UC Alumni Ambassadors

UC Alumni Ambassadors work closely with the Alumni and UC Foundation team to support alumni relations activities in their local region. They help by developing connections with local alumni and those new to the area. 

Find a local ambassador below, or contact alumni@canterbury.ac.nz if you would like to volunteer to become an Ambassador.

This page will be regularly updated with the contact details for our UC Alumni Ambassadors in different regions, so please check back for further details as they become available.

China

Location Hong Kong
Name Richard Tan
Biography Richard studied Psychology at the University of Canterbury between 1975 and 1985. After graduation, he worked with Child, Youth and Family Services (now Oranga Tamariki), followed by a stint with the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand. He has been in Hong Kong for over 15 years and is an Associate Fellow of the Hong Kong Psychological Society. Richard is currently enjoying retirement and is great for offering advice on what to do in the area.
Email address rahk.tan@gmail.com
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-richard-tan-phd-7a5a6921/

 

India

Location Delhi (and Alumni Ambassador for the Indian UC alumni community in New Zealand) 
Name Samarth
Biography Samarth completed his PhD in the field of Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Canterbury in 2019. He spends time in Delhi and in New Zealand - mostly Christchurch, and will soon spend the majority of his time in Dunedin, as a Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Otago. Samarth is available to liaise and connect with Indian alumni in Delhi and in the South Island of New Zealand (you can also contact him if you live in the North Island and wish to communicate with him via email). Samarth has strong interests in sports, music, and event management. He likes to play drums, cook, and travel during his free time. Samarth also served as a President for the University of Canterbury Indian Students Association 2017-2018. 
Email address samarth.biologist@gmail.com  

Jordan

Location Amman 
Name Dana Abudayyeh
Biography

Dana Abudayyeh graduated from University of Canterbury with a PhD degree in Civil Engineering. Dana is the recipient of five awards: the NZ Transportation Group Tertiary Study Grant, the Best Student Paper at the Engineering NZ TG conference, the NZMUGs student and young professional award, the Austraffic ITE ANZ- travel grant to present her research in Japan, and recently the ITE-ANZ Award of Excellence for her development of the ITE-ANZ Transport Chapter at University of Canterbury.

Email address d.abudayyeh@hotmail.com 
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dana-a-76aa9348/

Malaysia

Location Kota Kinabalu
Name Patrick Chu
Biography Patrick graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2001 with a Bachelor of Engineering, specialising in Civil Engineering. After looking at the jobs available in Christchurch, Patrick decided to move back to his home town of Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) to become a Site Engineer at a civil and structural consulting company for a new housing development. He has since moved on to a new role and has been Senior General Manager in a local, sustainable oil palm planation company, overlooking the operations of the estate since 2008.
Email address Patjyc79@gmail.com

 

Location Kuala Lumpur
Name Amirul Azham
Biography Amirul graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 2020, with a double major in Operations and Supply Chain Management & Strategy and Entrepreneurship.  After a few months of experiencing the working environment in New Zealand, he decided to return to Malaysia Amirul is currently setting up his entrepreneurship venture based in Malaysia and we will get to see he spread his wings for more opportunities.
Email address amirulazham63@gmail.com
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/amirul-azham-057772130/ 

 

Location Kuching
Name Jye Ying Lu 
Biography Jye is a graduate from Electrical & Electronics Engineering, with a Master of Engineering in Management, and a PhD. She is now a Director in Powerpoint Electrical Malaysia, mainly doing M&E consulting, engineering supply and EPC projects in various industries. She enjoys trying new activities and meeting new friends from all around the world. 
Email address dr.jyelu@gmail.com
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jye-ying-lu-2656a11b

  

New Zealand

Location Wellington
Name Brian Lynch 
Biography Brian graduated from the University of Canterbury with double Masters Degrees with Honours, in History and Geography. He spent 20 years in the Foreign Service with postings in New York, Singapore, and London. He was Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Transport 1981-1991, then Chief Executive of the New Zealand Meat Industry Association 1992-2003. Brian was the Director of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs from 2003-2012, and has also been a Chair and Board Member of several government boards and not for profit organisations. Currently, Brian is the Chair of the New Zealand Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.  
Email address brianlynch344@gmail.com 

 

