Other honours and awards
Professor Colleen Ward granted the Te Rangi Hiroa Medal by Royal Society of New Zealand
CACR’s Professor Colleen Ward was granted the Te Rangi Hiroa Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand in December 2011. This social sciences award was given in recognition of her contribution to the psychological study of immigration, acculturation, intercultural relations and cultural diversity.
Director of the Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research and a professor in the Department of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington, Professor Ward is internationally recognised as a leading authority on cultural diversity and how culture affects human behaviour and experience.
Her award citation said her work with Muslim youth in New Zealand has made a significant contribution to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Research Network, the collective think tank for the promotion of understanding between Muslim and Western societies.
Between 2005 and 2007 Professor Ward was a James Cook Research Fellow in Social Sciences (Identity, Acculturation and Intercultural Relations), and between 2008 and 2010 she led a youth project that examined the experiences of Chinese, Pacific and Muslim youth.
Her book, The Psychology of Culture Shock, is acknowledged for its synthesis of theory and research on intercultural contact.
Her theory on acculturation and immigrant adaptation formed the basis of the International Comparative Study of Ethno-cultural Youth, a 13-nation study published as Immigrant Youth in Cultural Transition.
In 2011 Professor Ward received the Victoria University of Wellington Inaugural Public Contribution Award for the application of scholarly expertise to resolve the challenges facing multicultural communities.
She has acted as consultant to government on issues around immigration and social cohesion.