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New Student Centre for a dynamic campus

Distinguished Alumnus and Governor General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, officially opened The University of Waikato's new Student Centre on a day of celebration in November. The stunning multi-functional facility is the region's first building to gain a prestigious 5 Green Star rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council.

The Student Centre will be the social heart of the campus with places to meet, cafés, shops and relaxation spaces, and provide central point for student services on campus.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford says the opening of the Student Centre is a significant occasion for the university.  “The conception and completion of this building is another demonstration of our commitment to the delivery of a world-class education while providing our students with a dynamic university experience.”

Click here for more.

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New Dean completes full cycle

Professor Roger Moltzen, recipient of a Prime Minister's Supreme Tertiary Teaching Excellence Award, was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Education in September. He now leads the Faculty where he first began his education career as a student in the 60s.

Professor Moltzen is known nationally and internationally for his extensive knowledge of gifted education and talent development, special education, inclusive education and tertiary teaching. He has spoken at numerous events and published widely on these topics. He is currently New Zealand’s delegate for the World Council of Gifted and Talented Children, a member of the European Council of High Ability and patron of the New Zealand Association of Gifted Children.

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Honours for Maori language advocate

When Cathy Dewes (pictured centre) was Head Girl at Wellington Girls' High School in the late 1960s she was able to learn Italian, German, French and Latin, but her request to learn Maori was turned down by the Principal. It was the catalyst for a life-long career in teaching Maori and championing Maori - as well as women's - rights.

Ms Dewes (Te Arawa and Ngati Porou) was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in front of 400 people at Ruamata Marae in Rotorua, the place where as a trained teacher she opened one of the first Maori language schools in New Zealand in 1985.  She worked unpaid for almost a decade until government funding was secured and she is still the principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ruamata.

Click here for more.

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Waikato graduation for Topp Twins

A great day for the Topp Twins as they were conferred with honorary doctorates from the University of Waikato at October's graduation, and always the entertainers, they managed to get the crowd at Founders Theatre to yodel.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford said the Topp Twins had been entertaining New Zealanders and international audiences for more than 30 years and at the same time addressed social issues relevant to us all.

“They are intuitive readers of the nation’s pulse and they know that people will usually listen to a song before they will listen to a speech. Knowing this, they have been able to change people’s minds over a number of issues, or at the very least they get people to accept different points of view,” said Professor Crawford.

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New Institute promotes innovation, wellbeing and inspiration

Maori research at the University of Waikato has been given a boost with the formal launch of Te Kotahi Research Institute (TKRI). The Institute’s ethos is ‘Koi te mata punenga, maiangi te mata puihoiho’, translated as ‘Imagine the invisible, explore the potential, defy the impossible’.

The launch was marked by a free day-long public symposium on the Waitangi Tribunal’s Wai 262 report, co-hosted by TKRI and the new Maori and Indigenous Governance Centre in Te Piringa - Faculty of Law, followed by an invitation-only dinner in the evening.

Keynote speakers at the symposium included High Court Judge Justice Joe Williams, former Chair of the Waitangi Tribunal and former Chief Judge of the Maori Land Court, and barrister Leo Watson.

Click here for more.

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Coastal field research station a milestone for Waikato

The University of Waikato officially opened its new coastal research field station as part of the recently launched Environmental Research Institute. The new facility is a first for the University, and a significant milestone for its Coastal Marine Group, Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford said.

“This is an historic occasion for the University. We have been conducting research in the Bay of Plenty for many years under the guidance of the late Professor Terry Healy and a field station is something we have been wanting for some time.

“We have created a beginning that will be the start of something very important. Research will start here but will then be disseminated around the world.”

Click here for more.

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National Geographic following Waikato Scientists

Professor Craig Cary (pictured), Associate Professor Ian McDonald and Dr Craig Herbold have left for the most isolated geothermal sites on earth, at the summit of Mt Erebus, and National Geographic are photographing them at work.

Professor Cary is the director of ICTAR, an international Antarctic research centre based at the University of Waikato, dedicated to understanding Antarctica’s unique and fragile terrestrial environment. 

“We’ve got temperature probes placed all around the volcano that we’ll be recovering this year along with extensive sampling. We’ll also be drilling ice chimneys and scaling down them into caves to collect soil samples. It’s cold and dangerous stuff, it’s hard work but it’s so exhilarating.”

Click here for more.

 

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Computer Science alumnus off to Microsoft

World lightweight blokart champion and Waikato University computer science graduate Gabe Young has landed a job at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle after five hours of interviews at a Sydney hotel.

