Category Archives: Staff Success

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.

School of Music to host Grammy award nominated quartet

The UC School of Music Kura Puoro is delighted to be hosting the Grammy-nominated Los Angeles Percussion Quartet (LAPQ) in September. A special one-night-only concert in The Great Hall at the Arts Centre is being presented on Monday September 23. This concert forms the second in a series of three concerts in partnership with The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora.

Senior Lecturer, Dr. Justin DeHart is one of the founding members of this world-class contemporary chamber music ensemble. Since 2009, the LAPQ has forged a distinct identity that is dedicated to commissioning and presenting new works for percussion quartet.

Percussion quartet has gained popularity over the last two decades with the advent of DIY chamber groups and the rise of post-minimal music making combining rock aesthetics with electronica and experimental genres. Justin says, “The dynamic as a musician in quartet is just pure fun: the give and take and communicative aspect of a more intimate group”.

For LAPQ the percussion quartet medium has been an exciting medium to explore and commission new repertoire. There just isn’t the hundreds of years of percussion quartets available to use from Beethoven, Brahms, and even Stravinsky. LAPQ’s “classic” repertoire is not yet a hundred years old!

Justin is particularly excited to share his new home country with his fellow quartet members. “I am excited to introduce the group to all the wonderful people I have met here, and have some time for them to experience a bit of the culture.”

While in Christchurch LAPQ will also perform a concert with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra playing the world premiere of Gyre (Ghosts with Accents), a piece written for them by UC lecturer and Adjunct Senior Fellow, James Gardner. James says, “I feel doubly lucky to have been offered this commission. For one thing, being asked to write for the LAPQ is an honour, as well as a technical challenge. I was keen to draw on the players’ expertise and finesse on many instruments as well as their enthusiasm and – here and there – their improvisational skills. The second aspect is to write for the CSO, whose programmes over the last few years have been consistently innovative and have featured New Zealand composers.”

James took the “slightly unusual decision” to focus on ‘unpitched’ percussion in his writing for solo quartet. He says this was “partly because I didn’t want to rely on pitch/harmony for the quartet writing (the orchestra is large enough to provide harmony) and partly because I wanted to showcase the subtleties and richness that can be drawn from such a variety of objects in the hands of such fabulous performers.”

The concert in the Great Hall on September 23 will be their New Zealand debut performance solely as a quartet.

This concert will feature modern works written for percussion quartet with and without electronics. They will perform some of their signature recent commissions from the West Coast of the United States alongside some seminal classics from the region. The concert will feature virtuosic displays of rhythm, sound, light, and movement on over 60 different percussion instruments from around the world, including drums, marimbas, conch shells, tin cans, cricket callers, wooden rulers, and a lion’s roar.

“Percussion still has an aspect of novelty despite it coming out of from the back of the orchestra in the early 20th century”, Justin says. “I think that when people normally think of percussion, they think of loud repeated rhythm, and perhaps barbaric rituals. With our concerts, audiences will be able to experience an often neglected side of percussion—a side of percussion that is far more expressive, sophisticated, and intriguing.”

Tickets for the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet at The Great Hall can be purchased online for $20 waged, $10 unwaged. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to experience the cutting edge of what percussion quartets are currently capable of!

Apply now: Fulbright Scholars Applications for 2020

Awards for NZ professionals, academics and artists.

From the personal to the professional, Fulbright creates lasting, meaningful connections in a complex and changing world.

Scholar Awards aren’t just for academics – Fulbright is encouraging professionals, artists and other leaders to apply. There are a large variety of UC institutions who host Scholars – from universities or colleges, to museums, non-profits, think-tanks – any organisation with a research or lecturing component.

The awards are valued at up to US$37,500 towards three to five months of lecturing and/or research at US institutions.

Applications must be received by 1 October.

Read more here, or download a PDF of the Fulbright NZ Scholar Brochure here>

If you have any questions about the NZ Scholar Awards, contact Lauren Parsons at Fulbright New Zealand.

Read more about UC’s relationship with Fulbright here>

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.