2014 - Andrew Jackson
The University of the Highlands and Islands Alumnus of the Year 2014 is Andrew Jackson.
The Alumnus of the Year award is one of the ways we celebrate the achievements of our alumni. The award is made annually to a former student for services to the community, achievements in arts or sciences, in business, public or academic life.
Andrew, 35 from Tulloch, Perth, graduated with BA in Health Studies in 2013 from Perth College UHI. Although he was already employed as a care assistant when he embarked on the degree, he wanted to gain the qualification so he could manage his own facility. With a desire to make a difference to the care of older people, especially those with dementia, Andrew felt this would be the best way to influence the quality of service.
After graduating, Andrew was offered an opportunity to manage a care home in Gibraltar. Since then, he has set up his own home care service and training agency there. His facility is based on the principle of person-centred care which enables older adults to engage with people of all ages and the natural environment, rather than being segregated. This principle is thought to address some of the main causes of suffering in old age, including boredom, loneliness and helplessness.
Andrew was nominated for the award by his personal academic tutor, Colleen Maclean, who also taught him on several modules. Colleen explained: “I nominated Andy because he has held firm to his standards and original goal throughout a challenging degree and is now living and working according to these for the benefit of older people.”
Speaking about his award, Andrew said: “I was in shock to be named as the Alumnus of the Year; to be nominated was enough for me!
“I believe my time with the university was the starting point for changing my outlook. The University of the Highlands and Islands changed my life and offered me a world of opportunity. I hope many more people follow their passion and embark on a life-changing course. I’m very proud to receive the award and would like to thank everyone at the university as well as my wife, Maria, for the support.”
“Andrew is an exemplary candidate for this prestigious award,” said Professor Clive Mulholland, the university’s principal and vice-chancellor. “He has focused his entrepreneurial flair in an area which he cares passionately about and is really making a difference to the lives of those he cares for. I am delighted our online BA Health Studies course, which allows students to continue to balance a profession and personal life while studying, was the ideal opportunity for him.”
Andrew was presented with his award at the Perth College UHI graduation ceremony on Friday 3 October 2014 by Prof Clive Mulholland.