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University’s top teachers lauded

Wednesday 30 October 2013 8:06am

Teacher of the year: Department of Languages and Cultures Teaching Fellow Haruko Stuart. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

Department of Languages and Cultures Teaching Fellow Haruko Stuart has taken top honours in the Otago University Students’ Association annual teaching awards.

Haruko, who teaches in the Department’s Japanese Programme, was one of ten finalists selected from more than 300 student-nominated teachers across the University.

One of her nominators wrote: “Haruko has always been available to help me whether she was my teacher or not. She is very energetic about helping her students and encouraging in so many ways. I have never had a teacher so devoted to her students as Haruko, and I owe so much to her in terms of my Japanese ability now.”

The 2013 OUSA teaching awards, which were celebrated on Friday, also featured an Inclusiveness in Teaching award section, which this year had three recipients. This award recognises excellence in inclusive teaching and a commitment to understanding disability as a human rights issue, thus enriching the Otago experience for students who have a disability, impairment or medical condition.

These awards were presented to School of Physiotherapy Associate Professor Leigh Hale, College of Education Senior Lecturer Dr Gill Rutherford and Biochemistry Teaching Fellow Tony Zaharic.

The 10 finalists for University of Otago Lecturer of the Year were:
David Bishop (Marketing), Dr Kristin Hillman (Psychology), Dr Jackie Hunter (Psychology), Professor Steve Jackson (Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences), Jessica Palmer (Law), Dr Tony Schneiders (Physiotherapy), Haruko Stuart (Languages and Cultures), Andrew Wallace (Applied Sciences), Associate Professor Peter Whigham (Information Science) and Tony Zaharic (Biochemistry).

The teaching awards form part of the OUSA representation system, which aims to include students in the creation and improvement of the education experience. The awards provide students the opportunity to give positive feedback to the lecturers who stand out as high quality teachers. Each of the nominated teachers will receive a formal letter to ensure they are aware of the feedback they’ve garnered.