Blue skies and winter sunshine remained the order of the day at the November Graduations which drew to a close on Friday morning.
Students from the Faculties of Engineering and Technology, along with the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies, came together to celebrate their academic success at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.
Jamie Sadler, who has worked at LJMU for 8 years as a Faculty Administrator, graduated with an MA in Screenwriting. "I have further developed my writing and gained a much greater insight into what the creative industries expect from an emerging new screenwriter," he said. "There are some incredibly supporting individuals in the University. Getting to know my fellow students and the teaching staff as well as attaining a qualification that reflects my capabilities more than my GCSEs that were based on childhood decisions over half my life ago."
Jamie now wants to move away from office-based admin work into the creative industries and feels he has the skills and confidence now to do so.
Basia Sooky graduated with an MA in Criminal Justice, having studied for her undergraduate Law degree at LJMU. Basia continued her studies this year despite a family bereavement: "It was a challenging time but I was determined to complete the work after a difficult year, but it’s a proud moment to finally graduate."
She highlighted the support of LJMU staff, adding: "There’s always an open door policy where the staff is always there when you need them whether in the office or via phone or email. Being at LJMU has helped me build a lot as a woman and develop my own learning style, and build on my writing style with the guidance of lecturers."
Basia now plans to work in the child protection industry. She is also currently planning her wedding.
Daniel Sampson was working as a chef and studying Biology at college when a friend called him on receiving his results and asked if he “fancied going to uni?” A few years later and he is now graduating with distinction as the Brabners LLP Prize Winner, with an LLM in International, Business, Corporate and Finance Law. Daniel has real cause for celebration having attained one of the highest-ever mean averages on the course and an outstanding result for his dissertation.
Daniel was elected President of the Student Law Society and won a place to study at Tianjin University in China in 2014, which he said was an experience he’ll never forget. "My experience of LJMU has been a strong sense of academic progression. I achieved a lot; I think for two reasons. Firstly, I knew the value of the opportunity I’d been given and felt that I had to make the most of it. Secondly, the University is geared for nurturing confidence in students, which can make them excellent.”
Daniel is currently a paralegal with Satchel Moran Solicitors in Liverpool, with ambitions of becoming a solicitor-advocate.
Katie Brunskill graduated with a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Policing Studies. "In partnership with Merseyside Police and the Police Knowledge Fund, LJMU were eager to develop this partnership working and facilitate officers working full time to complete work-based research projects.," she explained. "It was a fantastic, forward thinking opportunity offered by a University which was locally based.
“The University provided everything I needed to succeed on the course, whilst also working full time. 24-hour access to the library was invaluable when working shifts. I’ve also gained the confidence and knowledge to conduct research to assist in my day to day work, and wider issues faced by the police to ensure an evidence based approach. Further development of my ability to analyse and interpret data to assist me in future projects."
Katie is now working on completing her Masters degree and is currently assisting in writing an article which will hopefully be published next year.
Andy Creer also graduated a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Policing Studies. He excelled in the taught element of the course and went on to complete a dissertation that has the capacity to promote change in policy and practice within Merseyside Police. Andy’s project was concerned with frontline officer awareness of the Force’s policy for treating crimes against sex workers as hate crime.
LJMU Honorary Fellow Dominique Walker graduated with an MA in Criminal Justice. Now teaching on LJMU's Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Policing, she has plans to start a PhD. Describing her time at LJMU as “amazing”, she commented: "I have matured a lot throughout my academic journey and my research and writing skills have developed significantly. I have also learned the invaluable art of teaching, and have become an efficient lecturer. A highlight has been working in the Centre for Advanced Policing Studies and teaching police officers, students and staff about hate crime, race and racism. I now hope to continue with my PhD and feel that my limit is the sky.”
Erin O’Leary graduated with a PhD in Law. Her thesis title was The Impact of Multilingualism on the Democratic Legitimacy of the European Union: Is Creating a Solidly Defined European Demos the Answer to the EU’s Language Problem? Erin is currently a lecturer in Law and Global Perspectives at the University of Chester Foundation School.
She said: “Doing a PhD certainly has some ups and downs, and I couldn’t have got through it without the support of so many different members of staff at LJMU. A personal highlight for me was winning the ‘Best Paper’ prize in 2012, which gave me the belief that I had the ability to successfully complete my PhD. It also made me feel as though I was part of the LJMU post-grad community, which inspired me to try and support other post-grad students as well. Getting published for the first time with a paper co-authored with a Senior Lecturer in the Law School made me realise that I wasn’t just a research-student, but a researcher in my own right. It was a real confidence booster and gave me a clear vision for what I wanted to do in the future as an academic. LJMU’s a great university for academic, personal and professional development. It offers opportunity at every corner and I couldn’t recommend it more as an institution."
Honorary Fellow Sir Peter Bazalgette, chairman of the Art Council England and prolific figure in independent TV production, received an Honorary Fellowship for his outstanding contributions to creative arts, media and entertainment.
Speaking at the graduation, Sir Peter began by commenting that it was a happy coincidence that the cathedral is triumph of art, design and engineering given that today's ceremony recognised the achievements of graduates in those subject areas. He added: "When you combine the arts and design and creative flair with engineering, science and technology you get brilliant outcomes."
He then went on to give local examples of arts and engineering coming together, including LJMU Honorary Fellow Anthony Gormley's Another Place in Crosby and the Granby Four Streets Project in Toxteth. Speaking to the graduates of both Faculties, he concluded: "I urge you to work together. You will empower our economy and enrich our culture. I wish all of you the very best in your future careers."