Aberystwyth University celebrated St David’s Day with an award ceremony in the Old College, Thursday 14 March 2019 to recognise six individuals’ exceptional contributions to the Welsh language.
Sara Gibson, a journalist with BBC Cymru Fyw and an alumna of the University’s Department of International Politics was the guest speaker. The awards were presented by Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University. Each winner received a certificate and an englyn especially composed by Eurig Salisbury.
Exceptional Learner (staff)
A member of staff who has learnt Welsh and is making an exceptional effort to use and apply the language at work.
- Janet Hardy – Department of Computer Science
Originally from Oxford, Janet has lived in Aberystwyth since 1975 when she came to the University to study Ecology. She has devoted her time since arriving at Aberystwyth to learn Welsh and started as a student with the Pantycelyn students and attending classes by night. The ‘Cymraeg Gwaith’ plan and the Mentoring plan has inspired Janet to live her life in the Welsh language.
Promoting Welsh in the Workplace (staff)
A member of staff who has been particularly supportive of the Welsh language in the workplace.
- Trish Sadler-McGrath – Students' Union
Trish joined the Students' Union in 2016 a non-Welsh speaker. She immediately decided to learn Welsh and make bilingualism a major part of the Union’s vision. She encourages her peers to learn Welsh and gives them the time to attend classes within work hours.
Welsh Medium Study (student)
A student who has overcome hurdles or who has made a special effort and is dedicated to studying through the medium of Welsh.
- Demi John – Department of Law and Criminology
Demi is a second year student studying Law and Criminology. Originally from Penderyn, she attended Aberdare Welsh medium school but lives in a non-Welsh speaking household. She chose to study at Aberystwyth University because of the vibrant Welsh community, as well as the opportunities to study through the medium of Welsh.
Welsh Language Champion (student)
A student who has made a special contribution to the community’s and/or the University’s Welsh language identity by volunteering or by arranging Welsh medium events for fellow students.
- Anne Robbins – Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies
Anne was brought up in Calgary, Canada and now studies Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth. She uses the Welsh language whilst volunteering in local institutes and in her part-time job at the University’s cafés.
- Rebecca Snell - Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies
As a result of breaking her leg, Rebecca started to learn Welsh. On a family holiday in Pembrokeshire, she couldn’t participate in any activity so her sister bought her a Welsh-English dictionary. As a result she decided to attend Aberystwyth University’s Learn Welsh Summer Course and decided to study Welsh at Aberystwyth University, after being accepted to the University of Sheffield to study English Literature. She worked on Aberystwyth University’s Intensive Summer Course and represents the Department of Welsh as an ambassador.
Special Contribution to the Welsh Language
- Dr Elin Royles - Department of International Politics
Elin, Senior Lecturer and Director of Welsh at the University’s Department of International Politics, is an advocate to the status of the Welsh language in the University. She served as the Chair of Aberystwyth’s Branch for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and has gone beyond expectation within the Welsh-medium academic community. She’s an active contributor to student recruitment schemes and campaigns and promoting the Welsh-medium provision in the University.