Ivo Ponocny and Elisabeth Ponocny-Seliger win excellence award for outstanding teaching

At MODUL University Vienna, teaching and research are twin pillars which keep our education future-oriented and top notch. To further promote and recognise excellence among our faculty, Dr. Florian Aubke, Dean of the Bachelor programs, awards a lecturer, or in some cases lecturers, who have shone in their teaching duties with an excellence award for ‘’Outstanding Teaching Performance’’.

Dr. Ivo Ponocny of the Department of Applied Statistics and Economics and his wife, Dr. Elisabeth Ponocny-Seliger a Clinical and Occupational Psychologist specialising in empirical and gender research, jointly conducted the seminar Social Psychology in Organizations in the 2017 spring semester.

Social psychology is the science of human cognition, emotion and behaviour in the context of the social environment. The course covers the topics of schemas and heuristics, perception of others and oneself, cognitive dissonance, attitudes and prejudices, persuasion and attitude change, conformism, well-being, conflicts, altruistic behaviour, and aggression. This basic knowledge is then applied to occupational psychology, i.e. the psychology of the working place, dealing with issues such as work motivation and satisfaction, performance, stress management, mental health, and leadership.

To engage students deeper with the topic, the Ponocnys engage students with interactive elements, in particular classroom experiments and practical social skills exercises such as roleplays, and the discussion of real-life case examples with an experienced occupational psychologist, Dr. Ponocny-Seliger.

‘’We are extremely proud about this award, as well as the opportunity to give a lecture in psychology as a couple - for the first time, having waited for 25 years!’’ she laughs.

‘’It was an incredible experience to see how much the students shared our enthusiasm for psychological debates, role plays and exercises. We will neither forget the group dynamics following a dirty solution of the spaghetti tower challenge, nor the really scary role play performances of participants when acting out workplace abysses. After all, we are confident that our students will bring psychology into their daily business and shine in discussions when they will use all the psychological vocabulary they have learned!’’

Congratulations to Ivo and Elisabeth on their fantastic work!