Inseparable sweethearts graduate together

This scientist couple have been on the same educational journey since intermediate.

Graduates Cass Mark-Chan and Andrew Chan

Cass Mark-Chan, 32, and Andrew Chan, 32, attended the same intermediate school, high school and university, got married along the way ... and graduated together this week with PhDs in Science.

Biologist Cass investigated the ecology and camouflage of the North Island lichen moth for her PhD.

Chemist Andrew focused on so-called “superconductor sandwiches” and the phenomena which arise when an incredibly thin superconductor is sandwiched between layers of magnetic manganite.

The pair attended Royal Oak Intermediate together, became sweethearts at Onehunga High School, and live together in Onehunga.

“There was some healthy competition when we did a few of the same undergraduate papers, but it's been a really great experience going through it all together,” says Cass.

“I lost my dad just before starting my postgraduate study and my mum just after beginning my PhD, so sadly they didn’t see us complete this chapter,” she says. “But they always knew that Andrew and I would stick together and support each other through anything.”

Cass is tutoring English and volunteering in entomology at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, while Andrew’s working as a microscopy scientist at Plant & Food Research.

Is further university study conceivable? “Learning’s a lifelong thing, so who knows, we might be back,” says Cass.

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