FREEDOM Personnel & Faculty

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Dr. Melissa Hackell

B.SS, M.SS and Phd (University of Waikato)

Facilitation Foci: Research Methods, Research Projects, Education,

Social Sciences, Health and Public Policy

Melissa is a political scientist and public policy analyst who has researched extensively in the field of social policy and has special interest in unemployment, welfare and child protection policy.  Melissa has taught in education, political science and public policy programmes.  She was a recipient (one of ten nationally) of the ‘Building Research Capabilities in the Social Sciences (BRCSS) Doctoral Awards in 2006. She is a member of the New Zealand Political Studies Association and has held leadership roles such as Chairing the Hillcrest Community Childcare Centre and volunteered for New Zealand Plunket’s ‘Tots and Toddlers’ Course for adolescents. Past employers include Waikato University and Waikato Institute of Technology.  More recently, she has worked as an editor and independent researcher. Melissa currently teaches post-graduate research methods in the FREEDOM Institute of Higher Education’s postgraduate and Master’s Applied Leadership programmes.

Recent publications

Hackell, M. (2016), ‘Managing anxiety: Neoliberal modes of citizen subjectivity, fantasy and child abuse in New Zealand’ In Citizenship Studies. 20, (6-7) 1-16

Hackell, M. (2013) ‘Taxpayer citizenship and neoliberal hegemony in New Zealand’ In Journal of Political Ideologies, 18 (2) 129-149

Research Interests/Expertise

Her research interests include citizenship, social policy, curriculum design and leadership studies.  She is currently working on research in the fields of political psychology and sustainable organic farming methods.  Melissa is also currently studying to become a professional educational facilitator.

Melissa plays in the Hamilton ukulele band, the Strumbles, and is a member of the management team for the Waikato Ukulele Jam, a volunteer organisation that seeks to promote individual and community well-being through music.

Eliot G.F. Henderson

BSocSc, BCS, CEdFac, LLDP

Business & Retail Education Facilitator

About Eliot

Eliot has worked in education related roles as a Museum Education Host and Tour Guide and as an educational programme operational administrator and computer support person in a large tertiary institution. He has also worked for over 5 years in retail distributor, customer service and retail management roles (including sole management). Past employers include Waikato Museum, Te Wānanga O Aotearoa, Cadbury’s, Simply Squeezed and Z NZ. Eliot makes valuable contributions to the management team in the areas of Operations, website, student management system administration, quality management system maintenance and reporting and at times caters professionally for Institute functions as well as facilitates education programmes in Business and New Zealand Studies for the FREEDOM Institute of Higher Education.

 Research interests/expertise

Eliot’s research interests lie in facilitating business improvement (systems, decision-making and community responsibility). Eliot is planning a Legacy Leadership Project based aimed at promoting small changes in people’s habits that can make a large impact on their quality of life. Eliot is currently completing a double major Bachelor in Social Sciences and Marketing and an Advanced Certificate in Educational Facilitation.

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Arwyn Singh

BSc, ACS (Comp), LLB (Hons) and LLM (Northumbria University)

Facilitation Foci: Legal, Marketing and Management

About Arwyn

Arwyn has worked as a Head of Department for Legal Studies at College PTPL (affiliated to MSU University) for 16 years and later as a Senior Lecturer at HELP University in Malaysia and was also actively involved with recruitment and marketing. He taught papers in law for the UK Degree Transfer programmes and the University of London External programme. He specialised in Constitutional law, Law of Tort and English Legal System. A speaker of four languages, Arwyn’s community work ranges from disaster relief & supporting welfare organisations (as an ALERT CADET Squad Leader and Second Lieutenant), a volunteer with Community Fruit Hamilton, in addition to supporting orphanages as a church member.

Research interests/expertise

Arwyn’s expertise in marketing and academics has given him special insights and understandings into international learner needs and the challenges they face. A highly effective writer and editor, Arwyn contributes in writing marketing materials, and interacts with learners, parents, agents and education institutions internationally.

Work undertaken in the past has also included general academic administration and the provision of professional development on good teaching practices, academic writing, boosting research performance, E-learning, psychology of learners and learning, assessment methods, neuro linguistic programming, cyber law, bench marking learning outcomes, management of legal courses and programmes.

