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Friday 19 November 2021 2:38pm

The Alumni of University of Otago in America continues its generous support of Otago students. Here are testimonials from some recent scholarship recipients.

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University of Otago Alumni in America Inc. Entrance Scholarship

ANews1121 AUOA Hannah Mahu 226px
Hannah Mahu

I was very honoured to be a recipient of this scholarship. Thanks to your generous support I was able to become the first in my family to attend tertiary education and be given the opportunity to further my studies. Without the support of the scholarship I would have struggled with my living costs, but I am able to say that it took away my worries which was relieving especially with the added stress of the pandemic.

My plans at this stage are to complete a Bachelor of Arts majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. I have a particular interest in psychology because I enjoy helping people and learning about the mind, brain, and human behaviour. I am pursuing a career as a psychologist because I want to help people specifically in my hometown where many of my family and friends were unable to get professional help because of the limited availability.

My educational pursuits would not be possible without the generous support that this scholarship has given me. Thank you for enabling this opportunity, my family and I truly appreciate the help you have given me.

Ngā mihi maioha,


AUOA Student Accommodation Grant

At the end of last year, I had yet to finalise my accommodation and was more than a little worried about how I would study without a place to stay. I had turned down flat offers from my friends because I wasn't in a fit state to pull my own weight and didn't want to cause problems for them down the line. Staying at a residential college for a second year seem a logical solution; right on campus, consistent heating, with cooking and cleaning taken care of, meaning I could put more effort towards my degree. This grant gave me the opportunity to focus on study rather than frequent health concerns and has made the whole year somewhat manageable, despite COVID-related upsets. For that, I am extremely thankful.

I am presently studying towards a Bachelor of Science, majoring in neuroscience. My interest in neuroscience stems from my experiences with operations I have had. A portion of the problem was attributed to neuropathic pain, and that piqued my interest. Turns out there are plenty of neuronal disorders and diseases (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's among them) which currently cannot be cured. I intend to help research such conditions, in hopes that better understanding will allow medical professionals to help even more people than they do presently.

I offer sincere gratitude for your kindness and generosity.



University of Otago Alumni in America Inc. Rugby Performance Entrance Scholarship

ANews1121 AUOA Rugby Jakob Harrex 226px
Jakob Harrex

I am writing to express my gratitude for your generosity in providing me with the University of Otago Alumni in America Inc. Rugby Performance Entrance Scholarship.
By way of a brief background, I have lived in Gore, Southland for all of my life. I think I am privileged to have been bought up in a small rural town that still has old fashioned values such as talking to your neighbors, stopping to talk to people you know down the street and opening the door for people who are older than you. One of our neighbors regularly baked us Pavlova's for looking after their property when they were away – something I will miss moving to Dunedin.
I see the scholarship as a massive opportunity to further myself in both my studies and rugby endeavors. I am enjoying engaging in University life and making new friends from different parts of the country (and world). I am confident Otago University will allow me not only to receive an excellent education but also to grow as a leader and sportsman.

Kind Regards,


The Sir Murray F. Brennan Scholarship in Rowing

ANews1121 AUOA Phoebe Barratt 226px
Phoebe Barratt

I am a second year biomedicine student majoring in infection and immunology.

I started rowing in year 8 and immediately fell in love. Sadly, my actual rowing career was halted due to me tearing my ACL. During the 12 months that I was doing rehabilitation after my surgery, my coach approached me to see if I would be interested in coxing. At first I was not very keen on the idea however, after my first season coxing I have never gone back. I have now been coxing for 5 years and have loved every moment. Rowing has enabled me to be more confident and improved my time management skills. It has also taught me self-worth as in high school there were lots of people who said coxswains are not important or that we do nothing. I struggled with the feelings of worthlessness a lot and was finally able to overcome it with the help of my last high school coach. She is someone who I look up to as she represents all the qualities which I wish I had.

I cannot describe to you the absolute joy that I saw in my parents' faces when I told them I was going to receive the scholarship. Last year was a very hard year for my family and this just gave a little bit of hope and light into our lives.

I cannot thank you enough for your contribution to the University and I am so unbelievably grateful to be the recipient of your scholarship. I hope that during these trying times you are well and staying safe.

Kind Regards,

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