Category Archives: Staff stories

Who won the 2017 Supreme Sustainability Award?

Nominations for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards are now open!

To celebrate, we caught up with the Supreme Winner from 2017, Glynne Mackey. We wanted to share her story of sustainability and social justice with you, and inspire you to think of who you will nominating for a Sustainability Award this year.

Nominations for the Sustainability Awards are open from now until  31 August. The nomination forms and all the information can be found on our website.

In the meantime, enjoy hearing from Glynne Mackey, Senior Lecturer in the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

L-R: Glynne Mackey, Wendy Lawson and Matt Morris

Introduce yourself!

Nga mihi nui.

Sustainability and social justice has been significant during my childhood and young adult years. As a primary school teacher, I could see how excited and engaged children became when learning about their world; the environment; their relationships with their family, place and community. Since I began lecturing in 2004, I have been involved in teaching courses on sustainability and social justice to both early childhood and primary UC students.

You’re a senior lecturer in teacher education. Tell us about your work at UC, and how you came to develop courses on sustainability and social justice.

I came as a lecturer in the early childhood programmes at the College of Education. A colleague was trialling a year 3 course for preservice early childhood teachers and I asked to be involved. It is great to be able to teach in the area where I have interest and passion. This was a compulsory course and gave all EC teachers the knowledge and confidence to take their learning into teaching teams where they were employed. Since 2012, Sustainability and Social Justice has been an option for all EC and Primary students in the final year of their degree. I have worked with other inspired lecturers in this course, each has added new perspectives and new energy. The course now has a focus on the values associated with sustainability and social justice, such as caring for self, others and the environment; being an advocate for children and the environment; recognising children’s agency; teachers and children taking action in the community; and reflecting on how they, as teachers, have a responsibility to the centre or school community to uphold the principles of sustainability and social justice.

My involvement is not just about teaching. I have joined University groups and committees and presently on the UC Sustainability Reference Group. I have also developed a Sustainability Strategy for the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

What has been a significant moment for you on this journey?

There have been several moments! The most powerful moments come from past students I meet who tell me what the course still means to their teaching practice and how they have continued to make it part of their teaching commitment and philosophy. I know from their enthusiasm that children will be contributing to make their communities a better place.

Another significant moment has been to have had influence on the document for all teachers in Aotearoa New Zealand. ‘Our Code. Our Standards’ (Education Council, 2017) sets out the professional responsibilities for the teaching profession ‘in shaping futures by promoting and protecting the principles of human rights, sustainability and social justice’.  With the statement now embedded in the document, there will be a requirement for teacher education, teacher registration and professional development programmes to show evidence of how this professional responsibility will be achieved from early childhood, through primary and secondary.

You won the Supreme Award at the 2017 Sustainability Awards! Wow! Could you tell us more about this?

Amazing! When I counted up the years I have been teaching degree courses and the number of students involved, it becomes apparent that education has the power to change and impact on the learning of children and young people. The ripples from the courses have spread widely into early childhood and primary. Winning the award is recognition of the importance of teacher education to lead change and build relationships and my role in being part of that.  I am encouraged by UC initiatives that promote research and teaching in areas of sustainability and social justice.

Where to next for you?

Through my research, I have made strong international connections with a growing research community involved in early childhood education for sustainability. These connections continue to provide opportunity for me to collaborate in academic publications, attend international conferences and contribute to international documents on education for sustainability and social justice.

My present research with colleagues will produce a resource for teachers to reflect, review and document their sustainability practices and explore social justice issues. The resource or tool kit easily accessed by all teachers is intended to motivate and inspire teaching teams and individual teachers to extend their sustainable practices and respond in a meaningful way to social and cultural issues in their educational setting.

This message was brought to you by the UC Sustainability Office. Stay connected and follow us on FacebookInstagram or sign up to our newsletter to stay in the loop about campus sustainability. This blog is part of our communications plan for the 2019 UC Sustainability Awards. For more information, and for the Awards nomination form, see our website.

The Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management celebrates 10 years

On Friday 12 July the Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management celebrated its ten year-anniversary at Riccarton House.

Attendees included champions from a decade ago, Waterways members and core staff, members of the Waterways Advisory Committee, other external stakeholders plus past and current students. Milestones and achievements noted include the development of five Water Resource Management (WRM) undergraduate courses, and the WRM PG Diploma, Masters and PhD qualifications. Ninety-nine WRM postgraduates have graduated, including 5 PhDs. More generally Waterways has overcome some of the logistical challenges of delivering a teaching and research centre across two very different universities.

The celebration coincided with Jenny Webster-Brown’s last day as Waterways Director, and without exception guest speakers noted Jenny’s hard work and dedication with deep gratitude and appreciation.


