Student profile: Behnam Farvardin – Medical Imaging Technology

Behnam Farvardin decided to turn an interest in film into a career in Medical Imaging with UCOL’s Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology).

Behnam has been a globe trotter from a young age. Born in Iran and living in Turkey, New Zealand and Australia, he knew he wanted a career he could travel with and contribute back to society at the same time.

Behnam Pic-MIT

After studying Film Making and Photography at the New Zealand Film and TV school in 2008, Behnam realising that in his case, film making was more of an artistic expression than a career path.

“I revisited my initial interests out of school and wanted to find something that paid well, was meaningful, where I could travel and that encompassed science/physics or mathematics.”

Behnam went on to complete a six month bridging course with WINTEC before undertaking the UCOL Certificate of Science and Health Level 3 and then completing his Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology) degree.

Whilst studying Medical Imaging, Behnam was on placements in Wellington and Kenepuru hospitals for large periods of time, alongside theory based work on the UCOL Palmerston North campus.

“The practical aspect of this qualification was invaluable, providing industry connections and ensuring that we were better equipped, both academically and practically.”

These industry connections were another highlight of Behnam’s time at UCOL as forming connections with classmates and lecturers are key in the close knit Medical Imaging community.

“My lecturers at UCOL have been extremely approachable and supportive and there are great student support services available in an informal setting which ensures all students feel comfortable accessing academic and personal support.”

Behnam is currently taking a break after a long six years of study and working as a Youth Worker. He is looking forward to entering the public health sector and eventually travelling to the Pacific Islands to volunteer his medical imaging skills to communities in need.

Science with Shillington: Tidal Lock

David Shillington Science Lecturer

David Shillington

David Shillington is Associate Professor Applied Health Sciences, and Senior lecturer in Chemistry at UCOL. His letters are impressive: BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD. FNZIC (Chemistry). Needless to say, he knows a lot about Science. For those of you out there interested in the likes of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation (colours), the Moon, and things on microscopic scales, you’ll be pretty excited about the fact that we’re going to post fortnightly Science articles here from David Shillington from now on. David’s opinion is that science is not frightening and incomprehensible. It’s not boring, and it shouldn’t be just confined to a laboratory. We agree.

Here goes… Tidal Lock!

“Professor of Applied Mathematics at Massey University, Robert McLaghlan, recently gave an excellent exposition on his thoughts about climate change to Science Centre Inc. members and guests. His fact filled talk reminded us not only of how early on history Scientists such as Svant Arrhenius and Tyndall had discussed the physics behind heat trapping gases, but also how the many complex feed-back (and forward systems) contribute to energy distribution around the globe. Arrhenius, famous for a number of discoveries and formulations of some laws of Chemistry and Physics, had experimented with gases as early as mid 1800’s. He wrote “The influence of carbonic acid in the air upon the temperature on the ground” an article appearing in the April edition of the Journal (1866) “Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science”. He was the first to quantify the contribution of carbon dioxide to the greenhouse effect and to speculate about the possible effects of changing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere were linked to long term climate variations. Early references were made to “carbonic acid” the term used in those days to mean carbon dioxide.

Professor McLaghlan went on to elucidate the sensitivity of climate to the many factors involved. Having trawled through enormous amounts of data from numerous sources, he made references to past trends and the more recent discussions and human reactions that have ensued. One factor he referred to involved the “stabilized” climate on Earth due to Moon-Earth coupled orbital motion. This refers to how the Moon influences (and stabilises) the Earth’s rotation around its own axis (the origin of day and night) and prevents potentially large variations occurring in the Earth’s axial motion such as wobble and changes in the axial tilt. It also accounts for why the Earth’s rotation is slowing down (days and nights are getting longer over time), why the Earth-Moon distance is increasing, and also why we have low and high tides in the oceans.

Referred to as “tidal friction”, the planets and many of their satellites (Moons) in our solar system are well established (through the laws of physics) to have become tidally synchronised. This concept applies to stars and galaxies too. This had me thinking about scientific enquiry and how the answer to one simple question can fortuitously have answers to many others, possibly even to some questions not yet conceived.

