Inverness College UHI Awards Student of the Year
Inverness College UHI has crowned Culloden resident Donna Fitzpatrick Student of the Year, earning her a prize of £150 and a place in the University of the Highlands and Islands Student of the Year final.
Closely followed by runner up Colin Morrison from Dingwall, Donna beat off stiff competition from over 8,000 other students to claim the coveted title.
Donna (43) started evening classes in computing four years ago at the college and will be one of the first cohorts of students graduating this year with a BSc in computing. Raising six children has not stopped her commitment and enthusiasm to not only work thorough her studies but support her peers, advocate the college and course and organise extra-curricular activities to support young people to make them aware of their options in education.
Recently Donna has presented her latest project to NHS Grampian. It is a mobile phone App which tackles acute back pain by allowing suffers to record their pain in words on the app each time it occurs. The NHS is keen to explore the project further.
Nominated by lecturers at the college, Donna was selected due to her passion for her studies, her love of computing, her advocacy for Inverness College UHI and the wide range of extra-curricular work she undertakes. As part of her student ambassador role Donna has worked closely with ASPIRENorth, an organisation which encourages secondary school pupils to make positive and informed decisions about their post-school educational choices.
Gordon Macpherson, programme development manager at the college, has been monumental in supporting the college to deliver the BSc for this year and has seen Donna work her way up to the top. He said: “Donna’s enthusiasm is infectious. Anyone who can bring up six children while studying a challenging further or higher education course deserves this kind of recognition. Her support to fellow students and staff in organising workshops for visiting students has inspired and motivated us all and we wish her every success for the future.”
Speaking of her award, Donna said: “I am absolutely thrilled to pieces to have won Student of the Year. I never expected this could happen to me. I do love my course and cannot rate the college and my lecturers highly enough. I have been so lucky to receive such a wonderful education there and my prospects for future employment are looking really promising.”
Donna will receive her prize at the college prize-giving ceremony on 14 September at Eden Court, Inverness. She will be put forward for a place in the UHI Student of the Year final alongside other nominees from across the UHI partnership.
Chief executive and principal of Inverness College UHI, John Spencer, said: “I pass on my sincere congratulations to Donna and Colin, they are both star students. Our student of the year programme awards those who really go over and above what is required of them, it recognises students with a clear passion, drive and dedication to what they study. I wish them both every success for the future and I do hope they continue to maintain the relationship with the college.”