"Special students" celebrated at annual Success Awards

"Special students" celebrated at annual Success Awards name

A highlight of the academic calendar where the achievements of staff and students throughout the University of Cumbria community are recognised has taken place.

The 6th UCSU Success Awards were held at the Shap Wells Hotel (Thursday 30 March) with over 120 students, staff, friends and guests of the university paying tribute to nominees and winners.

Vice Chancellor Prof Julie Mennell thanked SU support staff for organising the event and their year round work.

Eleven awards were made including Volunteer of the Year, Student Support Staff of the Year and Lecturer of the Year.

Two students shared the Student of the Year award.

Alison Field began her nursing course at the Lancaster campus at the University of Cumbria in 2015 and used her background in dementia care to organise a dementia awareness day for 200 nursing students. Meanwhile Tracy Appiah has shown real commitment to her course and inspired others through her dedication and passion.

Volunteer of the Year went to Ross Taylor who has taken part in multiple community volunteering projects as well as volunteering as a student academic representative for his course commenting  “It proves hard work does pay off” and “shows that being a student is more than just learning.”

Finn Drude, an AV technician at the Brampton Road campus, was awarded the Student Support Staff award for going above and beyond what is ever expected of him. His passion for film and TV has helped students to discover their own passion for the industry, and he offers help and assistance to students on university and external projects.

Other Carlisle staff who received recognition were the Carlisle reception team, who cover both the Fusehill Street and Brampton Road campuses, and Kim Green, a member of the security team.

Nicola Kitchen, a senior lecturer in Early Years and Primary Education based in Lancaster, was awarded the most creative teaching award. This was for her innovative and inspiring teaching methods and for bringing excitement to each of her lessons. One of the nominations submitted for the award described Nicola as “the tutor you wish could teach you for everything”.

Karishma Asher, Chair of the University of Cumbria English Society, received the Student Group Member of the Year award. Neil Thomas received the Research Project of the Year award, the first time this award has been featured in the Success Awards.

Dr Grace Hurford has been described as going out of her way to assist students in academic and non-academic situations. Her innovative teaching style, enthusiasm and passion all led to her being awarded Lecturer of the Year at the University of Cumbria (UCSU) annual Success Awards, an event which highlights the unrecognised work which goes on every day.

Grace said that she was “thrilled and delighted” and that it was a “pleasure and a privilege to work with our students.”

Samuel Poultney, a second year Marine and Freshwater Conservation student who is also based in Ambleside, was awarded the Representative of the Year award. This was for his work as a student academic representative for his course, but also playing a crucial role in enhancing the student experience on the Ambleside campus.

“It is wonderful to see staff and students come together to celebrate successes from across the University of Cumbria,” Theresa Pellegrino, UCSU Academic Officer, said: “The fact that we awarded two student of the year awards this year shows just how special our students are.”

The Awards were presented by UCSU’s elected full time officers – Bethany Cutter (Community & Partnership Officer), Theresa Pellegrino (Academic Officer) and Rowan Cooper-Gritten (Welfare & Support Officer). University of Cumbria Vice-Chancellor Julie Mennell also made an introductory speech to the awards where she paid tribute to UCSU and the sabbatical officer team.

A full breakdown of the winners, photographs and quotes is available to view on the UCSU website at www.ucsu.me/success