The Secondary to Tertiary Transitions Project research team includes staff from the University of Otago, Otago Polytechnic, Ministry of Education Dunedin office, NZ Red Cross, and Dunedin schools.
Project researchers and advisers
Associate Professor Vivienne Anderson is the project leader. She is the Dean at the University of Otago College of Education, and a former primary school teacher and teacher educator.
Dr Alejandra Ortiz Ayala is an Assistant Research Fellow and Youth Mentor on this project. Alejandra contributes to workshop design and facilitation, and data collection and analysis. Alejandra is a Political Scientist with a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Otago.
Sayedali (Ali) Mostolizadeh is an Assistant Research Fellow and Youth Mentor on this project. Ali contributes to workshop design and facilitation, and data collection and analysis. Ali is also a documentary filmmaker and doctoral candidate at the University of Waterloo, Canada.
Anna Burgin is an Assistant Research Fellow and joined the Project in the second half of 2022. Anna is supporting ongoing research outcomes as the Project finished in early 2023. She is a PhD candidate in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago.
Dr Jo Oranje is an Assistant Research Fellow in the Division of Health Sciences at the University of Otago. She has a PhD in intercultural communication. Jo provides academic support for refugee-background students studying health science subjects.
Amber Fraser-Smith is an ESOL lecturer at Otago Polytechnic. She has recently completed an MEdPsych through Massey University. Her research focused on effective ESOL teaching for refugee-background students.
Pip Laufiso is Senior Adviser Priority Learners at the Otago/Southland Ministry of Education. She is an adviser on our project.
Glenda Atkins is Special Educational Needs Coordinator and an ESOL teacher at Aurora College, Invercargill. Glenda has joined the project as an adviser, following the departure of Angela Watt and Penny Kershaw (previous teacher advisers) from their teaching roles.
Jarrah Cooke is the Dunedin-based Pathways to Employment National Programme Manager at NZ Red Cross. Jarrah is an adviser on the project.