Graduation 2013: Inspirational tales as graduates make their mark
IT was a year of major national events – the London Olympics and Queen's Diamond Jubilee included – and one in which the University of Derby's Class of 2012 also hit the headlines.
Inspirational BA (Hons) Health and Social Care student Mary Greham, 34, was among the torchbearers carrying the Olympic flame through Derbyshire in June.
Husband Gez nominated Mary for overcoming her personal difficulties, such as bipolar disorder, and going on to become a volunteer helping people dealing with bereavement.
Stine Aelberry, 37 – on the Master of Design in Visual Communication degree course – created a website revealing the cultural influences which had shaped British art and design during the Queen's 60-year reign, and developed a new typeface to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.
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Her work was selected by the British Library for the UK Web Archive's special collection of Jubilee websites.
Even before today's and tomorrow's ceremonies (January 17 and 18), our latest graduates had begun making a mark in their chosen fields.
Sam Hardman, 25, a biology student, took home the Best Poster award at the UK Mammal Society's Spring Conference last year. He spent four days off Blakeney Point, Norfolk, photographing wild common seals to see if a photo ID of their pattern markings could be an effective alternative to flipper tagging.
Katie Brady, who received a first for her psychology degree, saw her topical psychological study into parental perspectives on the sexualisation of girls in western cultures shortlisted for a British Psychological Society undergraduates' prize. Ecclesbourne Valley Railway – a community venture running tourist passenger services from Wirksworth to Duffield – turned to the free help of students from the university's Derby Business School and Buxton-based tourism and events management courses to formulate a business plan to help attract more customers and profit.
Meanwhile, 20 designs by final-year students on the BA (Hons) Fashion Studies degree added style to last April's London Alternative Fashion Week. Then, in October, fellow student Aduu Juma Masudi won the Young Designer competition at the Fast Fashion London exhibition; scooping a trip to Paris and meeting celebrated fashion writer Hilary Alexander. Final-year students were among the 11 on Derby's textile design course who won multiple awards and commendations at the Bradford Textile Society Design Competition.
And last summer, finishing students from across the university's faculties produced stunning visual displays for the annual Degree Shows public exhibition. These included "frozen" gunshots, exciting computer games scenes and the solar system's planets rendered in wool.