Pieter Pelser

Location: Department of Biological Sciences
pieter pelsner in biological sciences greenhouse for teaching awards

Nominated by Professor Matthew Turnbull, Professor Jack Heinemann, Biological Sciences

Pieter believes that “teaching is most effective when learning takes place in an environment in which students feel supported and receive the personal attention and encouragement that they need to excel.”

His nominators confirm: “Pieter has developed ways of instilling in students a higher personal commitment to engagement, not through cajoling or pressure, but through targeted feedback that results in improved learning outcomes. He brings a warm and personal approach to students, starting by getting to know each student by name.”

One of his students says: “Pieter is one of the best teachers I have had. He genuinely cares about students learning, the way he answers questions shows that he doesn’t just want me to do well in assessments, but to actually understand the concepts he is teaching.”

Pieter has worked with Student Care and the Māori Development Team to organise four extra-curricular Positive Learning Workshops targeted to meet the needs of ‘at risk’ students. He is currently working on ‘5-minute Secrets to Success’ in his first-year lectures to improve student well-being, academic skills and the transition from high school to university. He has also shown a strong commitment to course design and in particular to incorporating the UC graduate profile attributes.