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Inaugural alumni awards showcase Law and Politics talent

25 October 2022

Syeda Batool Zehra (LLB, 2020), Parikrama Khot (LLM, 2019), Gladys Emmanuel (LLM, 2020) and Kate O'Connor (BA, 2012).
Syeda Batool Zehra (LLB, 2020), Parikrama Khot (LLM, 2019), Gladys Emmanuel (LLM, 2020) and Kate O'Connor (BA, 2012).

A community campaigner, a socio-legal activist, a gender equity advocate, and a creative career changer have all been recognised for their contributions to community at Cardiff University’s first 30(ish) Awards.

Former School of Law and Politics students Syeda Batool Zehra (LLB, 2020), Parikrama Khot (LLM, 2019), Gladys Emmanuel (LLM, 2020) and Kate O'Connor (BA, 2012) were all recipients of a 30(ish) award, presented at a ceremony on 20 October 2022 at the university’s innovative sbarc|spark building.

Eschewing the format of traditional ’30 Under 30’ lists, the 30(ish) Awards celebrated the achievements of alumni who are under 30, over 30 or who feel 30(ish)! Designed to recognise the change-makers, innovators, and rule-breakers in the Cardiff University alumni community, the awards had an overwhelming response with nearly 300 nominations submitted.

Highlighting the diversity of career paths that law and politics students often progress to, the winners from our school are truly inspirational:

Community campaigner, Syeda Batool Zehra – Law, LLB
Syeda has overcome significant obstacles in the pursuit of higher education, to forge a career as Barrister. She is a tireless campaigner for asylum-seekers and has dedicated much of her time as a student supporting Student Action for Refugees (STAR), as well as Faire&Square Welsh Refugee Council, whilst also being a board member of the Bethan Roper Trust for Refugees. Through her commitment and hard work, she managed to influence politicians and organisations to provide support letters, and persuaded universities to grant scholarships to asylumseekers. Syeda wasn’t deterred by the difficulties she faced and is determined to inspire others like her to be tenacious in seeking opportunities to fulfill their own dreams.

Socio-legal activist, Parikrama Khot - Human Rights Law, LLM
Parikrama is a first-generation lawyer and socio-legal activist with a strong sense of commitment to uphold human rights - especially those of women, children, senior citizens, LGBTQIA+ and marginalised sectors, based in Pune, India. In 2020 she founded ‘Sapient Law Chambers’ – an all-female firm. She is also leading the women’s Cell of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti India Shivaji Nagar branch in Pune Maharashtra, supporting women who were exploited financially or suffering abuse. She has led her team to deliver gender sensitisation workshops for rural youth, and legal awareness sessions for masses. She mentors girls in rural areas and encourages them to pursue higher education, and to study law in particular – often advocating with their families to understand the opportunities and benefits that education can provide.

Gender equity advocate, Gladys Emmanuel - Human Rights Law, LLM
Gladys is a Human Rights Lawyer and Gender Advocate in Nigeria; a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Abuja). She currently serves at Tabitha Empowerment Centre, where she leads advocacy efforts to tackle gender-based violence (gbv) and provides support for survivors. In her role she develops programmes to address gbv - most notably “pro bono lawyers’ scheme, “Anti-gender-based violence campaign and Empower Her Initiative” (disseminating anti-gbv messages, rehabilitating survivors, empowering widows, training anti-gbv champions, establishing anti-gbv support units, and school clubs). Her passion for human rights, women’s rights, gender issues and justice has provided her with opportunities to lend her voice and expertise on platforms focused on addressing gbv, including a special feature as “Woman of the Sun” in the Sun newspaper (National daily) and serving at the School of Law at The Northcap University in India.

Creative career changer, Kate O'Connor - Politics and Philosophy, BA
Kate was thrilled when she landed herself a place on Accenture’s prestigious graduate scheme in 2012. However, after a few years, she realised management consulting wasn’t what she wanted to do forever. Having always written in her spare time and with a keen interest in comedy, she decided she wanted to pursue a creative path. So, she took a leap of faith and went to do an MA in Creative Advertising at Falmouth University and went right back to being an intern at the tender age of 26. She has since carved out a successful career as an Advertising Creative. She’s currently a Senior Creative at Momentum Worldwide. Her recent successes include winning Golds at The Drum Experience Awards and Campaign Experience Awards for the Merck Twitch takeover, ‘Game On! For MS!’

Congratulations to all those recognised! A full list of winners and information on the 30(ish) Awards can be found on the Cardiff University Alumni webpages.

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