ALICE McDaniel from Ardglass, an Art and Design tutor from the Downpatrick Campus of the South Eastern Regional College, has been recognised with an MBE in the latest Queen’s Honours List for her services to further education in Northern Ireland.
Alice who has been teaching at SERC for over fourteen years is currently making plans and looking forward to going to Buckingham Palace to formally receive her MBE later in the year.
On receiving her MBE Alice said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have had my services to ‘Further Education’ recognised with my MBE. I am truly grateful for the nomination. It is fantastic at a personal level to receive such a special acknowledgement.”
“Every week there is something that gives cause to praise our students. Some students who, when they started, lacked confidence in their ability, and to be part of watching them excel well beyond their own expectations through the teaching provided is always a highlight, whether it be in a single activity or a whole qualification.
“The greatest reward is when a student of any age arrives with no qualifications and no confidence and then leaves a few years later to go to university or a good job. I love going to their graduations knowing that I played some small part in getting them there.”
SERC Principal and Chief Executive Mr Ken Webb said: “All of us at SERC are incredibly proud to see Alice honoured with an MBE. This award recognises her inspiring contribution to developing the creative talents of everyone she teaches. We are all delighted for Alice and her family in gaining this well earned recognition.”
Alice’s success is as much demonstrated in the work and successes of her students and she encourages them to get involved in extra-curricular activities. She spends much of her own personal time on projects to enhance the student experience. Every year, Alice, along with her students attends a wide range of community projects including St Patrick’s Festival, managing her students and colleagues to produce award creative customs and displays.
Alice is very supportive of her students and encourages them to be entrepreneurial by heading up SERC Student Company, ‘Impressions of Ireland’ which produce a wide range of handmade traditional Irish crafts and sell at a number of outlets both nationally and internationally. Students get the opportunity to work within the company while at the same time developing a wide range of entrepreneurial skills to prepare them for the world of work.
The company allows students to learn and experience first-hand the process of making and selling products.
SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students’ the edge’ through industry projects and a range of work placements to give them the skills needed to succeed in their chosen career. To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0845 600 7555, visit www.serc.ac.uk or find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College.