2020 winners – BTE

College of BTE – Inspirational Student Award Winners 2020


Alumni of the Year Award – Cameron Rigg, BSc Food and Nutrition (Graduated 2016)


What did they do:

After achieving a 1st class honours degree this student worked as a Product Developer at Pizza Hut Europe and UK then moved to the Co-op Food. Their work at the Co-op has been recognised as outstanding and far reaching. They have carved out a name for themselves through sheer dedication and commitment and works hard on behalf of the whole business. This person has a strong external presence and is making a genuine difference in terms of the foods we eat seeking and promoting healthier alternatives including reducing the nitrites in bacon for example.


What was the impact:

This person holds the role of Product Developer and has been recognised for their contribution receiving The Grocer Top New Talent 2019 award (“Colleagues say this person is a “shining star” who has a “fantastic collaborative approach to work””) and The Quality Food Awards Rising Star Award – Highly Commended. This person has external presence including being showcased in The Grocer: https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/my-food-job/my-food-and-drink-job-cameron-rigg-product-developer-co-op-food/595462.article


How did it inspire others:

This person maintains strong links with SHU, returning regularly and with enthusiasm to support the development of our students.



Hallam for All Award – Esther Lau, BSc Information Technology with Business Studies


What did they do:

This student is a course rep, department rep, student ambassador, member of various sports team, engaged in part time project work employed by the university, a student experience ambassador for computing and an autism mentor for two students. There are many examples that could be added here but given the category the one I wish to focus on is below.

The student has identified that the number of female students on computing courses is small, often with only one or two on a course. In the role of student experience ambassador, the student is leading a project they have suggested to implement free sanitary products in the female toilets in Cantor for computing students. This could help to alleviate an embarrassing situation, where a student has no female peers to turn to. The student has researched a supplier for these products and through contacts made when a placement student in MERI, the means to have containers printed. The student has designed labels which will be added to the containers to promote the free products.

A further project focussed on developing a sense of belonging in the department where the student co-led with two others the organisation of a Christmas quiz and board games evening, which was attended by many students


What was the impact:

The impact of the free sanitory project has not yet been launched, but I feel this will be very much welcomed and appreciated. However the student has made a considerable impact in developing a sense of belonging in relation to other projects they have led including the organising of the Christmas event that encouraged all student irrespective of gender to attend.


How dd it inspire others:

The work of this student has inspired others to take up opportunities to become student reps and other such roles and to contribute to improving the student experience and providing ways for the student voice to be heard and responded to.


Workplace Award – Georgina Thornley, BA Forensic Accounting

What did they do:

It is impossible to select just one category for this student as they have proactively been involved in so many different areas. As well as successful external engagement including internships and courses, they have been an active motivational member of the society and have arranged study sessions and WhatsApp groups to support other students on their course.


During an internship at HMRC, they developed a training programme which has now been adopted by this government department. Additionally, they instigated a visit to SBS from a senior member at HMRC which included sessions for students from level 4 to 7. The student organised the day and also promoting the event to other students.


Following a further internship, they have been asked to represent the organisation at an external event and are also in discussions regarding future employment.


The student also volunteered to take part in a leadership programme at PWC which has also led to an employment offer.


I am also aware that they have purposely made efforts in their seminar group to include more reserved students and returning placement students into established friendship groups.

This student is highly respected not only by the teaching team but also by her peers.


Having already achieved much by winning a place on a competitive summer internship programme, this student impressed the employer (HMRC) so much that they want to have a continuing relationship with SHU and the Forensic Accounting courses at Hallam.


What was the impact:

I have contacted the two organisations where this student has undertaken internships. The feedback received demonstrates the immense respect that this student has earned:


“This student is a phenomenal individual and should definitely be recognised for their drive, capability, and ethics”

“This student  impressed me with their professionalism, enthusiasm and energy”


“the product this student  produced was of such high quality and professionally produced that is has been published on our learning site and is actively used”


Additionally, the feedback received by SBS students in relation to the visit the arranged from HMRC included:


“As a first year student it really opened my eyes…. I really enjoyed the presentation as I feel like I’ve learnt more about my future career options. It has definitely made me more excited to finish my studies and learn more about this profession.”


