Zorena Shanks is nearing the end of her term as President of NCL Students’ Association.
During her time in the role, she has striven to boost the engagement and visibility of the Students’ Association across all of New College Lanarkshire’s campuses.
Before bidding a fond farewell to our students, she picks out her five highpoints from 12 months in the job that have taken her from Broadwood and Holyrood to Birmingham and beyond.
“I was fortunate and honoured to be there to support and cheer on our students competing in WordSkills UK 2016 in Birmingham.
“Our exceptionally talented students excelled in the competition and came back as WorldSkills UK champions – topping the leaderboard for the third time.
“I had tears of joy in my eyes as I watched our students collect their medals at the awards ceremony. That’s a memory I will certainly cherish.”
“I was honoured to be invited to give the Vote of Thanks speech at the graduation ceremonies at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in November.
“It was an incredible experience to be a part of and an amazing opportunity. Seeing the happy faces of our graduating students, with their families and friends proudly looking on, was a memory that will last forever.
“Getting to meet Boyd Tunnock was awesome. Hearing his life story was truly inspirational.”
“Working in partnership with the Learner Engagement team on the Be Engaged programme has been exciting.
“It is a brand new opportunity for all our students to gain award recognition for their participation in extracurricular activities.
“With more than 600 students achieving many awards – and to win a sparqs award for the best student-led initiative in March – was fantastic.
“I also was honoured to feature in the Sparqs ‘Celebrating Achievement’ video.”
“It was incredible to work alongside our amazing volunteer officers this year, and achieving a record-breaking team of 35 volunteers for NCLSA.
“We also established SAINTs officer roles for our students in the Faculty of Supported Learning, and awarded Stuart Florence our first ever SAINTs Officer of the Year award.
“To have returning students asking to join the volunteer team after the summer break has shown how much the SA has grown.”
Partnerships and Events
“I’ve enjoyed being part of a jam-packed year of activities and events for all our students, including Inclusion Week, Come and Chillax, National Volunteer Week, Pudsey day, Sportsfest and our Health and Wellbeing events.
“Our first Student Partnership Agreement was finalised this year and signed by myself, the Principal and Linda McTavish, who is the Chair of the Lanarkshire Board.
“It’s been great to work in partnership with the Student Advisers, Learner Engagement team, Ann Baxter, Marketing and all the staff of NCL.
“I have been truly honoured and privileged to be part of the Student Association and will be very sad to say goodbye.
“It has been an incredible experience for me, and I have memories that I will cherish forever. I leave knowing that our NCLSA will continue to grow with our new officers for the upcoming academic year.”