Hans Tommy immigrated to New Zealand from Samoa with his family when he was two and grew up in Auckland.
After graduating from AUT with a Bachelor of Art and Design, Hans worked predominantly as a freelance illustrator before undertaking a Postgraduate Diploma in Communication Studies, specialising in digital media.
This led him to complete his Master of Communication Studies where he explored Pacific students’ relationships with digital technology. He wanted to understand how these relationships affected their transition from secondary school to further study or employment.
Hans’ research is driven by his own personal struggles as a student and an academic. When he expanded his skills and opportunities as a designer of digital tools during his Postgraduate Diploma, he discovered just how little literature there is out available in relation to Pacific students and digital technology. His research aims to help fill this gap, while also furthering his own understanding.
Hans took a mixed-method approach to his thesis, and used a survey and correspondence analysis to analyse data.
He focused on how access, confidence, competency, awareness and perceptions of digital media affected the students’ decision-making after secondary school.
Hans graduated with 1st class Honours, made the Dean’s list for the faculty of Design and Creative Technologies and the Dean’s Award for Postgraduate Excellence from the School of Communications.
In his current role at AUT as a Client Services Assistant for the AUT library, Hans helps deliver library services for students.
“I love to help students, especially those that may have a similar background to me, being a Pacific student in Auckland.”
On a daily basis Hans helps to deliver a diverse range of library services.
“For me, working at the AUT library has reinforced the importance of strong research and information literacy skills. It can be taken for granted at times, but I love seeing the difference these skills can make, especially in the results and research of our Pacific students.”