Wellington celebrations mark first of 2021 graduation events

A total of 769 students will graduate in two ceremonies held at the Michael Fowler Centre.

Nearly 800 students from Massey’s Wellington campus will cross the stage to enjoy their moment of glory on 20 April, kicking off the university’s first graduation event for 2021.

This is the first official graduation held by Massey in Wellington since the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions forced 2020 graduates to celebrate in absentia.

A total of 769 students will graduate in two ceremonies held at the Michael Fowler Centre, including 75 receiving master’s degrees and nine receiving doctoral degrees.

Out of the nine doctoral graduates, three will graduate with a Doctor in Clinical Psychology for research on diverse topics, including the experiences of young stroke survivors, brain injury treatment and masculinity in ageing.

Among other PhD students is Francine Tyler, a tutor in Massey’s School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing. Ms Tyler examined how New Zealand journalists working between 1870 and 1930 named and framed those involved in multiple-child murders. She also analysed the evolution of New Zealand’s name suppression laws and how these affected crime reporting.

She found that media gave a greater profile to the accused killers over their victims, and that potentially prejudicial words were often used to create combinations of ‘mad’, ‘bad’ and ‘sad’ frames for the accused killers. The examination of New Zealand’s name suppression laws revealed that the restrictions on the information which may be published in crime and court news have been imposed gradually over more than 100 years and have eroded press freedoms in New Zealand.

School of Humanities, Media and Creative Communication senior tutor Jessica Richards graduates with a PhD for her research on books as ‘performative artefacts’. Her thesis included a collection of physically transformed books which stood as hybrid art/fiction artefacts, and a vintage suitcase containing these books functioned as a travelling library.

The first ceremony will celebrate College of Creative Arts graduates and their whanau with Auckland-based illustrator, comic artist and creative director of The Spinoff, Toby Morris as the guest speaker. He's the author of the comic series The Side Eye and the graphic novel Te Tiriti O Waitangi.

They will also hear from Valedictorian speaker, Raquel Abolins-Reid (RIIKI) who is graduating with a Bachelor of Commercial Music. In her first year of study she launched her own musical project ‘RIIKI’ and has since performed at the Aotearoa Music Artisan Awards in 2019 and her music was chosen to soundtrack the UNESCO City of Film trailer in 2020.

Since completing her studies, Ms Abolins-Reid has been travelling the country to work with an array of highly acclaimed producers and engineers, as well as online with overseas producers towards creating new work to debut under her name. 

In the afternoon ceremony, graduates from Massey’s Business School, College of Sciences, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Heath, and Professional and Continuing Education will be addressed by guest speaker, Microsoft New Zealand’s National Technology Officer, Russell Craig and Valedictorian Liam Davies, a Bachelor of Communication’s graduate.

Mr Davies is a Massey scholar and during his studies he represented students on the Massey Communication Qualifications Committee, the Business School Teaching and Learning Committee, and the College of Business Board. He now represents students across Aotearoa as the National Vice President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations. 

Celebration events for Māori and Pacific graduates and their families will also be held. The Pacific graduates’ celebration is at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 20 April at the Dominion Museum Building Tea Gardens on the Wellington campus. Celebrations to honour Māori graduates – Ngā Whakapōtaetanga Māori – will be held at 9.30am on Wednesday, April 21 at the Wellington campus marae on Wallace Street.

Graduation ceremonies will also take place in Auckland and Palmerston North in May.

Graduates and their families, and staff are encouraged to share graduation photos on social media using #MasseyGrad and tagging in @MasseyUni.

You can watch the live stream of both ceremonies here https://www.massey.ac.nz/student-life/graduation/graduation-livestream/

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