Graduation prizewinners celebrate success
Forth Valley College hosted two successful graduation events at Falkirk Town Hall (Tuesday 1 October) and Stirling Castle (Thursday 3 October).
More than 1000 students were eligible to graduate this year from Forth Valley College and 325 of them chose to collect their scrolls - 130 at Stirling Castle and 195 at Falkirk.
Hector MacAulay, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty gave the keynote speech at Falkirk Town Hall, while guest speaker at the Stirling Castle event was Gillian Docherty, Chief Executive Officer of the Data Lab.
The Alloa Bowmar Pipe Band were on hand to lead in the top table and guests of honour at both ceremonies.
Prizewinners at the Falkirk Town Hall ceremony on Tuesday 1 October were: Kerry Reid from Stenhousemuir who graduated with a HNC Working with Communities and won the Most Inspirational Student in the Department of Business and Communities (sponsored by Lyreco), Jennifer Lawson also from Stenhousemuir who also graduated with a HNC Working with Communities and was presented with the Most Promising Student in the Department of Business and Communities (sponsored by Rotary Club of Falkirk), Cameron Allison from Grangemouth who graduated with a HND Applied Sciences and won the Most Inspirational Student in the Department of Engineering and Science (sponsored by Falkirk Council), Leanne Wishart from Doune who graduated with a HND Sports Coaching Development and picked up the Most Promising Student in the Department of Care, Sport and Construction (sponsored by The Falkirk Foundation) and Arran Sykes from Denny who graduated with a HND Electrical Engineering and won the Most Promising Student in the Department of Engineering and Science (sponsored by Balfour Beatty)
Steven Dixon from Falkirk who graduated who graduated with a HND Software Development won the Most Inspirational Student in the Department of Creative Industries, Hospitality and Tourism (sponsored by Ede and Ravenscroft) and Helen Henderson also from Falkirk who graduated with a HND Childhood Practice who was awarded the Most Inspirational Student in the Department of Care, Sport and Construction (also sponsored by Ede and Ravenscroft) were unable to attend either of the ceremonies.
At the Stirling Castle ceremony on Thursday 3 October Denise Hunter from Whins of Milton who graduated with a BA Art and Design was presented with the Most Promising Student in the Department of Creative Industries, Hospitality and Tourism (sponsored by Eden Consultancy Group).
The former Head Teacher of Bo’ness Academy Steve Dougan, who was instrumental in starting the highly innovative and successful SCOTS programme at FVC, and Bobby Gill, who has been a Forth Valley College Board Member for the last eight years, were bestowed with the honour of Fellow of Forth Valley College at the Stirling Castle ceremony.
Jennifer Lawson (42), who is now working as a support worker, said: “To pass my course was amazing, but to win an award, well I just did not expect that at all. I have been a support worker for 19 years and just decided to go and do this for me. I have loved every minute of it and would totally recommend the college to anyone.
“I really have to thank my sister Leanne Ross who played football for Scotland and Glasgow City, as she helped me with the public speaking and presentation side of this through the course. My confidence soared with her help as she was used to speaking to the media as a footballer.”
Leanne Wishart (23), who is now studying for a BA International Sports Management at Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “It feels brilliant to have won an award and I was really excited when I found out about it. I left college after my first year and took a year out working abroad as a rep with Thomas Cook. But since I have come back I have loved it. Studying the course at the college has given me the grounding to push on and go to university.
“I would definitely recommend it. The lecturers were so good and really helped you when you needed it.”
Cameron Allison (26), who is now studying for a BA Applied Biological Science at the University of Stirling, said: “I did not know what to think when I was told I had won an award, but now I think it is pretty cool.
“I was no different from my classmates, but I did work on the college’s STEM outreach workshops in schools which I thought was really great. I would definitely recommend the course and the college and I have made some very good pals from being there. I have a disability, but I do not let anything be a barrier to achieving my aims and it has been great to have the support of the college all the way through.”
Arran Sykes (23), who is now studying for an MPhys in Mathematical Physics at Heriot-Watt University, said: “It is excellent to win this award and I feel quite proud. It has been worth all the hard work. Studying at university is difficult, but the college has given me the foundation to get here.
“I started out wanting to be an electrician, but the Forth Valley College lecturers pushed me forward and inspired me to go further than I imagined and apply for maths at university and I am very pleased about that. I would thoroughly recommend the college to anyone.”
Denise Hunter (48), who has won several other awards and recognition for her artwork and is currently studying for her Honours degree at the University of Stirling, said: “I was shocked and stunned at winning this award. I really loved doing the course at Forth Valley College and apart from my two sons – Shaun and Eddie – it is the best thing I have ever done.
“My advice to future students would be to just enjoy it and lap it all up. The best bit for me was that I found my confidence.”
Forth Valley College Principal Dr Ken Thomson said: “We were delighted to host two excellent graduation ceremonies this week. Everyone at Forth Valley College would like to congratulate this year’s prizewinners and wish them well for the future, as they embark upon their new careers or continued study. They have all worked extremely hard to pass their qualifications and should rightly be very proud of their efforts. They have without a doubt been a credit to themselves and to the College. We are sure they will go on to have successful careers on whatever they choose to do.”