Aberystwyth University Welsh Language Award winners announced
21 October 2021
Aberystwyth University has honoured individuals for their contribution to the Welsh language.
The winners of the Aberystwyth University Welsh Language Awards for 2021 are Kate Wright, Annette Edwards, Llŷr Tomos and Elin Roach after they were nominated by the University's staff and students.
As learners and first language Welsh speakers, students and staff, the four winners have been selected for the following awards:
- Exceptional Learner (Staff) – Kate Wright
- Promoting Welsh in the Workplace – Annette Edwards
- Welsh Medium Study – Llŷr Tomos
- Welsh Language Champion (Student) – Elen Roach
Each of the winners will receive a personal ‘Englyn’ from either Professor Mererid Hopwood or Eurig Salisbury, both members of staff in the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies at the University.
Congratulating the winners, Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, Director of Welsh Language and External Engagement, said: "Many congratulations to the winners, and to all who have been recognised for their efforts during the past year. It is a pleasure to be able to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of staff and students, and be inspired by their endeavours to embrace and support the use of Welsh within the University.”
Kate Wright (Exceptional Learner): Kate first heard the Welsh language as a child, and started learning the language with her father before going on a family holiday to Wales. Originally from Tamworth, in the West Midlands, Kate moved to Aberystwyth as a student in 1992 to study History at the University. While a student, she started attending classes to learn Welsh and, after graduating, began working at the Thomas Parry Library where she continued to learn the language. Currently Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit Manager at the University, Kate uses Welsh on a daily basis at work and continues to attend a Workplace Welsh class regularly. She hopes to complete a Welsh for Adults Intermediate Exam in 2022.
Annette Edwards (Promoting Welsh in the Workplace):Originally from the Pontrhydfendigaid area, Annette’s roots are deep in Ceredigion. After attending Pontrhydfendigaid Primary School, she completed her secondary education at Tregaron High School before attending a bilingual secretarial course at Coleg Ceredigion. Annette started working at Aberystwyth University in 1994 and is now Academic Staff Development Theme Leader for the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit. She has been promoting the Welsh language at the University for many years, including being a mentor to Welsh learners at the University. She feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Postgraduates and staff to develop their academic skills through the medium of Welsh through the Teaching for Postgraduates at Aberystwyth University (TPAU) and the Postgraduate Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education (PGCTHE). Annette has also worked tirelessly to enable programmes to be bilingual, including the Advance HE Teaching Excellence Awards and the UKCGE Good Supervisory Practice Framework, and has worked with UKCGE, and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to incorporate the Welsh language as part of their national programmes. Annette is keen to use the Welsh language as much as possible and continues to create more opportunities to promote the language within the workplace.
Llŷr Tomos (Welsh Medium Study): Llŷr was a student in the Department of Law and Criminology studying a degree in Criminology and Applied Psychology before graduating during the summer of 2021. He grew up in Cydweli and attended Gwenllian Primary School and Bro Myrddin Welsh Comprehensive School. Being aware of the opportunities available, and because Welsh is his first language, Llŷr decided to study through the medium of Welsh at Aberystwyth University. He was also keen to develop his skills in Welsh and become more confident in communicating through the medium of Welsh. The Welsh language is very important to Llŷr and his is currently considering completing a Masters course and a career with the Police force in Wales.
Elen Roach (Welsh Language Champion): Originally from the Pelcwm Bridge area in Pembrokeshire, Elen has just completed her degree course studying Professional Welsh. Inspired by a teacher at Ysgol y Preseli, she decided to attend the University in Aberystwyth to study Welsh. During her time at the University, Elen has been active in promoting the Welsh language. She has been an enthusiastic ambassador promoting the University to prospective students at events such as the National Eisteddfod, the Royal Welsh Show as well as at Open Days. As part of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol scheme, she mentored Welsh students, working with year 9 pupils at Aberaeron High School. She also mentored first year students at the University during her second and third year in addition to being the Chair of UMCA 2020-21. Elen has also worked with the Department of Welsh and Celtic Studies and the Marketing and Student Recruitment Department organising a series of webinars for school pupils in Wales. A new series of webinars will take place in late September and will run until the spring. Elen now works as a Student Recruitment Assistant in the Marketing Department promoting the University to Welsh medium schools in Wales.
In addition to the above award winners, the adjudicating panel presented University Staff Professor Emyr Lewis, Lecturer Ben ÓCeallaigh, Emily Bennett and Roger Stone with a Certificate of Special Recognition for their commitment to the Welsh language.