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Karyn Paringātai new Māori Postgraduate Student Advisor

Monday 24 November 2014 11:18am

Karyn Paringatai award image
Dr Karyn Paringatai is the new Māori Postgraduate Student Advisor.

To top off a busy year, which included winning the 2014 Supreme Award for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, Dr Karyn Paringātai has taken on a new role at Otago.

This month she is starting work as the Māori Postgraduate Student Advisor, based in the Graduate Research School.

The part-time appointment will result in her being available to support Māori students working at Postgraduate level, whether they are a candidate for a PhD, a Masters research or coursework student, or adding a Postgraduate Diploma to their qualifications.

“It’s mostly a support role, providing advice, guidance and pastoral care to postgraduate students, while recognising the cultural element to their lives.”

Approximately 6 percent of all postgraduate students identify themselves as Māori, but they are spread far and wide across the University and “they may be the only Māori students in their department at that level”.

Dr Paringātai’s role will include managing events such as monthly MAI ki Otago Hui, writing days, and a planned symposium.

"It’s mostly a support role, providing advice, guidance and pastoral care to postgraduate students, while recognising the cultural element to their lives."

Adding a kaupapa Māori or indigenous strand to postgraduate research can open up career options for students, and Dr Paringātai hopes to help students access information whether they are immersed in their culture already, or exploring their connections.

Graduate Research School Dean Professor Rachel Spronken-Smith says the school is delighted that Dr Paringātai is joining the team.

“She will bring a wealth of experience to the position and is well-connected and much respected throughout the University community. I am sure our Māori postgraduates will benefit from the support and initiatives she will provide.”