Media Advisory June 20


Tauranga Art Gallery director and art historian Penelope Jackson will present a fascinating four-part lecture series, which examines the traditions of New Zealand painting with particular reference to the current exhibitions on display at the Tauranga Art Gallery. The discussions run every Wednesday from June 22 at the Tauranga Art Gallery between 6.30pm and 8.30pm. The cost for all four lectures is $110.


How does the brain recover after a stroke? Do we all have the same potential for recovery? What factors may play a role in the differences seen? Some say recovery only occurs in the first weeks and months after stroke, others say there is no time limit to recovery; which is it? At June’s Hamilton Café Scientifique Dr Robin Sekerak, a stroke rehabilitation specialist from the Waikato Hospital Stroke Service will begin to answer such questions that surround the topic of stroke recovery. Hamilton’s June Café Scientifique takes place at Café Francais, 711 Victoria Street, Hamilton, at 7.30pm tomorrow Tuesday June 21. It is supported by the University of Waikato Faculty of Science and Engineering.


University of Waikato Bachelor of Music student Andrew Leathwick has been accepted in to the Vlassenko International Piano Competition, to be held in Brisbane between August 14 and 27. For the audition Leathwick, 18, had to prepare and perform almost an hour of music which included some of the most difficult for the piano: Beethoven's Waldstein Sonataand Prokofiev's Piano Concerto no 3, as well as two virtuoso Romantic works - a Scriabin etude and Chopin's Bb minor Scherzo - along with a Haydn Sonata. Leathwick is in his second year of study at the university, having left Hillcrest High School after 12 to continue his musical studies with top-ranking pianist and teacher Katherine Austin at the University of Waikato. Last year the University of Waikato had two cellists, Edward King and Santiago Canon Valencia, accepted into the Beijing International Cello Competition. Santiago, aged only 15, shared the top prize with a cellist eight years his senior.


Four talented Year 13 students from Waikato Diocesan School received the top prize in this years’ annual Analytical Chemistry Competition, held at the University of Waikato. The winning team was Julia Berney, Rebecca Little, Sarah Wheeler and Joyce Wu. Another Hamilton team from Fraser High School came fourth. The team was Christina Korebrits, Kimberly McEwen, Rowan Sutton and Mikala Watene. Pukekohe High School came second, followed by Tauranga Boys’ College, and another team from Tauranga Boys’ High School. The competition challenged more than 50 enthusiastic Year 13 students to spend a day in the university laboratories. “The task was to analyse a sample using different techniques, to work out the chemical formula using methods that would be beyond the resources of school,” says competition judge and organiser Professor Brian Nicholson. Fifteen teams of three or four students from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty entered in this year’s competition. The winning team received $160, donated by Hill Laboratories.


Join registered psychologist and certified behaviour analyst Dr Antony Thomas in a presentation exploring scientific/critical reasoning as a skill and an attitude. During the presentation participants will be introduced to the rules of critical reasoning, become aware of the psychological phenomenon that encourages bias in our thinking, and will be introduced to ways in which we can learn to better critique. Dr Thomas has a bachelors degree in philosophy and logic, masters and doctoral degrees in psychology and a Master of Philosophy degree in clinical psychology. Dr Thomas’ background includes working as a university lecturer in India for 13 years and as an Autism consultant and Lead Therapist in the USA for six years. He has received academic awards and scholarships from Denmark, Australia and Canada. The presentation takes place at the University of Waikato Tauranga Campus on 144 Durham Street between 9am – 5pm on Saturday June 25. The presentation costs $75 and enrolments can be made online at


An inaugural professorial lecture by Faculty of Computing and Mathematical Sciences Dean Professor Geoff Holmes will provide an introduction to machine learning and data mining. Data mining is the process of extracting information from large amounts of unprocessed data. Modern day applications include data mining for marketing, surveillance and fraud monitoring purposes. Professor Holmes will show how this technology can be applied to real world problems and will showcase applications and tools that have been developed at the University of Waikato over the past 15 years. Professor Holmes specialises in machine learning and field applications of data mining. The lecture takes place at the Academy of Performing Arts starting at 6.30pm tomorrow June 21. The lecture is free and open to the public.


