Nominating Miss Richards
It was great to hear that Emma Richards was a finalist at the USW Alumni Awards. I had nominated her in one of the categories titled Excellence in Service Award; her role as Student Representative (officially and unofficially) profoundly assisted in the preparations of the day-to-day academic lives of her peers, which included the effective communication between students and their lecturers (and departments), being essential for organising from the littlest to the biggest agendas – all having an influence on the smooth running of the course itself.
This all happened while she dealt with her own personal issues that sometimes (understandably) overwhelmed her. Although, this didn’t deter her from arranging matters with her peers and others. She is the social media seamstress who’d woven her strings of support so tight that she captured any forgotten deadline and made us all a cushion of comfort to sit on – truly a well-deserving Alumna!
Unfortunately Emma was unable to attend the ceremony and instead I was honoured to have been asked to accept her award on her behalf.
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The ceremony was held at the Swalec Stadium, the old Glamorgan Cricket Club in Cardiff, which was a venue suitable for the occasion since those who attended were mostly “Alumni all-rounders” coming from various backgrounds and experienced in diverse industries.
The event was carefully organised by the small yet proficient USW Alumni Team (Rachael, Carolyn, Katy and Natalie), all of whom had exceeded the attendees’ expectations.
The evening began with USW’s Vice Chancellor, Julie Lydon OBE, thanking those who managed to attend and all who contributed to the event.
She highlighted the importance of Higher Education and the impact that USW and its graduates have had both nationally and internationally, which was emphasised by the university’s #USWThanksU campaign; recognising those who’ve contributed whether graduate, lecturer or sponsor.
Ms Lydon’s speech, even though promotional (as you’d honestly expect from a member of management), was well-received and her heartfelt words were clearly evidenced by a beneficiary of USW – Natalie Lubbock, who gained a scholarship enabling her to conduct fascinating and important research on marine biology and conservation management.
Natalie’s enthusiasm and individuality shone as she spoke about herself and her hard work as a graduate. Her continuation as a PhD student at the university means that she has been a USW graduate for approximately ten years. She values her time spent at USW and insisted that it was a decade well-spent because it’s “a great university to be at.”
Remember, time is not crucial when it’s in the pursuit of your dreams.
Her efforts should be recognised, her thirst for knowledge admired and her passion used to inspire the next set of graduates (the future generation) – with a full-time position.
Networking and Chit Chat
I invited my sister, Rebecca as my plus one. She’s a “Support Worker” for USW and carer for her son, Gabriel, who had recently been “officially” diagnosed with Autism – she’s a model mother and individual. She’s an Alumna of Swansea University, but we’ll let her off this time.
The team organisers had me down as Welsh Tenants/ Tenantiaid Cymru, which is ok, I wear many hats. Actually, it gave me an opportunity to network and “talk shop” as many students are tenants and would likely be renting in the future with the current housing crisis and unaffordable housing leaving little room for home-ownership.
It wasn’t all about networking, as we (my sister and I) got chatting to others at table 9, in particularly with Emma Adamson, Director of Learning Services, on personal and political matters. An honest, ordinary, friendly-Friday conversation.
Not only was the evening filled full of celebration because of the awards, our stomachs were filled full of delightful foods.
There were three courses including goat’s cheese for starters, beautifully-cooked chicken for the main, and lastly, small sweet appetisers that would be better than Bake-Off’s contestants’ tasters I bet!
And The Winners Are…
The list and statements read by Rachael Barker, Head of Alumni Relations & Development, demonstrated USW’s ability in helping to produce current (and former) graduates that are (or have) doing (done) such outstanding things.
The four awards and winners are as follows:
Hamed Amiri, Inspiring the Next Generation
Emma Richards, Excellence in Service
Richard Pring, Graduate of Last Decade
Martin Smith, Distinguished Alumni
I’d like to congratulate those who won, all the finalists – and those who were nominated but may not have been shortlisted. To be nominated exemplifies the need for a nominee’s recognition. It highlights an individual, group or organisation’s appreciation for the nominee, meaning that his or her work or ability has made a difference to others.
Alumni are essentially “qualified ambassadors” who represent their University in their employment or in their industry. The Alumni Services help to maintain or re-establish communication between current and former graduates – key to celebrating success, key to keeping a community alive.
(Image Courtesy: John Walker, 2010. Flickr, c.c)