Published by: Mark Peters, Gisborne Herald
Two young Gisborne women are the first recipients of tertiary scholarships from medical imaging centre Matai Research.
Former Gisborne Girls’ High School student Jade Keelan is the recipient of Matai Research’s scholarship while ex-Campion College student Sophie Hawthorne has been granted a Pultron-Matai scholarship.
The aim of the $7000 scholarships is to support New Zealand’s future medical innovators and researchers in their studies for medical sciences or biomedical engineering degrees.
Prospective recipients were expected to demonstrate aptitude in the sciences and passion for supporting the community.
Jade’s interest in bioscience led her to Otago University where she is doing the health sciences first-year course — the preliminary year of a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
She will receive her scholarship in a lump sum next year.
“It will be of so much help to me,” she says. “It gives me the opportunity to afford accommodation, materials for study and everything I need to do well in medicine.
“I heard about Matai’s scholarships through my science teachers. They suggested I apply. They’re so cool. I want to encourage more Maori students to access higher education.”
Jade has a particular interest in learning about the human body although she confesses to a little apprehension at her first experience of a scalpel.
“But I do view it as part of the job so I’m excited to learn how to do it properly.”
On completing her studies, she plans to return to Gisborne to work in general practice.
Sophie Hawthorne is studying for a Bachelor of Applied Science (medical imaging technology) at UCOL in Palmerston North.
“We’re doing a lot of biology and physics and we’ve already had our first test” she says. We’ve really jumped into it. I’ve always been interested in health and science and had been looking at this course for a couple of years.
“Technology is always advancing so it’ll be interesting to see how far it can go.”
Sophie heard about the scholarships around the time she volunteered in November for a lower limb, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan at Matai as part of the medical centre’s research of the human body.
Her $7000 Pultron-Matai funding will be divided over two years
“The scholarship is amazing,” she says.
“My course is fees-free this year but for next year it will allow me to focus on my study. After I graduate I definitely want to come back to work in Gisborne for a couple of years.”
Matai Research thanked Pultron Composites Ltd for supporting one of the two scholarships.