Virtual Celebrations for our 2019/2020 graduates

Celebrating our 2019/2020 graduates

More than 200 students from North Highland College UHI will be recognised for their achievements in a very different manner this year. A website, which will act as an online celebration of graduates, was launched this week to replace the traditional ceremony, customarily celebrated with friends, family and fellow graduands at venues in Wick, Thurso or Dornoch.

The website celebrating the student’s academic achievements, features; a video message from recently retired Principal, Donald MacBeath; recognition of students of the year and additional prize winners; a list of all graduates; and a message from the college’s Student Union representative, Tia Cannop. As well as the college's own contributions, the site also features messages from University of the Highlands and Islands Chancellor, HRH The Princess Royal and the Principal and Vice Chancellor, Crichton Lang.

Mr MacBeath, who retired from his post as Principal last week after 37 years of service with North Highland College UHI congratulated the graduates “You all have a great future in front of you. Whether you are now progressing into employment or further study, I ask you to continue to embrace the core values which serve both the College and the University so well. Work collaboratively, supportively and network well with others. Be open to new ideas and during this time of real economic change also be open to new ways of working that at times will take you out of your comfort zone. Be respectful and tolerant of the positions of others and crucially; aspire to the achievement of excellence.”

BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering student, Leoni Mowat, from Thurso, received Higher Education Student of the Year and was nominated for her fantastic achievements throughout the year which include achieving Distinction for her honours degree and being awarded the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET) Best Project Award for the North of Scotland.

SVQ 3 Hospitality and Leadership student, Ross Mackay, from Lybster, received Further Education Student of the Year, nominated by his lecturer for his commitment to his studies during a challenging year, his excellent customer service skills and true professionalism and dedication to his employer and the industry he works in. Ross also won the Tom Dobson Salver Award for demonstrating outstanding customer service.

PhD Environmental Science student, Henk Pieter Sterk, originally from Holland and now living in Caithness, received Post Graduate Student of the Year for his achievements including securing various project grants, managing projects, undertaking foreign field trips and writing his first peer-reviewed paper. Henk also helped to organise the University of the Highlands and Islands Post Graduate Conference in November 2019.

The college also presented the Roy E Godfrey Memorial Shield for the fifth year, which was established in memory of Roy E Godfrey, an accomplished local professional engineer and Regional Councillor. BEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering student, Thalia Adams from Golspie was this year’s recipient of the Mr Roy E Godfrey Memorial Shield. This award recognised a significant dedication in an engineering discipline and is in memory of Roy who always maintained “nothing moves without engineers”. Thalia joined the college in 2015 on the Get Ready for College course and has progressed and achieved Nat 4, Nat 5, NC, HNC and HND in Engineering Systems, whilst facing the additional challenge of travelling from Golspie each day. Thalia will continue her studies this year as a BEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering student.

Anne Bremner, Director of Learning and Teaching and Graduation Master of Ceremonies said “On behalf of all college staff, we would like to congratulate each of our graduates on their academic achievements this year.  They have all demonstrated tremendous resilience and a determination to succeed in the most challenging of circumstances brought on by Covid 19, with many also managing demanding personal circumstances to successfully achieve their qualifications.  We are so proud of each and every one of them. We sincerely hope to be able to celebrate with the graduates of 2019/20 in person in the future and wish them all every success.”

You can view the celebration website at: