Farewell to change maker, Dr David Nielson

28 November 2022

Dr David Nielson urged his students to think, embrace their journey and enjoy learning.

The University of Waikato mourns the passing of Dr David Neilson earlier this month. David was a member of the School of Social Sciences.

A Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy, David started at the University as a Lecturer in Anthropology and Politics in 1989. He was part of a team that developed Labour Studies into two popular majors within the Bachelor of Social Science.

With his early teaching revolving around the French Regulation School theory and Neo-Marxism, in 1998 David began focusing exclusively on Labour Studies and was instrumental in its shift into a multidisciplinary Sociology and Social Policy department.

David became a Senior Lecturer in 2000, continuing to infuse his work across a number of subjects throughout his time at the University.

As a teacher and supervisor, David urged his students to think, embrace their journey and enjoy learning. As a researcher, he aimed to carve out new theory and inspire social change.

His research career was in the midst of an ascent, marked by the recent publication of his book, ‘The Struggle to Make Democratic Socialism in the 21st Century’. David was very proud of this publication and looked forward to holding a launch event for it in the near future.

Driven by his academic interests, David was also committed to activism, taking on additional service roles in the community and being an active member of the Tertiary Education Union. David’s colleagues describe him as engaged with the theoretically complex, leaving a legacy of work underpinned by the Marxist tenet of the point of knowledge being to change the world.

The University extends its heartfelt condolences to David’s family, colleagues and friends.

Latest stories

Related stories

Wairehu Grant at the University of Waikato after his music trip to Wales.

Māori Punk to Wales: strengthening international connections

A University of Waikato PhD researcher is sharing Māori punk with the world, and strengthening…

Catherine Chidgey Ockham Awards 2023

Chidgey axes the competition at The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards…again

Catherine Chidgey has been named winner of the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction for…

Exploring and embracing diversity

Research at the University of Waikato is helping to underpin policy development and decisions designed…

Sargeson Prize winner praises prestigious award ahead of 2023 entries opening

Entries for the 2023 Sargeson Prize open on April 1, and last year's winner, Leeanne…

Bouncing unborn baby research between time zones secret to success

Bouncing work back and forth between time zones has allowed research into fetal development to…

A group of people stand outside the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts at the 50th anniversary celebrations for the School of Psychology postgraduate clinical and behavioural psychology diplomas.

Saving lives: Psychology programmes celebrate 50 years

More than 85 people gathered to celebrate the University of Waikato’s School of Psychology on…

Waikato alumnus awarded prestigious University Medal.

The University of Waikato has awarded its prestigious University of Waikato Medal to alumnus Rob…

Award-winning soprano and Waikato alumna is branching out into the world

With one of her recent achievements on home soil having been the runner up at…

Dr Tracey Slaughter is a senior lecturer at the University of Waikato

Feeling the burn: poetry for our times

Award-winning poet and University of Waikato senior lecturer Dr Tracey Slaughter has spent the last…

Should Artificial Intelligence make us reconceive what it means to be human?

Generative AIs are producing journalism, writing poems, and telling jokes. Sure, the op-eds, poetry, and…

Scholarship recipient

Ashleigh Ngow receives Dr Andrew Smith Medal for Academic Excellence

Protecting the environment has always been important to Maketū-raised Ashleigh Ngow who completed the Bachelor…

Anthony Byrt

Anthony Byrt appointed University of Waikato’s 2023 Writer In Residence

The art critic and writer will spend the next 12 months working on three major…