Local and national businesses joined Bradford College to celebrate the success of top achievers at the annual Bradford College University Centre HE Awards Ceremony. The Awards Ceremony recognised the academic and personal success of our students, whose determination and drive impressed judges and led them to become the award winning students we know today.
During the auspicious evening hosted by Michele Sutton, O.B.E, Principal and Chief Executive of Bradford College, 86 sponsored prizes were awarded to students. David Smith, Dean of HE was delighted to announce the achievements of each worthy winner, before they stepped up to receive their prize from Principal Michele Sutton, O.B.E.
Principal Michele Sutton, O.B.E. was joined by representatives from a wide range of sponsors which included: Emerald Publishing, Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR), National Media Museum, Naylor Wintersgill, Nikon Optical UK Ltd, Oxford University Press and Turner & Townsend.
Prize winners and sponsors heard an address from guest speaker, Dr Barrie Kennard, Director for the Welsh Assembly Government funded Centre for Excellence for Leadership and Management Skills in Wales.
Vice Principal for Curriculum and Quality, Kath Oldale and Vice Principal of Corporate Services, Andy Welsh paid tribute to students during the ceremony and watched with pride as Michele Sutton, OBE and sponsors went on to present prizes to our award winning students.
Commenting on how it felt to have won an award, BA (Hons) Contemporary Surface Design and Textiles student Vivienne Bradley said: “I think it’s incredible really. It was a really big surprise and I didn’t expect it at all so it was lovely!” Vivienne Bradley noted for her high level of commitment and outstanding work, scooped the Bradford College prize for Outstanding Creative Ability.
The Bradford College Prize for Academic Achievement went to Jo Purchon-Ball. Commenting on how it felt to have won an award, Jo humbly said: I’m quite surprised really. It was quite a shock – I didn’t expect to be nominated!”
Focussed and dedicated, 22 year old Jo Purchon Ball is an exceptional student. Despite being heavily pregnant whilst studying, Jo’s commitment to her studies never faltered.
Before returning to education, Jo worked as a bar assistant and discovered she was pregnant with her first child at the age of 19. Jo’s pregnancy fuelled her motivation to create a better life for her unborn child so she decided to enrol on a Foundation Degree in Hospitality and Management at Bradford College and has never looked back.
Christopher Jarvis was the winner of the Bradford College Prize for Academic Achievement. Speaking during the event, Christopher said: “I’m delighted to have won as I only spent one year here. The first two years I was with the Open University. I came to Bradford College to effectively do the third year of the course and it proved to be very good indeed!” Christopher Jarvis gained a First Class Honours in BSc Business Computing Solutions with Internet Applications during his time at the College.
The Bradford Law School Prize for The Highest Overall Achiever on Year 2 of a Foundation Degree went to Lauren Farrar. Awarded for academic achievement on the Foundation Degree in Law & Legal Practice, Lauren said: “I was surprised to have won the award, but I am really pleased!”
Mother of three Lauren Farrar was made redundant from her position as a Customer Services Manager. Lauren viewed it as an opportunity to retrain and pursue her dream of becoming a solicitor.
Elaborating further, 28 year old Lauren said: “To be honest if I hadn’t been made redundant, I would have just stayed there. I’ve got children so I’ve always worked, but this is what I have always wanted to do. When I was made redundant I thought, I’ve got another 35 years to work and if I don’t do it now, I never will. I took the opportunity and I am glad that I did. It’s hard sometime, especially with kids, but it’s the best thing I ever did!” Successfully completing her foundation degree, despite giving birth to her third child during the final year of her course, Lauren has now gone on study for her LLB at the College.
Fiancé Carl Silox attended the ceremony to see Lauren accept her award. Speaking during the evening, Carl said: “I’m very proud of her and I’m chuffed to bits, she’s worked hard for it so she deserves it!”
Bradford College Prize for Academic Achievement went to Andy Wilds who was nominated by his Course Leader Anne Freund.
Andy Wilds graduated from the BA (Hons) Public Services Management Course with a First Class Honours Degree. Andy made a three hour round trip from Hull to attend classes at Bradford College. He worked fulltime as a Crew Manager in the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and balanced the commitments of family life with study. Andy wanted to increase his career prospects to create a better life for his young family and was determined to succeed.
Anne Freund, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Public Services Management was delighted to attend the ceremony. Speaking about Andy’s great achievements, Anne said: “Andy was an inspiration to all of us and it was great to have him on the course. He worked really hard and his commitment and determination to achieve has paid off.”
The Bradford College Prize For Academic Achievement on a Degree went to award winner Yasmeen Sarwar. Speaking during the event, Yasmeen said: “I feel really grateful to have been nominated for this award – and that my tutors feel I have been worthy of an award. I feel really grateful to have studied at Bradford College and to carry on studying to get further qualifications.
Yasmeen Sarwar started her Foundation degree in Advanced Beauty Practices with little confidence and not knowing the extent of her ability. With the help, motivation and commitment of her tutors she gained a distinction and was awarded the accolade of ‘Student of the Year’. She continued her studies with a BA (Hons) in Beauty Therapy Management and achieved First Class Honours. Yasmeen was approached by a former tutor, to appear on a TV show promoting skin camouflage. This proved to be an amazing opportunity where she carried out demonstrations whilst giving a commentary of what she was doing. She is now continuing in the beauty industry by studying for a PGCE to teach beauty therapy and has ideas to set up her own spa, beauty product range and eventually become known worldwide.
The Bradford College Prize for Outstanding Academic Ability in Digital Technologies was scooped by mature student Stephen Capstick. Stephen was formally unemployed and decided to return to education to retrain - he has never looked back! He has since gone on to become an outstanding photographer.
Stephen progressed from the Higher National Certificate to graduate with First Class Honours in Photography, earning recognition with local and national clients. Stephen said: “It feels fantastic to have won an award and it’s a great honour to have been nominated!”
Stephen was accompanied by wife Claire. Commenting on her husband’s great achievements, Claire said: “I’m very proud, he’s done extremely well!”
Stephen added: “I discovered during the course that I am dyslexic and received outstanding support from the College. I would recommend the College to anyone and I am now coming back to do my Masters.”
Professor Trevor Griffiths, Associate Director Innovation and Projects, Head of Photography at Bradford College attended the ceremony to see Stephen collect his award. Speaking during the event, Professor Trevor Griffiths said: “If there is anything that makes this job worthwhile is having the opportunity to teach people like Stephen. He is one of the most prolific photographers I have ever come across. He has an absolute unique eye – the way that he sees images is very, very special. There is no doubt whatsoever that he will continue to succeed and be as successful as he has been already!”
Michele Sutton, O.B.E, concluded: “We are delighted to recognise the academic and personal achievements of our award winners. They are a special group of people who have displayed all the qualities needed to succeed in life - drive, commitment, professionalism and the ability to meet and conquer challenges head on. We are proud of each and every one of them.”