On the 25th January IDS students and staff gathered in Brighton last to celebrate the graduation of 157 students from IDS' 8 Masters courses.
During the ceremony, IDS Director Lawrence Haddad paid particular tribute to 24 year-old graduate Member Feese who survived the bombing of the UN building in Abuja, Nigeria, on August 26 2011 whilst conducting research for her MA Development Studies dissertation.
The explosion killed 21 people and wounded nearly a hundred more. Member was obtaining data for her dissertation when the bomb exploded not far from where she was standing in the reception area and she was seriously wounded. She spent many months recovering in hospital but just one year later, she returned to her studies and to IDS.
Lawrence's speech was reported in Nigeria's This Day. He said: "During her rehabilitation, I got to know Member and her wonderfully supportive family. During this time she has become an inspiration for me and for so many of us at IDS and the wider Sussex community. Why an inspiration? Because while she was wounded in the attack, she was not bowed. Her determination to finish her degree and her commitment to learning have been extraordinary. And her commitment to international development is stronger than ever."
Member is now working in the Central Bank of Nigeria and has established her own NGO in Nigeria, Team Member.
Watch the video of Member Feese's story.