Tell us your story 2012/13

Studying at Birmingham City University is all about making the most of your degree, working hard to make the best use of the fantastic teaching and support on offer.

Our students are successfully upgrading their futures through their academic work, extracurricular activities and work in their communities.

For this year’s awards, we wanted to highlight the variety of work done by our students by presenting awards for both undergraduates and postgraduates.

The judges commented that the high calibre of this year's entries made it extremely difficult to choose a winner. Therefore they have awarded an additional 'Highly Commended' honour in recognition of the quality of submissions.

Winner

Kapil Kapur - BA (Hons) Primary Education

It’s not just staff at the University that are renowned for their enterprising spirit; our students also pride themselves on using their skills in entrepreneurial ways.

Kapil Kapur is just one student who has taken this approach to heart. As a trainee teacher and sports coach, Kapil has taken it upon himself to set up his own tutoring scheme, supporting young people through extra-curricular activities.

Nominator Huyen Tiffany Le said: “Kapil’s persistence and drive has helped both staff and students to benefit from the University. He has really helped raise the profile of the University locally as well, a number of the young people he has mentored in local schools have now progressed to studying at the University.”

Runner up

Liam Draper - LLB (Hons) Law

Law student Liam was part of the team that won the 2012 Web Legal National Mooting Competition, beating competition from the University of Birmingham and University of Cambridge.

In addition to his mooting success, Liam has also won a number of University awards. He was the recipient of the Students’ Union Society Leader of the Year Award in 2009/10, and the recipient of the Graham Wright Mooting Award in the same year.

In his spare time, Liam works for online magazine The Student Lawyer. Starting out as a feature writer, Liam has progressed to become Managing Editor. Liam has also had a number of his papers published in leading professional publications like American Law and Sports Law.

Highly commended

Daniella Varadi - BMus (Hons) Music Performance

Talented opera singer Daniella has taken the skills from her degree and put them to work, setting up her own business and recording her own album using knowledge learnt from her studies at the University.

She has also won praise for her performances in the press. Christopher Morley, critic for the Birmingham Post commended her portrayal of the Sorceress in a recent production of the opera Dido and Aeneas. He notes: “Daniella surely has a promising future ahead of her.”

Daniella has earned a number of awards, including a Sound Bursary from major record label EMI and a grant from the Musicians Benevolent Fund. As well as this, Daniella has secured a place with the prestigious British Youth Opera in London.

Finalists

Charity Burrell-Brown - BA (Hons) Criminology

Exceptional student support isn’t just something provided by our staff, our students also go to great lengths to help each other too.

No one sums up this attitude better than Charity. She jumped straight into the student experience from day one, working as a student representative and setting up a support forum to help her fellow criminology students.

Nominator Chris Webb said: “Charity always puts her knowledge of how to help people to good use. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Birmingham Samaritans and raises money for Acorns Children’s Hospice.”

Enya Quin-Jarvis - BA (Hons) Media and Communications

Media student Enya is a great example of how our students make the most of the University’s links with top employers. Enya earned herself a placement with Sky as part of her course and went on to win the Sky Scholarship for best placement student, earning £1,500 for the University in the process.

Nominator Sue Heseltine said: “Enya's attitude, reliability and performance during her placement at Sky have helped to enhance the reputation of the University and the School of Media. She is a valuable member of the course and an excellent role model to other students.”

Dave Rooke, Head of Content Services for Sky, wrote to Enya to congratulate her for her exceptional work, saying: “You showed amazing qualities and you conducted yourself in an exemplary manner. The highest accolade I can pay you is that I would be proud to welcome you as one of my team.”

Lucy Whitehead - BA (Hons) Visual Communication

As well as achieving outstanding academic results, Lucy Whitehead has also impressed with the work which she has done alongside her degree.

Lucy gained a 1st in every single one of her degree modules and has already secured herself a position when she finishes her degree after impressing during a placement at the Advocate Art Illustration Agency in London.

Managing Director Edward Burns said: “She is the most talented intern and portrait artist that I have seen in many years.”

As well as this, Lucy opened her first solo exhibition in 2012 at the Custard Factory titled ‘Dead to be Iconic’. The exhibition uses 50 hand-drawn portraits to examine the lives of creative legends that died before their time.

Naomi Barnes - LLB (Hons) Law

As Vice-President of the University branch of the Howard League for Penal Form, Naomi has led the group in a number of fundraising campaigns, winning the Students’ Union award for most improved society along the way.

Naomi was chosen as one of the University’s representatives for Web Legal National Mooting Competition alongside teammate Liam Draper. Naomi beat competition from a number of top UK universities, including the University of Birmingham and University of Cambridge, as the team was named national champions.

Now, Naomi has been accepted onto a postgraduate law degree and will get the chance to study at The Hague, the world-renowned International Criminal Court. Naomi said: “Coming to University has been a fantastic experience. Since coming here my confidence has come on leaps and bounds.”