“I found the day very insightful”


“I consolidated a lot of my 3 years of learning and bought the subject to life”


“ I would recommend the day for future years”


We have held a Forensic Accounting Conference in SBS at which HMRC ran sessions for levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 of both BA Hons Forensic Accounting and MSc Forensic Accounting. This was instigated and driven forward by the student being nominated.


How did it inspire others:

This student is inspirational in so many ways. As detailed above, the desire to be the very best version of themselves with the highest level of integrity has been evidenced by the wonderful feedback received via their internships. This student is passionate about sharing the knowledge and experiences they have gained not only with the students in their own seminar group but also across the course and department as a whole. Without doubt, they have inspired other students to get involved in events which they may not have considered without this student’s encouragement.


Getting to know this student and seeing the impact they have had on their seminar group, on other SBS students as well as lecturers and senior member of the department is personally inspiring. This student has significantly made their mark at Sheffield Hallam University being held in high esteem not only by every lecturer who has had the pleasure to teach them but also by their peers which demonstrates precisely how inspirational this student is.


The attendees at the Forensic Accounting conference thoroughly enjoyed their sessions and were able to see how their course was applied to the real world.



Enterprising & Entrepreneurship Award – Eric Bishyika, BA Digital Marketing


What did they do:

This student is an Award Winning young entrepreneur from Oldham who at 13 years old while they were at school set up a clothing business (SW Clothing) now Bishyika Ltd/MyDesign&Print using money saved up from a paper round they used to do. They also launched BIG (Business Incubator Group) which is a pre-start up incubator group for young entrepreneurs and start-ups who seek guidance, support, and information on how to grow their businesses.

BIG is leading the effort to create a business incubator to foster entrepreneurship in the community, and enhance learning, internships, and job opportunities for young people. Business incubators accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial companies by providing an array of business support resources and services. So far we have ran 2 successful cohorts, helped raise of £15,000 in funding for young entrepreneurs and helped to develop mindset and confidence in cohort members.


They have two businesses, a clothing brand and one dedicated to helping young people in Oldham to start-up their own businesses. They have also recently traveled to Uganda and Mozambique which has inspired the individual to set up their own not-for-profit organisation.


What was the impact:

Through hard work and determination they went on to win a number of awards for their entrepreneurship including Young Entrepreneur of the year 2017& 2018 and have featured in the BBC News, Channel 4, Manchester Evening News & other articles. They are now 22 and have been running their business for 8 years, they’re a public speaker, they’ve worked with various charities helping them to raise money, and they’re a great believer in supporting young people. They are also in the process of writing their own book about how they started a business at 13yrs old, tips and advice to other young entrepreneurs.


The individual has successfully helped young people gain the funding and knowledge required to start up their own successful businesses. They have won multiple young entrepreneurs awards and have spoken in high school assemblies about their success. furthermore, the individual has started the ‘one heart’ campaign for their not for profit organisation in order to raise funds with a mission to coach young people across Africa in personal development, contribute to providing care for malaria treatment and educating young children in basic reading and writing skills.


How did it inspire others:

In 2015 they launched S.E.T (Schools Enterprise Tour) which is a project that runs in schools, colleges and other educational institutions which helps to empower, motivate, and encourage young people to take ownership of their careers and help them to reach their full potential. It is delivered in a form of assemblies, masterclasses, workshops and one to one mentoring. The tour covers topics such as mindset, time management, power of opportunity, preparing for exams and employability skills. If you would like a speaker who is young, inspiring, interacts well with students and delivers a strong message then look no further. This individual is one of the best motivational speakers for schools in the UK, having spoken to over 8,000+ young people, visiting over 15 schools, and recieving over 1000 feedback forms which had great feedback.


The individual’s work ethic inspires many people to continue to work hard, especially young people who in particular, are brought up in deprived areas such as Oldham. They want to have a huge impact on the lives of the next generation of entrepreneurs and make changes to the world we live in today for the better.



Global Impact Award – Theodore Nwankwo, Phd SBS

What did they do:

This student who is also an international student organised a TEDx global event at Sheffield Hallam university tagged TEDxSheffieldHallamUniversity and themed “Orchestrating the future” on the 9th of November 2019. This event attracted speakers and attendees from around the world. This TEDx event featured students and academics of SHU as speakers, volunteers, and part of the organising team.



