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Mark Robertson Student Awards 2020

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An overview of the Mark Robertson Student Awards 2020.

Acacia tutors Kevin Haslam and Tristan Callaghan hosted our 6th annual student awards event live online on 5th November. We usually host our awards event at a London venue with a well-stocked bar and delicious hot buffet. So, this year’s event was quite different however, we were delighted that it gave us the opportunity to include our international HR and L&D students.

We host the awards in memory of our much-loved tutor, CIPD EQA and colleague Mark Robertson who tragically passed-away in 2014. Each year we ask our tutors and students to help raise funds for the British Heart Foundation in memory Mark (Aug 1963 – Mar 2014).

The awards recognise and celebrate the hard work and dedication of Acacia CIPD students and this year we introduced three new categories – Outstanding Student, Apprentice and Middle East student awards. We received so many amazing nominations and a record number of votes from Acacia students and graduates, their work colleagues, friends, and family members too.

Shortlist 2020

Outstanding Student Award

Beatrice WallerEmily Spaul
Rebecca Cavaciuti
Bettina Tudor

Apprentice Award

Maria Vu
Craig Nagle
Charlotte Joffe
Jody Couch

Middle East Student Award

Lamia AlRayes
Mohammed Alsuhaibani
Rewiza Musa
Farah Alfayez

Winners 2020

Emily Spaul, Outstanding Student Award

“Emily has put so much effort into this course and I feel has learnt a great deal. Since joining, her contribution in the workplace has increased and her performance above the required standard.”

“Emily represents all the best qualities of HR she is genuine and considerate of people. But also smart and business savvy. It is hard to maintain this balance but Emily does it effortlessly. She was born to work in this field. I always knew she would do well as a CIPD student not only thriving in her studies but harnessing her ever growing skills everyday at work. I look forward to seeing her develop in her career. I know she will grow to do great things.”

“She is extremely dedicated to the course, and has sacrificed large amounts of time to ensure she is fully versed in the material + absorbs every bit of value!”

“Emily has worked incredibly hard this year and I’ve seen the sacrifices she has made to pursue this dream. She’s so energised when she talks about her work and professional passions and I think she really deserves it. We are immensely proud of her and think she would be a worth recipient for such an award.”

Maria Vu, Apprentice Award

“A true definition of an inspiring HR professional showcasing all HR attributes and values through her interactions with other employees regardless of position.”

“Maria puts her all into both her work and studies and strives to improve every day. She is dedicated, hard working and a positive influence within the team.”

“Maria has been working full time throughout this whole Covid period, plus managing her studies. Her teamwork has been exemplary and she has balanced her work with studying and maintaining good grades. Maria is a future talent for our business and I strongly recommend her for this award.”

“Maria has been a real delight to work with and has always delivered work to an excellent standard. Maria has done very well with her CIPD modules and has met all the skills and behaviours despite having a busy workload and having a lot to juggle. I am really pleased with Maria’s work and commitment – she has done extremely well.”

Rewiza Musa, Middle East Student Award

“Rewiza emigrated from Sudan to live and work in KSA. She arrived with no job just family and decided to take on the level 5 CIPD Diploma to develop herself professionally and submitted excellent work throughout the programme. This was on top of setting up a home and looking after family in a new country far away from close family and friends.”

Watch the Awards

Be sure to watch the wonderful reactions of all three of our lucky winners, Emily Spaul, Maria Vu and Rewiza Musa. Congratulations to all of our finalists and winners at this year’s Student Awards 2020!


Thank you to everyone, our amazing students, tutors, colleagues, and friends.

We will hopefully see you all in 2021 for our usual glamourous awards and networking event.

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