Philippines

Location Mindanao
Name Jovanie (JC) Espesor
Biography Jovanie Camacho Espesor is a professor of Political Science in the Mindanao State University- General Santos City, Philippines. He received his PhD in Political Science from the Department of Political Science and International Relations from the University of Canterbury (2019), with scholarship grants from the Government of New Zealand and the European Union Centre Network. Jovanie is a board member of the Research Committee on Conflict, Security and Democratization of the International Political Science Association. He is also a research fellow of the Centre for Middle East and Global Peace Studies of the National Islamic University of Indonesia. His area of research interest intersects the disciplinary boundaries of Political Science, Anthropology, Critical Security and Development Studies. He publishes peer-reviewed articles on peacebuilding, development and security issues in the southern Philippines and Aceh, Indonesia. Jovanie is currently serving as the special assistant to the Chancellor of the Mindanao State University- General Santos City. He also provided consultancy services to the World Bank, Save the Children, Asian Development Bank and International Alert. Finally, he is an avid landscape and portrait photographer.
Email address jovanie.espesor@msugensan.edu.ph or jce50uclive.ac.nz 
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jovanie-camacho-espesor-12209a32/

 

Samoa

Location Christchurch, New Zealand
Name Tiffany Nelson-Sauni
Biography Tiffany completed her LLB from the University of Canterbury in 2009. She worked in Samoa for the first four years of her legal career and currently works and lives in Christchurch. 
Email address nelson.samoa@gmail.com 

 

Location Apia, Samoa 
Name Zan Westerlund
Biography Zan completed two Bachelor degrees at the University of Canterbury: a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physics (2003-2007) and a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), specialising in Civil Engineering (2008-2010). He is now working as a Project Manager for a construction company in Samoa (Bluebird Construction Company) as well as recently starting a smaller construction company (Rockworkz Limited) with his wife. 
Email address zan@bluebirdconstruction.ws 

Saudi Arabia

Location Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Name Hussain Alsakhin
Biography

Hussain completed a BCom in Management, focusing on Human Resources Management, graduating in 2011. He is a Human Resources Professional with more than 8 years of progressive experience as a strategic HR business partner with demonstrated success in a diversified, complex, fast-paced and dynamic environment.

Email address Hussain.alsakhin@gmail.com
LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/hussain-alsakhin

Sweden

Location Stockholm
Name James McEwen
Biography Following the decision to change career paths from working in a trade as an electrical service technician, James studied as an adult student at the University of Canterbury.  He graduated in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, with a minor in Power Engineering. James moved to Stockholm, Sweden to settle with his partner and work as a professional engineer. James is a car enthusiast, and in 2019 he was a leader within UCMotorsport and played an important role in helping the team achieve their best result with an electric vehicle so far.
Email address james.mcewen1988@gmail.com
LinkedIn https://linkedin.com/in/james-mcewen-4634b8108

 

Switzerland

Location Geneva 
Name Yao Yao (Cassie)
Biography Yao graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Master of Arts in Human Services in April 2019. She now works as the Senior Executive Support at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) HQ in Geneva. She also enjoys outings with friends as well as meeting new people and hearing their stories.
Email address lemon_yaoyao@hotmail.com  

United Kingdom

Location London
Name Alene Wilton
Biography Alene graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in History with Religious Studies and went on to complete her D.Phl. in History at the University of Oxford. Aside from a brief stint in Wellington from 1998-2001, working in Parliament and several government departments, she has lived and worked in the UK since leaving Canterbury. Having undertaken various corporate roles in the UK government, the National Health Service, and social housing, Alene is now the Chief Operating Officer for the Marine Stewardship Council, an international not-for-profit which sets standards for sustainable wild-capture fishing practices and works to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis. Alene also chairs the UC Foundation Trust for the UK, as well as the UC Alumni Committee in the UK. 
Email address

alenewilton@hotmail.com

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alene-wilton-680b272/ 

UC Alumni Associations  

Location New Zealand
Name UC MBA  Graduate Association
Biography The UC MBA (Master of Business Administration) Graduate Association invites MBA, DipBA, and GradDipBA alumni to continue their learning through regular masterclasses and exclusive events featuring industry speakers and networking opportunities.The current UC MBA Graduate Association committee members are Matthew Williams (President), Louisa Bagma-Duff, Lloyd Mander, Murray Dempsey, Mike Blackburn, Vidhi Marshall (MBA Candidate) and Laura Jones.More information about the UC MBA Graduate Association, and their activities, can be found here.
You can keep in touch with the UC MBA Graduate Association through their active LinkedIn group (see below).  
Email address

For any questions about the UC MBA Graduate Association, please email kim.searle@canterbury.ac.nz

LinkedIn

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4926419/