Recent publications/research in progress

1.   Arwyn Singh. (2015) ‘The Election Commission of Malaysia: Challenges and Prospects’. Conference paper presented at the 6th Asian Constitutional Forum, National University of Singapore, December 2015

2.   Arwyn Singh. (2014) ‘Managing Elections – Who does it better? A comparative analysis of election regulators in Malaysia and the UK’. Conference paper presented at the UUM International Conference on Governance 2014

3.   Arwyn Singh. (2012) ‘Perhaps the time is right for the Election Commission of Malaysia to enhance its independence and impartiality’ (2012) HELP Law Review

4.   Arwyn Singh. (2012) "Liberalisation of absentee voting and procedures in Malaysia”. Published on-line by the International Malaysian Law Conference

5.   Arwyn Singh. (2010) “Sanctioning stem cell patents on the basis of morality: Lessons from Europe and the USA” (2010) HELP Law Review

6.   Arwyn Singh. (2011) “Malaysians residing overseas are denied the right to vote as absent voters: Reform to the postal ballot process”. Conference paper presented at the University Technology MARA on ‘Emerging Issues in Public Law: Challenges and Perspectives’

Arwyn is currently planning a project in collaboration with FREEDOM faculty and involving several businesses in Cambridge, a small Waikato town. This project will involve an Appreciative Inquiry into local businesses and will identify opportunities to improve efficiency.

Dr. Donald Joyce

CertAd&Tert.Ed, BSc (Hons), and PhD, (University of Cambridge)

 Facilitation Foci: Research, Information Technology and Research Supervision

About Donald

Donald has a vast and successful background as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Professor, Academic Quality Adviser, Group Facilitator and Mentor in both university and polytechnic settings in New Zealand and overseas. Donald has held positions at Unitec, Massey University and the Universities of Auckland, Cambridge, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Otago, Oxford, Papua New Guinea, and the South Pacific. He has also served as chair of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications (NACCQ). Academic quality system work has included contributions and leadership roles related to academic issues, academic integrity, academic standards, academic statutes, appointments and promotions, postgraduate studies, preliminary studies, undergraduate studies, and university status. Donald has directed qualifications from certificate to doctoral level, served on two NZQA panels, acted as a subject expert for a PTE’s application for approval and accreditation of a degree and as a degree monitor at three institutes of technology.

 Research interests/expertise

Donald’s research interests have in the main focussed on academic integrity, assessment and learner success, programme development, delivery and review. Recent publications include a textbook used in 13 countries, 66 papers in conference proceedings (17 international and 49 national), 35 other conference presentations (11 international and 24 national) and 20 journal papers (9 international and 11 national). Successful supervision of Master’s and doctoral learners is also a key skill and area of experience. Donald is a highly competent, innovative and methodical consultant who can provide clients with quality solutions, systems and materials.

Susan F. Stevenson (nee Graham)

Susan F. Stevenson (nee Graham)

DipTchg, HDipTchg, AdDipTchg, CTT, BritScrtDip, DipRec&Sp,   
AISTD (Ball. London), AISTD (Lat. London), MNZFATD (Lat.NZ)
BEd, PGDip Arts (Education), GradDipCD&AL(Hons) and M.Ed

(University of Otago)

 President (Academic and Research)

Higher Education, Health and Business

Educational Facilitator and Consultant

 About Susan

Susan has held a range of senior management and leadership roles including University Staff Developer, Research Manager, Senior Lecturer, Department Head and Research Fellow, specialist Degree Programme Curriculum Advisor/Designer/Developer, NZQA Approvals and Accreditations Advisor, National Academic Manager, and multiple charitable trust and company directorships. She is currently the President of the International Higher Education Curriculum Designer & Academic Leadership Society. Susan was a USA, UNESCO Scholarship Recipient and has chaired an NZQA Subject Advisory Group as well as research and ethics committees. In 2006, Susan founded House of Montrose Limited, and is now a ‘hands on’ Chief Executive Director of this leading business and education consulting company who trades as ‘NZCDI Business and Education Consultants’ and the highly successful ‘New Zealand Curriculum Design Institute’, a NZQA Registered and Approved Course Owner organisation. Susan has lead or contributed to numerous level 1 to 9 qualification designs or re-development projects and was appointed as an NZQA degree approval and accreditations panellist/chair in 2010. 

Research interests/expertise

Susan has been successfully engaged in advanced educational, academic and business leadership, facilitation and research activities for over 30 years in New Zealand. She has experience in managerial and leadership roles in various context including schools, museums, polytechnics, wananga, businesses and universities. Areas of specialist expertise include institutional and staff capacity building, curriculum design and advanced transformational learning by individuals and organisations. Susan’s consultancy work focuses on organisational quality development, quality facilitation and learning, curriculum design, effective and continuously improving quality management systems and applied leadership. 

Recent publications/research in progress

1. Susan Stevenson. (2015). Work-integrated Learning (WIL) experience approach in New Zealand. In (Eds) Sally Brown Learning, Teaching and Assessment in Higher Education: Global Perspectives. London: Palgrave Teaching & Learning.

