Graduating in front of her eight-week old son capped a memorable year for a sports psychology lecturer from Ireland.
38-year-old Ciara Losty completed a Doctor of Health Sciences in Psychology at Wrexham Glyndwr University while pregnant with her son Seanán.
Seanán was born just eight weeks ago and was in the audience when his mum collected her degree in the William Aston Hall on Wednesday October 26.
Ciara studied for the degree part-time alongside her full-time work a lecturer in applied sport and exercise psychology at Waterford Institute of Technology, attending residential study weekends at Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden.
Ciara said: “Completing my doctorate and having my first child means 2016 is a year I won’t forget. It’s just magic that I get to share my graduation with him and my family.
“Looking back, I’ve learnt so much about myself in the process as well. Studying for a doctorate is a marathon – it takes a lot of perseverance and mental toughness. It’s true grit and team work but thanks to having the right tutors and support system it’s also been an enjoyable process.
“I decided to study with Wrexham Glyndwr University as there are no similar-type professional doctorates on offer in Ireland. My background is in sports science and the structure of the programme was a good fit for me academically and personally. Commuting from Ireland to Wales proved to be very manageable.
“I really enjoyed my time studying. I don’t think it’s over for me and I can see myself collaborating or studying with the university again in future.”
Ciara was one of hundreds of students to collect their degree across six ceremonies at Wrexham Glyndwr University this week.
Honorary fellowships were also being awarded to six individuals for outstanding contributions to their industry.
Welsh Olympian Colin Jackson also collected an honorary fellowship in the same ceremony as Ciara on Wednesday afternoon.
Wrexham Glyndwr University Vice-Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar said: “For many graduation day is their final day at university as they go on to the next chapter in their lives.
“We hope that we have played an important part in helping them on the path to their chosen careers, and though they will be leaving us they’ll always be a part of the Wrexham Glyndwr family.”