Argyll College praises Connel mum in its student awards

Maxine Cotton from Connel was named as the joint runner-up in the Further Education category in Argyll College UHI's Student of the Year Awards.

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Two students from Connel and Oban have been acknowledged in the 2021 Argyll College UHI Student of the Year Awards.

‘This year, more than ever, the judges of the annual awards have been delighted to read about the rich and diverse range of students who make up the Argyll College UHI student community,’ the university said.

‘We are extremely proud of all students who have persevered with their studies through challenging circumstances, and these awards are a way of celebrating their efforts.’

With judging criteria deliberately left loose, the awards allow scope for a variety of entries for numerous reasons which could include: an academic or personal achievement, overcoming exceptional hardships, or exceptional contribution to the student community.

Maxine Cotton from Connel has been named as the joint runner-up in the Further Education category. Maxine recently completed the NC Early Education and Childcare and has been praised for her commitment to go above and beyond and help her fellow classmates.

‘Working from home can be a difficult situation for some students but Maxine has played an integral part in keeping her classmates engaged, encouraging participation and helping everyone to feel comfortable to contribute,’ said lecturer Gill McInally, who nominated Maxine for the award.

As a mum of three, Maxine has had to juggle the responsibilities of her own learning with that of her children’s when having to home school them during lockdown. Despite this, the impressively high standard of her work has never faltered. She’s also been known to give up her own time to check in with fellow students and assist them when in need of help. It’s clear that Maxine’s enthusiasm to learn is not only for her own benefit but for those around her, too, as she actively shares her skills and knowledge with her classmates.

Maxine’s goal is to continue studying with Argyll College UHI right up to post graduate level to enable her to become a primary teacher. We look forward to having Maxine with us for another few years, wish her well with her studies, and have no doubt she will inspire the next generation of children’s education.

The awards also recognise our Schools Link students – senior phase students undertaking a college course as part of their school timetable. The overall award is contested by all local Schools Links student winners in each of the college’s 10 learning centres throughout Argyll, and this year Oban student Alice Jackson has been named as the overall winner.

Having recently undertaken the Legal Studies Schools Link course with Argyll College UHI, sixth-year student Alice has been praised for her willingness to consistently contribute to discussions in class. Her participation has had a positive impact on her fellow classmates, encouraging them to actively engage with the lessons, resulting in a more valuable learning experience for all. Asked to sum up Alice in three words, course lecturer Naveed Kayani says she’s ‘conscientious, keen and helpful’.