What was the impact:

TEDx is a globally recognised event and having this event at SHU has had a massive impact on students like myself. The event had 13 speakers which included students and academics from SHU. There were other speakers from Sheffield and other parts of UK, the US and Netherland. This was a great event that has given these speakers the platform to reach the world. To know that this elaborate event was put together by a student is laudable. This student having created this initiative, also created and led a team of over 15 other students, who gained experiences in event management, fund raising, time management and more.

This TEDx event was filmed and uploaded to the TED media channels, which is accessible to over 100 million people worldwide. This event has projected to the global community the unique ideas from our students and academics, and in addition the University, and I am proud to be associated with such remarkable events.



How did it inspire others:

Before TEDxSheffieldHallamUniversity, my impression of TEDx was that it could only be put together by experts in the TED group. Knowing that a student like myself could properly organise such a global event at the University has motivated and inspired me to believe in myself. It shows me that we students can do great things with wide-reach impact even as students. I have been inspired to think that someday I can mount a stage such as TEDx and share my unique ideas and inspire others just as this student organiser’s platform that students were a part of.

This TEDx event has contributed immensely to the knowledge base available in the TED community, knowledge that can spur further research and ignite debates in different corners of the world.


This student who is an international student, a doctoral student, also representing international students at the Students Union and at the Union Council is my inspirational student.



Leadership Award – Emma Greaves, BSc Mathematics


What did they do:

They have had a large input into the experience for other students. They were a PAL supervisor in our Peer Assisted Learning Scheme in their final year and helped to run the course’s society. They have also represented the year group as a student rep. They were very successful in all these roles.


What was the impact:

Being a PAL supervisor and helping to run the society has resulted in helping students transition into the university and being part of the community of learners. Their work as a student rep has enabled staff to gain valuable feedback and make improvements to the course for everyone.


How did it inspire others:

They supported PAL leaders who were supporting first year students in the first semester. They also inspired others to join the course’s society.



Placement Advocate Award – Abigail Hughes, BA Business and Enterprise Management


What did they do:

This student has proactively undertaken a variety of activities as a placement rep. Not only have they undertaken some of the more conventional activities such as lecture shout outs, classroom briefings, and support for individual students. They have also proactively arranged the attendance of 8 placements reps at a pre-careers fair briefing she had organised for placement seeking students. Not only did the student gain advice during the session they also obtained an informal mentor as contact details were exchanged so that sustained support could be offered. This student also organised a second ‘meet the reps’ event which offered practical support for placement seeking including a review of CVs and covering letters.


The student worked as a placement rep after returning to the final year followed a yearlong placement. They attended a number of seminars and lectures in order to raise awareness of the benefits of taking up a placement opportunity. The student also attended careers fairs and Meet the Rep sessions to promote placement opportunities to students. They encouraged students to contact them directly in order to answers questions and provide further support.


The student relied on the help of placement reps in their second year; this made them release how impactful it could be. This why they became a placement rep when they returned from placement.


The student started the role as a rep attending a few business seminars/lectures to speak to different people on different courses. They spoke about their placement experience and how much knowledge they gained about the real world and how it benefited them in returning to their final year.


During these sessions, the student answered questions and spoke about placements, such as, university support, financial support and my living situation as these were situations that worried me when I was applying. The student would leave their email with the students and would encourage them to get in contact, From these sessions, more people emailing me, more questions and with queries about CV’s and Cover Letters and about The Coop Application itself.


What was the Impact:

I can see impact in the number of students that attended the events organised by this placement rep, which suggests that there was a positive impact for those that attended.


I invited the student to visit a level 4 seminar to speak about the placement experience. After the talk my students said that that had been one of the highlights of the semester and they really appreciated hearing first hand and personal accounts of the placement experience.


The volume of emails was increasing, so the student decided to organise their own event with the help of Damon Fowler. It was an information and advice session about placements. Other placement reps attended including courses outside of business, people who did their placement abroad, people who lived away from university and home and people who did two placements. The idea behind the session was to help them understand the many possibilities of placements and also provide advice and support on their own applications. 25 students attended and said they found the sessions beneficial.


How did it Inspire Others

I think this student has inspired not only placement seekers with their lecture shout out, but also other placement reps to participate in activities organised by this student for placement seekers.


