May 2020

ASPIRE Awards celebrate commitment of college students during coronavirus lockdown

Read time: approx 4 mins

Star college students at University College Birmingham have been nominated for special awards in recognition of their hard work and commitment to their studies during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown.

Students on further education courses within the School of Sport and Creative Services were selected to receive ASPIRE Awards recognising their dedication to continuing their learning off-campus despite the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award nominees were chosen by tutors for displaying key qualities making up the name ASPIRE: Attendance, Standout, Professional, Improvement, Reputation and Engagement.

Level 3 Beauty Therapy student Kristina Dodki was among those nominated for excellent remote attendance, participation and overall outstanding performance.

"I always try my best to get the highest possible grades for every module but I honestly did not expect this award," said Kristina.

"My Level 3 teacher Samantha Dickens has been influential in me achieving this as she is one of the most professional and enthusiastic teachers I have ever had. She has been very supportive and organised, making sure we get all the revision materials, resources and books needed in order to be highly prepared for coursework and exams.

"This has smoothly followed through to the lockdown – nothing has changed and Sam maintained her work ethic and supported me in the best way possible during this pandemic."

Describing how she and others on her course had been supported to continue their studies remotely, Kristina explained: "We swiftly and smoothly got the rest of our workload done through Canvas conference call.

"Our last conference call consisted of us each presenting an ESPA product. It was an extremely effective and engaging activity that displayed how well our course could still teach us and get us involved in class tasks even with the unexpected lockdown.

"Overall, I have been extremely impressed how we on our course and as a college have weathered the storm."

Congratulating Kristina on her award, lecturer Samantha Dickens said: "Kristina has been a model student all year. She is a mature student with a young family who gives 100% to her course and has achieved excellent attendance.

"She has always been on time and ready for work, presenting herself in a professional manner, and loves doing treatments because it makes others feel better. She has completed her programme this year due to her hard work at college and engagement since lockdown, attending Canvas conferences and submitting theory-based work."

Kristina was among the many students recognised for their success in continuing their courses through remote delivery in the absence of face-to-face teaching since March – see more winners in the list below.

The ASPIRE awards were first launched in February with creative services students participating in a range of activities, including trips to spas and meeting top industry make-up artists including Neil Hughes and BBC Glow Up star Stephanie Harrison, a former University College Birmingham student.

A celebration event is being planned for the latest award winners once students are safely able to return to campus following the lockdown.

University College Birmingham is committed to helping all students continue their college, undergraduate, postgraduate and apprenticeship courses during the coronavirus pandemic, with remote tuition and support being provided through a range of channels and resources. Find out more on our COVID-19 FAQs page.

If you are interested in a career in the beauty and make-up industry, discover the full range of courses on offer within our School of Sport and Creative Services, and follow the latest updates on Twitter and Instagram.

Congratulations to our ASPIRE Award winners!

Kalsoom Amer – Level 3 Beauty Therapy

Kaitlyn Atkins – Level 2 Hairdressing

Courtney Bailey – Level 2 Make-up Specialist

Calae Burgess – Level 2 Beauty Therapy

Zoe Burgwin – Level 3 Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up

Alayna Catwell – Level 3 Hairdressing

Amelia Copson – Level 3 Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up

Kristina Dodki – Level 3 Beauty Therapy

Amanda Farley – Level 2 Make-up Specialist

Remi Faulkner – Level 2 Beauty Therapy

Akilah Hansel – Level 2 Hair and Media Make-up

Timera Henry-Davis – Level 2 Hair and Media Make-up

Kacey Hunt-Farrow – Level 2 Hair and Media Make-up

Chelsea Keenan – Level 2 Hairdressing

Robyn Leslie – Level 2 Hair and Media Make-up

Paige Luke-Ansell – Level 2 Hair and Media Make-up

Alicia-Jayne Lowe – Level 2 Hair and Media Make-up

Lucy Marsh – Level 2 Beauty Therapy

Amanda Mills – Level 2 Beauty Therapy

Dagna Niespodzinska – Level 3 Beauty Therapy

Alina Paun – Level 2 Beauty Therapy

Safa Rehman – Level 3 Beauty Therapy

Danae Robinson – Level 2 Make-up Specialist

Ella Simpson – Level 2 Beauty Therapy

Laura Snape – Level 3 Make-up Artistry

Cristina Tatar – Level 2 Beauty Therapy

Paige Taylor – Level 3 Theatrical Special Effects, Hair and Media Make-up