Scholarships awarded to University of Waikato Tauranga campus students

Last Thursday (18 February), a scholarship function for University of Waikato Tauranga campus students saw numerous congratulations and appreciative words.

22 Feb 2021

The scholarships, generously donated by the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust (TTCCT) and Acorn Foundation, help students who pursue tertiary education by reducing the financial burden to them. This year’s recipients are spread across many areas of study, including business, engineering, law, marine science, social work and teaching.

Tauranga Campus Scholarship recipients (L-R): Kylie Oliver, Tracey Simmonds, Jed Melton, Olivia Murray, Callan Turner, Daria Bell.

Key funders of the campus development, Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and TECT supported the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust to fund three scholarships ranging in value from $1,000 to $23,000, for nineteen students to study at the University of Waikato in Tauranga.

The Tauranga Campus First-in-Family Scholarship was designed to assist students from families with no history of tertiary study to embark on their university journey. The Tauranga Campus Returning Student Scholarship will enable students to continue on with their second or third year of tertiary education. The Tauranga Campus Research Masters Scholarship is awarded to a student undertaking a master’s thesis.

TECT General Manager Wayne Werder says the scholarships, which are now in their third year, are helping make tertiary education more accessible to the local community.

“TECT were a key funder of the Tauranga campus, and we’re incredibly proud to see students come through its doors with the help of these scholarships. It’s all about making tertiary education more accessible, and supporting students to succeed and make a real difference in our community,” says Wayne.

“It’s been nice to see some of the early scholarship winners now successfully completing their studies and working in fields that are so important for the growth of our region. Congratulations to all the successful 2021 scholarship recipients.”

Former Mount Maunganui College student Olivia Murray is grateful to have benefited from the generosity of the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust two years in a row. Last year, she received a Tauranga Campus First-in-Family Scholarship, this year she accepted a Tauranga Campus Returning Student Scholarship to further her studies toward a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary).

Olivia had already planned to study at the Tauranga campus so the scholarships were an added bonus.

“I am extremely grateful to the Trust for awarding me a second scholarship. Like last year, this scholarship will relieve some of my financial stress, allowing me to fully focus on my studies," she says.

Master of Engineering student Callan Turner is the 2021 recipient of the Tauranga Campus Research Masters Scholarship, worth $23,000. His research involved creating a simulation of Catamaran Commuter Ferries to have dynamic control over the simulation in real-time while comparing the efficiency and sustainability of fully electric boats with hybrid fuel boats.

Callan is currently in the process of writing up his master’s thesis. The support from the Tauranga Tertiary Campus Charitable Trust means he can continue on to doctoral studies this year.

“I have no access to other funding for my studies so this scholarship is integral for me to be able to complete my master’s,” he says. “I am so appreciative to the Trust for this incredible investment in me and my research," says Callan.

Marine Science student Daria Bell (Te Whanau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto), is one of ten recipients of a Tauranga Campus Returning Student Scholarship.

Growing up in Raukōkore on the East Coast, Daria always had a special connection with the moana (ocean) and whenua (land) and continues to strengthen this connection through her studies in Aquaculture this year. She's excited to be enrolled in the programme that is unique to the University’s Tauranga campus, and is grateful to receive a financial boost in her final year.

“Receiving this TTCCT scholarship ensures I can focus on studying, graduating, and achieving my goals instead of worrying about paying for my studies,” says Daria.

Once graduated, Daria plans to use her combined knowledge of Mātauranga Māori and Western science, to encourage more rangatahi Māori into this field of study – especially ones from rural communities with limited opportunities to engage with science at school.

“My long term goal is to ensure that the mauri (life force) of Papatūānuku is not only sustained but improved for future generations,” she says.


2021 Acorn Foundation Beverly Perszyk Scholarship recipient Jed Melton, with his mum Joanne Melton and Academic Director of the Tauranga campus, Associate Professor Ken Perszyk.


When Jed Melton, a former Te Puke High School student, embarks on his tertiary journey this year, he will be the first in his family to do so. Jed isn’t just fulfilling his own dream but that of his sister Karli who aspired to attend university before she was tragically killed at age 15 by a drunk driver in 2001.

“That opportunity that was taken away from my sister,” he says. “I want to honour Karli and make my parents proud by seizing this opportunity to attend university.”

Jed received the Tauranga Campus First-in-Family Scholarship and Acorn Foundation Beverly Perszyk Scholarship. As a keen mathematician, Jed will apply his love for numbers to a Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting.

“I do not qualify for a student allowance this year so these scholarships will be an immense help,” says Jed.

“I feel a personal attachment to the values and meaning that both scholarships hold for first in family students. There’s also a special connection because Beverly Perszyk reminds me of my own mother, in that she never embarked on tertiary education but always valued its importance.”

“It’s also a motivating factor for me to strive to reach my full potential and earn the results I aspire to achieve - as a way of thanking the donors,” he says.

Two additional Acorn Foundation scholarships were awarded on the night. The Acorn Foundation Adult Learner Scholarship for Women was awarded to Kylie Oliver, a single mother of three young adults and an excellent student, who is halfway through her Bachelor of Social Work degree.

The 14th Acorn Foundation Eva Trowbridge Scholarship was awarded to Tracey Simmonds who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Social Work degree and recently completed a work placement at Welcome Bay Community Centre.

“Acorn donors are proud to contribute to areas of need in our community and also love to reward excellence. These three students have all overcome hardship in their lives and are incredibly deserving recipients of these scholarships. We are thrilled to be able to provide this much-appreciated support for their study at the University of Waikato Tauranga campus,” says Lori Luke, Acorn Foundation General Manager.

University of Waikato Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alister Jones was unable to attend the awards evening but acknowledges the important role the local community plays in making tertiary education more accessible to students.

“It’s heartening to see how these scholarships benefit Tauranga campus students who graduate and go on to make a positive contribution to the region and further afield. Congratulations to this year’s awardees. We look forward to following your journey.”

Scholarship recipients:

Tauranga Campus Research Masters Scholarship: Callan Turner. Tauranga Campus Returning Student Scholarship: Daria Bell, Emma Donald, Aldene Griezel, Christy Koumakis, Shani McAllister, Olivia Murray, Phoebe Nicholson, Zara Smith, Braja Weld, Eden Worsley. 

Tauranga Campus First-in-Family Scholarship: Adriahn Bain, Georgia Cameron, Madison Greenwood, Elise McKenzie, Jed Melton, Shana Van Der Molen, Cailem Whitburn, Mia Wild. 

Acorn Foundation Adult Learner Scholarship for Women: Kylie Oliver; Acorn Foundation Beverly Perszyk Scholarship: Jed Melton; Acorn Foundation Eva Trowbridge Scholarship: Tracey Simmonds.

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