The student demonstrated to others that placements were attainable even for those with additional challenges such as dyslexia. As a result of visiting the seminar my students put additional work into their employability portfolio assignment because they appreciated how this would help them in their search for a placement.


The student feels that the placement gave them so many opportunities and gained so much knowledge. Having dyslexia made them worry about work after university but the experience was a boost to their confidence. Therefore, helping other students to feel the same was is amazing.



Regional Impact Award – Brad Allison, BSc Mathematics


What did they do:

The individual has demonstrated great focus in their attitude towards the BSc Mathematics course, their desired career direction and inspired us by providing a community-wide service which has led us to create a WPO (Widening Participation Outreach) project. Without any guidance nor advice from staff at SHU Maths, this individual showed great ingenuity by starting a voluntary Community Maths Support Service at their local library on the weekends. This individual, offers support for secondary-school level Maths (GCSE and A levels) to pupils whose parents cannot afford private tuition, and also the community in general. Moreover, is it providing an unselfish and genuine service to the community and is making a valuable contribution/developing positive links with the WPO community. This voluntary service ‘opened our eyes’ and made us realise that our SHU Maths students had untapped potential, and that this was a basis for us to create project which would have a two-fold, positive impact on both school pupils and our SHU Maths students. This year is the piloting of this project but has already strengthened our relationship with local WPO schools and inspired our Maths SHU students to believe in their skills and what they can achieve.


What was the Impact:

The impact was to motivate us to develop a WPO project with far-reaching consequences. We aimed to re-address the employability skills of our students, and how we could raise the aspirations of school pupils. In addition, it helped us identify that there was a need to do more in WPO. A pilot was successfully launched in January 2020 and, moreover, draws on current research which is an area of interest to many SHU Maths academics.


The Smith Report (2017) found that the higher the grade a pupil achieves in their mathematics GCSE, the higher the level of mathematics they participate in. Therefore, this project would provide support within the community by raising pupils’ aspirations, support progression to Higher Education and improve attainment by providing one-to-one support in Term 2 to Year 11 pupils taking GCSE Maths in June 2020. In addition, there is also a shortage of good quality mathematics teachers ‘with demand for mathematics teachers likely to rise over the coming years’ (The Smith Report 2017, p.66). This project has identified/trained SHU Level 5 Mathematics students with an interest in working with the community and with a long-term view to enter the teaching profession. Hence, this project provides these students with practical experience, developing their employability skills and improving their chances of successfully entering mathematics teaching without impacting on their current commitments to studying.


How did it Inspire Others:

This individual has proved inspirational to my colleague and I, other Maths SHU students and pupils in WPO schools. Without their actions this project would not exist.


As described above, we were inspired to create a project with two aims. Firstly, to work with schools identified by the HEPPSY+ and WPO team (SHU Progression strategy) in order to foster an appreciation of mathematics in order to encourage Year 11 pupils to choose to study mathematics beyond 16+. Secondly, this project motivated us to train/develop students (SHU Levels 5 and 6 Mathematics).


The outcome has been the GCSE Mentoring Project which was launched in Jan 2020 with 5 local schools committed to taking part (approx. 100 GCSE pupils). The Launch day proved successful with the initial Maths Support session proving popular, and teachers fully committing to working with us.


This project is ongoing and not only inspires pupils to achieve better GCSE grades but also inspires the Maths Support Tutors to develop essential skills and gain experience which can inform their teaching. Out of the 14 SHU students working as Maths Support tutors, several of them have already been accepted onto PGCE courses.


We hope to develop this project further so that other universities can roll out the same model.




We Are Hallam Award – Jessica Armitage, BSc Food Marketing Management


What did they do:

The student is working with 70 students on the Food Innovation Consultancy Challenge. This is an applied module working with industry clients. This year the students are working with Innocent, Taylors of Harrogate, Warburtons, Cranswick foods and nibnibs. This is a cross of five food categories. The student put together a lecture on Kantar Worldpanel data as they carried out their placement there last year. The university pays £35,000 for the data so it is essential this data is used. 98% of the food industry work with Kantar data and we are the only university in the country providing Kantar data. This gives all students a ‘heads-up’ on other university students. The student inspired the students with up to date information to use in consultancy module. This student gave tips and hints how to make the data meaningful as they would have to do in industry. The students will then base their consultancy findings when presenting to industry partners. Amazing teamwork having ‘students’ teaching students in their area of expertise that will give all the students stronger profiles when entering the jobs market. This student confidently presented to all 70 students, gave the data and then contextualised into all the product categories being worked on in the module.


