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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Whitireia

Whitireia and WelTec have celebrated academic excellence and innovation with two teaching awards to recognise achievements of an emerging tutor with less than six years experience, and a more experienced teacher or team.

Talking about the awards, Mark Oldershaw, Chief Executive of Whitireia and WelTec said: “We recognise that this year has been hugely challenging for our staff due to the quick pivoting in how we delivered our programmes and the extra guidance required for our learners in lockdown, as well as changes to our sector. This makes it so important to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our tutors, who have continued to provide meaningful education in extraordinary circumstances.”

Winners of the awards are, De’arna ‘Dee’ Sculley, who has been at Whitireia for three years and tutors in the postgraduate nursing programme with a focus on mental health and also facilitates the postgraduate forensic practice paper; and the Bachelor of Science Paramedicine teaching team which utilised virtual simulation during lockdown to ensure consistency of hands-on learning in a fully online environment. Both recipients come from the School of Health & Social Services at Whitireia.

Mark presented the awards at a staff forum attended by the Chair, Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive (Transformation & Transition) of the New Zealand Institute of Skills & Technology (NZIST), Murray Strong, Stephen Town, and Merran Davis at the WelTec campus in Petone.

Murray and Stephen attended the forum as part of a national roadshow of polytechs. They had earlier in the day been welcomed at the Takapūwāhia Marae by Ngāti Toa Rangatira, and later in the afternoon by Te Ātiawa and school students from Te Ara Whānui Kura Kaupapa Māori o Nga Kōhanga Reo o Te Awa Kairangi.

“It has been great to recognise the significant commitment and standard of teaching our staff consistently demonstrate, in front of Murray and Stephen,” said Mark. “I am excited about the opportunities for our sector, and feel that our group hui with NZIST today is the start of many constructive conversations as we all work together on this journey to create excellence in vocational education.”

Commenting on her approach to teaching, award winner Dee Sculley said: “I believe that every student is capable of achieving a master’s degree and I pride myself on empowering students to reach their goals.”

Kerri Arcus, programme manager for the winning paramedicine team, said: “Lockdown required distance teaching and learning to be taken to a new level. The team, across all years and strands, adapted the programme to a fully online environment.”

Effie Christou, Steve McKinlay and Justin Puna were all nominee finalists for the awards.