Two star students share 5 awards at fourth year prize giving

Thu, 13 Aug 2020 16:19:00 BST
Sarah Jane (left) and Faye also spoke about the closeness of their year group
Sarah Jane (left) and Faye also spoke about the closeness of their year group

Two Podiatry students have capped their time off at GCU with recognition from staff and students at an online prize giving.

Fay Wallace won Best Overall Project (Critical Review), The Professor Baird Award (Best Overall Student) and The May Dewar Award (School Prize for Top Clinical Student).

Sarah Jane Walls claimed The Michael O’Connor Award and The Incorporation of Barbers Award for Best Overall Project (Imperial Research).

Both girls, who have just completed their final year at GCU, admitted they were surprised and delighted.

Fay said: “I was very shocked but obviously really happy. It’s a great achievement and I did put a lot of effort into my dissertation so it’s really nice to have it recognised.

My critical review looked at diabetic foot disease in deprived areas. My dissertation adviser had helped a PHD student in a similar project and I just thought it would be really interesting – so that was what made me go down that line.”

Sarah Jane said: “It was lovely to be recognised - especially the Michael O’Connor Award, which is voted for by students.

For my dissertation, I was the only one in the year that did a data project rather than a critical review. I just fancied doing something a bit different and produced a new bit of research around morbidities and pain outcomes of patients.”

Despite their individual success, Faye and Sarah Jane were both keen to credit the community feel across the BSc (Hons) Podiatry programme throughout their four years.

Sarah Jane explained: “We were a really close year group. Even though I’m by far the oldest, everyone treated me really well and there were absolutely no issues. There were a few of us who went through some tough times with family but we were all really supportive of each other.

During my time at GCU I had a baby at the age of 40, got my gallbladder removed and my father-in-law was also diagnosed with cancer – so there were certainly some challenging moments personally.

It was great to have everyone around and it was the type of year group where if someone was struggling we all helped them out – whether that be emotional or academically.”

Fay added: “I’ve had a great time at GCU and met a lot of people I’ll keep in touch with for a long time.

It wasn’t one of those year groups where you don’t know the people on your course. We went away on trips together to the likes of Aviemore and overall we were a close bunch.

It was good to see everyone at the prize giving and have a catch-up. Hopefully we’ll all get to meet up together in person at graduation when the time comes!”

By Ross Clark
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