Employability Awards 2021

The University of Derby’s Employability Awards celebrate students, staff and external partners who have made highly significant contributions towards student employability during the academic year 2020-21.


The University of Derby’s Employability Awards celebrates students, staff and external partners who have made highly significant contributions towards student employability during the academic year 2020-21. All of our involved parties were invited to make nominations which were then judged by an independent panel against the proposed awards criteria. This year 225 nominations were submitted in total, the most we have ever received. Thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate.

Celebrating the Awards

Congratulations to all winners and runners up!  

Find us on social media to discover more about the awards.  


Watch the Employability Awards 2021 - live stream

Don't worry if you missed the Careers and Employment Services - Employability Awards 2021, you can now watch the live stream back. 

Employability Awards 2021

View Employability Awards 2021 video transcript and audio description

Message from the Vice-Chancellor

“I am delighted to support this annual event to celebrate the achievements of the academic year and recognise the contributions from staff, students and our external stakeholders towards student employability. Through another challenging year, it is a great pleasure to see the achievements, successes and journeys which have taken place. I would like to congratulate each nominee and winner and wish you all every success for the future.” 

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL

Four students holding certificates and smiling at Employability Awards
Four students smiling and one holding a certificate at Employability Awards

Academic Employability Champion

Academics are at the heart of what we do as a University and their support in developing our students’ employability is invaluable. Students and staff were invited to nominate for this award which recognises those who have championed employability throughout this academic year.

  • All staff in all fields of the BSc and MSc Nursing programmes 
  • Barend Slabert – Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Bev Crighton – Business, Law and Social Science 
  • Bill Whitehead – Clinical Lead, University of Derby, Asymptomatic Testing Sites
  • Caroline Harvey – Health, Psychology and Social Care 
  • Chris Bristow – Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Chris Forby – Science and Engineering 
  • David Thompson – Business, Law and Social Science 
  • Debbie Alston – Science and Engineering  
  • Fiona Hawthorne – Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Helen Brocklehurst – Business, Law and Social Science  
  • Jeanette Lewis – Science and Engineering  
  • Jennifer Marshall – Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Jianfei Xie – Science and Engineering 
  • Kay Bolderson – Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Kay Owen – Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Kaye Howells – Business, Law and Social Science 
  • Laurice Fretwell – Science and Engineering  
  • Maren Huck – Science and Engineering 
  • Parminder Johal – Business, Law and Social Science 
  • Paula Lewis – University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust  
  • Rebekah Marangon – Business, Law and Social Science 
  • Ruth Smith – Business, Law and Social Science  
  • Sanita Nezirovic – Science and Engineering  
  • Sarah Rossellini – Study Skills Team 
  • Sarah Stonier – Buxton & Leek College  
  • Sheena Bevitt – Business, Law and Social Science 
  • Simon Bignell – Health, Psychology and Social Care 
  • Tarek Jomaa – Science and Engineering  
  • Thomas Staunton – Arts, Humanities and Education 
  • Tom Craig – Arts, Humanities and Education 

Be The Boss - Enterprising Student/Graduate

The Be the Boss Programme offers our enterprising students and graduates the support to set up their own business with a programme of activities along with access to business advice to help get them started. This scheme has seen fantastic uptake since its launch with over 143 businesses created.

  • Michelle Chard – Mimis' Soul Food 
  • Tyra Tucker – Culture Scoop 
  • Will Brown, David Phoenix, Will Kitchen, Martyna Tomaszewska – Not a Goose 

Winner: Michelle Chard (Mimmi's Soul Food)

Runners up: Tyra Tucker, Will Brown, David Phoenix, Will Kitchen, Martyna Tomaszewska (Not a Goose)

Community Engagement Award

The University works with a variety of community and voluntary organisations across the city and region that provide volunteering and work experience opportunities for our students and graduates and gives them the opportunity to make a positive contribution in the community. Staff and students were invited to nominate organisations for this award.

  • Bumblebee Conservation Trust (Rhodri Green) 
  • Care and Education Group 
  • Derbyshire Voluntary Action/Community Chesterfield 
  • M-prez Enterprise (Tomar Beh) 
  • NSPCC (Kuljinder Nahal and Tasha Lynn) 

Winner: Bumblebee Conservation Trust (Rhodri Green)

Runners up: NSPCC (Kuljinder Nahal and Tasha Lynn)

Employer Engagement Award

As a University we work with a wide variety of organisations across many sectors and disciplines that provide a great range of opportunities for our students and graduates. Careers and Employment Service staff were invited to nominate organisations for this award.

