Easton and Otley College Celebrates Graduation Day

30 October 2017

Over 300 people witnessed 88 students pick up higher education qualifications during Easton and Otley College’s annual graduation ceremony.

The students - who gained a mixture of higher qualifications that are all validated by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the University of Huddersfield were joined by family, friends and college staff at a celebratory occasion.

Interim principal, Jane Townsend, reflected on those achievements. She said, “Without doubt this is one of the highlights of our year. Special moments like this help remind you why it’s such a pleasure to work in education.  Not only are we proud of you, we are proud of the fact that our degrees help lead to opportunities beyond the classroom.

“For example, amidst this year’s graduates we have seen animal and conservation students travel to South Africa and Costa Rica, a landscape garden designer win a bronze medal at the Chelsea Flower Show and we have also watched one of our sports learners continue to make a mark in the world of professional football. You are amazing individuals and we celebrate your achievements.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor of Science at the University of East Anglia, Philip Gilmartin, said, “We are in the business of delivering first class higher education and looking after our students and Easton and Otley College is a kindred spirit in striving for excellence in all that it does. Congratulations to you as graduates on your achievements.”

A series of special awards were also handed out to students. They were as follows:

  • Academic achievement: Cassandra Barrett
  • Best dissertation: Joy Wilding (Ipswich)
  • Contribution to college life: Rosie Hammond
  • Endeavour: Aiden Holden
  • Industry related project: Phil Quinn (Ipswich)
  • Progress: Ryan Hawkins
  • Student of the year: Cassandra Barrett

Two other awards were handed out to Emma Willis (in service trainee of the year) and Lydia Barnard (pre-service trainee of the year).

On being named student of the year, Cassandra Barrett from Norwich, said, “I felt I’ve grown substantially (doing the degree) and it’s built up my confidence. Before this I was doing generic insurance work in an office. Now I’m considering doing a PhD or setting up my own business. (The experience), has been above and beyond my expectations. I received a first class honours and this (student of the year) award. I’m exhilarated and very happy.”

Joy Wilding from Ipswich received an award for creating the best dissertation. The wildlife and conservation graduate, said, “It’s been life changing and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been a rewarding experience and I’m now working full time for the RSPCA. I’m a full time kennel assistant and I absolutely love it. I’m really pleased (graduating). I always thought it was something other people did. I’m very proud.”

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