Samiksha Pattanaik

JRO and PhD student, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University

Samiksha Pattanaik is a junior researcher and Phd candidate at CARE, Massey University. Her doctoral research looks at the health experiences and mobile phone usage of India’s ASHA (Accredited social health activists) workers in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Through a culture-centered approach (CCA), her research work aims to create an entry point for rural ASHA workers, most of them from marginalised backgrounds, to articulate pandemic communication solutions from below, rather than being passive recipients of expert-driven solutions disseminated via digital channels. Through semi-structured interviews, the CCA will enable the researcher to engage in a dialogue with ASHA workers in order to gain a better understanding of the meanings they ascribe to Covid-19 within their rural context and the role mobile phone plays in this process. 

As a community researcher at CARE, Samiksha has worked with communities at the margins of the magins in Odisha’s Kandhamal District, which has a high indigenous population.  She has conducted in-depth interviews with rural and tribal population across villages in Kandhamal district and her interviews have focussed on uncovering the health experiences of the marginalised communities during the covid-19 pandemic. Her research interests primarily lies in health communication, digital media and gender issues. 

Samiksha has also worked with leading news organisations in India, including the Hindustan Times, CNN-News18, Scroll.in and Condenast India. Also, she has worked in public relations in London for two years. She holds a master’s degree in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Westminster. Her master’s dissertation focussed on a comparative study of infotainment features in British and Indian health television shows. 

Balamohan Shingade

JRO, Massey University and MLitt candidate in Philosophy at the University of Auckland

Balamohan Shingade worked as  a Junior Research Officer with CARE, Massey University  until June 2022, and a candidate for the MLitt in Philosophy at the University of Auckland. From 2017 – 2020, he was the Assistant Director and Curator of St Paul St Gallery, Auckland University of Technology. He is a Masters graduate of Elam School of Fine Arts, where he was formerly employed as a Teaching Fellow. Balamohan is also a Hindustani classical singer and publisher at Heron Park.

Balamohan will still continue to be engaged momentarily with the digital community events and the CCA process with CARE.


Pooja Jayan

JRO and PhD student, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University

Pooja Jayan is a Junior Research Officer and PhD student in the Center of Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North, Aotearoa, New Zealand. 

Pooja’s current research interests are in health communication, specifically looking at health experiences and inequalities among marginalized communities. Her doctoral thesis looks at the health and wellbeing of migrant Indian nurses in New Zealand. She received the Society for Research on Women Research Award (SROW). 

In her research projects in New Zealand and India, she engages with migrants, refugees, women, and minority communities experiencing marginalization. 

Md Mahbubur Rahman

JRO & PhD Student, School of Communication Journalism & Marketing, Massey University


Md Mahbubur Rahman is a Junior Research Officer at Center for Culture-Centered Approach for Research & Evaluation (CARE). He is now pursuing a PhD at Massey University, New Zealand at Manawatu Campus.

His PhD research topic is “Health Communication among the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.” At CARE he is dealing with the Refugee and new migrant communities of New Zealand utilizing Kaupapa Māori theories and working on communication research using participatory and Culture-Centered Approach (CCA) theories to develop community driven communication solutions. His primary research interests include health communication, media communication, intercultural communication, migrant health, refugee health, pharmacy and medicine.

Before commencing his PhD study, Md Mahbubur Rahman has been working as a News Producer at Bangladesh Television (BTV) for more than 9 years and as a Program Producer in Bangladesh Betar (Radio Bangladesh) for more than 8 years. Besides he has been working as a Senior Lecturer, Pharmacy at University of Development Alternative, UODA, Bangladesh in 2009-2010 session and then continued to participate at the research activities of the Pharmacy department of UODA. He is a NOMA (NORAD’s Programme for Master Studies) scholar as he has been offered NOMA scholarship of Norway in 2009 for doing his Regional Masters in Journalism, Media and Communication degree. His Master dissertation titled “Credibility of Al Jazeera English (AJE) News in Bangladesh” examined the credibility of various news channels in Bangladesh like BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and some local channels. He has been awarded Gold Medal (Chancellor Award) in his MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree in 2006. He is also a registered Pharmacist of Bangladesh.

Ngā Hau/Christine Elers

Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa

JRO and PhD student, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University

Through her mother, Christine’s Iwi or tribal affiliations are Ngāti Kauwhata in the Manawatū, where she was born and has lived most of her life. She is also affiliated to the tribal nations of Ngāti Hauā and Ngāti Maniapoto in Waikato.

Through her father, she traces descendancy to the tribal nations of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne in Wairarapa and Ngai Tahu in the South Island. Christine is a Junior Research Officer at CARE, the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation in the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Palmerston North.

She is also a PhD student utilising the Culture-Centered Approach to build infrastructures for voice amongst Māori with lived realities of multiple socioeconomic and communicative disparities.    


Francine Whittfield

JRO, Master’s student Massey University and Bachelor of Health Science in Health Promotion

Francine Whittfield is a Junior Research Officer and Master’s student in the Center of Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing Massey University, Palmerston North, Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Francine completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Health Promotion) in 2020. Cementing her interest for inequitable experiences for minority populations throughout life, specifically those experiencing sexual violence.

Her Master’s studies are leading her down the path to critically examine the lived experience of sexual violence disclosure for minority populations. Before commencing her Bachelor study Francine worked as a Dispensary Technician in Community Pharmacy in Flat Bush, South Auckland