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Rule-breakers and Change-makers: 30ish alumni making a big impact

24 October 2022

Jessica Dunrod

The University’s first 30(ish) Awards celebrated the achievements of alumni who have made a positive contribution to their community, and all before they hit 30. Well, 30(ish).

Eschewing the format of traditional ’30 Under 30’ lists, the inaugural awards were open to alumni under or over 30, who feel 30(ish). Designed to recognise the change-makers, innovators, and rule-breakers in the Cardiff University alumni community, there was an overwhelming response, with nearly 300 nominations submitted. Or 300(ish).

Alumni from across the globe and a wide range of industries, nominated themselves, or were put forward by their fellow alumni, staff, or colleagues.

30(ish) winners were invited to the inaugural awards event at the University’s innovative sbarc | spark building, hosted by Chair of Council and alumnus Pat Younge (BSc 1987) and emceed by alumna Babita Sharma (BA 1998). Around 70 alumni, guests and staff attended this special night, with some travelling from as far as the USA and Canada to receive their awards.

Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences alumni featured among the glittering list of winners, including alumni Jessica Dunrod (BA 2020, MA 2022) from the School of Modern Languages .

Award-winning translator and children’s author, Jessica Dunrod, is a champion for ethical translation practice and positive representation in children’s literature.

Books include Outstanding and Your Hair is Your Crown which she wrote to counteract The Black Doll Test (Brown University) which proved that behaviours such as unconscious bias are acquired by primary school age.

Jessica expanded on this research by coining “The Elsa Affect” theory which theorises a child’s early development is negatively impacted by a lack of representation in entertainment, marketing and literature aimed at children.

She has contributed to the design of the new Welsh curriculum, is a linguist fluent in Spanish and Modern Greek, translator, and international strategist. In 2021 she was named in Wales Online’s 15 Black Welsh Icons list.

Read the full 2022 list of 30(ish) winners.

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