Professional Achievement - Research

Charles Sturt University Distinguished Alumnus of the Year – Professional Achievement – Research

This award recognises outstanding leaders in their field of research who have made or are making a significant difference in both local and/or wider communities.


Name: Dr. Balwinder Singh
Career: Scientist, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico
Studies: 2012, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Agriculture)

Balwinder Singh working as Research Scientist with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is providing intellectual and technical leadership to priority thematic areas for CIMMYT, including cropping systems design to build resilience, enhance profitability, and permit diversification. Balwinder Singh leads research work on developing technologies and strategies for addressing the productivity and sustainability challenges in cereal systems in South Asia focusing on natural resources conservation. Balwinder is leading CIMMYT’s environmental analytics work in South Asia. He is leading R4Dprojects funded by BMGF, USAID, ACIAR, UKAID. He also worked with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in Los Banos, Philippines as post-doctoral fellow. He is recipient of John Allwright Fellowship from Australian Center for International Agriculture Research, Australia.

Balwinder Singh

Highly Commended

Name: Ms. Caroline Variath
Career: Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness, Humber College ITAL
Studies: 2013, Master of Nursing

Caroline Variath graduated in 2013 with a Master of Nursing. She is currently a professor at the University of New Brunswick and Humber IATL collaborative Bachelor of Nursing program in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is also a PhD Candidate in nursing, with a specialization in bioethics at the University of Toronto. Her research interests stem from the ethical dilemmas surrounding end-of-life care that she encountered in 16-years of clinical practice. Her research focuses on end-of-life care. Through her work, she hopes to change society’s and healthcare providers’ perceptions of death as a failure, to increase awareness about death and dying, and to improve the end-of-life care that patients receive.


This award recognises alumni who are, in their professional role, making a significant and positive impact on their communities, their industry or the world.

Other criteria

  1. Alumni who demonstrate outstanding contributions to a workplace, profession or industry (local or international). This might include:
    1. undertaking entrepreneurial challenges
    2. driving new opportunities for their workplace or industry
    3. participation in mentoring programs and/or industry award recipients.
  2. Alumni who demonstrate through their work, professional or community, alignment with one or all of the University’s values of insightful, inclusive, impactful and inspiring.
  • Process guidelines and policy


    The Alumni Award nominations will be assessed by an internal University committee.  Award recipients who have been nominated by someone else will be contacted to ensure they are happy to formally accept the nomination prior to formal advice being sent out.