Media Advisory February 22


EXCHANGE DEAL SIGNED WITH BREMEN UNIVERSITY

Waikato University has signed an Exchange Agreement with Bremen University in Germany which will allow for the exchange of courses, staff and students. The deal was signed last week by Waikato’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford, and Bremen’s Rector, Professor Dr Wilfried Muller. Undergraduate and graduate courses and papers can be exchanged between the two universities, which means students can complete a joint degree by undertaking studies through the other institution. The signing comes on the back of the beginning of a major project between the two institutions called Intercoast. That project, which kicked off in early February, will see 39 international PhD students and post-doctoral fellows research the Bay of Plenty coastline and aspects of the North Sea in the coming nine years. The multi-disciplinary research projects will have direct benefits for industry, local bodies and the residents of the Bay of Plenty.

 

POWHIRI FOR NEW STUDENTS

New students at Waikato University will be welcomed onto the Hamilton campus on Wednesday February 24. First-year students and their families are welcomed on at the Te Kohinga Marama Marae at Gate 4 and given briefings about what to expect of life and study on campus. Other events include a Row-Box which will be stationed at the university for the day. The Row-Box is an exhibition inside a retractable 20-foot shipping container which unfolds to reveal four rowing machines. Digital technology allows users to have a virtual row along Lake Karapiro as it will look during the World Champs later this year. The University of Waikato has a partnership with New Zealand Rowing and World Cup Rowing 2010.

 

SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD

Concepts of ‘apology’ and ‘remorse’ are critical to coming to terms with the past. They’re important in the context of criminal restorative justice, the health system and our personal lives, as well as in the ‘big picture’ context of the nation state, such as the Treaty claims process. A symposium held last week at the University of Waikato brought together 11 invited speakers from different disciplines to discuss the politics and culture of memory and forgetting, and to draw up a research framework particular to Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific region. Organised by Pro Vice-Chancellor Maori Professor Linda Smith, an expert in Maori and indigenous education, and Pro Vice-Chancellor Post-graduate Studies Professor Giselle Byrnes, who specialises in New Zealand history, the symposium covered topics including the Canadian experience of reconciliation through apologies and reparations, Parihaka and ‘the very long sorry’, the place of remorse and apologies in criminal law, apology in mental health contexts, and the rhetoric of healing in New Zealand. “The concepts of apology and remorse cut across many disciplines and cultural contexts,” says Professor Byrnes. “We realise this is a fertile area for future research, so what we’ve done at the symposium is pull people together to see what insights we can draw from our collective viewpoints.” Contributions to the symposium will be published in a forthcoming book, edited by Professors Smith and Byrnes.

 

NEW DIRECTIONS FOR NEWSPAPERS

A visiting media academic and former newspaper man thinks newspapers will survive despite the threat from new media. Dr Kenton Bird, who’s studied the history of journalism and is Director of the School of Journalism at the University of Idaho, says people thought radio would die when television came along, and now that new media are giving more traditional forms a bit of a shove it should be seen as an opportunity to adapt and change to meet audience needs. Dr Bird is basing himself at the University of Waikato while he spends a semester studying community newspapers in New Zealand. He says New Zealand is an interesting case study. “You’re relatively young, geographically isolated and have two Australian companies owning many of your media outlets. It could be New Zealand becomes an incubator for new forms of community interaction.” Since arriving here, Dr Bird has been reading avidly to find out how our news is presented, what our priorities are and what strategies are being used to retain readers, on and offline.

 

UNI LIBRARY COLLECTION BECOMES A LEGACY

The University of Waikato Library is the first New Zealand library to list a collection on Legacy Libraries, an online index system that records the personal libraries of famous historical figures. Pei te Hurinui Jones, of Ngati Maniapoto descent, was a leading Maori scholar and translator in the 20th century. His manuscripts and personal library collection are among the most significant collections held by the University Library. His work includes the editing and translating of three volumes of Maori chants and song-poetry into English; translating three Shakespeare plays into Maori; and, writing several books on Tainui and its people. He was made a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1961 and received a Waikato University honorary doctorate in 1968. Legacy Libraries is a subset of LibraryThing, a social indexing web application for storing and sharing personal libraries and book lists. LibraryThing was first established in 2005 and has one million users and more than 40 million books indexed.

 

BIKE RIDING GRADUATES TO RIDE 25,000KMS

Three University of Waikato graduates are poised to take on the world – by motorbike. Law graduates Rob Gray and Rob Climo have joined forces with Waikato management grad Mike Jacobson and two friends, Tom Anselmi and Misha Kravcenko, to complete a 25,000 km motorbike journey from Vladivostok to London. The trip, which they’re calling the 51st Traverse, has been two years in the planning and will take them from the Russian Far East through Mongolia and Central Asia, across Turkey and southern Europe, and up through France. They plan to start the ride in April and travel through the Northern Hemisphere summer, reaching London some time in October. As well as seeking sponsorship for the ride, they’re aiming to raise a dollar for every kilometre they travel to help build a shelter for street children in Vladivostok. It’s part of a project set up by New Zealander Rachel Hughes who runs a charity there called Living Hope. Jacobson is a sales and marketing consultant with Auckland-based company Business Mechanix, Rob Gray works at leading law firm Russell McVeagh in Auckland and Climo works at another top Auckland law firm, Buddle Findlay, just across the road from Gray.

 

STUDENTS IN THE DISPUTE

Waikato University Hillary scholars are featuring at this year’s Hamilton Garden Festival. Three of them, Michael Potts, Kirsty Russell and Zoe Vaile have roles in The Dispute by Pierre Marivau, and they’re joined by four other Waikato University students and staff member Sara Young, and directed by Gaye Poole, senior lecturer in Theatre Studies. The play investigates who is more unfaithful in love, men or women? What if four young people had been locked away in isolation since birth? What if they were to be released for the first time? How would bodies and minds reared alone respond to the first words, the first lies, the first kisses? Two of the five performances of The Dispute will be ‘deaf friendly’. The signed performances will be on March 1 at 6pm and March 4 at 6.30pm.

 

NEW CAFÉ ARTISTIQUE AIMS TO DEMYSTIFY THE ARTS

University of Waikato Continuing Education presents a café artistique that aims to demystify the arts. Beginning in mid-March 2010, Demystifying the Arts is a series of presentations that is designed to help people broaden their knowledge and understandings of art in a friendly and non-overtly-academic environment. Through open discussions, participants will engage with many forms of art and gain an understanding of the principles of art appreciation through presentations by Waikato University experts and local Hamilton artists. Demystifying the Arts will take place on the third Thursday of every month beginning March 18. It will be held in various locations which include the main University of Waikato campus and local Hamilton art galleries. For more information visit www.conted.waikato.ac.nz

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