Media Advisory October 7

Cricketer Natalie Dodd and rower Jade Uru took out the top two accolades at the 2013 Wallace Corporation University of Waikato Blues Awards on October 4. Dodd, who is in the White Ferns cricket team touring the West Indies, was named the Sportswoman of the Year, and Uru was named the Sportsman of the Year. The Pou Ahurea award for Māori Person of the Year went to Corey Wilson who is studying for a Bachelor of Business Analysis-Financial. Creative and Performing Arts Person of the Year went to pianist Andrew Leathwick, studying for a Bachelor of Music with Honours.

This month the University of Waikato will confer a total of 613 degrees (bachelors, bachelors with honours, masters and PhDs), and 135 diplomas and certificates (undergraduate and postgraduate) at three graduation ceremonies: at Te Kohinga Mārama Marae at 9.30am on October 8, and two at Claudelands Events Centre on October 14, at 10am and 2pm. There is a graduation parade on Monday, October 14 from Garden Place at 12.45pm, where students will meet before walking to Claudelands Events Centre at 1pm. Sir Patrick Hogan will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the 10am ceremony at Claudelands. 

Two University of Waikato staff members have been named on Hamilton City Council’s new Sustainability Panel. They are Environmental and Sustainability Manager Rachael Goddard, who has worked closely with HCC on a number of projects primarily focused on improving waste systems, and Professor of Environmental Planning Iain White. Before coming to Waikato University, Professor White was the Centre for Urban and Regional Ecology Director at the University of Manchester. Key relevance to the panel will be his expertise in the resilience of water systems and adapting to climate change. The other three panel members are Jeanette Fitzsimmons, Wayne Cartwright and Annie Perkins.

Two influential education academics are being awarded the title of Emeritus Professor this week. Professors Clive McGee and Sue Middleton recently retired from full-time positions at the Faculty of Education at the University of Waikato, but are both still working part-time. They have had a major impact on the shape of education in New Zealand. Among his many Ministry-appointed roles, Professor McGee has twice sat on National Curriculum Reference Groups to revise the national curriculum and was appointed to a national group to design the aims, scope and operation of the New Zealand Teaching and Learning Research Initiative. Professor Sue Middleton introduced New Zealand’s first courses on Women and Education and Education and Sexuality. Her books include Women and education in Aotearoa, and more recently (edited with Alison Jones) The Kiss and the Ghost: Sylvia Ashton Warner and New Zealand.

Students from Waikato University’s Hillary Scholars club are putting their heads together to raise money for the people of Nepal. Sharee Hamilton and Luke Coxhead are organising an exclusive screening of the movie Beyond the Edge to raise money for the Himalayan Trust – a not-for-profit organisation that assists in health, education, culture and restoration projects in Nepal as well as emergency relief. Beyond the Edge brings to life the story of Sir Ed’s ascent of Everest with Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The movie uses original colour footage and photographs as well as stunning recreations to relive the day a New Zealander became the first person to climb the world’s highest mountain. Both Sharee and Luke are a part of the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship programme, Waikato University’s most prestigious scholarship that is awarded to students who excel in sport or the creative and performing arts, and have leadership qualities. Beyond the Edge will screen on October 13 at Lido Cinema. The event starts at 5.30pm and a drink and nibbles are included for ticket-holders. To purchase a ticket click here.  

Free information sessions about the University of Waikato’s MBA and other postgraduate business programmes will be held at the university’s Management School on Tuesday, October 8 from 5.30pm and Thursday, October 10 from 5.30pm - both are in lecture theatre MSB1.20, and Saturday, October 19 from 10am-3pm in lecture theatre MSB 1.21. All programmes begin between January and March next year.

An autonomous biped robot and a formula SAE race car are just a few of the student projects that will be on show at next week’s Carter Holt Harvey Pulp & Paper Engineering Design Show at the University of Waikato. The event will be held in the university’s S-Block ground floor foyer from October 15-16, 9am–5pm. During the two days, second, third and fourth-year engineering students showcase their research projects in the forms of posters, displays and seminars. Topics covered include Chemical & Biological Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Materials and Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Software Engineering. The event is the perfect opportunity for both high school students and industry representatives to meet the School of Engineering’s talented students. Visit the Engineering Design Show page for a programme.

University of Waikato Agribusiness Professor Jacqueline Rowarth has been named in a list of 50 finalists in the inaugural Women of Influence awards. Professor Rowarth is a finalist in the Innovation/Science section. Other sections are Board and Management, Local/Regional, Community/Socia, and Business/Entrepreneur. The Women of Influence awards were established by Fairfax Media and Westpac to recognise the achievements being made by women across society and were first run in Australia in 2012. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on October 23.