Sir Isaac Newton described the force of gravity from observing falling apples. He related the attractive forces between two objects, an apple and the earth. Only later did other scientists use his thinking about gravity to ask questions about climate. The law of gravity states that the attraction between objects is greater when they are closer. One can then go on to explain why the Moon’s rotation on its axis is “locked in” with its orbit around Earth due to “tidal friction”. It takes the Moon the same time to spin round once on its axis as it takes to orbit the Earth once. The consequence of this is that we get to see only one side of the Moon facing the Earth as the Moon orbits the Earth. Tidal friction is still observed even though there is not any liquid water to exhibit tidal motion. The part of the sphere facing a planet will be closer (and hence feel a greater gravitation pull or force) towards the planet. This causes the rocks on that planet’s Moon to stretch or bulge at the equator (distorting the sphere a little from being perfectly round in shape). The energy lost through the friction in the rocks causing the stretching comes from the rotating energy of the spinning moon leaving less energy to spin (causing it to slow down). The moon Charon which is similar in size and close to Pluto, has an exaggerated double tidal lock, which has caused the spinning rate of Pluto to match Charon, so that both the Moon and Pluto have one side each that face each other at all times. In the case of Earth, if this were to happen (it won’t!) our day would be slowed down to 42 current Earth days (1000 hours). The Moon would have moved off out of orbit from Earth, and imagine the changes in climate that would then ensue!”

Student profile: Abbie Carter – Nanny Education

Eighteen year old Abbie Carter may be an only child but she has chosen a career that will see her surrounded by youngsters.

Abbie Carter - Nanny Education student

Abbie Carter – Nanny

“I’ve always wanted to work with children,” she says.

Since completing her year-long NZ Certificate in Nanny Education studies, Abbie has scored a Nanny position for a family in Sydney.

Initially she was keen to head directly to the UK to work, but was advised by nanny placement agency One World Nannies, to try Australia first to make sure she liked the work before heading to the other side of the world.

Within half an hour of a 90 minute Skype interview, Abbie was offered a job as a live-in fulltime Nanny to a family with three boys under three. “And they have another on the way! I think I’ll be kept pretty busy.”

Abbie says the practical aspects of UCOL’s Nanny programme came naturally to her but admits she found the theory side quite challenging. “I enjoyed it though, and I really wanted to be here.”

Along with her classmates, Abbie was required to complete 400 practicum hours over four placements. Her favourite placement was the young child/toddlers module and ironically most of her charges were boys. “I am quite confident that I am well prepared for the job ahead.”

“I feel happy, scared and a little overwhelmed to be starting new in another country away from my friends and family,” says Abbie. “Everything is moving really fast – it’s so exciting.”

Student Profile: Nelda Hazelhurst, Clinical Exercise Physiology

UCOL Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Exercise Physiology student

Nelda Hazelhurst has completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Exercise Physiology.

Since finishing her Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Exercise Physiology Nelda Hazelhurst has worked as an intern at UCOL’s U-Kinetics Clinic. “I feel really privileged to continue my work here,” she says.

Along with her fellow Postgraduate Diploma students, Nelda has been involved in the delivery of exercise, lifestyle education and behaviour modification programmes for clients attending the U-Kinetics clinic, getting valuable first-hand experience at the health and rehabilitation facilities.

Nelda says working with clients and getting to know them on a personal level and making a difference in their lives has been a highlight during her studies.

Nelda has a Bachelor in Physiotherapy (B.PhysT) from her homeland of South Africa and she has since worked for 12 years in private practice and hospitals in South Africa, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

“After completing my studies, my husband and I decided to travel and work abroad during this time we decided to visit New Zealand, the plan was to stay for a year before returning home. We fell in love with New Zealand and New Zealanders and decided to stay. Our three children were born in Palmerston North and we are now living in Whanganui.”

Nelda says the Postgraduate Diploma is a unique programme not taught in exactly the same way anywhere else in Australasia. “The wealth of practical experience that you gain through the year combined with extremely knowledgeable lectures, provide for a course that is second to none.”

Nelda’s dream job would be to start, or be involved in developing, a U-Kinetics style clinic in Whanganui. In the meantime she is considering doing her Masters in Clinical Exercise Physiology, “in the not too distant future.”

Front Row: Baylee Wellington, Anne Swinerd, Huriana Nikora. Back Row: Justine Hatsell, Adam Laker, Greg Taylor. Absent- Layla Papworth, Shreya Gupta.