Current and past Waterways staff


Professor Jenny Webster-Brown


David Painter, Jenny Webster-Brown and John Bright

CELEBRATING FRESH THINKING: PROFESSORIAL LECTURE SERIES

Join me in celebrating the very substantive contribution to academe made by Professor Richard Watt and Professor Jędrzej Białkowski in the next presentation in the Professorial Lecture Series for 2019.

Date:               Thursday 1 August from 4.30 – 6.00pm

Location:        E14 – Engineering Core

I encourage all staff and postgraduate students to attend this lecture, to actively support our new Professors, and take the opportunity to appreciate the fantastic research being undertaken in parts of the university we may be less familiar with.

“The Economics of Music and the Music of Economics” – Presented by Professor Richard Watt, Department of Economics & Finance

Economics, in one way or another, is concerned with decision making – choosing the optimal course of action from among those available. As such, one of the principal applications of economics is to study decision making along the value chain of goods and services in an economy, or more generally, decision making in “markets”. A study of a market begins with the entrepreneurial actions of bringing together inputs (raw materials, labour, capital, etc.) to create something useful, then the resulting goods and services must be made available to the consuming public (decisions around transportation, and retailing), and finally the consumers themselves decide which of them to consume (depending on their income, their preferences, and the prices of the goods and services that are available). Of all of the goods and services that circulate in an economy, “music” is one of the most fascinating, with a series of particular circumstances that have tested standard economic theory in many ways. In this talk, Professor Watt will outline the economics of the “music market”, touching on its special characteristics and the economic institutions that have evolved, and that continue to evolve, to contribute to the music market being functional, profitable, and welfare enhancing.

“Greener than a Greenback: Might the idea of socially responsible investing change the finance industry?” – Presented by Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski, Department of Economics and Finance. 

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the idea of socially responsible (or sustainable and responsible) investing (SRI) has become increasingly popular, attracting a substantial amount of investors’ money and moving from a niche investing strategy to a mainstream one. SRI market participants typically seek to achieve financial returns combined with consideration of some aspect of firms’ environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) profiles. Given the rapid proliferation of green financial products, the increasing assets under management and the differences across the products, it is important to understand this growth and the investor demand behind it.

Professor Jedrzej Bialkowski will discuss the past, current trends and the challenges faced by so-called green finance. In particular, he will focus on the behaviour of SRI investors and the performance of different types of assets in terms of risk/return profile and exposure to ESG values. Light will be shed on the importance of regulations for the development of socially responsible investing.

Professor Ian Wright

Deputy Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Tuarua

 

 

Workplace Visits Enhance Student Employability Skills

Visiting behind the scenes of a workplace and talking to professionals is a valuable experience for all students and helps give international students a glimpse of Kiwi workplace culture.

Staff in UC Service Departments have been supporting student learning by showing their office spaces and communicating what they do, the opportunities in their profession and what skills are most valued. Sometimes they even get inspiration from students.

Data Science student, Manju Sabareesh, shares her experience:

“I attended a workplace visit organised by UC Careers on 30 July.  This was a great chance to meet the analytics team of UC on the 5th floor of Central Library and discover how the department is set up to work for a such a huge organisation. Meg from UC Careers introduced us to Cameron Mair, who is a Business Analyst within the Business Insight and Reporting Team. 

Cameron explained how the team play with data and make meaningful reports and dashboards to help Management and Marketing teams work efficiently. They deal with big projects and a lot of ad-hoc queries. One  interesting issue that they are working on is “space” analysis and a UC computer science student is involved with the team in counting current space utilisation. By checking how the existing spaces at UC are utilised they can cater for an increase in new courses and students, so this analysis helps the university to grow. Amazing, isn’t?

Cameron kept on patiently answering our questions and we four enthusiastic students gave our minds and ears to his talk. He mentioned that his team has a diverse range of skills and is evolving through new tools and techniques to provide more live and interactive dashboards. I learned that they are moving from Cognos to Power BI and Cameron does presentations of his reports to internal clients in a story telling mode.

I asked him to consider creating events involving data science, financecomputer science students in hackathons to explore and develop some relevant issues at UC. He liked the idea and I am excited to see that he is making it happen along with WiTSoc and CompSoc on 13 and 14 July. This visit turned out to be a fruitful networking opportunity for mutual advantage!”

– Manju Sabareesh

Chronicle Autumn/Winter 2019

Chronicle is out! It’s a collection of some of the best stories of the year to date in a beautiful package with Type-C killer whales on the cover (thank you Regina Eisert/TPAonIce)!

Read it online here or grab a copy from the stands around campus.

Chronicle is one of the ways we keep our alumni, stakeholders and schools informed and inspired. It covers a diverse range of topics from the colleges and across the university, with everything from sex ed for the #metoo generation to motorsport to shape-changing titanium oxide – and much more.

Thank you to everyone who contributed. Please direct any feedback to communications@canterbury.ac.nz.