What was the Impact:

The impact is 70 students will have the latest insights into the performance of products within the food categories they are working with. this gives the entire group a strong base in which to present their final presentations to their industry clients. 70 students will also go out for graduate jobs and be able to demonstrate they have worked with Kantar data at university. It is difficult data to make sense of, but I know all the recruiters will be shocked by the fact they already have a knowledge of the data and how to use it. It will therefore have a significant positive impact on the employability of Food Marketing Management and Food & nutrition students leaving in 2020. The presentation also inspired the students as it became the central focus of all students during the following FICC seminar sessions. Inspiring each other is one of the central objectives of the Food Innovation Consultancy Challenge module. This was an exemplary example of a final year student transforming the lives of a large group of peers!


How did it Inspire Others

It inspired the other students by firstly the student standing up in front of them to present. Presenting to peers is probably the hardest thing for any of us. the student had presented to two’s and three’s before but this was the first time to seventy students and the tutor. The confidence expressed by the student was first class and this filtered through to the rest of the group in a way that will help them to do similar. The knowledge of the data, and the skills to make this into a valuable and real story inspired the group. they left the lecture keen to login to the data and use it to support their consultancy projects. It inspired me as it was in line with the objectives of the module to provide students with real life opportunities they would not currently get with other universities and experience ahead of graduation. Following the presentation all the students had seminars and the Kantar presentation was the central focus of the group and individual work carried out by the students.



Outstanding Student Voice Award – Alice Boote, MEng Automotive Engineering


What did they do:

This individual continues to support students at various stages of their education to pursue an interest in Engineering, by sharing their passion for the subject with school groups as a Student Ambassador within the department and as a Placement Representative for Engineering, using their experience as a placement engineer with Rolls-Royce Plc to encourage 2nd year students at the university to consider the myriad benefits of undertaking a year in industry. In addition to their ambassadorial work, this individual plays a key role in continuing to raise the profile of both the Engineering department and the university as a whole, whether through maintaining the blog for the SHU Formula Student team or supporting with employer events such as the Hallam Careers Fair and Spotlight on Women evening for International Women’s Day 2020.


What was the Impact:

The impact that this individual has had on the university via their involvement in the extra-curricular activities mentioned above has been wide-reaching. As a Student Ambassador, they have repeatedly represented the Engineering department in the best possible light, showing school-age students what it really means to be an Engineer and the benefits and challenges of pursuing a university education – given the enthusiasm they demonstrate for sharing their love of the subject area, it is no surprise that this individual is an ever-present feature of the Engineering department’s outreach workshops at the STEM Centre.


As a Placement Representative, this individual has not only helped to inspire a number of 2nd year Engineering students with their transparent and insightful reflections on life as a placement engineer with Rolls-Royce Plc but has also helped to improve the placement support offered by the department by providing constructive feedback on both the Placement Reps scheme and the placement preparation module for 2nd year Engineering students, which is being used to improve the programme as a result.


Finally, as an integral member of the Formula Student team, including responsibility for press releases, this individual has helped to enhance the university’s wider reputation.


How did it Inspire Others:

One of the key elements that makes this individual so inspiring is their desire to improve the experience of individuals within the university, whether staff, students or external stakeholders. Always willing to offer support to other students, regardless of degree discipline, they have helped connect young people to the exciting opportunities available at SHU through their work as a Student Ambassador, extolled the virtues of multi-disciplinary teams by introducing non-Engineering specialists to the world of Formula Student and shared their time and career journey as a Placement Representative to enhance the career decision making of other students.


However, arguably even more significant than this individual’s ability to inspire students is their ability to inspire staff – their positive outlook, willingness to support with a variety of departmental and university-wide initiatives, and passion and enthusiasm for their subject area and SHU as an institution are a constant source of optimism for all staff members that work with them. Additionally, this individual’s admirable work ethic, interest in continuous improvement and willingness to offer clear, constructive feedback about the support that SHU offers to its students ensures that as university staff, we feel even more compelled to push ourselves further to improve the services we deliver.



