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Biosciences staff and services recognised at Celebrating Excellence Awards

7 March 2022

Biosciences Celebrating Excellence Award 2021 winners

Dr Tomasz Jurkowski received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the University, while Dr Emma Yhnell won the Rising Star, Early Career Researcher category. The University COVID-19 Screening Service, in which the School played a major role, was also recognised.

The Celebrating Excellence Awards are an opportunity for all staff to say ‘thank you’ to those colleagues who go the extra mile. They reward individual, team and collaborative achievements in a range of categories.

Dr Jurkowski was recognised for his role in setting up the University’s asymptomatic COVID-19  Screening Service, based in the School of Biosciences, which played a vital role in protecting staff and student wellbeing throughout the pandemic. The Screening Service itself was the recipient of the Exceptional Enhancement of Staff Wellbeing award.

Dr Tomasz Jurkowski - Celebrating Excellence Award
Dr Tomasz Jurkowski receives the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the University from Prof Damian Walford Davies, Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Head of School, Prof Jim Murray said: “Tomasz had only the year before moved to the UK and joined the University when the pandemic hit. He played an extraordinary role in driving the establishment and delivery of the Covid Screening Service, using new approaches that did not compete with other testing efforts for scarce resources.

"Very few universities were able to establish and maintain their own PCR testing services, and Cardiff did so within an incredibly short time and to very high standards that were later clinically approved.

"Many individuals made important contributions as recognised in the separate award to the entire Facility, but Tomasz’s unique importance is recognised in his individual Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to the University.”

Dr Emma Yhnell won the Rising Star – Early Career Academic category. This award recognises individuals who have grown substantially in their role, and made a significant, positive impact within or on behalf of the University.

Dr Yhnell, who was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer, said: “I am absolutely delighted to win this award, it came as a huge but lovely shock. I am so grateful to work alongside such fantastic colleagues in the School of Biosciences who have gone above and beyond to support me in the work that I do.

"I feel very privileged to be recognised as an individual, but I know that there are so many exceptional colleagues across the School of Biosciences and the University as a whole who also do incredible work."

Dr Emma Ynhell
Dr Emma Yhnell won the Rising Star – Early Career Academic category

The Welsh Centre for Anatomy Education team, led by Dr Hannah Shaw, and also based in the School, was runner-up in the Exceptional Enhancement of the Student Learning Experience category.

The winners of the Celebrating Excellence Awards 2021 were announced at an in-person ceremony on 3 March, hosted by Prof Damian Walford Davies, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, and Claire Sanders, Chief Operating Officer.

Prof Walford Davies, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “It was a joy to meet in-person once more to celebrate our staff and showcase such a wide array of excellent work. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate a colleague, and congratulate all of the nominees and winners for their dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to making Cardiff University an excellent place to work and study”.

Prof Murray added: “Our thanks and congratulations to all of the award winners, and I am delighted their efforts have been so publicly acknowledged. They represent the tip of the iceberg of exceptional staff within Biosciences, and I feel privileged to be leading a School with so many outstanding individuals who make such efforts on behalf of our students, research, the School and the University”.

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