  • ABTA (Vicki Wolf) 
  • Buxton Museum and Gallery (Ros Westwood) 
  • Children’s Choice Therapy (Alison Hart) 
  • Colleague Box (Adam Bamford and Natalie Bamford)  
  • Derby City Council 
  • Derbyshire Constabulary (Detective Inspector Adam Wilkins) 
  • Derbyshire Constabulary (Shrey Jhalani)
  • Devon and Cornwall Constabulary (Lorna Markillie)
  • East Midlands Special Operations Unit EMSOU (James Smith) 
  • Enterprise Rent a Car 
  • HarperCollins UK (Kally Simmonds) 
  • ITV Studios Talent Team North (Tracy Walker and Rebecca Yeomans)  
  • Joanne Grant (Freelance Editor) 
  • Loates HR (Sarah Loates) 
  • Milestone Education (William Taylor) 
  • National Trust (Helen Cashin) 
  • Novus (Richard Wakelin) 
  • Peak Mortgages & Protection (Rhys Schofield) 
  • Pippa Pixley - Independent Children's Illustrator 
  • Rare Games (Victoria Hall) 
  • Senploy (Amy Allen) 
  • Third Rock Clothing Company (Clair Hyndman) 
  • Twinkl Education (Frazer Scott and Liam Taft)  
  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (Paula Lewis) 

Joint winners:

  • ABTA (Vicki Wolf)
  • Derbyshire Constabulary

Runners up:

  • Children's Choice Therapy (Alison Hart)
  • Loates HR - Sarah Loates
  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (Paula Lewis)
  • Derbyshire Constabulary (Detective Inspector Adam Wilkins)

Futures Award Student of the Year

The Futures Award recognises co-curricular, employability related activity including volunteering, our Union of Students and social media. University staff and external partners were invited to nominate students who had made an impact through their work for the Futures Award.

  • Amy Reant
  • Carl Bridges
  • Cheryl Tooth
  • Christine Wright
  • Connor Rawlins-Lambert
  • Daniel Lodge
  • Diana Lazzari
  • Ellie Kean
  • Elle Johnson
  • Jasbir Bhatti
  • Jessica Lucas
  • Kayla Chauhan
  • Lee Goadsby
  • Louie Belfield
  • Maureen McKeague
  • Miranda Boddye
  • Roxanne Wilson
  • Tracy Cartledge
  • Zoe Bown

Joint winners:

  • Cheryl Tooth
  • Maureen McKeague

Runners up:

  • Amy Reant
  • Diana Lazzari

Graduate of the Year

This award recognises a graduate who has demonstrated commitment to their early career development. They may have secured a graduate job, undertaken an internship, accessed personal development through careers appointments or events, gained experience in a voluntary role, or been a role model to other students and soon-to-be graduates.

  • Anisha Johal  
  • Emma Rodrigues  
  • Tyra Tucker 

Winner: Emma Rodrigues

Runner up: Tyra Tucker

Mentee of the Year

Our students who take part in the Careers and Employment Employer Mentoring Scheme are matched with an experienced professional who can share their knowledge and skills. They have the benefit of talking to employers to gain an insight into their industry and discuss their own future employment potential. All of our current Mentors were invited to nominate their Mentee for this award. 

  • Aishwarya Dalpat 
  • Beth Price 
  • Jan Rosovic 
  • Jessica Dutton 
  • Junior Adeleke  
  • Louise Ly 
  • Oleksandra Dievak 
  • Sadie Cunningham 

Winner: Beth Price

Runners up:

  • Jessica Dutton
  • Sadie Cunningham
Alex smiling in a suit holding his Graduate of the Year certificate.

The employability awards are an amazing way to celebrate students gaining the volunteering and work experience opportunities that will help them to develop the skills to find employment and succeed during and after their studies.

Alexander Wood
Graduate of the Year Award winner 2020

Mentor of the Year

The Careers and Employment Mentoring Scheme alongside other mentoring opportunities across the University offer students and graduates the opportunity to be mentored by a professional from our local business community. All of our current Mentees were invited to nominate their Mentor for this award.  

