Meet the Scholars 2015

This year, five undergraduate and three postrgraduate students have been given the chance to study at UEA thanks to your generosity. We would like to introduce you to The Difference Scholars 2015...

Aaron Carlisle - MBBS Medicine

Hello, my name is Aaron. I have 3 younger siblings. I am the first person from my extended family to attend higher education. I come from a small town in Northern Ireland called Ballynahinch. I attended a Special Needs Primary School because of the consequences of severe tonsillitis affecting my speech. I completed my A levels in 2014 at a non-selective High School – I was the first ever student at my school to get a place to study Medicine. I took a gap year and worked most of it.  On my second attempt applying for Medicine, I was very fortunate to receive four offers. Especially from my top choice – UEA!

I strongly want to pursue a career where I can make a difference by helping others. I have a special interest in cancer research and I hope to contribute someday to that field. In the future, I would love to teach because I love presenting and speech-making. I get a real buzz from motivating and inspiring an audience. Many of my friends and family say they see me working and researching for a university in the future. During my studies at UEA, I hope to intercalate with another degree in research or clinical education. Some of my key academic achievements would be attaining the Gold CREST Award in Medical Science for my cancer research project, winning first place in a Cancer Research UK competition and gaining the best GCSE and A Level grades at my school. 

On my gap year I worked as I travelled in America and Europe. I loved exploring new places and meeting fascinating people. I like having international friendships because I learn so much and I build global connections.  I hope to visit a developing country to offer my medical skills to their community. 

Fiona Sangster - BAH English Literature with Creative Writing

Hi, my name is Fiona. I have lived in Fakenham, Norfolk with my family for almost thirteen years now. I value education very highly, and have learned from my A Levels to be a hard worker, especially with the subject Philosophy and Ethics, in which I turned my C in AS to an A* at A2. Through this, I have discovered a love for learning which has made me extremely excited to begin my time at UEA. I consider myself a very driven person and will be aiming for a first.

At college I was a part of the council, working as the administrator. In Year 13 I got a chance to be the events planner when I was made solely responsible for the college’s annual Christmas meal, including making a quiz, buying prizes, getting companies to sponsor, inviting charity representatives, and catering. Seeing the meal be a complete success was incredibly rewarding.

In my free time I like to read, my favourite book being The Outsiders by S E Hinton. Reading is especially rewarding as often me and my mum read the same book and then discuss it afterwards, and it’s always fun to hear how our opinions differ.

Career-wise, I would love to go into writing, preferably writing scripts for television and films. I have loved writing my entire life and was thrilled when someone told me at age twelve that writing is a career option, and I didn’t have to be a scientist! In 2014 I had a poem published in United Press’s Between the Lines. While not a major publication, this boosted my confidence and made me stop telling people “don’t judge me, I’m not a poet” when I showed them my work. I am currently working on a science fiction novel as well as some short stories and poems.

Jasper Haywood - BAH History and Politics

Hello, my name is Jasper and I am studying history and politics. Therefore, I have a keen interest in both of these subjects. In particular, I am interested in what we can learn from culture, and its reflection on the social and economic factors of the specific time period I am studying. Last year, this interest was put into practice in my A level History coursework entitled ‘How significant was the government’s management of culture for the impact of Tsarist and Soviet propaganda?’ For this, I researched – using the UEA library – all forms of culture from Writers such as Tolstoy to Soviet artists and architects like Vladimir Tatlin, and how their works influenced the society and government policies around the Russian Revolution. I am excited about the modules on Landscape history here at UEA as it is very closely linked to this. 

Personally I am an active member of the Labour Party and stood for election in the Worstead District Councillor elections last year – and unsurprisingly lost! However the experience was worth it and seeking office is a possible route for a future career. I find that my work in Labour party helps add the practical experience to the study of politics, both previously at college and here at university. 

As well as the Labour Party, I am also a Holocaust Ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust after winning a place with one other student to partake in the annual trip to Auschwitz last year. This is a role I take seriously and since becoming an Ambassador I arranged for a Holocaust survivor to give a talk at my college and have attended the multiple seminars they hold in London. This is something I wish to continue at UEA. 

Mara Frampton - BAH English Literature and Creative Writing

Hi, I’m Mara and I’m studying English Literature and Creative Writing. The power that a writer has to be objective about their own writing whilst also installing the raw honesty of human characteristics into a text is what made me want to write. Through characters I create in stories I can convey my own sensibilities and have the freedom to express myself behind the guise of another persona.  I admire the way writers can touch upon the every aspects of human life, sometimes not even intentionally meaning to connect to thousands of other readers who intertwine the content of what they have read with their own lives. 

I am interested in writing in many different forms. Last year I set myself the task of writing a screenplay for a 40 minute film as part of an Extended Project Qualification. The skills of self-discipline and independence I gained from this experience as a writer and the final product itself were extremely rewarding. Though I had written plays and short stories before, writing for the screen seemed to require a whole different set of skills and added the possibility of a visual consequence to my work (though I had no film budget to instigate this). This summer I decided to further myself down this path and wrote something more realistically accomplishable. I have found that sewing and design come relatively easy to me and following on from a tapestry I made in my Textiles A level, I created 3d versions of the characters I had embroidered with wire skeletons and fabric skins. I wrote screenplays for short episodes which would be created using stop animation. Though animation is time consuming, it was as much for me about the creation of the alien creatures and a set out of plaster and metallic acrylic paint that would be their home planet ‘Amaravella’. 

