Media Advisory May 02

TED ZORN AWARD RECIPENT ANNOUNCED

The Programme Director for Foundation for Youth Development Waikato, Karen Blue, is the recipient of the 2011 Ted Zorn award for Management Communication, awarded to a Waikato University communication graduate who is excelling in their field and who has a strong focus on ethical practice. Karen Blue has worked at the non-profit organisation since graduating in 2007 and in that time has overseen staff growth from three to 12 and implemented several initiatives designed to assist 2000 disadvantaged children and youth in the region make the most of their potential. Professor Ted Zorn says he was very impressed with Ms Blue's achievements at FYD. “She took a small organisation with an important mission and has helped it to grow and expand its reach. While most of our past winners have been communication professionals, Karen has used her communication skills and knowledge in a general management position. She is a great role model for our students and alumni." Ms Blue completed her BCS while holding down a full-time job and says her study isn’t finished yet. “I’ve done one honours paper and will do another in Semester B. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to PhD level, but I definitely have a masters in mind.” She will receive her Ted Zorn Award during graduation week at the University of Waikato.

TAURANGA MĀORI LANGUAGE CLASSES FOR BEGINNERS

A course for absolute beginners wanting an introduction to the Māori language and customs will be held on Wednesday nights over an eight-week period in Tauranga. The course assumes no prior knowledge and will focus on pronunciation and the construction of simple sentences. The eight-week programme includes: asking, saying colours, clothing articles, family tree constructions, numbers, the use of tēnei, tēnā and tērā and verbal sentences. Presenter Christine Brooks, a Waikato University graduate, will hold the classes at the Tauranga City Campus, 144 Durham Street, between 6pm and 8pm. The course is open to all and has a $150 fee. Enrolments can be made online.

GRADUATION UNDERWAY AT UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO

The University of Waikato, Tauranga kicked off the graduation season this year starting at the Holy Trinity Church on April 29 and this week, it's Hamilton's turn. This year about 1500 students are set to graduate, the details of who can be found in the 2011 graduation programme. The schedule can be found online or purchased at the graduation ceremonies. Graduate profiles have also begun to be released to the media profiling interesting and successful students. The newly released graduation cow Mū, an udder-less stuffed toy Friesian, will be on sale alongside the long-standing graduation bears as part of the University of Waikato merchandise available to buy.

MR MOA NOW DOCTOR OF SCIENCE

The man known as New Zealand’s Mr Moa will receive a Doctor of Science degree at Waikato University graduation today, May 2. Trevor Worthy, palaeontologist, fossil-hunter and author, is internationally acclaimed for the work he’s done on moa. His 2002 book The Lost World of the Moa, written with extinction biologist Dr Richard Holdaway, is considered to be the authoritative moa text book and Dr Worthy has also done extensive research into other birds and vertebrates including frogs, lizards, crocodiles, turtles and bats. Doctor of Science degrees aren’t conferred very often. They’re awarded for an original work of special excellence in a chosen field that has been published in a scholarly journal or book, work that must then be examined by a panel of judges. The published work usually represents the culmination of a life’s work. Dr Worthy is part of the team excavating fossil deposits in Central Otago - deposits that provide the only window on New Zealand land animals that lived between the time of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago and the ice ages about 1 million years ago. Currently a Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales, he has extended his research to the Pacific and Australia, looking at faunas lost since human arrival. As well as receiving his degree today, he will be student speaker at this afternoon’s graduation ceremony in Hamilton. 

FIRST YEAR SCHOLARSHIP LEADS TO SWITZERLAND TRIP

Waikato University Management School graduate and Waikato Student Union worker Shannon Kelly has been selected to go to the World Council meeting of the YWCA in Zurich this July. The YWCA is the largest women’s organisation in the world and Kelly is one of six New Zealand women who’ll be representing New Zealand at the week-long event. “I was awarded a YWCA scholarship during my first year at uni, and it came with conditions. I had to learn governance skills and sit on a board. I’ve been on the Hamilton YWCA board for five years and am now on the organisation’s national board. It’s such an honour to be selected to go to Zurich. I feel lucky in the sense that I am the only young Māori woman going to this hui.” The YWCA World Council meetings are held every four years. This year’s theme is women creating a safe world. “The YWCA works in more than 22,000 communities world-wide, and not only will we celebrate our achievements in Zurich, more importantly we’ll examine gaps and challenges, looking at issues such as sexual and reproductive health, HIV/Aids and the eradication of violence against women. We don’t shy away from the big issues.” Shannon Kelly is aiming to raise $5000 towards her trip to Switzerland.

INTERNATIONAL BIOLOGY OLYMPIAD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Four Auckland teenagers are headed to Chinese Taipei to represent New Zealand in the International Biology Olympiad. The students were selected following a recent week-long training event hosted by the University of Waikato and Massey University. Of the 19 students from around New Zealand who attended the camp, the winning students were, Benjamin Bai and Richard Chou (Macleans College), Vicky Tai (St Cuthbert’s College), and Jack Zhou (Auckland International College). The Olympiad challenges exceptionally gifted young students in higher secondary school biology. The New Zealand team will compete against more than 55 countries in the prestigious international event. About 300 students fight for a place in the New Zealand Olympiad team each year; that number is whittled down via tutorials and exams over eight months of study.

