Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

QUB grads: July 9

Special needs children inspired student mum

Queen's University Honourary Graduate Geraldine Hughes who starred alongside Sylvestor Stalone in Rocky.
Lisa Collins, from Omagh, who set up a fundraising project for children in Uganda, is this year's Queen's Student of the Year.
Rathfriland man Francis Campbell, the UK's Ambassador to the Holy See, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Queen's University for distinction in public service.

A dedicated single mother of three children who each have some form of special or educational needs is to graduate from Queen’s today.





Angelina Bell, from Belfast’s Ormeau Road, completed her degree whilst raising her three boys Conor (17), Jarlath (15) and Aidan (11). They will all be at Queen’s today to celebrate their mum’s success.

Angelina, who is graduating with a Bachelor of Education in Primary Science, will begin her teaching job in Our Lady of Lourdes High School’s special needs unit this September.

She said: “I am very passionate in my profession as a teacher and my experiences with my children and their special needs inspired me to follow that route.

“It was hard to try and balance my studies and time with the boys, especially on my own. I have two wonderful and very supportive parents, Geraldine and Seamus, and without their support it would have been impossible to carry on with my degree.”

The university announced its Graduate and Student of the Year award winners today.

Northern Ireland’s clerical chart-toppers, Fathers Eugene and Martin O’Hagan and Father David Delargy — otherwise known as The Priests — were due to be named Graduates of the Year.

Father Eugene graduated from Queen’s in Scholastic Philosophy in 1982, his brother Martin in Ancient History in 1985 and Father David in History the same year.

Meanwhile, Lisa Collins from Omagh, who set up a fundraising project for children in Uganda, is this year’s Student of the Year. She is studying for a masters in History.

Also today a proud father will watch his son graduate from Queen’s while gearing himself up for his own graduation tomorrow.

Dominic Donnelly from Ballymena will be at Queen’s today to watch his son Peter graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics. Dominic is himself to graduate from Queen’s with a Bachelor of Theology in tomorrow morning’s ceremony.

Dominic said: “I am so pleased that Peter has completed his course successfully and proud that we will be graduating at the same time.”

Peter said: “My dad’s dedication and commitment to achieving his aims has acted as a steadfast example for me and my siblings to follow.”

And a Strabane man who climbed the Great Wall of China, met the United States President and flew over the Grand Canyon will also graduate from Queen’s today.

Taking advantage of Queen’s numerous Study Abroad programmes, Aidan McCrossan (24) has studied at five universities on three continents during his degree. He will graduate today with a 2.1 Bachelor of Education in Religious Studies.

A leading American adviser to academic cancer research centres, pharmaceutical companies and governments worldwide will be awarded an honorary doctorate today.

Dr Martin Murphy, chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Northern Ireland-founded Almac Diagnostics, will be given the honour for services to medicine and for public services.

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