Congratulations to the Class of 2021

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Nicole Regan stands with her arms raised in the air in celebration outside the Veterinary Science building on the central Liverpool campus
ULVAA Final Year Student Award Winner, Nicole Regan (BVSc 2021)

A huge congratulations to the class of 2021. Sadly, the current restrictions have meant that an in-person graduation ceremony has, once again, not been possible. However, it was a pleasure to join the 131 new graduates and their families for a special virtual event to mark the occasion.

During this ceremony Nicole Regan (BVSc 2021) was announced as the winner of the ULVAA Final Year Student Award. The award, now in its fourth year, is intended to recognise outstanding contributions of a final year student to life at the School of Veterinary Science in Liverpool. This might be by providing help and support to fellow undergraduates; for example, through participating in student politics and organisation of events that benefit the students.

Nicole was nominated for this award by her peers for her contribution to the veterinary profession, not only at the University but across the wider veterinary community, something that has been especially challenging over this last year.

Nicole works with the British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society (BVEDS). BVEDS provides a wonderful platform for people from minority backgrounds in veterinary to share their experiences, and their work was shortlisted for the 2020 National Diversity Awards. Her peers, who nominated her for this award, describe this work as particularly inspiring: “It is comforting to know that as a profession we are making an effort to sit up and take notice of the barrier people might face and Nicole is determined to do her part to help this”.

Nicole has shared her own story on the ‘For the Record’ podcast for RCVS knowledge, and is also involved in outreach being on the Youth Board at Chester Zoo. Nicole also works for Vets: Stay, Go, Diversify (VSGD), a community network started by alumna Ebony Escalona (BSc 2007; BVSc 2009). Nicole was instrumental in organising the VSGD student careers fair, and as if all that wasn’t enough Nicole also played a role in setting up the VetWings Facebook community which has been a useful resource for vet students that have had EMS cancelled over the last year.

On receiving the award Nicole said, “Receiving this award was the icing on the cake of what was already such an incredible day. It had been touch and go for so long if we were even going to be able to celebrate graduating together as a year group, and it really was a day (and night!) to remember.

“A couple of years ago I made a new year’s resolution to only get involved with projects that I am actually passionate about. It can be very easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to everything that crosses your path, but that will almost indefinitely just lead to you doing many things but half-heartedly. Despite this, over the course of two years I found multiple groups and projects that completely matched the direction that I see the vet profession going in.

“These unexpectedly became a core part of my vet school experience, and every single one of these opportunity's arose from networking. I would recommend every vet student out there to invest in making connections; whether that be on placement, or at conferences, on LinkedIn or Facebook groups. The veterinary world is a small one, but there are so many different experiences and paths that people a more than willing to share with you.

“I am looking forward to the next step of entering the real world but I am not moving far! I am delighted to have accepted a job at Rutland House so will be able to enjoy Liverpool life for a few years still. I would like to say a massive thank you to all of the Vet School staff who have gone above and beyond these past five years but particularly during the more recent turbulent times. And of course a MASSIVE congratulations to the class of 2021 – We did it!”

Nicole has had a hugely positive impact on the vet school and should be an inspiration to the rest of the student body. The Veterinary Alumni Association is proud to recognise Nicole’s valuable contributions and look forward to receiving nominations in future years.