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SERGE Symposium Speakers

Keynote speakers

Catriona Paisey - SERGEProfessor Catriona Paisey

Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow

Catriona is Professor of Accounting at the University of Glasgow, UK. She is a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. She trained with KPMG in Aberdeen before commencing her academic career at the University of Aberdeen. She held professorships at Glasgow Caledonian University and the University of Stirling before joining the University of Glasgow in 2012.

Catriona's research relates mainly to the development of the accountancy professional (focusing on education at all levels from school, through university, to the profession and continuing professional development), ethical development, professional discipline and accountancy careers from both a current and historical perspective. Her current work is concerned with whistleblowing by accountants, social mobility in the accountancy profession, careers in accounting in academia and on the latest developments in continuing professional development for professionally-qualified accountants.

Staff profile 

Jeffrey Smith SERGEProfessor Jeffrey Smith

Professor, Associate Dean, University Research Performance
A.B. (Princeton) Ph.D. (Chicago)

Jeff Smith joined the University of Otago in 2005 after having spent 29 years at Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he served as Chair of the Educational Psychology Department and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education. While at Rutgers, he also served for 18 years as Head of the Office of Research and Evaluation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

He is the former Editor of the journal, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, and Co-Editor of the journal, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. He has published widely in the areas of educational assessment, the psychology of aesthetics, and learning in cultural institutions.

His research interests include educational assessment, learning in cultural institutions and the psychology of aesthetics.

At the SERGE symposium, Jeff will be presenting the second keynote, titled: "Student motivation: They really oughta wanna".

Staff Profile

Session speakers

Image of Megan Anakin_serge

Dr Megan Anakin

Lecturer & Education Adviser
Education Unit, Dean’s Department, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago.

My research interests include students’ experiences of learning and assessment, students’ conceptual development, curriculum and faculty development, and interprofessional education. This presentation will outline how student engagement was studied during an interprofessional workshop involving physiotherapy and medical students. The findings will be used to challenge and enhance our understanding of how interprofessional learning opportunities are designed and implemented, and how they are appreciated by students.

Research team members: Megan Anakin (Medical Education Unit) & Ewan Kennedy (School of Physiotherapy)

Staff profile

Image of Nicola Beatson_serge

Nicola Beatson

Department of Accountancy and Finance, Otago Business School, University of Otago

Research areas: Accounting Education, Student Engagement, Non-cognitive aspects of Learning, Performance Management.

Nicola joined the Department of Accountancy and Finance at the University of Otago in 2010. Since that time she has had several teaching accolades, including being named in the Otago University Student Association awards (student voted) as the ‘Premier Lecturer, Commerce Division’ in 2017. Nicola has a passion for accounting education and is currently a PhD candidate investigating the self-efficacy beliefs of accounting students. She is student focused, both in teaching and research activities. Nicola's enthusiasm for her research saw her win the PhD Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in 2017, after winning the same competition for Masters students in 2015. Nicola enjoys several service roles within the department including as a course approver and advisor, a member of the AKO teaching and learning committee, being the tutor coordinator for the department, and as the Kaiāwhina Māori in Accounting and Finance. In 2017, Nicola was appointed a College Fellow for Cumberland College, one of Otago's residential colleges. College Fellows have the special purpose of relating with residents to facilitate and expand College residents' network within and beyond the University.

Nicola is one of the founders and directors of SERGE, as such she will be involved with many aspects of the symposium.

Nicola will be facilitating discussion at the conclusion of the incubator sessions focusing on potential new collaborations, and research opportunities. She will also be closing the proceedings with announcements of future events.

Staff profile

Image of David Berg_sergeDr David Berg

College of Education, University of Otago

David is an experienced primary school teacher and former primary deputy principal. He has worked in teacher education both here at Otago and at Liverpool Hope University, UK. He has taught in Nepal for 12 months and has visited schools in India, Russia, and South Africa. In 2016, David was the recipient of the Teacher Education Forum of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Emerging Teacher Educator award.

Metacognitive awareness enables students to know about their learning, to assess which strategies will be most effective in their studies, and to monitor and evaluate their learning (Kleitman & Stankov, 2007; Young & Fry, 2008). Students who foster metacognitive awareness will demonstrate a range of learning behaviors that enable them to think about their thinking, and regulate their cognitive performance. To apply metacognition to their learning, students need to be aware of different types of knowledge (Flavell, 1987; Brown, 1987), and processes of cognitive regulation (Shraw, 1998). Metacognitive awareness serves students well in their university studies (Goli, Omidi, & Momeni, 2016), and in the workplace as a lifelong learning skill. This presentation builds on work carried out by the teaching team of EDUC252: How People Learn during Semester One of 2018, with the support of a University Teaching Development Grant (CALT). EDUC 252 is a compulsory paper for Bachelor of Teaching students, yet attracts students from across the University. One hundred and twenty seven students were enrolled in the paper this year. The team has developed lecture and workshop activities to scaffold students’ metacognitive awareness and regulation, effectively embedding metacognitive development into the curriculum.

