Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (CSU), Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) (The University of Melbourne)
After growing up in Wagga, Gene completed his undergraduate psychology degree (honours – Class 1) at Charles Sturt University, after which he worked in rural Community Health, before completing his clinical psychology doctorate training at The University of Melbourne. Both his honours and doctorate theses were in the area of post-trauma reactions in emergency service personnel.
After working for a time in metropolitan child and adolescent mental health, Gene worked for Melbourne University at the Centre for Rural Mental Health in Bendigo. Here his responsibilities included: coordinator and clinician for a depression and anxiety clinic; rural mental health research; primary mental health care (including GP) education and training; clinical psychology intern supervision; psychiatry registrar supervision; and student teaching. The Centre for Rural Mental Health footprint included from Swan Hill and Echuca in the north down to Castlemaine, Maryborough and Kyneton in the south.
As a clinical psychologist Gene has also worked at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a clinical trial of Interpersonal Counselling for physical trauma patients, as well as in private practice. He was also Senior Lecturer at Monash University coordinating and teaching into the Psychological Medicine rural rotation for medical students at Bendigo Rural Clinical School.
Gene returned to Wagga to commence working at Charles Sturt University in 2006 as a lecturer in psychology. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2009, and Associate Professor in 2017. During this time he was Sub-Dean Honours (Faculty of Arts) and Associate Head of School (School of Psychology). In 2017-18 Gene undertook a secondment where he worked at the Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health based in the Faculty of Science at CSU, where he was the Clinical Education Academic Lead and coordinator of the Clinical Training Unit.
After returning to the School and until recently, Gene was Associate Head of School (Learning and Teaching).
The philosophy that guides Gene's teaching is to engage in an active teaching method aimed at promoting a high level of engagement for students with the subject material, whilst allowing room for reflective practice. He values ongoing learning and teaching, and endeavours to take into account individual student factors as well as the teaching context.
Gene aims to show great care and compassion for his students, with his teaching being highly student-centric. Skills that he tries to embody in his teaching include collaboration and inclusion whilst being an agent of change. Critical reflection is core to his teaching philosophy. Occasionally when quantitative student feedback is low or he receives constructive critical qualitative feedback from students, he accepts these and uses them to improve his teaching in subsequent sessions.
With the aim of enhancing student learning, Gene's focus is on utilising two learning strategies in his subjects. Firstly, to utilise where possible a 'flipped classroom' approach, a type of blended learning where he aims for students to complete the lower levels (according to Bloom's revised taxonomy) of cognitive work (gaining knowledge and comprehension) outside of class, while focusing on the higher forms of cognitive work (application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation) in class, where they have his support and that of their peers. Secondly, he draws upon his clinical and research experience to motivate and illustrate psychological concepts for students, providing real-world case examples and discussions.
Gene has coordinated and taught subjects at all year levels at CSU: undergraduate (1st, 2nd & 3rd year); honours and postgraduate diploma (4th year); clinical masters (5th year); and professional doctorate (7th year). He has coordinated both internal and online subjects, along with both coursework and research subjects, focusing specifically on applied and clinical psychology subjects.
In recognition of Gene's teaching he received the CSU Faculty of Arts Teaching Excellence Award in 2016.
Gene's desire is to create knowledge that has meaning, by engaging with stakeholders, and producing outcomes that have an impact. Given his background as a clinical psychologist, working in rural mental health and with police, his research has focused on 3 areas:
Related to these 3 domains Gene has produced refereed journal articles, book chapters, non-refereed journal articles, non-refereed conference presentations, and commissioned reports. In 2021 according to Scopus his h-index = 15 and citations = 673 (and Google Scholar h-index = 20 and citations = 1,452).
Gene enjoys supervising research students at all levels, with completed and current student numbers as of 2021: