University of the Highlands and Islands names five winners of Student of the Year awards for their achievements at the Inverness campus and the Scottish School of Forestry
UHI Inverness has announced its five winners of this year’s Student of the Year awards.
The awards celebrate the achievements of students and apprentices from the Inverness campus and the Scottish School of Forestry.
This year’s winners were recognized for a variety of reasons, including academic achievement, ability to overcome adversity, personal effort, and exceptional peer support.
The winners are:
Higher Education Student of the Year – William Moncrieff, BA (Hons) Sports Management
Continuing Education Student of the Year – Medine Duff, Graduate Social Sciences
Postgraduate Student of the Year – Joy Nicolson, MSc Applied Data Science
Student Apprentice of the Year – Kimberley McIntyre, Painting and Decorating SVQ III
Senior Student of the Year – Cobey MacQuarrie, NPA Sports Development
Director and Chief Executive of UHI in Inverness, Professor Chris O’Neil, said: “My hearty congratulations go out to our five worthy winners for their fantastic achievements.
“They have all shown exceptional dedication to their studies and are inspiring role models for our student body.
“I am impressed with how they have fully engaged with our learning community, providing valuable support to their fellow students and showing commitment and enthusiasm to accomplish.
“Their achievements are even more impressive considering they had to study under the Covid-19 restrictions that were still in place at the start of this academic year.”
The five winners were nominated by staff members and each received a certificate and £100 voucher.
One of the winners, Cobey MacQuarrie (17), attended UHI Inverness as a senior stage student, studying NPA Sports Development on Fridays while a sixth year student at Inverness Royal Academy .
His studies were interrupted when his mother died earlier this year, and again in April when he spent time in hospital.
When his situation improved, Cobey spent many hours working at the campus library to catch up on his classes.
The various personal difficulties he experienced made it the hardest of his life.
“I’ve found going to college has always helped me,” Cobey said.
“I enjoyed being in the college atmosphere and my lecturer Ross Pattison was really supportive. I enjoyed the class, especially the gym side, and the strength and conditioning we did.
“I have seen great improvements in myself.
“What I would like is for other people to see what happened to me and think about it themselves.
“No matter what you’ve been through, as long as you keep going, you can get what you want. This award is something that made me feel really humbled and grateful for the work I’ve done.
Cobey will return to UHI Inverness after the summer to study a sports course. He has ambitions to be either a football coach or a physical education teacher.
Student Apprentice of the Year Kimberley McIntyre (27), from Culloden, began studying at UHI Inverness in 2017 and recently completed her four-year apprenticeship, latterly studying painting and decorating SVQ III.
She worked in retail and hospitality before being persuaded to join her brothers David and Iain in the family business McIntyre Painting and Decorating Services.
She represented UHI Inverness at the UK Painting and Decorating Association’s Apprentice Paper Bender of the Year in Doncaster last year and was named senior winner at the awards ceremony in November.
“This award was such a big surprise, and my family threw a party for me,” she said.
“Being at UHI Inverness has been great. The speakers really supported me. I wouldn’t have stayed there if they hadn’t pushed me, really encouraged me.