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Undergraduate Awards 2018 – Two ‘Highly Commended’ Stranmillis Students!

The Undergraduate Awards are promoted each year in Stranmillis as staff encourage students to submit their work. This year two Stranmillis students were ‘Highly Commended’ in the Education category – Naomi Boyd and Laura Ervine. Both graduated last July and provided lovely photos from graduation day!

The Awards give undergraduate students the chance to have their work anonymously assessed by an independent and international panel of judges. UA started in 2009 with a mission to recognise great undergraduate coursework in Ireland, but has since expanded worldwide. Being named a Global Winner, Regional Winner or a Highly Commended entrant means that the students’ work has been identified as the best in their field, compared to global undergraduate coursework.

For the academic year 2017/2018, The Undergraduate Awards Programme received 4,887 submissions from students from 180 different nationalities in 333 institutions across 46 countries in 25 different subject/area categories, one of which is Education.

Naomi Boyd was a BEd Post-Primary student whose main subject was Business and Enterprise. She comments: ‘I submitted my final year dissertation, entitled ‘Positive mental wellbeing in young people: Whose responsibility is it?’ This piece of work investigated the importance of mental health wellbeing in teenagers, the barriers to accessing mental health support, the role of educational stakeholders in overcoming these barriers and the necessary support for mental health required of schools. I submitted the dissertation for the Awards with the encouragement of my dissertation supervisor, Patricia Corrigan. As the dissertation was 10,000 words, I had to cut it down to meet the lower word count of the awards. This didn’t take too long and the whole process was very simple. I submitted it not expecting much after discovering that the scale of the Awards is huge, so I was very pleasantly surprised to receive the news that I was ‘Highly Commended’. I put a lot of effort into the research, but it’s very gratifying to get this award. I am currently in a temporary post teaching business studies, ICT and health and social care and enjoying the opportunity to put my four years of education at Stranmillis into action.’

Laura Ervine, a BEd Primary student, says: ‘With improving achievement in Numeracy being a predominant focus in education policy and Numeracy being my specialism, I chose to focus my dissertation on how to promote positive attitudes and increase parental engagement in mathematics. I never expected that I would end up submitting my work to the Undergraduate Awards, never mind achieve ‘Highly Commended’. Therefore, I wish to thank my dissertation supervisor, Dr Pamela Moffett, for encouraging me to submit my work and avail of this excellent opportunity. I feel so privileged to have my work recognised by the Undergraduate Awards. It has really boosted my confidence and makes a great addition to my CV. I am currently working in Waringstown Primary School and am thoroughly enjoying my first year as a newly qualified teacher. I am looking forward to putting my research into practice throughout my career and strongly advise all current students to make the most of the opportunity to submit your work to the Undergraduate Awards - you never know what the outcome may be!'

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