Student Profiles

Graduates of the arts and social sciences go on to shape the future of world and local society by catalyzing social, economic, and cultural development in varied and innovative ways. Check out what FASS students are doing now, and what they've got their sights set on doing next.


Daisy Ager

Environmental Planning
After spending a year abroad on a cultural exchange in Egypt, Tauranga-born Daisy returned to New Zealand to commence her tertiary studies at Waikato. “Hamilton was close to home, but at the same time a new place to live and explore.”

Aimee-Jane Anderson-O'Connor

English, Writing Studies

Matthias Balzat

Matthias has been playing the cello since he was three years old. The former Wentworth College student is only 16 and is in his third year of his Bachelor of Music. In 2013, he won a number of prestigious competitions, such as the National Chamber Music Competition with two other members, and also the American Protege Competition.

Kate Barry

Media Design
When Kate Barry heard about a new degree being offered at the University of Waikato, a Bachelor of Media and Creative Technologies, she knew she had found the perfect degree for her.

Tamina Beveridge

Tamina Beveridge is studying for a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Classical Performance (Piano) at the University of Waikato. The former Wellington East Girls’ College student started playing the piano at the age of four.

Joanna Bishop

A single mum before starting university, Joanna studied natural therapies before deciding to further her interest in anatomy and physiology by enrolling in a Bachelor of Science at Waikato. She then moved to anthropology, completing a graduate diploma and Masters, finishing off with a PhD in history.

Eliza Boom

Eliza grew up on the stage, singing with her parents and five siblings around the country.

Julia Booth

For most of 2014, soprano Julia Booth became Christine – the star of Andrew Lloyd Weber's Phantom of the Opera, performing with the Hamilton Operatic Society.

Jordan Browne

A double English/Screen and Media Studies major was a good springboard into a design career for Jordan. He's a creative type and once he'd done his Bachelor of Arts, decided to stick around and do his masters.

Taila Burton

Screen and Media Studies, Theatre Studies
Taila Burton is studying for a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Screen & Media Studies and Theatre Studies. The former Aquinas College student from Tauranga has always loved singing and has been part of school choirs since primary school.

Camille Buscomb

Even while winning multiple national atheltics titles, Hillary Scholar Camille Buscomb continued her Psychology studies and put what she learned into action by volunteering with Lifeline.

Christy Chan

Christy Chan is currently based in Japan, putting her degree to good use as an English teacher in a rural Japanese school.

Joanna Clarke

International Relations and Security Studies
Joanna grew up in the Waikato and knew that the University had a great reputation, so her decision to study political science there was an easy one.

Hannah Cleland

Hannah Cleland’s role at the Department of Corrections has a high level of responsibility attached to it as she is involved in assessing the reoffending risk for offenders in the community as well as those eligible to be released on parole.

Caleb Coffey

Theatre Studies
Hillary Scholar Caleb Coffey performed in "Yesterday an Incident Occurred", "Blue Stockings", and "Once on Chunuk Bair" (for the centennial anniversary of WWI) while completing his conjoint BA/BBA(Fin) degree.

Layla Croker

Environmental Planning
Working as the Regulatory Administration Officer for the Pollution Prevention team in Tauranga, Layla Croker has the sole responsibility of monitoring the installation of water bores in the region.

June Dams

Originally from Belgium, soprano June Dams has lived in New Zealand for 16 years. Currently she is completing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree under the tutelage of Dame Malvina Major, June holds an Master of Music in Voice Performance and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Theatre Studies and Composition from the University of Waikato.

Noelle Dannenbring

Noelle Dannenbring has been active in the performing arts in Rotorua for much of her life. Having started piano and ballet at an early age, she found herself performing roles in school and local productions of musical theatre.

Hannah Divehall

Environmental Planning
Hannah is part of a team that works with the community to develop and create long term plans and strategies that set out management directions and future aspirations for public conservation land across New Zealand.

Kate Dooley

Social Work
It's quite a jump from duty manager at Mitre 10 to family support social worker, but that's what Kate Dooley has done.

Caroline Downey

English, Geography
Being open-minded and willing to take on different challenges has seen Caroline Downey soar through her degree and into a job as Events Manager at the Maxim Institute in Auckland.

Zoe Gerrand

Analysing crime data to provide solutions for improving communities is the job of a New Zealand Police Intelligence Analyst - a job which University of Waikato graduate Zoe Gerrand has recently landed.

Lana Gooderham

Environmental Planning
Choosing to study Environmental Planning at Waikato was an easy choice for South African-born, Lana Gooderham, a girl who loves the environment and had heard about the uniqueness and reputation of the Bachelor of Environmental Planning.

Fiona Haiko

Fiona Haiko's last year at school was spent in Japan on a Rotary exchange, and that shaped her career. She came to Waikato unsure whether to study sciences or languages, but after a year in the Bachelor of Science (Technology) programme, switched to a Bachelor of Arts and made Japanese her focus.

Sophie Hamilton

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Sophie Hamilton has landed a solid job as a Human Resources Administrator at large well-known Facilities Management company Morris Corporation in Perth – laying the foundations for her future career.

