Graduate profiles

See how some of our graduates have benefited from studying at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies.

Megan Bockholt

Megan Bockholt BA (Defence Studies)

BA (Defence Studies) with honours

Megan completed her honours year at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies during 2017 having graduated with a BA (Defence Studies). Choosing to study at Massey University upon leaving school, she initially enrolled in another major but switched to defence studies early in her first year whilst also studying politics.  This combination ignited a passion for Megan. Having completed her undergraduate degree in just two years by studying during summer school, she qualified for admission to the Bachelor of Arts (Defence Studies) with honours and she completed a research assignment examining the nexus between transnational narcotics and terrorist groups.

While contemplating her future she considered a career working in conflict resolution with organisations like the United Nations or working in intelligence and counter-terrorism.  She is now working on her Masters thesis with the Centre for Defence and Security Studies.

Carrie Drake

Carrie Drake Graduation

Master of International Security

Carrie Drake graduated with a Master of International Security in May 2017.  For her Masters research report, she investigated the social harms from cannabis (aka marijuana, pot, weed, grass, dope) by interviewing police in countries where the drug is legally available. Her findings come amid public debate about possible law change in New Zealand.

She previously gained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English and Russian from Canterbury University, and afterwards she worked for 10 years in police and government intelligence.  She currently has a role in training and leadership at the Royal Police College and was requested by the National Drug Intelligence Bureau, a multi-agency group hosted by the New Zealand Police in their National Intelligence Centre, to undertake the research.

Her study aimed to find out what preventive measures are effective in countries where cannabis is legalised, to help inform and prepare New Zealand Police of likely outcomes if cannabis is legalised here. She found that cannabis causes social harm regardless of its legal status, including as a factor in criminal and gang activity, in road accidents and in the mental health of younger users from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Carrie has presented her research at the Australasian Drug and Alcohol Strategy Conference in Wellington earlier in 2017.

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