University student awarded prize named after Black Sabbath singer
Twenty-three year old Helen Crothall has been named as the recipient of the Ozzy Osbourne Development Award which recognises the student who has made the most progress during the BA Media & Communications (Music Industries) course.
The University’s School of Media decided to give Helen the award because not only did she gained a good mark in her course but she also suffered the loss of her step father whilst in the second year of the degree. Also, unknown to her tutors, Helen was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome whilst at University.
Asperger syndrome is a form of autism, and affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people. Autism is often described as a ‘spectrum disorder’ because the condition affects people in many different ways and to varying degrees. People with Aspergers are usually of average, or above average, intelligence. Helen, who lives in Birmingham, insists that it’s only a label and it shouldn’t stop anyone from doing what they want to do in life.
The award was founded by University staff because they wanted to celebrate Birmingham’s musical heritage. Ozzy was brought up in the Aston area of the city, and went to school in nearby Perry Barr, where the University’s School of Media is based. After hearing the university wanted to name an award after him Ozzy said: “I was honoured to be asked. It’s great to support Birmingham and the future of the music industry.”
Helen, who studied at New College, Telford, before attending Birmingham City University, said: “I had the best and hardest times of my life while I was studying at university. “I have told a few people about my course who have said that they wish they had looked into studying music industries. It’s allowed and helped me to network in the local and national music industry on a level that I would never have been able to without it. It’s also helped me to direct and define the area of music industry I want to go into.”
Helen has recently worked at the Supersonic Festival and is hoping to launch a career as a digital strategist. Former Tutor, Matt Grimes said: “Helen really deserves this award. She worked very hard to achieve a 2:1 degree and was a pleasure to teach. Helen overcame the difficulties she faced and I am sure this tenacity will help her succeed in her chosen career route.”
Visit the Birmingham City University site online www.bcu.ac.uk