There was plenty of winter sunshine for the first day of the November 2016 Graduation Ceremonies at Liverpool Cathedral.
Students from the Faculty of Education, Health and Community and the Faculty of Science celebrated their success.
Morning ceremony - Faculty of Education Health and Community (Health)
Sian Hiepner graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree in Adult Nursing and is now working in a community hospital, with plans to progress to A&E services. She praised the facilities and staff at the University for the opportunities provided during her studies. She is pictured with her family including daughter five month old daughter, Zani
"The clinical practice suites on campus really prepared me for real-life settings. I could develop my skills using the latest equipment including virtual patients and a range of medical conditions. The staff were always supportive and I really enjoyed my time here."
International student Nathan Gardner’s PhD was titled: Informing indicated prevention: factors associated with the development of problematic cannabis use in young people . Originally from Ohio, Nathan chose LJMU because of the Public Health Institute’s outstanding research reputation. He is now planning a career as a researcher in medical writing.
"I’ve really enjoyed my time in Liverpool, it’s such a unique place and so full of culture. I chose to study at the Public Health Institute because it had such an amazing reputation for research and my PhD has given me the skills to research, collaborate and present, leaving me with a lot more confidence."
Steven Grant, Aiden Wilson and David Lowe (pictured together below) are all now employed as paramedics and commented that they loved their time at LJMU and are thoroughly enjoying their new careers.
Gloria Beckett graduated with a distinction in MSc Public Health. Gloria returned to academia after working as a volunteer nurse in Africa. She completed her Masters as a part-time student over two years while working full time as a Health Protection Nurse in Oldham.
"My experience has been one of engaging lectures where you are encouraged to contribute to the discussion/topic as well as all the tutors that delivered my subjects being very supportive. I have learned so much over the past two years but the one thing that has made a real difference to my work, in both my confidence and my knowledge base, is understanding data. One of the highlights for me was having international students on our course as they brought diverse views and opinions into the discussion and we could learn so much from their experiences."
Shraddha Manandhar from Kathmandu, Nepal, gained a distinction in her MSc in International Public Health, and also received Go Global funding for a two week internship at Thammasat University, Thailand.
"Being an international student, I had so many questions but help was there at every instance. From the amazing library facilities to friendly staff members and amazing lecturers, LJMU offers students everything that they need to successfully complete their course and more. Interacting with students and lecturers of different professional backgrounds and meeting people from different countries gives you a unique opportunity to understand issues from multiple perspectives. I have learned to listen and communicate better. The course is challenging and provides ample opportunities for learning in the field of public health from an international perspective.”
Friends Emma Channing and Harriet Sutcliffe (pictured below) are graduating with nursing degrees and already have jobs in hospitals in Merseyside. Emma said of her time at LJMU: "It's been quite challenging but definitely worthwhile. I’m proud of myself for overcoming obstacles and achieving goals throughout my education journey. The highlights have been gaining knowledge and developing skills and applying them to real life situations, and of course at University and on my course I have made friends for life. It’s been wonderful making people proud, especially all my family who are here today to celebrate with me."
Emma is now working at Broadgreen Hospital in orthopaedic nursing and is hoping to further her education with a possible MSc in the near future.
Harriet equally enjoyed her time at LJMU, working 30 hours at Whiston Hospital per week and one day studying at LJMU. "It's been difficult but a very good experience. It's been hard work from the start but an incredible opportunity which has taught me so much. There's been many challenges, including some of the early starts but it’s all been worth it today knowing I have my degree and am now working as a nurse and really making a difference to people's lives."
Students from the Faculty of Education, Health and Community (Education) and the Faculty of Science were next to graduate at the Anglican Cathedral.
Marcus Hannon gained an MSc in Sport Nutrition. He has already started a PhD with LJMU, funded by Everton FC, looking at nutrition in youth footballers.
“The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at LJMU is world-renowned for its research and lecturers,” he said. “The contacts and placements were amazing and led to me getting experience at Wasps Rugby Club and now my PhD at Everton FC. The amount and quality of research taking place is outstanding and in my opinion LJMU is miles ahead in its approach to academic and practitioner-led Sport and Exercise Sciences.”
Angela Clucas also graduated with a Masters in Sports Nutrition. She secured funding for her business from the Bathgate Group of Companies thanks to the support of LJMU’s Centre for Entrepreneurship. She is now running her own nutrition consultancy, Next Level Nutrition. “I chose LJMU as I considered it to be the best offering for sports nutrition in the country," she explained. "The research being produced at LJMU was world class, the lecturers were working with elite athletes as well as teaching and that was something I really wanted to be a part of.”
Sarah Birtwistle and Gina Ashcroft graduate with an MPhil and MSc in Health Psychology respectively. They worked as team ‘Birtcroft’ throughout their postgraduate studies, interviewing patients together and encouraging each other to achieve their full academic potential. Gina even completed her research dissertation with Sarah, investigating the communication process between referring health practitioners and patients referred to an exercise referral scheme.
Sarah completed her MPhil in collaboration with Wigan’s Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles organisation, entitled, Understanding factors that influence uptake to exercise referral schemes: A qualitative study of participant experiences. Speaking of her LJMU journey, she said: “It’s been really enjoyable. The MPhil was quite challenging as it was a step up from what I was doing previously, but I had an incredibly supportive team around me. I’ve learnt so much, and developed my skills in relation to research and become adept at being calm under pressure."
Having obtained a Vice-Chancellor's PhD scholarship from the University, Sarah is now investigating family influences on physical activity adherence in cardiac rehab. In the future, she hopes to work in public health promotion within the NHS and the wider community.
Gina graduated with a First Class Honours in her BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Psychology in 2015 and then went on to complete an MSc in Health Psychology. She commented: “The LJMU Scholarship Scheme really helped me to get through my studies and I can’t thank the University enough. I’ve improved my research, interviewing and analysing skills with data and programming. The support network between the lecturers and students has been brilliant.”
Gina is now hoping to use her graduate skills within the NHS as an Education Specialist.
Paul Entwistle has completed his studies with the Food, Nutrition and Health Research Group in the Faculty of Education, Health and Community, graduating with a PhD for this thesis entitled: The use of hypnosis as an auto-ethnographic modality in the exploration and management of overweight and obesity – selected case studies.
Paul completed his MPhil at the former Liverpool Polytechnic and says he was delighted to continue his studies at LJMU, having been impressed by the enthusiasm of its lecturers. He also felt his professional and academic experience fitted in well with their interests. At 73, Paul embodies the adage that it is never too late to continue learning and progress in academia.
"As a self-funding, part time and very mature student it has been at times a difficult journey as I have had to work throughout to support my family and my studies, but it has been a journey well worth travelling," he said. "I’ve had excellent support and encouragement throughout. I never anticipated how far my PhD research journey would take me, from biochemistry through psychology to sociology. My daughter who has come up from London to see me graduate has her own doctorate in sociology from the University of London, and she is highly amused to see her biochemist father receiving a sociology doctorate from LJMU.”
Looking forward, Paul admits he has lots of papers to write, but also hopes to continue his research with LJMU.
The first cohort to graduate from the new Masters in Education also celebrated their success, along with Programme Leader, Andrea Pratt.