Today [Thursday 11 June 2020] CDN is delighted to welcome Dr Julie McElroy as the third inductee of the CDN College Hall of Fame.
The Glasgow Clyde College graduate and prolific disability rights advocate was presented with her award by Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, at CDN’s Virtual College Expo20.
College Expo is Scotland’s landmark event for everyone involved in post-16 education and training. It is a celebration of college excellence, a hub for staff development and practical innovation.
Julie has Cerebral Palsy, which has resulted in walking difficulties, along with a speech and hearing impairment, and manual dexterity problems. Despite the difficulties associated with her disability, Julie progressed to mainstream education, honing her self-leadership to turn her life around.
She completed a Higher National Diploma, along with other qualification merits in Further Education, at Glasgow Clyde College from 2003 to 2006, and went to study for a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Information Technology at the University of the West of Scotland.
Julie found her research specialism when writing her dissertation, ‘A Critical Investigation into Best Practice for Implementing Assistive Technology in Further and Higher Education’ and went on to complete her PhD in Assistive Technology within the School of Computing at University of the West of Scotland.
She has become a prolific disability rights advocate over the years, and has an impressive track record, with many awards to her name, including: Scottish Learning Partnership’s Adult Learner of the Year and Glasgow City Council’s Lord Provost Award for her contribution to disability in Glasgow. Julie was also the first female and youngest person to be awarded the Glasgow Clyde College Fellowship.
“The news is still sinking in that I have been inducted in the CDN Hall of Fame. I feel honoured to be recognised by the Further Education sector and the accolade will hold me in high regard in pursuing my future career aspirations. It is hard to believe that it was only eight years ago when the college bestowed me with the College’s Fellowship.
“The CDN Hall of Fame is a fantastic recognition for Glasgow Clyde College, formerly of Cardonald College. It is a true testament to how the college has transformed my outlook in life. Since leaving the college, the connection has always remained. I am indebted to the college for nominating me into the CDN Hall of Fame.
“I hope that highlighting and recognising my story will inspire future students to succeed in their education pathway.”
Jim Metcalfe, Chief Executive of College Development Network (CDN) said:
“The CDN College Hall of Fame is a way of highlighting and recognising the outstanding contribution that college graduates make to society and the economy; and demonstrates the variety of pathways to success from college. Julie is an absolute inspiration and we are delighted to induct her into the CDN College Hall of Fame and I hope to meet her in person sometime soon.”
Jon Vincent, Principal of Glasgow Clyde College said:
“Few are as deserving of this accolade as Julie. She has worked incredibly hard to achieve her PhD, and we are proud to have her as not only an alumni, but also as a Fellow of Glasgow Clyde College.
“Julie’s work as a disability rights activist has been inspirational, and she is a very worthy inductee of the CDN College Hall of Fame. We look forward to seeing what she achieves next.”