Shannen Davie - BAH English Literature

My name is Shannen. I attended Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College in Belfast and achieved an A*AA in A Levels in Politics, Sociology and English Literature.
I’m studying English Literature at UEA, with the hope of having a future career in the media or in public relations. My interest in public relations was sparked by the time I spent in the communications department of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) during my work experience in January 2014. 
My interests include politics, especially the politics of Northern Ireland. I also have a keen interest in social issues of equality, for example, gender equality, economic equality and the rights of the LGBTQ community.

As my degree choice would suggest, I have a passion for reading and for writing creatively. I am looking forward to developing these passions during my time at UEA. 
Before moving to university I was kept busy by my part-time job in the SPAR, a shop in my local area, which I enjoyed immensely, as it was a very social role and often required me to step out of my comfort zone.   

During my time at secondary school, I was very involved in extra-curricular activities, including the Justice Group and St. Vincent de Paul. I also took part in extra-curricular Mandarin classes, which reflects my interest in learning about other cultures. I intend to continue my involvement in extra-curricular activities at UEA, where I know there are many societies which I would love to be involved in. 
I am very much looking forward to my time at the University of East Anglia and I know that the Difference Undergraduate Scholarship will have an huge impact on my life while I’m here. 

Carol-Mary Fraser - MRes Philosophy

I am extremely grateful and excited to have the opportunity to come to UEA. I love learning – about life, people, ideas - and look forward to having my mind stretched and energised in the Philosophy course I have signed up to.

I hope I can live up to expectations.

There are clearly defined areas in which I am keen to work, although naturally less sure of exactly which form that work may take. I am drawn to moral and political philosophy, particularly animal/human ethics, environmental ethics, and the issue of greed and corruption. One question to which I seek enlightenment is 'Why are some people greedier than others; is greed an indelible facet of human nature?

Can we ever change?'

One of the few advantages of starting one's education at a much later stage than usual is that enthusiasm and wonder are still with me. I have not become jaded or bored and am eager to explore new thinking. I first encountered Philosophy a few years ago as part of the OU Arts Foundation course; previously I would not have known Plato from Pluto. Since then, I have chanced on many other areas of enquiry that spark my interest, two being modern French philosophy - especially Foucault – and AI.

When I have reached the necessary levels of understanding and competency, I would like to work with an organisation like the Albert Schweitzer Foundation or any other body dedicated to eliminating exploitation of non-humans. I would also be interested in any work which has as its aim eliminating discrimination against 'the other' - naturally enough I want to take on not only speciesism, but, particularly, attitudes to age and gender/sexuality. I believe respect and consideration for all living beings sits alongside respect and consideration of our planet and its resources. I want to play a part in fostering this respect.   

Donna Watmough-Triggs - MA Theatre Directing

I am a mature student, and completed my BA with The Open University.  I undertook my studies at a time of great difficulty in my life - my degree was begun whilst I was living in a Women's Refuge with my young daughter after fleeing from domestic violence.  The violence I suffered left me with physical trauma which I still live with (I am registered with the UEA Disability Team).  I am very proud of undertaking my degree in these circumstances, and especially of subsequently gaining a First Class Honours. 

I believe in the redemptive power of work and study.  Much of my life prior to commencing my MA studies has revolved around supporting others who have suffered abuse (I have fostered and worked with schools and community groups), using drama and role-play to resolve problems, to re-write stories, to find meaning - to heal. The art - and myriad ways - of theatrical storytelling continues to captivate me and is the driving force of my life.  

As well as completing my degree whilst working and supporting my family, I have studied the harp and I am now a professional harpist and singer.  I have performed at the Norwich Hostry Festival and been recorded on BBC Radio.  The harp - like the theatre and my academic success - has given my life meaning and has had a transformative effect on me.  When I play the harp I feel that I bring together disparate, sometimes odd, incongruous and broken elements, to create something that is whole and beautiful. 

My ambition remains to enable people to express themselves within a context of form and safety; to never stop asking people to look for, and to see, new and challenging perspectives.  I love both academic and practical work in this area and very much hope to continue studying it to PHD level.  I would love to teach at university level.

Louise Rudd - MA Social and Political Theory

My name is Louise Rudd. I am forty nine years old. I was born near London and came to Norwich in 1984 to attend a foundation course at Norwich School of Art. I loved Norwich and have lived here since then. I have brought up four children, the youngest is at school in year 10, the others are grown up and live independently. I also care for my husband who has long term health problems.

Whilst I completed my Open University Degree in Criminology and Psychological Studies, for which I received First Class Hons, I undertook various voluntary work including supporting prisoners' families, traveler families and women involved in sexual exploitation. I was also a member of the P.C.C. for a local church. The combination of my studies, voluntary work and life experiences has given me a passion for social justice. I am taking my MA in Social and Political Theory to enable me to provide a female and social justice input into public and government policy making. 

I have always had a keen interest in the environment and particularly enjoyed learning about environmental justice when studying for my degree. I have recently progressed from being a vegetarian to becoming a vegan. I have a small courtyard garden in the city and enjoy growing produce and using it for preserving and wine making. I still enjoy art and have recently completed a mural of Japanese cherry blossoms on my stairway.  I enjoy singing particularly with the Norwich Sacred Harp singing group.

I am looking forward to learning more about the philosophical background to social and political theory whilst doing my M.A. and I am looking forward to developing my academic writing skills to a post graduate level. My recent study has been home based so I am very excited about learning in the university environment.