Inspirational Individual Award ​2022

Awarded for achievements and inspiring others by overcoming adversity. ​

College of Business, Technology and Engineering​
Olivia Tindle – BSc Hon Physics ​

What they did​
This student has overcome significant adversity on their route to reaching the final year of their degree and are on course to graduate with a class I degree in Physics. They are from an economically disadvantaged background, have certain disabilities, which were diagnosed very late, lost a close family member during their A-levels, and have suffered severe mental health issues since a young age. One A-level teacher even told them that they should try something else – not to pursue physics!

Despite this, through tenacity and passion for the subject, they have excelled during their degree, and are actively pursuing PhD study at SHU and elsewhere. They undertook a placement year at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, where they gained experience in a research environment, which has stoked their fire for pursuing a doctoral degree. In my mind, to achieve success after facing such adversity is worthy of recognition. The student impressed with their determination and commitment as well as professionalism throughout the placement.  The huge growth in confidence and skills over placement has enabled the student to return to the university and pursue opportunities for further study.  Whilst on placement the student continued outreach work and support work for the university such as supporting IOP accreditation.”

What was the Impact?​
“On the back of their achievements, this student has applied for a PhD scholarship from the IOP Jocelyn Bell-Burnell fund. If the application is successful, the award would bring £35k funding in order for this student to continue study at SHU and pursue cutting edge research in nuclear physics, thus raising the profile of the department. They are also pursuing funded PhD opportunities elsewhere. Their final year project is to perform a nuclear physics experiment in collaboration with STFC, which has opened up new research collaboration opportunities between the STFC ISIS laboratory and SHU. I also believe one of the main impact of this student’s achievements is that of inspiring others. ​

The high quality work whilst on placement will lead to a paper and has helped increase knowledge relevant to a limiting problem at the facility.  ​

The student is applying for funding to study a PhD at SHU which if successful could lead to further funding and increased research opportunities at SHU for leading nuclear science research and increased collaborations with national and international facilities.”​

How it inspired others​
“Due to their time on placement at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the STFC website now features an article about this student, outlining the challenges they had faced, along with the research they were undertaking at the lab. I believe that other students who saw this article would feel inspired to pursue their ambitions, even in the face of adversity. This student also supports the university as a student ambassador at open days and outreach sessions, where they can share their unusual path into academia and showcase the success of a minority student in STEM. They also share their passion for the subject by assisting me as a voluntary teaching assistant during Atomic and Nuclear Physics tutorials, one hour per week.​

An article was published on the STFC website detailing the student’s journey and the challenges.  This and the other outreach work has helped inspire other student to apply for placements and that it is possible to overcome challenges, adversity and become an academic researcher. I believe this helps demonstrate that science is not just for the privileged and that hard work, determination and commitment it is possible to achieve and this is inspirational.”​

College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences​
Jessica Godwin-Geair – BSc Hon Midwifery​

What they did:​
“This individual is truly inspirational. As a mature student, with a young family, they have risen to the challenges of the course and the additional burden the Nursing and Midwifery Council emergency standards and working in the NHS during the pandemic brought and greeted it all with a smile. ​

At times of extreme pressure this individual only thinks of others and the support and care they need. An example of this was making a promise to bereaved parents that they would not leave their child alone. This commitment to the parents demonstrates great professional integrity and the provision of individualised person-centred holistic care. Even with this intense commitment to the parents this individual also found time to support junior students and registrants in the clinical environment to cope with the unexpected death. The hospital Trust commended the work of the student by reporting this case in their “Moments of Excellence Briefing”

This individual is part of the course peer support network. They are an inspiration to those who need additional support, who are looking to excel in their studies and professional practice or as a role model within the LGBTQ+ community. This individual will never shy away from a challenge”

What was the impact?​
“This individual has enhanced student wellbeing from a professional and personal standpoint. Demonstrating total commitment to their personal education and professional development. They are an outstanding role model for their peers and students from other health care professional groups within the College. Their understanding of the needs of service users and their families and the wider changes within health care and the NHS, exemplifies what Sheffield Hallam students can achieve.”​

How it inspired others​
“This person is an ambassador for the profession and Sheffield Hallam University by their cheerful disposition and daily embodiment of our graduate attributes. They inspire fellow students by example and have a profound impact on service users in clinical practice by the care they provide.”

College of Social Sciences and Arts​
Jeremiah Abiola Fasipe – MA Public Relations​

What they did:​
“This student demonstrated great resilience in confronting unforeseen circumstances in their academic pursuits.​

They organised a free workshop for underprivileged children empowering them which skills like tailoring, arts and crafts to enable them to leave the streets and make a living for themselves without having to resort to crime.​

They are filled with determination and resilience, despite a hard upbringing they are fighting and continuing to prosper. Not only has the nominee devoted time to learning skills (such as new languages, hair dressing, fashion and interpersonal skills), they have a great desire to improve society. They are fighting for this change through selflessly sharing their knowledge with others, especially through the teaching of youths.”​

What was the impact:​
“Empowering the youths by teaching them how to make clothes and also teaching them psychosocial competences and interpersonal skills to make them independent and be able to earn a living so as to prevent them from indulging in criminal activities. A sizeable number of youths acquired some profitable skill set to profitably navigate life’s rough roads. That singular act spread an aura of hope to those hitherto forgotten orphans.​

Through teaching & being a positive role model, many young lives have been changed, improved and inspired to persevere.”​

How it inspired others:​
“Following the good example of volunteering back to the society’s most crucial needs. A handful of NGO’s sprang up in especially during this pandemic period to address the issue of out of school children.​

It has proved to me & others that with hard work and a positive motive, unforeseen circumstances can be overcome and even used positively. Something that clearly rings true after the most recent years.”