Last week Parliament hosted the award ceremony for the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards for 2017, with the University of Otago receiving three of the night’s top awards.
The Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching category included up to 10 awards in the General Category and two awards in the Kaupapa Maori category, all but one presented by Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Paul Goldsmith.
Of the 12 awards, a quarter of the winners were staff from the University of Otago, showing dominance in spite of a tumultuous period of staffing cuts being announced over the last 12 months.
Otago winners include: Dr Ruth Fitzgerald, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology; Dr Brad Hurren, Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anatomy; Haruko Stuart, Teaching Fellow in Japanese, Department of Languages and Cultures.
Additionally, two Otago Polytechnic staff won awards: Dr Liz Ditzel, Principal Lecturer, School of Nursing and also Mereana Rapata-Hanning, Principal Lecturer, won in the Kaupapa Maori category.
“Haruko, Brad and Ruth all won OUSA Teaching Awards in the past, showing that Otago students already know they are great teachers,” said Associate Professor Clinton Golding, who convened the University of Otago’s awards in February this year, and by “winning the National Tertiary Teaching Excellence awards shows that they are also amongst the most inspiring teachers in the country”.
“Teachers from all tertiary institutions in New Zealand are nominated for these awards, not just teachers from the universities. The University of Otago won three of the 12 awards this year, more than any other institution.”
The Prime Minister’s Supreme Award was presented by PM Bill English himself to Dr Te Taka Keegan, Senior Lecturer in the Computer Science Department at the University of Waikato.
Each of the winners, who were also winners of the University of Otago’s 2017 Teaching Excellence Awards, were presented with certificates, and also $10,000 to support their learning and teaching pursuits, by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Vernon Squire earlier this year.