Each year, Ako Aotearoa offers a scholarship to Pacific staff working in tertiary education in New Zealand. The purpose of this scholarship is to support and build the leadership capability of Pacific staff for greater Pacific learner success. We would like to introduce you to this year’s recipients of the scholarship:
Dorcas Kayes (The Mind Lab)
Dorcas is the Postgraduate Director and facilitator of the Master of Contemporary Education at The Mind Lab in Auckland. She is also a member of The Mind Lab’s Hui Manaaki group made up of Māori and Pacific staff, who work to support and improve outcomes for Māori and Pacific learners. Stemming from her belief that talanoa (a conversation or an exchange of ideas or thinking) is a crucial foundation for learning, Dorcas wishes to pursue a professional doctorate through a practical investigation in this topic area.
Latesha Jane Luafalealo (Open Polytechnic)
Latesha leads the maintenance and continuous improvement of courses at Open Polytechnic. She is interested in attaining Management of Portfolios (MoP) and APMG International Change Management Foundation and Practitioner certifications. Not only are these certifications relevant to her current managerial role, but it would provide her with useful experience and skills, such as project management and portfolio management, to further develop her career.
Talai Mapusua (Va'a o Tautai Centre for Pacific Health, University of Otago)
Talai is a Professional Practice Fellow and Academic Lead at the Va'a o Tautai Centre for Pacific Health in Otago. Talai wishes to explore the traditional practice of ‘lalaga’ (weaving of fine mats) in the Samoan culture and how this can reflect and symbolise research and teaching practice at the university. By connecting with the Samoan community and through an in-depth examination of the weaving process, she hopes that it can provide a foundation for gathering and sharing information and establishing relationships in the teaching community.
Fe'ofa'aki 'A kakau Te'evale (Unitec)
Fe’ofa’aki is a Learner Outreach Project Advisor at Unitec, where she looks after the pastoral care of all students. She plans to develop her Language and Literacy knowledge by pursuing a Master of Applied Linguistics. This will be building on her previous certifications in transitional language teaching and Pacific studies, with the hopes that she can get involved in heritage language teaching and research at a tertiary level.
Congratulations Dorcas, Latesha, Talai, and Fe’ofa’aki on your achievements, and we look forward to hearing a progress update in the future.