Nuggets of Wellbeing wisdom nuggets to boost your oxytocin – Pillar 3: Connect

Have you been staying active and creative since the last Pillar, “Do”? Don’t stress if you haven’t. It takes time to adapt to new habits, just remember to take it step by step. 

Today, we would like to share more wellbeing wisdom and introduce you to the third Pillar: Connect.  

It is proven that loneliness has negative impacts on our mental health. So, it’s important we set our focus on connecting today. When we connect with others, we boost our oxytocin, which is one of the four “feel good” brain chemicals that are good for our mental health. Here are some examples of how we can stay connected:  

  • Make time for the important people in our lives
  • Give the people we love our full attention 
  • Connect with characters we like through reading a book or watching tv

The trickiest part is that even though you think you are connected, you might not be. E.g. using social media can be misleading in making us feel connected. 

Watch The 6 Pillars: Connect to find out more on connecting with others and what to keep in mind. You can also find great content and activities on the Mentemia app, which you can download in your phone’s app store. You can read how to download it here.  

Dr Crichton, a research psychologist, explains the research behind the app’s seemingly simple activities and reminders. Each activity is evidence-based and very effective in addressing chronic stress. You can watch her full video here.  

Next time: Pillar 4: Move 

Where have they gone? Graduate Destinations is coming!

Have you ever wondered what happens to UC graduates once they leave us? Look no further!

The Ako Marake | Evaluation and Student Insights team will invite all former students who completed a degree in 2020 to complete the Graduate Destinations Survey next week.

The Graduate Destinations Survey (or GDS for short) is one of UC’s longest-standing annual surveys. It asks recent graduates about their employment, any volunteer roles they hold, and whether they’re undertaking any further study. The GDS helps provide advice to current and prospective UC students around trends in the employment market, further studies, and salary information. It also provides information to help improve our programmes and student support services.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the data, you can check out last year’s findings on ESI’s data dashboards here. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled for the 2021 results due for release at the end of September.

For any questions, or if you would like ESI to come to speak to your team about this dashboard and others, please email Ellie Kay and Elyse Thompson at

Calling all volunteers for Rā Tōmene | Open Day 2021


Rā Tōmene | Open Day is coming up on Thursday 9 September (9am-5pm). This is our biggest recruitment event for future students and their whānau, and we’re looking for staff volunteers to help out on the day. 

CLICK HERE to sign up!

Rā Tōmene | Open Day works with Rā Tūhura | Discovery Day. ‘Tōmene’ and ‘Tūhura’ share a similar meaning in that ‘Tūhura’ means to discover or explore and ‘Tōmene’ means to thoroughly explore, to thoroughly inspect, have a good look. 

Volunteers are essential to creating a welcoming atmosphere and making the day a success. This is your chance to meet future students, help them get all the info they need about UC and enjoy the buzz round campus. 

From Supplier of Smiles to Information Guru, there is an opportunity for you at Rā Tomene | Open Day. If you are interested, please review the roles below, check with your manager and sign up by Monday 30 August. Please note you will need to attend the Event Briefing on Tuesday 7 September. 

O Day volunteer roles:

  • Supplier of Smiles – you have a great smile and enjoy meeting new people
  • Information Guru – providing help and support is your gig
  • Session Greeter – you’re there to scan people into sessions
  • Airport Ambassador – you’ll greet people as they arrive in Ōtautahi Christchurch
  • Data Gatherer – you’ll happily ask people what they think
  • Campus Explorer – you know the campus well and can’t wait to show it off
  • Carpark Traffic control – you love to direct and find people that great park for the day.

CLICK HERE to sign up!

If you have any questions please email the Events team.

Thank you in advance for your support. It’s going to be a great day, we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Open Day 2021

Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship Information Session for Staff and Students

Kia ora – as many of you know the Aho Hīnātore | Accelerator Scholarship is one of our most accessible and prestigious doctoral scholarships. The scholarship is designed to retain our best and brightest Honours and Masters students to carry out their doctoral studies at UC. This will be the second year that UC will offer the scholarship. Last year, we received a huge number of excellent applications that even more funding has been allocated to the 2021 scholarship. 

The Scholarships office and Postgraduate Research Office will be holding an information session on Wednesday Aug 4th in Undercroft 101 from 11-12, followed by some light refreshments. The session is for potential students and their supervisors to understand the process of application, clarify any questions associated with the project and PhD components, and to answer questions associated with the scholarship. Please RSVP to and advise us on any dietary requirements so we can provide adequate catering.

Some quick FAQs ahead of the session:

  • Closing date is 3rd Sept – applications must be completed online at
  • Scholarship is made up of a 12-week project (similar to the old summer scholarship) and a full time PhD program.
  • Stipend value: $6,000 for the 12-week project and $28,000 p/a + fees for the doctoral study (up to 360pts). 
  • The project is co-funded at $4,500 from the UC Foundation and Postgraduate Research Office with the remaining $1,500 sourced from other sources (e.g. external, research, departmental funding)
  • Applicants will be judged on the quality of the project, the strength of the supervisory team and the potential of the student
  • Students must have a minimum GPA of 7.0 to qualify for the scholarship
  • The scholarship is open to any PhD program at UC and scholarships will be allocated equitably across academic units
  • Students must have completed and received the marks for their qualifying degree by March 31st 2022
  • The 12-week project must start no later than April 1st 2022
  • The student must start their PhD no later than July 1st 2022

We look forward to seeing you there

Mā te wā


Ekant Veer, PhD
Ahorangi| Professor
Te Amo Tuarua Rangahau|Associate Dean of Postgraduate Research (Scholarships)
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha|University of Canterbury
Ilam 8140
Private Bag 4800
Ōtautahi |Christchurch
Aotearoa|New Zealand

Waea|Tel: +64 3 3694068
Twitter: @VeerOffTrack

2021 UCSA Election: Nominations Open 28 July

The UCSA is looking for its next leaders! Each year, students elect who they want as their student representatives on the UCSA Executive. Nominations for 2021’s Election open 28 July at our Half-AGM.

This year, as always, we would love to see students get involved. Being on the Executive is a wonderful opportunity to represent the student voice on campus, build their CV, and get the most out of campus life.

For more information, visit the UCSA’s website.

Keeping UC staff informed