Southern Regional College (SRC) held its annual Graduation Ceremony at Armagh City Hotel on Friday 1st September. With 179 graduates attending, it’s of no surprise that no less than nine awards were handed out to well deserving students.
Top of the list is Student Choice Award winner Klara Hamill from Portadown. Klara graduated with a BA Honours Degree in Creative Imaging, studying at the state of the art Banbridge campus. Receiving multiple nominations from her fellow students, all nominees echoed the same thought, “Klara has gone above and beyond to help all her classmates.” Having been the BA Hons class representative for four years Klara worked tirelessly to ensure her classmates needs were met. Klara’s work ethic was also commended by her peers having been proactive in organising two very successful end of year exhibitions.
Next to the podium, is winner of the BT Award for Excellence. Sponsored by BT, this Award celebrates a student who studied a higher education qualification showing excellence within a Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) subject. The winner of this Award was Megan McParland from Armagh. Megan studied a Foundation Degree in Cloud Computing, Analytics and Security for Industry Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) at the College’s Portadown campus.
As part of her HLA Degree, Megan was employed by FD Technologies in Newry who have described her as a determined employee with an outstanding attitude to both her employment and education. Megan is no stranger to SRC, having undertaken her A-Levels at the College and is returning to the College this September to undertake the BSc Hons Degree in Computing.
Self-proclaimed “class mammy” and Class of 2023 Student Speaker, Tracey Kelly from Newry graduated with a BA in English & History Literature. Tracey picked up the part-time student of the year Award out of all the Health & Science students graduating. On addressing her fellow graduands, Tracey commented,
“I’m sure you would all agree getting an education is no easy task and we all faced many diverse challenges. But!!! Class of 2023, we were resilient. We got here!! All the hard work and persistence has paid off. Even a global pandemic couldn’t hold us back!”
Tracey got bit by the learning bug after completing an Adult Access course at the College, subsequently progressing to the Degree programme. Tracey could have moved onto University’s further afield to continue her Degree, but instead chose SRC, because she felt “happy and supported”. Continuing on her experience at SRC, Tracy said:
“I have really enjoyed my time at SRC, and I would highly recommend to anyone young or mature, to consider SRC, look at the courses on offer and especially look at the price, I saved a fortune, another reason for not going elsewhere.”
Remaining award-winning students include:
- Eve Johnston from Waringstown winning full-time student of the year award, Faculty of Health & Science. Graduating with a Foundation Degree Health and Social Care, Eve has been commended for being an exceptional student, also undertaking the role of class representative. A role which she engaged with effectively and selflessly, often providing guidance and support to her peers.
- Christopher Mullan from Lurgan winning part-time student of the year award, Faculty of Professional Services. Christopher graduated with the CIPD Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management. Christopher undertook the Advanced Diploma whilst working full-time as a HR Project Manager and has also been shortlisted for the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development Student of the Year Award 2023, an award which is to be awarded at a ceremony in October.
- Declan Heaney from Lurgan winning full-time student of the year, Faculty of Professional Services. Declan graduated with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business. Declan was nominated as he thrived on the HND, achieving distinction across all units of his course, all whilst working full-time and providing assistance to classmates, whenever needed.
- Michal Hiszpanski from Craigavon winning part-time student of the year award, Faculty of Computing, Design & Academic Studies. Michal originates from Poland and graduated from the Ulster University Foundation Degree in Science in Computing. Michal is described as “a fantastic student with standards of work that are second to none!”. Michal is returning to SRC to undertake the BSc Hons Degree in Computing starting this month.
- Jordan Harris from Markethill winning full-time student of the year award, Faculty of Computing, Design & Academic Studies. Jordan studied the HND in Creative Media Production at the Newry campus and has been credited with being proactive in his studies and wining external awards for his animation and design skills.
- Phillip Shirley from Portadown winning full-time student of the year award, Faculty of Building Technology & Engineering. Phillip started out on his SRC journey undertaking the further education Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering before progressing onto the two-year Foundation Degree programme in Mechatronic Engineering at the Portadown campus. Philip has been commended by his lecturers having experienced significant success at local and national level competitions.
In his closing speech to all graduates Dr Thomas Moore, Chairman of the Governing Body at Southern Regional College commented:
“As I conclude our ceremony today, I would like to express my admiration to graduates from the class of 2023. Your hard work has led you to this momentous occasion; perseverance, resilience, dedication, all those attributes and characteristics have been necessary for you to achieve what you have achieved today. Enjoy it, savour it, be in the moment, and use this to make a difference in society, a society which has a place at the table for everyone.
You are going to be our future leaders, our industry leaders, our civic leaders. We are so proud of you, no matter what you chose to do. Just be successful whatever that looks like for you, that’s all that’s important. Each one of you has followed a unique path to this moment, you came in as graduands, you go out as graduates, you have achieved, so enjoy it.
What today means to each one of you is a little bit different, enjoy the moment and be proud of yourselves, in some small measure compared to what we are. We are bursting at the seams with enjoyment and admiration in what you have achieved.
I would also like to thank your family, and loved ones, for all the work and support they have given you, and this is a bit of their moment as well, but I’m sure they do not want to steal it from you. Please use the skills and talent that you all have to good effect. Go forth and make a difference.”
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