Faumalevai Margaret Sao says she is passionate about living life to the full and she strives to achieve all that she can.
She says where she has come from and where she is now academically makes her very proud, and her success is from "pure hard work."
Her academic achievements are numerous: She came to AUT and completed a Bachelor of Business (Accounting & Information Technology) in 2007, a Graduate Diploma in Business (2008), a Master of Professional Business Studies (with Distinction) in 2011 and a Master of Business in Business Information Systems (1st Class Honours) in 2012.
In 2011, she was awarded a Business Academic Excellence Postgraduate Scholarship. She was also awarded the 2013 Top Pacific Graduate in the Master of Business and the 2013 Top Graduate in Master of Business majoring in Business Information Systems.
Margaret was intrigued that information could change communities after taking a paper in information systems. This led to her thesis topic: Information and communication technology for development in Samoa: exploring the interaction between the local traditions and information found on computer technology.
In 2011, Margaret conducted data collection in Samoa after the government introduced telecentres to 12 rural villages in 2005.
She analysed how three of these villages have changed as a result of the technology, compared to communities in western society. She wanted to find out the social impact of this technology on Samoan culture and whether it had improved or changed the culture in any way.
"I wanted to know how technology, namely information through the internet, is shaping the life of local people.
"Will local villagers use these services to access information which will help develop their communities or will the information they access compromise their cultural values?
"My research led to the identification of five categories of impact: expanding skills and capabilities, efficient tools for document production, panopticon-surveillance, virtual connection and community networks.