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Otago Polytechnic teachers win three Tertiary Teaching Awards

Date: 18 August 2016

Three Otago Polytechnic teachers have been awarded prestigious national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards for “absolutely world-class” teaching – representing a quarter of the field of 12 educators honoured this year.

The annual Awards, administered by Ako Aotearoa, celebrate New Zealand’s finest tertiary teachers. They were announced tonight at a parliamentary dinner jointly hosted by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, and the Chair of the Education and Science Committee, Dr Jian Yang. 

Among those honoured were Otago Polytechnic’s Institute of Sport and Adventure Head, Dr Megan Gibbons; Principal Engineering Lecturer, Richard Nyhof; and Senior Carpentry Lecturer, Matthew Thompson, who each take home $20,000 in recognition of their achievements.“

"Megan, Richard and Matthew are brilliant at what they do, motivating and inspiring their students with the expertise and passion they demonstrate,” says Chief Executive, Phil Ker. “I’m delighted that their dedication and excellence have been acknowledged by the Awards Committee.”  

A total of 18 Otago Polytechnic educators have been recognised with these Awards over the past decade, highlighting the exceptional quality education on offer at the institute.

Ako Aotearoa’s Director, Peter Coolbear, says it’s a great privilege and pleasure to host the Awards. “Each year, this gives us an opportunity to celebrate tertiary teachers and teaching that is truly student-focused and absolutely world-class.”


Otago Polytechnic’s Ako Aotearoa Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards


Dr Megan Gibbons – Head of School, Otago Institute of Sport and Adventure

Richard Nyhof – Principal Engineering Lecturer, School of Architecture, Building and Engineering

Matthew Thompson – Senior Carpentry Lecturer, School of Architecture, Building and Engineering


Clive Humphries – Principal Lecturer, Dunedin School of Art


Adrian Woodhouse – Senior Lecturer, Food Design Institute

Daniel Pfyl – Senior Lecturer, Food Design Institute

David Gillespie – Lecturer, Food Design Institute

Stephen Ellwood – Lecturer, Food Design Institute

Tony Heptinstall – Senior Lecturer, Food Design Institute

Judith Roddick – Principal Lecturer, School of Nursing

Caroline McCaw – Communication Design Academic Leader, School of Design


Jane Venis ─ Creative Studies Academic Leader, School of Design


Professor Leoni Schmidt – Head of School of Art

Peter Bilous – Snowsport/Avalanche Studies Programme Manager, Central Otago campus


Maxine Alterio – Principal Lecturer, Educational Development Centre


Judy Magee – Senior Lecturer, School of Foundation Learning


Adrian Woodhouse – Senior Lecturer, School of Hospitality


Margo Barton – Fashion Academic Leader, School of Design.

Published on 18 Aug 2016

Orderdate: 18 Aug 2016
Expiry: 26 Aug 2016