UCOL Te Pūkenga Whanganui is set to present three special awards at its March 19 Graduation ceremony.
Allan MacGibbon will receive the UCOL Te Pūkenga Honorary Fellow Award for his contribution to education, tourism, and economic growth in the region. The Honorary Fellow Award is the UCOL Te Pūkenga highest honorary award and is presented to individuals whose contributions go well beyond what is normally expected in their professions.
MacGibbon is a long-time proponent for regional economic growth, education, and tourism in Whanganui. MacGibbon helped forge strong relationships between education providers, local government, and the community, and contributed to creating education opportunities in the region. Notably, he helped establish the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy (NZICPA) while he was Whanganui Airport Manager.
Former UCOL Te Pūkenga Nursing Lecturer Gene Lewis-Clark will receive the Institutional Medal. The Institutional Medal is presented to current or former UCOL Te Pūkenga staff who have made a significant contribution to UCOL Te Pūkenga or their field.
Lewis-Clarke worked as a Student Health Clinic Nurse at the Manawatū Polytechnic (now UCOL Te Pūkenga) before becoming a Nursing Lecturer. He later went on to teach at the UCOL Te Pūkenga Whanganui and Wairarapa campuses. Lewis-Clarke’s 50-plus year career in nursing also saw him work in hospitals, community settings, and the medical unit of the military. In 2018 Gene was made a life member of Te Kaunihera o Ngā Neehi Māori
Ryan Serrano will receive the UCOL Te Pūkenga Alumni Achievement Award after amassing an impressive body of work as an artist and sculptor. The Alumni Achievement Award is presented to UCOL Te Pūkenga alumni who have made significant accomplishments in their business or professional life.
Originally from the Phillipines, Serrano graduated from UCOL Te Pūkenga Whanganui in 2016 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Graphic Design. Serrano secured employment with Weta Workshop before he finished his diploma and is now a Senior 3D Artist at Weta. Serrano has worked on feature films such as Power Rangers, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Men in Black: International, and I Am Mother.
UCOL Te Pūkenga Council Chair Ben Vanderkolk says all recipients are incredibly worthy of their awards.
“Allan has been a champion of education, tourism, and economic growth in Whanganui for many years and a valued supporter and advocate of UCOL Te Pūkenga. He has played a significant role in providing education opportunities for learners in Whanganui, and ensuring new opportunities came to the region and community. We are delighted to formally recognise all he has done. ”
“Gene was a valued member of the UCOL Te Pūkenga Nurse Education team, and has shared his skills and knowledge across our campuses. He built a strong bond with many of his students that contributed to their success. ”
“Ryan’s professional credits and portfolio are very impressive. Jobs at Weta Workshop are highly sought after, and we are proud to have our graduates there, working on major international films. Ryan’s work contributes to UCOL Te Pūkenga Whanganui’s reputation as a top quality educator of artists and designers, and it’s exciting to see where his career will take him.”