A student with a passion for lifelong learning collected her fourth degree from Wrexham Glyndwr University 29 years since first studying at the institution.
46-year-old Emily Clarke-Jones, from Gwynfryn, graduated with a PhD after seven years of part-time study.
Emily collected a secretarial qualification with the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education (NEWI), the university’s predecessor, straight from school in 1987.
As her career progressed at Wrexham Council and later as a business manager at Ysgol Y Grango, she returned to study part-time for a HNC, BA (Hons) and Masters degree at NEWI and Wrexham Glyndwr University while working full time.
“I’m so relieved to have finally got the Doctorate,” said Emily, who collected her award at the university’s 2016 graduation ceremonies.
“There were probably more tough times with this one than any of the other degrees because of the demands and discipline needed to study alone but the support of the university, friends and family really helped to keep me going.
“Until I was on the stage at the William Aston Hall the scale of what I’ve achieved hadn’t really sunk in. I’m really proud now, though.”
Emily is now putting some of the knowledge she gained through her PhD to good use working for the Church in Wales in Mold on a change management project.
The PhD looked at the psychological impact of change on individuals within an organisation.
“The knowledge I gained from my research has definitely helped in my current job,” she said. “I’ve been able to combine this with experience from my own career, where I was involved in major change projects at both the council and within education.
“I’m going to try and have a bit of a break now but I’m sure I’ll be back studying something else at some point. I think I’ll miss it after a while.”
Hundreds of students collected degrees, diplomas and postgraduate qualifications at Wrexham Glyndwr University’s 2016 awards ceremonies. Honorary Fellows included former Olympian, Welsh hurdler Colin Jackson.