A new display at the University of Waikato’s Academy of Performing Arts called ‘Another Universe’ offers different perspectives on nature in the 21st Century. Canadian artist Alex McLeod, who specialises in digital art, is coming to New Zealand to take part alongside New Zealand artists in the new exhibit, which opens on June 23 at the Calder & Lawson Gallery. The exhibition also features work by Richard Orjis, Kim Meek, Roberta Thornley and Jason Hall. Also for the first time this exhibition will feature site specific installations in other parts of the campus by Denise Fort, Sarah Hughes, Niki Hastings-McFall and Paul Cullen. While here, McLeod will be taking a workshop at the University of Waikato and giving a public seminar at the Hamilton Museum lecture theatre on June 25.


University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar Sarah McLaughlin is heading to Germany as part of the New Zealand Women's Football team. McLaughlin, 20, was told of her place in the Football Ferns earlier this month and travelled with the team to Switzerland for warm-up games against Colombia and Denmark. The Football Ferns head to Germany this week to take on Japan, Mexico and England. “The last few years have been a build-up, more about competing on the world stage, but now it's all about winning," says McLaughlin who has already been to three FIFA World Cups as an age representative player. "Our attitude at the camp is pretty good at the moment so hopefully that results in a few wins." McLaughlin is in her second year of study working towards a Bachelor of Sport and Leisure Studies.


University of Waikato students cleaned up in this year’s round of Energy Education Undergraduate Scholarships. Eighty students nationwide applied for 15 $5000 scholarships. Among those 15 were Waikato University students Abbie Fowler, Aaron Huesser, Lhani Voyle and Sam Waetford. Professor Peter Kamp from the University of Waikato was a judge and he says the scholarships are for students who are high academic achievers and express a desire to work in the energy industry after they graduate. “The scholarships are open to students with a genuine interest in an energy field, which can range from geology to chemistry to engineering and planning. To win scholarships students need to demonstrate that they have a genuine desire to participate in some part of the energy sector and to have a good academic record.”


First-year Waikato economics students struggling to explain economic concepts in essay form turned to multimedia for their latest assignment. For many students the paper is compulsory and not something they’d choose to do, so lecturer Dr Michael Cameron gave them the multimedia option to explain “why should you study economics?” Twenty-five per cent of the students, got themselves into teams, made and edited films and uploaded them to YouTube. The winning team used a girl-boy relationship story to explain ideas such as market scarcity and choice, competitive markets, equilibrium, inferior good, opportunity cost and moral hazard. The team called in friends to be actors, filmed the scenes on a digital camera then edited the footage in Movie Maker. Dr Cameron says it was great to see such a high level of engagement with a subject that some of the students had been scared of.


A book written while its author was the Writer in Residence at the University of Waikato is in the finals of the 2011 New Zealand Post Book Awards. Blue Smoke: The Lost Dawn of New Zealand Popular Music by Chris Bourke is a finalist in the general non-fiction category. The book took two years to research and another two to write, and Bourke says he wouldn’t have completed it if he hadn’t spent 2008 at Waikato. “It saved the project really. I did a good two-thirds of the writing there, and the library was a fantastic resource, especially the New Zealand collection. Just to be there on campus, to browse undisturbed and trip on little surprises.” Bourke did more than 50 interviews for the book, which spans the years from the end of World War I until 1964. He says the Waikato, and even more so, the Bay of Plenty provided some big names from the early jazz days. “Many of the people I talked to had great stories, but a hazy recollection of the facts. I had to do a lot of cross checking, but it was lovely seeing a sort of baton passing from musician to musician.” The Book Awards will be announced on 27 July.


What do disposable nappies have in common with catalytic converters? Both are based on the concepts of green design’. Green chemistry is sometimes referred to as “Benign by Design” and is the application of a set of principles that eliminates the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products. Gavin Cherrie, a Chemical Engineer who advises industry on redesigning processes to imitate the systems we see in nature, joins Dr Martin Markotsis who is a Polymer Scientist/Chemist at Scion, to discuss green design at the next Café Scientifique taking place on Monday June 27 at 7.30pm at Alimento Cafe, 72 First Avenue, Tauranga. Café Scientifique is a place where, for the price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. Meetings have taken place in cafes, bars, restaurants & even theatres, but always outside a traditional academic context. For more information please visit

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