2. Susan Stevenson. (2015). ‘Professional educational facilitation – a brave new capacity building approach for higher education’. Conference paper presented at Higher Education Group Conference, September 2015

3. Susan Stevenson. (2014). ‘Pushing the refresh button on higher and tertiary education in New Zealand’, Conference paper presented at Tertiary Education Research in New Zealand Conference, November 2014

4. Susan Stevenson. (2012). The Organisation. In (Ed.) Mary Panko Developing A Research Culture, Auckland: Dunmore Press.

Susan is involved in numerous projects with FREEDOM faculty including:

S. Stevenson, Academic Leadership: Uncensored Wisdom(forthcoming)

S. Stevenson, A. Mukherjee and D. Pjongluck, Lifting Leadership Expectations: The Positive Business Model. (forthcoming)

S. Stevenson. A. Shukla, N. Going, E. Henderson, A. Singh.  Expectations, Realities and Challenges faced by learners in PTEs (forthcoming)

Susan F. Stevenson. Addressing Inequalities through Innovative Curricula and Professional Higher Education Learner Leadership Education in New Zealand In Intercultural Studies in Higher Education: Policy & Practice. (forthcoming), Palgrave MacMillan

Graeme E. Stevenson

CMech.Fitter, Third Marine Steam Qual.

 Finance Manager

About Graeme

Graeme has a diverse employment history initially working in the agricultural sector, before undertaking an apprenticeship as a machine operator and becoming an Iron Machinist, Fitter and Turner, Locomotive Maintainer, and the Auxiliary, Caseinating, Unit and finally a Panel Operator at the Genesis Huntly Power Station. He has an interest in mathematics and has served as a finance director at governance level for three companies, one family trust and one charitable trust since 2000. Graeme currently has responsibility for all FREEDOM company financial records and operations as well as quality management systems, and works closely with the other Directors and the academic and research President to ensure the smooth and high quality operation of FREEDOM. He is a keen sportsman; plays golf and squash and runs when time allows. Graeme authored a children’s book entitled ‘Where is the Pot Lid?’ which was inspired by a conversation with one of his sons. Graeme has an interest in quality education that supports independence and positive contributions to family and society.

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Dr. Cecilia Zhang

BA, Master of Management and PhD of Education

Assistant Research Manager

Facilitation Foci: Higher Education Facilitator

About Cecilia Zhang

Cecilia Zhang has a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Management and PhD of Education. She has two years part-time working in the Wuhan Engineer University, China, 2010-2012. She was also an editor of the Higher Education Journal office in China. She came to New Zealand for her PhD study in 2013. Dr. Zhang currently leads higher education programmes and her special capabilities in the field of evaluation, her PhD supervisor was the eminent Professor Saville Kushner, a global expert in evaluation methods with an underpinning focus on developing democracy and equity in society. Cecilia continues this tradition and is currently completing a book about evaluation for Springer.

 Research interests/expertise

Education evaluation, Higher education, Educational theory, Case study and Citizenship education

Recent Journal publications/research in progress

1)     Zhang Cecilia, “Chinese international students’ citizenship attitudes in the New Zealand context”, Citizenship Teaching and learning, 13(2), 2018, in progressing.

2)     Zhang Cecilia, “Directors inside of Electronic Fences”, a book chapter of Evaluative Enquiry and Democracy: Theory and Method,2017.

3)     Zhang Cecilia, “Kites Flying: Chinese overseas students’ reflections on National Identity”: The Qualitative Report, 2017.

4)     Zhang Cecilia, “The Third Space: Impact of the Hidden Curriculum on the Understanding of Chinese International students in New Zealand”, book chapter of Educating Chinese-Heritage Students in the Global-local Nexus: Achievement, Challenges, and Opportunities, 2017.

5)     Zhang Cecilia, “As far as the government is a good government, it is democratic”: Citizenship education in China, Journal of Citizenship, Social and Economic Education, 2016.

6)    Zhang Cecilia, “Analysis on the Educational Quality-ensuring Measures of the State-owned University in JiangXi Province”,Journal of Gannan Normal University.2011 (in Chinese)

7)     Zhang Cecilia, “Compare Female Education between China and American”, In Business Culture.2010 (in Chinese)

 Conferences Presentations

1)     The 10th Conference for the International Association for Citizenship, Social and Economic Education (IACEE) in 2013.

2)     The Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) conference in 2015.

3)     Paper: All at Sea: the struggle of the case study worker with Professor SavilleKushner.http://www.anzea.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/all-at-sea.pdf

4)     Visiting Scholar at the Education Institution of Hong Kong in October 2015.

5)     Paper: Qualitative Research: How is it done?  Presented at Twelfth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in May18-21 2016, Champaign-Urbana, IL, USA.

