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Inspiring students triumph in University of Wolverhampton Students’ Union awards


A student artist who has supported LGBTQIA+ students at the University of Wolverhampton has scooped an award for his ‘outstanding’ work to promote diversity.

The annual Students’ Union awards feature 20 categories which cover achievements by students, University staff and organisations, and individuals who have made a positive impact during placements.

Final year Illustration degree mature student Sam McCracken, was recognised by the University’s Students’ Union in its annual awards ceremony, held at Molineux Stadium.

Sam, of Telford, has been the SU’s LGBTQIA+ representative since autumn last year and has organised regular events to boost wellbeing, confidential drop-in sessions and raised awareness on how to be a good ally.

Sam McCracken holding his SU Award

He said: “Winning this award has been exceptional and not in the least expected, I am very grateful for the nomination which made me cry, and to the SU for this honour.”

Students’ Union CEO, Nirmla Devi, said: “This has been an exceptionally busy year for Sam, not only did he have some pretty major exams, but also international showings for his art.

“Sam has remained an outstanding support for students who can confide in him as well as being responsible for some great initiatives to boost students’ emotional health. He has also been a massive help to colleagues throughout the SU, always throwing himself into the task at hand."

A staff award for promoting diversity was presented to lecturer in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion Studies, Star Wilkes at the awards ceremony, now in its 13th year.

Awards for people students have been supported by during their placements prove popular. This year, Staffordshire-Shropshire Learning Disability team won Placement Provider of the Year and Community Learning Disability Nurse, Sarah Mapp, won Outstanding Contribution to the Student Placement Experience.

Lucy Spriggs, from the Learning Disability Team said: “I am immensely proud of our team and all they do. It’s great to be recognised.”

Sarah said: “I am very passionate about helping students and have been doing so for several years. Getting an award is like a validation that I’m doing a good job. I’m very grateful.”

Nirmla added: “We love to pay tribute to the wonderful people students encounter on placement. Often, this will be the first taste of time spent in their chosen future career so meeting teams and individuals who support them and go the extra mile to help and inspire can be really special.”

students celebrating at the Students' Union Awards

Here is a round-up of the categories, the shortlisted candidates and the winners:

Pastoral Care Award 

Rebecca Higgins - Award Winner

Martin Evans

Gwen Morris

Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing Lecturer of the Year

Kasim Bashir Raja - Award Winner

Kay Lane

Laura Nicklin

Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences Lecturer of the Year

Joshua Pal - Award Winner

Imran Maqbool Khan

Lynn Ellison

Faculty of Science and Engineering Lecturer of the Year

Suresh Renukappa - Award Winner

Liam Naughton

Dr Mark Hewitt

School rep of the year + 1 = 6

Francis Blincoe - Award Winner

Charlotte Webb

Rebecca Ademola

FEHW Course rep of the year + 1 = 6

Charleen Lees - Award Winner

Laura Richardson

Fathima Minsa Mohamed Aquill

FABBs Course rep fo the year + 1 = 6

Sarah Bremer - Award Winner

Adedyin Ileyemi

Francis Blincoe

FSE Course rep of the year + 1 = 6

Akachukwu Joseph Okeke - Award Winner

Olalekan Babalola

Daniel Oyedele

Student Staff Member of the year + 1 = 6

Adedyin Ileyemi - Award Winner

Megan Powell

Liam Scott

The Ayokunle Falana Award + 1 = 6

Bisola Olatunji

Aiwanseosa Isreal Omo-Imade

Meena Chand

Esther -  Championing Diversity at the University Student Award

Star Wilkes - Award Winner

Suresh Renukappa

Kate Faulkner

Teaching Excellence award

Peter Collins - Award Winner

Dave Brown

Dr Zeeneh Elsaid

Doctoral Research Excellence Award

Ifemu Omari - Award Winner

Swee Yee Shea

Dissertation Supervisor of the Year

Oluwajuwonlo Olajide - Award Winner

Louise Curry

Christopher Cockshott

Dr Nicholas Misgrove Award for Academic Support Staff

Manpreet Kaur Brar - Award Winner

Tanya Mpofu

Jane Woolf

Placement Provider of the Year

Community Learning Disability Team Staffordshire/Shropshire - Diane Goodwin - Award Winner

YMCA Black Country - Shenaz Hafeez

Sabahat Mirza

Criminal Justice Team, Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust - Tayla Russell

Outstanding contribution to the student placement experience

Sarah Mapp - Award Winner

Loretta Mason

Jade Brady

Michael Brady

Society of the Year + 1 = 6

British Computer Society - Award Winners

Olukorede Oyewoga, Ayokunle Olagunju, Priscilla Osayande

Navigators Christian Society

Allan Makwembere, Sterling Hall, Jya Dingle

Doctoral Research Society

Kiriakos Iliou, Shea Swee Yee, Deinsam Ogan

Society Event of the Year + 1 = 6

Nepalese New Year

Monika Deo, Suraj Maharajan, Karan Shrestha

Langar on Campus - Award Winners

Gurpreet Kaur Singh, Parmeshwar Singh, Tegh Gill

Four pictures of celebrations at the Students Union awards in a montage

Congratulations to everyone who nominated someone, to everyone shortlisted and to the winners on the night. 

A big thank you to the Students' Union and everyone who helped to organise the stunning event.





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