“It was gruelling. I had the five one-hour interviews back to back. Different people gave me different problems to solve. When they finished I only had to wait about ten minutes before they offered me a job. They expect you to decline or accept on the spot.”

 

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Waikato student wins Rhodes Scholarship

Waikato University's Briar Thompson is one of only three New Zealanders to have been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University next year. Rhodes Scholarships are the pinnacle of achievement for university graduates wishing to pursue postgraduate study at one of the world’s leading universities.

Briar says it’s a real honour to be selected. “The pool of candidates was of such a high calibre. This is a tremendous opportunity and I’m excited about going there and making the most of what the Rhodes Scholarship and Oxford have to offer.”

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Foundation Trustee: Pat Peoples

Waikato businessman Pat Peoples says being a trustee on the University of Waikato Foundation has personal benefits - he gets to work with a diverse and interesting group of people who help broaden his knowledge and exposure to different businesses and industry. At the same time he’s able to contribute to the lifeblood of the University as it strives to improve the services it offers its students and raise its profile on the world stage.

Mr Peoples has been a Foundation trustee since 2008. He is owner and Managing Director of Schick Construction and Cartage. A mainlander by birth, he graduated from the University of Canterbury with a degree in civil engineering and spent time working with Fulton Hogan in Christchurch and the Waikato before establishing his own business.

Click here for more.

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Alumni and Friends reconnect

The University of Waikato reached out to its alumni and friends at events in Tauranga and Auckland during November.

Mills Reef Winery in Tauranga played host to Prof Bob Evans - and over 120 guests -  who gave an eye-opening account of the current global environmental situation and the need for more sustainable cities.  Click here for photos.

Auckland's St. Matthew-in-the-City church provided the perfect backdrop for launching The Juniper Passion - a haunting opera that tells the story of the World War II battle of Monte Cassino as seen through the eyes of a Benedictine Monk, a German army officer and a New Zealand soldier.  Click here for photos.

 

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From the Vice-Chancellor

In this final issue of the Alumni & Friends E-News, we share several recent achievements: the official opening of our new five Green Star certified Student Centre, with Waikato Distinguished Alumnus Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae officiating; the conferral of Honorary Doctorates on Maori language proponent Cathy Dewes and the Topp Twins, Jools and Lynda; the opening of Te Kotahi, our new Maori Research Institute; the adventures of a Waikato research team in Antartica with National Geographic; the latest Tauranga development of a new coastal field research centre; and the successes of one Waikato alumnus on his way to Microsoft and the other bound for Oxford as a Rhodes scholar.

This issue also includes a link to the 2011 year in review Off Campus magazine.

I hope our stories inspire your continuing pride and support for the University of Waikato.

With best wishes for the festive summer season.

Professor Roy Crawford Vice-Chancellor

Off Campus magazine

The 2011 issue of Alumni & Friends magazine Off Campus is now available to read online.  If you would like to receive a printed copy, please send us an email with your postal details.

Waikato cellist wins international music competition

University of Waikato Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar Santiago Canon Valencia has won the supreme prize at the finals of the 2011 Gisborne International Music Competition.  The 16 year-old Colombian cellist impressed the judges with his ease of playing and outstanding technical ability.  2011 was the first time Santiago was old enough to enter the competition, which is open to orchestral musicians aged 16 to 25.  Santiago won $8,000 and earned himself a concerto date with the Vector Wellington Orchestra.

Waikato launches environmental law centre

The University of Waikato recently launched the Centre for Environmental, Resources and Energy Law (CEREL), a new environmental law centre in Hamilton, Tauranga and Wellington. CEREL brings together the Te Piringa – Faculty of Law’s internationally recognised research strengths in energy and environmental law, sustainable development and natural resource management, and Maori and indigenous governance.

What's on

Calder & Lawson Gallery - Koru Tuputupu: Redefining Kowhaiwhai open until 18 December

Events

Waikato's Tauranga campus will host its inaugural Coastal Economic Symposium - Treasuring the Bay, Whakamana te taonga o te Moana a Toi, on Friday 20 January 2012.  This day-long symposium will explore the economic opportunites offered by the coastal environment while simultaneously ensuring the long-term sustainability of one of the Bay's greatest assets.  Click here for full details.

Alumni Links

Tap into a network that works for you.  Alumni Representatives keep you in touch with other UoW alumni in your area, providing social or business networking opportunities and helpful contacts as you travel the world.  Let us know if you would like to set up an alumni group in your area.

There's still time to enrol for post-graduate study.  Applications close 29 January 2012.