2018 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awardees

In 2018, 10 teachers have received sustained excellence awards for their contribution to tertiary teaching and learning under the General and Kaupapa Māori categories. The Prime Minister's Supreme Award went to Faumuina Associate Professor Fa’afetai Sopoaga, Division of Health Sciences at the University of Otago. 

Faumuina Associate Professor Fa’afetai Sopoaga

Prime Minister’s Supreme Award Winner 2018

Transformational describes Fa’afetai’s teaching and commitment to all her students at Otago, throughout Aotearoa and the Pacific region.

“My approach to teaching is to inspire, develop connectedness and mutual trust, and encourage and enable students to learn in contexts that are often outside their comfort zone”.

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Dr Rebecca Bird

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Rebecca is one of those rare teachers who inspires and arouses a love of deep learning in her students, triggering the same passion she felt when exploring human biology.

“There is nothing more satisfying as a teacher than watching students have that ‘lightbulb moment’ – where everything clicks into place and suddenly makes sense”.

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Dr Donella Cobb

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

As a teacher educator, Donella is extremely passionate about sharing her knowledge and encouraging others to be great teachers.

“My teaching centres on my belief that education has the potential to enhance learning for all students, particularly those who have been traditionally underserved by our education system”.

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Dr Kathryn Hay

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Her innovative practice breaks down the boundaries between theory and practice to help students navigate the challenges inherent in field placements.

"I am excited by the way the experiential learning process involves students directly in the learning process and facilitates their critical reflection on their experiences so that they gain a better understanding of their new knowledge".

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Associate Professor Mānuka Hēnare

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching – Kaupapa Māori category

Mānuka has shown outstanding leadership and innovation in developing indigenous business, knowledge and health education programmes.

"Instead of compressing Māori entrepreneurial histories to fit Anglo-Western time frames and models of success, together we examine these economic activities and place them in more appropriate cultural and temporal contexts".

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Professor Andy Martin

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Andy is an inspirational teacher who maintains a critical balance between the demands of his subject and the dynamic challenges of exceptional teaching practice.

“I don’t describe myself as just a teacher instructing specific skills or curriculum content, but rather as an educator coaching individuals”.

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Associate Professor Sheila Skeaff

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Sheila’s teaching has evolved from delivering content to facilitating learning. It is distinguished by innovative, engaging, hands-on interactive learning exercises and precise student feedback.

“Teaching nutrition is not only an intellectual exercise; it can enhance the lifelong health of the student and potentially that of their families and friends”.

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Professor Michelle Thompson-Fawcett

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching – Kaupapa Māori category

Michelle is passionate and engaging, a leader and innovator - kaupapa driven, and student-focused.

"In my teaching I aim to impassion students to think rigorously, question the norm, challenge the status quo, reflect on their practices, and bring about change where there is injustice".

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Associate Professor Ekant Veer

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Ekant’s goal is simple: for his students to leave his classroom better than when they entered—not just in terms of better knowledge of skills, tools, and theories, but a better understanding of themselves, the world, and their role in society. 

“I teach because I am the product of education as a social elevator. Without education I would not be where I am”.

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Associate Professor Christine Woods

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Christine is a scholar and teacher of entrepreneurship “willing to push herself outside her comfort zone”.

“I love teaching. I love the challenge and the opportunity to learn with students and see them grow and succeed, to be part of a community of people learning together.” 

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