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Awards highlight excellence at UCOL

Recipients of UCOL’s annual Quality Recognition Awards have been announced, showcasing the exceptional work of staff operating across the tertiary institution.

Those receiving awards set the bar very high with their dedication, innovative thinking, and pursuit of excellence. “The Awards are designed to acknowledge the very high quality of work across the range of business areas at UCOL. The staff achievements and the projects they completed are inspiring examples of why learners choose UCOL, and the impact UCOL has on the communities in which it operates”, said Gianetta Lapsley, Executive Director (Quality) and Chair of the Committee assessing the outstanding applications. Five awards are hotly contested each year.

The Bachelor of Creative Media team took out the Excellence in Business Enterprise and/or Innovation Award for their new Workhub industry immersion centre. The Workhub has Creative Media students collaborating with real clients on projects pro bono. In 2018, the Workhub completed work for 40 different clients, totalling 2835 student hours. The Workhub balances creativity and commerciality for students’ learning, and provides a model that has expanded to include students from other disciplines, for example, the Bachelor of Information Communications Technology.

Lead Te Atakura Coach Riki Anderson received the Excellence in Leadership Award.

Mr Anderson is recognised for his leadership in fostering relationship-based learning and teaching, and more widely in enhancing cultural competency and professional learning and development in other staff, and the community. Te Atakura is UCOL’s unique and highly successful relationship-based teaching and learning model.

Senior Glass and Visual Arts Lecturer Dr Kathryn Wightman received the Excellence in Research, Knowledge Transfer, and Scholarly Activity Award. Dr Wightman is a prodigious researcher who embeds the importance of professional practice in teaching and learning to prepare students for their future. Dr Wightman’s innovative glass art has won multiple industry awards in New Zealand and abroad, including the supreme award in the 2018 Whanganui Arts Review.

The Excellence in Service Provision Award was jointly awarded to the Information Systems & Technology team, and the Communications team.

The Information Systems team received their award for the successful completion of key critical projects, including upgrades to UCOL’s network, student management, and reporting systems.

The Communications team demonstrated excellence driving a customer service online application pilot, providing valuable information to improve the UCOL customer experience and increase enrolments.

Mechanical Engineering Lecturer Ray Banks received the Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award. Mr Banks has developed exemplary teaching and learning resources for use at UCOL and shared these with other institutes of technology, has become the online learning platform (Moodle) guru for the Engineering team, and was praised for his encouragement by his students.

Each award recipient received a certificate and a professional development grant of up to $5,000.

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