Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Tourism student bags top prize

A Rhos-on-Sea student has many reasons to celebrate after winning a prize for academic excellence and graduating with a first-class degree from UCLan.

International Tourism Management student Joanna Kipps overcame a debilitating illness in her second year, followed by a close family bereavement at the end of her final year, to scoop the prestigious Victor Middleton award for the best performing student on the course.

The 22-year-old said: "It was hard at times, especially when I suffered a family bereavement during a crucial time at the end of my final year. However, I'm so proud to be graduating with a First and to win the Victor Middleton award. I must thank my course leader, Carley Sutton. She was so supportive and I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without her."

The former Eirias High School pupil took full advantage of the opportunities to travel abroad to help her undergraduate studies.

Joanna said: "I enjoyed my time at UCLan immensely and especially the opportunities to study overseas. Part of the reason I was attracted to UCLan was the year in industry aspect and I spent a brilliant year’s placement at Disneyworld, Florida. I gained important professional experience, got involved in all areas of the business, but I also really grew as a person and matured whilst I was away. I also visited New York to study and spent time in Cambodia working with the Green Gecko charity. I was determined to take advantage of these fantastic opportunities and I'm so happy I did."

Her proud parents and sister watched her graduate from The School of Sport, Tourism and The Outdoors in Preston’s Guild Hall and she now plans to take a well-earned break from academia to travel around South East Asia, before returning to the UK to study for her PGCE.

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