TOITŪ TE WHENUA.

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Alyce. Engineering.
Ngāti Ranginui

What inspired your degree in Natural Resource Engineering?

Growing up in Canterbury I've seen how the use of our natural resources impacts the way we live. I also enjoy physics and maths, and it's great to be able to put them towards solutions that have a practical impact on our world. During my first year, I also had the chance to take a conversational Te Reo Māori paper as an extra paper which led to being selected by the mayor of Ashburton to attend national wānanga throughout my second year at uni as a part of the TUIA kaupapa. Discovering more of my whakapapa lead to learning about water from a te ao Māori perspective, this only cemented my passion in working towards protecting it.

Do you have a particular area of interest within natural resources?

I'm especially passionate about waterways. I'm keen to learn more about our rivers and lakes and how we can help them thrive. So far I've learned a lot of theory in class and a couple of months ago I went on a natural resource field trip to see some of the ideas put into practice.

Sounds exciting, tell us about the trip!

We visited lots of different sites up in Nelson, Blenheim and Picton. We went to wastewater treatment plants and a winery. It was interesting because I’ve been to those places before but never realised how much infrastructure there is behind the scenes. It gave me a lot more appreciation for the things we take for granted!

Any other favourite study highlights to share?

My team won the structural innovation prize in the UC Bridge Competition, which is put on by the engineering department every year. We had to design and construct a four metre long bridge. It was a challenging project so to win the design prize was truly amazing!

Tell us about your mentorship experience at UC.

In my first year I was a teina to a tuakana, which means I am being mentored by an older student. My tuakana is on the Student Volunteer Army exec and thanks to her I got engaged with that too. Mentors are a great way to discover new opportunities.

"Discovering more of my whakapapa lead to learning about water from a Te Ao Māori perspective, this only cemented my passion in working towards protecting it."

What have you been up to with the SVA?

My involvement with SVA has redefined my uni experience 100%. It's helped me meet people from all walks of life and I had the immense privilege of being on the exec in my second year as an In-Schools mentor and next year am an Events manager. Among other opportunities the SVA has enabled, I represented SVA, UC and NZ in Taiwan for two weeks at the 2019 global youth forum. A group of us went to talk about how volunteering can be more utilised in community development.

It sounds like you thrive on being busy!

I do. I love having the chance to give back and make a difference. I’ve been really fortunate to have people in my life that have had a positive influence on me, so I count myself extremely lucky to have the opportunity to do the same to others. I have a favourite whakataukī I was told a few years back which says, ‘if we all do what we can in whatever we do, the world will be a better place.’ I definitely keep that in mind when things get intense.

Overall, what do you love most about UC?

I just love the club scene and the way it supports your university experience. You get to decide what kind of uni life you want to have. It might sound cheesy, but the opportunities are truly endless at UC. It’s a place of growth and self-discovery. My advice would definitely be to take all the opportunities you can, because you really don’t know where it’ll take you. If you focus too far in front of you, you won’t see the shiny thing out the corner of your eye! Wherever you are now is only the beginning of where you could be!