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Graduation Stories

Graduation Stories - Winter 2021

Stories from our Winter 2021 graduates.

Glen Wright

A 24-year-old from Aberdeen was able to pursue his career goals in software development despite a global pandemic as part of the first cohort of a new graduate apprenticeship scheme, while also becoming an alumnus of the Scottish University of the Year 2021.

John Harper – Doctor of Science (DSc)

Robert Gordon University’s Chancellor, Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, conferred the honorary award of Doctor of Science on Professor John Harper on Wednesday 8 December for his 47-year-long commitment and impact on the higher education sector.

Jane Spiers – Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Robert Gordon University’s Chancellor, Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, conferred the honorary award of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) on Jane Spiers on Tuesday 7 December for her lifetime achievements and dedication to the creative and cultural sector of the North-East.

Graham Carroll

A 41-year-old father from Brechin graduates from Robert Gordon University within the first cohort of a new graduate apprenticeship programme, completing his degree during a pandemic after adding a new-born to his family in his first year of studies.

Nisha Dominic - MSc in Advancing Nursing Practice

A determined NHS nurse who wrote her dissertation while battling long-covid symptoms and persevered through family illness and loss is graduating in the face of adversity with a MSc in Advancing Nursing Practice.

Matthew Gibson

Recovering from pandemic-imposed redundancy, an unwavering 24-year-old from Fraserburgh kept true to his goal of career expansion within the offshore or renewable industry and now graduates from Robert Gordon University in gainful employment.

Alastair Struthers

A 39-year-old father who was one of the many casualties of Covid redundancies in Aberdeen used the lockdowns of the pandemic to retrain, refocus, and secure a new future in the IT industry as a graduate of Robert Gordon University.

Steven Robertson

53-year-old Steven Robertson from Aberdeen graduated as a Bachelor of IT Management for Business from Robert Gordon University, becoming part of the first cohort to complete the Graduate Apprenticeship from his alma mater while successfully navigating the impact of the pandemic.

Emma Lovie

A determined 38-year-old from Peterhead seeking a change in career direction juggled two jobs alongside her studies during a pandemic to graduate with merit from the Scottish University of the Year 2021 as a Master of Laws.

Blanka Bartova

Through resilience and dedication to her studies, 25-year-old Blanka Bartova from Peterhead sought the skills and knowledge to become a solicitor and now graduates as a Bachelor of Law from the Scottish University of the Year.

Iris Walker-Reid - MA Fine Art

From making small ceramic sofas to creating installations of a skip and a façade, a Masters in Fine Art at Gray's School of Art has been an invaluable experience for 24 year-old, RGU Artist in Residence, Iris Walker-Reid.

Andrew Knox-Watson graduate

After visiting architecture schools across Scotland, 23-year-old Andrew Knox-Watson says The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment at RGU stood out by a country mile. Not only for the course content, brand new facilities and industry leading staff, but also for the picturesque campus.

Ross Henderson - MA Communication Design

Redundancy from the offshore engineering sector in 2015, prompted 52 year-old Ross Henderson from Kemnay, to return to university to pursue a BA in Commercial Photography at Gray’s School of Art from where he was inspired to study a MA in Communication Design.

Jamie Moan - BA Business Management

When leaving school aged 16, a degree seemed impossible for Jamie Moan. The more he worked however, the more he discovered he had a passion for business and didn’t want to stop learning. Given the opportunity to gain direct entry onto RGU's BA Business Management Course, Jamie, now aged 28, jumped at the chance to make his years of business experience mean something.

Tiziana Marras - BA (Hons) Business Management

After moving to Aberdeen in 2014, 51-year-old Tiziana Marras from Genoa in Italy initially had doubts about studying a Business Management Course because English wasn’t her native language. After completing courses to improve her English, Tiziana wanted more and applied to RGU. Within a few weeks of starting, she realised it was one of the best decisions she’d ever made.

Darren Millar - BA (Hons) Business Management

Having returned to study as a mature student, Aberdeen based Darren Millar is graduating with a First-Class Honours degree. He says returning to university has given him a huge confidence boost and the skills to prepare him for his next step on the career ladder.

Fraser McCulloch - MSc Advanced Architectural Design

With a passion for environmental design, Fraser won a scholarship from the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and chose a master’s degree at The Scott School of Architecture & Built Environment, attracted by the course focus on sustainable solutions for the built environment and construction industry.

Cameron Morrison - BA (Hons) Business Management

30 year-old Cameron Morrison from Fraserburgh decided a degree was key to taking his career to the next level. In a competitive workplace, he’d reached a point where he felt he needed to stand out. Furthering his education and qualifications was key to his ambitions. He also wanted to be a role model for his two young daughters, to prove what's achievable.

Gillian Taylor - BA Business Management Distinction

Despite a highly successful career and extensive on-the-job training, 52-year-old Gillian from Aberdeen, had never believed she had the brain power to achieve a degree. It had always seemed in the ‘too difficult box'. A change in mindset however, inspired Gillian to prove to herself that she was bright enough and now she's graduating with distinction.

Vicky Taylor - BA Hons Social Work (DL)

A mum of 2 who was in an abusive relationship and experienced homelessness gets a second chance at university, graduating 14 years after first starting her degree with a First-Class Honours in BA Social Work.

Janice Savizon - MSc Analytical Sciences - Drug Analysis and Toxicology

A dedicated Aberdeenshire-based mature student has juggled a part-time job as a key worker during the Covid-19 pandemic, volunteering, and family commitments, all while completing her master’s degree.

Calum Grant - MSc Digital Marketing

An ambitious and resilient student who, as a freshman, found university challenging and was set on dropping out, decides to return to RGU amid a global pandemic to achieve a master’s degree.

Elodie Baldwin - MA Fine Art graduate - 8th December Graduation

Élodie is a Scottish-Iraqi artist specialising in filmmaking. Her work focuses on the perspective of humanity through an uncanny mode of storytelling, depicting mythology and Freudian theory through stop-motion and puppets.

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