Hayley has the write stuff for Darren Joliny Award

23 June 2014

Students and staff at Glasgow Caledonian University gathered to pay tribute to journalism graduate Darren Joliny as the third annual prize established in his memory was awarded.

Hayley Parr, 21, received this year’s award from Darren’s uncle, East Kilbride MP Michael McCann, during a ceremony held by the Glasgow School for Business and Society, and organised in collaboration with GCU’s Development and Alumni Relations Office.

Darren graduated with a BA in Journalism in 2011. Just a few months later, he collapsed suddenly while playing football in January 2012. Doctors said the cause of death was Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

Hayley, who graduated with First Class Honours in Multimedia Journalism, was the highest performing student in her year.

In her third year of study, she undertook an exchange programme to Stony Brook University in New York and is now working as a reporter for the Dunfermline Press.

Hayley, from Perth, said: “Although I never met Darren, I’ve heard so much about him and I am honoured to get this award in his name. It was lovely to meet Darren's family at the ceremony and to speak of his great character.

"The course at GCU has been fantastic and I was able to enhance it with work placements. I had spells at the Independent in London, the Sunday Post in Glasgow and the Dundee Evening Telegraph.

“I went to Long Island, New York, through the University’s exchange programme, and worked on Stony Brook’s student newspaper. I wanted to put myself outside my comfort zone at the age of 19. It was a fantastic experience.

“Ultimately, I would love to work in newspapers in New York.

“I’ve been at the Dunfermline Press for two months. I’ve covered everything from court to health to education. Having the degree behind me has been a massive help. The multimedia element of the programme has prepared me to experience something different each day.”

Michael McCann MP said: “I want to thank GCU for instituting this award in Darren’s name. It is a rare thing for someone so young to have an award named after them. Darren was popular with students and staff alike and he was always encouraging to others. He lived life to the full and he always seized the day, just like Hayley. She is thoroughly deserving of this award.”

Ben McConville, Head of Social Sciences, Media and Journalism, said: "We are grateful to Darren's family and his uncle Mr McCann for their support of this fitting memorial.

"Our congratulations go to Hayley, who did superbly well on the Multimedia Journalism programme. We wish her all the best in her career."

Find out more about GCU’s Multimedia Journalism courses