Graduation special for father and daughter

05 May 2023 | News

Graduation is always a special occasion, but to Patty Kanjanamaneesathian and her dad, it holds an extra significance.

Patty will receive her Master of Applied Science degree, majoring in Plant Protection, on 12 May in the Christchurch Town Hall.

In 1992, her dad, Mana, completed the same degree with the same major at Lincoln, but as he was studying via an international scholarship, he had to go back to Thailand before he could go to his graduation ceremony.

Mana has been a plant pathologist for over 30 years in academia, and will be retiring soon as an Associate Professor.

He will be at this year's graduation ceremony, along with Patty’s mum, Dowloy.

That is why this upcoming event holds a special place in both of our hearts. It will be a reunion for us and a time to celebrate together.

The family travelled back to New Zealand in the 1990s for a plant protection conference in Christchurch and visited Lincoln University, which only helped to motivate Patty to follow in her father’s footsteps.

She now works at Lincoln as a research assistant and her graduation marks the culmination of a journey she began in 2019, which she said was not easy, especially with the pandemic and lockdowns.

"Despite these obstacles, I persevered and completed my research, and I am thrilled that I will be attending the graduation ceremony.

"It is incredible to think that 30 years later, I would achieve my master's degree in the same place and with the same major as my father. His passion for plant pathology has always been an inspiration for me, and I am thrilled to continue working in the same field."

Mana and Patty during a visit to Lincoln in the 1990s.

As a proud parent and a fellow alumni, Mana said he was happy that Patty had decided to pursue plant pathology at Lincoln University.

"I'm confident in the high-quality education that Lincoln provides. It has equipped her with valuable skills to make a valuable research contribution to the agricultural sector, benefiting not only our family but also the broader community."

Patti hoped her story would inspire others who faced challenges on their own journey towards graduation.