Alumna sees dissertation published with help of Lecturer

14/10/2019 by Sinead Staunton

Newman graduate Yvonne at graduation ceremony

Yvonne Pedley, 52, studied her Applied Health and Social Care BSc (Hons) Top-up degree at Newman University, graduating in 2016.

Yvonne had worked in a variety of sectors before returning to education including customer service, working with the armed forces, starting her own painting and decorating business and after having a family; Yvonne decided that she wanted to do something different. Yvonne took on a care role and she realised that she would need to understand and learn more about the subject and this is what inspired her educational journey.

Yvonne completed an NVQ qualification before progressing on her journey to complete her degree. Yvonne comments: “I thought the likelihood of studying after school was non-existent. One of five children, I did not think I would be the one to eventually go to university.”

After completing her Foundation Degree at another institution, Yvonne made the decision to complete her degree at Newman University. Health and Social Care is an area that Yvonne feels passionate about, the modules on the course intrigued her, and she wanted to research further into the subject area.

Yvonne added, “Newman University is an ideal place to study because it has a good support system, excellent facilities and staff that possess good subject expertise. The staff that were in my department were very supportive, provided encouragement and understanding. They were at ease and welcomed discussion regarding any work or opportunity, enabling us to learn, grow and succeed.”

To complete her degree Yvonne had to decide on her research area for her dissertation, and this is when she began working with Health and Social Care Senior Lecturer, Dr Paul McDonald.

Newman graduate Yvonne with Dr Paul McDonald at graduation ceremony

“Whilst working within Health and Social Care, I have noticed that there has been an increase of media attention regarding the care industry, focusing on the negative aspects of care rather than the positives. Once Paul had found out what my dissertation subject was and how I planned to gather the information, we both agreed that there was a gap in research within that area. Paul is such an inspirational person and the knowledge he has in terms of research is excellent. The experience he possesses assisted me to progress with my research, with support and guidance.”

Yvonne’s dissertation entitled ‘Media reports of abuse in adult residential care: implications for staff and practice’ proved to be of such good quality that it was published by Emerald Publishing.

Yvonne responded to the news, commenting, “I was absolutely ecstatic about the news, and I still am. I cannot believe that I can put the key words into Google Scholar and my dissertation publication appears, whereas while I was studying, I was a regular user of the website and never thought I would be one of those authors’. A big thank you to Paul and Newman University.”

Dr Paul McDonald added “Yvonne made significant strides during her year on the Top Up Degree.  We were able to give her the theoretical underpinning and research skills to enable her to conduct such an impressive dissertation.  Her published work has added to the current literature on abuse in residential settings.  We are all so very proud of her.”

Yvonne is now looking ahead at her next steps, commenting, “My main goal is to write a book by using the skills, experience and knowledge that I possess. I strive to continue to grow and develop myself as hard work and determination conquers all.  Now that I have graduated, I continue to work part time while developing further ideas for planned projects.”

For more details on the publication visit the Emerald Insight website.