Research team members: David A G Berg, Kim Brown and Sylvia Robertson
Staff profile

Zoe Bristowe

Māori Health Workforce Development Unit, University of Otago

Zoë is of Ngā Puhi and Ngāti Porou descent and is a University of Otago graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Indigenous Studies qualification. Zoë has a background in education and manages the Māori Health Workforce Development Unit programmes: Te Ara Hauora, Tū Kahika, and Te Whakapuawai. Zoë enjoys working with a brilliant team of people dedicated to Māori health workforce development and Māori student success.

At the SERGE symposium, Zoë will present an overview of research looking at Māori student support in health sciences study since 2010 sharing our research methodolgy and some of the challenges and highlights. Zoë will also share an overiew of the WOW project and what impact the enhanced support programme had for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Research team members: Jo Baxter, Zoe Bristowe & Arianna Waller

Image of Sarah Carr_sergeDr Sarah Carr

Otago Business School, University of Otago

Sarah is the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Programme Manager at the Otago Business School.

Sarah has been active in undertaking research on student engagement for several years. She has a passion for research which has positive outcomes for students.

Sarah will be involved with the symposium in many ways, as she is a founder and director of SERGE.

She will present on behalf of Associate Professor Jacques van der Meer in the incubator session on a future project based on student well-being, titled, 'the second year slump'. Alongside Nicola Beatson, she will be closing the symposium with an announcement of future events for SERGE.

Virginia Cathro - SERGEVirginia Cathro

Department of Management, Otago Business School, University of Otago

Virginia is currently studying towards a PhD on the topic: An Exploration of Intercultural Communication Competence (ICC) in Global Virtual Teams using a Mixed Method Approach.

At SERGE, Virginia will present on "Student Engagement within the offering of a degree program of international business: Do efforts to creating a connected cohort impact upon student satisfaction, engagement and success?" Within her incubator session she will explore two broad questions. The first research question is ‘Do current initiatives have impact upon student satisfaction, engagement and performance?’ The second is ‘What other initiatives might be developed to encourage engagement?’ This project is at the early stages of inception. At this stage, the method ideology of the project is to adopt a mixed methodology deploying using a wave approach a pulse of survey questions timed to initiatives and events over the university calendar year. The instruments currently being considered are the Student Engagement Index (SEI) (Appleton, Christenson, Kim & Reschly, 2006) which will require adaption to a university context as it is currently school classroom focussed along with the school engagement survey with agency included as a dimension (SES-4DS) (Veiga, 2016) and Krause and Coates’ (2008) 7 FYEQ engagement scales and the recent the University Student Engagement Inventory (USEI) (Maroco, Maroco, Campos & Frederiks, 2016). This study is currently very early in its development and interest from other scholars is welcomed and feedback is genuinely sought.

Staff Profile

Image of Scott Copeland_sergeScott Copeland

Senior Lecturer, School of Commerce, University of South Australia

Research areas: Accounting Education, Student Transition.
This project will explore the use of Wikis as a tool to encourage and capture the interactions of teams in a first year accounting course. Students will be presented with an assessment piece that will allow them to begin to develop and then be assessed on the ability to work effectively as a team. This strategy is delivered both on-campus with blended learning approach using workshops as well as in a fully online environment.

Staff profile

Dr Ciara Lee

PhD Student, Department of General Practice and Rural Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago.
My research interests include understanding perceptions of and responses to uncertainty in medical education; empowerment of students, doctors, and patients; and clinical decision-making.
My project will examine how undergraduate medical students at the University of Otago recognise and respond to uncertainty in their medical training. Ciara's presentation will engage symposium participants on the nature of uncertainty in their discipline and how it is addressed by the official, the assessed, and the hidden curriculum of their degree programme.

Research team members: Ciara Lee (Department of General Practice and Rural Health), Megan Anakin (Education Unit Dean’s Department), Katherine Hall (Department of General Practice and Rural Health), Ralph Pinnock (Education Unit Dean’s Department).

Mathew Parackal - SERGEDr Mathew Parackal

Department of Marketing, Otago Business School, University of Otago

Mathew has a strong business background, having spent a number years in industry working for leading agrochemical companies and then running his own chemical business. He brings to the department a cross-cultural flavour having lived and worked in India, the United Arab Emirates and now in New Zealand.

At SERGE Mathew will present his project: "An exploratory investigation into who are attending and not attending lectures at the University of Otago". He will present his findings thus far on this project.

