Media Advisory April 11

Google Hangout to discuss US elections and the Trump phenomenonIn response to the rise and rise of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate in the upcoming US elections, four University of Waikato academics will take part in a Google Hangout this Wednesday, April 13 to discuss, among other things, how Trump became so popular, what are the implications of a Trump presidency for New Zealand, and who would be the best choice for president. The Google Hangout will feature Professor Dan Zirker - political science, Professor Lynda Johnston - geography, tourism and environmental planning, Dr Reuben Steff - political science and public policy, and PhD student Debrin Foxcroft - political science. Questions can be sent through to the panel via the University of Waikato’s Facebook page. The hangout is on Wednesday April 13 from 1pm-1.45pm and can be viewed at .
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

Hot in the city: Waikato Uni opens Hamilton CBD office
The University of Waikato has opened a new city office as part of its focus on external engagement. The refurbished space, located on the ground floor of the PwC Centre in Hamilton (109 Ward St), offers a convenient meeting point for people to make general inquiries, get study advice, and manage fee payments for 2017 enrolments. The office is an opportunity for the university to better connect with the community, engage with industry and alumni, and be more accessible. University staff are based at the office Monday-Friday, 8.30am-5pm and can be contacted on 07 837 9469.
Contact: Pat Mellsop, 022 066 7892, or

Honorary Doctorates for former Vice-Chancellor and bishopsThe University of Waikato will confer three Honorary Doctorates this month: former Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Roy Crawford, Archbishop Sir David Moxon and Emeritus Bishop Denis Browne. Emeritus Professor Crawford is being recognised at graduation on April 19 for his contribution to engineering and his former leadership of the University. Archbishop Sir David, currently the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Representative to the Holy See in Rome, and former Bishop of Hamilton Emeritus Bishop Denis are being jointly recognised on April 21 for their leadership and contributions to the Waikato community. An Honorary Doctorate is the highest honour the University bestows and is awarded to those who have made significant contributions to the University, the Waikato region and wider New Zealand community.
Contact: Nicola Lee, 07 838 4401, or

Inaugural professorial lecture postponed
Professor Graeme Doole from the University of Waikato’s Management School was scheduled to give his Inaugural Professorial Lecture tomorrow, Tuesday 12 April. Due to personal circumstances, his lecture has been postponed until a later date. There will be no inaugural lecture in April.
Contact: Ann Huston, 07 838 4775, or

American e-learning expert presents to New Zealand educators in April Well-known international academic and corporate trainer in e-learning, Professor Curt Bonk from Indiana University, will be speaking at the national ‘DEANZ2016’ Conference hosted at the University of Waikato from April 17-20. Professor Bonk is an authority on emerging technologies for learning and will offer insights into the intersection of business, education, psychology and technology. Professor Bonk will give a keynote speech on Education 3.0 and its impact on educators and trainers, and conduct a workshop on how to effectively engage learners in this digital era. The conference has attracted educators, corporate trainers and professional developers working in open, distance, flexible and mobile learning. It is open to anyone interested in this fast-developing field of open and flexible education.
Contact: Dr Elaine Khoo, 07 838 4466 ext 6260, or

Leading the charge
Electric vehicles (EVs) are considered important for tackling climate change and its associated impacts, but it’s a challenge to get driver uptake. The Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law (CEREL) at the University of Waikato and the Better NZ Trust are giving people the chance to see EVs in a display on the Hamilton campus today Monday, April 11. The EVs are on a road trip spanning the length of the country, and during the Hamilton stop there’ll be a workshop to provide insight into the obstacles that EVs have faced in the US, an overview of University of Waikato research into EV policy choices for New Zealand, and into teaching EV engineering to equip the workforce of the future. The EV display will take place between the Law Faculty and Student Centre from 11.30am-12.30pm and the workshop will be at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts 1pm-2pm.
Contact: Diana Maliseva, 07 838 4466 ext 6477, or

Waikato Uni supports girls in tech

University of Waikato senior tutor Nilesh Kanji and his organisation GirlsInC is launching a ‘Girls GameMaker Competition’ later this month. The initiative aims to encourage female high school students to explore digital technology, in response to the major drop-off rates of girls doing computer-based subjects at school. The competition will run Friday 29 - Saturday 30 April, from 8am-6pm each day. Teams of two will work together to create a computer game using GameMaker software. Staff will be available to give guidance and free lunch is provided to participants. To take part, students can register individually or in pairs online. Individual registrations will be matched on the day. Training sessions for those unfamiliar with the GameMaker software are on Wednesday 20 - Friday 22 April, from 12pm-5pm each day. This free event is sponsored by Google, The University of Waikato and Event Cinemas. Visit for more information.
Contact: Nilesh Kanji, 07 858 5047, or

Primo survey for the IOC
Young people would like to see more action sports at Olympic Games – in particular, skateboarding. Associate professors Holly Thorpe and Belinda Wheaton from Waikato University were last year awarded an Advanced Olympic Research Grant to research youth perceptions of Olympic Games and recently presented their preliminary findings to the Olympic Programmes Committee in Switzerland. The academics surveyed in nine languages, interviewed key members of action sport industries and federations, and did extensive media analysis. The survey shows that skateboarding was by far the most popular choice for Olympic inclusion, holding three of the four top positions: street skateboarding, followed by BMX freestyle, and then halfpipe/vert skateboarding, big air/mega ramp skateboarding, and pool/bowl skateboarding. Parkour was sixth on the list, with shortboard surfing seventh. Surfing in wave pools was one of the least favourite as a potential Olympic sport. Surfing, skateboarding and sport-climbing have been short-listed for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Drs Thorpe and Wheaton will present their final analysis to the IOC in June this year.
Contact: Associate Professor Holly Thorpe, 021 311 143, or

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