Media Advisory March 12

 WAIKATO UNIVERSITY HOSTS ANNUAL STAKEHOLDER BREAKFAST

The University of Waikato hosts its annual Stakeholder Breakfast in Hamilton this week. Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford will update community and business leaders on the university’s enrolments, financial situation, and goals for 2012. The breakfast is attended by business and community leaders from around the region and takes place at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Wednesday 14 March.

SIR EDMUND HILLARY SCHOLAR ON A FUTSAL MISSION

University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar and New Zealand Futsal White Brayden Lissington has been given a tough task: make futsal popular in the Waikato. Waikato Bay of Plenty Football has recently employed Brayden as the Futsal Development Officer, and tasked him with finding players and starting a league in Hamilton. Futsal is a five-aside game similar to football but played with a low-bounce ball, on a basketball-sized court, without rebound walls or nets. It is a game that combines creativity, speed, technique, teamwork and quick thinking. Futsal is the only FIFA and NZ Football approved version of indoor football and the world’s fastest growing indoor sport. “In New Zealand futsal has been going for a while, but my job is to get futsal started and a league going in the Waikato,” says Brayden. “At the moment I’m targeting all the heads of football in secondary schools, marketing futsal as a great way for young players to develop their skills.” Brayden has been holding sessions with developing football players around the Waikato and Bay of Plenty to try and entice them to the faster-paced version of the game.

WAIKATO STUDENT SCOURS TAURANGA HARBOUR FOR RESEARCH

A University of Waikato student is creating an inventory and repository of marine organisms in Tauranga Harbour to see if there are potential cancer-beating or PSA-beating compounds in Bay of Plenty waters. Summer Research Scholarship student Nikki Webb has been creating an inventory and a bio-resource repository of Tauranga harbour marine life, checking those organisms for potential drug and agrichemical leads. Webb’s research is part of a bigger study by the University of Waikato’s Chair in Coastal Science Professor Chris Battershill, looking at the biochemical machinery of marine organisms to generate bio-medicinal and agrichemical leads. New Zealand is internationally recognised as being one of the top source countries for bio-discovery leads with a drug licensed for breast cancer in late 2010 and three other compounds currently in late phase clinical trials. Webb has been working with the university’s Environmental Research Institute to make the inventory. “We’re going to have a look at some extractions of these organisms and see if they have any bioactive properties which could then hopefully evolve to be anti-cancer drugs or PSA or other agrichemicals.” To date, Webb has collected algae species, sea weed, sea sponges, sea squirts and other samples of marine life samples from Leisure Island, Waikareao Estuary and Rabbit Island.

UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES TESS EMBLING MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

The University of Waikato has launched a new scholarship in honour of a student who died from cancer in 2010. Faculty of Science and Engineering staff members Fiona Clarkson and Catherine Bryan have created a scholarship to celebrate the life and achievements of friend and classmate Tess Embling. The Tess Embling Memorial Scholarship is aimed at Masters students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering who have a love of nature and a passion for their studies. Masters students in the first year of their degree can apply for the $1500 scholarship, with preference given to students studying biological or environmental science. Tess Embling was a highly-respected, hardworking student who came to the University of Waikato after establishing a successful career in I.T., because she wanted to pursue her interest in nature.

GETTING TO KNOW FRANK

Five hundred letters by New Zealand writer Frank Sargeson have been turned into a book, edited by Waikato University senior lecturer in English Dr Sarah Shieff. Letters of Frank Sargeson will have its official launch at the university this week on Wednesday 14 March. Dr Shieff spent almost five years on the book, tracking down 6000 of Sargeson’s letters he wrote to friends and lovers, and to prominent and aspiring writers in New Zealand and overseas. She then selected 500 based on biographical and literary interest, historical interest and general liveliness. “The letters show how Frank loved looking after people,” says Dr Shieff. “He made his home available to other writers, and gave away most of what he earned to the shabby older men he was so fond of. But he could also be malicious, gossipy and interfering. He really was a character in his own life story.”

WAIKATO UNIVERSITY’S NEW HILLARY SCHOLAR’S A KNOCK OUT

Growing up with three brothers meant being rough and tough was just a part of life for University of Waikato student Jessica Howse. Now, the new Sir Edmund Hillary scholar is making her mark in kickboxing and is training for the world championships in England later this year. “I started kickboxing for fitness, but due to the amount of training I did, I very quickly started competing and now I absolutely love it,” says Howse, who’s studying for a Bachelor of Management Studies degree. Howse is one of 43 new Hillary scholars on Waikato University’s 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 Hillary 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. “Having the support of different people for my training and studies makes my start at university so much smoother. It also means I can get to the world championships in August, which I otherwise would have struggled to do.”

FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS RECEIVE SHARE OF $90,000 IN SCHOLARSHIPS

Eighteen first-year University of Waikato students received a share of $90,000 in scholarships from the David Johnstone Charitable Trust. The trust, which aims to help science and education students expand their knowledge, recognises first-year students who demonstrate qualities of character, initiative, enterprise, ingenuity and leadership. Each student received $5,000. Successful students were Melissa Appel, Jessica Danby, Parham Foroutan, Emma Gillard, Abbey Greenwell, Golde Holzapfel, Hannah Juby, Christina Korebrits, Kirsty Kraakman, Sarah Longman, Severin Mahoney-Marsh, Kayley Martin, Conor Maxwell, Ira Pascoe, Amy Rodger, Andrew Sherson, Benjamin Smither and Shalee Watkins. Scholarships are administered on behalf of the David Johnstone Charitable Trust by Guardian Trust.

WAIKATO UNIVERSITY HALLS GET MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR FACELIFT

The University of Waikato is investing $7.5 million this year to upgrade part of its student accommodation. In the first of a projected series of works, two of the four College Hall blocks are undergoing significant renovations. “The halls will be brought up to a superior standard – there will be data cabling to every room, wi-fi throughout, fully upgraded bathrooms, more student lounges, and modern furnishings and fittings in the bedrooms,” says Head of Facilities Management John Cameron. There will also be increased security for students, with electronic access control to the exterior of the buildings, and upgrading of all power, lighting, water reticulation, drainage and heating. The university plans to recycle or reuse as much of the existing furniture as possible in the upgrade. Work is currently underway on one block and will begin on the next in August, for completion by March 2013. The university will complete the upgrade of all College Hall accommodation blocks by 2015 and hopes to upgrade the blocks in the other three halls of residence subsequently, but any work will cause minimum disruption to students. Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the halls are a big part of the student experience at Waikato.

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