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Adult Learners' Awards

Media Release

1 September 2006

Six University of Waikato students will receive Adult Learners’ Awards of $1,000 each from Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford at a ceremony on 6 September.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Adult Learners’ Awards are presented each year during Adult Learners’ Week/He Tangata Matauranga, an international celebration of adult learning. This year, Adult Learners’ Week runs from 4 to 10 September. Waikato University will hold two events on 6 September celebrating its adult learners: a barbecue near the shops (The Village Green) at 12 pm, and the awards ceremony at 3.30 pm, at the WEL Energy Trust Academy of Performing Arts.

“Adult learners enhance our university environment because they bring a special perspective and passion to their studies, linked to their life experience and maturity,” said Prof Crawford.

“Here at Waikato, we welcome adult students whatever their backgrounds. We recognise that the pathways and choices that lead people to enrol at university at particular stages in their life vary enormously. We do whatever we can to foster the concept of lifelong learning. Our Adult Learners’ Award recognises the hard work and dedication it takes for some to be here.”

Adult learners are defined as students over the age of 25. This year, 4,047 adult learners are studying at Waikato University. Historically, the University of Waikato has had a very high proportion of adult learners compared with other universities in New Zealand.

Winners of the Adult Learners’ Awards must have demonstrated that they:
- learn with infectious enthusiasm;
- demonstrate a strong determination to complete their studies;
- support and encourage other learners to engage in learning activities;
- willingly share new skills, knowledge and abilities with others;
- challenge themselves and others with new ideas and perspectives; and
- have had an interesting pathway to the university.

The 2006 Adult Learners’ Award recipients are listed below. Please contact our office if you would like to interview or profile any of this year’s recipients.

Toni West
Toni is enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (Technology) in the School of Science & Engineering. Before coming to the University, she worked as a professional circus entertainer and an assistant dog-trainer. Despite a limited background in chemistry, she enrolled in the Foundation Studies course, and subsequently earned four “A+” scores in Semester A, including two chemistry courses. One of her Professors describes her as “a model for the type of adult, second-chance student we would like to attract to science.”

Ngahinaturae Te Uira
Ngahinaturae is enrolled in a Master of Arts in the School of Māori & Pacific Development. Prior to coming to the University, she was former Secretary to Dame Te Atairangikaahu, and worked in the Department of Māori Affairs and the Department of Social Welfare, until she retired in 1992. Now 74 years old, Ngahinaturae is a role model for many and an inspiration to younger people, particularly Māori.

Sarah-Louise Body
Sarah is enrolled in a Bachelor of Social Sciences within the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Her road to the university has been a challenging one. Twenty-four years ago, while walking home from work, Sarah was hit by a car, which left her with life-threatening injuries and chronic health problems, which she still suffers from today. Her teachers describe her as “fiercely-determined,” “enthusiastic” and a “sensitive peer reviewer;” in short, the “quintessential mature student.”

Turei Thompson
Turei is enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science and Te Reo Māori. A husband and father of three children, Turei lives in Hamilton during the academic year, while his family stays in Rotorua. His academic success in 2005 culminated in his being invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society. He is active in the Waikato Student Union and works as a mentor in Te Reo and Tikanga Māori. He is described as a “conscientious adult student” who goes the “extra mile” in producing high-quality work and supporting others.

Cindy Cadman-Satake
Cindy is enrolled in a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biological Sciences and Earth Sciences. She first came to the University in 2004, with no school qualifications in science. She is active as a class representative, putting in a lot of work to ensure the best outcomes for her classmates. She has lived in Japan, has a 4-year-old son, and is described as determined, passionate and delightful.

Carmen Quinn
Carmen is enrolled in a Bachelor of Management Studies at Waikato Management School. She is a single mother of three children and does part-time sales and marketing work. Carmen has had to overcome a learning disability, which historically prevented success in school. Through perseverance and determination, however, she has earned excellent grades at the University and has participated actively and cooperatively with her fellow students in their tutorial work.


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