Student of the Year commended for professional approach
A student with a determined approach to his studies has been named as the University of the Highlands and Islands Undergraduate Student of the Year Award 2020 for Perth College UHI.
Michael Duthie (26) from Comrie completed a BA Childhood Practice. Debbie Corbett, Michael’s Personal Academic Tutor nominated him for the award and explained: “Michael began his academic career with Perth College UHI in 2012 when he began with the NC Early Education and Childcare. Michael followed on to complete his HNC Early Education and Childcare that secured him a post as an Early Years Practitioner within the baby room of a local nursery in Perth. Michael embraced this role supporting, children, families and staff and mentoring other college students on placement. Michael has been an exceptional example of helping to change the gender stereotype of such a role – this is commendable in an industry where there is a considerable imbalance in terms of gender within professional roles.
“To further develop his knowledge and demonstrate his commitment to the children and families that he worked with, Michael began the BA Childhood Practice degree in 2015.
“I have had the privilege to be Michael’s Personal Academic Tutor during this time. He worked hard academically and always took on the feedback/feed forward that he was given by staff, proving that academic skills can be developed through consistent effort. I know there were times that he felt that he may not achieve his degree, particularly as he never thought he would be able to work to such a high academic level. However, the fact that he is now graduating is testament to his hard work, determination, and outstanding commitment to the industry where he now works. Recently, Michael has been recognised within the industry by securing a new, senior role with a clear progression route towards management.”
Speaking about his award, Michael said: “I was delighted to win the University of the Highlands and Islands Undergraduate Student of the Year Award 2020 for Perth College UHI. My time in college was a good experience, where I have made friends for life and allowed me to build the confidence that I needed professionally and personally to help me speak to various people and organisations.
“I enjoyed myself from day one at the induction - where I met a lot of people who all had the same goals and objectives and they were also all really friendly. The staff were amazing at supporting me during my journey at Perth College UHI.”
Dr Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI Principal, added: “Michael exemplifies the well-rounded graduate that all employers seek and Perth College UHI is proud to have supported. He has made the most of his time in his educational journey, and is an outstanding role model for children and other males who also have so much to offer in Early Education and Childcare Services. He is a very worthy winner for University of the Highlands and Islands Undergraduate Student of the Year Award 2020 for Perth College UHI and we look forward to hearing more from Michael as his career develops.”
Laura Geekie, Manager and joint owner of the Apple Tree Nursery in Perth said: “We were delighted to welcome Michael to Apple Tree Nursery in July 2019. After working as an Early Years Practitioner within a baby room, Michael embraced the challenge, moving to a Room Leader position within our age 3-5 playroom where has he built wonderful relationships with children, parents, and staff. Michael continued to commit his personal time to his academic studies and we are absolutely delighted that his hard work and commitment has been recognised with this award.”