The annual Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards are organised by Ako Aotearoa and aim to recognise and encourage excellence in tertiary education in New Zealand.
In 2012 Dr Ocean Mercier, from the School of Māori Studies, was the recipient of a Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching Award. As a lecturer she strives to provide fresh ways to learn—an approach reflected in her teaching philosophy, ‘Always learning, learning in all ways’.
For a full list of previous winners, visit the Centre for Academic Development website.
Victoria’s own Excellence in Teaching Awards recognise that excellent teachers are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and innovative, with a commitment to their subject and an ability to stimulate learners’ thought and interest.
Dr Teresia Teaiwa: Va’aomanu Pasifika
Pacific Studies senior lecturer Dr Teresia Teaiwa was recognised for her inspirational teaching approach with a 2014 Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence award.
Dr Teaiwa was appointed as the first Pacific Studies lecturer at Victoria in 2000. At the awards ceremony she was praised for her teaching approach which “challenges not only a European philosophy around learning and teaching, but also Pasifika peoples’ confidence in their ways of knowing and achieving”.
Dr Suzanne Boniface: School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Dr Suzanne Boniface has modernised the 100-level Chemistry curriculum by introducing innovative techniques such as the use of clickers, online quizzes and rapid feedback methods designed to encourage and motivate students. Suzanne engages Chemistry students by making classes relevant through using stories and anecdotes that connect abstract concepts and the ‘real’ world.
Chris Bowden: School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy
Chris Bowden has a passion and enthusiasm for teaching. He is committed to a diverse range of students, and clearly keeps his students’ needs at the heart of his planning and design for learning. Chris provides transformative experiences that challenge the way students think, feel and respond to the world.
Dr Anita Brady: School English, Film, Theatre, and Media Studies
Dr Anita Brady is a motivated teacher, with a willingness to consider innovative ways to keep students involved. That she involves students in course content and assessment practices through the use of ‘fast feedback’ and surveys is extremely commendable, as is the consultative way she interacts with colleagues on course design and delivery.
Dr David Capie: School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations
Dr David Capie has a passion and enthusiasm for teaching which is founded on empathy and respect for his students. He has a consistently strong teaching performance and is also a sought-after and effective supervisor at postgraduate level. He has a positive impact on his colleagues as a leader and a mentor.
Dr Gina Grimshaw: School of Psychology
Dr Gina Grimshaw teaches large, core courses in the Psychology curriculum. Her students note not only her passion and enthusiasm for her subject but also the strong pedagogical approach she brings to her teaching practice. Students and colleagues alike find her an inspirational teacher, credited with an increase in enrolments in PSYC 231.
Dr David Harper and Dr Maree Hunt: School of Psychology
Dr David Harper and Dr Maree Hunt have received a team Teaching Excellence Award for excellence in teaching the Behaviour Analysis area of the Psychology curriculum, and their commitment to engaging students. Their engaging and motivating tailored course content and delivery has led to improvements in pass rates, particularly amongst Māori and Pasifika students.