The final graduation ceremonies for 2018 have taken place on the Ipswich Waterfront.
Students graduated from the School of Health Sciences, the School of Science, Technology and Engineering and students graduated from the University of Suffolk at Suffolk New College.
In the morning and afternoon ceremonies, students from degrees such as Nursing, Radiotherapy and Oncology and Public Health graduated including Karen Henry who was awarded a BSc (Hons) in Midwifery.
Mum of five Karen was diagnosed with autism in 2009 and now works at Ipswich Hospital as a Midwife. She is currently supporting research into women's maternity experiences with researchers from Cambridge University and hopes in the future to be able to implement the pregnancy communication passport to support women with autism.
Karen said, “I am passionate about enhancing care for women with autism and during my third year I chose this as the subject for my Interprofessional Learning report. This report was subsequently published by the Association of Midwives and I presented my ideas at the Royal College of Midwives.”
“Whilst at the University of Suffolk I wanted to share my passion for learning and wanted to enhance other students’ experiences so I set up the University of Suffolk Midwifery Society. My journey has been a tough one but support from my tutors enabled me to shine and become the person I wanted to be. I never truly believed I would finish the course and become a Midwife and I still need to remind myself most days that I did it!”
In the final ceremony, students from University of Suffolk at Suffolk New College and the School Science, Technology and Engineering graduated.
Amelia Deuchars graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science. She said, “I found the degree absolutely brilliant, there was a lot of opportunities like working with Ipswich Town and also with Ipswich Badminton Performance Centre. There was also a lot of equipment you get to grips with and the lecturers are brilliant. I feel very proud this evening and very regal in my gown!”
Amelia was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award for the School and the University-wide Harry Burling Prize, which is awarded to a graduating student who most embodies the ethos of the University.
Amelia said of the awards “It was a massive shock, I didn’t expect it. I am really happy with the Harry Burling Prize, in particular, as I have been here for four years and have watched it go from UCS (University Campus Suffolk) to the University of Suffolk. I have seen it grow in that time and being a part of some of the changes that took place. It is a really proud moment.”
Honorary awards were presented to Entrepreneur and charity founder Rob Brooks and Ian Twinley who supports many Suffolk community initiatives.
Rob Brooks received an honorary doctorate. Rob started his first business at the age of nine and retired from commercial life at the age of 55, following his wife’s diagnosis of advanced lung cancer. It was his exposure to clinical and palliative care that helped him understand that not all opportunities or options were open to people going through the traumatic effects of terminal illness.
Being a firm believer in the positive effects of woodlands and the benefits that nature can give, he undertook a small study of existing clinical trials. This led to the charity, Eden-Rose Coppice Trust being formed.
In 2007, the charity purchased a very poor woodland in the centre of Sudbury. Ten years later, the Sudbury site alone has helped over 200 people and their families through difficult times and groups of children each week with additional needs.
Today, Rob heads up four sites developed for palliative care alongside education skills including Brickmakers Wood, adjacent to the University of Suffolk campus.
He said, “It really is an honour, it means an awful lot to me. Our woodland is only five minutes away from here so to become a closer part of the University means so much. As a charity, we have worked with the University’s graphic design students, the radiography students and across all levels- health, technology, innovation to engineering. Students from the University are smart, are brilliant and they have their lives ahead and the world really is their oyster.”
Ian Twinley DL also received an honorary fellow. In 2014, Ian was instrumental in establishing the annual Suffolk Skills Show. He is Patron of the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and Chairman of the Essex Dog Day Committee. For his services to charity and youth, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Essex in 2012.
He joined Ford Motor Company in 1979 as an Engineering Trainee and has held a number of appointments in Ford Britain, Ford Europe and Ford U.S.A. Ian also attended a Ford sponsored Management MBA Program. In 2002, he joined John Grose Group as Chairman.
In 2009, he travelled to Afghanistan and spent time with Suffolk based reservists. Ian was appointed Chairman of the East Anglia Reserve Forces & Cadets Association in April 2018.
Ian had this message for those graduating “Choose a path now but don’t worry if you want to change later, it is very easy to change. I have done so many times over and will probably continue to do so! Find something, love it and don’t worry if that changes. If you go back a generation it was almost frowned if you changed your career too often whereas now actually people look for those who can dive in and out of different sectors and environments. You get a wealth of experience and become more valuable.”
1,402 students have been conferred at ceremonies taking place this week.
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