More GCU students were given the opportunity to realise their dreams and ambitions at the 2018 Magnus Magnusson Awards Celebration Event last night.
Since 2007, the Magnusson Awards have provided our students with incredible opportunities to pursue their goals while making a positive impact on the lives of others around the world.
The Magnus Magnusson Fund was established by Glasgow Caledonian University, in honour of our late Chancellor, television presenter, journalist, writer and historian, Magnus Magnusson KBE.
The awards have now supported more than 100 students who have gone on to undertake their dream projects in more than 35 countries around the world. The event celebrated the achievements of this year's award winners as well as the generous donations and support from GCU donors, alumni and friends who have made it all possible.
As always, Magnus's daughter and GCU Honorary Graduate, Dr Sally Magnusson, presented the awards to this year's recipients. Those in attendance also heard from previous winners about the inspirational projects they have undertaken. Sean Neilson used his Magnusson Award to volunteer with Arts Relief International and Cultural Canvas in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he helped children with cerebral palsy. Sean's trip was featured in the BBC documentary 'Explore Stories' in 2012.
Dearbhla Ahern, BSc Occupational Therapy, will travel to the Philippines with her Magnusson Award, where she will work as a volunteer occupational therapist. After one of the country's worst storms in 2013, there has been a strain on resources and many people left with life-changing injuries, meaning occupational therapists are in high demand.
Adam Dow, BA (Hons) International Events Management, is dedicated to helping young people suffering with mental-health issues and has started his own social enterprise to reduce the stigma surrounding the issue. With the help of his Magnusson Award, he aims to expand his charity to help those struggling before crisis, providing ideas for people to help them help themselves and manage their symptoms.
Gordon Howie, MSc 3D Design for Virtual Environments, will use his award to undertake an internship at an animation studio in New York City, where he will expand his skills and gain inspiration from the city's creative culture.
Heritier Muhire, BSc (Hons) Computing, African Leadership College, grew up in Rwanda, and aims to give back to his community by building a menstrual-hygiene room for girls, teaching them how to make reusable sanitary products and improving the community health centre's existing facilities.
Victoria Murray, BSc Computer Games Art and Animation, began wild water racing when she started studying at GCU. Within six months, she was the Scottish wild water racing sprint champion, and was selected as part of Team GB for the Senior World Championships. Her Magnusson Award will permit her to purchase a new boat, which will allow her to progress further in both training and competitions, helping her move towards achieving
Rutaganza Phillippe, BSc (Hons) Computing (Information Systems Development), African Leadership College, was born and raised in Rwanda, and shocked at the living conditions in other villages in the country. He saw children travelling several kilometres down a steep hill just to get water, often taking two hours to share a small well with around 100 other families. With his Magnusson Award, Rutaganza aims to implement a project that will provide people with clean water, regardless of their economic status. He also aims to campaign to raise awareness of the issue and the importance of having safe water for the community.
Cheryl Venart, BSc (Hons) Applied Psychology, will use her Magnusson Award to travel to Sri Lanka to volunteer in the mental-health sector, where there is currently one psychiatrist for every 500,000 people.