  • Abigail Marsden 
  • Adam Wilkins 
  • Anthony Clodd 
  • Claire Bicknell 
  • David Burton 
  • David Phillips 
  • Elena Jelaca 
  • Ellen Parkes 
  • Joanne Grant 
  • Julia Fowler 
  • Justina Petkeviciute  
  • Karin Spencer 
  • Keith Donald 
  • Laura Wilson 
  • Nathan Cornwell 
  • Stephen Pacey 
  • Stuart Hartley  
  • Sue Richmond-Sterry 

Joint Winners:

  • Abigail Marsden
  • Ellen Parkes

Runners up:

  • Claire Bicknell
  • Stephen Pacey

Student Employability Award

This award recognises students who have worked hard to develop their employability skills, either through engagement with their curriculum or specific opportunities, with the goal to make themself more employable. Careers and Employment Service staff were invited to nominate for this award.

  • Amey Hellen 
  • Andrew Marriott  
  • Barbora Horackova 
  • Charlie Herbert  
  • Charlotte Harrison-Wear  
  • Kristina Knoskova 
  • Laura Pepper 
  • Leah Blundell 
  • Maureen McKeague  
  • Nicola Lambert  
  • Prabhjot Kaur 
  • Sophie Spencer 

Joint Winners:

  • Amey Hellen
  • Nicola Lambert

Runners up:

  • Andrew Marriott
  • Charlie Herbert

Student Employment Agency - Student Employee of the Year

Our Student Employment Agency works as a temporary recruitment agency for both internal departments and external employers. All managers who work with the service were invited to nominate students who had worked for them, demonstrating their skills and understanding in a professional environment.

  • Barbora Horackova – CELT, UoD
  • Bryony Picton-Turbervill – Apprenticeship HUB, UoD
  • Charlotte Harrison-Wear – Marketing, UoD
  • Georgina Brightmore – Marketing, UoD
  • Ioana Batcu – Marketing, UoD
  • Kitty Nichols – Marketing, UoD
  • Alex Taday, Bethan Roper-Jones, Daniel Nang-Tege, Euan Simpson, Eve Newitt, Finley McLoughlin-Harrison, Gemma Hickman, Jodie Findley, Katie Powell, Kelly Dodds, Marie Want, Matthew Minshull, Robert Bryan, Sarah Bendali-Braham, Sarah Hassan, Sarah Huckerby, Savitree Ramkobair, Seren Lloyd, Tyler Burton – Derby City Council, Asymptomatic Testing Centre
  • Thomas Berrington – Inspire Fitness Academy
  • Olivia Hills – Derby Swap Shop Ltd

Winner: Barbora Horackova - Centre for Learning and Excellence, University of Derby

Runners up:

  • Bryony Picton-Turbervill - Apprenticeship Hub, University of Derby
  • Thomas Berrington - Inspire Fitness Academy

Student Volunteer of the Year

Volunteering is a great way for our students to develop employability skills whilst making a difference in the community. We encourage our students to undertake volunteering outside of their studies. Charities and Community Organisations who have hosted our students and graduates as volunteers were invited to nominate for this award.

  • Amy Holder – 1625 Outreach 
  • Anamaria Pecaku – M-prez Enterprise  
  • Eleanor Crookes – Dig Deep 
  • Fay Turner-Paxton – Union of Students 
  • Jairam Kaur – Sikh Soup Kitchen 
  • Katie Howley – Glow 
  • Kitty Nichols – Student Ambassador, UoD 
  • Matthew LeDoux-Deakin – British Acoustic Neuroma Association 
  • Prabhjot Kaur – Baba Deep Singh Gurdwara 
  • Sarah Mason – Derby City Council 
  • Tracy Wright – Residents of Fairfield Association 

Winner: Matthew LeDoux Deakin - British Acoustic Neuroma Association

Runners up:

Work Experience Employer of the Year

This award recognises employers who hosted students either through Driven, the curriculum embedded micro-placement or our Year in Industry programme. All students who had completed any form of work experience, internship or micro-placement were able to nominate their employer for this award. 

