- / 2011
Keele University Student of the Year 2011
Keele University has recognised four undergraduate students who have excelled academically, as well as making an outstanding contribution to the wider community.
The winner of the University’s prestigious Neil and Gina Smith Student of the Year Award is Amy Chapman. Amy is a 29-year-old student from Crewe, who is the first in her family to go to university. The runners-up, all of whom impressed the interview panel with their achievements and drive, are Danielle Hughes, a Psychology and Criminology student from Crewe, Craig Doughty, an English and History student from Stoke, and Danielle Bremner, a Psychology and Sociology student from Great Totham in Essex.
The winner and the runners up will be recognised at the University’s degree ceremonies this July. Amy has taken a degree in Criminology with Psychology.
She is a local student who left school at 15 with no formal qualifications. Amy trained and qualified as a hairdresser, eventually setting up her own business whilst continuing with her own professional development. She gained a wide range of work experience before deciding on a career change that involved taking a degree. Amy came to Keele via an Access to Higher Education course at her local college. She has worked throughout her time at university to support herself financially. She is a student who performs extremely well academically and hopes to continue her studies at Keele to postgraduate level.
In addition to her academic success, Amy has made valuable contributions both to the student community and the local wider area. She worked with school children as part of the university’s AimHigher programme encouraging young people to go into higher education, and acted as a peer mentor for undergraduates. Amy has volunteered at a local charity supporting young offenders and currently works as a volunteer mentor for young people who have been in care. She is committed to a career that will involve advocacy and support for young people from unpromising backgrounds and with apparently limited career options.
Her own progression and development makes Amy an excellent role model for young people who would not normally consider university as an option, and she will be a superb ambassador for Keele.