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Summer graduation celebrations honour best and brightest students

Three days of ceremonies recognise next generation of business, engineering leaders

More than 1000 students from the fields of commerce, business, IT, and engineering will celebrate their graduations during three days of ceremonies starting today (14 December) at the University of Wollongong (UOW).

The achievements of 1250 undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Faculty of Business and the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences will be recognised across five ceremonies during the Summer graduation celebrations.

Former UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor John Patterson will be recognised during the first ceremony of the event with an honorary Doctor of Letters and Emeritus Professorship. Professor Patterson spent more than four decades at UOW, first as a lecturer then becoming Dean of Education in 1993 and Dean of Health and Behavioural Sciences in 2000. The following year, he joined the executive ranks as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations), rising to Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 2010, before retiring at the end of 2014.

Among the notable undergraduate students is Dinithi Fernando, who completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours). During her time at UOW, Dinithi founded the Sri Lankan Student Society, and also spent time in Indonesia working on the PetaJakarta project mapping flooding using social media.

Timia Osman and Taylah Brennen, who both graduated with a Bachelor of Medical and Radiation Physics (Honours), are paving the way for females in STEM subjects. They will each be pursuing a PhD at UOW following the completion of their undergraduate studies, with a focus on using their research to improve treatment and outcomes for oncology patients.

Among the postgraduate cohort, Jessica Oliver and Associate Professor Rob Gordon, both from the School of Management, Operations and Marketing, will be recognised during the three days of ceremonies. Jessica’s thesis focused on using branding strategies to change the perception of a city, thereby improving quality of life for its residents. Professor Gordon’s research examined the long-term care implications for people catastrophically injured in motor accidents on NSW roads, in response to the State Government’s Lifetime Care and Support Scheme.

During the spring celebrations, the graduates will hear a number of inspiring addresses from guest speakers across the business and engineering worlds, including Professor Timothy McCarthy from UOW’s School of Civil Mining and Engineering; Susanne Bleasel, founder of Proton Therapy Australia; Madeline Tynan, Marketing Director of Tynan Motor Group; and Catherine Caruana-McManus, Director of digital transformation firm Giant Ideas.

Since its foundation, UOW has awarded more than 132,000 degrees and diplomas.

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