Media Advisory September 1

Adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald to speak at Hillary Scholar leadership event

University of Waikato alumnus Jamie Fitzgerald is the keynote speaker at this year’s Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Leadership Pathway event on September 16 at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts. Mr Fitzgerald is founder and CEO of management consultancy Inspiring Performance, and will share with University of Waikato Hillary Scholars stories and insights from his extreme adventures, his First Crossings TV show and business projects to illustrate how he has become a world-class consultant, focused on helping others achieve success. The Leadership Pathway event is part of the university’s Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship programme, providing academic, sporting and leadership programmes to Hillary Scholars. Later in the week, on September 19, Mr Fitzgerald will be recognised for his sporting success and commitment to leadership and community initiatives by the University of Waikato with a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Coming clean on water

Tomorrow, September 2, five freshwater experts will host a panel discussion on what the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management means for the region. The statementdirects regional councils to establish objectives and set limits for fresh water in their regional plans but has been criticised for not addressing water health. The scientists taking part are: Dr Bryce Cooper, General Manager - Strategy for NIWA; Dr Alison Dewes, lead consultant for agribusiness consultancy Headlands; Professor David Hamilton, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Chair in Lake Restoration at the University of Waikato; Dr Mike Scarsbrook, Environment Policy Manager at DairyNZ and Bill Vant, a scientist with the Waikato Regional Council. The discussion takes place in Room A.G.30 at Waikato University on Tuesday, September 2 at 7.30pm and is free to attend.

Waikato-Tainui CEO to receive University of Waikato award

The Chief Executive of Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui, Parekawhia McLean, will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waikato this month. Ms McLean has a Bachelor and Master of Social Sciences from the University of Waikato, and later attained an MA from the University of Wisconsin. She is currently part of the group overseeing the development of a Waikato regional economic strategy, and has recently become a director of Te Putahitanga o Te Waipoumanu – the whānau ora commissioning entity for the South Island. The other award winners this year are adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald, economist Dr Arthur Grimes and the inaugural director of the Pacific Island Education Resource Centre Le Mamea Taulapapa Sefulu Ioane. The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognise alumni who have made outstanding contributions in their careers and communities, taking into account excellence in the professional, cultural, creative and voluntary sectors.

University gets set for Kīngitanga Day

The University of Waikato is preparing to celebrate Kīngitanga Day on September 18. Kīngitanga Day is an annual event that recognises the university’s connection with Waikato-Tainui and the Kīngitanga and its many other iwi connections. The day-long event has a range of activities including seminars, panel discussions and presentations from guest speakers and leading academics. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr Lance O’Sullivan, who will speak on “Advancing Māori Health from the Flax Roots”. Named 2014 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, the Kaitaia-based GP is a passionate advocate for Māori health and a pioneer for equal healthcare in the community. They day has stick and poi demonstrations, food stalls, presentations, panels, workshops, exhibitions, performances and activities. Most activities are free and open to the public, gold coin donation for The Pā Boys screening. For more information visit www.waikato.ac.nz/events/kingitanga/

Renowned economist wins University of Waikato award

One of New Zealand’s best-known economists will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waikato this month. Dr Arthur Grimes has a Bachelor of Social Sciences with First Class Honours from the University of Waikato and a Master of Science and PhD from the London School of Economics. He was chief economist at the Reserve Bank and later chief economist at the National Bank of New Zealand and Chief Executive at Southpac. He is currently Senior Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust. The other award winners this year are adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald, the inaugural director of the Pacific Island Education Resource Centre Le Mamea Taulapapa Sefulu Ioane, and Waikato-Tainui CEO Parekawhia McLean. The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognise alumni who have made outstanding contributions in their careers and communities, taking into account excellence in the professional, cultural, creative and voluntary sectors.

Top doctoral scholars recognised with extra funding

Two University of Waikato PhD candidates have received this year’s Top Achiever Doctoral Scholarships. They are Jack Pronger from the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Mark Will from the Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences. Jack is undertaking research into the ongoing impacts of drought on dry-land farming or farms that are not irrigated. Mark’s research focuses on processing encrypted data securely in the Cloud. Each one-off $5000 award is paid in the first year of a Doctoral Scholarship, in recognition of high achievement.

Four university staff named as finalist in KuDos awards

Four University of Waikato staff are finalists in the 2014 KuDos Science Awards, which acknowledge and celebrate science excellence in the Waikato. They are Associate Professor Nicola Starkey (Psychology), Professor Craig Cary (Science), Dudley Bell (Science) and Chris McBride (Science). Dr Starkey is a finalist in the Gallagher Medical Science Award category for her research into understanding the long term effects of traumatic brain injury, particularly in children. Professor of Biological Sciences, Craig Cary, is a finalist in the Environmental Science Award. His interest lies in researching bacteria which live in extreme environments, including deep sea thermal vents and the soils of Antarctica. Colleagues in the School of Science, Dudley Bell and Chris McBride, are finalists in the Hill Laboratories Laboratory Technician Award. Mr Bell is the Technical Team Leader – Aquatic. Mr McBride is an Advanced Technical Officer who works largely within the Faculty of Science & Engineering’s Lake Ecosystem Restoration New Zealand (LERNZ) research group. The winners will be announced at an awards dinner on October 9.

Māori Queen an inspiration

Four Waikato University students have been awarded Dame Te Atiarangikaahu Waikato Regional Council Scholarships for 2014. They are environmental planning student Gina Reed, arts student Hemi Hill, Brendan Tangiora who’s completing a Bachelor of Social Sciences, and science student Kiriana Isgrove. For Kiriana, it’s third time lucky. She’s applied for the scholarship for the last three years, not just because the money will help fund her study, but because the late Māori Queen has long-been a role model for her. Kiriana is also the recipient of the Sir Apirana Ngata Memorial Scholarship worth $2000. It’s given to Māori students with a sound academic record, who demonstrate a strong interest in Māori culture and language, and are involved in cultural or community activities. Preference is given to descendants of Māori World War I veterans. Kiriana says the scholarship made her dig into her own family history to learn her great-grandfather fought in the Great War and returned. She says it’s a nice thought that though she never met the man, he’s helping her out today.

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