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Staff excellence honoured

Staff excellence honoured

Every year excellent teaching and support that epitomises UCOL’s approach to education is recognised through four Annual Staff Awards. Each award is valued at $5,000 and is used by the winner for relevant personal professional development.

Jointly awarded by UCOL’s Staff Council and UCOL, the awards are open to academic and administrative staff on all campuses and each award has a different focus. The awards were named after past UCOL staff and reflect those areas of education about which they were passionate.

UCOL’s Staff Council Chairperson, Judy Seccombe says the annual awards acknowledge outstanding staff achievement, teaching excellence and noteworthy progress at UCOL, and are announced at the start of each academic year.

The winners of UCOL’s 2013 Staff Awards are Audrey Tamanui-Nunn (Kaiawhina/Maori student support), Sheran Meritt (lecturer in Tertiary Studies and Fashion and Beauty), Anna Ainsworth (lecturer in Medical Imaging Technology), and sisters Dr Sarah Snell and Dr Catherine Snell-Siddle (Heads of the School of Business & Computing).

The UCOL Staff Council conducts the Staff Awards’ application and selection processes. Mrs Seccombe says that UCOL’s vision of creating great futures for students hinges upon staff passion for and dedication to student learning.

“Our ability to improve educational outcomes for students relies heavily on staff capability and commitment. Innovative education and training is achievable when staff members have in the forefront of their minds students’ right to successfully achieve their educational goals and to gain employment based on their knowledge and skills.”

Sisters and committed researchers Dr Sarah Snell and Dr Catherine Snell-Siddle were given the Derek Lake Award for outstanding contribution to research at UCOL.

Together Sarah and Catherine lead the UCOL School of Business and Computing, and both have a strong history of engaging in research at UCOL. Recently they conducted research around the topic of mobile learning technology in tertiary institutions for their doctorates. Both Sarah and Catherine are also valued members of the UCOL Research Committee.

Kaiawhina/Maori student support staff member Audrey Tamanui-Nunn, described by colleagues as a cultural change agent, won the Julia Camden Award for outstanding contribution to organisational development and support.

Audrey has made a significant impact on the way people think and act at UCOL over the last five years. An outstanding Maori advocate with unique bi-cultural skills, Audrey has effectively promoted the campus whanau room to a status of a spiritual, peaceful whare. Audrey has influenced an increase in Maori student course completions and confidence, and among non-Maori staff a greater understanding of all things bi-cultural.

Lecturer in Tertiary Studies and Fashion and Beauty Sheran Meritt, known as a ‘teaching gem’, took home the Alan Furness Award for excellence in teaching and learning.

Sheran works with young students who may have decided against continuing at school, re-engaging them and helping them to find their feet in the tertiary environment. Sheran is described as a leader with the ability to introduce new ideas and address the needs of her students, always striving to model best practice. She is recognised by her colleagues for her passion, effort and commitment, and the way she creates a safe place for students.

Ashhurst-based Medical Imaging Technology Lecturer and UCOL graduate Anna Ainsworth picked up the Gill Presland Award for noteworthy personal and professional progress made by a lecturer in his/her first two years at UCOL.

Anna has quickly demonstrated an ability to engage with all students and stimulate learning, effectively incorporating her industry experience and innovative thinking. Using the campus Simulation Lab, Anna has developed a multi professional interactive trauma experience for students including actual professionals in practice such as Police, paramedics and Mid Central health employees. Student feedback about Anna is consistently positive.

Previous UCOL Annual Staff Award winners have attended international conferences or visited practice areas of interest.


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