Magnusson Awards enable students to embark on life

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From delivering online language classes in care homes, to helping rebuild a school library destroyed by fire in Kenya – these are just two of the life-changing projects to be carried out by students at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in the name of the University’s late Chancellor, the well-known journalist and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson KBE. 

A total of 10 students will be presented with Magnus Magnusson Awards during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, 5th May. The Awards will enable them to undertake their chosen projects, using their expertise and knowledge where it will make a real and lasting difference. 

The Magnusson Awards are made possible thanks to the work of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, which raises funds to help transform lives through education. The Foundation has raised £9 million to date, supporting thousands of students through a variety of educational opportunities. 

Students, their families and friends, staff and invited guests will attend the annual event hosted by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE and Dr Sally Magnusson, daughter of the late Chancellor and Honorary President of the Magnusson Fellowship at GCU. This is the first year that the event has been held online. 

Dr Sally Magnusson said: “The 2021 winners have some truly exciting plans for their projects and I know they will make good use of this special grant and act as worthy Ambassadors for GCU and the Magnusson Awards. I can’t wait to hear how their projects progress and wish them every success.” 

This year’s awards will be presented to: 

Robbie Norval, PhD researcher, Santander Universities Magnusson Award: who will use his award to deliver online language classes in care homes via his organisation Lingo Flamingo, as well as providing online training of carers to allow them to deliver classes in person. 

Emma Kidd, PhD researcher, Nicol Magnusson Award: who seeks to build on the local and international success that she has already achieved with the Fashion Detox Challenge, to help encourage more sustainable clothing consumption worldwide. 

Uzoma Alaneme, Master of Public Health, GCU Magnusson Award: who intends to make a music video to be used for health promotion advocacy, building on his work as a musician and a medical doctor, to increase public knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ukegbu Kalu, Researcher, GCU Magnusson Award: who will carry out a two-day COVID-19 intervention and poverty alleviation project for families living in an internally displaced people’s camp in Nigeria, through the provision of palliatives, training and workshops. 

Georgia Barr, MSc Fashion Business Creation, Sir Alex Ferguson Magnusson Award: whose Award will help the growth of her fashion business start-up which aims to reduce sending material to landfill and to support local communities through its circular economy. 

Alwell Maduakolam, MSc. Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Research, Norman Izzett Award: who will use his experience and knowledge to train frontline optometrists in Nigeria on modern eye care using the Scotland model, as well as equipping two rural health care centres. 

Tabitha Nyariki, BSc(Hons) Applied Psychology, Santander Universities Magnusson Award: who intends to promote literacy by re-stocking and re-building a school library in Kenya mainly used by orphaned children which was destroyed by a fire, and ensure teachers are trained in library management. 

Niamh Smith, Researcher, Nicol Magnusson Award: who intends to bring attention to the plight of homeless people through raising awareness of her activities as a volunteer cook with a charity which is expanding into the Glasgow area, and boosting the charity’s catering capability. 

Mairi Lowe, MSc Social Innovation, Sir Alex Ferguson Magnusson Award: who seeks to contribute knowledge to the fashion community in Scotland through researching, creating and delivering insights from online Community Calls for a social venture, Sustainable Fashion Scotland. 

Diana Chapoterera, MSc Theory of Podiatric Surgery, Mike Smith Magnusson Award: who will train rural health care workers in Zimbabwe on basic foot care and screening for diabetic foot complications.