Over 1,000 students received their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees during Imperial’s Commemoration Day ceremonies at the Royal Albert Hall.
Speaking to the graduands, Professor Deborah Ashby, interim Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, said: “Commemoration Day is one of the College’s most important annual events, bringing together an outstanding student community from across our schools and departments to celebrate your achievements together.
“You have worked long and hard for this distinction and join the ranks of distinguished Faculty of Medicine alumni who are a source of great pride and admiration to us all.”
We spoke to some of our graduates about their time at Imperial and plans for the future.
IMPERIAL COLLEGE MEDAL
Three Imperial College Medals were conferred as part of the graduation ceremony to Professor Mary Morrell, Ms Maria Piggin and Mr Bernard Taylor.
The Imperial College Medal is awarded for the meritorious or praiseworthy service to the College or for having otherwise enhanced its reputation, mission and objectives.
PROFESSOR MARY MORRELL
PROFESSOR OF SLEEP AND RESPIRATORY PHYSIOLOGY AT THE NATIONAL HEART AND LUNG INSTITUTE (NHLI)
While Professor Morrell’s research focuses on improving the diagnosis and treatment of breathing disorders that occur during sleep, Professor Morrell is also committed to education, having developed both Master’s and Bachelor’s programmes in the Faculty of Medicine.
As the Phase One Director at Imperial College School of Medicine she has recently supported a major curriculum review, rolling out a new MBBS programme in 2019–20 that focuses on clinical skills, underpinned by the scientific understanding of medicine.
MS MARIA PIGGIN
PARTNERSHIPS AND TRAINING MANAGER AT THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE RESEARCH CENTRE
Ms Piggin, along with the team she manages, provides public involvement training, advice and support to researchers who sit within the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre. In this role, she also connects patients and the public with researchers, connecting communities with health research to ensure it addresses their priorities. In 2022, she won the Faculty of Medicine 25th Anniversary Staff Award for Community Engagement.
MR BERNARD TAYLOR
CHAIRMAN EMERITUS OF EVERCORE PARTNERS IN EUROPE
Mr Bernard Taylor has contributed to Imperial College London as a member of the College Court and as Chair of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. In both roles, he has supported implementation of the College Strategy while strengthening stakeholder relationships.
The President’s Medal is awarded to recognise staff members who have made outstanding contributions to research, external engagement, innovation, and research support or supervision.
PRESIDENT’S MEDAL FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO TEACHING EXCELLENCE
Dr Fouzia Haneef Khan , Senior Teaching Fellow
Dr Khan teaches on the MSc Genes, Drugs, and Stem Cells – Novel Therapies programme at the NHLI. She is responsible for coordinating and organising the programme while promoting innovative pedagogy and practice. She has applied innovative techniques, and cross-disciplinary approaches to involve students in dynamic and meaningful ways. She is the director of the Drug Student Research Network within Imperial’s Student Research Network, which aims to provide a platform for students to engage in cross-disciplinary learning and skill development. As a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, she has also improved teaching and assessment for international students.
PRESIDENT’S MEDAL FOR SUPPORTING THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE
MISS JENNA MOLLANEY, PRIMARY CARE EDUCATION MANAGER
Miss Mollaney is an expert in the application of social accountability in healthcare teaching and research, and has made a substantial impact on how this is delivered at Imperial. For example, she developed a second year undergraduate module that enables students to learn
key concepts and apply them to outreach projects, gaining praise from the World Health Organization and local government. She has also managed speciality placements for fifth year medical students, working with local schools and GP practices on outreach with
those who are homeless. Miss Mollaney also led a widening access programme that enables school pupils to access work experience in healthcare and mentoring with students at Imperial. While benefitting future health practitioners, the access programme has also developed leadership skills among undergraduate students – with three winning awards for their work.
PRESIDENT’S MEDAL FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO TEACHING EXCELLENCE
DR SIAN POWELL, FACULTY DEVELOPMENT LEAD WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY CARE AND PUBLIC HEALTH AND PLACEMENT LEAD FOR THE GENERAL PRACTICE SENIOR ASSISTANTSHIP
The GPSA placement is vital to Imperial’s medical degree programme as it prepares final year students for independent patient consultation and shared management. Dr Powell organises and manages all aspects of the four-week placements that are in GP practices across the UK, and develops creative and inclusive tutorials for remote and campus-based teaching. She has introduced real-world project work to enhance students’ teamwork, leadership and clinical skills that also have a positive impact on GP communities. Her model for clinical reasoning is being adopted by other medical schools nationwide as best practice. Dr Powell also influences the teaching practices of hundreds of GP tutors, ensuring students benefit from up-to-date, inclusive and compassionate learning experiences.
PRESIDENT’S MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING INNOVATION
DR RISHEKA WALLS, CONSULTANT AT CHARING CROSS HOSPITAL AND DIGITAL DEVELOPMENT LEAD AND HONORARY SENIOR CLINICAL LECTURER FOR MEDICINE
In 2019, Dr Walls was appointed Digital Development Lead for the School of Medicine and began working with Imperial’s Digital Media Lab to explore solutions for undergraduate teaching using virtual reality and mixed reality teaching. Dr Walls has designed an immersive approach that allows medical students to practice their skills in simulations of life-threatening emergency scenarios, addressing a huge deficiency in traditional teaching. This allows exposure to the unpredictable and high-pressure nature of emergencies, providing realistic, interactive experiences for participants to test decision-making and risk-analysis skills. The approach is scalable and transferable with potential to benefit students globally. It transformed Imperial’s medical programme, garnered positive media attention for its innovative teaching and resulted in a substantial grant from Health Education England.
PRESIDENT’S MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN SOCIETAL ENGAGEMENT
PROFESSOR LORD ROBERT WINSTON, PRESIDENT’S ENVOY FOR OUTREACH, PROFESSOR OF SCIENCE AND SOCIETY AND EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF FERTILITY STUDIES
Professor Winston is a world-renowned expert in fertility, reproductive biology and early pregnancy. He pioneered new treatments for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and developed pre-implantation diagnosis that screen embryos for genetic diseases. He runs a College research programme at the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology designed to understand human embryo metabolism. Professor Winston is also Chairman of the Genesis Research Trust, funding research into women’s health and babies. Committed to scientific education and outreach, he has written over 300 scientific publications and numerous popular books and appeared in award- winning TV programmes. In 2010, he established the College’s Reach Out Lab, for school children to experience practical science.
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