Professor Michael Walker – Citation for Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards 2011
Teaching excellence citation for Professor Michael Walker, recipient of the Prime Minister’s Supreme Award 2011, and award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching in a Kaupapa Māori Context.
Professor Michael Walker
School of Biological Sciences
The University of Auckland
Knowing who we are
Michael creates pathways for Māori and Pacific learners to succeed in science.
Michael Walker is of Te Whakatōhea descent and continues a whānau legacy of academic excellence. Early in his career at the University of Auckland, he was asked to improve retention rates for Māori and Pasifika science learners. The resulting Tuākana Programme has had a spectacular impact across the institution for over 20 years.
Michael Walker is that rare breed that easily bridges the cultural divide. A colleague attests, 'he has led a quiet revolution – teaching Māori about science and scientists about Māori'. His commitment to learner success has been a constant in two decades of teaching and academic endeavour.
A former learner says, 'I remain in awe that Mike’s passion to grow and support young Māori and Pasifika scientists in 1991, continues today.' Michael Walker is a true rangatira, a humble, empowering visionary deriving satisfaction from the success of others. 'He is often not the person, whose name is up in lights, but the one constantly working behind the scenes towards the achievement.'
More comments from Michael’s learners:
- I credit the Tuākana programme for the successful completion of my Bachelors degree…
- My sister and I were the first in our family to even look at tertiary education, and I was the first to attend university; all of our first cousins are now undertaking tertiary education, which for me is an exceptional outcome for all of the family and our community. For me, this shift epitomises the vision and goals of Professor Walker and of Tuakana, of using success to breed success.
- What I remember most was his continued drive to become the best teacher he could be …
Read about other recipients of Tertiary Teaching Excellence Awards in 2011.
Find out more about the Awards.