Zuwati Hasim

Applied Linguistics
Zuwati is an expert in the field of language assessment – a crucial issue for teachers, especially in her home country Malaysia.

Joe Henehan

Environmental Planning
Joe Henehan chose to study at Waikato because he wanted somewhere close to home, but away from the hustle and bustle of Auckland.

Moehau Hodges-Tai

Screen and Media Studies
Moehau ended up loving the ‘Video Production 1’ paper so much that he changed his degree to the Bachelor of Media & Creative Technologies and never turned back. During the course of his degree, he was exposed to many contacts in the film industry and got to work on his first feature film.

Jenna Hudson

English, Theatre Studies
Growing up in a house with no siblings, Jenna Hudson was a self-proclaimed drama queen and attention seeker. “I had to make my own entertainment so I would create my own radio stations with different voices by recording songs onto cassettes and recording voice overs to introduce them.”

Sam Hurley

Political Science
Every day it's a new story for Hawke's Bay Today reporter, Sam Hurley. From appearing in a court room to being at the scene of a crime, there is never a dull moment in the life of a journalist and "that's the beauty of it", says Sam, who credits his career success on his degree from Waikato.

Jenny Johnson

Jenny has loved music all her life and after completing her Masters in the art she moved south to be the Principal Oboist in the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Shannon Julian

Social Work
Since a young age, Shannon had wanted to make a difference in people’s lives, so she chose to study a Bachelor of Social Work.

Jessica Keppel

Tourism Development
Taupo-born Jessica decided to embark on a Bachelor of Tourism at Waikato upon finishing High School. "I liked the variety that the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences offered in their degrees as well as the campus lifestyle."

Tracey Lee

Social Work
A mother of five, Tracey began a Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Waikato, in Tauranga. The Bachelor of Social Work is a professional qualification for anyone who wants to make a difference to people’s lives and create positive changes to society – a perfect fit for Tracey.

Jocelyn Lee

Applied Linguistics
Finding new ways to engage second language learners was a key focus of Jocelyn’s research when she was completing her PhD at the University of Waikato.

Sau Lefeau

Māori and Pacific Development, Sociology

Graeme Mackenzie

Chinese, Political Science, Public Policy
Growing up in South Africa during the transition from apartheid to democracy contributed to Graeme’s fascination with government and politics and led him to want to study public policy.

Kirsten May

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
As Human Resources Coordinator for Carter Holt Harvey Packaging, Kirsten needs a good grasp of all things HR principals and relevant legislation to ensure she can do her job effectively.

Jeremy Mayall

Since beginning his Bachelor of Music in 2004, and later graduating with his PhD, Jeremy has amassed a serious amount of accolades as a performer and composer.

Chuluun Munkhbat

Public Policy
Chuluun is passionate about New Zealand and Mongolia, and he manages to combine his love for both countries for a job – as New Zealand's Honorary Consul-General in Mongolia.

Morgan Paul

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Based in Hamilton, DeLaval is the world’s largest developer, manufacturer and provider of dairy farming solutions, operating in 100 countries, and Waikato graduate Morgan is responsible for the overall office administration for the senior management team at DeLaval Oceania.

Chris Roberts

History, Political Science
Fresh out of Whakatane High School, Chris came to the University of Waikato a couple of weeks after his 17th birthday to study political science and history – "quite simply, the subjects I enjoyed the most", he says.

Annuska Robinson

French, International Languages and Cultures, Japanese
Annuska’s love of languages, in particular Japanese, remained with her from high school through to university, and now she is sharing that love with foreign language learners at schools in Japan.

Simone Rust

Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Bachelor of Social Sciences graduate (and 2degrees Talent Advisor) Simone Rust is in the people business, and loving it.

Whetu Silver

Theatre Studies
Whetu reckons she has “the coolest job in town”. As the Youth Arts Coordinator for Auckland Theatre Company (ATC), she is in charge of running their education and youth programme.

Megan Smith

Public Policy
Prior to coming to Waikato, Megan was running her own business as a Career Consultant. She was also President of the Career Development Association of New Zealand (CDANZ). It was the frequent policy focus of this role, along with a career spent in the public sector, that led her to want to study public policy.

Jess Smith

Political Science

Holly Snape

The strong subject offerings within the School of Social Sciences is what attracted Holly to study at Waikato. With a keen interest in sociology and anthropology, she completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences and then went on to do her Masters.

Brendan Theodore

Theatre Studies
With a passion for theatre and film from a young age, the decision to enrol in a Bachelor of Arts came naturally to theatre enthusiast Brendan Theodore.

Leny Thomas

Leny was attracted to study at Waikato due to the reputation of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences' School of Psychology and in particular the Applied Behaviour Analysis programme.

Buck Trafford


Katie Treadway

Katie Treadaway came to the University of Waikato as a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar to study a Bachelor of Social Sciences, majoring in Geography and Environmental Planning.

Emma-Marie Wharepouri

Māori Media and Communication
Starting with Waikato's Certificate of University Preparation, Emma-Marie found her place at university and opened new doors with a BA in Māori Media and Communications.

Youbin Zhao

At Jinan University in Guangdong Province, China, a Waikato-educated, Chinese-born professor is teaching his students all about New Zealand literature.