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RGU Graduations: Class of 2021 celebrate success

RGU's 2021 Graduates
RGU's 2021 Graduates

It might not have been the traditional graduation they all expected, but Robert Gordon University (RGU) students have celebrated their achievements this week.

With the pandemic halting the usual ceremony at His Majesty’s Theatre for the second summer in a row, graduates across the country tuned in virtually.

Despite the ongoing challenges principal and vice chancellor Steve Oliver said that students had done “exceptionally well”. He went on to congratulate this year’s cohort for proceeding as normal in terms of learning and has thanked them for their “hard work and determination” over the past year.

The full list of graduates is available here.

Below are some of the inspiring stories of people from across the north of Scotland who are toasting their success. Click on their names to read more.

Jack Durkacz, from Findhorn, always knew he wanted to a job where he could put his interest in maths and science to use every day.

Mechanical engineer praises university for ‘opening doors’ after landing dream job

He may have been the first person in his family to go to university, but Jack Durkacz is now delighted to be following his dad into the energy sector.

The 23-year-old impressed bosses at CNR International so much during his university placements that he secured a job there before even completing his mechanical engineering degree at the Robert Gordon University.

He said the skills he picked up from his course and placements have enabled him to make a “smooth transition from student to graduate”.

Patzi-George Maskama has graduated with a law degree from RGU – juggling her studies with having baby Georgie

Law graduate says ‘anything is possible’ after juggling motherhood with final year

Patzi-George Maskamahas proved you can do anything you put your mind to after successfully juggling her studies with having a baby – in a global pandemic.

The 21-year-old has graduated from the Robert Gordon University’s law school with an LLB and now plans to study further for her diploma to become a lawyer.

She welcomed son Georgie into the world last summer, and admitted it had been a “huge juggling game”.

Matthew Craig is proud to have been awarded the IMechE Project Prize for his dissertation.

Aberdeen graduate awarded prestigious engineering prize

Matthew Craig finished school and went on to achieve a HND from Nescol in mechanical engineering. Through the degree link programme he applied to study at RGU and gained direct entry into third year.

The 24-year-old is the first member of his family to go to university, which is something he never expected to do, and now he is graduating with a MEng in Mechanical Engineering.

He is incredibly proud of his achievement, especially after winning an award for his dissertation. He said: “The most memorable moment for me personally was being awarded the IMechE Project Prize for my individual thesis in fourth year.

“Receiving this award from an institution which represents over 120,000 mechanical engineers from around the world was obviously a huge personal achievement for me.”

Ellie Wolf has graduated with merit from her master’s in Applied Psychology.

Mature graduate proves it’s never too late to follow your dreams

Ellie Wolf has proved that it is never too late to follow your dreams, it just requires resilience and commitment.

After working for 35 years in health and social care, she decided it was finally time to pursue her dreams of further studies and applied to study MSc Applied Psychology at RGU.

Going back to university after a 30 year break from studying was quite a daunting prospect for the 55-year-old, however, she was determined to get her masters while still working full-time.

Sir Ian Wood reflects on 17 years as RGU chancellor.

Sir Ian Wood reflects on 17 years as RGU chancellor as he gets set to bow out

Sir Ian has held the ambassadorial role at the university since 2004 and has “thoroughly enjoyed” working to enhance its reputation across the world.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed the contact with the the staff at the university, I’ve met some really great people along the way. The university itself is fantastic, probably one of the top newer universities in Scotland, and the campus is superb.

“Being named ‘Scottish university of the year’ was especially a really good, positive achievement and I’m very happy to be involved.”

The university’s high employment rate, a visit from a Royal and a foreign president stopping by also ranked highly on his list of fondest memories.

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