  • Akar Studios (Sat Garg) 
  • British Occupational Hygiene Society 
  • Community Chesterfield
  • Derbyshire Constabulary (Shrey Jhalani)
  • Devon and Cornwall Constabulary (Lorna Markillie)
  • East Midlands Special Operations Unit EMSOU (James Smith)
  • Franklin Ellis Architects 
  • Just-Ice (Sally Murray and Gavin Murray) 
  • M-prez Enterprise (Tomar Beh) 
  • My Energy Game (Edu Rubio-Higueras)  
  • Myster Fashyn By Sarkodie (Stephen Asumadu-Sarkodie) 
  • N Brown (Ciara Tully) 
  • Nottingham City Care Partnership 
  • Peak Wildlife Park (Hannah Lister) 
  • PureHealth Physiotherapy (Safa Najmedin) 
  • Residents of Fairfield Association (Lia Roos) 
  • Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy (Michael Hilton) 
  • University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (Paula Lewis) 
  • Via East Midlands Ltd 
  • Yellow Bird Marketing (Rebecca Erskine) 
  • Zeal Solutions Ltd (Antonio Zarola) 

Winner: Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy (Michael Hilton)

Runners up:

  • East Midlands Special Operations Unit EMSOU (James Smith)
  • Franklin Ellis Architects
  • N Brown (Ciara Tully)
  • Yellow Bird Marketing (Rebecca Erskine)

Work Experience Student of the Year

This award recognises students who have completed a micro-placement in curriculum, an extra-curricular internship through Driven or completed a Year in Industry. All businesses that had recruited an intern and organisations that had hosted a placement were invited to nominate a student or graduate that had made an impact on their organisation.  

  • Abbie Brown – M-prez Enterprise 
  • Abbie Smith – Re-Fashion 
  • Adam Price – Finance, UoD 
  • Aimey-Rose Bradley, Barbora Horackova, Danielle Hartland-West, Ezara-Boyce Swann, Georgia Leedham, Kelsey Holmes, Morgan Bowler, Noorollah Habibi – College of Health, Psychology and Social Care – UoD 
  • Aislin O'Broin – Fountains Primary School 
  • Arjun Karavadra – Derbyshire Voluntary Action 
  • Augester Konadu – Myster Fashyn By Sarkodie 
  • Barbora Horackova – Marketing, UoD 
  • Bianca Gloceri – Twistin Tots  
  • Chloe Twigg – Hope House Costume Museum 
  • Hayley Beaumont – Community Chesterfield 
  • Hugo Holmes  – Student Legal Advice Centre 
  • India-Rose Kaur – M-prez Enterprise 
  • Katherine Doleman – Hannage Brook Medical Centre 
  • Katie Kissane – Dolls of Decadence 
  • Kayode Oliver – M-prez Enterprise 
  • Lauren Gregory – HotSpot Media 
  • Liam Richardson – My Energy Game  
  • Martyna Kapron – Run Talk Run 
  • Max Barton – Rainworth MWFC 
  • Mollie Sheridan – The Vesey Practice  
  • Natalie Koudelova – Skills Team, UoD 
  • Oliver Gilbert-Smith – Wells Academy 
  • Sarah Mason – Derby City Council 
  • Thayna Couto de Oliveira – Akar Studios 

Winners: Sarah Mason - Derby City Council

Runners Up:

  • Adam Price - Finance, University of Derby
  • Hugo Holmes - Student Legal Advice Centre
  • Kayode Oliver - M-prez Enterprise
  • Natalie Koudelova - Skills Team, University of Derby

Finalist of the Year Award

This award recognises our final year students who have made a great endeavour to prepare for the world of work by enhancing their skills and raising their profile. 

  • Beth Price 
  • Elisabetta Mainwaring 
  • Ioana Batcu 
  • Iona Sinclair 
  • Joseph Webster 
  • Sophie Spencer 
  • Thomas Berrington 

Winner: Thomas Berrington

Runners up:

  • Ioana Batcu
  • Joseph Webster

Save the date

We’re excited to be hosting our Careers Connection Week from 14 to 22 October this year. This is a fantastic week of employability activity including the annual careers fair and volunteering fair, webinars, alumni panels, social media takeovers, employer endorsed skills sessions and more. 

If you are an employer or charity interested in finding out how your organisation can be involved in the week of events or would like to discuss working with us more broadly get in touch with us at employerteam@derby.ac.uk.

Learn more about offering work opportunities