Academic gown funds go to master's research

Recipients of scholarships from Graduate Women Manawatū Charitable Trust: (from left, back) Kelly McDonald, Hannah Walters, Helen Peters, Sarah Gilmore, (middle row) Catherine Smith, Associate Professor Sita Venkateswar (Graduate Women Manawatū Charitable Trust chair), Mariapia Bugna, Cassie Anderson, Megan Heslop and (front) Kelly Turner, Professor Glenda Anthony (Graduate Women Manawatū Charitable Trust chair), Delwyn Blundell and Lisa Chaplow. (Absent - Jemima Diki Sherpa).

Eleven post-graduate Massey University students have been awarded scholarships totalling $70,000 by the Graduate Women Manawatū Charitable Trust for research projects as diverse as volcanology, maternal ambivalence, animal stress, and mountaineering and tourism in Nepal.

Presentations were made to the students at a celebratory luncheon held at Wharerata on Massey’s Manawatū campus on June 22, attended by the students, their families and supporters, members of Graduate Women Manawatu, and guests. 

Kelly Turner, a post-graduate student from the Institute of Education and recipient of the Mary Malloch Scholarship – a one-off award of $3000 presented by the Trust last year – was the guest speaker.

Ainsley Watson, manager for Academic Dress Hire, says this award has been made possible by a generous donation from the family of Mary Malloch, a long-time member of Graduate Women Manawatū.

All recipients are studying towards master’s degrees in their chosen disciplines at one of Massey’s campuses or through distance. Applications were received from students across New Zealand, and efforts were made to ensure a good representation from all Massey campuses, says Mr Watson.

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 the Manawatū campus. This business supplies academic gowns and gowning services for all graduation ceremonies at Massey, and provides gowns for graduations at other tertiary institutions throughout the lower North Island. As a charitable entity all profit from the business is reinvested in education through provision of a variety of scholarships and awards for women throughout New Zealand.

The 2019 Awardees are: Cassie Anderson, Delwyn Blondell, Mariapia Bugna, Lisa Chaplow, Sarah Gilmour, Morgan Heslop, Kelly McDonald, Helen Peters, Jemima Sherpa, Catherine Smith, and Hannah Walters. 

Awardee projects:

Cassie Anderson – Master of Arts (Psychology)

A qualitative study focusing on young bisexual women’s identity and coming out narratives. 

Catherine Smith – Master of Specialist Teaching (Learning and Behaviour)

Exploring a professional inquiry research question – “how can I, as a resource teacher: learning and behaviour, empower whānau to be visibly represented in my practice?”

Delwyn Blondell – Master of Arts (History)

A thesis centred on a group of railway construction labourers (navvies) recruited in England in 1872, arriving in New Zealand in debt to their employers, seeking to answer questions about the occupational and social background of these labourers, to test theories of conformity and disruption generally applied to navvies and determine the contribution they made to New Zealand society, in areas of community and working class history.

Hannah Walters – Master of Science (Earth Science) 

A volcanology project studying the 232 AD eruption from the Taupo super volcano. Field data from this historical event will help to better understand the risks and hazard impacts of future eruptions of this type and magnitude. 

Helen Peters – Master of Arts (History)

Exploring women’s experiences in homes for unmarried mothers to enrich our understanding of post-war attitudes towards sexuality, childbearing and the creation of families by interviewing women in these institutions between 1950 and 1980.

Jemima Diki Sherpa – Master of  Arts (Social Anthropology)

Research centred on the once isolated high mountain valley Khumbu region of Nepal, historically home to the Sherpa community. Over the last seven decades, the arrival of mountaineering and tourism focused on Chomolungma (Sagarmatha/Mount Everest) has resulted in rapid social, economic, and environmental change. 

Kelly McDonald – Master of Fine Arts

By melding the personal narrative of motherhood and the domestic, with life as a studio artist, this research explores power and gender in the home, the history of these spaces and the subtle and sometimes not so subtle burdens they place on women.  

Lisa Chaplow – Master in Counselling Studies

Research on the effect of school-based mindfulness programmes for anxiety in young children.

Mariapia Bugna – Master in Counselling Studies

The research focusses on learning techniques and strategies to deal with clients’ needs, and in expanding knowledge through new courses in the field of eating disorders. 

Morgan Heslop – Master of Science (Physiology)

Research to develop a novel biomarker of stress in animals, by analysing caps at the end of DNA strands which shorten in response to stress. By measuring stress-related changes in these caps (called telomeres), this researcher hopes to establish an objective marker for use in animal welfare assessment. 

Sarah Gilmour – Master of Arts (Psychology)

This project aims to understand mothers’ experiences of maternal ambivalence in Aotearoa New Zealand. Using feminist psychology theory, mothers’ experiences of mixed feelings towards mothering will be considered in relation to social, gender and cultural expectations within society. 


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