Inspiring Individual of the Year Award – Rosanna Forster, MEng Material Engineering


What did they do:

Student’s Father died in April 2019 after a car crash and a three week stay in Sheffield hospitals (General and Hallamshire) during assignment and exam season. The funeral was 2 days before one of their exams. They achieved a placement and came top of their class with a first class result winning the Sheffield Metallurgical and Engineering Association Hatfield Memorial Prize for Materials Engineering despite facing a very difficult emotional time. Student also maintained 2 part-time jobs during this period, maintained their role on a Society committee and as a student representative during this time, fulfilling all duties to the roles whilst dealing with family and emotional commitments due to the bereavement.


What was the impact:

Student continued in their role as the Equal opportunities and Diversity Officer in the Material’s in Engineering Society ensuring a successful nomination and shortlist for the Society in the Most Improved category at the Society Ball 2019. They continued their work as a student rep and helped out classmates when they needed clarification on the final assignments. Student was promoted in their part-time hockey coaching job from a development coach to a Head coach of the regional Performance centre.


How did it inspire others:

They worked through a very difficult time in their personal life, revising on the 4 hour train either way so that they could attend their fathers funeral and also have the best chance at getting a good grade in their exam that was two days later. They continued to attend all the lectures they could and all of their other commitments and they worked in the hospital so that they could spend time with their dad (their family were in Surrey and couldn’t be with their dad all the time) whilst also keeping up with all the work they needed to do. They completed group assignments and presentations that were due days after the initial crash and received first class grades in their sections despite having done some of the work in the hospital. Their work ethic, strength and ability to complete work to not affect other members of the groups during this time is very inspiring.




Society / Group of the Year Award – Languages Society


What did they do:

Welcoming/Launch Event


Students provided an agenda both for academic & social events who has now evolved to monthly letters/posters which makes the task easier and much more organised. Society members made new links and got local businesses to sponsor them, allowing not only to have the highest budget for the Societies (for this time of the year), but hopefully inspire the future Society generations to consider this (i.e. tandems are now done in Revolution where students can feel more relaxed and they arranged a discount with the owner).


What was the impact:

– Great attendance (120 students)

– Key day to create a fantastic community (more than 220 people in the new societies site).

– Promotion amongst Asian and Erasmus student (bigger than previous years).

– This day allowed good attendance at events throughout the year.


How did it inspire others:

Students inspired others with event that included all communities. While sharing experiences abroad, students here also benefited from getting to know Sheffield and its surroundings. In addition to this, the society has been very business orientated and our budget is higher than ever at this time of the year. They have managed to have good linking words and sponsors with local businesses. Something that will help and inspire future generations of the Society.


In their own words:

“We have a delivered a good range of activities:

-Welcoming events (including an international quiz on different domains with prizes for

-Professional talks (i.e. on translation and interpreting, on accessibility, on food and culture)

-Languages exchanges (students could chat in a relaxed environment with native speakers to practise their language skills)

-Charity events (i.e. Christmas charity)

-Social events (i.e. international dinners)


All events intend to promote and encourage the variety of cultures and languages that we have these days. It is mainly aimed at international students…as well as those home students that do [related courses] and spend a year and a half abroad (however, everyone is welcome. Sometimes we have foreign students that do their degree at SHU but don’t study a [related course]. They are still interested in being part of the…society). We try to provide a good mix of academic and social events to involve as many people as possible.


The most successful event was the Welcoming event. This year, the committee made a really good effort promoting the…society during induction week, which was key to have good and consistent success throughout the year.

Normally, it is difficult for the…society to organise early in the year because most students arrive from spending a year and a half abroad. However, the fact that the president is now selected earlier in the year was fantastic.

For the welcoming event, we had around 120 attendees. The particular difference this year, more than in numbers, it is that we gather students from different countries. Erasmus were more participative this year than previous year and even the Chinese community joined us (sometimes difficult to attract). So it was particularly successful for the variety of cultures and languages gathered!!


In addition to this, I would like to highlight the fact that the…Society managed to have different sponsors and partners (with deals for students) throughout the year. This allowed the society to even have some budget left despite the amount of events organised. I am proud of them!”