Sangata Kaufononga

Graduate Certificate, Master of Science, PhD majoring in Chemistry

Chemistry, Science

Key Info

  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master of Science
  • PhD majoring in Chemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Science

My name is Sangata Kaufononga. Wife to a lovely Tongan husband, David, and a mother of four beautiful children. I am the first Tongan to graduate from the University of Waikato with a PhD majoring in Chemistry (Analytical and Organic) and the seventh Tongan PhD student to have graduated from the University of Waikato.

My journey began with my BSc (Chemistry and Mathematics) from the University of the South Pacific, Fiji in 2004, before my family and I migrated to Hamilton in 2010 and started at the University of Waikato in 2011. At the time, our youngest son was three months old and our eldest daughter was five years old. It was a challenging journey and yes, I nailed it and graduated with a Graduate Certificate (2011), Master of Science (2014), and PhD majoring in Chemistry (2019). During my time at the University of Waikato, I was also the president of the WUTTSA (Waikato Uni-Tech Tongan Student Association) from 2015 to 2016, and have been involved in various Pacific at Waikato activities. I was also honoured as the recipient of the TAPA Awards from 2012 to 2018, resulting in my PhD study being fully funded by AgResearch Ltd.

I would love to see more Pacific students excel and be successful in their academic journey, because if I can do it, they can do it!

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