About us

The project brings together knowledgeable and experienced staff within tertiary and graduate development. Read our bios for more information.

Susan Geertshuis

Susan Geertshuis

University of Auckland

Susan is a Professor of Lifelong Learning and the Director of Learning and Teaching at the University of Auckland Business School. She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK and has over 20 years of experience related to building business and employability attributes. She has led externally funded research and development projects in the field of teaching and learning since the 1990s and has previously managed partnerships with employers, trade unions and educational institutions.

See Susan’s staff profile.

Rob Wass

Rob Wass

University of Otago

Rob is a lecturer at the Higher Education Development Centre (HEDC), University of Otago, with a role to support staff and students through project-based professional development and consultancy. His service positions include being on the First Year Experience advisory board, First-year Learning Support Services working group, OUASSA review panel member, and he has been a member of the University College Council Advisory Group since 2008.

At HEDC Rob provides academic oversight and strategic direction for the Peer Learning Programme and the Programme for Tutors, which merges with his research interests on assessment, peer learning, and academic staff development for sessional staff.

See Rob’s staff profile.

Narissa Lewis

Narissa Lewis

University of Auckland

Narissa is a Professional Teaching Fellow in Learning and Instructional Design at the University of Auckland Business School. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK and leads the equity stream of the project. Her PhD research focuses on employability practices within higher education and how these prepare first-generation students within the NZ tertiary context.

See Narissa’s staff profile.

Gavin Brown

Gavin Brown

University of Auckland

Gavin T.L. Brown, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Quantitative Data Analysis and Research Unit (Quant-DARE) in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. His research focus is on school-based assessment, informed by psychometric theory and methods, with a special focus on the psychology of teacher and student responses to assessment. He conducts multivariate statistical research (including confirmatory factor analysis; structural equation modelling, item response theory; and longitudinal latent curve modelling), with a special interest in cross-cultural differences. His interest in graduate attributes focuses on the measurement of the various attributes. Gavin is an Affiliated Professor at the University of Umea, Sweden and an Honorary Professor at the Education University of Hong Kong.

See Gavin’s staff profile.

Helena Cooper Thomas

Helena Cooper Thomas

Auckland University of Technology

Helena is a Professor of Organisational Behaviour in the Faculty of Business, Auckland University of Technology. Her research includes building students’ work-related abilities and the adjustment of new employees to the workplace. She has also supervised Masters and PhD research on employability. In her former role as Director of the Industrial, Work and Organisational Psychology Programme at The University of Auckland, Helena liaised extensively with employers, accreditation bodies, and supervised 1-year intern students.

See Helena’s staff profile.

Jennifer Curtin

Jennifer Curtin

University of Auckland

Jennifer is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland. She has 15 years of experience developing and coordinating for-credit internships courses for Politics and Policy students in Australia and New Zealand. She has worked to expand the Masters of Public Policy at the University of Auckland to ensure its teaching and learning approaches are meeting the employability needs of the public and non-government sectors in New Zealand and internationally. Alongside this Jennifer has co-supervised with agency professionals a number of research students working on applied policy projects. Jennifer has a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from the University of Canberra and won a Faculty Teaching Award for sustained excellence in teaching in 2015.

See Jennifer’s staff profile.

Barbara Kensington-Miller

Barbara Kensington-Miller

University of Auckland

Barbara is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education at the University of Auckland. She teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, works with academic staff on aspects of their teaching and research, and supervises Masters and PhD students. Her research area fosters and promotes teaching and research of early-career academics. Her research includes peer mentoring, academic identity, communities of practice and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). She is currently leading a large government-funded project working with students, lecturers, and employers, investigating the graduate attributes that are invisible on transcripts and not formally assessed such as communication, persistence and affect.

See Barbara’s staff profile.

Peta Mobberly

Peta Mobberly

University of Auckland

As Career Development Manager at the University of Auckland (UoA) Business School, Peta prepares and supports students to secure meaningful graduate employment. Her aim is to help students find interesting, challenging and enjoyable work that utlises their skills, talents and the knowledge they have gained as a student. Peta was previously a Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology, Research Assistant at UoA (Psychiatry and Behavioural Science) and Career Consultant in the UoA’s central careers service.

See Peta’s staff profile.