GCU media student has Amazonian ambitions

01 June 2016

GCU media student has Amazonian ambitions

“Go big or go home” is the mantra of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) student Teresa Turner, who has received a prestigious award.

The fourth year Media and Communications student has opted to ‘go big’ as she travels to Peru to the Amazon rainforest thanks to support from the University’s Magnusson Awards.

Teresa will spend three weeks in July volunteering at the Taricaya Ecological Reserve, performing a range of roles including, researching reptiles, clearing forest trails, growing crops and even feeding the animals.

“I chose the Amazon as I'm a ‘go big or go home’ type of person,” joked Teresa, 21, from East Kilbride. “I want to play a part in conserving one of the most diverse ecological systems on the planet whilst raising awareness of the work that is already being done.

“Going to the Amazon is the ultimate for me, a life-long ambition of mine, and it wouldn't have been possible without the Magnusson Award.”

Teresa received one of 13 Magnusson awards, presented in the name of the University’s late Chancellor, the journalist and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson KBE. The annual awards support the ambitions and dreams of talented students and researchers at GCU.

Filming, photographing and blogging her adventure, Teresa will put many of her degree skills to good use on her trip and enhance her CV as she targets a career in film and television.

She added: “I've always been a light traveller so I'll be keeping my luggage to the bare minimum, but I'll be treating myself to a new camera; that and a load of socks and mosquito repellent.

“This project is the perfect way to show what I have learned from my time at University and also give people from all over the world a proper insight into life inside the jungle. We live in the digital age so hopefully by sharing photos and posts on social media, it will grab the attention of the younger generation and get them excited about the beauty of the Amazon - and also encourage them to volunteer.”

Students, their families and friends, staff and invited guests attended the Awards ceremony on Tuesday May 31, hosted by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE and Dr Sally Magnusson, daughter of the late Chancellor and Honorary President of the Magnusson Fellowship at GCU.

Professor Gillies said: “As the University for the Common Good, we are so proud of the achievements that have been made possible over the years through this incredible initiative. The projects will enable the recipients to develop personally or professionally, giving something back to communities around the world.”

Dr Magnusson said: “It is wonderful to see the University continuing to nurture students and researchers with such creativity and drive. The 2016 Magnus Magnusson Award winners are no exception and I know that they will make good use of these special grants and act as worthy ambassadors for the University and the Awards.”

Jillian Watt, Director of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, said: “Since the awards began in 2008, in honour of Magnus and his passion for learning, over 60 students have been able to realise their dreams and ambitions. This year was particularly special with the addition of the Sir Alex Ferguson Magnusson Awards.”