NZ Sign Language Introductory Courses

NZ Sign Language Introductory Courses cover finger-spelling alphabet and basic phrases, numbers, some university specific vocabulary and basic grammar. No previous NZSL experience is required and the course is open to both students and staff.

Classes will be held each Thursday of term 1 from 12noon to 12.50pm in the Puaka-James Hight building. The dates are 22 Feb, 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 March.  Handouts are provided, there is no structured homework though practicing signs between classes is encouraged to enhance your learning. 

For the course to run in term 1 there needs to be a minimum of 10 participants. Courses will be offered in terms 2, 3, and 4 most likely on the same day and time and provided there are at least 10 attendees. Please email me if you’d like to register for the term 1 course, and I will send you a payment form (the cost is $60).

Here is some feedback from a previous course:

During term 3 I was fortunate enough to learn sign language through a course offered by the University. I signed up to this course because I think as an official New Zealand language it is something we should all know the basics in. My speech and hearing is something I take for granted every day and learning sign language gave me a greater appreciation for the abilities that I have, as well as allowing me to communicate with the deaf community. I definitely intend on continuing to learn sign language, to extend my conversational skills and to continue learning about deaf culture. Sign language is a transferable skill across study, work and our day to day lives. I encourage you all to consider taking this course next time it is offered, you will learn how to sign common phrases, ask questions and master basic conversations. 

Nicola McDonald
Disability Resource Advisor
nicola.mcdonald@canterbury.ac.nz

New award as nominations for UC teaching awards and medal open

Nominations are now open for the University of Canterbury teaching awards and the UC Teaching Medal for 2018.

This year there is also a new category of award – the Outstanding Teaching Practice award, which recognises staff who have introduced an aspect of teaching that is exceptional.

All awards recognise excellence in teaching (including thesis supervision) in both undergraduate and graduate programmes. The Teaching Medal is UC’s highest award for teaching and leadership and acknowledges sustained excellence – past winners can be found on the new teaching medal website.  

Teaching awards also bring with them a financial reward.
The process to apply for all awards is simple: complete a one-step form by 1 March.  If you are even just thinking about it and want to discuss it further, feel free to contact me and I am happy to discuss it with you. Further information and nomination forms are available on the Teaching Awards or the Teaching Medal websites.

Not sure if a teaching award is for you, but want to develop your teaching in 2018 and need a financial kick start?
Consider applying for a teaching development grant of up to $10,000. Further details of the simplified grant application process is available on the teaching development grant website.

Professor Catherine Moran
Assistant Vice-Chancellor Academic | Amokapua Akoranga

Watch a video recognising Ekant Veer as the recipient of the Teaching Medal 2017 (2 min:41 sec) 

Access to new buildings

With the start of the new year, two of our major building projects are in the final stages of completion.

The return of the Mechanical and the Civil and Natural Resources Engineering wings back to the University brings the Canterbury Engineering the Future project to a close, providing our engineering staff and students with some of the most modern educational facilities available.

We also see the Ernest Rutherford now certified to allow public access and in the final processes of completion. The hoardings have been removed from around the new building and we are finally being exposed to the size, scope and potential of this amazing new building. There is no doubt excitement is mounting, and we are all keen to visit and view these new spaces.

Because there is still significant work involved in converting the finished building into functional teaching spaces, unfortunately we need to restrict general access to minimise risk until this final step has been completed. There will be ample opportunity to experience these new spaces for yourselves from the week commencing 12 February when the doors will be open for general access and a formal opening for Ernest Rutherford is planned.

In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and understanding in not trying to enter or access these buildings. This will ensure the safety of all contractors, project teams and equipment, and help make the final stages that much more efficient.

Nāhaku noa, nā
Darryn Russell

Early closing for the RecCentre due to power outage

The University of Canterbury has a campus wide power outage planned for next week, Wednesday 31st January. This means that the RecCentre will be closing earlier than usual, at 5.30pm.

So, make sure you plan your workout a little earlier for that day, or perhaps join us for an outdoor session at 5.10pm – we’ll meet on the Deck, adjacent to the RecCentre from 5pm on both nights.

Remember to leave your valuables at home or in the car, as we won’t be able to retrieve them from the centre after 5.30pm.