Four outstanding lecturers have been honoured by their colleagues and students at the 2016 University of Otago Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony, held yesterday in council chambers.
This year's recipients are Dr Judith Bateup, a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Associate Professor Clinton Golding of the Higher Education Development Centre; Professor Diana Sarfati of Wellington's Department of Public Health; and Professor Darryl Tong of the Department of Oral Diagnostics and Surgical Sciences.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Vernon Squire presented the award certificates to each recipient, who also receive $7500 each to support their learning and teaching.
Professor Squire warmly congratulated each of the recipients, saying “To win this award, each has demonstrated that they are an inspiration to both their fellow colleagues, and their students. They personify the considerable value this University puts on teaching as well as research, and the Vice-Chancellor and I wholeheartedly endorse their selection.”
Dr Bateup was recognised for her outstanding contribution to the teaching of microbiology at the University and in the wider community; Associate Professor Golding for making a difference for students and staff from all departments, guiding them to useful “ah-ha moments” about teaching and research, using conversation not presentation; Professor Sarfati for designing innovative learning experiences which provide students with a toolbox of knowledge, skills and an approach to ongoing learning that leads to curiosity and confidence; and Professor Tong for cultivating clinical thinking and behaviours, enabling students to become ethical and compassionate health professionals.
Dr Bateup says not only is it fantastic the University acknowledges teaching through the awards, but the application process “is very reflective and thought-provoking”, so would be a positive exercise for all University teachers to go through.
The award means she will have a budget to attend the American Society of Microbiology conference for undergraduate educators sometime in the future.
Associate Professor Golding says he has put a lot of passion and energy into improving his teaching over 20 years.
“I always hoped I was doing some good things, but it's nice to have this recognised by your peers.”
Professor Sarfati echoed his sentiments, saying she “genuinely wants the students to learn and enjoy the process”.
Epidemiology is evolving so rapidly, she says, her work on new courses has involved collaborating with other epidemiology teachers around Australasia, which has been mutually beneficial.
Translating the latest developments for a teaching environment was also “energising and exciting”.
Professor Tong says he is humbled to receive the award when “there are a number of equally talented and dedicated teachers at the University who would be as deserving, if not more”.
He believes the awards not only highlight the importance of teaching and enabling learning at the University, but also reflect “the high quality of teaching across all disciplines and divisions”.
Professor Tong says he could not have won the award without encouragement from his students, past and present.
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