WAIKATO UNIVERSITY OPENS DOORS TO PUBLIC

More than 3500 secondary school students from Auckland, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and Taranaki will be joined by members of the general public when the University of Waikato opens the doors on May 13. The annual University of Waikato Hamilton campus Open Day is designed to showcase the qualifications, academic excellence, student support, facilities and lifestyle the university offers students and features a range of mini lectures and tours of the laboratories, grounds and halls. Mini lectures include ‘Working @ Google’, ‘What is Computer Graphic Design’, ‘Can Machines Think?’, ‘Taming of the Shrink’, ‘Making things work: opportunities in Engineering’, ‘Fun with Statistics…Probably’, ‘Wikipedia: The world’s largest Knowledge Base’ and more. Prospective students will have the opportunity to talk to staff and current students about qualifications, entry requirements and the scholarships available. The day, which runs from 9am to 2pm, aims to give prospective students a taste of life at Waikato University. Nearly 300 students from some Hawke's Bay and Northland schools will stay at the Ngāruawāhia Christian Camp the night before and students from Gisborne Boys’ High School will stay on the campus marae. All members of public are welcome to attend. For more information call 0800 WAIKATO or go to www.waikato.ac.nz where an Open Day programme is available.

UNIVERSITY ROWERS CLAIM HEBBERLEY SHIELD.

The Waikato University Rowing Club has claimed the country’s oldest rowing trophy at the New Zealand University Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro on April 23. The men’s eights crew of Chris Morrison, Matthew Glenn, Andrew Myers, Logan Rodger, Will Meats, Giacomo Thomas, Finian Scott and stroke Shaun Kirkham, coxed by Lindsay McCowan and coached by Mike Gilbert, held the lead over favourites Otago University over the two mile course, finishing in 9 minutes and 59.3 seconds. University Rowing Club President Matt Glenn said “the Hebberley has been raced for since 1928 and the guys were pretty stoked and excited to have won by so much. I had a grin on my face from about 500 meters to go. I knew there was no way Otago would catch us.” The Waikato crew led from start to finish, beating the nearest Otago team by 17.6 seconds. The third team to cross, Otago 2, were 29 seconds behind Waikato. Auckland, Lincoln and Victoria Universities were the others competing in the race.

WOMEN'S RUGBY MAKES A COMEBACK AT WAIKATO

University of Waikato Sport Manager Crystal Kaua, who is an Aotearoa New Zealand Sevens representative and Black Ferns player, has helped breathe new life into the University of Waikato Women’s Rugby team. In their first game of the season the Varsity women’s team beat Manukau 38-12, showing that despite being non-existent for a few years, women’s rugby is still strong in the Waikato. The idea of getting the team back together was the brain child of Mrs Kaua and her Aotearoa New Zealand Sevens and Black Ferns team mates Victoria Grant and Teresa Te Tamaki, who have been travelling to Auckland three times a week to train and compete. Sick of the constant travelling, they decided to breathe new life into the Varsity rugby club. Because of a lack of competition framework in the Waikato, the team travel to Auckland each weekend to play and are hopeful of reaching the top four in the competition this year. "The University Rugby Club has always been so supportive of women's rugby. This is great for women’s rugby in the Waikato. Hopefully next year we can get two quality sides together for the Auckland competition,” Mrs Kaua says. "The most important thing is having a pathway and a place for women to play rugby if they want to. It's one of the only sports that no matter what size or shape you are, there is a position for you.” The club, made up mostly of students with some staff members, has 32 registered players and is looking towards getting a second team ready by next season.

PREDICT RIPS, SAVE LIVES

A 10-year collaboration between NIWA and the University of Waikato will help improve the accuracy of forecasting when and where rips will occur, potentially saving lives. The research conducted at Tairua Beach in the Coromandel Peninsula uses images from a computer-controlled camera set up at the end of the beach. By analysing wave characteristics over the 10-year period scientists have developed a model to forecast rip occurrence. To date the model is accurate at predicting rips 75% of the time. University of Waikato senior lecturer Dr Karin Bryan says the new analysis provides exciting information about how stable rip currents are, where they might develop and how many there might be.

USING OWN EXPERICES TO TEACH

In his upcoming inaugural professorial lecture Professor Richard K Coll will be using his own life experience as an example of how cooperative education helps Waikato Graduates. In his lecture, called ‘A journey from science to science education: Moving to the dark side, or the attainment of enlightenment?’ he will talk about the benefits of cooperative education and in particular experiences entering the workplace with a theory-based degree behind him. Professor Coll joined the University’s Cooperative Education unit in 2000, where he works to make sure Waikato graduates are workplace-ready. Cooperative education is the combination of study and work. The lecture takes place on 17 May at 6.30pm at the university's Academy of Performing Arts. The lecture is free and open to the public.

COURT OF APPEAL JUDGE ON FORMS OF ‘JUSTICE’

The Hon Justice Grant Hammond, a Judge of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand and President of the Law Commission will present a lecture on May 4 at the University of Waikato. The lecture, which is open to all, will examine the levels of justice in its many forms in New Zealand. New Zealand has, through the various courts in this jurisdiction, formal adjudicative processes. Alongside that, exist alternative dispute resolution mechanisms which produce what might be termed "negotiated justice". A fourth limb on the New Zealand legal justice tree is that of inquisitorial justice through executive-driven inquiries of various kinds, from informal ministerial inquiries through to Royal Commissions. What is the utility and character of these inquiries? And how far do they contribute to "Justice" in New Zealand? The lecture will be presented between 1.10pm and 2pm in LAW G.02. Justice Hammond is Te Piringa - Faculty of Law's 'Judge in Residence' from May 2 – 6.

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