Ten years of giving celebrated at Teesside University

One of Teesside University’s pioneers for scholarships and prizes has been recognised for the positive contribution she has made to the lives of dozens of students and graduates.

Professor Leni Oglesby OBE was among the University’s first donors and has generously sponsored countless prizes for graduating students. She has also set up the Professor Leni Oglesby Scholarship, pledging £5,000 each year to support five undergraduate students on nursing, midwifery and health courses.

The first Professor Leni Oglesby Prize for Achievement was awarded in 2009 and recipients from over the years were welcomed back to Teesside University to meet Professor Oglesby and update her on how her prizes helped shape their careers.

Teesside University offers a generous range of scholarships to make higher education accessible for more and more people. It also awards a number of annual graduation prizes for achievement and attainment at all levels.

Professor Oglesby is a former Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Teesside University and began sponsoring graduation prizes after being struck by the sacrifice and dedication students showed in order to complete their studies.

She was delighted to meet her former prize winners and hear their stories of success and progression.

“What struck me when I first came to the area was the sheer wealth of talent among the younger generation,” explained Professor Oglesby.

“This is still evident today with so many people striving to make their mark. By offering the prizes and scholarships it gives people an incentive and something extra to show when they are starting to look for employment.

“That influence can be invaluable and raise aspiration and achievement. I have heard so many stories of incredible success and it does make me feel proud that I have been able to play a small part in that.”

Mike Pemberton was the very first recipient of the Professor Leni Oglesby Prize for Achievement when he graduated with a BSc (Hons) Computing and Networks back in 2009. He now works as a Senior Technical Consultant for Waterstons.

“I remember it being a complete shock to win the prize and it was a great way to kick-start my career,” explained Mike.

“It meant a lot to me to have that validation and recognition for my work and to know that the effort I had put in was appreciated. It is fantastic to see so many people have had positive outcomes and it is nice to hear their stories.”

Fellow prize winner Sean Williams graduated in 2016 with a BEng (Hons) Instrumentation and Control Engineering and is now studying towards a PhD as part of the Doctoral Training Alliance programme.

He said: “I think it is essential that people like Professor Oglesby continue to provide that added motivation and incentive to help people progress their careers.”

Manuela Roedler received the Professor Leni Oglesby Prize for Achievement when she graduated from the Disaster Management course in 2010 and she now manages an emergency planning team in London.

She said: “The course was really constructive and challenging and gave me the knowledge and confidence start my career.

“The Prize was a great incentive and it was fantastic to have that recognition and support.”

Find out more about the Scholarships available from Teesside University at www.tees.ac.uk/sections/fulltime/scholarships.cfm.