Discovery Scholarship Recipients - 2022

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Discovery Scholarship Recipients - 2022

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Zack Avery - Piki Ake Award (Step It Up)

University of Canterbury - Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha


Untitled design 65 v2Ko Whakapoungakau te māunga  
Ko Waengahe te awa 
Ko Te Arawa te waka   
Ko Te Arawa tōku iwi 
Ko Te Roro o te Rangi tōku hapū 
Ko Owhata tōku marae 
Ko Zack Avery tōku ingoa 

Kia ora, I'm Zack. This year, I'm pursuing my honours degree majoring in chemistry, and I'm incredibly fortunate to receive a discovery scholarship to support me in doing this. Being the first in my whānau to attend university has given me an immense sense of pride, which has really helped motivate me in my studies. I've wanted to be a scientist ever since I was a kid, so it's great to be able to follow through with those childhood ambitions! Next year, I hope to carry on with chemistry, and pursue a PhD.

Pianina Kahui- McConnell - Te Mātauranga Pūtaiao Award (Māori Science) AUT - Auckland University of Technology

AUT - Auckland University of Technology

Untitled design 66 v2Talofa lava,Malo le soifua,O a’uo Pianina Kahui-McConnellOu te sau mai Magia,

Ko Tainui te waka
Ko Pirongia te maunga
Ko Mangapu te awa
Ko Ngāti Maniapoto me Ngāti Porou ngā iwi
Ko Rereamanu me Te Kauae ngā marae
Ko Ngāti Kino haku me Ngāti hūi ao ngā hapū
Ko Kohanga te urupa
Ko Pianina Kahui-McConnell toku ingoa

I am a second-year student at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), currently studying a Bachelor of Science majoring in Applied Conservation. The passion that runs through my veins is environmental protection. I believe I am a voice for the voiceless. At 14 my passion for the ocean was ignited after returning to my whenua, moana and whānau across Samoa (Village of Mangia) and Aotearoa (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Porou). As it bonded my connection to te taiao (the natural world) with my whakapapa (lineage). This relationship is reflected in my everyday choices to create sustainable change through indigenous perspectives. My passion for ocean preservation has thrown me into the deep end of learning more and more about myself and my surrounding environment. My dream is for indigenous inclusivity within sustainable ocean practices towards the restoration of Te Moana Nui A Kiwa. 

My intention for applying to university is to graduate as an educated, indigenous, wāhine scientist and ocean activist that bridges mātauranga Māori with western science. Creating solutions that represent our people and reflect positive outcomes for our environment. Through university, I have realized that everything is connected. Every micro-ecosystem, every cell, every fish, every leaf, every bug – Everything, is connected. Therefore we need to work as one to live in harmony with our natural environment. Acknowledging this understanding has supported me in my university journey so far, as every single person I have come across has built me into the wāhine I am today and will continue to grow into.  

This scholarship will benefit me immensely, as it supports the momentum of my dreams for te taiao (the natural world), the moana and my people. 

Lucas Larraman - Te Taumata Award (High Achiever)

University of Canterbury - Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha

Untitled design 83 v2

Kia ora 

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei

Me mihi ki a Ranginui rāua ko Papatūānuku, tēnā kōrua.
E te whare, te tāwharau, tēnā koe.
Ki te mana whenua, kei te mihi ki a koutou.

Ko Taranaki te maunga
Ko Tokomaru te waka
Ko Waitara te awa
Ko Te Ātiawa me Ngāti Mutunga ngā iwi
Ko Ngāti Hinetui te hapū

He ākonga ahau i Te Whare Wānanga o Aotahi
Ko Lucas tōku ingoa

Growing up in Te Waipounamu, I fostered a deep awe for the relationship between Ranganui and Papatūānuku. I have always been curious as to how the sky works and the impact it has on the natural environment around us.

Being tangata whenua, I have a strong passion for protecting and restoring the environment for future generations to cherish.

I am studying towards a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physics, minoring in Mathematics and Te Reo Māori.

I aspire to research the sky and its relationship with humans. I strive to help discover and implement methods to mitigate the effects of the climate crisis.

I feel extremely grateful to be given this scholarship. Receiving this opportunity has put me closer to my dream of contributing to instrumental changes in science in Aotearoa.

Meghan Sheehan - Te Kainga Rua Award (Second Chance Learner)

University of Canterbury - Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha

Hey there, I’m Meghan from Ngai Tahu. During the last four years I have been lucky enough to live in the beautiful valleys of Te Waipapa, which has fostered my newfound love for our incredible manu. A lot of my time is spent observing and conversing with the korimako, kererū, and pīwakawaka who surround my house. One of my goals for studying at university is the restoration of habitats for our birds, to protect and preserve their presence for the future generations of Aotearoa.

Science is a quite new interest for me, as I never found it intriguing as a young person, I didn’t take the opportunity to explore any science subjects in secondary school. During the second semester of 2021 I took a chemistry course for the first time to get my prerequisite grades for tertiary education and absolutely loved what I had been missing out on. This year I have started the first year of a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Freshwater Honours at the University of Canterbury and couldn’t feel more at home.

My love of native birds has given me the realization that I will live the rest of my life in regret if I don’t at least try to leave this world better off than when I was born into it.

“I see kererū, perched in the late sun,
iridescent feathers, of blue, green, and plum,
Such adept flyers, in spite of bulkiness,
Viewing their courtship, fills me with bliss,
Also quite cheeky, and so inquisitive,
Outside in the forest, I’m often visited,
By the creations of Tāne, I feel at home with.”

Jessicca Usu - Te Kainga Rua Award (Second Chance Learner Award)

University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

Untitled design 74
Talofa lavā, o lo’u igoa o Jessicca Eva Usu. Ou te sau mai le afioaga o Vaigaga Faleata, Musumusu Fagaloa ma Saleaula Gaga’emauga Savaii.

Jessicca is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science (technology) at the University of Waikato. She is majoring in molecular and cellular biology. Jessicca spent her formative years growing up in Samoa, this inspired in her a love for the natural world around her and a genuine desire to understand it.

She is also a recipient of the University of Waikato 2021/2022 Summer Research Scholarship. It was during this time she discovered her passion for research into pathogenic bacteria. Her research was investigating a unique sulfur acquisition mechanism within Neisseria Gonorrhoeae, the causative agent for the highly stigmatized infectious disease gonorrhoea. She hopes to continue this line of study into her Masters next year.

The honour of being a Discovery Scholarship recipient has enabled Jessicca to start her Masters paper early this year in A trimester, and she is a step closer to achieving her goals. Fa’afetai, Fa’afetai tele lavā.