Daniel Harrison is motivated to pursue a PhD to become a lecturer and help more Māori students like himself.
Programme: Master of Science in Biological Sciences
“I grew up in Papakura, South Auckland, but my father’s side is originally from Pukepoto, and my mother’s side is from Taupō Bay in the Far North.
“I decided to pursue a Bsc in Biology with the eventual goal of completing a Master’s Degree and then a PhD. Currently I am in the process of completing my Master’s thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Nobuto Takeuchi (as my main supervisor) and Dr. Matthew S. Fullmer (as co-supervisor).
“My goal with achieving a PhD is to become a lecturer and be in a position to help more Māori students like myself, giving guidance and support in the same way my supervisors have helped me. In all honesty, the only pathways I had growing up involved joining a gang or crime. As sad as that sounds, it is a reality where I grew up, and going to University was the only chance I had for a different life. I realised I was fairly good at learning biology, and felt that it would be a waste if I didn’t pursue it as much as I could.
My goal with achieving a PhD is to become a lecturer and be in a position to help more Māori students like myself, giving guidance and support in the same way my supervisors have helped me.
“I also think I admired the challenge of going to University. Out of all my options, it was the hardest. It would have been easy to go along with the pressures of my environment and get involved in a more violent life, but I wanted a real challenge. I now study theoretical biology, microbiology, genomics, and pathogenicity, and I know I made the right decision for me.
“During my study I received an accommodation scholarship for postgrads that helped me focus more time on research. I also had support from Campus Care and Tuākana. My supervisors have also been very caring and supportive of me, along with a lot of other lectures; Professor Garth Cooper, Professor Ant Poole, Dr. Austin Ganley, Dr. Mike Taylor, Dr. Kim Handley, Dr. James Brock, and Dr. Monica Kam to name just a few of the many people who have helped me.