Dr Latika Samalia

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Also awarded ‘Excellence in supporting Pacific learners’ endorsement

Professional Practice Fellow – Department of Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Otago

Latika acknowledges that “Learning anatomy is fascinating, yet daunting.” She is aware of the complexity of challenges health professional students face in needing to understand and remember easily and accurately a large amount of content. She uses a wide array of practical activities to promote understanding and reinforce concepts, including video instructions, mnemonics, classroom demonstrations, and body painting.

Latika regards empathy as her key skill. Combined with her pedagogical understanding and creativity, this enables her to ensure successful outcomes for her learners despite large classes. Students agree “Latika never fails to make everyone laugh and smile and get excited about anatomy.” Her outstanding student evaluations confirm she is seen as an “awesome lecturer”.

Colleagues appreciate her professionalism, mentoring, organisational skills and wider contributions to teaching. “It has been a true pleasure working with, and being inspired by, Latika…her infectious positivity and love of learning will continue to benefit not only health professional students, but, by association, the health of many people in New Zealand for many years to come.”