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Meet our Biosciences Student Community Award winners of 2020-21

31 January 2022

Student Community Award winner 20-21
L-R: Prof Jim Murray, Edward Johnston, Gizem Boya, Katie Mainwood, Tobechi Egole, William Dawson, Dr Sarah Hall

Undergraduates recognised for their inspirational contribution to the student community

The School of Biosciences Student Community Awards were created by Dr Sarah Hall, Reader and Student Experience Lead, to celebrate committed and generous members of our student community. Every year, undergraduate students are invited to nominate a peer for three categories.

The 2020-21 Year 1 and 2 winners were presented with certificates by Prof Jim Murray, Head of School, at an awards ceremony on campus, while the final year winners will receive theirs at the graduation ceremony later this year.

Prof Murray said: “We recognise it’s been a really tough two years. We’re really keen to rebuild our School community, and as a student community you have shown that one of the most important things is kindness. It spreads like a virus, but in a good way.”

Director of Undergraduate Education Dr Hefin Jones thanked the winners for “walking the extra mile to be there for their peers”. He added: “It is really rewarding that our students in Biosciences are at the vanguard of recreating that sense of collegiate responsibility we all need, and we are incredibly proud of you for achieving this when most of our time had to be off campus and online. Thank you, diolch yn fawr.”

Introduced in 2019-20 for final year students, the Awards were extended to students across all years of the degree in 2020-21.

The 2020-21 Award winners are:

Making a difference

Year 1: Gizem Boya, BSc Neuroscience    
“My flatmate Gizem is one of the most giving people I’ve ever met … to me her presence has been life-changing.”

Year 2: Tobechi Egole, BSc Biomedical Science
“Tobechi has always gone out of her way to ensure all her fellow students’ voices have been heard. She has been an ideal person in all the roles she has taken on and is a great asset to Cardiff University.”

Final year: Lily Thomas, BSc Biochemisty
“Lily has amazing motivation and passion for the University, demonstrated by representing bioscience in a competition with IGEM in Boston, as well as working Open Days and being a student rep.”
“Lily has been an excellent student rep this year, always checking in on students in group chats and asking for feedback on the course. Lily made sure responses from the school were forwarded onto us, supported PTY students in their integration back to university after the pandemic and made sure we were represented at panels! Thanks Lily!”

Most inspirational

Year 1: Edward Johnston, BSc Biomedical Science
“You would be hard pressed to find anyone else with the same level of enthusiasm, kindness and dedication as Ed has for bioscience and I really do believe he is a fundamental part of what makes the course feel a more inclusive and welcoming place.”

Year 2: Katie Mainwood, BSc Biological Sciences
“Achieved an incredible placement year for next year and tutors in her spare time as well as volunteering in the Girl Guides!”

Final year: Holly Giles, BSc Biomedical Sciences
“Holly Giles is the definition of inspirational. She has won mentoring of the year award, consistently shown dedication and enthusiasm to university work and extracurricular activities, and goes above and beyond to be a lovely person, despite the struggles of university in COVID. She has worked on gair rhydd, since the second year, working her way up to Deputy Editor, writing detailed and enthralling pieces surrounding the world of science."


Year 2: William Dawson, BSc Biological Sciences
“Fantastic student mentor who held regular study groups to support his peers.”
“Always asking questions in lectures and making sure the lecturers themselves felt normal in this difficult year (e.g. by putting his camera on and starting the trend of doing so).”

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