Heiana Agnieray

Heiana Agnieray

Heiana Agnieray’s academic journey at the University of Auckland stemmed from when first she moved to New Zealand in 2007. Hailing from Tahiti (French Polynesia), Heiana’s journey in Aotearoa has given her plenty of insight through her adventures, challenges, and overall growth and development, and is now currently in her last year of studying for a PhD degree in Chemistry.

Coming from Tahiti, Heiana experienced the French education programme which she recalls as heavily intense. During her time spent in Aotearoa, she had a much more enjoyable journey throughout high school, and it was there that her passion for science flourished.

“The interactive and practical side of science is what got me so excited about this area of study, and that is why I wanted to explore science further.”

With New Zealand having various options for tertiary study nationwide, Heiana decided to pursue her studies in the city of sails, The University of Auckland; where she found that she could further expand her knowledge of science. She was officially admitted into one of New Zealand’s reputable universities in 2012.

...I am honoured and grateful to have met so many like-minded, supportive, and inspiring people along this journey.

Heiana Agnieray

Throughout Heiana’s undergraduate studies, she discovered an even more profound passion for science, which only grew and developed more at the start of her post-graduate journey in 2015. Heiana completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Food Science, followed by a Master’s degree in Chemistry, and ultimately will be concluding her studies with a PhD Degree in Chemistry. She mentions that research is another world, although challenging it also proves as exciting and compelling for Heiana.

During her studies, Heiana received two scholarships for the following: one for her Master’s project (MBIE) and the other for her PhD project (NSC).

“These opened up many new doors for me, I gained financial independence, I expanded my network, I travelled…the list goes on,” Heiana adds.

In addition to Heiana’s scholarship attainments, she has also been a teaching assistant for FOODSCI (100 and 200) laboratories from 2019 to 2021 and was also a Tuākana tutor for FOODSCI (100) in 2021. Heiana’s experience as a Tuākana tutor was extremely rewarding for her as it allowed her to have the opportunity to help and mentor the next generation of Pacific and Māori students throughout their studies.

Heiana is currently nearing completing her PhD degree and mentions her unforgettable experiences during her studies at the University of Auckland.

“I have to say that throughout all of my post-graduate studies, I am honoured and grateful to have met so many like-minded, supportive, and inspiring people along this journey. When this chapter of my life will close, I am planning to continue research as a post-doctoral before I head out to the industry. Coming from a small island, I have never imagined I could go this far. Don’t be scared to take every opportunity that comes your way, the journey will not be easy, but it will be all worth it!”