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AUT’s First Rhodes Scholar

AUT engineering graduate and current business student Monique Cooper is the first AUT graduate and one of just three young New Zealanders awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for 2022 to undertake postgraduate study at the University of Oxford.

Monique, who works as a product development engineer at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechatronics from AUT in 2020 and is also pursuing a second degree, a Bachelor of Business in Management and Finance at AUT.

From a young age, Monique has always had a passion for community service and social justice. At the age of 16 she volunteered as a firefighter and served for five years, and it was here that she developed an interest in hi-tech equipment and a curiosity for the way things worked.

Monique is passionate about bringing together her love for the community and technology to make a difference and has actively worked towards this. In her current role at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, she works on life-saving hospital equipment including breathing circuits that go between ventilators, humidifiers and patients, contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the University of Oxford, Monique plans to study a Master of Science in Social Data Science and a Master of Business Administration. She hopes on her return, to use her new skills to help address some of New Zealand’s pressing issues with innovative technology.

“At Oxford, I intend on weaving my technology skills into my humanities passion. While I am open to what the future holds and how this experience will shape me, I do envisage helping to develop Aotearoa into being an innovative nation tackling pressing issues. I believe this opportunity will take me a step closer to contributing to an equitable, sustainable and high-tech future for us all. To have others willing to invest in this vision is incredible,” says Monique.

Professor Kath McPherson, AUT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Research, says this is a first for the University. “We’d like to offer a huge congratulations to Monique, this is a truly remarkable achievement. As AUT’s first Rhodes Scholar, we are extremely proud to have been part of her journey so far. We look forward to seeing her go on to create even more impact during her time at Oxford and beyond.”

Monique features as one of four graduates in AUT’s latest brand campaign, Find Your Greatness, where she shares how her time at AUT helped her uncover what inspired her to turn her passion into something rewarding and meaningful.

Find out more about the 2022 Rhodes Scholars

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