Debbie Hill Award for the Exceptional Support of Students
This award celebrates individuals who go above and beyond in their support of students, inspiring them with their passion and commitment.
Andrew Bishop has volunteered for the University since 2014 and donated to support important work. He has particularly been an incredible mentor for students as part of the Career Mentor Scheme. As part of this, he has been great at assessing what his student mentees would benefit from during the scheme, including providing materials for mock interview practice and holding a video mock interview. This enabled the students to build up their confidence and put themselves in good positions for successful future interviews as part of their job search.
"I am deeply humbled and honoured to be recognised like this. If life is a journey then there will always be bumps in the road – today’s bump feels huge today. It may feel like the bump at the end of the world. People though are adaptable and clever so this will be a smaller bump over a lifetime – control the controllable, keep perspective, think about what purpose you want to chose for the future, aim high, go for it and tick off the milestones along the way – every minute every day you can and will make progress.”
Bridget Garrood (Sociology, 1984) was instrumental in helping set up the LGBTQ+ and Law Exeter student action project. She provided guidance, support and helped connect the group with a network of fantastic LGBTQ+ lawyers. She volunteered to speak at many of the events and provided fantastic mentorship for many of the members. For the launch event, she helped the students gain sponsorship from law firms and put them in contact with renounced lawyers. She also helped the group establish a strong connection with the national Law Society based in London. During the Coronavirus outbreak she has continued to offer to help our members in any way she can proposing to set up an online mentorship for LGBTQ+ lawyers and students. There is no doubt that without her support, LGBTQ+ and law would not have been as successful as it was this year.
"This is lovely news. Warmest wishes to all who are currently trying to study in isolation for exams without the camaraderie of campus life, bars, Guild societies, and safe student spaces. We may be in lockdown, off campus, in furlough, challenging COVID-19 on the frontline or behind it, but as students, staff and alumni of the University of Exeter, we are all connected by our Exeter links. This connectedness holds us together across generations and around the globe. As a matter of community care and individual self-care, it may never have been more important to close the social and geographic and virtual distance which separates us, especially for those in our more marginalised communities."
Carolina Ordonez-Gaete (MSc International Management, 2005) has been an outstanding mentor to Exeter students on the Career Mentor Scheme and has volunteered for the University of Exeter in every year since 2009. She’s also an international country contact for Chile, has conducted mock interviews, and hosted events. Her commitment to the mentoring scheme has enabled students to learn invaluable skills such as interpersonal communication and strengthen their cvs, which has led to opening up more career paths.
Dr (Michael) Mick Jackson
Mick Jackson (Chemical Engineering, 1979 and PhD Chemical Engineering, 1984) has been volunteering for the University since 2014 and has generously given his time over the last three years, working closely with Exeter staff to develop and grow the Jackson-Grime-Davies internship programme for Exeter students. Thanks to Mick’s vision, the programme goes from strength to strength. Mick has worked tirelessly to give talks to students about the programme, interview candidates, and mentor them throughout this fantastic internship opportunity. Many students have benefitted from the opportunity, as well as Mick’s insights and generous support, which will have immeasurable impact on their future career trajectories. Alongside this, Mick has given many hours to support students as part of the Career Mentor Scheme over the past few years.
"It is both rewarding and a privilege to be able to give back to the University, helping new generations of students whilst paying tribute to those whom I was fortunate to have as mentors. The Mentoring Scheme supports students in shaping their ambitions and is, I feel, a special experience for Alumni. Supporting the Jackson-Grime-Davies Internship scheme has been driven by my passion for collaborative research in applied science and desire to give students an insight to an area which might influence their future careers. "
(Rebecca) Becky Pike
Becky Pike (BSc Sports & Exercise, 2012 and MSc Human Resource Management, 2018) since 2015 has actively provided excellent contributions and support to the Pathways to Law programme for Exeter students. She has also supervised student placements at Michelmores whilst hosting multiple annual Pathways to Law placements, alongside an annual Pathways to Law re-union event. Becky has helped to facilitate the annual ‘Pre-placement’ event, by actively contributing to the guest speaker panel session, which aims to provide the opportunity for sixth form students from a widening participation background to find out more about the role of a solicitor, trainee opportunities and what they might expect as part of their own placement.
Ruth Briggs (Biology and Geography, 1976) has been an incredible mentor to Exeter students on the Career Mentor Scheme and a regular donor to the Alumni Annual Fund for the past 20 years. Students on the mentoring scheme have found her advice and knowledge not just useful but has helped lead to career paths they have found satisfying, worthwhile and personally fulfilling. She has also provided a career profile and answered student questions as part of the Exepert scheme and has always desired to make a contribution to the University through volunteering in appreciation of her own fulfilling time at the University.
"I'm delighted to be one of this group of alumni offering mentoring support to students and recent graduates. During this particular year, now dominated for us all by the Covid-19 pandemic, I sense that having a mentor might offer even more benefits than usual. The sudden changes into distance learning, course modifications, lockdown life and an uncertain job market have presented significant, challenges. I'm pleased to chat and work with mentees, offer an employer's view and moral support, and help them develop the extra-curricular skills and ideas that contribute to success."
Terry Webster (Mathmatical and Statistical Research, 1992 and MBA 2017) has volunteered for the University since 2011 including speaking at events, providing work shadowing opportunities, and acting as an outstanding mentor to students on the Career Mentor Scheme numerous times. In the last year, Terry has truly gone above and beyond in his support of our students, both in terms of his actions and volunteering time given. Terry has shown great patience, kindness and generosity in his mentoring of, in particular, international students. He has demonstrated great sensitivity towards cultural awareness and the issues international students face, taking on a pastoral role in caring for their mental health and wellbeing. Terry has helped students to feel more settled in their lives at the University, before helping them to focus on their career planning.
"This is a great honour and a huge surprise, thank you all so much. My advice, for what it's worth, to students and alumni alike, is, as far as possible, to focus on and enjoy what you think will make the positive impact and can realistically be achieved, rather than to worry about and expend energy on areas you most likely can't change, won't make much difference or may never happen. This is currently very relevant given the current lockdown situation."
Trevor Worth has supported and facilitated numerous MBA Exeter events, provided strategic advice and career profiles as well hosting mock interviews since graduating. Trevor graduated from The Exeter MBA in 2014 and since then has played a major role in supporting our current students by volunteering his time. He has acted as a mentor and facilitator on the MBA white space activities, guest speaker on the MBA Speaker Series and sponsors an annual innovation award for MBA graduands. He has also been a guest lecturer to the University's Philanthropy Team, provided MBA consultancy projects and supported the MBA at the last AMBA and EQUIS accreditation visits.
"Relationships should always be more than transactional, and it's important to give back as much support as possible to the next generation, to help them achieve their aspirations. It's a ‘Pay it forward’ mentality because those you've mentored, encouraged or hopefully inspired, will then reciprocate with their next generation. My personal relationship with the University has been an incredible experience and both myself and my firm will continue to support it in all the ways we currently do, and I am extremely humbled and flattered to have been nominated for an award."