Posted: Thu 31st Oct 2019

Celebrations at Wrexham Glyndwr University for second day of graduation ceremonies for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 31st, 2019

The second day of Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s 2019 graduation ceremonies has seen hundreds more students receiving their degrees.

During the ceremonies, students from Applied Science, Built Environment, Engineering, Education, Land Based Studies and Sports gained their qualifications – with both undergraduate and postgraduate awards being bestowed during the day.

During today’s proceedings, Honorary Fellowships were awarded to Professor Sharon Baurley for services to art and to Professor Charlotte Williams for services to equal opportunities in Wales.

The fellows received their awards before being presented to Wrexham Glyndwr University Vice-Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar and Chancellor Colin Jackson CBE during the third and fourth ceremonies of the week.

This week’s ceremonies are the first which Mr Jackson has taken part in in his role as Chancellor – after being awarded an Honorary Fellowship himself in 2016.

Sharon is Professor of Design & Materials and Chair of the Burberry Material Futures
Research Group at the Royal College of Art. She is also an Academic Partner at Horizon Digital
Economy Research Institute, and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy.

Her previous academic positions include Research Professor, School of Design, Royal College of Art; Head of the Design Products Programme, School of Design, Royal College of Art; Head of Design, School of Engineering & Design, Brunel University London; Reader, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London.

Sharon has a track record of initiating and directing inter-disciplinary RCUK-funded research projects between design and computer science and engineering communities. Her current research in the Burberry Material Futures Research Group is focused on developing an interdisciplinary
socio/human-technical approach to circular design and materials circularity.

“I hope that the hard work you have put in yo get you where you are today will bring you something equivalent to the good fortune I have had following my own start in Higher Education here,” Sharon said.

“The Art and Design programme I studied on here remains to this day one of the best educational experiences of my life. It is very nice to see Glyndwr has grown so much and I will watch with interest its journey going forward.”

Charlotte Williams is Professor of Social Work and Associate Dean of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Prior to taking up her post in Australia she worked as an academic for 15 years at Bangor University and subsequently for 7 years at Keele University, Staffordshire.

She has held numerous public appointments in Wales where she has her family home.

Charlotte has written extensively within her academic discipline on issues of migration, race and ethnicity in social welfare practice. Recent works include editing: Social Work in a Diverse Society (2016), A Tolerant Nation? Revisiting Ethnic Diversity in a Devolved Wales (2015, 2nd edition), Social Policy for Social Welfare Practice in a Devolved Wales (2011, 2nd edition).

Her contributions to post-colonial studies include her memoir, Sugar and Slate (2002), exploring her Welsh-Guyanese heritage and diasporic identity which was awarded Welsh Book of the Year in 200; co-editing of Denis Williams: A Life in Works, New and Collected Essays (2010) and regular contributions to the Welsh Internationalist Journal Planet, and to Wasafiri.

Charlotte was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List (2007) for services to ethnic minorities and equal opportunities in Wales. She holds Honorary appointments at Bangor University, University of South Wales and Malardarlen University in Sweden.

She said: “I’m delighted to receive this award from Wrexham Glyndwr University. My heart and my home is in North Wales and what I would say to you all is: know you value, find your voice – it’s never been more important to hear from you as it is now; your voice will help to shape the future – and above all, it’s your values which will carry you forward.”

Wrexham Glyndwr University Vice-Chancellor, Maria Hinfelaar, told the hall: “Gaining a University degree is one of the highest personal achievements: a test of stamina, commitment, intellectual rigour and ability, and you should be extremely proud.

“As you’ve progressed through your time here, you may have learnt valuable lessons how to cope with a bit of a headwind, and become a stronger person for it. That will stand you in good stead for the future, as you focus on the next phase of your life.

“I’ve worked in education for my entire career in various countries. Cultures and landscapes are of course different across various countries, and so are systems of education but one thing binds them together – a strong motivation to do well which is shared by the students, the academic and professional staff.

“I have always found it incredibly rewarding to see my graduates do well. That is why I think education is among the best sectors to work in.”

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