The School of Teacher Education and Professional Learning and the School of Law celebrated the achievements of their students on the morning of Wednesday 13 July. The Graduation ceremony for the Astrophysics Research Institute and the School of the Built Environment took place in the afternoon.
Morning ceremony: School of Teacher Education and Professional Learning and the School of Law
Jasmine Joynson graduated in Primary Education and has now accepted her first teaching position as a Year 5 teacher. Talking about her time at LJMU, she commented: “I have learnt so much. I have enjoyed three brilliant school placements across a range of schools and year groups, and built connections with local schools and teachers that will support my future career. Conducting my dissertation research, centred on children’s attitudes towards reading, in school allowed me to focus on an area of teaching and learning that I am passionate about, and I have since been able to share my findings with others.”
Abhishek Lalji graduated with First Class Honours in Law. Abhishek, who has an Advocacy Scholarship from BPP Law School to study the Bar Course, took part in several law competitions while at LJMU.
Abhishek said: "The past three years have been the best of my life. I've had incredible opportunities which very few other students, whether in law or not, would have enjoyed. I've rubbed shoulders with some of the most influential legal figures in the country, and been able to perform advocacy at the highest level at both the Royal Courts of Justice, and the Supreme Court. I have represented the student body as an ambassador with our Chancellor Lord Leveson, and trained a team of my own to tour the country in mooting competitions. The School of Law provides a complete experience, made up of its stellar academic teaching and research, as well as its vocational networking, social and professional occasions which bring students together."
Friends Megan Coventry, Rachel McCaulay and Melissa Fountain all graduated in Criminal Justice and were excited to be able to celebrate their big day together.
Reader in Criminal Justice, Lawrence Burke, received his PhD in Criminal Justice, with his thesis entitled Probation, politics, policy and practice: From ‘New Labour’ to the coalition government.
"I have been a full-time academic for the past 15 years after working in the Probation service. My PhD journey has taken place later in my career, and I can honestly say that it has been an enjoyable and at times cathartic experience. I am grateful to LJMU and my colleagues in the School of Law for supporting me in this. I would certainly recommend undertaking a PhD, regardless of what stage you are at in your career.”
Also during the morning ceremony, the University conferred Judge Clement Goldstone QC and Louise Ellman MP with Honorary Fellowships, respectively recognising their outstanding contribution to the law, and outstanding contribution to politics and support of the constituents of Liverpool.
On receiving his Honorary Fellowship, Clement Goldstone admitted that it was one of those “I wish I could tell my parents” moments, but added: “However, any tinge of sadness is vastly outweighed by delight at the presence today of my closest family and the gratitude I feel for them all, especially my wife Vanessa for her unwavering support throughout my career.”
As born and bred Mancunian, he admitted his credentials for an LJMU Honorary Fellowship may seem somewhat dubious despite his strong and life-long connections to Liverpool. However, he hoped that receiving this honour made the process of becoming an “honorary Scouser” complete, saying: “When the Vice-Chancellor told me about the University wishing to give me this honour, my excitement was matched only by my state of disbelief.”
He concluded by addressing graduates, saying: “Wherever your lives lead you and in what career you go on to do, you will always be a graduate of LJMU. If you feel the same pride as I do today, the University will have done its job.”
Louise Ellman’s political career began in Lancashire County Council and she was first elected to Parliament in 1997 as MP for Liverpool Riverside. On receiving her Honorary Fellowship, Louise said: “I feel deeply privileged to be here today. LJMU is an excellent institution, that prides itself in excellence and reaches out to all in society.”
Describing politics as an interesting field to work in, especially now, she added: “It’s about making decisions in people’s lives, whether it’s about helping refugees, fighting injustices, and playing a part in the future of our cities and regions. I thank LJMU for recognising politics in public life and for this award. To the graduates I would say go out and live your life and also improve your lives using the skills and knowledge learnt to ensure the continued success not only for yourselves but for all in your communities.”
Afternoon ceremony: Astrophysics Research Institute and the School of the Built Environment
The first cohort of students from the University of Babylon to study at LJMU graduated today with BEng (Hons) degrees in Civil Engineering. The graduates are pictured below with LJMU’s Professor Rafid Al Khaddar plus a delegation from the University of Babylon, including Associate Professor Dr Dhirgham Alkhafagi, the founder of the joint programme with LJMU, and Dr Asam Aljiboury, the director of Cultural Relations. Also in attendance were the Iraqi Ambassador, His Excellency Dr Salih A-Tamimi and the Iraqi Council General in Manchester, His Excellency Dr Zaid Uzaldin.
