On Friday 16 July, the School of Politics and International Relations came together to celebrate our final year students in an event that reflected on their time at Kent and also looked towards the future. The virtual celebration transmitted live from The Gulbenkian, produced by KMTV, hosted by Head of School Dr Nadine Ansorg, joined by Dr Jane O-Mahoney and Dr Yaniv Voller to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2021 during these challenging and unusual times.
Quoting Amanda Gorman, the first ever National Youth Poet Laureate in the US, who delivered her poem ‘The Hill We Climb’ at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Ansorg quoted another another of her poems, ‘Believer’s Hymn for the Republic’:
‘We know that as you leave us at Kent each and every one of you will ‘write the future’ in so many different ways and have an impact for the good on the world around you. And that after three years with us, you have gained the knowledge, understanding and skills to help you in this. We know you will go on to do great things!’
‘Those of us who work in the School never cease to be amazed and inspired by your enthusiasm’ she continued ‘your commitment and your resilience. We have never more been aware of this than in the last 16 months of this global pandemic when you have had to grapple with so much disruption and so much uncertainty. You have been an inspiration to all of us. We have sincerely missed being able to experience your enthusiasm and energy in person. We are so proud of all that you have accomplished, particularly within the virtual classrooms in diverse places such as your kitchens, bedrooms and sometimes even the library!’
Stage 3 Convenor Yaniv Voller announced this year’s prizes.
The Colin Seymour-Ure Prize for Best Dissertation in Stage 3: due to the high standard this year, was awarded to three students, Seray Osman, Kester Ratcliff and Ruth Agui who all achieved the outstanding marks of 85 for their dissertations.
The Maurice Vile Prize for Best performance on a Stage 3/Final Year programme: with a degree average of 78% awarded to Ruth Agui.
The David Nunnerly Prize for their contribution to student experience in the School was awarded not to an individual but to a society – the Politics and International Society and in particular their leadership team, including Tommaso Israely, Deborah Makasi and Savannah Allen. The PolIR Society organised so many exciting events for us all this year of both a current affairs and social nature, including giving us the opportunity to hear and speak with the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and MP Jess Philips.
The School of Politics and International Relations Special Achievement Price for Outstanding Performance in the face of adversity: this year is awarded to Oluwafeyikunmi (Feyi) Olubajo.
Jane O’Mahony, PolIR Director of Education expressed a mixture of pride and sadness at seeing the cohort go:
‘We have also learned so much from you as we have navigated these turbulent times in world politics together. Thank you for sharing this key time in your lives with us and giving us the opportunity to understand and analyse these challenges with you.’
Congratulations to all our students! And please keep in touch! We love hearing from you. So make sure you sign up with Kent alumni.
As you head out into your respective fields, don’t forget the Careers & Employability Service at Kent, supporting you for up to 3 years after graduation. Register to access their services.