Marc Wilson, PRESIDENT
Marc Wilson is the President of the Ako Aotearoa Academy Executive Committee. He was elected President in March 2018.
''I am intellectually indigenous to Victoria University, having come here straight from School and never leaving. I am now fully institutionalised, and seek to understand this “real world” people speak of through my research and teaching…
More seriously, however, I have been a member since 2008, and was a member of the first and second generation of the Academy Executive. I’ve been away for a wee while, being Head of School of Psychology at VUW, and I am currently Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) for the Faculty of Science. I teach from pre-degree to PhD, but the highlight of my year is coordinating and teaching first-year psychology – seizing on the enthusiasm these yet-to-be-jaded almost-adults have for a subject most of them have never formally studied, and showing them they made the right decision. ''
What might I bring to the Exec? I’ve been there before in the heady days when we were starting up, and have built my understanding of the tertiary sector through my roles since. If I have a particular positive, it’s a long track record of working through and with media (I currently write a weekly column in the NZ Listener, among other things). I believe this may be helpful in making the vision expressed at the 2016 Symposium real, at a time when there have been changes at both Board and Operational level in the broader Ako machine.
Marie McEntee, VICE-PRESIDENT
I joined the Academy in 2015, where I have had the pleasure of meeting a diverse range of teachers who understand how critical the teacher/student relationship is for fostering what I call a “collaborative learning space”.
I have taught undergraduate students at the University of Auckland since 1992 entering in a rather osmotic way over the next years, as I combined teaching with family commitments. In 1999 I coordinated a boutique course in science communication taught to 40 students and over subsequent years developed this into a significant offering taught now to 500 students annually. I have also developed two interdisciplinary courses in science innovation and community engagement creating a small suite of courses that facilitate students’ learning to enable them to contribute as global citizens in a world of increasing complexity.
My research into collaborative learning spaces has revealed that creating this space is not only dependent on fostering positive relationships, but also relies on a supportive institutional framework that in the tertiary context, supports excellent teaching practice. I believe the Academy and its members play a pivotal leadership role in guiding the direction of tertiary teaching practice in New Zealand. The current discussions on accreditation are an important step in developing a vision to guide the Academy’s direction and I wish to contribute to the shaping of this vision. I am actively interested in initiatives that recognise excellent teaching through teaching awards and through promotional pathways that in many institutions are still largely afforded for research not teaching excellence
I became a part of the Academy in 2016 and I have been blown away by diverse talents and generosity of spirit of its members.
I spent 14 years teaching in the Business Faculty of Unitec Institute of Technology across a number of subjects, most of which related to information systems. I’m fascinated by the different teaching approaches employed by my peers and turned my attention towards education as a discipline.
Nowadays I combine my technical background with my passion for education to explore the benefits that digital technologies can have on learning. I moved from the Business Faculty to join our academic support unit in 2015 and now occupy the position of eLearning Leader, overseeing eLearning for the Institution. This has been an exciting change for me as I am able to bring an academic voice to important institutional decision making processes. My team and I are responsible for the redesign of our now leading edge collaborative teaching spaces in addition to supporting teaching staff with all our digital learning platforms. Meanwhile, I still get to teach on our Graduate Diploma of Higher Education.
I tend to have a positive outlook and look to create opportunities out of challenges. I believe I have the experience and a unique skill set that could help the Academy to move forward and continue to have a real impact in the ever-changing educational landscape we find ourselves in.
I joined the Academy in 2017 and am incredibly excited to be a member of the Executive. I am a Professional Practice Fellow in Anatomy at the University of Otago, and have been teaching into science and professional courses like medicine and physiotherapy since 2004. My teaching philosophy is centred around inclusiveness and achievement for all students alongside support and mentoring for colleagues that are interested in education and enhancing the student learning experience.
Although new to the Academy and the Executive, I already feel a very strong sense of community within the group. However, prior to becoming a member I had little knowledge of the existence of this group and the inspirational educators that are part of it and the expertise they could share. My aim as a member of the Academy Executive would be draw more attention to the collective experience and skillsets offered by our members and further enhance the sharing of ideas and collaboration within our group and the stakeholders in the wider education community.
