University appoints first lecturer with disability
Fa’aolo Utumapu has been appointed as one of the senior journalism lecturers for the National University of Samoa’s (N.U.S.) Media and Journalism Programme.
The Vice Chancellor of N.U.S, Fui Asofou So’o announced Utumapu’s appointment yesterday.
“We are excited to welcome Ms. Utumapu into the workforce, especially someone with the expertise she has in Media studies, she will be a big plus for N.U.S and its Media and Journalism program,” said Fui.
Ms. Utumapu holds a Bachelors Degree in communications studies from the Auckland University of Technology, and a Masters in Media and Communications studies from the University of Monash in Australia.
“This is appointment is part of the University’s inclusive education push, which includes employment. She will be our first lecturer with a disability and its very exciting to have her on board,” said Fui.
“We want to send out the message, that no disability will block or stop anyone from doing a task they truly want to follow, and that’s what NUS believes in.”
Journalists Association of Samoa’s (J.A.W.S.) President Apulu Lance Polu says the appointment by N.U.S. is a sign of how far reaching Media studies can be.
“We are in full support of the appointment, and were looking forward to seeing Faaolo’s work in the program,” said Apulu.
Ms. Utumapu has vast experience in Radio Broadcast both in Samoa and also in New Zealand. The resources required for Ms. Utumapu’s work though will be provided for by the National University of Samoa.
The Media and Journalism program has trained and prepared journalist with disabilities who are now practicing media and journalism in the industry in Samoa. Two of those students having been Herbert Bell who now announces for Samoa FM and Tusiga Taofiga who now writes for the Savali Government newspaper.
The University also introduced the continuation of a memorandum of understand between James Cook University and the National University of Samoa where a student exchange program brings students from JCU take their media and journalism studies in Samoa.
Three exchange students from JCU include, Chloe Chomicki, Taileah Watson, Derek Davies, are studying Media and Journalism at NUS, with seven more to follow in the coming semester.