Studies have shown lecture non-attendance can result from social and economic deprivation (Kelly 2012; Paisey & Paisey, 2004). For example, to relieve financial burdens, students undertake part-time jobs (Stern & Nakata 1991). However, when part-time jobs prevent students from attending lectures, it hinders student progress. Students also stop attending lectures when they come under academic stress from the coursework (Misra and Mckean 2000). While some amount of stress is necessary to keep up with the demands of University education, the burden of juggling coursework, attending lectures, generating income and personal responsibilities drain them both physically and emotionally, preventing students from attending further classes (Murphy & Archer, 1996). Thus, the problem of non-attendance in higher education institutions is a complex one, and needs to be systematically studied.

Research team: Mathew Parackal, Lisa McNiell, Damien Mather, Rob Wass, Bridgid Casey, Andrea Insch, and John Guthrie

Staff Profile

Steve Scott - SERGEDr Stephen Scott

Director of First Year Experience, University of Otago

Stephen graduated Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Auckland, went on to complete a Masters of Science degree at the Auckland University’s Marine station before attending the University of Otago to undertake a doctoral degree (PhD). Before he started in his current job in 2016 he developed, taught and coordinated papers in Zoology where he developed a strong interest in student learning. Stephen's research interest now is in the area of student success. He was also the Associate Dean (Māori) in the Division of Sciences where he developed targeted support for Māori science students and science outreach for Māori communities.

At SERGE, Stephen will talk about his project "Who are our first-year students and what does this mean for their early engagement". The project has examined engagement in a large 100-level paper with a roll of over 2000 students and used engagement with the Learning Management System (LMS) and attendance in laboratory class to generate engagement flags for the first three weeks of Semester One, 2017. Students who were flagged were contacted by their residential college or by a Retention Officer for students living in the local community (boarding, flatting or living at home). These staff worked off a communication flow chart which identified support services available for student referrals.

Research team members: Stephen Scott (Academic Division), Lisa Russell (Department of Zoology), Kiri Pullar, (Department of Zoology), Jacques van der Meer (College of Education), Greg Murray (Planning and Funding). University of Otago.

Staff Profile

Indira V - SERGEIndira Venkatraman

Graduate Researcher, Department of Accounting, Faculty of Business and Economics & School of Computing and Information Systems, Melbourne School of Engineering. University of Melbourne.

Research Areas: Pedagogical Relationships, Research Candidacy, Autoethnography as Method

This research uses relationship approach and bottom-up approach, to study the effects pedagogy in supervision among candidates. Here the candidates are treated both as clients as well as early career researcher within a faculty. Autoethnography is employed as the method of study. Research supervision and research candidacy are explored as personal narratives to identify the relational and professional demands within pedagogical relationships of supervisors and candidates. Concepts of personal growth and mentoring are also explored.

Research team members: Indira Venkatraman (University of Melbourne), and Paul Shantapriyan (University of Tasmania).


Sara Walton - SERGEDr Sara Walton

Department of Management, Otago Business School, University of Otago.

Dr Sara Walton is a senior lecturer in the area of business, sustainability and the natural environment. Her research includes; examining ecopreneurial businesses in New Zealand, social enterprise and for-benefit organisations, business responses to climate change, understanding natural resource based conflicts and analysing triple bottom line (TBL) company reports and constructions of sustainability. Sara is part of the MBIE funded Energy Cultures team at Otago where she leads the work streams researching SME’s energy and transport practices.

At SERGE, Sara will present her project titled: "Building authenticity and relevance for sustainability education".

Research team members: Sara Walton and Sarah Carr

Staff Profile

Image of Lincoln Wood_sergeDr Lincoln Wood

Department of Management, Otago Business School, University of Otago

Prior to joining the department in 2017, Dr Lincoln C. Wood was a Senior Lecturer in the Graduate School of Management at the University of Auckland, having previously also worked at the Auckland University of Technology (Auckland, NZ) and Curtin University (Western Australia). He holds a BCom(Hons) (Operations Management), a BSc (Chemistry and Statistics), MCom (Operations and Supply Chain Management), and a PhD (Operations and Supply Chain Management) from the University of Auckland.

Lincoln will present on a project where his team explores the efficacy of mobile apps in supporting student engagement in first-year Commerce papers and how this may affect performance (grades). Anecdotal observations suggest that 100-level compulsory commerce papers have low levels of student engagement. By using a mobile app, Quitch, to send out quizzes and short surveys, we hope to increase engagement for BSNS111 and BSNS115 students. This element of gamification using the students’ phones will increase students’ engagement with the courses.

Research team members: Nicola Beatson, Angela Howell, Jacques van der Meer, Cle-Anne Gabriel (University of Queensland), & Lincoln C. Wood

Staff profile

Tony ZaharicTony Zaharic

Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago

Tony will present a session at SERGE called "from cohorts to the classroom: multi-level strategies for engaging students."

Staff Profile