2021 UC Medallists:

Inspiring Stories of Excellence

One of the ways we celebrate the amazing mahi happening across the University is through the UC Medals, which are awarded by the UC Council to recognise sustained excellence in the categories of research, teaching and innovation.

In 2021, there were three winners of the UC Research Medal and one winner of the UC Teaching Medal. They received their medals at Pō Whakamānawa, a ceremony celebrating excellence, on 24 November.

Congratulations to our winners. You inspire your students, your colleagues, and your communities with your expertise, dedication, and passion for your work. Thank you!

2021 UC Research Medals

Associate Professor Alex James and Professor Michael Plank are recognised for their ground-breaking work developing a series of mathematical models that have informed the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in New Zealand.

As key members of the national team of scientists at award-winning research centre Te Pūnaha Matatini, their modelling expertise has been used to understand the potential impact of the virus on Aotearoa’s most at-risk communities.

Associate Professor James and Professor Plank’s clear communication with the Government has had significant health and social impacts and they have also shared their knowledge with the public through articles and media interviews. 

Read more here >>

Professor of Business Markus Milne

Professor Milne has been researching ways to count the social and environmental cost of business for 30 years. He is known as a pioneer of social and environmental accounting, a field that is gaining international recognition as awareness of climate change grows.

He has spoken out about the need for businesses to be more transparent and accountable in measuring their carbon emissions, resource use and other environmental consequences.

The Research Medal is UC’s highest award for excellence in research over a sustained career, and Professor Milne is placed first in Aotearoa for academic citation across all areas of accounting.

Read more here >>

2021 UC Teaching Medal

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Rua Murray

Associate Professor Murray has been awarded this prestigious medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to teaching and teaching leadership at UC and in the wider community.

He consistently receives positive feedback from students for his enthusiasm, clarity and organisation, with one describing him as “the Ashley Bloomfield of math lecturers”.

Associate Professor Murray has led Academic Board discussions on Teaching Quality and this year has been involved in a Royal Society Te Apārangi expert panel advising the Ministry of Education on maths literacy for New Zealand schools.

He has previously won a UC Teaching Award (2009) and an Ako Aotearoa Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching Award (2013) and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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Celebrating more excellence

There were further awards and recognitions at the 2021 Pō Whakamānawa, a ceremony to celebrate excellence.

New Emeritus Professors were:

Emeritus Professors Richard Light, Roger Nokes, Simon KempDave Kelly and John Harding.

Professor Emeritus/Emerita is an honorary title presented to a person in recognition of academic service to the University. The title is awarded by the UC Council and endures for the life of the recipient.

Teaching Awards were awarded to:

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Acknowledgements were given for these national awards:

Emerging Career Researchers Awards

This category, which recognises emerging researchers and their contributions to research, were awarded to:

Canterbury Early Career Research Awards

  • Dr Laura Revell for the Cooper Award
  • Dr Gilles Seropian for the Hatherton Award
  • Associate Professor Elizabeth Macpherson for the Early Career Research Excellence Award for Humanities.

Higher Education Academic Fellows and Senior Higher Education Fellows were: