A very different year, but the same remarkable City community – 2020 review
In a very different year, City students, graduates and alumni supported the fight against Covid-19, campaigned for civil rights, told their stories and much more in the Campus Life 2020 review
1. The graduate who beat cancer – twice
Student speaker, Michelle Fredman (MA International Journalism 2020), received a standing ovation at her Graduation ceremony in January, where she achieved a Distinction after battling her second spell of cancer.
The inspiring survivor had first been diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 23.
Despite her first recovery, a month after coming to City her cancer relapsed and she required chemotherapy. Towards the end of her Masters, she lost her mother to dementia and needed a stem cell transplant with her sister as donor, and beat the disease once again.
2. The London Student Sustainability Conference
Students across University of London institutions presented their ideas in posters, performances, videos and speeches. Each presentation focused on one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Student presentations included ideas on alternatives to fast fashion, prevention of clogged waterways through toilet flushing and how climate change has increased the spread of Malaria.
3. Engineering success
Anja Ram (BEng Biomedical Engineering) scooped the Dean’s Award for Professional Excellence.
Anja, who spent a year at pharmaceutical company Roche, credits her love of coding as the reason for her success. She said that all students should consider enrolling on placement years.
4. City staff, students and alumni support the fight against Covid-19
The City community joined international efforts against Covid-19, including health and social care, volunteering, community support and expert comment and insight.
From training schemes designed for those on the NHS front line, to expert comment in the media advising the public, to voluntary services set up by students; the City community played an important part in the international effort against Covid-19.
5. City looks at its history and starts the process to rename its Business School
Following the announcement on 9th June 2020 that Sir John Cass amassed some of his wealth through links with the slave trade, City announced that its Business School would no longer carry the Cass name. A renaming process is now underway.
The University also launched a review into historic sources of funding to determine if there are any further links to slavery, and to confirm next steps. Later in the year, City published the findings of the review including its key recommendations.
6. Journalism student organises Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest
First-year Journalism student, Malaika Gangooly, spearheaded the BLM protests in Chelmsford, calling for an end to racial discrimination in the wake of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of American police officers.
Over 3,000 people attended the protest. The then 19 year-old said that a generational conversation about racism is needed, in order for things to change.
7. Students celebrate at first-of-their-kind online graduation
Roughly 5,200 people comprising graduates, friends and their proud families from across the world celebrated their online graduations which were beamed through to their homes.
On a year like no other, six students were also invited to record short messages detailing their memories of City and their aspirations for the future.
8. News on Stage presents Up and Coming Stories
As part of the News on Stage project, five graduates combined journalism and theatre to showcase their unpublished stories.
Stories focused on the ‘blackhole in space law’, a soundscape report into accident and emergency services, sustainable fashion and more.
9. Students present online show on US election.
A team of City students joined a 24-hour live online show inviting experts and students from across the world to debate and analyse the live US Presidential Election as it happened.
Team City, focused their 90-minute segment on the inequalities of power, class, race, and gender as they played out in the election and US politics in general; and the role of powerful elites in US foreign policy.
10. City Launch Lab member collaborates with Disney
City Launch Lab community member, Kugali, announced a collaboration with Disney, which will bring an original television series to Disney + in 2022.
Co-founded by Ziki Nelson, (MA Creative Writing, 2015), Kugali is an entertainment platform where African writers tell African stories using comics, art, animation and virtual reality (VR).
The series is titled ‘Iwájú’ and will be set in a futuristic Lagos, exploring deep themes of class, innocence while challenging the status quo.
For more information and stories see Campus Life.