Graduation review: Friday 15 July 2016

Image of two graduates in cape and gown jumping through a picture frame on Hope Street

The final day of Graduation Week 2016 saw students celebrate their achievements from the School of Nursing and Allied Health, and the Centre for Public Health in the morning, and the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology in the afternoon.

Attaining a first class honours in Environmental Health was Mark Vyse. Mark has been a student representative for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH); the professional body for Environmental Health, and the organisation which accredits the programme. He will be working with the University's Centre for Public Health over the summer and is in the process of converting his dissertation on food waste into a feature for the Journal of Environmental Health Research. 

Mark VyseMark said: "My experience has been brilliant. I have learnt so many skills that I don’t know where to begin; study skills, effective research and referencing, practical investigation and inspection skills, along with statistical analysis, networking, presentation and personal effectiveness. I can't speak highly enough of the staff, and the caring, understanding lecturers who have made learning enjoyable, engaging and fun."

Michael Wilkinson achieved a First Class in BA (Hons) Social Work. Overcoming significant obstacles during his three years andMichael Wilkinson having to juggle several jobs to fund his studies, Michael threw himself into his commitment to complete his degree, becoming an active student rep and advocating for his peers individually and as a group. 

His tutor Malcolm Kinney said: "It has been a real pleasure working with Michael as he is always positive and looks for solutions. Academically he has gone from strength to strength and has produced increasingly excellent work. He has shown tenacity, bravery and humanism in a setting which is very challenging."

Rosaleen Hagan and Sally SprungRosaleen Hagan, photographed with tutor Sally Sprung, Programme Leader for District Nursing, was the recipient of the Queen’s Nursing Institute, and graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma as Specialist Community Practitioner (District Nursing). She said: “Returning to full time education has been an overwhelming experience. The support I received from both lecturers and my nursing colleagues has encouraged me to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience in clinical skills, assessment and decision-making as a Specialist Community Practitioner in District Nursing. It has allowed me to contribute to and promote high standards of care and support to the health needs of individuals in the community.”

Graduates in BSc Hons Nursing also gathered together to celebrate their achievements.
Nursing Students Grad Day Friday

Mel HillsThe University's Teaching and Learning Rising Star Award went to Mel Hills, Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Allied Health, for her significant contribution to Social Work, the School of Nursing and Allied Health and the wider faculty. She has provided a dynamic and engaging working environment, while showing passion and expertise in children’s safeguarding, fostering and adoption, contributing to theDamian Maher wider student experience. 

Receiving his Teaching and Learning Individual Support Award was Damian Maher, who was recognised for his significant contribution to student support in the Faculty of Education, Health and Community. With a remit to support the Faculty’s international students, his "sensitive, diplomatic, respectful and supportive manner" received outstanding feedback from students and staff alike.

Also during the morning ceremony, the University conferred Lord Hall of Birkenhead and Ann Marr with Honorary Fellowships. Lord Hall received his Fellowship for outstanding contribution to media and entertainment and the University recognised Ann Marr for her outstanding contribution to the Health Service.

Lord HallAppointed the 16th Director-General of the BBC in 2012, he joined the corporation back in 1973 as a news trainee and during a 28 year career there held roles including Senior Producer at World at One, Assistant Editor of the Nine O'Clock News, Output Editor for Newsnight, culminating as Chief Executive of BBC News (1996-2001). While at the BBC he launched Radio 5 live, BBC News 24, BBC News Online and BBC Parliament. He was appointed a CBE in 2005 and in 2010 was created a life peer with the title Baron Hall of Birkenhead. He sits on the Crossbenches in the House of Lords.

Speaking at the ceremony he said: “"I am extremely proud to be here today and extremely grateful to receive this Honorary Fellow. It means a huge amount to me for so many reasons, not least because, as a boy of Birkenhead, I am very proud to call this city my home but also because as many of you will know or at least discover, you can leave Liverpool but it never leaves you. If I dreamt, as a young boy looking over the river at this cathedral that I would one day be here, I would certainly never have believed it would come true.