This year’s student scholars

Congratulations to  our 2014 student scholars:

Huriana Nikora – Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

First year Diploma in Veterinary Nursing Huriana Nikora was awarded the Ralph Flavell Scholarship, established to assist Māori students in their pursuit of a higher level of learning. Huriana comes from Dannevirke and is a fluent speaker in Te Reo Māori. She has always had a soft spot for animals and wanted a career that would enable her to interact with animals. Huriana hopes to go on to work in a local veterinary practice or possibly work in the equestrian field.

Anne Swinerd – Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

Anne Swinerd, also a first year in the Diploma in Veterinary Nursing was awarded the UCOL Scholarship for Effort and Achievement. In 2013 Anne returned to Feilding from several years in the Bay of Plenty, and decided to pursue her childhood dream of working in the Veterinary field. She is highly motivated and organised, managing to combine her roles as a mother of three, student and active member of the community. Anne speaks Te Reo Māori and is skilled in New Zealand Sign language. On completing her Diploma, Anne plans to continue on to do a Certificate in Rural Vet Tech which will enable her to work more with large animals.

Baylee Wellington – Diploma in Veterinary Nursing

Baylee Wellington is in her Second year of the Diploma in Veterinary Nursing programme and collected a UCOL Health Science Faculty High Achievers Award. Baylee has previously worked as a dairy farmer, and it was during this time that she decided she wanted to challenge herself more intellectually. It seemed a logical step to enrol in the Diploma in Veterinary Nursing as she had an affinity for animals and their wellbeing. Baylee hopes that once she is employed she will be able to continue with further study, hoping to become a veterinary technician.

Gregory Taylor – Certificate in Exercise and Sport Performance

Gregory Taylor also received a UCOL High Achievers Award from the Health Science faculty. Gregory is in his second semester of the Certificate in Exercise and Sport Performance programme and has already started buying his own gym equipment in preparation for setting up his own business when he graduates. Gregory was introduced to exercise when he took part in the 10 week Green Prescription programme run by Sport Manawatu. He learnt so much about nutrition, goal setting and exercise that it motivated him to learn more. On his journey to fitness and wellbeing Gregory lost 30kgs, and decided on his future profession.

Adam Laker – Diploma in Furniture Design and Making

The UCOL High Achievers Award from the Trades and Technology faculty went to Adam Laker, a second year Diploma in Furniture Design and Making student. According to his lecturers, Adam goes over and above what is expected of him and continuously strives to produce the perfect design. He won first place at the 2014 Wood skills Festival in the Open Furniture category where he was competing against the best woodworkers in the country. Adam hopes to one day have his own workshop in the country on a property with established gardens so he and his wife can open a café and their garden to the public. Currently, Adam is setting up a workspace in his single garage while getting work experience at Profile Joinery in Feilding.

Layla Papworth - Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging

Third year Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging (BAVI) student Layla Papworth was awarded the UCOL High Achievers Award from the Faculty of Humanities and Business. Layla earned a Bachelor of Business Information, but always felt she was suppressing her creative side. On commencing her BAVI studies she could not believe that the ‘work’ that was expected of her was made up of everything she loved and she was surrounded by fellow students and staff who possessed such amazing talents. Layla has achieved consistently high grades and recently had success at the NZIPP photography awards, achieving Gold with Distinction.

Justine Hatsell – Bachelor of Nursing

A UCOL Scholarship for Effort and Achievement went to third year Bachelor of Nursing student Justine Hatsell. Justine left college at 15 and went on to work in varying occupations, but truly found her niche as a health care assistant at Lonsdale total care centre, where her interest in further educational opportunities and responsibility fostered the drive to complete a nursing degree. Justine decided to enrol at UCOL and found the first year a real challenge Justine made it through her first year but unfortunately did not pass her first paper in the second year. She took 6months off from UCOL and re enrolled at UCOL in the second year of the nursing degree, completing it with high grades. Justine continues to work weekends at Lonsdale total care centre and actively participates on her Marae. Justine hopes to continue her learning in a District Health Board funded NETP programme, being interested in like to improving health outcomes for both Maori and the elderly.

