Seizing their opportunities

A period characterised by success and distinction, 2011/12 included both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Olympics. The nation had many reasons to be proud. Here in Wolverhampton, achievement and a desire to take full advantage of the opportunities which University life presents gave us many more reasons to celebrate.

City honour for Sir Geoff

University of Wolverhampton Deputy Vice-Chancellor – External Affairs, Professor Sir Geoff Hampton was officially recognised in 2011 as one of Wolverhampton’s famous sons and daughters.

He was among five names on an inaugural roll of honour located in a prominent building in Wolverhampton to mark 10 years of city status. Sir Geoff, who is responsible for maintaining the University’s links with a wide range of regional and national partners, successfully transformed Northicote School, which was designated a failing school by Ofsted.

He was chosen to give one of the six ‘Millennium Lectures’, hosted by the Prime Minister, and received a knighthood in 1998 for services to education.

Graduate is a shining example

The long-term commitment to volunteering and youth work of Wolverhampton graduate, Ceri Davies was recognised when she became an Olympic torchbearer in June 2012.

Ceri, who has cerebral palsy and spina bifida and uses a wheelchair, was nominated to carry the torch through Wolverhampton by the Diana Award. Since gaining a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies and Sociology, Ceri has played a major role in the Diana Award organisation, and received one of ten Golden Diana Awards at 10 Downing Street for her work with Dudley Youth Council.

Ceri also runs her own fundraising organisation, which aims to raise funds for disadvantaged and disabled children across the UK and works with numerous other charities.

A modern twist on a classic

A creative University of Wolverhampton student won a competition to design the front cover for a new edition of the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist.

BA (Hons) Photography student, Alexandros Panagiotopoulos, was selected as the winner of a competition launched by the Guardian and Vintage Classics to create a photographic cover for its new edition, which was published in April 2012.

The competition was run as part of the Charles Dickens 200th birthday celebrations. Alexandros’s atmospheric shot successfully captured the spirit of the original story whilst injecting a modern twist.

Eminent role model

Inspirational University of Wolverhampton academic, Professor Laura Serrant-Green, was named Mentor of the Year at the prestigious 2011 Precious Awards.

The Precious Awards recognise and celebrate Black and Asian women in business and leadership, who demonstrate exceptional determination, innovation and entrepreneurial skills and talent.

Laura, Director of Research and Enterprise at the Centre for Health and Social Care Improvement at the University, was nominated by Concilia Ajuo, a nurse from London, whom she mentored through a national leadership programme.

Excellence under pressure

One of the country’s top sports psychologists, Professor Andy Lane, has helped to develop an online test for BBC Lab UK’s biggest ever experiment.

BBC Lab UK worked with scientists Professor Andy Lane, from the University of Wolverhampton, and Professor Peter Totterdell, from Sheffield University, to develop a test to determine why some people are able to perform under pressure.

The pair teamed up with Olympic legend and performance expert Michael Johnson, who provided psychological training during the test, and with the aid of unique BBC technology, analyses participants’ performance.

Golden opportunity

A gold medal win for University of Wolverhampton student Jarryd Dunn, was especially notable because he was among the first athletes to clinch a gold medal at the new Olympic Stadium. Jarryd won gold in the 400m at the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) Visa Outdoor Athletics Championships.

Also celebrating was fellow Wolverhampton student David Lima from Lisbon in Portugal, who took the silver medal in the final of the Men’s 200m.

Both were up against students from universities around the country, which was the culmination of the year’s Universities Week. The Championships, held in May 2012, were a London 2012 test event as part of the London Prepares series.

Highly prized award

A prestigious National Teaching Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy was awarded to Dr Brendan Bartram, Senior Lecturer in Education Studies.

Brendan’s work focuses on the experiences of international students, and the support needs of UK students on international programmes in higher education.

For his excellence in the field, he was one of 55 winners chosen from over 180 nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.