From education to employment

Double success for inspirational student

Caption: Theresa with her guide dog Kaz winning best female player at a Blind cricket tournament.

An inspirational student who proved having a disability doesn’t hold her back will graduate from the University of Chester in November. 

Theresa Robberts was awarded the annual thesis prize from the Worshipful Company of Marketors, for her work entitled ‘Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Corporate Philanthropy (CP): Exploring how CP is managed and appraised for its impact on communities.’ 

Theresa, who will graduate from the University in November this year with a PhD in Business and Management, is visually impaired and has been selected to represent England in the World Blind Games in August held in Birmingham. 

She said: “I was so honoured and privileged to have been awarded this prize. I want people to know that my disability never stops me from producing work of a very high quality. I am also ecstatic that I was able to design a bespoke, off the shelf, philanthropy appraisal tool for SME’s.” 

Theresa joined the University of Chester in 2014 when she enrolled for a Master’s in Project Leadership and Design through the University’s WBIS (Work Based Integrated Studies). Following the completion of this programme she applied to study for a PhD with a focus on Strategic Corporate Philanthropy.  

She said: “I chose this topic as I have over 20 years’ experience in the areas of charity management and Corporate Social Responsibility Management. I wanted to make a difference in this area especially focusing on SME’s (Small and Medium Enterprises).” 

Her thesis was praised by the Worshipful Company of Marketors which enables marketing professionals to enrich their lives and careers through fellowship, connections and experiences, together with an opportunity to give back. 

Theresa added that she has enjoyed her academic journey at the University of Chester with the best part being the support she received in relation to her visual impairment and mental health. 

Before she graduates from the University in November, Theresa focused her attention on her cricket career. 

She said: “This summer I represented England at the World Blind Games in August in Birmingham. It was the first time that all female blind cricket teams competed in an international tournament.  

“I will also turn my focus to publishing my work and the promotion of the Philanthropy Appraisal Tool I designed as part of my thesis.” 

Dr David Perrin, Deputy Head of the Centre for Professional and Economic Development, said:

“Theresa is one of the most innovative students I have ever had. Her thesis has practical implications for SMEs and the Tool that Theresa has created can help make a positive difference both in the world of work and for society more generally.”

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