The University of Waikato’s annual ChemQuest will provide the ultimate test for Year 12 chemistry students next week. The after-school event gives students studying chemistry at NCEA Level 2 the chance to compete for the ChemQuest trophy and other prizes. About 50 teams of three are expected to attend. The quiz includes questions based on chemistry, general knowledge and the NCEA curriculum. There are also interactive rounds when students must listen to music or watch chemistry demonstrations to identify the quiz answers. The current trophy holders are St Paul's Collegiate, who have won the competition eight times, but never more than twice in a row. The event is sponsored by James & Wells Intellectual Property and Hill Laboratories, and run by the Faculty of Science and Engineering. ChemQuest takes place at 7pm on October 16 and is held at the University of Waikato Hamilton campus, PWC lecture theatre.

Motivated by New Zealand’s poor record of child abuse, child poverty and the lack of national policies around child protection, Professors Michael Peters and Tina Besley from the University of Waikato’s Centre for Global Studies in Education have organised the Children in Crisis Conference to being held in Hamilton week. The conference is aimed at teachers, counsellors, social workers, police, medical professionals and government agencies. There are four major strands that will be covered at the conference – child poverty, children’s rights, child abuse and policies and practices and Professor Besley hopes the conference will lead to on-going forums and a handbook designed to assist teachers dealing with issues that they may come up against in their day-to-day teaching. The conference is from October 7-9. For more information visit the Children in Crisis website.

Eleven Waikato Management School Māori students are $10,000 better off after being awarded Tawera Scholarships. The scholarships, launched in 2011 by Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust, are offered to Māori studying bachelor degrees in business, management or commerce, specifically to address the level of Māori participation in middle and senior management in a range of industries, including fisheries. There are 30 awarded across the country each year. Recipients are required to attend the Trust’s annual conference and student Katherine Barry says that was a valuable experience, for networking, learning from successful business people and seeing how Māori models of business can be applied in different contexts.

A Waikato-based family company that began with one ice-cream truck, moved into school buses, then into luxury coaches and city transport in Auckland and Hamilton, is the focus of this semester’s Waikato Management School strategic case competition. Pavlovich Coachlines is now in its third generation and the company has opened itself up for scrutiny to third-year strategic management students who had to come up with a growth strategy for the business. Twelve teams involving 60 students were involved in the early rounds of the competition and now the top four teams will present their business models on Wednesday night in front of a panel of judges including Pavlovich CEO Bernard Pavlovich. The other judges are Roger Wilson, Partner at PWC, Josef de Jong, a consultant with PE International, and Management School economist Professor Mark Holmes. The competition on Wednesday, October 9 will take place in in the PWC lecture theatre at Waikato Management School at 6pm.

The great cities of the Ancient Maya vanished more than 1000 years ago. Some of the most impressive have been restored, while others are still under investigation. Milpa is one such city, its rapid rise, sudden fall and complex urban structure shedding new light on the precariousness of Maya existence. Professor of Archaeology at Boston University Norman Hammond will give a lecture on his work exploring the ancient Maya city of La Milpa in Belize, Central America, on Thursday, October 17 at 7pm in SG.02, at the University of Waikato. Professor Hammond’s fieldwork in the Maya Area has been predominantly in Belize, at the sites of Lubaantun, Nohmul, Cuello, and La Milpa, and he has worked on Maya exchange systems and the fingerprinting of obsidian and jade sources.

The relationship between sisters and brothers is most likely to be the longest relationship you will have with another person. But the ties that bind you to your sisters and brothers do not come without consequences. Theatre studies students at Waikato University are set to take on this original theatre work from Wednesday, October 9 at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. SisterTies is a piece of original devised theatre that explores the intriguing world of siblings and tests the love and limits of different familial relationships. Under the direction of Gaye Poole, the play looks to unravel the secrets of the threads that bind siblings and unpick the mysteries of the ropes that divide them.

Research into how youth volunteers organise themselves during crisis events has won a Tauranga doctoral student a Fulbright New Zealand Travel Award to speak at a US conference next year. University of Waikato student Sarah Lockwood is focussing on Rena as one example to understand why and how GenY volunteers organise themselves and communicate when a crisis strikes. She says the opportunity to travel to the US is significant because there has been so little research in this particular field. Sarah hopes her research will inform local government how to better utilize GenY volunteers so that communities can more effectively respond to crises. Sarah will travel to Chicago in November 2014 to speak at the National Communications Association Convention and will also visit a number of universities to collaborate on research. As well as her Fulbright Scholarship, Sarah has been awarded a Claude McCarthy Fellowship which will help fund her US speaking tour.

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