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Christmas graduation for University of Canterbury

Christmas graduation for more than 450 University of Canterbury students

12 December 2006

More than 450 University of Canterbury students will don cap and gown for the university's pre-Christmas graduation ceremony on Wednesday 13 December.

The students from across all disciplines will be capped in the Christchurch Town Hall ceremony starting at 2pm. Four hundred and seventy students will take part in the event with an additional 67 graduating in absentia.

During the ceremony one of two University of Canterbury Research Medals for 2006 will be presented to international relations expert Professor Jacob Bercovitch (Political Science and Communication). The second medal will be presented to volcanologist and petrologist Professor Jim Cole (Geological Sciences) during the April 2007 graduation ceremony.

The Research Medal is presented annually for excellence in research.

Professor Bercovitch works in the general area of international conflict resolution and international mediation. One of the international referees for the award described him as the founding father of the science of international conflict mediation studies.

Professor Bercovitch was last year elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He was only the second political science scholar to be elected a fellow and believes his successes attest to the depth and excellence of research within the College of Arts.

“Research activity and publications are truly global in every sense of the word. It is good to know that from within our College we too can produce research that in terms of its originality, impact and significance is as good as any piece of research done anywhere in the world.

“It means that your work is recognised by many colleagues overseas as having both tremendous value and considerable impact on the discipline. I can think of no more satisfying feeling than to be appreciated by your colleagues and peers, both here and overseas. It makes the many sacrifices one has made in the course of a career really worth their while.”

Professor Jacob Bercovitch joined the University of Canterbury New Zealand in 1983 and is the author and editor of 10 books on international relations and international conflict.

Nine teaching awards will also be presented to university staff for excellence in teaching achievement. This year's recipients are Dr Megan Clayton (UC Opportunity); Professor Peter Harland (Chemistry); Stephen Hickson (Economics); Dr Angus McIntosh (Biological Sciences); Dr Colleen Mills (Management); Dr Ken Morison (Chemical and Process Engineering); Dr Cornelia Sears (American Studies); Dr Natalia Chaban (National Centre for Research on Europe); and Dr Alan Wright (Theatre and Film Studies).

Graduation organisers are hoping for fine weather for the afternoon march through central Christchurch. The procession starts at 1.20pm at the Arts Centre's Market Square and proceeds east along Worcester Boulevard, turning onto Oxford Tce and through Victoria Square to the Town Hall. Senior lecturer Dr Hamish Cochrane (Forestry) will be the esquire bedel leading the procession.


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