2007 Staff Awards Ceremonies

Monday 3 December 2007


The WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts was abuzz with excitement as friends, family and colleagues gathered to celebrate the success of 2007 recipients.

The University has been making staff awards since 1989, so we have a long tradition of recognising excellence in teaching and administration. The contributions made by staff as individuals and collectively as teams represent a key source of strategic advantage for the University so this occasion is designed to acknowledge the achievements of these people.




Teaching Excellence Awards

Diane Johnson is a lecturer in General and Applied Linguistics. Her classes and workshops are described as highly interactive and engaging and she is able to bring insights to make course content relevant to students’ professional lives. Diane currently supervises nine PhD students and her TLDU assessments are no less than exceptional – as one would expect from an exceptional teacher.

James Tennant is widely recognised as the leading cello teacher in New Zealand. Through his enthusiasm and energy, he has built the largest university cello class in the country here at the University of Waikato. One of James’ current students, 12 year old cello prodigy from Colombia in South America, is the son of a former student who apparently scoured the world to track James down to teach her son – such is his reputation as an outstanding teacher.


Administrative Excellence Awards

Katria Raffan is the Health and Safety Coordinator based in the Human Resource Management Division. Katria’s award is for sustained excellence and innovation in the provision of occupational health and safety advice.

Sarah Knox is the Director of Public Relations in the Waikato Management School, but she agreed to assist with the University-wide enrolment campaign for A and B Semesters in 2007. The campaign was both innovative and memorable, and was no doubt instrumental in helping us achieve such good results with our new student enrolments in 2007. Sarah’s award is for an excellent contribution through project leadership for the 2007 A and B Semester recruitment campaigns.



Bernice Ziarno from the School of Education received her award for sustained excellence as health and safety representative for the School of Education. The University relies heavily on staff taking on additional responsibilities such as health and safety and Bernice has held the role of health and safety representative for 15 years, which is a very significant achievement.


There are many unsung heroes who work in various parts of the University going quietly about their jobs without any song and dance, but making a tremendous input to their units and the University. Their sustained excellent contributions are often taken for granted, so it is always of great satisfaction when such people are noticed and acknowledged. Colin Monk is a technician who has has made an incalculable contribution to the Thermophile Research Unit for the past 25 years and is awarded for technical expertise of the highest calibre supporting thermophiles research.


For outstanding technical support, the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences Technical Support Group, comprised of Mike Vallabh, who is the team leader, David Baird, Clinton Dilks, Jacqui Elphick, Harry Johnston and Wei Minn Phee. This group has continued to provide top level support to a School which has excelled in PBRF ratings even though the size of the team reduced from eleven to six over the past few years.

The Department of Engineering from the School of Science and Engineering has achieved professional recognition of the Bachelor of Engineering degree through the Institution of Professional Engineering New Zealand (IPENZ) accreditation. This is an internationally benchmarked standard so is of critical importance to the University and to students obtaining this qualification. The accreditation process is extremely rigorous and preparation for it involved substantial input from every staff member in the Engineering department. The accreditation team made two visits - initially in 2002 when three engineering programmes were granted provisional accreditation and again in 2006 when these programmes received full accreditation and two further programmes were granted provisional accreditation. IPENZ also recommended that the University apply for full accreditation for these further programmes in 2008 – two years earlier than would normally be expected. The documentation for each visit filled three substantial volumes. This is a fine example of teamwork at a departmental level and is well deserving of a 2007 Administrative Excellence Award for the achievement of professional recognition of the Bachelor of Engineering Degree through IPENZ accreditation.


The School of Education Professional Studies Administrative Team made up Jill Skerman, Helen Findlay and Sussi Bell has been commended for its teamwork approach to fulfilling the needs of a very busy department and the award is made for outstanding service and excellent outcomes in departmental administration.

Sussi was unable to attend in person, but the rest of the team made sure she was properly represented.

Vice Chancellor's Medal for Staff Excellence


After much deliberation the Vice-Chancellor decided to make the award to the Department of Engineering for their outstanding achievement and their huge contribution to the life of the University. Only a small number of staff from the 38 member department were able to attend the ceremony.



In addition to the certificates presented on the day each individual recipient received $5,000 and the teams each received up to $15,000 to be shared by members. Congratulations to all 2007 Staff Award recipients.

If you would like further information about Staff Awards, or would like to initiate a nomination for a 2008 award please click here.

Human Resources
The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wananga o Waikato
Last modified: Thu Feb 2 11:17:08 2012

Page Generated: Sat Jul 21 18:04:49 2018
URL: http://www.waikato.ac.nz/pod/staffawards/2007awards.shtml
This page has been reformatted for printing