Congratulations to 2021 Fulbright New Zealand scholarship award winners, AUT staff member Jenni Tupu and AUT alumna Hariata Tai Rakena.
Established in the US in 1946, the Fulbright programme is one of the largest and most significant educational exchanges of scholars in the world. Fulbright offers a range of prestigious awards for New Zealand and American graduate students, academics, artists and professionals to study, research and teach in each other's countries.
Fulbright New Zealand has granted more than 3,000 exchange awards, sending more than 1,900 New Zealand graduate students, artists, academics, teachers and professionals on exchange to the US and welcoming more than 1,600 Americans on exchanges to New Zealand.
Jenni Tupu (Ngāpuhi, Te Aupōuri, Ngāti Hine, Samoa) from Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland is currently working as the Programme Director for the Bachelor of Design in the School of Art and Design at AUT. She is studying towards her PhD at the University of Otago and her main area of research is Indigenous identity development of Māori who were adopted under the closed adoption practice in Aotearoa. Her work considers the identity journeys of Māori who were adopted and raised without connection to whakapapa (genealogy) and the influence adoption has made on their children and subsequent generations.
Jenni says, "I have been inspired by the emerging scholarship about the practice of closed adoption of Māori children, and I want to learn more about the identity journeys of Indigenous people where disconnection has been a key factor."
Jenni has a Graduate Diploma in Leadership (Māori Development) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership and Management from Unitec Institute of Technology, and graduated with a Master of Indigenous Studies with Distinction from the University of Otago in 2012.
The Fulbright-Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga award will allow Jenni to pursue further research into Indigenous identity at two key institutions in the US: Amara, a non-profit child welfare organisation in Seattle; and the National Native American Boarding School Coalition in Minneapolis.
AUT alumna Hariata Tai Rakena (Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Māhanga) from Christchurch will complete a PhD in International Health with a concentration in social behavioural interventions at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Hariata graduated with a BA from the University of Canterbury in 2010, a PGDipA from Auckland University of Technology in 2015, a GDip in 2016, and an MA from McGill University in 2021.
The 2021 award winners will be honoured at a special awards ceremony at Parliament on Wednesday 7 July.