Pro-Vice-Chancellor Humanities, Professor Jessica Palmer, left, with Division of Humanities Teaching Award winner Dr Tessa Romano.
Dr Tessa Romano, Pūkenga, Te Kāhui Tau/Lecturer of Voice, School of Performing Arts, is the winner of the Division of Humanities Teaching Award for 2022.
Associate Professor David Ciccoricco, English and Linguistics, Dr Dan Osland, Classics, and Dr Fairleigh Gilmour, Criminology, were highly commended.
Associate Dean Academic, Professor Simone Marshall, oversees the awards.
“These awards celebrate outstanding teaching in the Division of Humanities, in the areas of teaching excellence, process, outcomes, evaluation and leadership,” Professor Marshall says.
The awards are assessed by a panel comprising previous teaching awards winners from across the University. The selection panel comments that the standard of this year's applicants was particularly high, and it was exceptionally difficult to select the winners.
“The successful applicants stood out for their commitment to innovative teaching, for responding to the needs of students, for their incorporation of matauranga Māori, and for their willingness to grow and develop as teachers. Doing all of this during a time of uncertainty with Covid has been remarkable.
“We strongly encourage all of the winners to continue to develop their teaching and hope to see their future successes."
Dr Romano and the highly commended awardees were acknowledged at a function following the Divisional Leaders Forum.
From left: Professor Simone Marshall, highly commended awardees Dr Fairleigh Gilmour and Dr Dan Osland, award winner Dr Tessa Romano and Pro-Vice-Chancellor Humanities, Professor Jessica Palmer (award recipient Associate Professor David Ciccoricco was unable to attend).
“I feel incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this award. I hope that many of the Otago University staff see themselves in this honour, as there is so much I have learned from my colleagues here and from many others throughout the country,” Dr Romano says.
“I should start with all my colleagues within Te Kāhui Tau, particularly Terence Dennis, Anna Leese, and Tom McGrath who bring our voice studio to life. Also, I think of all my colleagues in the New Zealand Association of Teachers of Singing, Dr Karyn Paringatai in Te Tumu, and Dr Te Oti Rakena at the University of Auckland.”
Dr Romano, who describes themself as a “continuous learner”, feels indebted to their students in receiving this award.
“I have learned as much from them as they have from me, if not more. It certainly 'takes a village'.
“An equally important value to me is place-based teaching, which here means acknowledging my status as Tauiwi and Tangata Tīriti and thereby understanding how my discipline and my teaching of this discipline is affected by, and impacts within, Aotearoa.
“Acknowledging identity and connecting diverse identities to curricula is also very important to me.”