Scholarships for research on ageing, antibiotics and oysters

Pictured at the Graduate Women Manawatū Charitable Trust scholarship awards: (back row, from left) Kizzy Rennie (Beyond the Thesis awardee), Philippa Cherrill, Yuseul Kim, Bronwyn Hutchison, Ashleigh Barnett and (Front Row): Courtney Davies, Hannah Wykes, Professor Tracy Riley (Guest Speaker), Dr Jo Innes (Chair) and Jessica Dalton.

Ten post-graduate Massey University students have been awarded scholarships totalling $68,000 by the Graduate Women Manawatū Charitable Trust for research topics as diverse as age welfare, regenerative tourism, antibiotic resistance and oyster catcher habitats. 

The annual Graduate Women Postgraduate Scholarships acknowledge academic excellence. The 2021 awardees are: Ashleigh Barnett, Charlotte Bridger, Philippa Cherrill, Jessica Dalton, Courtney Davies, Helen Glenny, Bronwyn Hutchinson, Yeseul Kim, Lauren Turner and Hannah Wykes. 

Recipients are studying towards honours or master’s degrees in their chosen disciplines at one of Massey University’s campuses or via distance. Funding for the scholarships is derived from the hire of academic regalia. Graduate Women Manawatū Charitable Trust owns and operates the Academic Dress Hire business based on Massey’s Manawatū campus. This business supplies academic gowns and gowning services for all graduation ceremonies at the university, and other tertiary institutions throughout the lower North Island.

As a charitable entity all profit from the business is reinvested in education through the provision of scholarships and awards for women throughout New Zealand. Presentations were made to the postgraduate students at a celebratory luncheon held at Wharerata, Massey University. Other research topics include; the experiences of first-time pregnant women in the work place; New Zealand mayfly distribution as a model for predicting climate change impact; and the prevention of milk fever in cows.

The event, attended by the students, their families and supporters, research supervisors and members of Graduate Women Manawatū also marked the 100-year anniversary of Graduate Women New Zealand. Guest speaker Professor Tracy Riley, Dean Research Massey University, gave an inspiring address on the Scholars@Massey programme. 

The award event also provided an opportunity to celebrate the Beyond the Thesis awardee Kizzy Rennie. Sponsored by Graduate Women Manawatū, the award is offered to an international Massey student in recognition of community impact. It is a chance to recognise and celebrate the ways international students contribute to the wider New Zealand community during their study at Massey. 

Ms Rennie is an international student from the Caribbean completing her master’s degree this year in Food Technology. “She was selected as the winner for her compelling narrative of the small acts of kindness that went a long way,” says Associate Professor Sita Venkateswar, a member of Graduate Women Manawatū.  

As secretary for the International Post Grad and Mature Students Club (IPGMS) last year, Ms Rennie took on the challenge of baking sweet treats for people around her, investing in the tools and equipment, as well as supporting friends who had lost family members during the pandemic.

(Unable to attend: Charlotte Bridger, Helen Glenny, Lauren Turner)

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