New ‘Spirit of Cumbria’ award presented to three outstanding graduates

New ‘Spirit of Cumbria’ award presented to three outstanding graduates

The University of Cumbria has introduced a new award honouring graduands who exemplify its values.

Its inaugural ‘Spirit of Cumbria’ awards have been presented for the first time to three graduands who all, in their own individual way, exemplify the university’s values of Progressive, Passionate, Supportive and Personal and are exceptional role models within and out with the university. 

Sayful Alam who is originally from Oldham was the first recipient to receive his award on Tuesday 26 November. Presented to him by the Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honorable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, Sayful received his award at Carlisle Cathedral during his graduation ceremony.  

Graduating with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (General Primary with QTS), in partnership with Lime Tree Primary Academy, Sayful was nominated for the award by his course tutor, Dr Paul Cammack, a senior lecturer from the Institute of Education.

Dr Cammack said: “Sayful consistently demonstrates the values and dispositions of an excellent teacher through his warmth, passion for teaching and learning, personal integrity, dedication, resilience and determination.    

“He has a passion for teaching and learning. Dedicated and committed to his work as a student and as a teacher, he has maintained a high quality of work throughout the year. With a personal approach, he was always keen and enthusiastic about sharing his learning with others.” 

Dr Cammack added: “Sayful was always supportive and encouraging of others in his interactions and actively sought to build relationships with peers and the wider community.

“Progressive in his approach, he is passionate about the transformative power of education and has inspired his peers to have high expectations of themselves and others in their academic, professional and personal lives.  In short, he is exactly the type of teacher that we would all wish our own children to encounter.”

On receiving his award Sayful said: “It is absolutely amazing and humbling at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to expect but when I read what was written about me, I was very very humbled. My son Zacharia said it’s like winning the grown-up version of a Principal’s Card but without a sticker.” 

The second ‘Spirit of Cumbria’ award winner is paramedic Scott Murray. He received his award from the Chancellor during his graduation in Carlisle Cathedral on Wednesday 27 November. Kathy Haigh, a senior lecturer in advanced nursing from the university’s recently launched Institute of Health, nominated Scott for the award.

Scott, originally from Birmingham, was one of the first paramedics to take up a role in general practice as a trainee advanced practitioner, and as soon as non-medical prescribing was opened up to paramedics, with the support of his employer, Scott returned to the University of Cumbria to undertake his MSc. It was for this reason, amongst others, that Kathy nominated him for the award.

Kathy said: “Scott is passionate about his work and field of study. Graduating today with a Master’s of Science in Advanced Clinical Practice, he is a pioneer in his field.

“Committed to supporting his local community, Scott is a mountain rescue volunteer and is also a member of a paramedic in primary care support group, sharing knowledge and experience to drive and improve clinical practice.”

Since Scott qualified, he has taken further steps to share his knowledge and is now presenting at conferences to share his journey and also to support others in their own professional development.

Kathy added: “His personal approach to sharing his knowledge and experiences is inspiring the next generation of student advanced practitioners and his progressive approach to ensuring excellence in clinical practice is outstanding.”

On winning his Spirit of Cumbria award Scott said: “I was very shocked, very surprised. They’ve said some lovely words and really nice things, so I feel very privileged to be here today.”

Alice Hill, from Lincoln is the third recipient of a new ‘Spirit of Cumbria’ award, receiving it during her own graduation ceremony on Thursday 28 November.

Describing Alice as passionate about photography, her tutor Sarah Bonner, a senior lecturer from the university’s Institute of the Arts, said she nominated Alice because she has always been progressive in her practice, pushing herself academically and technically to achieve her aesthetic and conceptual aspirations.

Graduating with a BA (Hons) in Photography, Sarah said: “Alice has made an exceptional contribution to the programme in terms of her personal approach, openness and cheerfulness towards her peers, teaching team and everyone she came in contact with.

“An outstanding advocate of photography and the work that we do to bring the subject to a wider audience, Alice worked with a group of primary school children showing them around the degree show, fielding an array of interesting questions and inspiring a new appreciation of photography in the children.

“As a proactive student rep and a student ambassador for the university, Alice has been a role model to new students and has always been helpful and supportive of others, making her a worthy winner of our Spirit of Cumbria award.”

Alice said: “I was a bit shocked to win the award! It was a nice shock though. I have always tried to be as positive and uplifting as I could be. It was a nice surprise to win and it feels good to graduate today.”