Friday, 15 July 2016

Sasha wins a prestigious award for academic excellence

A UCLan BA (Hons) International Tourism Management graduate, Sasha Kaalman (from Swinton, Manchester), is celebrating after winning a prestigious award for academic excellence.  Sasha fought off stiff competition to come top in a class where 94% of students received either an upper second or first class honours degree.  As a result she has been chosen as this year's recipient of the Merlin Entertainments Prize. This is given to the student who has demonstrated exceptional academic performance during their studies and is kindly sponsored by Merlin Entertainments, a giant of the tourism world which works very closely with the International Tourism course at UCLan.

In her own words Sasha came to us in the first place because, ‘UCLan offered a course that allowed me to learn about the management side of international tourism so it seemed more beneficial for the future, and the fact that there was an optional placement year offered at UCLan swayed me more towards this Uni than other ones. Plus student life is good here.’

Sasha describes the highlights of course as been our unique ‘Dark Tourism’ module taught by Phil Stone and her year long placement which was split between two hotel management internships; nine months in Australia and the rest of the time in North Wales. Sasha also valued the support that her tutors offered her, saying , ‘All tutors were very nice and if I ever needed help then they would always email back and would help as best they could. They would also give honest feedback for assignments which was good as helped me with future assignments.’

Sasha also used her time with us to volunteer at a range of international sporting events including London 2012 Paralympics, the Tour de France (in Yorkshire), the Rugby World Cup and she will be working in the Paralympic Village of Rio this September.
Sasha describes how the course has instilled her with the confidence and skills she needs to go on and succeed.   Her next step will be a Masters by Research degree but she is having a tough time deciding Australia, New Zealand or UCLan!  Longer term Sasha is interested in becoming a professional researcher and may try to combine this with her interest in international Sports Tourism & Events.

Course Leader, Dr David Jarratt, said that Sasha had proven to be an excellent student who started strongly but then consistently improved both academically and in terms of personal and professional development.  The whole teaching team at UCLan, as well as Lucy and the team at Merlin, offer their congratulations to her.  David also noted that the whole class deserved recognition for achieving an amazing set of results this year, a situation which we are delighted to say was replicated across all courses in the division.

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