Teaching assistant Ryan rises above his academic struggles to win a significant award in technology

Date 9.03.2017

A graduate teaching assistant at the University of Northampton, who overcame his academic struggles during his GCSEs and A Levels and is now taking on a PhD, has been awarded an IT Award from the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT).

Since graduating in 2016 with a BSc in Computing (Software Engineering), Ryan Edwards has been working as a teaching assistant within the University’s Computing department, alongside his PhD studies.

Ryan was recognised as a Bronze award winner and has received a £100 grant cheque and a WCIT Outstanding IT Award certificate.

Ryan said: “I feel proud of the way in which I have developed throughout my studies, especially as I needed additional support during my GCSEs and A-Levels and I was able to graduate with a very high classification. During my time at University, I really built up my interpersonal skills and concentrated on making myself more employable by doing extra activities outside of the classroom.

“Winning this award is a great personal achievement for me as I have proved to myself that I am able to do anything I put my mind too. I had a lot of self-doubt when starting University and never thought after graduating I would have won a nationally recognised award. I’m also very proud to be undertaking a PhD as well as getting stuck into a graduate teaching assistant role at the University I studied at.”

Gary Hill, Head of Computing at the University of Northampton, said: “Ryan has struggled to overcome the adversities he has faced, but despite this he has successfully completed his BSc Computing (Software Engineering) with a 2:1 and has been employed by the University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and registered to study part time for a PhD.

“Throughout his three undergraduate years at the University, Ryan acted a student teaching assistant in his second year and supporting supported first years in Web Technology. He was also a Student Ambassador, a student course representative at University meetings and a committee member of the Student Union Computing Society. Well done Ryan.”