"I'm immensely privileged to share this with you, who are all about to embark on a career in public service, who will be dedicated to making the lives of others better. I'm grateful that the future of public health is in your hands and you are all doing what I think matters most in life, doing what you believe in."

You can read the full oration for Lord Hall of Birkenhead here.

Ann Marr, Chief Executive of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has worked in the NHS for over 30 years, having started her career as a JuniorAnn Marr Clerk. Qualifying as an Accountant through a day-release study scheme, she eventually progressed to Director of Finance at two neighbouring NHS trusts before becoming Chief Executive of the Liverpool Women’s Hospital in 2001. She was appointed Chief Executive of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in 2003. Under her leadership, she has created a culture and environment which enables staff to deliver high quality care.

Ann thanked the Governors of LJMU for inviting her to become an Honorary Fellow of LJMU and congratulated the graduates, saying: "You have chosen a wonderful career where every day you can make a difference in someone's life; ordinary people go to work and get paid but you have this tremendous opportunity."

You can read the full oration for Ann Marr here.

The afternoon ceremony saw graduates from the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology celebrate their achievements. 

Receiving his first class honours in Wildlife Conservation was Reece Thornley. An active member of the LJMU Greenpeace Society Reece Thornleyand the Conservation Society, Reece is moving to South Africa in September to start his masters research on elephant conservation at Madikwe Game Reserve, a joint venture with LJMU and the University of Pretoria. Reece commented: “I have loved being at LJMU. The amazing people I have met throughout my university experience have been a catalyst for achievement. Friends, lecturers and employers have all made my experience thoroughly enjoyable, and made Liverpool a special and endearing place which I will always feel at home in. It has been a place where everyone I’ve met has given me a sense of pride and accomplishment, and made me believe in myself.”

Anthony Bennett graduated in Applied Psychology and was awarded the British Psychological Society Prize for best performance on theTony Bennett course and best psychology dissertation project of the year. He said: "I’ve gained a lot in terms of my ability to think critically and use evidence to formulate a concisely organised argument. The course has helped improve my time management skills and made me more focussed and determined."

Melissa Stanworth overcame some challenging times throughout her university journey to attain a first class honours degree in Biology. 

Melissa StanworthShe admitted that she’ll be sad to leave, adding: “My experience could not have been better. I have met some lovely people and the University helped me to grow as a person. The World of Work programme allowed me to develop my self-awareness, interview and employability skills, something that no other university offered."

Steve Hawkins, Chief Executive of Local Solutions, received his Honorary Fellowship for his outstandingcontribution to charity services in Liverpool and across the North West.

Steve has worked for Local Solutions for over three decades, ten of those as Chief Executive, helping to improve the quality of life for service users across Liverpool and the North West. Steve has spent all of his working life in the voluntary sector and the NHS. His careerSteve Hawkins began as a volunteer supporting homeless people in the night shelter in Liverpool Metropolitan’s Cathedral Crypt. In a parallel career, Steve has served as a Non-Executive Director in the NHS, including eight years as Chairman of Merseycare NHS Trust. 

Steve thanked the University for inviting him to become an Honorary Fellow and joining part of an institution that has outstanding students and staff and a growing international reputation. “As a Scouser I can’t better express my delight than being ‘made up’,” he said. Speaking about his home city, he commented: “Liverpool has become a bold and ambitious place and we must recognise the EU’s role in helping building the city to what it is today. It’s a place that cares. To everyone here I wish you every success in your futures. Today is proof that you all have the grit in abundance that is so very necessary to succeed.”

You can read the full oration for Steve Hawkins here.

For more student stories and photos visit the LJMU Facebook page


Graduation review: Friday 25 November 2016


Graduation review: Thursday 24 November 2016


Contact Us

Get in touch with the Press Office on 0151 231 3369 or