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Lawson Marr - BEng (Hons) Electronic and Electrical Engineering

Lawson Marr (22), from Galashiels Academy was diagnosed as dyslexic in his first year at RGU after having displayed symptoms his whole life. Support from RGU was integral to his success.

It is estimated that 1 in 10 people has dyslexia; it can affect the way people communicate and is different for everyone. The impact of dyslexia as a barrier to learning varies in degree according to the learning and teaching environment, “My diagnosis came as a relief, as I knew that it meant that I could get the help that I needed, through the university’s support systems”.

RGU supplied Lawson with hardware and software to aid with note taking, lectures and reading materials, which made a significant impact on his ability to work effectively. Additionally, the academic staff on Lawson’s course were made aware of his dyslexia. “The staff were all extremely supportive and helpful, taking into account the relevant considerations to help me engage, learn and be assessed fairly.”

This week Lawson will graduate with BEng (Hons) Electronic and Electrical Engineering, having received straight A’s across all modules in his final year. His hard work and accomplishments led him to being awarded the IET (Institute of Engineering & Technology) best performing student prize. Lawson credits his school experience for inspiring him to follow the path to university, “I have always had a natural curiosity for the world around me, which was nurtured and developed further throughout my secondary school experience. In no small part, due to my two enthusiastic and engaging teachers, engineering science gave me a foundational understanding of basic engineering principles and exposed me to the world of engineering. From there it was clear that I wanted to follow this road to University, to become an effective and qualified engineer, working on advanced, interesting and useful solutions to real world problems.”

Throughout his time at RGU, Lawson took active part in academic and extracurricular activities. Lawson was involved in the RGU Rugby team for two years, before going on to join the RGU Shelterstone Climbing and Mountaineering club, becoming an active committee member during his final year. “These university clubs have been great for meeting and engaging with new people, learning new skills and undertaking new experiences. My time at the climbing club gave me an amazing chance to explore some of the most beautiful landscapes our country has to offer.”

Additionally, to the sports clubs, Lawson was eager to be actively involved in the running of his course, taking on the responsibility of being the class representative. “I think this role will prove useful in my professional life, as it gave me the opportunity to engage in meetings and be actively involved in communication between the relevant staff in order to improve the course.”

Lawson also enjoyed the hands-on nature of the modules in his course which allowed him to exercise his theoretical skills in a practical setting. “The chance to design, build and test systems through laboratory sessions or the practical modules based in the Engineering Applications labs, really helped solidify the learning done in the lecture hall, and gave me a great opportunity to develop other important professional skills such as team working and scheduling projects.”

Lawson looks back with pride at his time at RGU, “Studying at RGU has not only helped build my academic and technical skills as an engineer, but has given me the environment to learn and grow as a person. The challenges that I have worked on, the experience that I have gained, and the people that I have met will not be forgotten, as they have helped shape who I am today.

One of the most powerful lessons that I learned during my time at university is that your achievements are by no means a function of your intelligence; you are only limited by the amount of hard work that you are willing to undertake.”

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