Category Archives: Staff Success

UC Professor named Outstanding Contribution to Spatial winner

The New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA) have named Assistant Vice-Chancellor Strategic Projects Professor Wendy Lawson as winner of their Outstanding Contribution to Spatial Award for 2019.

The Outstanding Contribution to Spatial Award recognises an individual who has contributed significantly to the spatial sector throughout their career, including furthering the reach of the sector, driving capabilities needed to support and grow the sector overall and providing leadership in key areas.

Professor Lawson was nominated by the NZSEA Steering Committee, which is made up of representatives from the foundation partners including, Land Information New Zealand, Survey and Spatial New Zealand and Spatial Industries Business Association.

Choosing to select a winner from an academic background this year, the committee found Professor Lawson’s background and experience to be unparalleled, calling her a true leader in her field.

Please join us in congratulating Professor Lawson on this prestigious award.

For more on the 2019 NZSEA Awards, click here>

2019 Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards

Two UC academics will be recognised at this year’s Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards, hosted by Hon Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, later this month.

Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Awards recognise the country’s top tertiary teachers and we’re proud to confirm that Dr Heather Purdie from our College of Science | Te Rāngai Pūtaiao and Dr Masayoshi Ogino from our College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata have been recognised for their sustained excellence in tertiary teaching.

Dr Heather Purdie is passionate about geography, fascinated by glaciers and inspired by her father’s footsteps.

Heather’s teaching approach uses pūrākau or storytelling and experiential learning, bringing the outside in and connecting students to the environment. She embeds sound and innovative pedagogical practice into her teaching through her use of the real field and her reimagining of the field in the classroom – bringing the outdoors in.

Her commitment to integrating Te Reo Māori and Te Ao Māori in her teaching practice is particularly commendable. She has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to teaching over a number of years and she has sought opportunities to use her expertise to enhance the quality of teaching in her Faculty and beyond.

Heather demonstrates a dynamic, engaging and student-centred approach to teaching and her students testify to this.

“You could really tell she is passionate about geography…it rubs off on you and pushes you to want to know more.” 

Dr Masayoshi Ogino teaching style is based on a strongly-held belief that “Connections created through language and culture can engender empathy, compassion and a better understanding of oneself and others.” 

Dr Ogino’s pioneering of the online World Café Forums for Japanese Language Educators, which in 2018 attracted 60 educators from 15 countries, is an achievement for which he has developed an international reputation. 

He has created a multi-layered learning environment featuring a learner-focussed course design and networks his students with groups in the local and internet community.  This support of learning intentionally echoes traditional Māori support systems – where more experienced tuākana guide less experienced teina. 

One of his students have referred to him as a “life changing lecturer” and another described him as “super helpful, super kind and incredibly understanding.” 

“[Masa] ensures that students of all levels engage with their learning community.”  

UC Sustainability Awards

UC celebrated sustainability champions yesterday at the annual UC Sustainability Awards, presented by Vice-Chancellor | Tumu Whakarae Professor Cheryl de la Rey. 

Supreme Award winner Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward led the way with her international involvement in the IPCC reports and her incredible community engagement and there were many more excellent projects that received accolades as well. 

  • Winner Supreme Award: Associate Professor Bronwyn Hayward
  • Winner Academic Staff – Team: Environmental Science staff team
  • Winner: Student Research: Helena Ruffell for Wastewater treatment plants as a source of microplastics to the environment
  • Winner Student-Led Project Individual: Courtney Wright-Watson for Envirosoc
  • Winner Student-Led Project Team: Amelia Dewhurst, Rose Bayldon, Florence Ferguson, Josh Watson for the Christchurch Climate Challenge
  • Winner General Staff – Individual: Linda Morris for a lifetime of reusing, repurposing and recycling
  • Winner General Staff – Team: Haere-roa/UCSA Building Project Team for Wellbeing Precinct Low Carbon Energy Scheme

Read more and watch the videos here

Winners of the 2019 Staff of the Year Awards Announced

The winners of the 2019 Staff of the Year Awards were announced recently at a ceremony held in the new Students’ Association building, Haere-roa.

Since 1995, the awards have given students an opportunity to nominate and vote for UC’s most inspiring and dedicated staff, both academic and non-academic. Congratulations to this year’s winners and nominees!

Award Winners

  • Lecturer of the Year Arts: Sergio Redondo
  • Lecturer of the Year Business & Law: Dr Steve Agnew
  • Lecturer of the Year Education: Dr Valerie Sotardi
  • Lecturer of the Year Engineering: Professor Alessandro Palermo
  • Lecturer of the Year Science: Associate Professor Ashley Garrill and Dr Dean Sutherland
  • Supervisor of the Year: Tammy Steeves
  • Administrator of the Year: Heather Couch
  • Technical Staff of the Year: Gavin Blackwell

Student Make your Own Awards

  • Vaccine Enthusiast Award: AP Alex James
  • Bearded Friend of the Free Folk Award: Cameron Bell
  • Foot Firmly in Mouth Award: Professor Clemency Montelle
  • Woman of the Year Award: Heather Couch
  • Best Lecture Props Award: Dr Heather Purdie
  • Most Likely To Have To See A Guy About A Cat Award: Dr Karyn Stewart
  • Most Likely to Start a Podcast Award: AP Ken Morrison
  • Loudest Shirts Award: Professor Philip Armstrong
  • The ‘Like All Good War Heroes He Became an Economist’ Award for Best Quote: Associate Professor Emeritus Stratford Douglas

Exec Special Awards

  • Rīpeka Tamanui-Hurunui
  • Lynn McClelland
  • Dr Abby Suszko
  • Chloe Wium
  • Steve Gibling

Major Awards

  • Superstar of the Year: Riki Welsh
  • Great Character of the Year: Chris Hann
  • Lecturer of the Year: Professor Alessandro Palermo

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Over 1000 years – UC Length of service celebrations

At recent ceremonies in August and September over 60 staff were presented with length of service certificates over celebratory morning teas, held in the John Britten Conference Foyer.

Vice-Chancellor Tumu Whakarae Professor Cheryl de la Rey and Executive Director Human Resources Paul O’Flaherty made the presentations.

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Awards were made to recognise 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years of service at UC – a total of over 1000 years of service! Professor de la Rey spoke appreciatively of people’s service, the value of people’s institutional memory, and the contribution this makes to future direction choices.

Additional ceremonies will be held in 2020 in order to continue celebrating staff from across UC some of whom are due for as many as 45 years’ service!

UC Admin Plus are working with HR on these ceremonies and a separate ceremony for academic staff is also planned.

If you would like more information about UC Admin Plus please refer to the Sharepoint site here> or email Catherine Woods to be given access.