MORE than 3,000 graduates celebrated with their families at Essex University’s Colchester Campus this spring.

The University welcomed graduates and their families from across the country and around the world over five days and 12 ceremonies.  

Among the graduates was Aruoriwo Ocharive, from Colchester, who discovered she was pregnant just days after starting her Masters in financial engineering and risk management at the Essex Business School.

Despite the intense studies and a difficult pregnancy, Aruoriwo gradated with a distinction.

She said: “What I most enjoyed about studying at Essex was the supportive and inclusive environment fostered by the University of Essex.

“The encouragement and guidance I received from faculty members, the sense of camaraderie among fellow students, and the opportunities for personal and academic growth made my time at Essex enriching and memorable.”

Aruoriwo celebrated with her family, including husband Mabonose and baby daughter Nametana.

She also works as community events manager for a network of female product leads, aimed at empowering and connecting women and the under-represented in the industry.

Hanna Adams graduated with a PhD in biological science, while working as a senior laboratory technician in the Protein Structure and Mechanisms of Disease research group at the university.

Hanna said: “Essex is a lovely university and the School of Life Sciences is a fantastic department full of supportive, friendly people which really makes a difference when you’re studying.

“I’ve worked with some brilliant people and the memories will stay with me for a very long time.”

Leena Alfrhat graduated with a Masters in refugee care from the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. She now works at Colchester-based Refugee, Asylum-Seeker and Migrant Action (RAMA).

“I’m committed to continuing my work in refugee care, using the knowledge and skills acquired during my studies to contribute meaningfully to the well-being of displaced individuals,” she said.

Charlotte Worrla has completed an MSc in tropical marine biology, winning a prize for securing the highest mark for her Masters and dissertation, and plans to study for a PhD at the Colchester campus.

Her PhD will focus on the development of restored salt mashes and understanding the most effective restoration techniques for such habitats.

Charlotte said: “Salt marshes provide lots of benefits to humans and the environment, so it is crucial to protect and restore these habitats.”