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Alumni & Friends E-News



March is always an exciting month on our calendar as we welcome new and returning students. Fittingly then, you’ll see that this e-news is filled with stories about alumni returning to the Waikato and about a new initiative making tertiary study more accessible for students from the wider region.

We hope some of our buzz rubs off on you and that you enjoy our orientation photos, which may bring back some memories. Remember, wherever in the world you are, we’d love to hear from you!

Congratulations to Sara Taylor who is the recipient of our 2017 Alumni Scholarship. Sara studied a Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in Human Resource Management and Management Information Systems. We look forward to catching up with Sara to hear how she’s getting on with her PGDip in Primary Teaching later in the year.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards are being held at the end of this month. Keep an eye out for a special issue of our e-news in April celebrating our distinguished alumni and their achievements. 

We hope you enjoy this issue. If you missed out on sharing your feedback with us in December, there’s still time to complete our alumni survey

This month we're giving away a University of Waikato puffer jacket. Make sure you read our full email to learn how you could win it.

Best wishes, Leonie and the alumni team. 

Getting to know alumna Rachel Kelly

Rachel Kelly, who went to Hamilton’s Melville High School, faced some challenges in her first year at university but has gone on to launch a stunning career. Rachel and her husband took a leap of faith returning to NZ five years ago and in this Q&A she talks about the challenges of resettling in her home city and the motivations for doing so.

Rachel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Master of Science in Analytical Chemistry with first class honours. Read the full Q&A.


Orientation 2017

The University welcomed new students for 2017 over a two-week orientation beginning with a welcome pōwhiri at the Marae. Ori2017 ran from 20 February to 4 March and was packed with activities for students ranging from an amazing race to mini lectures and seminars on managing finances.

Another great way the University is supporting new students is through the Uni 101 video series to help students get ahead as they start their journey at Waikato.


Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence

The Te Ara ki Angitū: Pathways to Excellence programme is a key part of the University of Waikato’s regional engagement strategy. Through partnering with secondary schools in the Waikato region, we’re making university study more accessible and are enhancing the chances of success through putting in place some key supports to help students transition from high school to university.

Our pilot programme launched in 2016 with 36 students from the four high schools in Putaruru and Tokoroa. This year we have widened our partnership programme which now covers South Waikato, North Waikato, Piopio/Te Kuiti/Otorohanga, Coromandel/Whitianga/Whangamata, Thames/Hauraki, and Matamata/Piako. There are 123 first-year students joining the programme in 2017, and students who were on the programme in 2016 were offered further support by the university, which helped source job opportunities for them in their home towns over the summer break.

The programme provides guidance and support to students, as well as ongoing mentoring, a subsidised bus service between home and university, and access to a portable learning device. Students who apply to be on the programme are also eligible to apply for the Te Ara ki Angitū school leavers’ scholarship, which is awarded on the basis of academic excellence, leadership potential, and community citizenship. 

Read about some of our Te Ara ki Angitū 2017 scholarship recipients here and here.

Vice-Chancellor hosts BBQ on the Village Green

More than 90 alumni and friends joined the Vice-Chancellor for a BBQ on the Village Green in late February.

Guests enjoyed mingling in the late afternoon sun on one of the most beautiful days of the summer. There was much reminiscing and new connections were made as guests mixed over a BBQ dinner.

The full gallery from the event is on our website.

Around the Faculties

FASS:  A team from the University of Waikato School of Psychology, headed by Dr Carrie Cornsweet Barber, has been working for the last three years to develop ‘Positively Pregnant’ – an app for pregnant women.

FCMS:  The annual International Organization for Standardization event, responsible for cyber security international standards such as the ISO/IEC 27000 series, is coming to Hamilton in April this year.  

FEDU:  The work of educator Mere Berryman has been acknowledged nationally after she was named one of three finalists for Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year. 

FSEN:  A team of 10 students travelled to Melbourne to enter their vehicle in an international Formula SAE competition and came ninth out of 32 universities but won the main event ‒ endurance.

FLAW:  Former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC will be on campus later this month to give two lectures. One lecture is for students about his campaign to have a new and accessible national constitution, and the other is a public lecture about New Zealand’s environmental laws. The public talk is on Monday 20 March from 4.30pm-6pm at the Academy of Performing Arts. For more information or to RSVP, email

FMIS: The traditions and performance techniques of taonga pūoro (traditional Māori musical instruments) will be taught through two courses at the University of Waikato this year.

WMS: Waikato University economics graduate Leo Krippner has been awarded this year’s Central Banking’s award for economics.

Tauranga: Cafe Scientifique will be hosting its next event on 20 March. This event is about electric vehicles, solar power and batteries and will be presented by University of Waikato Lecturer Dr Mark Apperley. 

Coming to our Hamilton campus soon


The University of Waikato will be hosting Night Glow - Balloons over Waikato on 25 March as part of the Balloons over Waikato Festival. All information about the event can be found at the University of Waikato Facebook page

The University of Waikato will be hosting Professor Robert Liden as part of the Excellence in Practice Series. Robert Liden is a world renowned expert on servant leadership and leader-member exchange relationships. He will speak on the topic "Paradox of Serving and Leading - a new direction for the future of leadership". Follow the link for all the event details. 

Quick links

Alumni Representatives: Stay connected with the University by getting in touch with your local alumni representative, or contact us if you're interested in becoming a representative yourself.  

Lost Alumni: Help us reconnect with graduates we have lost touch with. Check the Lost Alumni list to see if you, or someone you know, is on there. 

Apply to Enrol:  A degree from the University of Waikato prepares you as a future leader, ready to forge a fulfilling career.

Stay in touch: To update your details and catch up on the latest university and alumni news, follow the links below. Alumni who update their details this month go in to win a University of Waikato puffer jacket.

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