STUDENTS from across Clackmannanshire have secured some top prizes during Forth Valley College's graduation events.

Marcus Rawding has every reason to celebrate after being named 2017's Student of the Year and also scooping The Most Promising Student in the Department of Hospitality and Salon Services.

The 21-year-old from Coalsnaughton has triumphed over shyness and a lack of confidence to become an accomplished hospitality professional.

He has come a long way since starting his SVQ Level 2 course in 2013 – a full six months later than intended, as it was felt he was not ready to begin life at college.

Marcus graduated with an HND Hospitality Management on the evening of Thursday, October 5, and was pleased with his wins.

He said: "I really did not expect this. It has come as a really great surprise, but it just goes to show how hard work pays off in the end.

"I believe there are loads of students worthy of the same recognition as me, but it is good to know that I have been picked for Student of the Year.

"My advice for new students would be to stick in at your studies. There will be some bits you enjoy and some bits not so much, but it really is worthwhile."

Dr Ken Thomson, Forth Valley College principal, said: "No one has epitomised the high standards that Forth Valley has come to expect of its students this year than Marcus Rawding.

"He thoroughly deserves his Student of the Year Award as he has stood out on many levels and his commitment and dedication to his studies has been absolutely fantastic.

"He is a credit to himself, his family and to the college and we know he will continue to excel in his career."

Also recognised by the college was Chloe Wotherspoon, from Clackmannan, who won the Most Promising Student in Care, Health and Sport at the Falkirk Town Hall ceremony on Tuesday, October 3.

The 20-year-old, who graduated with an HND Coaching and Developing Sport, said: "I am overwhelmed and delighted after all the hard work, stress and effort over the past two years.

"How nice of my college lecturers for nominating me for this award. I was heading to Edinburgh on the train when I received the phone call to tell me I had won, I celebrated a little bit more that night."

Meanwhile, Mary Herriot-Dunlop, 75, from Alva was presented with the Most Promising Student in the Department of Creative Industries during the Stirling Castle ceremony.

Mary, who graduated with a BA Art and Design and is now progressing to do her Honours at the University of Stirling, said: "I think my first thoughts were ‘you must be kidding, can you repeat that again’ and thought that there must be more talented students who deserve this. I feel honoured and proud to be considered for such a prestigious award."

A total of 900 students were eligible to graduate this year from Forth Valley College; more than 250 chose to collect their scrolls at events at Falkirk Town Hall and Stirling Castle.