Tag Archives: communication

Big community reaction to Eleanor Hurton’s story

Communications received a number of emails this week from young people with disabilities who were inspired by the story of Eleanor Hurton, reported in The Star newspaper recently.

Communications put Star reporter Jess Gibson in touch with Eleanor because she’d won two Blues awards and seemed an ideal fit for the newspaper’s new ‘Young & Successful’ column.

Eleanor is an amazing disability advocate as well as a Master’s of Sociology student who has an auditory processing disability herself.

The young people who emailed us had disabilities themselves or were looking for more information for siblings with disabilities. Many of them had been told they wouldn’t succeed at university – even those at the top of their class! – due to their disabilities. They had never seen a positive representation of someone ‘like them’ and were so excited and inspired that is was quite humbling. Many of our email writers are now applying to UC!

Communications replied to the emails and shared our equity and disability webpage links for further information. Eleanor is already part of the UCMe campaign launching at the start of 2020, so that also is very inspiring for young people with disabilities.

Takeaways from this experience:
One news story can make a huge difference to someone’s life.
Young people with disabilities don’t often see successful examples of people like them.
There may be some misinformation out there about who can succeed at university.

Science communication workshops

The Story Collider – science communication workshops

Stories are powerful. Though often overlooked, evidence shows that storytelling is one of the more valuable skills for science communicators to develop as they seek to engage a wider range of people with research and ideas.

At the Story Collider workshop, you’ll get a taste of the creative process and craft that goes into effective storytelling, as well as a peek into some of the cognitive neuroscience and psychology that make stories so powerful.

This two-hour workshop is open to researchers, students and science communication professionals. SCANZ members can register at a discounted rate.

Monday 11 September, 3 – 5pm 
University of Canterbury, School of Biological Sciences, Rm 275

Register here

Places are limited — book early to secure a place.

See www.scanz.co.nz/events for more info.

Creating a workplace where introverts thrive

UC culture sessions hosted two workshops entitled ‘Introverts: How to stay sane in a world where people won’t stop talking’ on 1 and 8 June, which were were facilitated by Alan Palmer from Capital Works.

The first part of the workshop ‘priming the pump’ provided an overview of the Myers Briggs MBTI introvert style and explored the ways in which introverts are energised.  Group members discovered that their primary style was a preference only.

170615-introverts blahThe question put to the groups was “How might we create a workplace where introverts thrive and not just survive?” The two groups totalling 29 introverts and 3 brave extroverts generated 74 ideas in 10 minutes and voted on the top ideas.

The big message from the groups was – It’s all about relationships.

  • How we interact/listen in teams and meetings
  • Having an appreciation for different ways of processing information
  • How we value our colleagues
  • Being able to express our gifts and talents in the workplace.


Feedback received from attendees included:

I enjoyed this workshop because we had the opportunity to take time to reflect on some of our work style preferences.  The reflection was structured and focused us onto ways to positively move forward within our own work groups but also for UC more widely.

The session was hugely valuable, as any effort to raise the awareness of the value of EVERY member in a team is to be applauded. We need to acknowledge and empower our so-called introverts.

Was really interested in one of the ideas suggested about how we could make job interviews less scary for introverts – providing some questions in advance to allow time for preparation.  I’d like to give this a try in the next recruitment I’m involved in.


The UC culture sessions are for all UC staff. They run each Thursday at 2pm for one hour alternating between Dovedale and Ilam Campuses.  Forthcoming topics are listed on Sharepoint

Contact michel.fivet@canterbury.ac.nz  for further information.