Selene Mize, President
Associate Professor Selene Mize is the President of the Ako Aotearoa Academy Executive Committee. She was elected President in April 2016. She 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.
Adrian Woodhouse, Vice President
I whakapapa back to Ngāi Tahu and since moving home 13 years ago, I have worked in the tertiary education sector, based at Otago Polytechnic. I have been privileged to have been exposed to the breadth of our sector having started teaching on Certificate programmes and later co-writing a degree which has just had it second year of graduands. I also design and deliver higher degree courses involving Assessment of Prior Learning (APL) and Work-Integrated Learning (WIL).
Since my first award, I have been actively involved in Ako Aotearoa education outreach initiatives. I have worked with colleagues from other institutions and offered customised professional development workshops. I have shared my experiences and resources with other members at Hub events, National and International meetings, and I have made myself available to provide guidance and advice to other teachers.
Being a member of the Executive Academy will afford me the opportunity to continue to build on the outreach initiatives I have been involved with. It will also enable me to take some of my work more closely with the regional hubs to develop tailored professional development programmes. I see the Academy as a central resource to drive the continued toolkit development and to continue support the delivery of quality teaching in the challenging fiscal times the sector is currently faced with. I believe my background and skills will be complementary to the other Academy members and I look forward to representing you, my fellow Ako Academy members.
Tony's main role at the University of Otago is to co-ordinate (and teach in) a large-class first-year paper for prospective health professional students. For the past few years he has worked closely with Pacific students in the Division of Health Sciences that wish to pursue careers as health professionals. Tony is also involved in a variety of outreach activities, including a science camp for students from low decile and rural secondary schools.
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.
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
Warwick Murray, Co-opted Member, 2017
It is an honour and a pleasure to serve on the Executive Committee of the Academy. I won a national excellence award in 2006 and, although I have been trying the ‘pay it forward’ to students since, I feel it is now time to ‘pay it back’! More to the point, however I feel that I have the required energy and love of tertiary education to make a positive and dynamic contribution to the perpetuation and fostering of innovative and engaging practice across the sector in our country.
I am a human geographer and development studies professor who publishes on Latin America and the Pacific Islands and currently hold two Marsden Fund grants in these areas. I recently completed, with Prof John Overton, Geographies of Globalization (2nd edition) published by Routledge and have been Editor of a number of scholarly journals. My main area of interest in pedagogic terms is the concept of ‘virtual fieldwork’ which I hope to develop over the coming years as a means of transporting students to the field that will complement real fieldwork - which students enjoy and learn from so much. Most importantly, I can play the banjo at meetings. For free.
Dara Davenport, Co-opted Member, 2017
In the 23 years I’ve been working in the Adult Community Education (ACE) sector as a literacy and numeracy tutor I’ve worn many ‘hats’.
I’ve fulfilled roles including tutoring and co-ordinating workplace and Industry Training Organisation contracts and have worked with vocational tutors to help them embed literacy and numeracy into their programmes. I currently hold the role of Whakarite hunga ako (Tutor Co-ordinator) at Literacy Waitakere which involves mentoring, monitoring and appraising internal tutors. I’ve held various roles on governance committees of several ACE organisations and have trained tutors around New Zealand through my role as a national tutor trainer for Literacy Aotearoa, a treaty based organisation.
Playing bad golf, riding two-up on our Suzuki GSX1400 and burying my nose in a good book are things I love. Working with adults, in all walks of life, for longer than a short piece of string I often feel I’m getting the hang of it all. I feel I can bring a different perspective of the tertiary sector to the board and would like to see more members of the academy come from the ACE arena.
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 Professor of Geography at the University of Canterbury. He is particularly interested in active pedagogies, including problem-based and community-based learning. He leads courses using these approaches to contribute to post-earthquake recovery in Christchurch. He has published a number of books, including the recently co-edited Making A New Land, Environmental Histories of New Zealand (2013). He is a registered auditor with the Academic Quality Agency for New Zealand Universities.
Eric was the Present of the Ako Aotearoa Academy for 18 months with his tenure ending in April 2016.
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.