Construction student awarded scholarship and mentor
Craig Wood, aged 40, and now in his second year of study, was selected for the University’s Professor Bligh Scholarship.
Professor Donald Bligh graduated in Teacher Training from Leeds Beckett University in 1958. His annual scholarship seeks to reward one student who can show they can think for themselves and argue for their ideas, whilst recognising possible objections and devising a way of testing or criticising their own ideas. As well as awarding Craig £1,000, Professor Bligh will also be available as a mentor to take his ideas further and help develop appropriate study methods to do so.
Craig commented: “My experience as a whole at Leeds Beckett so far has been a huge highlight in my life. As a mature student with children I find it difficult to stay on top of my financial situation. With the prize money I would be able to improve my education and pursue my plans to take on a masters after I graduate and, by being able to spend time with Professor Bligh, I am hoping he will give me guidance on how to approach my future from an academic perspective.”
Earlier this year the scholarship application process was open to top performers in their first year entering their second year of study in September 2014.
Professor Bligh added: “The Scholarship was founded on my passionate belief that universities should be places where there is freedom of thought and where knowledge is discovered, developed or created. This may be achieved in many different ways such as; developing new methods of enquiry, deliberately associating new ideas that would not normally be connected, challenging assumptions, interpreting experiments or feelings in new contexts, letting one’s imagination go into fantasy, positive and negative criticism and so on.”
Last year’s winner, student Annabel Crossley deemed the Professor Bligh Scholarship a great success.
She said: “Throughout the year Donald has helped me greatly with developing my ideas and investigating them outside of an artistic background. This broad exploration has helped me think outside of the box when developing my practice and gained not only a better understanding of my course but also general knowledge that will go on to be influential after I finish university.
“What I have enjoyed the most about the scholarship is that we have spoken as friends not as professor and student. I’ve enjoyed the openness of our discussions and always felt comfortable to ask anything. Not only has it helped me with my course, it has prepared me to think independently when I finish my degree. Donald has given me the confidence to carry on with my practice and research after I graduate no matter which path I choose. He has inspired me to think outside the box and push myself in whatever interests I pursue. I will be sad to see the scholarship come to an end but I know Donald and I won’t lose touch.”