The winners of this year’s Kent Student Awards were announced at a Gala Dinner on Friday 5 May 2017.
The event, which was held at Darwin College on the University’s Canterbury campus, was attended by more than 130 students, staff and guests and celebrated the outstanding co-curricular achievements of Kent’s students.
The overall Student of the Year Award was awarded jointly to Rowena Bicknell, a second year PhD student in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, and Tom Ritchie, a second year PhD student in the School of History (pictured).
Rowena and Tom were chosen as Students of the Year for the exceptional contribution they have made to the postgraduate student experience in their roles as President and Vice-President of the Kent Graduate Student Association (KGSA).
The evening was hosted by comedian and Research Centre Director of Comedy and Popular Performance, Dr Oliver Double, while certificates and prizes were presented by Professor April McMahon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), and Rory Murray, President of Kent Union.
The other award category winners were:
Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture – Katrine Lynn Solvaag, from the School of English, for her dedication as President of the Creative Writing Society; supporting aspiring writers and encouraging creativity through events such as the Full English Festival.
Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community – Sarah-Louise Brock, a second year student studying in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, for selflessly devoting her time as a volunteer with SERV Kent (Service by Emergency Riders Volunteers), a vital blood delivery service.
Outstanding Contribution to Sport Development – Eloise Greenberry, School of European Culture and Languages, for leading Kent Cheer to success at the ICC (International Cheerleading Coalition) Southern Championship with her innovative choreography and teaching techniques.
This award was jointly won by Steven Richards, School of Physical Sciences, for his significant achievements as President of the Kent University Caving Club, which has included developing a partnership with Wessex Caving Club that has proved invaluable to the society’s members.
Outstanding Student Entrepreneur of the Year – Joseph Aina, a final year student in the School of Psychology, for funding and designing an innovative creative arts website, JMArt’space, where artists can build their professional profiles and sell their work.
Outstanding Contribution to Media and Communications – Aaron Cross, School of Computing, for consistently providing an amazing service behind the scenes as CSR’s (Canterbury Student Radio) Technical Manager and Kent Union’s Tech President.
Outstanding International/Multicultural Initiative of the Year – Martina Li, School of Politics and International Relations, for being the pro-active President of the Chinese Society, enriching the whole student community at Kent by promoting cultural understanding and exchange.
Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity – Karl Knights, School of English, for combining his own personal experiences and his strong communication skills to bring openness to the issue of mental health.
Outstanding Contribution to College Life – Rowena Bicknell, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research and Tom Ritchie, School of History, for their efforts as President and Vice-President for the Kent Graduate School Association making an exceptional contribution to the postgraduate community and student experience.
Outstanding Fundraiser of the Year – Amber Bytheway, a final year School of Psychology student, for her dedication and fundraising efforts as the President of Kent’s ‘Uni Boob Team’ a society that supports the important work of the breast cancer awareness charity ‘CoppaFeel!’.
Outstanding Contribution to Academic Communities – Max Carrington, School of Psychology, for being an outstanding Student Representative for the School of Psychology over the last two years, working continuously and successfully to represent the interest of Psychology students.
Chancellor’s Employability Points Award – Aaron Cross, School of Computing, for being the ‘lifeblood of CSR’ and being the predominant factor in the radio station’s continued growth and success.