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Seasider Spotlight: Nancy Tarawhiti

Nancy Tarawhiti standing in her office smiling at the camera.
Photo by Monique Saenz, university photographer.

Name: Nancy Tarawhiti

BYUH employee since: 2014

BYUH alumna... class of 1990

My job at BYUH is... EIL director (English as an international language).

I grew up in... Hamilton, New Zealand on what was once the Church College of New Zealand campus.

I'm currently working on... peace linguistics research and preparing my keynote address for an upcoming conference.

I get most excited about my work... when students from years ago write me to share their post-graduation experiences and how their studies at university blessed their lives.

I love teaching because... I get to be an example to female students. Having received my doctorate degree, I feel proud that I can inspire other women, especially women in Polynesia, to see themselves as potential leaders in academia.

My favorite memory at BYUH... is whenever I see students achieving—seeing actual growth and progress before they leave the classroom setting and move on to their next big thing.

Students don't think I notice... when they are struggling. I try to tap into what they're feeling and see what I can do to help them resolve it or cheer them on as they overcome it themselves.

Nancy Tarawhiti sitting in her office in front of a book shelf.
Photo by Monique Saenz, university photographer.

My favorite lecture/course to teach is... Peace Linguistics, an interdisciplinary class that studies the relationship between finding peace in conflict through language.

My advice to first-year students... is to understand the university's mission and realize how blessed you are to be here. Don't take this opportunity for granted.

When I have 30 minutes of free time... I jump in the ocean and go for a swim.

You'll never find me without... a smile.

If I could travel anywhere, I would go to... New Zealand because... it's home.

The title of my autobiography would be... "Check Me Out."

My favorite quote is... "Find joy in the journey" from Thomas S. Monson.

On Saturday mornings, you'll find me... cleaning my house or still asleep. As a seminary teacher, I look forward to sleeping in on Saturdays.

I'm most looking forward to... meeting new students each semester, seeing their bright faces in the classroom, and learning their names.

My go-to comfort food is... New Zealand's meat pies.

One item on my bucket list is... to get married. I've enjoyed my life and am still looking forward to what's ahead, but I would love to experience it with a companion. I'd also love to travel to a poverty-stricken part of the world and donate my time through teaching.

Favorite ice cream flavor... chocolate.