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Student story

Kendall Lattin

20 July 2023

"I get to learn more every day about the way that our society works..."


Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Studying towards a Master of Policy and Governance

With a passion for the wellbeing of children and young people in New Zealand, Kendall has already achieved much in her studies on youth policies and society.

Kendall first enrolled at UC after receiving a UC Undergraduate Entrance Scholarship, and completed studies in Psychology due to her interest in supporting youth in mental health.

She later completed research on child poverty in New Zealand, and a report for Child and Youth Friendly Christchurch on the wellbeing of young people living in the city. The knowledge she gained steered her towards postgraduate study in the Master of Policy and Governance (MPAG) to help develop better responses to youth needs.

"I was drawn to politics because it focused more on systemic issues and structures than just the individual," she says. "My research with Child and Youth Friendly Christchurch made me want to continue with this type of work researching young people, and I felt MPAG would provide me with the knowledge, skills and networking to do so. I am currently working on my thesis on youth civic engagement in Christchurch."

Her research has so far received funding from a Graduates Association Scholarship through UC, and a Freemasons University Scholarship.

"The lecturers, and the friendships, have made me see the world in a different, more critical way that I am really grateful for," she says.

In particular, Kendall has found a lot of value from the professional connections available from the MPAG programme.

"I have networked with a lot of fantastic people and organisations in Christchurch. I get to learn more every day about the way that our society works on a political level, and the ways that research and policy and governance can help to improve the social outcomes of New Zealanders."

A highlight was a field trip to Wellington in the programme's first year, to visit parliament and see policy in action.

"We got to meet all the party leaders, and some of the Ministries and policy think-tanks. It was a great experience that has helped me clarify where I do and do not want to go career-wise, I would definitely recommend to other students."

Currently, Kendall is also a researcher at UC within the international, multidisciplinary research team Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Puāwaitanga, focusing on the increasing urbanisation of the future and the place young people will have in these environments.

"My study is a great complement to my research work, and vice versa. I have learnt a lot about both the theory and practice of policy, and made many connections with people already working in this field."

She hopes to continue research with a PhD after completing her master's, and then to move onto a career as an independent researcher and consultant.

"I would like to work for a while in policy with both central and local government in between my study, as well as NGOs that work specifically with children and young people," she says.

Kendall is also a singer and songwriter, and teaches dance to young children with Pitter Patter Dance.

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