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Students take centre stage at Royal & Derngate winter graduations

News Page 15th February 2020

A thousand students are attending the University of Northampton’s winter graduation ceremonies this weekend.

The first of five ceremonies was held at the Royal & Derngate theatre this morning (Saturday), with another to follow in the afternoon, and three more tomorrow.

This afternoon’s ceremony will include the awarding of an honorary fellowship to Peter Smalley, who is the chief executive of Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT).

NMPAT provides the young people of Northamptonshire with musical and artistic opportunities, and currently teaches 15,000 students across the county.

You can watch a film about Peter and his work with NMPAT below.

Peter said: “It is a very great privilege for me, to be offered an honorary degree, and I am delighted that the University has chosen to recognise the work of NMPAT.

“The children and young people of this county are truly astonishing and constantly amaze me with their talent, creativity and skill, and it is right that they, and those who guide their learning, should be acknowledged. It gives me very great pleasure to accept this honorary fellowship on behalf of the all the staff and students of the Music and Performing Arts Trust.”

Peter also had some words of advice for all of the graduating students. He said: “You may or may not know where life will take you, but I offer two pieces of advice based on my own experience: follow your dreams, and don’t be too concerned if your life plan changes – It doesn’t matter – and the new plan might actually be better than the first one.”

Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton, said: “The University’s winter graduation ceremonies are occasions of great significance to our students, together with their families and friends.

“I am sure they will savour this moment, before tackling their next personal challenge as they embark, or continue, on their chosen career path, or go on to pursue further studies.

Commenting on Peter Smalley’s honorary fellowship, Nick added: “I’m delighted Peter has joined the roll call of inspirational recipients of honorary fellowships from the University of Northampton. He’s a real unsung hero and this award recognises his tireless work in raising the musical aspirations of the young people of Northamptonshire.”

The following students will receive special awards over the weekend:

  • Winner of the Dean’s Award for Contribution to Programme Community – Raphael Regede, Master of Science in Economics
  • Winner of the Dean’s Award for Academic Achievement – Nathakrishna Krishnamra, Bachelor of Arts in Business & Management
  • Winner of the Dean’s Award for Academic Achievement – Elaine Hall, Master of Science in International Special Events Management
  • Winner of the Dean’s Award for Contribution to Programme Community – Mads Sander, Master of Science in Logistics & Supply Chain Management
  • Winner of the Dean’s Award for Contribution to Programme Community – Princess Adjei, Master of Science in Business Analytics
  • Winner of the Dean’s Award for Contribution to Programme Community – Ondraela Gjini, Master of Arts in International Tourism Development
  • Winner of the Dean’s Award for Contribution to Programme Community – Adam Leyland, Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Management
  • Winner of the Being Brilliant Jon O’Sullivan Award for Excellence in Mental Health Nursing – Victor Chuks-Spencer, Bachelor of Science in Mental Health Nursing.
  • Winner of the Being Brilliant Jon O’Sullivan Award for Excellence in Adult Nursing – Hasan Alsararatee, Bachelor of Science in Adult Nursing.
  • Winner of the Being Brilliant Jon O’Sullivan Award for Excellence in Adult Nursing – Pauline Obwaya, Bachelor of Science in Adult Nursing.
  • Winner of the Being Brilliant award for Excellence in Children’s and Young People’s Nursing – Shamim Najuko, Bachelor of Science in Children’s Nursing.
  • Winner of the Being Brilliant Living the Commitment Award for excellence in Learning Disability Nursing – Michael Reidy, Bachelor of Science in Learning Disability Nursing.

The following University staff members will also receive the following awards:

  • Triantafyllos Kanakis – Master of Business Administration
  • Tanya Richardson – Doctor of Philosophy
  • Emma Whewell – Doctor of Philosophy
  • Natasha Mycawka – Master of Arts in Education
  • Lisa Slaughter – Master of Arts in Education
  • Lucy Westley – Master of Arts in Education
  • Christine Barton – Master of Arts in Education (English Language Teaching)
  • Melanie McLean – Postgraduate Certificate in Special Education Needs Coordination (The National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination)
  • Fiona Barchard – Doctor of Professional Practice
  • Melanie Cole – Master of Science in Advanced Professional Practice
  • Annette Hart – Master of Science in Advanced Professional Practice.

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