Meet Rodolfo

Rodolfo is a Doctoral student in clinical psychology. In working with others, he has learned how important it is to seek support for himself.

Rodolfo stands in front of the ClockTower

We last interviewed Rodolfo in 2019. He told us about how Ratonga Hauātanga Tauira | Student Disability Services (SDS) supported his studies as someone with ADHD. 

“Student Disability Services have been instrumental in my success at the University of Auckland,” he said. 

“They helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses. They also provided equipment that helped me in removing distractions – for example, we concluded that noise-cancelling headphones allow me to focus intensely on the task at hand.”

Since then he has completed his undergraduate studies and started his PhD research into childhood bereavement. 

“We're making a case for childhood bereavement being an actual public health issue in Aotearoa, because right now it's not,” he says.

I love research because I've got this insatiable curiosity about other people in
the world. I’m always asking ‘why?’. Why is this child seemingly doing really
well and this other child is not?


What we didn’t know about Rodolfo in 2019 is that he also writes poetry. His first language is Tagalog, and he thinks learning English as a second language gave him “a head start into poetry,” because the rules of English weren’t inherent to him.

“When you break the structure and syntax, and you mix words around in ways that are counterintuitive, it sends someone into this subjective spiral of the self that creates colour beyond that black and white of a page.”

Rodolfo says his curiosity about language has also influenced his curiosity as an aspiring therapist. 

“Because you're asking why,” says Rodolfo. “Why do you think you're incapable of flying above your ancestors’ horizons? Why not seek this help that you think might allow you to achieve what you want to achieve?”

Rodolfo is the co-founder of an ADHD peer support group within Inclusive Learning, and also tutors at the School of Psychology. He wants his teina to know the support available to them.

“I was suggesting to them to get the extra time, get those free resources, get that support from SDS,” he says.

"Initially I found it quite difficult to ask for help and receive help. But just seeing how much that extra support has enabled me to do the best that I can - to flourish – it has really made me see the value in getting people that extra kind of support.”

You can see some of the work Rodolfo has done with the School of Psychology here.