Joy for DMU Journalism students receiving outstanding achievement awards at grand graduation event
High-flying Journalism students from De Montfort University, Leicester (DMU) had a double celebration at their graduations as the faculty awarded its outstanding graduate prizes.
Special awards were given for: Extraordinary Commitment to Journalism, Outstanding Student in Journalism and Best Final Year Student in Media, Film and Journalism.
James Kendrick, winner of the Adam Redfern Award for Extraordinary Commitment to Journalism, said: “I am proud to have been chosen as this year’s recipient of The Adam Redfern Prize for Extraordinary Commitment in Journalism.
“Having written an article about Adam during my time at DMU, I have seen how much of an impact he had and the legacy he has left. I want to thank Adam’s parents Ian and Christine for the prize and I am honoured to have been chosen by them and my lecturers as this year’s recipient.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my three years studying journalism at DMU and the opportunities I have been given. The course has given me the confidence to go out and get valuable first-hand experience in the industry and I will always look back fondly on my time at DMU.”
James is the second graduate to ever receive the award, which was set up in 2022 in honour of much-loved graduate Adam Redfern. Adam sadly suffered a cardiac arrest in 2021 leaving his family, friends and colleagues devastated, and they were determined that something positive should come from his passing.
Now the Adam Redfern Memorial Fund awards scholarships, bursaries and monetary awards in media, journalism and sport – all Adam’s passions while a student – and this year’s prize was awarded to James alongside his degree on Thursday, where he also met Adam’s parents Ian and Christine Redfern who were there to congratulate him.
The next award of the day was set up in memory of DMU lecturer and journalist Andy Plaice for the Outstanding Student in Journalism.
Khadijah Islam, who won the award, said: “It means the world to me to be the recipient of the Andy Plaice Award.
“My time here at DMU and on my course has taught me so much but, most of all, to keep going when things get tough and to be an amazing storyteller. I hope to make it as a great journalist one day.
“I’d like to thank my DMU lecturers – Lee Marlow, Jeremy Clay and Brian Dodds – for making me the journalist I am today and for being the best senseis a student can ask for. I went into university with a mind full of imagination and curiosity. I came out as a journalist.”
Andy Plaice, who died in 2020 from a brain tumour, was part of DMU’s Journalism team for 13 years. He came to the university having edited a number of newspapers including the Melton Times. A gifted interviewer, feature writer and critic, he wrote for national titles and trade press and in 2017 published the definitive guide to arts reviewing.
The third award of the ceremony went to Alex Marks McLeod, who won the Best Final Year Student Prize in Media, Film and Journalism.
Alex said: “I have loved my time at DMU and feel incredibly lucky to have had such an enjoyable experience. I’m also very proud of this award as it’s evidence of how far I’ve come within my field.
“The DMU journalism department has taught me many things – not just a history of rock music or where to find the best samosas in Leicester (Mithaas). They’ve taught me how to be a writer and how to love doing it. I will always be grateful for that.”
Nick Gascoyne, pictured, was awarded the Best Magazine Cover Prize together with his magazine colleagues (not pictured) John Perry and Darnell James-Percival.