Student clinches STAR Award and leaves society in good shape for the future

Tue, 08 Jun 2021 11:31:00 BST
(pictured above) Marcus standing on a beach
(pictured above) Marcus standing on a beach

A Paramedic Science student has been commended for playing a key role in helping to restart a society at GCU.

Final year student Marcus McDonagh picked up the award for Best Overall Contribution from a Committee Member at GCU Students’ Association’s annual STAR Awards.

Marcus spoke of his delight and also gave an insight into the team effort in helping the Emergency Care Society become a success. He said: “It was really good to win this, it was nice to get a wee award! I always tend to get involved in these things. It’s not for the CV boost or recognition – just because I like helping people.

The society previously existed but the committee in place at the time didn’t do anything with it, and it eventually closed. It genuinely didn’t require any motivation for me to restart it because I have a real passion for the job and helping people.

It was a lot of hard work to balance it with the programme and my social life but I could see the benefits of the society, which really drove me on.”

Marcus, who moved over to Glasgow from Ireland, added: “For the last two years I was the head of the society. Gordon Robertson and Steven Messenger, who helped me run it, were absolutely fantastic and the actual roles didn’t mean that much because we were basically a big team that shared the work-load. It was all a huge team effort and definitely not an individual show.”

It’s been a challenging year for everyone with a move to online learning and restrictions impacting on the whole GCU community. Marcus and the team have always been there to support students and used the last 14 months to continue to build on the good work done prior to lockdown.

“Like every University, year groups can often become separated but what societies do is really bring everyone together - which is so important and something we’ve been really aware of.

We previously had a lot of simulation events on campus. We got funding from the Common Good Award and flew over an advanced paramedic from Ireland. She’s also a personal trainer and gave some top tips about dealing with shift work and how to eat properly. The engagement was brilliant from that event and it helped people really take a lot of knowledge into their future placements.

There’s been a number of pub quizzes we’ve held during the pandemic and we also paid for a Zoom subscription with membership fees, allowing us to bring in guest lectures from various areas.”

With the end of his University journey now in sight, Marcus already has a firm plan in place for the future but isn’t quite ready to completely forget about his time at GCU.

He explained: “Surprisingly, my workload will actually be reduced when I finish here with all the work around the society and programme in general!

Whatever I do in future, I’ll definitely want to set up an educational programme for continued professional development at some point. I have a job down in the south-east coast of England and I’ll probably stick in an application for London and Scottish Ambulance service as well.

I don’t want to leave bonnie Scotland in all honesty! It was ten out of ten being here, the Scottish people are very much like the Irish.

Check out the Emergency Care Society on Facebook and Twitter.

By Ross Clark
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