Otago Polytechnic

Symposium Presenters

 Ye Yinzhong  

Ye Yinzhong

Dr. Ye Yinzhong is the Vice President of Shanghai Institute of Technology, China since 2009. He is currently supervising Teaching & Learning Affairs, Student Enrollment and International Communication. As a professor, he majors in Electric & Electronic Engineering and Automation, serving as the vice chairman of Committee of Technical Process Fault Diagnosis and Safety, Chinese Association of Automation (SAFEPROCESS CHINA). He obtained his PHD degree from East China University of Science and Technology in 1989 and worked for East China University of Science and Technology from 1983 to 1994. During the period of 15 years to 2009, he joined in Shanghai Maritime University as a professor and then served as the assistant president.

     
 Valerie Sundby-Thorp  

Valerie Sundby-Thorp

Valerie Sundby-Thorp is the dean of Social Science and Business at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington. She holds both a master’s degree and a doctorate in educational leadership and has served as an educational administrator for more than 15 years.

     
Omihito Matsushita   

Omihito Matsushita

Omihito Matsushita is the Dean of Research, Professor, Department of Global Information Technology and Management at Kanazawa Technical College in Japan

Omihito specializes in design methodologies to enhance students’ creative thinking and in teaching English as a foreign language to future global engineers. He teaches English through a content-based approach. He works to create student-centered learning environments where language learning is a fun and engaging experience. In his current role, he also emphasizes the application of the Design Thinking approach into practical engineering education in order to accelerates students’ conceiving and designing processes to explore new opportunities for more complex problem-solving. Additionally, he is engaged in creating co-creative learning environment where students’ activities include communication, collaboration, creation, and cross-culture in global settings. He earned his Master’s Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Saint Michael’s College in the U.S.A. (2003), and holds a Master of Design Methods Degree from the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology in the U.S.A. (2012).

     
 Karen Vaughan  

Karen Vaughan

Karen is a Chief Researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research. She leads the research programmes on Career Education/Youth Pathways and Vocational/Professional Education. Over the past 14 years Karen’s work has directly influenced many initiatives, policies and practices including: Youth Guarantee, Vocational Pathways, and Industry Training systems for assessment of on-job learning. Karen believes strongly in the rich learning potential of all settings, particularly those outside of institutions.

     
 Samuel Mann  

Samuel Mann

A geographer, Sam is interested in the nature of the sustainable perspective - the sustainable lens - that practitioners in all fields bring to their work, and how this can be applied in disciplines with great societal leverage. He has taught and researched at Otago Polytechnic since 1997, including five years as Head of Department, mainly in software engineering and interaction design, and latterly in Capable NZ with the professional practice and WBL programmes.

     
 
Glenys Ker
 

Glenys Ker

The Programme Leader of Capable NZ, Glenys is interested in the learner’s professional practice and how they might achieve this within the range of programmes on offer.  She has been involved in secondary and tertiary learning and teaching (both Polytechnics and Universities) for the past 35 years, including Head of School and Career Centre Manager.  She is a trained career practitioner working in a range of contexts including high-performance sport.  Glenys has worked in Capable NZ for the last ten years.  Glenys is currently undertaking the Doctorate of Professional Studies through Middlesex University in the UK, the University that Capable NZ’s programmes are modelled on.

     
 Barry Law  

Barry Law 

Barry has 29 years’ experience in tertiary education at Canterbury University & Otago Polytechnic, specialising in experiential learning, education for sustainability & learner capability and has been responsible for the development of frameworks to shift business and organisational thinking and practice in these three areas.

He was the National Education for Sustainability coordinator for the Ministry of Education from 2002-2008. He co-wrote the Environmental Education guidelines for MOE in 1998. He has been involved in a number of international UNESCO projects in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, Thailand, Fiji & France. He has also been a participant in an International Sustainability Education invitational research team based in Australia, NZ, England and Denmark 1994 -2004. During 2005-2007 he was a member of the NZ Decade of Education for Sustainability Committee.

He received an NZ Green Ribbon award for service to the Environment 1997, and the Outdoors NZ Excellence award for Environmental leadership in 2007.

     
Gagan Sachdeva  

Gagan Sachdeva

Gagan Sachdeva is the Director of Innovation and Growth at Future Skills Academy. 

Gagan has been associated with Future Skills since early 2007 and has played a pivotal role in managing and growing the institution over the last 8 years, with revenue increasing significantly and Category I status awarded by New Zealand Qualifications Authority.  In his current role, at Future Skills he is responsible for setting the strategic direction and driving a strong focus on Operational Excellence and innovation in the organisation. He is currently working on a number of projects including the development of an online platform for learner capability development and enhanced employability of graduates.

As the founder member of Auckland International Campus (international education arm of Future Skills set up in partnership with Otago Polytechnic), Gagan was in charge of setting up the initial team and building an empowered culture in the organisation. Gagan currently serves on the Board of AIC.

Prior to joining Future Skills Gagan pursued his entrepreneurial journey as the Founder Director of a logistics company providing warehouse management solutions in India before which he had been involved in setting up business with Aviva Life Insurance and Times Internet in India.

Born and educated in India, he has a degree in Mathematics from Delhi University as well as Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management.

     
 Nyk Huntington  

Nicholas Huntington

Nicholas Huntington is the Senior Project / Research Analyst at Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, where his role focuses on managing special projects, strategic events, and the Centre’s work on policy issues.  Before joining Ako Aotearoa Nicholas was the Senior Analyst/ Researcher for the Industry Training Federation, and prior to that he worked in a variety of policy and research roles across the education and health sectors, including roles with the Tertiary Education Commission, National Health Committee, and Health Workforce Advisory Committee.  From 2014-2015 he was Chair of the Governance Group for the Foundation and Bridging Qualifications Review. Nicholas is a previous national committee member of the Association of Social Science Researchers: Te Aka Rangahau Pūtaio Pāpori, and is currently a PhD candidate at the VUW School of Government undertaking a thesis on policymakers’ approach to evidence in the context of skills policy. 

     
 Nigel Studdart  

Nigel Studdart

Nigel is the STEM Project Manager, Education Strategy at NorthTec

Nigel leads innovative solutions with a passion for transformational technology, problem-solving, and making the world a better place to live. He is a specialist in student-centric and integrated curricular design.

A clinical chemist by training in atherosclerosis research Nigel’s career reflects a modern multi-dimensional track from cardiac research to maritime operations and management. Managing a superyacht fleet in build operation and refit in diverse global locations he developed skills in cutting edge marine engineering and technology along with soft skills in customer-focused environments negotiating with government’s and regulatory authorities to meet the fluid expectations of high net worth individuals.

Education is no less complex, and certainly not so well funded as we are required to use less money, smarter.

Nigel believes the future of education lies in a creative STEM arena which embraces a competitive and disruptive environment. This must be delivered to meet complex and liquid expectations of funders, customers and consumers both nationally and internationally.