Media Advisory May 23

The Waikato Management School Marketing Trade Show event was held on Friday May 20. The annual event involves students in their first or second year of studying marketing and communications creating a new product idea in a specified industry. Students decide how to price, distribute and promote the product. Ideas on display included safety devices for people involved in scuba diving, swimming at the beach and rugby as well as products aimed at keeping children, the elderly, truck drivers and teenagers safe. The work done by students throughout the semester culminated in the design of an exhibit that showcased their ideas to a group of judges on the night. The event is similar to a science fair or trade exhibit and judges act as potential ‘retail buyers’ when evaluating exhibits. The overall winners for 2011 were Iris Lee, Jo-Ellen Powell, Rosa Hughes and Rebecca Hopkins who came up with the idea of a GP Suit.

The University of Waikato has signed an agreement alongside AUT University, Massey University and Victoria University to support New Zealand’s future high performance athletes. The ‘Athlete Friendly Tertiary Network’ agreement was developed by the New Zealand Academy of Sport to provide flexibility to students pursuing sporting and academic excellence. The University of Waikato already has the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship programme and this new agreement continues the university’s commitment to work with high performance athletes to help them balance study and sport commitments. The Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarships are the University of Waikato’s most prestigious scholarships and are awarded to students who are high academic achievers and who show potential in the arts or sport. Scholars have their course fees covered, receive specialist coaching and mentoring and take part in personal development and leadership programmes.

Waikato University's Professor John Gibson gives a public lecture on May 27 about the relationship between home ownership and the undertaking of civic duty. Research has found that people who own a home are more likely to undertake civic duties such as voting and contribute to social capital by volunteering than those who rent. These positive external effects may be used to justify policies favouring owners over renters. Data on individual voting in a general election from two New Zealand Electoral Surveys (NZES) and area data on volunteering from the last three Censuses of Population were used in the research. Professor Gibson delivers the presentation at the Waikato Management School in room MSB 1.02 at 1pm on May 27. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The 2011 Waikato Management School Dean's Prize Giving is being held today, May 23 at the University of Waikato's Academy of Performing Arts. All the Management School academic prizes, awards and scholarships awarded over the past year will be presented by Associate Dean of Research, Professor Delwyn Clark. More than $25,000 will be given to about 60 students for academic achievement in Accounting, Finance, Economics, Strategy and Human Resource Management and Management Systems or who are awarded a Dean’s Medal for academic achievement throughout a programme of study. A further 16 high achievers will be presented scholarships for excellence in a variety of areas. Prizes range from between $250 and $2000. Unlike most scholarships there is no requirement or provision to apply for these prizes, instead students are personally advised in writing if they have won a prize.

The University of Waikato Chamber Orchestra’s annual winter concert on May 29 will feature the Conservatorium of Music’s “Golden Boy” of cello, Santiago Canon Valencia. At the Beijing International Cello Competition last October, the 15-year-old shared the top prize for his performance of Tchaikovsky’s highly virtuosic Variations on a Rococo Theme. This performance marks the third time Santiago has been featured as a soloist with the University Chamber Orchestra. The Orchestra’s Director and the Conservatorium’s cello lecturer, James Tennant, feels the young student is “on a pathway that will take him to the heights of a career similar to a Yo Yo Ma or Pieter Wispelwey". Along with the Tchaikovsky work, the orchestra will open the concert with Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture and conclude with Brahms’ monumental Second Symphony. Tennant admits that this symphony is “the ultimate test for a university orchestra.” The University of Waikato Chamber Orchestra plays on Sunday May 29 at the Academy of Performing Arts from 7pm. Tickets are available from

Former Rotorua Girls’ High School student Shannon O’Donnell first started water skiing at eight years old and has now been accepted into the prestigious Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship programme at the University of Waikato as its first barefoot water skier. O'Donnell is studying towards a Bachelor in Sport and Leisure Studies which she will juggle alongside high level water ski training in the summer and competitive netball in the winter. “I love barefoot water skiing because it is something different, it’s thrilling, risk taking and a real buzz.” O'Donnell is one of 47 new scholars on the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme, which awards scholarships to academic high achievers who show significant leadership qualities and also excel in sport or in the creative and performing arts. The scholarships provide full university course fees while studying at Waikato, comprehensive support for the recipients’ academic, sporting and/or arts activities and additional support in leadership and personal development. Last year Shannon was a member of the New Zealand Junior Barefoot Water Ski Team which competed in the world champs in Germany and placed third overall. She is aiming for a medal in any of the three individual events (jumps, slalom and tricks) at the World Champs being held in the United States next year. The squad will be named after the national competition next April. O'Donnell has also excelled in netball, and in 2010 was selected for the BOP Lois Muir Team and the BOP Under 19 team. “I feel very honoured to receive the Hillary Scholarship. They give you amazing support both for your sport and your studies and it will be a big help for me through my sporting career.”

