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The University of Southampton

Winter Graduation: the students behind the celebrations

Published: 13 December 2022
Graduation at Southampton Guildhall

Over 1,000 students are gathering in the heart of Southampton to celebrate graduating from the University of Southampton in a host of disciplines including medicine, computer science, history, physics, education and nursing.

Graduation marks the culmination of years of hard work by our talented undergraduate and postgraduate students. To give a flavour of their considerable achievements, here are just a few from our School of Health Sciences:

Godfrey Warom graduated in Adult Nursing
Godfrey Warom graduated in Adult Nursing

From Army life to Nursing

Godfrey Warom is graduating with a degree in Adult Nursing. Godfrey was a physical instructor in the Royal Artillery in the British Army from 2009 to 2019 before joining the University of Southampton.

It was the interaction with the Army medical staff that opened his eyes to a different career when his time in the military was over.

He explained: “Seeing them care for our soldiers opened a new compassion within me and made me think about what I was going to do next. I also became injured in 2014 and that prompted me to want to help care for others and give back.

“My time at Southampton has been fantastic. When I was deciding which university to attend, lots of people told me about the high standards set at Southampton, and I wanted to study at the top, so I applied. Getting on to the course was my happiest moment. The support I’ve received has been amazing and I am proud to graduate alongside my fellow course mates.”

Godfrey is now working at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital in respiratory.

Katie McBain graduated in Mental Health Nursing
Katie McBain graduated in Mental Health Nursing

Compassion from experience

Graduating alongside Godfrey Warom is Katie McBain. Katie’s experience with her own mental health and helping care for her father who was diagnosed with a long and enduring mental health condition when she was a child, has inspired her to pursue a career in mental health nursing.

She said: “I spent a lot of my childhood caring for my dad or travelling to various mental health units across the country to visit him. I saw first-hand how his condition affected my family and how much, as time went on, it impacted him and his quality of life.

“Over the years I’ve also had to learn to navigate and manage my own mental health, but that has allowed me to gain a real insight and compassion for the experiences of my patients.

Katie is graduating with a 2:1 in Mental Health Nursing and is now working in the NHS at a unit which specialises in treating eating disorders and helping adolescents with more general acute mental health conditions.

Katie added: “I have really enjoyed my time at Southampton – it was a shame that the pandemic hit in my first year, meaning that much of my degree has been spent at home on my laptop, supported by my orange tabby cat Rusty. But we returned to campus in year 3 and were able to complete the course alongside each other, which was really good.

“Being a student from Southampton comes with a certain and definite level of expectation. Whenever I started a new placement or whenever I have had conversations with other professionals there is a reputation and status that comes with being a student of Southampton.

“I feel incredibly privileged every day that I am in a position now where I get to play even the smallest role in affording someone their life back, the desire to live, the tools to navigate life and the confidence and comfort to know that if things get difficult, they will make it through and they will not be alone in their journey.”

Gill Knight graduated in Midwifery
Gill Knight graduated in Midwifery

Caring for an island community

Gill Knight is graduating with a degree in midwifery and has taken up her first role in Shetland as a community midwife.

She said: “I grew up on the Isle of Wight and wanted to go back to island living when my degree was completed. My husband is from rural Scotland, so Shetland was perfect for us. I’ve had three children and received great care from the community midwives – I wanted to do that for other women.

“The placements during my degree have prepared me for what to expect but it’s done more than that. The comprehensive curriculum and the opportunity to carry out a research project in my third year has allowed me to contribute evidence to the profession. I’ve valued that so much that I’m now doing an online masters in patient safety. I am very proud to graduate from the University of Southampton, it will be a great occasion for me, but also my mum, who has supported me and waited a long time for me to get a degree.”

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