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The Turnitin Global Innovation Awards (GIA) recognize students, educators, administrators, and institutions worldwide with a passion for academic integrity. These individuals champion the innovative and effective use of Turnitin to support learning through curriculum initiatives, conversations, and campus-wide efforts. Students can also be ambassadors for integrity by leading initiatives on or off campus and by modeling academic honesty within their own work. Turnitin seeks to acknowledge this contribution through our global programs and campaigns such as the Global Innovation Awards.

This year, Turnitin received an impressive number of GIA candidates that embody the spirit and strength of education. Three individuals, in particular, stood out as exemplary illustrations of student advocacy and integrity at their own institutions.


Azin Aminian, from Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, strives to uphold a high standard of integrity in her research and assignments. She understands that producing valid and trustworthy work requires a lot of forethought and consideration, especially in the field of research:

“Having integrity both in personal and academic life is very important. When you do the right thing, [and] you are honest and responsible for your actions, you are practicing integrity. This is also essential for everyone who enters the workforce, especially leaders and managers who may come across ethical situations in which they are required to build trust or resolve conflicts.”

As a student in the Master’s Program of Project Management, Azin sees tools like Turnitin as a resource and often seeks the guidance and advice from the lecturers with whom she has developed strong relationships. She recommends that students chat with professors as often as possible, learning from their feedback, in addition to taking workshops on integrity or writing at their institution, so that they can familiarize themselves with ways to manage academic obstacles. Following the Global Innovation Awards, Azin plans to continue working hard and practicing integrity in her everyday life.


Karen Sheldrake, a postgraduate student studying education at the Coleg Sir Gâr in Wales, understands all too well the life challenges faced by students in pursuit of a degree. Despite being diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of her Bachelor of Arts program, she decided to stick with her studies. To remain strong and focused, she always thought of herself first and foremost as a student, rather than a cancer patient. She submitted assignments from afar with Turnitin and received the invaluable support of the college and her tutor, all of which helped her to graduate on time.

Karen feels that tools like Turnitin can help students to feel like they are part of a global learning community and provide a greater sense of belonging. Technology, to Karen, allows her to connect with other students around the world, who could also be facing similar challenges in their personal life.

“I have my annual check-up at the Breast Cancer Clinic in two weeks so will inform them of my success and hope to start up a support group for those facing the same challenges I did. This is just proof that with the right support and positive mindset, the sky's the limit…”


Emilia Illana Mahiques, who was nominated by her colleague Robert Butler, works with undergraduate students and faculty at the University of Iowa. As both a Graduate Teaching Assistant (TA) in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Acquisition program, Emilia seamlessly shifts between the learner and instructor worlds. Within the university’s Language Media Center (LMC), Emilia and her colleagues promote professional development for faculty and students, working to stay up-to-date on the many resources available and troubleshooting with individuals as they advance their research.

“Emilia’s research connecting writing in a foreign language with the academic integrity of writing with Turnitin encourages others to experiment and engage in strong and innovative teaching practices.” (Brianna Janssen Sánchez, Director, Language Media Center, University of Iowa)

Emilia designed a project for her students that prioritized a process-based teaching style as opposed to a product-based, using Turnitin to manage her workflow from draft to draft. Throughout her practice, Emilia has personally tackled challenges regarding teacher workload, peer review training, and the provision of materials when guiding review sessions, enhancing learning for her students and inspiring her peers:

“[Emilia’s] research project advances the field of online peer review in the study of Foreign Language Learning by attempting to understand the peer review process while analyzing in greater depth, the perspective of the feedback-giver. It is in this respect that Turnitin Feedback Studio has been an essential tool in her pursuit of greater understanding and valuable implications for language teaching and writing." (Robert Butler, Instructional Support Specialist, University of Iowa)  


Check out all of the 2018 Global Innovator stories here