Keir Bettley has received a Hillary Scholarship from Waikato University to help him on his way to playing international level cricket. A former Hamilton Boys’ High School student, Bettley is in his second year of a Bachelor of Business Analysis degree. This year Bettley made his debut for the Northern Districts team, taking a wicket on his first bowl. Bettley also captained the victorious Hamilton team which won the Hawke Cup – the most prestigious trophy in New Zealand district association cricket – in March. Next season he hopes to be reselected for the Hamilton team, and the Northern Districts team for the four-day competitions, as well as play club cricket for Melville. Bettley, who began playing cricket at age five, spent two seasons playing for English clubs during 2007 and 2008. He returned to New Zealand after three years working in Melbourne and decided to concentrate on his cricket. “I’m passionate about cricket and realised I wanted to take it as far as I could.” Bettley is one of 47 new scholars on the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme, which awards scholarships to academic high achievers who show significant leadership qualities and also excel in sport or in the creative and performing arts. The scholarships provide full university course fees while studying at Waikato, comprehensive support for the recipients’ academic, sporting and/or arts activities and additional support in leadership and personal development. Bettley is delighted to receive a Hillary Scholarship saying the mentoring and financial support will be a big help as he juggles his academic work with training and sporting commitments. His short term goal is to earn a full-time spot on the Northern Districts team and his ultimate goal is to represent New Zealand internationally.

Brain injury is often described as ‘the invisible epidemic’. It has a huge impact on people’s lifelong health and interactions with family and the wider community. Waikato University's Dr Nicola Starkey, in partnership with her AUT and Auckland University collaborators, has been awarded nearly $350,000 in funding from the Health Research Council and Lottery Grants Board to extend an HRC-funded study of the impact of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on children and their families. The new funding will allow the researchers to explore how brain injury in childhood or adolescence affects subsequent cognitive, social and academic development. The HRC has awarded a clinical research fellowship worth $250,000 to postgraduate student Rosalind Case to look at the impact of brain injury on school-related functioning in children. The Lottery money ($97,500) will fund a follow-up study of older children, aged 8-16, with TBI for up to two years after their injury. Dr Starkey’s research will assist health professionals and considerably increase our understanding of the impact of traumatic brain injury on children and their families.

They’re unlikely bed fellows, but glam rockers and skeletons feature in the latest exhibition at Waikato University’s Calder & Lawson Gallery. CalledNew Romantics, the exhibition explores ideas of danger, mystery and desire. It features the work of six contemporary New Zealand artists and according to University of Waikato art curator Karl Chitham, exposes some of the darker visions alongside those with a more tongue-in-cheek appeal. “Sam Mitchell, Paramount Award Winner of the 2010 Wallace Art Awards, offers a clever take on the singing sensations Sonny & Cher and T-Rex. Covered with tattoos of roses, super heroes and The Jetsons, these musical icons were known for promoting ideas of free love and glamorous excess.” Another artist in the exhibition, Niki Hastings-McFall shows a different side to the ins and outs of love. Her cheerful skeletons and skulls, nestled amongst fake flowers look like the tributes left at graves by family and friends. Others showing work are Graham Fletcher, emerging artists Kathryn Tsui and Emma Smith, and Zina Swanson, who only just made it to the exhibition after her Christchurch studio and archive of 10 years was destroyed in the February earthquake. New Romantics runs until June 19. 

Most people think Antarctica is completely covered in ice when actually 0.3% is permanently ice free. That might not seem like very much, but almost all life on the continent is found in these ice-free areas. And it’s where Antarctic scientists direct much of their research. The value and relevance of Antarctic science to New Zealand is the focus of a conference being held at Waikato University early next month (July 4–6). The 2011 annual Antarctic Conference is for students and scientists involved in Antarctic-related research. Some of the conference discussion will focus on taking knowledge gained through research beyond the confines of academia to a broader public and policy makers. Last year Waikato University received $50,000 from Antarctica New Zealand in seed funding for the new International Centre for Terrestrial Antarctic Research (ICTAR) to establish the Antarctic Research Endowment Fund. Professor of Environmental Biotechnology Craig Cary, who is director of ICTAR, says hosting the conference is timely for the university as it will signal the start of a fundraising campaign to build on that seed money.

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