Past Recipients of the Violet Wood Advanced Studies Grant are listed below.
You can download an application form for the grant to the right.
Rhonda Au Yeung (2005 – 2009)
Rhonda studied physics and mathematics at the University of Auckland. She was inspired by the research carried out in the physics department, and worked on various projects that culminated in a BSc(Hons) degree with first class honours in physics. These experiences, in the ultra-cold atoms (experimental) lab and modelling quantum systems in theoretical investigations, are now helping tremendously in the PhD she started in 2015 at the University of Surrey, UK.
Currently in her third year of the PhD programme, Rhonda’s research lies in theoretical condensed matter physics. The work in this area is best described as the theoretical side of on-going experimental-theoretical collaborations. It is part of a £270 million investment of the UK national quantum technologies programme, an exciting and growing field that involves both theoretical/modelling and experimental research. The general aim is to try to find ways to control systems with dynamical degrees of freedom, which are quantised, and understand their physics. In particular, condensed matter systems comprise billions of atoms whose effective quantum degrees of freedom are ‘macroscopic’ in the sense that they arise from superconductivity. Hence the dynamics can be probed and manipulated in order to realise many sought after applications. These include quantum computing, analogue devices, quantum optics, and many-body physics.
Rochelle Ade (1989 – 1995)
Rochelle attended St Cuthbert’s College from 1989 – 1995 leaving at the end of 7th form to complete a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree from the University of Canterbury, NZ.
Rochelle then worked as a design engineer and project manager in a variety of industries including commercial construction and residential property development. During the course of her career she developed a passion for sustainability.
In 2011 Rochelle completed a Masters of Property at Auckland University for which she undertook a construction cost comparison between ‘green’ and conventional office buildings in New Zealand and is now pursuing a PhD at Auckland University in the Business School’s Property Department.
Rochelle’s intended research topic is to analyse the performance of Homestar rated houses and compare it to the predicted performance in the Homestar Rating Tool with the view to develop a reference database for the energy and water performance of sustainable homes.
In addition to studying Rochelle and her husband Joel are currently building what may be the most sustainable house in New Zealand. Called The Living House the new home is targeting Living Building Challenge certification (arguably the hardest green building rating in the world), Passive House certification and a 10 Homestar Rating.
Rachel Rachmani (1986-1990)
Rachel’s educational and career path has been varied and, at times, colourful since leaving St Cuthbert’s and has taken her in unexpected directions over the years.
After completing a Bachelor of Science in Zoology at Massey University in the early 90s, she went travelling overseas. On her return she realised her degree was not going to help her find a job, and so she undertook further study in education. This ignited a passion and she went on to complete a Master of Education at Waikato University, focusing on the skills children need to get off to a good start in reading. She then started putting this knowledge into practice, teaching children with specific learning difficulties.
During this time she was encouraged by her employer to train as a C Grade Educational Assessor. She has been working as an Educational Assessor in Cambridge for the last two years, serving the local community and wider Waikato and Bay of Plenty areas. She works with children and adults to identify learning difficulties such as dyslexia and recommends suitable interventions and accommodations.
While working in her current role Rachel realised that many people with learning differences also have other struggles which are outside her professional realm. This sparked the idea of returning to university to study to be an educational psychologist, allowing her to provide a more comprehensive service to those who come to her seeking support in reaching their potential.
She is absolutely thrilled to be the recipient of the Violet Wood Advanced Study Grant, as this allows her to begin studying towards her goal this year.
Ashleigh Low (2001-2007)
After graduating from the Master of Architecture program at the University of Auckland, Ashleigh worked for 18 months at Warren and Mahoney Architects. Whilst she loved working in the field Ashleigh still wished to further experiment and push her design skills.
In May 2014 she left Warren and Mahoney to pursue a post professional Masters in Advanced Architectural Design at the Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation and Planning in Columbia University, New York. This one year intensive program has given her the opportunity to be taught by some incredible minds in architecture that are associated with both practice and academia.
After graduation this May Ashleigh, will be looking to stay in New York and experience the working environment there. Ashleigh tells us: It is a true privilege and honour to receive this award and I would like to thank all the people who have supported me thus far in my career.
Nicole Stock (1998 – 2000)
Nicole Stock is a strategist at the multi-disciplinary design and branding company Alt Group.
Her role concentrates on content direction and creation for clients like Fisher & Paykel. Supported by the Violet Wood Grant, she will undertake an MBA at AUT, aiming to develop knowledge of how New Zealand companies can compete globally – particularly through creative differentiation.
Nicole was previously the editor of Urbis magazine, a design and architecture title, and has an architecture degree; she continues her interest in architectural writing with freelance assignments. Her first book, Bungalow, will be published by Random House later this year. For the past two years she has been a volunteer on the editorial committee of the St Cuthbert’s College: 100 Years overseeing the direction and editing of the book.
Kushini Sugathapala (2006)
Currently undertaking her postgraduate degree in International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts Degrees from Auckland University.
Volunteer work with refugees and migrant projects and human rights projects.
Claire Paterson (1992-2000)
Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts from Auckland University.
Masters of Law from University of Cambridge.
Kate O’Brien (1989-2001)
Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Commerce from Auckland University.
Masters in Business Administration from the Said Business School, University of Oxford.
Rebecca Elvin (1997-2001)
Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Studies (graduated with Honours) from University of Otago.
Six months internship for the United Nations at the International Criminal Court at the Hague.
Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies at King’s College, University of London.
Barbara Hiller (2004)
Bachelor of Arts and Communications from University of Canterbury.
Masters in Media Management at the Bauhaus, University of Weimar Republic in Germany.
Jennifer Wadsworth (1999-2003)
Bachelor of Science, majoring in Geography and Environmental Management from Otago University.
Master of Urban and Environmental Planning (with Honours) from Brisbane’s Griffith University.
Virginia Toy (1991-1996)
Bachelor of Science from University of Auckland, awarded senior scholar in Geology, followed by a Master of Science in Geology with First Class Honours. Master of Philosophy in Earth Science from Australian National University and a PhD project at Otago University studying lower crustal mechanics of the Alpine Fault Zone.
Elisabeth (Libby) Spooner (1988-1994)
Bachelor of Commerce from University of Auckland.
MBA from Boise State University, Idaho, USA.
Doctor of Philosophy degree in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford.
Claire Richardson (1984-90)
Postgraduate Diploma in International Affairs and Masters in International Affairs specialising in Peace and Conflict Studies.
Jessica Buchanan (1989-95)
Master of Dental Surgery in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
Linda Blomfield (1991-96)
Masters in Forensic Science at Auckland University.
Rebecca Walker (1985-91)
Bachelor of Architecture
Elizabeth Collins (1980-83)
MBA University of Otago
Sarah Fortune (1987-90)
PHD Psychology, Youth Suicide
Allison Oosterman (Ranby, 1963-65)
Masters in Communication Studies at AIT
Jacqueline Sewell (1969-75)
Youth Leadership at King’s College, London
Melissa Farrow (1987-92)
Postgraduate studies on the recorder, flute and baroque flute at the Treelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam
Philippa Walker (Herbert, 1961-65)
Harvard University, Boston, to attend a short course on Leadership in Professional Service Firms
Anna Marbrook (1978-83)
British Council’s International Directing Seminar and Philippe Gaulier School in London including a trip to Paris to see the work of Peter Brook and Theatre du Soleil.