OTS Academic Team

Outside the Square is run as closely as possible to a real-life public relations agency, with students as Account Executives, and the academic staff as Directors. Weekly ‘Work in Progress’  meetings and regular workshops ensure clients’ work is carefully screened. The assistance of experienced Industry Mentors adds another layer of checks and balances to the process of students working with pro bono clients on life projects.

The AUT staff involved as Directors are:

Pip MulesDr Pip Mules, Ph. D, M. Ed., LTCL
Pip Mules is a Senior Lecturer who teaches at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Pip’s background is in education in both the state sector and in industry. She has worked in the computer industry in New Zealand and Australia. Her primary teaching and research areas are interpersonal communication, organisational communication and persuasive communication. In her role as a Director of OTS she works closely with student groups to ensure that their public relations practice is professional, strategic and reflective.


Lenny Hyde
Lenny Hyde Lenny Hyde first started lecturing at AUT in 1996. She has worked in both the recruitment industry and education.  She has a Masters in Communication Management. Her thesis looked at how organisation continue to function while undergoing major change. Lenny is currently pursuing a PhD in communication networks in the non-profit sector. Her key areas of research and teaching interest include change communication, leadership, internal communication, and group dynamics.

As an Director of OTS Lenny is passionate about bringing out the best in all her students through careful guidance, while fostering a culture of independence. She loves seeing her students blossom into people ready to face the PR industry.  


Deepti Bhargava, APR, MCS (Hons)

Deepti Bhargava

Deepti Bhargava is a lecturer teaching across various undergraduate public relations papers at AUT. Deepti is passionate about the impact that good public relations practice can have on organisations and communities. She hopes to inspire the same in the students she works with.

As an OTS Director, Deepti is committed to ensuring that students deliver excellent outputs while maturing into becoming strategic thinkers, creative communicators and ethical professionals.

Prior to joining AUT, Deepti worked across advertising copywriting, feature writing and public relations. Deepti has an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ) recognising her knowledge, experience and professional ethical judgement. She has also won two PRINZ Highly Commended awards for her work as part of Unitec’s corporate communications team.

Deepti has a Master in Communication Studies (first class honours) from Auckland University of Technology. Her Master’s thesis explored the internet’s impact on New Zealand’s public relations practice. She is currently pursuing a PhD research on the occupational culture of New Zealand’s public relations consultancies.



Dr Averill Gordon, BA (Hons), MA, PGCHE, FHEA
Averill Gordon,
Averill Gordon is a Senior Lecturer in both the Bachelor and Master’s Communication degrees.  As a Director of OTS Averill works with students to ensure their public relations projects are highly professional and deliver quantifiable results. Averill also runs GlobCom, an international project where postgraduate public relations students work in competitive global virtual teams with other students in universities around the world to prepare a global strategy with for an international client. Students then present their programmes to the client at a central location and the winning team is chosen. 

Averill is originally a Kiwi and lived abroad for many years.  In the UK Averill set up and led the Public Relations degree at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham where, as a Director of Studies she also oversaw the academic rigour of the communications degrees (public relations, publishing, journalism and mass communications). Previously, Averill lived in London where she set up and ran an international division of Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest Public Relations consultancy, where she directed global accounts that won industry awards.

Averill’s PhD research was in global virtual teams and social media.  She has written a textbook, and accompanying learning resources, published by Oxford University Press (UK) titled ‘Public Relations’ which applies theory to practice.

Last updated: 29-Nov-2017 3.27pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.