Sunday 28 June 2020 9:28am
The University of Otago’s Pacific Peoples’ Achievement Awards were established in 2009 to highlight Pacific students’ academic success at the University.
This monetary prize is awarded annually to the top Pacific students from each of the four academic divisions (Science, Health Sciences, Humanities, Commerce).
The prize is awarded to the top academic Pacific student in their first year of undergraduate study and to the top Pacific student in their final year of undergraduate study.
The nominations are endorsed by the academic divisions on the recommendation of the Director Pacific Development.
Students must be of indigenous Pacific Island descent and be studying full time.
The recipients of the 2019 awards are:
- First Year Achievement Prize for Humanities: Shani McMullan, studying a Bachelor of Laws
- Final Year Achievement Prize for Humanities: Lydie Leurquin, completed her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Anthropology and Classics
- First Year Achievement Prize for Commerce: Noah Pronk, studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in International Business and Management
- Final Year Achievement Prize for Science: Tinomaria Antonio-Johnston, completed her Bachelor of Science majoring in Human Nutrition
- First Year Achievement Prize for Health Sciences: Aleisha Taramai, completed Health Sciences First Year and is now studying a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
- First Year Achievement Prize for Health Sciences: Joshua Smith, completed Health Sciences First Year and is now studying a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
- Final Year Achievement Prize for Health Sciences: Tea Vaeau, completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Director Pacific Development Dr Tasileta Teevale says the awards signify academic excellence amongst Pacific students at the University of Otago, with some of the awardees receiving the highest GPA (9.0 being the highest) in an academic year.
“This makes them one of the top academic students not just in their academic programme, but within their whole academic Division.
“This is cause for celebration, not just for the individual effort of the students, but also amongst the whole University community who have been part of the students’ academic success.”
The Achievement prizes were announced by Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne at the Pacific Student Welcome event in February.
Dr Teevale says this announcement gives the audience of current and incoming students inspiration to set their sights high on achieving academic excellence, and also gives our Pacific communities and University staff a chance to bask in that glory and to continue to provide support for student success.
“Success begets success and academic excellence of our Pacific students is part of the Pacific development story here at the University of Otago.
“A key goal of our Pacific Strategic Framework is to celebrate Pacific achievement and these Awards for academic excellence are but one of the ways in which we are making a significant contribution to our University goal of ensuring success for all its student communities,” Dr Teevale says.