Media Advisory October 29

Waikato University’s Student Centre has been recognised in the 2013 Waikato/Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards announced last Friday at Claudelands Events Centre, Hamilton. The Student Centre was among 14 other buildings recognised, ranging from small-scale projects to large commercial constructions. Designers of the Student Centre, Warren and Mahoney Architects and AECOM, received the architecture award in the category of Education and Sustainability. The Student Centre opened in late 2011 after a $30 million transformation that turned the old library into a first-stop shop for students. Its sustainable design, which includes recycled materials, energy-generating lifts, and solar heating, has already earned the building a Five Green Star rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council.

University of Waikato PhD students battled it out on stage at the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final on October 22 at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. The 10 finalists had three minutes and a static Power Point slide in which to explain their thesis to judges and a lay audience. Comedian Michele A’Court was MC for the evening. The 3MT winner was Monica Peters (from Auckland) from the Faculty of Science and Engineering who won $3000 and has a spot in the Trans-Tasman 3MT next year in Perth. Monica also won the People’s Choice Award. Her presentation was entitled “Collaborating with Community: Harnessing the Power of Citizen Science”.  The runner-up prize of $1500 went to Hamilton’s Damon Whitten from the Faculty of Education with his presentation “Understanding and Enhancing Adult Learners’ Beliefs about Mathematics”.  The 3MT final is the highlight of the university’s Postgraduate Month in October. The event showcases research being carried out by PhD students.

Novelist, poet and academic Vincent O’Sullivan is returning to the Waikato this week to present this year’s Frank Sargeson lecture at the University of Waikato. Emeritus Professor O’Sullivan taught at Waikato from 1968-1978. His novel Let the River Stand won the 1994 Montana Book Award; in 2006 he was awarded the Prime Minister's Award for literary achievement, and this year he was named Poet Laureate. The Sargeson Lecture takes place at S.G.02 at 5.30pm on October 30 when Professor O’Sullivan will talk about Sargeson’s personal and professional relationship with author Dan Davin. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will consider some of the currents, and cross-currents, of that friendship.

Dog-lover, canine researcher and Waikato University PhD student Clare Browne has been awarded one of this year’s Claude McCarthy Fellowship scholarships, enabling her to travel to the Canine Science Forum in the UK next year. The $4000 scholarship will cover Browne’s travel costs and registration, and she says she would definitely not have been able to go if not for the scholarship. Her PhD focuses on dog training– specifically the timing of giving rewards. Browne will be presenting some of her research at the forum, something from her next experiment which is currently being designed. Alongside her PhD, Browne has teamed up with the Hamilton City Council Animal Education and Control and an associate of the Hamilton SPCA to offer dog behaviour and training seminars free to the public.

Long-serving University of Waikato librarian Kathryn Parsons has been given a prestigious award for her work with the New Zealand Collection. At the LIANZA (Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) conference in Hamilton last week, Parsons received the YBP/Lindsay and Croft Award for Collection Servicesfor 2013. The award was for her work in collection development, management, acquisition and cataloguing. Parsons, who began work in the New Zealand Collection at the university in April 1989, also received a $2000 grant, which she intends using to attend the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand conference in Sydney later this year.

A day-long Pacific Research Conference being held at the University of Waikato in November will have a firm eye on the future as it tackles three themes of increasing importance to the Pacific region. The inaugural Kiwa’s Colloquium will be held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on November 12. The symposium will focus on three key topics: climate change and the Pacific; The Pacific and higher education and working for the Pacific. Pacific students will also be presenting their research at the symposium, with eight students selected to compete for five research grants, and a Pacific artist will install an original piece during the day which will be an interpretation of the value of generative talanoa for problem solving. Registration for the symposium is free, although numbers are limited. For more details click here.

A highly regarded visiting professor will host a series of seminars and lectures at the University of Waikato in the coming weeks. Professor Alison Phipps is from the University of Glasgow where she is Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies, and Co-Convener of Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network. In 2012 she received an OBE for Services to Education and Intercultural and Interreligious Relations and in 2013 she was awarded a grant of £2 Million as Principal Investigator to undertake a project entitled Researching Multilingually at the Borders of the Body, Language, Law and the State. She will give a range of seminars, starting today (SUBS: Tuesday, 29 October), with Hospitality Among the ‘Unwelcome’: Learning Through Vulnerability, from 10am at MSB.0.01, where she will discuss how human beings in varying states of vulnerability and unwelcome come to engage in practices of hospitality. She will also host a public lecture on 12 November which will consider forms of labour involved in hospitality and in occupation of places such as Gaza, Syria and Glasgow and hold further seminars on November 13 and 14.

Over the last 30 years, legislation and judge-made law affecting Māori has proliferated. In this New Zealand is unique. No other Western country has embraced indigeneity in law to the same extent. Everything from the legal status in general law of tikanga Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi, to the enforceability of aboriginal rights and title has been the subject of judicial pronouncement in the strictly common law realm. Judges have been active in Maorifying judicial process too. The introduction of Māori language openings and closings in the District Courts, and the judicial creation of special kaupapa Māori sentencing courts are examples of this phenomenon. In the more dynamic field of Parliamentary law, Māori considerations, processes, and even decision-makers have been inserted into statutes in family, criminal, environmental, hazardous substances and local government law, and in conservation, marine management, antiquities, and trademarks to name a few of the more high profile areas. Guest speaker The Honourable Justice Joseph Williams will make suggestions about drivers for change and expansion heading into the future in this increasingly important area of New Zealand law. The lecture is on Thursday, November 7 at 6.15pm in the PWC lecture theatre, Hillcrest Road, University of Waikato.

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