By Alex Challies
Photography by Jina Lee
On Friday 22nd March, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities hosted this year’s Faculty Awards Ceremony, honouring students who displayed great academic prowess and commitment to their studies, community and extracurricular activities.
Continuing the tradition from previous years, the event celebrated the success of students across various areas relating to or in addition to their studies. Alongside course-related work, Manchester Metropolitan Students embraced opportunities to work within their chosen industries and advance extracurricular projects with a number of partner organisations.
Students, friends, families and staff members gathered in the atrium of the Geoffrey Manton Building, mingling around a buffet of drinks and refreshments to an ambient of upbeat music while they eagerly awaited the beginning of the ceremony.
Abigail Gregory, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor and Professor of Comparative Sociology, began the ceremony with warm welcoming words as audience members settled into their seats, explaining that: “These awards highlight the huge amount of talent and potential within the faculty and the passion our students have for their subjects.”
University staff worked with students to nominate those who demonstrated infallible commitment and outstanding personal qualities within and outside of the university. Throughout the audience, there was an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation as this was about to be formally acknowledged.
“These awards are recognising the positive contributions our students have made to communities in and around Manchester Metropolitan University,” Professor Gregory continued, “and this year, we are proud to say we have had over 60 individual students nominated.”
The results of the ceremony are as follows:
Outstanding Placement of the Year: Nicole Clarke
This category reflects the outstanding work done by students in partnership with a partner group, institution, business, charity, or organisation, either as part of their unit of study or as an extracurricular activity. Nicole had been learning on the job as an apprentice whilst working full time as part of her apprenticeship degree at Ena Shaw Ltd., and has received excellent feedback from the company director in relation to her contribution to the company and her continued personal development.
Runners up: Brittany Froggatt, Nicholas Bennett, Wylliam James, Molly Wilson, Faye Bunko, Jack Corris, William Rawson
Outstanding Academic Achievement: Jaemin Shin
This award recognises a student who has completed or is currently involved in working on a significant research project, thesis or scholarly paper, presentation at a conference, or other scholarly work. Jaemin’s project touches on a hidden/secret gay district in Seoul and proposes a detailed policy change, street front design and building proposals for a more accepting urban regeneration of the area. He proposes strategies where he excludes to include, creates spaces where you are anonymously visible and is aiming to create a district and city policy for homonormative spaces to be included easily.
Runners up: Victoria Adegoke, Rioja Burchall, Adrianna Gillert, Sam Glasper, Nataacha Hussain, Oliver Matini, Terence Mclean, Sohail Naz, Thu Ngo, Abigail Patel, Brandon Rowan, Nicola Smith, Ellie Swindale, Charlotte Thornton
Outstanding Contribution to Academic Communities: Cameron Dowse
This is an award for an individual or group of students who have contributed to an event or project that has made a significant positive impact on the community of students at Manchester Met University and the wider community. Cameron has gone above and beyond what is required for his role as course representative. He has taken it upon himself to run workshops for his peers and help to teach them how to design using Photoshop, taking time out of his own commitments to share his passion.
Runner up: Alicia Freeman
Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity: Fatima Sufi
This award recognises a student who has developed or promoted new initiatives or worked on projects to raise awareness of issues, or who actively challenges discrimination, or celebrates any of the protected characteristics such as age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, gender identity, race, religion or beliefs, or sexual orientation. Fatima has worked in organising and hosting Manchester Met’s largest Iftaar, where over 150 students and staff attended with the aim to understand the Muslim way of life. She has been instrumental in welcoming students from BAME backgrounds during welcome week, when she hosted ”join us after jummah” and ”home student’s hangout.” Furthermore, she has attended a number of conferences at the University of Manchester, University of Birmingham and UCL in London to represent MMU and help to find out the key reasons why there is such a stark difference in the attainment of BAME students compared to white students.
Runners up: Siddra Asghar, Toyoko Douglas, Hedva Engle, Reagan Fletcher, Amina Khan, Sumaira Naseem, Tre Owen, Emma Plover, Rowanne Seward
Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year: Katie Barta & Rebecca Miller
This is an award for a student who generously devotes their time to fund raise for a charity they are passionate about. Both Katie and Rebecca, two philosophy students, have done some outstanding work on the ‘Operation Christmas Child’ shoe box appeal, making boxes to bring joy to children in need around the world. They collected over 50 boxes to donate to the project, and raised a significant amount of money to create more.
Outstanding Contribution to Media and Communications: Brontë Schiltz
Some students take responsibility for delivering information and news that they believe fellow students really need. Brontë has shown outstanding commitment and passion for student journalism. Staff and fellow team members have been extremely impressed with her gusto, flair and dedication to the aAh! student magazine and how she strive arduously at every opportunity to bring out the best in her team.
Runners up: Grace Atkinson, Amber Ghei, Samuel Peckett, Helena Smith, Jessica Stoddard, Ben Thompson
Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community: Rachel Heywood & Beverly Walsh
This award recognises the great work students are doing in supporting disadvantaged groups or by volunteering and working with a community project. Through their work on Next Steps and Freedom Boxes, Beth and Rachel have done a fantastic job collecting donations of toiletries for women who have recently been released from prison. These women are some of the most vulnerable members of society, and cannot rehabilitate whilst living in a tent.
Rising Star Award: Mateusz Brozek
This is an award to mark an ambassador new to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Make a Difference programme, who has shown significant potential and enthusiasm for the role and will likely develop into one of our top ambassadors for the Faculty. Mateusz has made an impression on the team and his energy and enthusiasm for his course, the university and life in general has been infectious. He has volunteered his time at every opportunity and has shown considerable leadership skills. He is meticulous, organised, and always willing to step in and help other ambassadors and visiting pupils.
Runners up: Delia Belando Belando, Olivia Collinson, Charlotte Ellis, Xavier Hoolahan, Tiana Jurisic, Jessica Lawrence, Aimee Liptrot, Faiza Tahir
Outstanding Contribution to Arts, Humanities and Culture: Heena Hussain
This is an award for a student who is passionate about the arts and humanities, and whose passion has inspired their peers and maybe others to get involved. Heena has positively represented the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and the university as a whole, at public-facing and recruitment events, and has been a spokesperson for the faculty. Her projects have ranged from storytelling in libraries, literacy interventions in schools, mentoring and tutoring the community and peers, a poetry and virtual reality project, and working tirelessly on multiple weekends while maintaining a great academic record.
Runners up: Amber Ghei, Christine Knight, Hannah Smith