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Victoria appoints first woman psychology professor

Victoria University has appointed Colleen Ward, 47, as a Professor of Psychology and Head of the School of Psychology.

Science Faculty Dean Professor Peter Englert said he was delighted to welcome Professor Ward, who will be the School of Psychology’s first woman professor.

“Professor Ward has a superb academic record and will provide strong leadership,” he said.

Professor Englert said Professor Ward would be an excellent role model in the School of Psychology, where women are in the majority amongst undergraduate students and there is a relatively large group of junior women academics.

Professor Ward said she was looking forward to working at Victoria. “The School of Psychology has stacks of potential,” she said. “It’s growing, with a number of new appointments being made, and has a lively and positive staff.”

A specialist in cross-cultural psychology, Professor Ward has an Asia 2000 Grant with Tracy Berno of Lincoln University to look at the cross-cultural adaptation of Asian students in New Zealand universities.

Professor Ward is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at the National University of Singapore, where she has been since 1992. She has previously worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Canterbury, at the Science University of Malaysia in Penang and as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad.

Originally from New Orleans in the United States, Professor Ward has a PhD in psychology from the University of Durham in the United Kingdom.

Professor Ward loves New Zealand’s natural beauty and scenery, and is looking forward to tramping and an outdoors lifestyle. She will start work at Victoria on 1 August.

Professor Ward will be the Faculty of Science’s second woman Professor. The other is Associate Dean Helen Tippett, who was appointed to the School of Architecture in 1979. The Faculty currently has a total of 17 professors.

Victoria University Wellington

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