Leeds Trinity University student Emma Paxton graduates today with a degree in Forensic Psychology after overcoming adversity during her time at University.

Brunette female in charcoal jumper in front of brick wall.

21-year-old Emma, from Bradford, picked Leeds Trinity as her first choice for completing her degree due to its closeness to home and its appeal as a small, campus-based institution with a personal and supportive learning community. 

Since joining Leeds Trinity in September 2018, Emma has faced and overcome significant personal challenges, especially over the last year when she lost her mum during lockdown. Prior to this, she also had to manage grief alongside her studies after losing her aunt. 

Emma has consistently achieved high ‘First’ marks in her final year assessments, crediting hard work and the support she received from her lecturers and peers. 

Emma said: “Since starting at Leeds Trinity University, I have completely changed as a person, in a good way. I absolutely loved my Forensic Psychology course. I was surrounded by people with the same interests as me, I was learning fascinating information, and I had incredibly supportive lecturers who would help in any way they could. I have experienced a lot of trauma and I found it extremely difficult to focus and produce my best quality of work while grieving for my family, especially during lockdown when my mum passed away. 

“Despite this, I received a lot of support from my lecturers and peers and put a huge amount of work into my assignments, resulting in me achieving all Firsts in final year. After realising how much I could achieve when I worked hard and accepted help when it was offered, my confidence and positivity about the future has increased. I will be eternally grateful for all the opportunities Leeds Trinity provided that have paved the way to a successful and happy future.” 

Dr Danielle McDermott, Senior Professional Practice Fellow at Leeds Trinity University, said: “I taught Emma throughout her three years and while she has always been a high achieving student, I saw her particularly shine this year. Emma had an incredibly difficult summer prior to her third year of studies, and I am so proud of how she navigated through this with strength, dignity and motivation. 

“I was privileged enough to supervise Emma’s final year project and was so impressed by her reflectivity and work ethic. She was a pleasure to have in the class and I have no doubt that she will thrive in whatever she decides to do in the future.” 

Dr Michelle Dalton, Lecturer in Psychology and Emma’s personal tutor at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Emma's academic performance has been consistently excellent throughout her undergraduate studies. Emma has really excelled in her final year in the face of some very challenging personal circumstances – this is testament to Emma's hard work and commitment to achieving her goals. It has been a pleasure to get to know Emma over the last three years and I wish her every success for the future.” 

Emma, who chose to live at home throughout her studies, also acknowledges the importance of the friendships she has made at Leeds Trinity. She added: “Living at home, it can often be difficult to make friends, but I met one of my best friends in my first few weeks of University and we formed a wonderful friendship group who really supported each other through lots of difficult struggles.” 

Since completing her undergraduate studies, Emma plans to stay in Leeds and has started working full-time at a secondary school for individuals with Autistic Spectrum Condition. 

Categories: Graduation

For the media

Leeds Trinity University's Corporate Communications Officer, Zoe Shackleton, is the first point of contact for local, national and international media.

Looking to source a comment or would like to arrange an interview with one of our academic experts? Contact Zoe on +44 (0) 113 283 7100 or z.shackleton@leedstrinity.ac.uk