2009 Staff Awards Ceremony

Tuesday 2 December 2009

Administrative Excellence Awards


Dirk Immenga is an advanced technical officer in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences within the School of Science and Engineering. Dirk is responsible for managing the University’s fleet of two large research vessels (Tai Rangahua and Taitimu) and smaller boats, along with a variety of oceanographic and diving equipment. His award was for outstanding support for waterways, coastal and marine survey and research in New Zealand.



Mike Bell is the Human Resource Development Advisor in the Professional Development Unit of Human Resources. He received his award for for his positive attitude and embodiment of the ‘one University’ ethos, his contribution to significant University projects and history of promoting cross-unit co-operation.


A Team Administrative Excellence Award was awarded to the Enrolment Office Team, comprised of Jason Duncan (team leader), Jamie Brunsdon, Karla Buss, Shweta Modak, Haden Papa, Natalie Sauter, Christine Shirley, Janine Williams, Angela Young, Erin Webb, Anton Panettiere, and Kyle Uerata. The work of this team is typified by a willingness to take on additional duties when staff leave despite high personal workloads, a warmly welcome and inclusive environment, and a flexible approach to cross training to ensure all areas are covered adequately and have backups. The Enrolment Office team received the award for the provision of dedicated, consistent and professional application and enrolment processing to support the University Strategy.



A Team Administrative Excellence Award went to the Postgraduate Studies Office Team, comprised of Felicia Goudie (acting team leader), Claire Guthrie, Jan Graham, Elyse Wallace and Talia Heslop (not in the photo). The team has been described as being passionate about our higher degree research students and supporting them through their candidature and is recognised for consistently working above and beyond the expectations of their role descriptions. The University intends to significantly increase the proportion and number of research postgraduate students and the team has responded to increasing numbers by organising and supporting new events such as the hugely successful Postgraduate Research Month and very popular Thesis in Three competition. The Postgraduate Studies Office team recived their award for outstanding administrative excellence with regard to supporting postraduate research and supervision at the University of Waikato.

Research Excellence Award


Dr Anne Hume from the School of Education has been extremely productive since taking up her postion in 2005. Not only has she completed her doctoral thesis, but she has also succeeded in getting papers published in many international refereed publications including the prestigious International Journal of Science Education. She is currently first supervisor for four postgraduate students and co supervisor for another two. She has presented at numberous important conferences and seminars and has completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching which involved action research and resulted in four publications. Anne's award was accepted on her behalf by her husband Terry Hume who works for NIWA.

Teaching Excellence Awards


The first teaching excellence award went to Dr Alison Campbell from Biological Sciences within the School of Science and Engineering. Alison is no stranger to staff awards as she was the recipient of a teaching excellence award in 2004 and an administrative team excellence award in 2005. She receives consistently high ratings in her teaching assessments and is often described as showing “infectious enthusiam”. One of her students wrote:
“Alison quickly became my favourite lecturer because of her engaging style, her approachability and her ability to make a subject interesting. She has a clear lecturing style, which fellow classmates from all nationalities have no trouble understanding. She has a knack of finding the most interesting examples to illustrate important points and she turns them into stories which are easy to remember. She is enthusiastic about her subject and extremely knoledgeable about related subjects and issues.”

Alison was in Australia so her award ws being collected on her behalf by her Dean, Professor Richard Price.


The second teaching excellence award goes to Dr Jenny Gibb from the department of Strategy and Human Resources within Waikato Management School. Jenny is described by students as “inspirational” and she is constantly striving to find innovative techniques to inform her teaching and enrich the student learning experience. A good example of her approach was the development of a virtual team exercise for a level two paper which resulted in a co-written paper that was published in the Journal of Management Education and has been ranked the 13th most read paper from the prestigious and highly selective journal over a 12 month period.



The third recipient was also from Waikato Management School. Dr Michael Cameron is a lecturer in the Economics Department. Economics is often considered a dry subject, but Michael’s teaching is grounded in experiential learning and a highly interactive approach to ensure students receive a great deal of practice in solving realistic problems that they may encounter in their future working lives. Michael is keen to use a variety of teaching and assessment methods to cater for the diverse learning needs of his students.


Tina Williams is from the Human Development and Counselling Department within the School of Education. One of her colleagues in their letter of support for Tina’s nomination wrote:
“Watching her teach is to watch an expert at ease with herself and her content. She conveys teaching as a communion as she connects her material to the students’ lives and concerns.

“I have witnessed students spontaneously applaud her lectures and honour her with waiata and haka. I have seen how highly they esteem her and how much she inspires them.

“It is clear that students feel safe and supported in her company, yet she also holds to the standards necessary for academic study. The ongoing mentoring she provides for numerous students truly encapsulates our university motto ‘ko te tanagata’.”



The final recipient af a teaching excellence award was Dr Ian Hawthorn from the Department of Mathematics.

Mathematics is not an easy subject to teach and is often a required paper for many students, so Ian’s success in even being nominated for this award is an achievement in itself. What could be a more demanding and critical audience than students in MATH168?

Yet Ian’s student assessment results are no less than amazing. Perhaps it is because Ian regards teaching as an interpersonal interaction? Perhaps it is because he tells bad jokes to his classes? Perhaps it is because he reflects critically on how he teaches and how students learn? Perhaps it is because, like the other teachers recognised today, he has found his own voice and style which works for him and his students?

Ian is an inspirational teacher and is commended highly for his success.

Health and Saftey Award


In 2009 the Health and Safety Award was also presented at this ceremony. This award recognises significant contributions to health and safety across the University and comprises a certificate and a magnificent trophy created by Donn Ratana. This year the award was presented to Chris McKInnon, Roger Briggs, Dudley Bell and Annie Barker for rewriting the School of Science Field Manual. The significance of this work is that the manual is of such a high calibre that it is being used as the basis for a University wide field manual. Chris accepted this award on behalf of the group.

Vice Chancellor's Medal for Staff Excellence



After much deliberation the Vice-Chancellor decided to make the award to Dr Ian Hawthorn for his outstanding achievement and huge contribution to the life of the University.





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 2009 Staff Award recipients.

If you would like further information about Staff Awards, or would like to initiate a nomination for a 2009 award please click here.

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