reflective and analytical approach to study. This helps students feel confident and well-equipped with the essential academic language and literacy skills to transition to graduate study and engage fully in academic life.

I joined Crawford at the beginning of 2019 and I absolutely love working here. One of the main reasons I wanted to work for the Crawford School is because of its unique way of academic skills provision, which is embedded within the school, and is dedicated to Crawford students. I am located where the students and teachers are, and this allows me to provide a more personalised, directed, and intensive academic support program experience for students. I offer a multi-modal approach to learning across a variety of services ranging from pre-sessional programs (PSP) at the beginning of students’ academic study programs, and individualised consultations. I work with academic staff and students within classes to provide academic, discipline-specific, and targeted support.

Can you tell us about one of your personal highlights working at Crawford School?

One of my personal highlights of working at Crawford happens on a daily basis. Whenever I meet students at the start of a workshop or a consultation, I see the worried and anxious looks on their faces, which usually about an aspect of their learning or an assignment they can’t seem to make heads or tails of. When they walk out of my office or classroom, their expressions turn into sighs of relief and the stress leaves their body, leaving smiles on their faces from ear to ear. When this happens, I know that I have made a difference not only to those students’ ability to cope with the requirements of academic study, but also on a personal level, to their mental and emotional well-being.

Describe your home office for us.

My home office consists of two computers, my desktop and my laptop, which I use in tandem to provide academic and personal support via online learning forums such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. My cats have become part of the furniture now, sitting behind me and providing both motivation and companionship to get through the long days.

What do you enjoy most about working from home/ what do you miss most?

At first, the idea of working from home seemed impossible but now I have become a master of multi-tasking and managing several deadlines simultaneously. I do, however, miss the face-to-face interaction with students, and I know they do too. Some students have felt isolated and lonely during the pandemic, particularly our international students who don’t have family in Canberra. If I can be the shining light in students’ eyes by connecting with them and easing this sense of loneliness, then this is probably more important than any other role I am tasked with at the moment.

Tell us something about yourself that people might not know, or would findsurprising.

Students would most likely find surprising that I am a connoisseur of coffee (well, not really, but I do like a good cup of coffee and I am very fussy)! Every day I make an effort to leave my house to support my local café and buy a great tasting and well-made cappuccino. It must be skim and extra frothy. This is because many baristas unfortunately do not know the difference between a latte and a cappuccino, so I provide instructions to help them get it right! My coffee gives me great sense of peace and satisfaction. I thoroughly believe that everyone should do something they enjoy at least once in the day.

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