Faculty for Academic Studentship: Design and Creative Technologies (Engineering)
Role: Academic Support - Tutor
Ethnic Origin: Samoan
An interest in teaching and research led Junior Nomani to take on a role tutoring undergraduate Engineering students, offered through the Pasifika Academic Studentship Programme.
“In terms of long term career goals, it’s probably either teaching for research for me”, says Nomani, and with the paper consisting of one hour-long lecture and 3 hour-long tutorials per week he is certainly gaining experience in the prior. The 28 year old, of Samoan ethnic origin, has been involved with the Studentship programme for 3 years now.
While the Academic Studentships were developed with supporting Pasifika students in mind, Nomani points out that there are very few Pasifika students studying for qualifications in engineering. This means that his academic studentship has been broadened and entails contact with the wider mainstream student population.
“I’ve had some times when Pacific Island students [in other papers or disciplines] have come to me and asked for help, and yeah, I wish there was more contact with Pasifika students… it’s hard trying to spot the brownies!”
A background in mechanical engineering provided Nomani the skills necessary to take on the role of tutor, having previously worked and studied in the field he teaches – CAD drawing for mechanical engineering. Currently in his third year of studying towards a PhD, Nomani’s research focuses on the mechanical properties of a specific steel alloy that is traditionally hard to shape.
While Nomani acknowledges that trying to balance the work involved with the academic studentship and his study can be challenging at times, his commitment to gaining teaching experience and feedback from his students are what keeps him going.
“It all comes down to the quality, how I present myself to the students, and what they take in. Their feedback as been really rewarding”