Staff Spotlight: Patrick Coleman

Academic Coordinator, English Language

Patrick is the Academic Coordinator for English Language at Lincoln University. He has worked in a variety of sectors (high schools, tertiary institutions) and taught international students, refugees, and migrants from a diverse range of countries. He loves meeting people, regardless of where they come from, going hiking, and watching movies.

What is your favorite travel memory?

A number of years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Papua New Guinea. It has over 800 languages. I was going there on behalf of Lincoln University to do some English language testing.

To get from the capital city Port Moresby to a mining town called Kiunga I had to fly over dense tropical forests. The view from the plane was amazing. The local people were very welcoming.

My lasting impression was talking to the students after the test. Their hunger for education was something that I had not experienced before. There was a group of people who had walked for three days through dense forests to try and join our test. It was a humbling experience and made me realize how easy it is to take getting a good education for granted.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

In my role as Academic Coordinator, I have been able to understand and appreciate different parts of Lincoln University.

Throughout this time, I have been in contact with lecturers and supervisors from various departments such as Agribusiness to Food Science to Landscape Architecture. The amazing people and the research that they do have broadened my own knowledge. It is because of their work and enthusiasm that I am able to bring this knowledge into our English language program.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

One of the major comments I get from ex-students is how thankful they are that they did our course. Some tell me how other students ask them how to write in an academic style or want help doing assignments.

I tell our students that they need to be active learners, not passive ones. By doing this they become experts at what they do.

So when I hear that ex-students are assisting others, it means I have done a great job! Some of our students have gone on to get great jobs in New Zealand and even become staff at the university.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The English language program at Lincoln is unique because it is part of the university. If you go to some institutions, English language is delivered outside the university. However, at Lincoln, English language is a division of our university. This means we are connected to the university departments. Therefore, the English Language staff work directly with other university staff to provide the best possible service when you study there.

Also, once students are enrolled they become full Lincoln University students. This means you have access to the same facilities like the library and recreation center as any other student, regardless of your length of study.

You can even join university clubs like the hiking club and get heavily discounted deals on activities around the Canterbury region.