A mammal keeper at a Greek zoo, a graduate who applied complex investigative techniques to measure public attitude to wildlife and a mature career changer who achieved her dream job as a veterinary nurse were the recipients of Dean’s Awards at a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2023 from University Centre Reaseheath (UCR).
They were Kalliopi Angelakopoulos, a BSc (Hons) Zoo Management (First Class) graduate, who received the Meredydd David Award for Academic and Technical Excellence, Tomos Jelfs, a BSc (Hons) Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare) graduate who was selected for the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Undergraduate Research and Susie Noble, BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing, who was this year’s recipient of the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Personal Progression.
Read their stories below:
Kalliopi Angelakopoulos BSc (Hons) Zoo Management (First Class)
Kalliopi was born and raised in and around Athens, remaining there until 2020 when she moved to England to study for her degree. She chose to study at UCR because of its excellent practical facilities and completed her second year work placement at our mini zoo.
As well as being an outstanding undergraduate, Kalliopi made sure she made the most of student life, holding the position of Vice President of our Student Association for two years and becoming involved in all student activities.
The husbandry skills and theoretical knowledge she gained on her degree have already paid off, as within months of completing her studies she was offered a position as mammal keeper at Attica Zoological Park in Athens. She is currently working in the savannah area, helping to care for species such as red pandas and giraffes, and also within the native animal collection which includes bears and wolves.
After some years gaining experience, Kalliopi may consider a move into research.
Ellie Rose, Programme Leader for Animal Sciences, gave her this citation:
Kalliopi has been an exceptional student throughout her three years at University Centre Reaseheath.
During her time with us she has made use of every opportunity for further study and development. Her assignments have been submitted on time and to a very high standard, clearly demonstrating the care and effort she gives to her studies. In class she has been a pleasure to teach, asking insightful questions, making intelligent contributions to discussions, and generally being enthusiastic and resourceful about every topic.
Kalliopi was Vice Chair of the Staff – Student Partnership Forum at UCR and showed great dedication and enthusiasm for the role. She has also been an asset for marketing the Animal Science programmes at UCR, contributing blogs and videos, and appearing as the smiling, welcoming face on some of the UCR web pages.
Tomos Jelfs BSc (Hons) Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare)
Tomos completed his Foundation Degree Animal Management (Behaviour and Welfare) with us in 2022 and followed this with a BSc top-up year.
Discovering an aptitude for research within biological sciences, Tomos is now considering studying for a Master’s degree in Zoology at Harper Adams University. His ambition is to further research into human – wildlife co-existence and to encourage a greater public understanding of, and interest in, conservation.
For his final dissertation, Tomos set up a new survey which catagorised viewpoints of specific groups such as landowners towards wildlife. He used plenographics (qualitative research) to predict responses in a study covering the whole of the UK.
For Tomos’ citation, Programme Leader for Animal Sciences Ellie Rose, said:
Tom wrote a beautifully articulated and excellently researched article which evidenced a strong understanding of the use and application of Wildlife Value Orientations and excellent, sophisticated academic prowess. The topic was preliminary investigations into the wildlife value orientations of UK land owners, managers and tenders.
He showed exceptional scholarship in his research into the topic, application of complex investigation techniques and above all his highly professional and eloquent writing style, leading to a score of 90% for his scientific article (89% overall).
Susie Noble BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing
A member of the first cohort to complete our new four year BSc (Hons) Veterinary Nursing degree, Susie has changed career direction to become a fully qualified veterinary nurse.
Paying tribute to family members and to her lecturers for their support, she said:
“It is an honour to receive the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement and Personal Progression. I am grateful to my family and to the exceptional staff at University Centre Reaseheath for their guidance and support which has enabled me to achieve a new career in veterinary nursing. As a mature student, I am proof that it’s never too late to make your dream happen.”
Susie’s citation, from Programme Leader Louise Sutherland and Advanced Practitioner Heather Bush read:
Susie has been a valued member of the first graduating Veterinary Nursing cohort. She has always put in 100% effort and has shown great academic development, producing a fabulous research project for her dissertation using data from her veterinary practice. Deadlines have always been adhered to and met, and she has always performed to a high standard.
Susie completed her NPL and practice hours within the allocated time. She also demonstrated high levels of competency and confidence in her RCVS Day One Competences (proof that graduates are fully prepared for their first role in the profession and safe to practise independently.)
She made a fantastic impression in practice, resulting in her securing a permanent position.
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