Courtney at UCW Awards

Student Ambassador of the Year: Courtney’s Journey to Forensic Anthropology


Courtney Phillips, a dedicated mother of three and an exemplary student from the Foundation Degree in Biological Laboratory Sciences, is University Centre Weston’s  Student Ambassador of the Year.

Courtney’s commitment to her role as a student ambassador has been exceptional. She has actively participated in every open day and school outreach programme, aiming to inspire others to consider the Biological Laboratory Sciences degree. “Whenever a post has gone on teams about an open day or outreach programme, I have commented straight away that I’m willing to help,” she says.

Balancing her studies with raising three small children and holding a job, Courtney is on course to complete her foundation degree in Biological Sciences. She chose UCW for its local convenience and her familiarity with the supportive environment, having previously completed an access course when her daughter was a baby. “The college was accommodating to the fact my daughter was four months old and I was feeding her. Nothing was too much trouble,” she recalls. Her passion for laboratory science was ignited during a taster session, where she first experienced DNA fingerprinting.

One of Courtney’s highlights at UCW has been her involvement with the Professor Fluffy outreach programme, inspiring the next generation of scientists. She has also had the opportunity to run an after-school event in Bridgewater. Her practical experiences, such as conducting gel electrophoresis experiments with students at local schools, have significantly contributed to her development.

Courtney credits the staff at UCW for their unwavering support. “The support has been absolutely amazing, and I’ll be sad when it’s time to leave,” she says. The facilities at UCW, especially the library and super lab, have been instrumental in her success. “The book range was amazing, and the library staff are so helpful. The tech we have in the super lab is amazing, and I love getting to experiment with everything,” she enthuses.

After graduation, Courtney plans to complete her third year studying Archaeology, Anthropology, and Forensic Science. Her long-term career goal is to become a forensic anthropologist, working with police forces or disaster teams to reunite families with their deceased loved ones.

Courtney’s time at UCW has been transformative. “UCW showed me anything is possible no matter your background in academia. They have shown me that teamwork and confidence are paramount and that managing your time wisely will get you the outcome you want,” she reflects. Her personal and professional growth during her time at UCW has been significant, and she is grateful for the opportunities and support she received.

To those considering studying at UCW, Courtney’s advice is clear: “Absolutely do it! It is worth it! The staff, the facilities, the degrees are amazing! They may be small, but that is definitely an advantage!”

Courtney Phillips has been an outstanding ambassador for UCW, embodying the values and dedication that the institution stands for. Her enthusiasm, commitment, and inspirational journey have made her a beloved and respected member of the UCW community. She will be greatly missed when she graduates, but her legacy as a student ambassador will undoubtedly endure.

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