Honoraries inspire at winter graduation ceremonies

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 15:04:00 GMT
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and Dr Susan Scurlock.
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and Dr Susan Scurlock.

“It’s never too late to learn the STEM way.”

Those were the inspiring words of women-in-STEM ambassador Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE.

She was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of her outstanding and inspiring contribution to social enterprise in the form of the ‘Stemettes’ initiative, an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into science, technology, engineering and mathematics roles.

The presentation came as Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) celebrated its winter graduations at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.

Dr Imafidon was described as a “child prodigy” having completed two GCSEs at 10, is the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing at 11, and is one of the youngest to be awarded a Masters Degree at 20 from Oxford University. In an uplifting speech, Dr Imafidon spoke of the importance of STEM and gave a special shout out to female graduates. 

She said: “With great power comes great responsibility, make a positive difference to the communities around you, and beyond.”

At the same ceremony, Primary Engineer CEO Dr Susan Scurlock was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering in recognition of her outstanding contribution as a STEM ambassador for future generations of young engineers, together with her work in establishing Primary Engineer and significant contribution to the university community of GCU.

A former graphic designer and school teacher, she describes starting Primary Engineer in her back bedroom. To date, it has worked with the 65,000 children, 2,000 teachers and GCU’s Caledonian Club. She said: “You will do amazing things. Your jobs and careers will take you in many directions.

“Remember the common good, find projects that sit alongside the things you do, that make you happy, and do them for others as well.”

At the afternoon ceremony, Professor Sir David Greenaway, economist and former Vice Chancellor of Nottingham University, was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of his outstanding contribution and leadership of the academy, and his fundraising for the common good.

He said: “Education opens up unimaginable opportunities for you. Grab them. Go into your profession willing to change the status quo. We need change. You are the future of nursing and that makes me very optimistic.”

The honorary guests joined over 800 students graduating from the School of Engineering and Built Environment and the School of Health and Life Sciences.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: “I am delighted to be able to celebrate the work and achievements of these individuals, who are outstanding examples of our university’s enduring commitment to work for the common good.”

Professor Sir David Greenaway