Adam graduated from Aber in 2014 with a BSc in Geography.
What do you remember most about your time at Aber?
I remember the incredible experiences that I had with my course mates, in particular those of us who went to New Zealand North Island as part of our BSc Geography, we really bonded as a cohort and stuck together throughout the rest of the course, indeed we continued to go on social nights out together as a group of 30. The privilege of learning in a stunningly beautiful place, studying from the library looking out of the town and sea.
What are you doing now career-wise and how has your Aberystwyth Degree helped?
Well I went on to become a qualified Geography Teacher, so having a Geography degree helped with that. I think the most important thing for me, is that I had two fantastic tutors Carina in the first year and Kevin for my second and third years. They both gave me confidence, they said that I could achieve and that belief in me is something I hadn't experienced to the same extent in school, and with their encouragement, I saw my own potential. This is something I pay forward in encouraging my own students first as a teacher and now as a lecturer.
In my final year at Aber, I was diagnosed with Fahr’s Disease, following a zip line accident. Fahr’s Disease is a rare, genetically inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterised by calcium deposits in areas of the brain that control movement. I was told he would lose movement within two years and likely be dead within eight years. However, I was determined to challenge this bleak outlook. So in 2016 I set up a registered charity, Fahr Beyond, to support other sufferers and their families and to provide research.
As founder of Fahr Beyond, I lead the team in giving a voice to people with Fahr’s Disease. Importantly, Fahr Beyond's work has helped to bring together clinicians previously working in silos. By showing there is an appetite for more information and better care for patients, now clinicians are working on a UK diagnostic framework and a management framework for Fahr’s.
Fahr Beyond's website: https://www.fahrbeyond.org/
What advice would you have for a student doing your course now?
Seize the opportunities that are available to you, they might not come along again in the future. If you are unsure of something, ask, and never be afraid of asking a question it might just be the answer that unlocks the door to a future you didn't know you wanted or help join up the dots in your studies. Also, if you can become involved not only in the academic community at Aber but also in the wonderful local community, I learned so much from being involved in the local scouts. It adds to a richer fuller experience of Aber.