Shreya Gupta – Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)

Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology) student Shreya Gupta received the Soroptimist Scholarship. Shreya is currently in her first year of MIT having first gained a Diploma in Technology: Science, from Wintec. She is the first member of her family and close relatives to leave India, arriving in New Zealand in 2010. Shreya became a permanent resident in April 2013 and supports herself by working 2 jobs as she is not eligible for any loan/allowances until 2016, due to recent changes in the immigration rules. Shreya is committed to her studies achieving excellent results and was awarded the Fletcher Challenge Trust Award in Semester One. Shreya hopes to go on to do advanced medical radiation technologies on completion of her Degree at UCOL.

Jiu Jitsu worldwide

Exercise and Sport Science UCOL Lecturer Vaughan Antonio has done us proud – here are some words from him:

“It has been a crazy few months of Jiu Jitsu action.

I have just returned from the States competing at the world masters where I won Bronze and returned to be a finalist in the Sport Manawatu Masters Athlete of the year then travel to Auckland to the NZ Grappler No Gi Nationals where I won Gold in my Division (Super Heavy Weight up to 97.5kg Advanced).

Building up to the worlds I had a Silver placing at the NZ Grappler Gi Nationals and 3 Gold and 1 Silver at the NZ Sports Jiu Jitsu Championships.

The World Sports Jiu jitsu Championships that I am eligible for are in California in less than 2 weeks (22nd and 23rd NOV) but funding is hard to come by in Jiu Jitsu and although another trip overseas to represent NZ would be great.

It may be a long shot to find myself back in California competing. It would be a mad rush to get there in this time frame.

My UCOL team also accompanied me to the NO GI National. Although they did not come away with podium finishes they all agreed that it was one of the best experienced they have had.”

Vaughan Antonio

Photo – Back Row: Carlos Rimene (CESP), Alex Pedley and Elliot Leader (BESS Y1). Front: Wiremu Arapo (CESP), Vaughan antonio and Rawiri Veltmeyer (CESP)

UCOL music hard to ReZist

The UCOL-formed music band ReZist has claimed top spot and a $10,000 grant in a recent online vote!

The seven piece band, made up UCOL Contemporary Music Performance students, were number one with their song Lockdown, on September’s’s Wildcard Funding Chart.

Speaking to after their win, ReZist said they were over the moon with the result.

“For a young band like us this is the most amazing opportunity, and makes us feel like all the hard work is paying off. At the moment we’re letting it all sink in, and are still overwhelmed.”

“Thank you to everyone who stuck with us from the beginning, and those who joined along the way, we literally wouldn’t have done it without your support. To, thank you for this huge opportunity. And to everyone else out there, ReZist is coming for you!”

ReZist only just managed to top fellow Palmerston North band Venus in Tranzit who ran a huge campaign with their song Rescue Me. Venus in Tranzit also has a link to UCOL with drummer Caleb Hickmott a 2012 graduate of the Certificate in Contemporary Music Performance programme.

Pritchard Power

UCOL’s resident Powerlifter Hayden Pritchard is back from Auckland where he competed in the weekend at the Industrial Athletic 2014 Powerlifting Championships.

It was to be a bit of a test meet for Hayden prior to his final build up to the Oceania Powerlifting Championships in December (Hayden competes December 13th). He was hoping to get close to surpass some of his current competition personal bests, and ideally surpass the current top ranked U93kg Lifter who has a total of 720.5kg.

See his training video, where he broke/equalled a couple of his two rep records – hitting 261kg for 2 on the Squat and hitting 270kg for 2 on the Deadlift, here:

And here’s his post-event summary:

“Very good weekend. I got a 267.5kg Squat, bit tough so passed on third. Got a 162.5kg Bench Press (2.5kg PB), passed on third. On Deadlifts I got a 285kg deadlift, attempted 292.5kg but not there. 715kg total for a 2kg total PB. It was a good day, exactly the momentum I needed for O’s. Time to hit some volume in training again now for next few weeks in lead up to O’s – 8 more weeks! It was also really awesome to see so many first time lifters at the event!! Great trip, well worth the long drive.”

Hayden Pritchard

Well done, Hayden.

Walk of Fame

DC Harding back from LA

UCOL Contemporary Music Lecturer (and Graduate) Daniel ‘DC’ Harding is back from LA where he attended the LA Music Awards nomination event, after being nominated for two awards. Here’s his update on the trip…

Hey hey!! WOAH! What a crazy turn around! Three countries in five days!

Los Angeles was awesome! It’s great when your passion allows you to travel around the world.

