2021 Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awardees

In 2021, nine 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 winner for 2021 was Dr Latika Samalia of the University of Otago.

Dr Te Oti Rakena

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching – Kaupapa Māori category

Te Oti works to decolonise the study of music with a deliberate shift to a kaupapa Māori framework that has transformational benefits for all learners.

“I design culturally safe learning contexts that allow non-Māori to engage with Māori worldviews and te reo Māori. This offers students different ways of thinking about music and conceptualising singing.”

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Associate Professor Diane Ruwhiu

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching – Kaupapa Māori category

Diane focuses on the potentiality of Māori knowledge and worldviews that sit outside learners’ existing disciplinary knowledge.

“My approach to teaching and learning reflects a robust and coherent collaboration of Western and Māori ‘spaces’, whilst maintaining the integrity of each.”

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Professor Tim Cooper

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

For Tim excellent teaching is “all about cultivating an optimal environment in which learners can succeed in their own learning and reimagine their world”.

“I try to create an environment where all my students can confidently seize the opportunity to see their world from another point of view – and be all the richer for it.”

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Dr Brendon Dunphy

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

At the core of Brendon’s teaching is a drive to create whakawhanaungatanga among his learners and build an inclusive learning community.

“I am very proud to be a tertiary level teacher, but prouder still of the graduates our country produces.”

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Hannah Joynt

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Hannah tailors her teaching and communication strategies to advance the capabilities and aspirations of all students.

“I view my role as an educator as a joy and my classroom a foundational component of a larger vibrant creative community.”

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Dr Richard Lobb

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Through his redesign of computer programming teaching, Richard’s impact on Computer Science education stretches across his department, throughout the university, and around the globe.

“My teaching programs break down many boundaries and allow me to have a hand in teaching the subject I love to students I have never met in places I have never been.”

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Dr Nick Munn

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

“In an in-person lecture, the teacher’s enthusiasm can be infectious, and I strive to create equivalent experiences online.”

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Dr Latika Samalia

Prime Minister's Supreme Award Winner 2021

Latika’s teaching experience and leadership, her innovations in teaching and her commitment to students, especially Pacific, are symptomatic of her long-term impact on their learning.

“When I first began teaching 28 years ago, I challenged myself to be a better teacher every day and to learn from the last.”

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Professor Hazel Tucker

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Hazel’s enduring goal is to promote global citizenship and ethical stewardship, inspiring graduates to approach their tourism careers with a focus beyond commercial models. 

“I believe that if we can grow stewardship and interest in enacting positive change in relation to tourism’s broader societal and global interconnectedness, then we are...sowing seeds for a better future.”

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