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QUB graduations: Antrim woman Robyn's virtual success after loss of parents

Co Antrim woman (26) graduates at Queen's

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Robyn McCue during her virtual graduation at Queen’s University

Robyn McCue during her virtual graduation at Queen’s University

Brothers Abbas and Mohammed Sait

Brothers Abbas and Mohammed Sait

Nicole Devlin

Nicole Devlin

Robyn McCue during her virtual graduation at Queen’s University

A Co Antrim woman who lost both of her parents in less than a year will be graduating in a virtual ceremony from Queen's University today.

Robyn McCue (26), from Newtownabbey, will graduate with a PhD in Psychology after managing to continue her studies despite losing her mother and father.

Her mum Jane, sadly passed away in January 2015 - the day before her final undergraduate exam. Despite the devastating news, she summoned up all her strength and decided to go ahead with the exam, going on to complete her undergraduate degree. Nine months later she began her PhD but one month into her course, her dad, Alan sadly passed away.

"I think I just went into shock following that - I still hadn't really processed losing Mum in January of that year," she explained. With the support of the School of Psychology, Robyn said she wanted to keep going with her PhD, and this September she will start training to become a clinical psychologist in London.

"My brother graduated from Medicine at Queen's in 2014 - he's currently training to be a paediatrician - and this summer I'm graduating with my PhD. So there's now two Dr McCues in the family.

"I know Mum and Dad would be over the moon at the thought of that."

Two other students celebrating today include brothers, Mohammed Abdul Salam Shajahan Sait (21) and Sultan Abbas Shajahan Sait (19), who will graduate from Civil Engineering and Economics and Accounting respectively.

The pair had travelled from Belfast to their home of Chennai, India, just before the lockdown, and learning that many people were struggling to access food, they decided to take the issue into their own hands, and have now helped to distribute over 30,000 meal and food kits to families.

Also participating in the virtual ceremony with be Co Tyrone woman, Nicole Devlin, (33) from Edendork, who will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science Psychology degree (BSc).

During her studies, Nicole drew on her own personal experiences of self-harm, suicidal behaviours and mental ill-health.

Since completing her degree, Nicole continues to work with charity Mindwise and is planning to study for a Master's degree.

Belfast Telegraph