Professional affiliations

Member of New Zealand Chinese Scientist association (NZCSA)

Recruitment Officer of the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Peer Reviewer of Journal Citizenship, Social and Economic Education

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Professor Nelleke Bak

BA (Ed), BA (Hons), MA, PhD (University of the Western Cape)

 Facilitation Foci: Research Methods and Research Supervision

About Nelleke

Before moving to New Zealand in May 2015, Dr Nelleke Bak was the Director of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Cape Town, where she was responsible for overseeing postgraduate policy, streamlining systems, encouraging appropriate innovation, developing educational resources and providing academic and professional development opportunities for 8,500 postgraduate students and 320 postdoctoral fellows. Prior to this role Nelleke was Professor of Education Policy Studies at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, Associate Professor-Director of National and International Scholarships at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, USA, Director and Chief Curriculum Developer of the South African Nation Responsible Gambling Schools Programme, Associate Professor, Director of Postgraduate Enrolment and Throughput at the University of Western Cape South Africa and, and at the start of her career a teacher and School Head of Department. Through her positions, Nelleke has developed significant skills in the areas of postgraduate teaching, supervision (both Masters and PhD students), resource development and academic management and leadership. Nelleke speaks three languages fluently, has gained an outstanding Teacher Award, is an experienced facilitator and has developed curricula – class-based and web-based resources for diverse audiences.

Research interests/expertise

Nelleke’s research interests include philosophy of education, critical and scientific reasoning, curriculum design, teaching-facilitation quality, ethics and postgraduate education. In addition, she has written a series of guides for postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, administrators and supervisors including: Research Proposal Guide, Thesis Guide, Supervision Guide, Guidelines for the Administration of Master’s and Doctoral Students, Guide to Academic Writing, Guide on Avoiding Plagiarism, Guide on Managing Postdocs, Publishing from your Thesis, a Supervision Starter Pack and has co-written  a Student Survival Guide. Nelleke has published in numerous journals, written a book entitled Completing your Thesis: A Practical Guide (van Schaik, 2004) and has contributed to a range of publications. Nelleke’s main research interests include ethics of the Built Environment, Scientific Reasoning and Critical Thinking, Supervision Relationships and Practices, Youth Gambling and High-Risk Behaviour.

Recent publications/research in progress

1.    Bak, N. (2015). Complementary models of supervision. Acknowledged contribution in In Holness, L. Growing the Next Generation of Researchers. Cape Town: UCT Press.

2.    Bak, N. (2011). Professionalising the supervision relationship: A reply to Waghid, Fataar and Hugo. South African Journal of Higher Education 25(6): 1047-1061.

3.    Bak, N. (2007). Taking Risks Wisely, Grades 7-9. The South African Responsible Gambling Trust: Johannesburg (Piloted version: 2007; final version: 2010)

4.    Bak, N. (2004). How to Complete Your Thesis: A Practical Guide. Pretoria: Van Schaik’s.

Professional affiliations/Editorial Boards

The South African Journal of Higher Education (1998 - 03)

The South African Journal of Education (2000 - 03)

Law, Democracy and Development (2001)

Foram Shah

CAdEd, B.Sc. (Statistics - Gold Medal), M.Sc. (Statistics), & M.Phil. (Statistics) 

 Facilitation Foci: Business and Quantitative Research

About Foram

A qualified adult educator and talented mathematician, statistician and quantitative research analyst, Foram gained a Gold Medal award for her Statistics studies in India. Foram then began her teaching career in high schools and through private mathematics coaching in India. This experience created a strong base for the education work she undertook in 2003 when Foram moved to New Zealand with her family. Foram initially focussed on language teaching and joined a private provider as an ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) tutor. Since her start in higher education in New Zealand, Foram has progressed from Diploma Tutor, Marketing Coordinator, Programme Leader, Campus Manager, Head Tutor to an Institutional Director of Studies. Foram has an array of international networks and education and business contacts in New Zealand and India and is an enthusiastic and hardworking advocate for the projects and interests of those she works with. Foram can provide vital multi perspective which is often a key to project and market entry success.

Research interests/expertise

Over the past years Foram has successfully led a number of projects at national and international level and has been involved in strategic planning, EER preparation, NZQA panel defences, academic leadership decision making, quality assurance, curriculum development, plus international and national marketing and recruitment planning and implementation. Foram has also worked in the university sector in New Zealand and is currently undertaking a PhD in Mathematics education. Foram is a capable consultant with special skills in the support and development of international student markets, market planning, analyses and market entry as well as in curriculum development areas.

Parvinder Summan

Executive Co-ordinator: Systems and Facilities

Facilitation Focus: Hospitality, Business, Finance, and Restaurant and Cafe Management

Parvinder has a diverse background which includes acting as an Executive Personal Assistant to a range of eminent NZ education leaders. She has lead a range of businesses including highly successful restaurants and cafes. She has high levels of expertise in human resource management, financial record keeping and general business administration.