Sebastian Turner graduated from Astrophysics Research Institute as the best student on the MPhys Astrophysics degree, which is run jointly with the University of Liverpool. He won the Isaac Roberts Prize, named after a local Astronomer (1829-1904) who pioneered astrophotography. Sebastian has chosen to stay in Liverpool to do his PhD at the University.
“The best part about my time here has been getting involved with the Institute,” he said. “The access I've had as an undergraduate to leading experts and world-class facilities has been amazing. Particularly when working on my final year project, I really started to feel like a part of the team of researchers. It’s what motivated me to stay on for a PhD.”
The Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Professor Ahmed Al Shamma’a presented the Astrophysics Research Institute team, led by Professor Mike Bode, with a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for their involvement with the creation of a unqiue garden entitled ‘Dark Matter’, which won a Gold medal at last year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
Timothy Cannon and Thomas O’Brien both graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying and presented their dissertations at the Built Environment International Conference in Malaysia, hosted by the University of Malaysia.
Timothy (pictured below left) completed work experience and a summer placement at EC Harris in their Global HQ during his HND course before undertaking an industry year placement at the prestigious Landlord Grosvenor on their historic London estate. “I honestly could not have had a better experience while studying at LJMU,” he said. “The opportunities and lecturers have been second to none. I can’t imagine a better place to train for your future career.” Timothy now intends to move to Australia and establish a career either in project management or facilities management.
Thomas (pictured right) meanwhile has landed a job as a Graduate Facilities Management Consultant at Arcadis, a leading global design and consultancy firm for natural and built assets. His next goal is to become a RICS Chartered Surveyor, after he completes LJMU’s Sustainability and Employability 14 week distance learning course.
“I took a placement year at Network Rail which proved highly beneficial for my self-confidence, work experience and quality of work and professionalism. All of this was essential for my final year at LJMU and in many ways made it easier as I approached my university work in a similar manner to how I approached my tasks while on placement,” he explained. “Other highlights include the Built Environment quiz nights which have been great events for seeing the lecturers let their hair down and meeting new people from different disciplines within the Faculty.”
Robert Hough, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), received his Honorary Fellowship for outstanding contribution to business and regeneration in the North West.
Robert said that he was immensely proud to have been awarded an Honorary Fellowship by LJMU, commenting that the University is exceptional for the quality of its teaching and research, for its commitment to being socially responsible and for contributing to the regeneration of Liverpool and the wider North West region. He added: “I realise how blessed I am to have spent my whole career here in the North West and to experience the passion and character of the wonderful cities of Liverpool and Manchester and to have witnessed their growth.”
You can read the full oration for Robert Hough here.
In recognition of nearly 20 years’ service to the University through the Roscoe Foundation for Citizenship, Professor the Lord David Alton was made an Ambassador Fellow of the University.
Having completed 25 years as an elected representative, first on Liverpool City Council and then 18 years in the Commons, David stepped down in 1997 and was made a Life Peer. That year he was also appointed Chair of LJMU’s Foundation for Citizenship. Since then he has helped establish and lead the University’s Roscoe Lecture Series - now the largest public lecture series in the UK - and the Good Citizenship Awards, which are now presented in over 800 schools and colleges across Merseyside and the North West.
As Lord Alton prepares to retire from LJMU, the Ambassador Fellowship recognises his exceptional contribution to community relations, and the championing of free speech and good citizenship during his tenure at the University.
Talking of his humble background, he remarked how education had opened every door and every opportunity in his life. “How right was Malala Yousafzai in wanting an education,” he said. “Only recently she visited a Somali refugee camp where she spoke about how one book and one teacher is all it takes to change the world. We are not just made for ourselves, but for others. Our altruism should be based on the heart and the head. To graduands, I say use both your heart and your head. Be the small stones that are needed to make a landslide of change for others. Know your story, use your gifts and play your part. I shall cherish this memory today and I thank you for letting me stay associated with this University and its work.”
You can read the full oration for Lord David Alton here.