In July I was nominated for TWO Los Angeles Music Awards appropriately known as “LAMAs” (the States use abbreviations for everything)! I was nominated for “Best Pop Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Male Artist” of the year for 2014.

Pop Single of the Year nomination certificate

Pop Single of the Year nomination certificate

Pop Artist of the Year nomination certificate

Pop Artist of the Year nomination certificate

I stayed at this Hotel Backpackers in West Hollywood called the “Banana Bungalow” which I highly recommend. Great place to stay, great people, great staff, great customer service.

The LAMAs Press event was held on September 25 at the world famous Whiskey A Go Go. It was here that I was presented with my certificate of nomination for both my categories. This event meant that I was able to promote myself as an artist and my music. I got to meet some really cool people whilst at the event, including a bunch of industry professionals who helped to launch the careers of some pretty big names! I’m happy to say that I have a bunch of meetings the next time I go over in November. 

Official nomination pic

Official nomination pic

In between all the official work that I had to do, I was able to look around Hollywood and Beverly Hills! The Hollywood walk of fame is fantastic! Really LOOOOOOONG but fantastic! It would take you half a day to do the whole thing! That is if you’re interested in looking at every single star. It’s amazing to think that at one point, majority of those people who received their star, actually stood right by it. Whilst I was on my missions in Hollywood I stopped by Wax Museum. Talk about freaky! Every corner you turn there’s someone that you know looking at you. Haha.

Beverly Hills Pic

One of the things that tickled my funny bone is when I went into the McDonalds to compare our product with theirs, was a sign on the pillar. But you’ll have to check out the photo, it’s hilarious!

30min only

All of this was made possible because of a bunch of businesses, my family and of course UCOL. UCOL provided me with $500 which went on to my airfare. It was great; I was able to publically thank all my sponsors on stage at the Whiskey A Go Go. I’m proud to have studied at the Universal College of Learning. I’m proud to have worked for UCOL for two years in a row in different departments. Last year as a Student Ambassador where I helped to raise student awareness of UCOL’s presence and what we offer as an efficient, up to date learning institution where people come from all over the world to partake in what UCOL has to offer and also what Whanganui has to offer as well. Now, I’m a part time Instrument Specialist Consultant for Vocals on UCOL’s Certificate in Contemporary Music Performance L4 of which I was a student last year. It’s here I take the pleasure in thanking UCOL for their contribution to my career.

I have to return in November to attend the ceremony and do a small tour. I’ll be holding different fundraising events throughout October and November. My first one will be “The Great Whanganui Quiz” – Anndion Lodge, Anzac Parade, 17 October 2014 from 7pm. Performances by myself and Shelley Walls.

Me And Barak

All set for Woodfest

For students on the Diploma in Furniture Design and Making programme, September means Kawerau Woodfest!

A group of second years are heading up next week to take part in the National Woodskills Competition, hoping to pick up some cash prizes, get some recognition and sell some works.

Brendan Knauf (23), Leilani Tunnage (28), Peter Crowder (21) and Adam Laker (30) have entered a total 13 works in the competition in a range of categories.

The Woodskills Comp crew

The Woodskills Comp crew

Coffee tables, longboards, a dart board surround, a parquetry breakfast tray and a lit up pocket knife collection display cabinet are just some of the timber furniture concepts turned into reality by the students for the event starting next Friday.

Their Lecturer Andy Halewood who took out a first prize award last year has entered again this year with two pieces in the Open Furniture category, but he says he doesn’t see competing against his students as a bad thing… the more participation the better, he reckons!

Thirty year old Adam Laker was awarded a merit in the Novice section last year, and this year has created a hall table and two coffee tables for the Open Furniture category, and a stool for the Anything Goes category.

All four students sound a bit nervous but equally excited to get the chance to compete against professionals.

The entries are below. Best of luck!

  • Peter Crowder – 2x entries in ‘Furniture – For first time entrants’, 1x entry in ‘Marquetry & Intarsia’
  • Brendan Knauf – 2x entries in ‘Special  Category – Anything Goes’ (Public Vote)
  • Leilani Tunnage – 2x entries in ‘Furniture – Open’, 1x entry in ‘Pinus Radiatus’, 1x entry in ‘Special Category – Anything Goes’ (Public Vote)
  • Adam Laker – 3x entries in ‘Furniture – Open’, 1x entry in ‘Special Category – Anything Goes’ (Public Vote)