Rewarding GCU talent

05 April 2013

Gemma Steele, Jack Fisher and Pei Ling Choo

Gemma Steele, Jack Fisher and Pei Ling Choo

Talent, hard work and ‘exceptional contributions’ were rewarded at the 2013 Student Leaders and Teaching Awards Ball.

Students, staff and employers came together for the glamorous event, held for the first time at Glasgow’s Old Fruitmarket venue in the Merchant City.

Student of the Year Award went to Pei Ling Choo. Presenting the award, Professor John Wilson praised her for being “involved in just about everything that GCU has to offer”.

A highly valued member of the Students’ Association and GCU community, international student Pei Ling is a member of Student Voice, a postgraduate Research Convenor, President of the GCU Staff and Student Choir, a Wellbeing Volunteer, a Global Buddy, Head of Regular Events at GCUSA, an Energy Ambassador, a Caledonian Court Residential Assistant – and much more!

Pei Ling’s keen interest in student politics led to her successful election as the delegate for both the NUS National and NUS Scotland conference to represent her fellow students.

She still finds time to give something back to the local community by working closely with British Youth Council and GlasgowLife. Recently she organised the ‘Find Your Voice’ campaign to consolidate young people’s views on the pressing issues in Glasgow.

Winning the Allister Boyd Award for Contribution to Health and Wellbeing in a Leadership Role was Gemma Steele, whose passion and determination led to an orphanage being opened in Kenya. 

During a gap year, Gemma travelled to Africa where she was inspired to set up her own charity to help orphans in Kenya. In May 2009, Gemma and her fellow volunteers started the construction of a new orphanage, St Jerome’s Children’s Home. It was officially opened on January 2012 and is now home to 20 children.

Back home, Occupational Therapy student Gemma has also set up a dance school in her area, whilst continuing to fundraise for St Jerome’s and overseeing the building of two nurseries at the orphanage.

Newly introduced this year, the Lindsay Leadership Award is named in honour of Dr Lindsay and the Lindsay family who generously donated prize money for this and future awards.

Taking home the trophy and £250 prize was Jack Fisher, in his fourth year of a Human Biology, Sociology and Psychology degree. As Erasmus Student Society President, Jack has helped a previously inactive society to become GCUSA’s success story of the year, with more than 75 members. Outside of university, Jack volunteers at the weekly Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease drop-in sessions for the NHS in Easterhouse.

The five winners of the Student Teaching Awards joined students in receiving their prizes. These awards allow students to nominate members of teaching staff in five categories which recognise excellence in different areas of teaching.

The 2013 winners were:

  • Excellent Explanation: Stuart McChlery
  • Inspiring Individual: Susan Ogden
  • Super Support: Louise Boyle
  • Fantastic Feedback: Fiona Reid
  • Tremendous Technology: Robert Law

Also receiving awards from employability lecturer Sabine McKinnon were the three winners of the Real World Employability competition, which challenged students to come up with solutions to real life tasks set by employers. International student Ana Vega Freitas took first prize, with second and third prizes going to Pei Ling Choo and Sogand Azimi respectively.