Graduation review: Monday 10 July 2017

Image of the Gradation ceremony inside the Liverpool Catherdral

Monday 10 July saw the first of the ceremonies taking place, and the launch of the Hope Street Graduation Event. The area, known this time every year as the ‘gateway to graduation’ creates the perfect celebratory atmosphere as it connects graduates to many cultural experiences of Liverpool, through its universities, theatres, bars, restaurants and of course, its unique and fabulous cathedrals. 

Students from the School of Sport Studies, Leisure and Nutrition graduated in the morning, while students from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences and School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences gathered in the afternoon to celebrate their achievements.

Morning ceremony

Image if James Cumming

James Cumming, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Sport Development with the Business of sport, chose to study at the University due to its “positive” and “unique feel”.

As well as giving him a “degree to take with me into the real world”, his experience of extracurricular activities at the University has been invaluable. 

He said: “My time at LJMU was the best three years of my life and I really developed as person. One highlight was undoubtedly representing the LJMU men's football 1st team for three years, where not only did we do something no football team at LJMU has done in winning the Northern division 1A league title, but where I met a group of lads who I will stay friends with for the rest of my life. Representing the University for such a long time gave me great pride and made my experience that much better. Confidence is a massive thing which I have developed and I feel now that the sky is the limit.” 

Image of Natalie Caulkett

Natalie Caulkett leaves with a First Class degree in BSc (Hons) Food & Nutrition and the Howdens Highest Award Mark Award. She commented on her time at LJMU: “The diverse content of the course was a great fit with my academic aspirations and gave me access to the food and health industries. I have been given access to so many opportunities through my course and university particularly the exposure to leading organisations in the industry and many voluntary and employment opportunities to develop my skill set and broaden my CV.”

Image of Emma Hogarth

Emma Hogarth also gained a Howdens Highest Award Mark Award for her First Class BA (Hons) in Food Design & Technology. Emma has secured the position of Graduate New Product Development Technologist at Laila's Fine Foods in Bispham. She spoke about how beneficial the work placement was in securing this job and how all the modules within the course were relevant to the industry. 

Image of Eleanor Wood

Eleanor Wood  graduates as a prize-winner in the BA Food Design & Technology (First Class Hons), with the Meyer Outstanding Contribution Award. Eleanor has secured the position of New Product Development Technologist with Rocks Organic Limited. She said ‘Meeting new people was a real highlight of my time at LJMU. I would advise anyone considering a degree, to do something you love and have a passion for, and I have certainly found that here.”

Image of Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale

During the morning ceremony, the University conferred Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE with an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding contribution to charity and community engagement in Liverpool.

Denise is the Deputy Chief Executive of Everton Football Club and an alumna of LJMU. Denise was awarded an MBE in 2014 for Services to the Community of Merseyside.

Her citation was presented by Pauline Daniels, LJMU Honorary Fellow and celebrated performer.

You can read the full oration for Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale here

Afternoon ceremony

Mark Viggars gained a First Class Honours degree in Sport and Exercise Science and the Tom Reilly Award. He chose LJMU as the University is “world-renowned for its innovation and high-quality research within the field of sport and exercise sciences”. He was accepted onto the School’s strength and conditioning internship scheme, allowing him to apply his theoretical knowledge in a physical sporting environment with the Universities Athletics and Women's Football team.

He is continuing his studies at LJMU, having enrolled onto the MSc Sport and Exercise Physiology course.

Daniel Clowes, graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Applied Sport Psychology and was the highest performer with regards to the final award mark. He said: “The highlights of my course have been developing my academic writing and research skills through supervisory meetings during my dissertation. My involvement in the Autism Together placement and Step into Work programme were also highlights of my degree programme at LJMU.” 

Thomas Brindley, a BSc (Hons) First Class Sport and Exercise Science graduate, chose to study at LJMU due to the reputation of the Sport and Exercise Science programme. After winning the Paula Gorman Award, he commented: “The lecturers in Sport and Exercise Science and staff at LJMU are brilliant and contribute greatly to your development by treating you like a fellow professional within the University.” 

Luke Spencer, BSc (Hons) First Class Sport and Exercise Science graduate, speaks about the importance of work placements. “Carrying out my work-based placement at the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) was the most enjoyable period of the course. It was good to put the training I had received into practice in a practical setting while carrying out health checks on members of staff. Our placement group then presented our findings to the organisation at the end of our placement, which was a slightly nerve-wracking but extremely rewarding experience.” 

The School of Sport and Exercise Sciences is renowned for its research and innovation, rated as the sixth best department in the world. The school also has a range of specialist technology, with it being only one of four in the UK to have a Motor Behaviour Laboratory, home to the Nike SPARQ Sensory Station. The proportion of all leavers who were available for employment six months after graduation who had secured employment or further study in 2016 was very high, at 99.3%.

Programme leader for BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, Dr Rebecca Murphy was presented with the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal in for Excellence in Teaching Innovation during the Graduation Ceremony.

Image of Alicia Mottram

BSc (Hons) Forensic Science graduate Alicia Mottram, is currently working at AstraZeneca as a drug analyst. She talked about one of her personal highlights of studying at LJMU. “The opportunity to independently work in the lab researching a fascinating subject for my final year project was great. My future plans would be to progress into research and development of cancer therapies. I envy all students starting this year and wish I could do it all over again!” 

Receiving an Honorary Fellowship in the afternoon ceremony was Anyika Onuora, athlete and Olympian, who received her Fellowship for outstanding achievement in elite sports. Anyika graduated in Economics from LJMU in 2008 and was in the very first class of scholars in the LJMU’s Sports Scholarship programme in 2004.

Her citation was presented by Beth Tweddle, LJMU Honorary Fellow and Olympic gymnast. 

“LJMU is such an incredible university - I studied economics here and was one of the first sports' scholars and this was so important to helping me to develop my skills  both on and off the track. It is so good to be back in the city of Liverpool - this is a fantastic achievement for me and it's especially nice to be back after getting the Olympic medal 12 months ago - the one thing I always wanted. I've had many ups and downs during my career so the best advice I could give to the graduates here today is to dream big, go out and achieve and continue to be inspired by people like me."

You can read the full oration for Anyika Onuora here

Vice President (Community Engagement) at LiverpoolSU Howisha Charlery graduated with a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences and is pictured with Beth Tweddle, who as an inspirational Alumna of LJMU, was one of the reasons Howisha chose to study at the University.

For more student stories and photos visit the LJMU Facebook page


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