Higher achievers going higher

28 May 2014

Four high achieving students will be going to Nepal at the end of the year as recipients of the University of Waikato’s Step Higher Awards.

The students are all Sir Edmund Hillary Scholars; students who excel academically as well as in sport or in the creative or performing arts and who show strength in leadership.

2014 recipients

The 2014 recipients are doctoral candidate and composer Jeremy Mayall, soprano and music student Blaire White, middle distance runner Timothy Stewart who is also studying for a Bachelor of Management Studies and Kristie Baillie, a Commonwealth Games 4 x 400 relay squad member who is studying for a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons).

The awards are sponsored by the Compass Group, the company that supplies the catering services to the university’s halls of residence.

The announcement of this year’s Step Higher Awards coincides with the anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s conquering of Mt Everest on May 29. University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the chosen students have met the criteria of excellence in their academic work, leadership and their specialist field. “But more than that, they have also have expressed a desire to share their skills and experiences with their community and contribute to their communities in many positive ways. They are also required to contribute to the Himalayan Trust.”

Hillary Step Higher Programme

This will be the third group of Hillary scholars to visit the region. Scholarship winners go to the Khumbu Valley in Nepal where they get to see the work started by Sir Edmund Hillary and work on projects run by the Himalayan Trust.  Before they go, the students must each meet a fundraising target of $1000 for the trust.

Rod de Vries, director of operations for the Compass Group says the scholarships are a good fit with his organisation.

“We support the Hillary Step Higher Programme as part of our commitment to excellence. The Hillary Programme is unique in New Zealand and focuses on three qualities we know also deliver the best results in our business – leadership, a strong knowledge base and an active life. With a shared set of values with Waikato University, the Compass Group intends to support this programme throughout our partnership,” says Mr de Vries.

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