Associate Professor Jay Marlowe receives national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award

09 August 2017
Associate Professor Jay Marlowe teaching one of his classes at Epsom Campus.
Associate Professor Jay Marlowe teaching one of his classes at Epsom Campus.

Ako Aotearoa recently announced the recipients of the national Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards (TTEA) for 2017.

Associate Professor Jay Marlowe, from the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work at the Faculty of Education and Social Work, had the honour of being chosen as one of the recipients of the Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award, general category, recognising Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching.

The TTE awards aim to recognise and encourage excellence in tertiary education at a national level. They also provide an opportunity for teachers to further their careers and share good practice in teaching. 

“I feel humbled and incredibly honoured to be selected,” Jay says. “This award will support me to maintain a possibility focus as I continue to develop and learn as a teacher.  And I must recognise the many people who have walked alongside me in what has been both a professional and personal journey.”

Professor Graeme Aitken, Dean of Education and Social Work says that Jay is an example of “the finest expression of teaching”.

“The finest expression of tertiary teaching is the teacher’s ability to engage diverse learners, cognitively and emotionally, with authentic and important societal issues, and to develop understandings and actions in response to those issues that are theoretically and practically informed. Jay is an example of that,” Professor Aitken says.

The Dean also commended Associate Professor Marlowe’s “rare feat” of having achieved both research and teaching excellence in the University. Jay has previously received a Marsden Grant and a University of Auckland Early Career Research Excellence Award.

Jay’s nomination for the TTE award was replete with shining testimonials from many grateful past and current students and mentees, including those from refugee backgrounds whom Jay has strongly advocated for within the University and beyond over his many years of teaching.

Jay says, “As teachers, simply accepting the status quo is not a sustainable or ethical position. For me, teaching is about asking questions, thinking about what might be possible and then working towards achieving those objectives. Collaborative and imaginative building processes are central to tertiary teaching that inspires students.

“This quote by Thoreau captures this process:

‘I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavours to live the life which she/he has imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours... If you have built your castles in the sky, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.’”

The Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards are open to teachers from across the entire tertiary education sector. To date, more than 150 teachers have been celebrated through the Awards.

Funding for the awards is provided by the Tertiary Education Commission and managed and administered by Ako Aotearoa.