Inspirational Sheffield Hallam students recognised with awards

30th April 2024

Over 60 students and alumni celebrated as part of Sheffield Hallam University’s Inspirational Student Awards.

A student who completed her degree while undergoing cancer treatment, students who supported local charities, and some who set up new academic societies to improve fellow students’ experience were among over 60 students and alumni celebrated as part of Sheffield Hallam University’s Inspirational Student Awards.  

The annual event sees students recognised for overcoming adversity as well as inspiring and making a difference to their fellow students, staff, local community and employers. 

One of the awards up for grabs was the Inspirational Individual Award, which celebrates individuals' achievements and those who inspire others by overcoming adversity. 

Jennifer Cook was one of the winners, a mature BA Community Justice student from the University's College of Social Sciences and Arts who persevered with her course and completed her qualification despite being diagnosed with cancer mid-way through her training.  

Jennifer Cook, winner of the Inspirational Individual Award 2024 said: “Receiving this award fills me with pride and serves as a celebration of the human spirit, resilience, tenacity, and the unwavering belief in our ability to overcome even the greatest challenges. It is a testament to the support of those around me and the resilience that resides within us all.” 

The academic who nominated Jennifer, Aileen Watson, said: “I nominated Jen as I have worked with her for three years and she has shown incredible resilience in that time. Jen received her cancer diagnosis mid-way through her training but decided to carry on and she continued with great perseverance. Jen worked incredibly hard all the way through the programme and kept going even when times were really difficult for her.  She did phenomenally well to complete her qualification and I felt she was incredibly deserving of the Inspirational Student Award.” 

The winners were celebrated at an event held on campus, hosted by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Liz Mossop, and attended by family and friends, staff who have supported them during their time at Hallam and senior university leaders, as well as honorary doctorate recipients, Uri Rennie, Pam Liversidge OBE, and Doug Liversidge. 

Professor Liz Mossop, Vice-Chancellor, said: “It was a real privilege to be part of the celebrations held for our Inspirational Student Awards. Our students are incredible, and the things they do to go above and beyond for each other, the university and our communities is impressive. Their stories all made me proud to be a part of Team Hallam.” 

Current students, apprentices, placement students, alumni, academic societies, and small groups of students from staff, students and industry partners were eligible for Inspirational Student Award nominations. 

Honorary doctor Pam Liversidge OBE presented an award on the evening. She said: “Sheffield Hallam's Inspirational Student Awards are a great way to showcase the spirit of selflessness, commitment and talent of the University's diverse community of students, many of whom are of international origin.  I was so impressed by this year's Award winners who are a credit to the University, their families, their communities and, of course, themselves.” 

Other awards included the Hallam Spirit Award, awarded for capturing the “Hallam Spirit” and contribution to the Sheffield Hallam Community by working collaboratively, showing compassion, support, and kindness to fellow students and Hallam Staff, and the Student Voice Award, celebrating those actively advocating the voice of students and representing their collective interests amongst others. 

To see a full list of the winners and their stories, visit the Inspirational Student Awards page here. 

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