2013 Teaching Awards

National Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence - 2013

Dr Jing Chi


Vice-Chancellor's Teaching Awards - 2013

Citation for Sustained Commitment to Teaching Excellence

Dr Jing Chi

Dr Jing Chi is passionate about helping her students reach their potential. She strives to break down the barriers to learning finance. Making the learning relevant, using ‘live’ examples and creating an interactive classroom is paramount to her.  She believes in her students and enriches their learning by using her own examples of working in the field and by highlighting how to overcome barriers as she did as an international student.

Jing has harnessed rich digital media in her use of Stream. Her podcasts and video lectures allow students to revisit material, prepare for exams and practise using formulae in ‘real’ examples at their own pace.  These resources are particularly valued as students comments indicate: “MP3 lecture notes… [were] extremely beneficial…for direction and guidance and a great help…a feeling of personal contact”, and “Practice questions greatly assisted my learning”. Notably, Jing is able to ‘reach’ a diverse group of students, from young internals to mature aged extramurals up skilling as a requirement for the workplace.  Continual improvement is a feature of Jing’s teaching as she strives to make the learning meaningful and readies students for the workplace. In recognition of Jing’s teaching she was awarded the College of Business Richard Buchanan Teaching Excellence Award in 2012.

Fundamental to Jing’s work at Massey is her desire to forge partnerships with universities abroad. Her leadership led to the 2+2 programme with Wuhan University in particular, which has seen the very successful recruitment and teaching of cohorts of students who complete a BBS. Many of these students have won Massey awards and moved into postgraduate study at Massey. She feels privileged to assist international students adjust to Western education as well as make a difference to the Massey community.

Dr Thom Conroy

Dr Thom Conroy’s portfolio documents a dedicated teacher committed to helping his students understand literature and experience in the creation of writing fiction and becoming lifelong learners.  For Thom “Creativity means connection–not only with what we know but with what we don’t know”. He uses his experience as a writer to inform and spark creativity in students and in turn informs his teaching with student feedback.

Establishing a trusting, participatory environment where students need to ‘expose’ themselves to critique is essential for Thom. In workshops students take turns to listen while their writing is discussed in terms of language usage, characterisation and the effect this has. These intensive sessions ensure students’ are taken seriously as they learn about their writing and the processes of creative writing. Testaments to Thom’s skill are student comments, “We were baring our deepest selves at times and it was always safe”, and you are “really trying to develop all the students as writers and thinkers”.

A significant aspect of Thom’s teaching is his ability to create learning situations out of his students’ experiences and needs. As a result each student’s path to learning and creating is different. As one student says, “Thom found a brilliant system for conducting online workshops… This system has been an absolutely tremendous success and added incredible value…”.  Peer review online of student writing is another method Thom uses to develop students as writers.  Dr Conroy is proud when he hears his students have become published writers or have gone onto to further study.

Associate Professor John Holland

Creating a learning environment where students are inspired to give of their best underpins Associate Professor John Holland approach to teaching.  Frequently student feedback says, “His endless energy and positivity makes you constantly achieve above what you think is possible”… “and think outside the square”.  He brings a vast array of work experiences in mines, on tobacco farms, banking and exploring the rivers and wetlands of Central Africa to his teaching in environmental management to benefit all students.

His portfolio documents the care and skill with which he engages and encourages his undergraduate and postgraduate students.  John is renowned for going beyond the classroom.   The annual field trips to locations in New Zealand and on numerous occasions overseas, where students wrestle with the demands of consulting local iwi and farming communities, and local business interests to complete environmental impact reports. These trips are defining moments for students, and are highly valued.  As numerous students commented they “opened up my career prospects”, and “ten years later I still tell...stories from the brilliant field trips”.

Dr Holland is passionate about supervising and mentoring and is noted for the many postgraduate students who have graduated in a range of fields under his tutelage.  His peers regard him as “an exceptional educator … [with]… a great willingness to try new ideas”.  John is most proud of establishing a mentoring programme between postgraduate students and gifted secondary school students to expand the horizons of both groups. His commitment to the wider community and science education is very evident in his teaching.

Dr Damian Ruth

Dr Damian Ruth’s portfolio documents his passion for igniting life-long learning, creating learning communities and developing student confidence. He uses a teaching model that challenges, engages and ensures students integrate theories about strategy, governance and change management with practice. He says management is a “social activity, but managers act as individuals, thus, learning in class runs from individual independent activity to group cooperative activity.”  His approach resonates with students as their feedback indicates: “You pushed me and kept me thinking in class…to learn how to think about life, values, and [the] future”, “the session helped me do something I never did before…”.

Dr Ruth is committed to ensuring a research led teaching and learning environment, with research in both his discipline and into his teaching. The latter has led him to enrol in a Postgraduate Diploma of Design to find new ways to enhance student learning. Students learn to build ‘bridges’ and represent their learning pictorially as they grapple with strategic management theory and practice. As a scholarly practitioner Damian shares his research findings with colleagues and challenges them to think differently about learning.

In 2008 Damian was the Pearson Education ANZAM Management Educator of the year, 2009 saw him awarded a Senior Teaching Fellowship at the University of Windsor in Canada and in 2010 he won the College of Business Richard Buchanan Teaching Excellence Award. This clearly highlights his sustained teaching excellence.

Citation for Sustained Commitment to Teaching Support

Scott Symonds

Scott Symonds is passionate about helping Massey staff enhance the quality of their teaching and leveraging the potential of new digital media for learning. Design thinking underpins his passion. As a Teaching Consultant, Scott’s work is strongly influenced by the view that creativity in learning design is absolutely essential to providing an exceptional and distinction learning experience for students. He is widely respected across the University for the strong working relationships he establishes with academic staff and for his contribution to several award winning teaching and learning projects. Scott played a key role in the successful implementation of Stream and continues to lead and support a number of innovations in teaching, including the development of mobile apps, integration of rich media for learning and the effective use of the Video-linked Teaching rooms. His leadership extends to the innovative design of online and blended forms of professional development for academic staff.  Notably, Scott actively contributes to several professional associations and some of his external presentations have received conference awards. He feels privileged to work in an environment that has allowed him to develop his academic and professional skills to a level where he can make a real difference. His portfolio concludes that working with a wide variety of such committed teachers and colleagues is an inspiration and pleasure.