Graduate Stewart is awarded Darren Joliny Prize for outstanding performance

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 11:40:00 BST
Stewart Ward was presented with the award by Elena, on behalf of the whole Joliny family
Stewart Ward was presented with the award by Elena, on behalf of the whole Joliny family

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) graduate Stewart Ward has been presented with the Darren Joliny Prize in recognition of his outstanding performance in the BA (Hons) Multimedia Journalism programme.

The annual prize is presented by the Joliny family in memory of Journalism graduate Darren. Darren died in 2012 aged 21 while playing football, shortly after completing his GCU degree.

Darren’s sister Elena said: “Darren loved his time at GCU. His experiences here shaped him and gave him the confidence to take on the world. We have heard so much about Stewart’s amazing talent and potential and wish him all the best.”

Stewart, who was also jointly awarded the Best Dissertation award said: “It's such an honour to receive this prize, particularly as Darren's family was there to present it. It was incredibly emotional for me and keeping Darren's memory alive in this way makes the award very special.

“From Elena’s touching speech and from all I've read and heard about Darren, it's very apparent he had a sense of community and fun. Those are the two qualities of this journalism course which I've always thought stood out, so I can understand why Darren left such an impression on all who knew him.

“Over the past four years I've been so lucky to have had fantastic classmates and lecturers, and the facilities available at GCU really helped me to give my all. To win a prize for that effort is an added bonus.”

Stewart, who is working at The National, is to donate the prize money to classmate Megan O’Donnell’s organisation Football Unites, which is raising money for two charities - Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) and the Teenage Cancer Trust. She helped establish Football Unites in memory of her father, footballer Phil O’Donnell, who passed away in similar circumstances to Darren.

Julian Calvert, Senior Journalism Lecturer, said: “Stewart has been an outstanding student throughout his time at GCU, equally at home in practical journalism work across all media but also with outstanding critical thinking and analytical skills. Employability is at the heart of our double-accredited multimedia journalism degree programmes, so it’s great to see that so many of those graduating today are – like Stewart – already working in the industry.”

Stewart shared his best dissertation award with Paul Donnelly and also receiving awards are: Best Honours Project Performance, Isabelle Gajo; Best overall BA (Hons) Media and Communications Student,Kirstin Bews; and Best overall BA (Hons) Social Science and Media student Paul Donnelly.

GCUFootball UnitesCardiac Risk in the Young