Tag Archives: Staff

Q&A with Cambridge Fellow Thomas Forster

Thomas Forster from the University of Cambridge, UK – Semester 2 2016.

Where you have come from and what do you teach?

I have come from the University of Cambridge, UK, where I am a Director of Studies in Mathematics and Computer Science and a lecturer in the Department of Pure Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics.  My teaching focuses on Mathematical Logic.  When I return to Cambridge I shall be lecturing courses on Set Theory and Logic for the Maths faculty and Logic-for-Linguistics for the Linguistics Faculty.

Thomas Forster group

Dr Forster (middle row, second from the right)

What interested you in being a Cambridge Fellow/Why did you want to come to UC?

I actually have dual British and New Zealand citizenship and I spend most British summers in New Zealand to escape Cambridge which is full of tourists and can be rather hot.  I have been coming to UC for a number of years where I’ve predominately worked with the Department of Philosophy (I’m actually an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Department of Philosophy).

Having previously been to UC as an Erskine Fellow I was delighted to be welcomed back as a Cambridge Fellow.

What have you been doing at UC?

I have been teaching MATH336 Foundations of Mathematics to undergraduates in the School of Mathematics and Statistics.  The course is an introduction to the philosophy of mathematics, classical and intuitionistic logic, set theory and Gödel’s theorems.  This is a 15 point course which I will teach for 9 weeks.  I’ve personally benefited from teaching this course as I will be lecturing a similar course at Cambridge in a few weeks so it’s been a good opportunity to test the material on UC’s students.

What have you most enjoyed about your time here at UC/Christchurch?

The chance to catch up with friends again both at UC and across New Zealand.  I’ve made the most of my weekends visiting friends elsewhere in the country and also hosting people in the campus house provided by UC.

I have greatly enjoyed the reading group we have had in the maths departments on Nonstandard Analysis (don’t ask) something I have always wanted to get on top of, and for which there is a body of expertise here at UC.  My final weekend I shall actually be spending at a Philosophy department retreat at Cass, a place where I have been on retreats before, and had a photograph taken of me posing in front of the railway station that Rita Angus* made famous.

*Rita Angus painted a famous picture of Cass Railway Station titled ‘Cass’ in 1936.

Thomas Forster

Dr Forster (front row, third from the left) pictured at the Philosophy Department retreat at Cass in September 2016

UCC Open to all UC staff for end of term

The University of Canterbury Club (UCC), located in the Ilam Homestead, is open to all staff of the University for the whole of the week 10 -14 October.

The Club is open Mon – Thurs 4.30pm – 7pm, and Fri 4.30-pm – 8.30pm.

On Friday 14 October there will be a free BBQ to celebrate the end of term from 4.30pm-6pm (come rain or shine). The UCC committee and its membership hope to see all UC staff and their families there.


Staff of the Year Awards Tomorrow

All staff are invited and welcome to attend. Please RSVP by 5pm today, via http://evite.me/hyRFewstpd 

Friday 23rd September at 6:30pm
Location: The UCSA Event Centre (Foundry)

The UCSA would like to celebrate all staff at UC who make a difference in students’ lives.  As such, we have extended our award event to include all UC staff members and rename the event as Staff of the Year Awards.  We have added two new awards, the Technical Staff of the Year Award and the Guiding Hand Award, so that students can have the opportunity to nominate and honour the help and support non-academic staff has given them at UC.

Now that the students have nominated (and voted), please join us at the Staff of the Year Awards event to celebrate those who have been nominated.

Dress code: Smart Casual.

Ticket includes a glass of champagne on arrival, nibbles and cash bar.

Please RSVP by Thursday 22nd September, 5pm, via http://evite.me/hyRFewstpd 

Please note this rsvp is for one guest.  If you intend to bring a partner/friend you will need to send them the rsvp link for a separate reply.

Tickets are limited and offered on a first come, first served basis.


Q&A with Visiting Fellow Cheryl Messick

Cheryl Messick is visiting from the University of Pittsburgh, USA, as part of the Erskine Programme.

Where you have come from and what do you teach?

I work at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the Communication Science and Disorders Department.  At my home institution I teach a graduate course in Articulation & Phonological Disorders in children, which is similar to the course I am teaching here at UC.  I also teach a course in Clinical Teaching to our clinical doctoral students, which is a topic I have strong professional interests in.  Finally I teach a course to undergraduate students on Language Acquisition in children.

What interested you in the Erskine Programme/Why did you want to come to UC?

I have heard of the Erskine Programme for many years from colleagues who had the opportunity to come to UC.  The opportunity to work and live in another country for a few months, and especially in New Zealand, is incredible.  It is great to learn different approaches and ideas regarding how/what to teach; the Erskine program is a wonderful cultural exchange for two-way learning.

I also have personal interests in New Zealand as my grandparents were from New Zealand; they emigrated to the United States in the 1930’s.  While here I have had a chance to connect with cousins (on the north island) and learn more about my kiwi heritage.

What have you been doing at UC?

I am teaching a course called Articulation & Phonological Disorders in the Communication Disorders Department.  I have also had a chance to participate in simulation activities in the Communication Disorders department that aim at helping students acquire skills in clinical interviewing techniques; I played the role of a mock parent and marked students on their performance in the tasks.

One particularly exciting activity that has emerged from my time here at UC is that I worked with some of the speech/language pathology clinical instructors to create a partnership for a clinical education project.  We submitted a proposal to serve as a team of “content matter experts” for a set of clinical teaching resources that are being developed by the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Science and Disorders (CAPCSD), which is a professional organization whose mission it is to serve as a resource in leadership, education and advocacy to academic programs in who educate speech/language pathology and audiology students.  We will be working with a web team who specializes in developing training materials to develop resources for training clinical instructors to provide feedback to their students based on evidence based practice. It was exciting to put together an international team to work together on the project, and we were just informed that our proposal was accepted.  I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues here from UC on this project.

What have you most enjoyed about your time here at UC/Christchurch?

That’s a difficult question, as the entire experience has been so positive; I have enjoyed becoming acquainted with speech-language pathology students and faculty here at UC.  Everyone has been very welcoming.  I have also really enjoyed seeing the beauty of this country.  In Christchurch in particular watching spring unfold through weekly walks at the Botanic Garden have been wonderful.

Finally, it has been wonderful to learn more about my NZ family geneaology.   The photo attached was taken on the walking trails at Diamond Bay with the entrance to the Lyttleton harbour in the background – my great great grandparents landed at Lyttleton in September 1877 (from Ireland) – so it has been fun to look at those hills and imagine what it was like for them when they arrived to New Zealand.