Selene Mize has been teaching at the Faculty of Law at the University of Otago since 1985. She received the Prime Minister’s Tertiary Teaching Excellence award in 2009, and has served on the panel that selects teaching award winners as well as the Academy Executive. She trains judges in communication skills and techniques for dealing with unrepresented litigants through the Institute for Judicial Studies and trains mediators for the Samoan Lands and Titles Court.
Teaching is Reaching
Since 2000 I have been lecturing in plant physiology and am now teaching students from first year through to postgraduate levels, on topics such as photosynthesis and plant stress. My central approach is to establish relevance and genuine interest in learning to reach my students. Whether you call it experiential learning, the flipped classroom or research-based undergraduate teaching, it provides the context to unlock pathways for deep and lifelong learning, with only the sky being the limit, literally: after all this is where plants reach too – helping make the oxygen we breathe, and even the ozone layer!
In addition to my teaching I also bring experience from various university service areas. As Associate Dean of Education I drive programme development in my faculty. I have experience with CUAP approval and auditing procedures, as well as legislative and regulatory frameworks in the NZ tertiary education sector. I develop and apply university educational policy, academic strategy and new initiatives, e.g. on improving teaching quality, as well as implementing new teaching technologies and approaches.
As the Inaugural Chair of the Lincoln University Student Experience Board I am responsible for the strategic promotion of programmes and pedagogical practices that enhance the academic and campus student experience. As the founder and leader of the Lincoln University Lecturer’s Learning Community of Practice I coach staff on topics of pedagogy and teaching innovation, often with input from educational experts.
I make a special point of including Kaupapa Maori in my own teaching and as the faculty representative of the university wellness group, I help design new initiatives to increase staff and student wellbeing on campus, including for students from diverse sociodemographic groups.
I would like to bring all these experiences and my passion for teaching and learning to the Ako Aotearoa Academy Executive Committee and am keen to contribute to the future development of the Academy and Ako as a whole.
I’m James Paterson and I teach marketing at Toi Ohomai Institute in Technology in Tauranga. We are a massively bi-cultural organization and I’m also passionate about marketing, with much of my mahi and research in the relationship marketing, sponsorship and communications area.
As it appears future funding is tightening around the Academy symposium and other initiatives, I would like to help our group shore up the future of the Academy and our symposium by being able to secure commercial sponsorship (if necessary) or looking at other funding/marketing options to ensure our groups sustainability going forward.
I have had the privilege of serving on the committee from 2014 to 2016 where I held the marketing portfolio and during that time I was involved in the rebrand of the Academy, developing the Academy website and other marketing collateral.
I love being surrounded by people with energy and enthusiasm and our current exec team has plenty of that, and so for all these reasons it would be an honour to serve again on our Academy Executive team.
Kelly Pender, Māori Caucus Liaison
Tēnā koutou katoa
Ko Mataatua raua ko Te Arawa toku waka
Ko Whakatōhea raua ko Te Arawa toku iwi
Ko Ngāi Tamahaua raua ko Ngāti Rangiwewehi toku hapu
No Tauranga toku kainga inaianei, engari
Ko Te Kuratini o Poike toku mahi
Ko Kelly Pender toku ingoa
As an adult educator, I’m proud of the teaching and learning journey I’ve experienced thus far and appreciative for the opportunity to be in a chapter in the lives of many students. Teaching on the Cert4Fitness programme at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic is not only my profession but also a hobby that I am deeply motivated and passionate about. I am grateful to Ako for the opportunities and have enjoyed being able to give back wherever possible.
Eric Pawson, Editor, Limelight Newsletter
Eric Pawson is Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of Canterbury. He is particularly interested in active pedagogies, including problem-based and community-based learning. He has led courses using these approaches to contribute to post-earthquake recovery in Christchurch. He has published a number of books, including Making A New Land, Environmental Histories of New Zealand (2013) and New Biological Economies (2018). He is a registered auditor with the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities.
Eric was the President of the Ako Aotearoa Academy in 2015/16.
Academy Liaison - Amy Fitzgerald
Amy is the Academy's part-time administrator and immediate point of contact. She has a number of roles, including production of Limelight. Her experience in organising and running large scale conferences is an invaluable skill when it comes to coordinating and managing the Academy's annual symposium. Amy is the managing director and founder of Flow Events Ltd, experts in sustainble and green events.