A New Zealand woman studying in New York has been named Kate Sheppard Memorial Trust Award recipient for 2009.

Bethany Edmunds, a 31-year-old student from Ngati Kuri, completed her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Maori Design and Technology at Northland Polytechnic in 2000.

She is now studying for her Masters of Arts in visual culture at New York University. She is specialising in costume studies, using traditional Maori concepts and weaving techniques as her inspiration.

The scholarship will help her complete both her Masters and an independent research project in the United States, said trust chairwoman Karena Brown.