Anatomy of an award-winner

University of Otago award-winner for top lecturer, Prof Mark Stringer. Photo by Jane Dawber.
University of Otago award-winner for top lecturer, Prof Mark Stringer. Photo by Jane Dawber.

The winner of this year's University of Otago award for top lecturer says teaching an interesting subject and having motivated students are behind his success.

Anatomy lecturer Prof Mark Stringer was among 10 staff vying for the Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) title of the university's top teacher, after being nominated by their students.

Among the accolades from students who nominated Prof Stringer were that he made "everything seem easy" and had a "wicked sense of humour".

After receiving the award at a ceremony this week, he said that when he heard the comments from his students read out he did not believe they could be talking about him.

"I didn't think they were describing me, I thought it was clearly someone else," Prof Stringer said.

He credited his success to anatomy being an stimulating subject and to his having motivated students.

"I love my subject ... anatomy is the coolest subject, there is nothing more important or fascinating in my book than the human body, but also it's such a joy to teach medical students because they are so motivated and they are such an inspirational group."

For the third year running, senior lecturer Dr Gill Rutherford picked up the inclusive award, which recognises "excellence in inclusive teaching and a commitment to understanding disability as a human rights issue".

The other staff awarded for their teaching were Tony Zaharic, Dr Tony Schneiders, Paul Pearce, Dr Nicola Atwool, Haruko Stuart, Flavia Rubini-Lean, David Bishop, Dr Constantin Grigorut and Suzanne Duncan.

OUSA student support manager Matt Tucker said the awards gave students the chance to recognise teachers who made "every class fun".

"There may be academic awards out there but you can't beat the voices of the students".

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz