The Get Involved category celebrates those students who have taken it upon themselves to make a real difference to student life at the University of Sussex. So many of you regularly turn up to meetings, practice sessions, workshops and voluntary shifts with amazing ideas and great energy, all in the name of helping to make whatever project you're involved with the best it can be possibly be. Here we celebrate the individuals who have managed just that over the course of this academic year.
Remember you can follow all the action, and get involved on the night over on Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #sussexawards.
This individual has played a key role in making a significant difference to the student community by passionately getting involved with the work of the Students’ Union. They are committed to the values and vision of the organisation; understanding the importance of students actively shaping how the Students’ Union operates, being honest, open, supportive and progressive. This award is to recognise how their actions have had a positive effect on the lives of fellow students and the Students’ Union.
“Cat has been volunteering with the Students' Union for years and has covered many different roles during her time at Sussex. Any role she has taken on, Cat has fulfilled to the highest standard.
This year, Cat was probably the most active member of the welcome team and carried the team through Freshers' week. Other roles held by Cat include Reception Team volunteer, President of Geography Society (2014/15), election candidate for President (2016/17), student trustee - all whilst juggling her undergraduate degree and now her Masters degree.
Last year Cat was nominated for this award but unfortunately lost out so I feel that this year is her chance (especially as it is her last year at Sussex). I feel that the Students' Union really needs to recognise Cat's contribution over the past 4 years with more than just a nomination.”
“Molly is a wonderfully committed person who has got involved in so many things and is such a joy to be around! She works in the union bars, plays hockey, made a huge contribution to the food waste cafe and is always getting involved in all the million things that are going on on campus and in Brighton and Hove.
Molly is so enthusiastic, is always smiling and is always super keen to get involved to make things happen. Molly is so dedicated and puts her heart and energy into everything she does. An all round brilliant human!”
“Evie has been contributing outstandingly to the Students' Union by being involved in a wide range of activities. She is a student rep, she is part of the Christian Union and DevSoc, the President of Coexist and is currently organising the Corbis Annual Global Health and Development Conference with DevSoc.”
This individual has made a significant difference to their Buddy’s time at Sussex; being committed and dedicated to supporting them and have gone out of their way to help them settle into University life.
“When I started uni at Sussex, I immediately wanted to drop out because I felt like it's too much for me :( I met Feven when I was in the library and she asked me if I was okay because I was crying.. she was patient and took her time to explain to me that most people feel the same at first and these feelings fade away after a while as she was one of those people when she first started uni! Her advice made me calm down and I decided to give it a try. She told me about the societies and clubs that are available at the uni as well as all the events and cool places to hangout in Brighton! I am so glad I had met her that day, because right now, I am in love with uni life. I have joined many societies, enjoying my course, made many friends and to top that Feven still checks up on me daily and takes me it to events frequently! I couldn't have asked for a better friend that I refer to her as my sister!”
“I was studying abroad during the fall semester and Margot was the first person who made me feel at ease in a place I was unfamiliar with. She made my transition easier, was ready to offer advice any time I needed it, and even helped me with one of my classes. She did a great job as a buddy.”
“I would like to nominate Keenal as she has not only helped 3 buddies this year, she was the first Buddy to become a Housing Buddy and has been the most dedicated student to this project so far. She has attended most of the Housing Workshops and been running the Housing Buddies Facebook Group.“
This individual has a clear passion for language learning, displaying enthusiasm and commitment to helping others develop their language skills; taking the initiative in a student led environment and helping to create a positive atmosphere at the cafés.
Saif Abdullah M Altamimi
“I would like to nominate Saif for the Contribution to the Language Cafe. He joined the Language Cafe team in September and has been running the Arabic table every week ever since. This term he has been running it single handedly and has had regular participants coming back to his table each week. He has never missed a cafe and has attended all training sessions and socials. He also came and volunteered for hours at the stall for Refreshers Fair! The Arabic table would not be still happening if it was not for his dedication.”
“I would like to nominate Jessica as she approached the Language Cafe team and asked if she could start a British Sign Language table at the Language Cafe. She is studying BSL as an evening class at SCLS and wanted a space for her and the other participants to practice. Since them her and and other 15 or so participants come every week which has been a lovely addition to the cafe. As BSL is very different from other languages she has been arranging BSL specific activities for her table. The BSL table has now become an official table and is proving popular.”
Niccolò Pietro Giuseppe Colombo
“I have seen many times Niccolò getting involved during the language cafè and I am sure that his passion for volunteering comes from his cheerful and charismatic personality that makes him stand out. He is a very talkative and open-minded student with no limits for involvement into new friendships and new activities. Definitely recommend him as part of my nomination “
The Role Models team wants to acknowledge this individual as someone who has dedicated themselves to The Role Models Project, showing commitment and passion both within the team and in working to empower young people. They have challenged themselves, and may have pushed themselves to overcome some serious obstacles in the process of their contribution to the project. They are a key member of the loving Role Models family and we all want to thank them for their hard work and community spirit.
“Molly joined the project as a module student last term, and since then has been massively involved in everything the project has done. She is so passionate about working with the young people and is very reliable, always brings intelligent ideas to the group and is brilliant at creating relationships with the young people. This term she has thrown herself into everything, being a powerful force in creating and delivering some brilliant workshops to a new Year 10 group, and holding it down in challenging circumstances”
“They have completely thrown themselves into the Role models project with all their heart & buckets of enthusiasm. Serena had taken part in every aspect of the project from training to workshop development and workshop delivery. They have gone the extra mile by gathering resources to use in workshops (such as compiling useful websites to signpost too & their sisters amazing booklet to do with positive body image). Plus, in my experience, they embody many other fantastic qualities of a Role models project volunteer: enthusiasm- supportive, reflective and good at listening (both at baca & with fellow Role models)- committed to the project & developing their skills to be the best Role model they can be.”
“Ben loves working with the young people at BACA and has displayed a clear progression in his skills in delivering workshops over the last few months. Ben is kind, caring and fun, and is obviously really passionate about the project. He always volunteers to do extra bits and help out (like at freshers and refreshers fair), and always manages to build amazing relationships with the young people we work with, especially the young men. He's always got a smile on his face and has come on so much over the last few months. He is a wonderful role model!”
This individual has been an inspiration to other volunteers on reception, showing loyalty, passion and dedication to their role and to the team; displaying excellent customer service and going out of their way to help students and visitors at reception.
“Oonagh has been *the* ideal receptionist this year! Not only does she know the answer to every question asked, she is very willing and a strong multitasker. As a frequent visitor to reception, I always see Oonagh's beaming grin as I stride past on my way into the Union. Her efforts should be rewarded with this award. Thanks for giving me this opportunity to give Oonagh the accreditation she deserves.“
Catherine Rice Williams
“Cat has been a shining star on reception by using her detailed experience of campus and the Students’ Union to offer exceptional service.
For Cat nothing is too much trouble - she gladly jumps out of her chair to take visitors on a personal tour around the SU building and creates spreadsheets and answers questions with ease and efficiency.
A true team player Cat is always the first to offer extra help to cover reception and it has been a such a pleasure to have someone who is so dedicated, professional, caring and genuinely good fun to have on the team.”
“He helped greatly in mentoring everyone, especially at the start of Reception training when there were more new members added to the team. He continues to be a valuable member of the team, someone who is friendly and approachable and is very knowledgeable of what's happening around campus.“
This individual has been a key figure in the success and development of their society, putting in hours of hard work for the benefit of their fellow students. Being an inspiration to others, this student has shown loyalty, dedication and passion towards their society and its members.
Maddie Drabble - Dance Society
“Maddie has been a loyal and dedicated member of Sussex Dance since her first year of university, holding numerous committee roles before being elected as President in her 4th year. She also dances in two of the society's competitive troupes.
Maddie has been ambitious with everything she has done for the society and it has had such a positive impact on Sussex Dance, whilst still being an approachable, supportive and positive leader for the society.”
Jack Gibbs - Swing Society
“Jack has been an outstanding President of the Swing Dance Society. He has consistently worked hard to get membership numbers up, and make sure everyone feels included and welcomed into our community. I feel Jack is a wonderful person and really passionate about bringing swing dance to people who have never thought about dancing or experienced swing before, and it is his passion, motivation and hard work which keeps the society friendly, open and fun!”
George Marino - SMuTS, Big Band
“George has gone above and beyond this year working alongside many societies, particularly with SMuTs as their treasurer for the year. He has been an incredibly committed member of the SMuTs committee ensuring the smooth organisation of events and activities for the society members. Whilst juggling his degree and his tasks for SMuTs, George has also been singing with Big Band, taking a lead role in West Side Story and has even agreed to host the Student Awards!
Awarded to the individual who has delivered above and beyond in 2016/17 by performing individually in sport whilst being an inspirational team player and role model both on and off the field.
Stella - Basketball women
“I would like to nominate Stella because I've met many people that really love the game of basketball, but few (if any) are as committed to the game as Stella. Her passion for Sussex basketball resonates throughout and helps others, including myself, be more enthused about our society. If you know Sussex basketball, you know Stella Nikolopoulou, she embodies everything that this club is all about: energy, passion and commitment. Stella's passion makes Sussex University Basketball a family, and has helped make my experience here unforgettable.”
Megan - Athletics
“Meg is captain of the athletics team but has taken on a larger role within the club. She almost single-handedly organised a pub quiz which got the team out of debt with the students union. The pub quiz also involved Frisbee and she has tried to establish links between clubs. She is also the running activator for the uni and has a regular group of students coming to her sessions - helping to promote sport participation at uni. She has also been a committed sports representative for the university despite carrying an injury last term.“
Wikto - Table tennis
“He is a really hardworking guy, and is so passionate about table tennis. He's the president of the sport and always pushes the team to train their hardest and achieve their best. Wiktor has done wonders for Sussex - the team were fighting relegation when he joined, and they have since been promoted to the Premier League. By far the top choice for this award!”
This individual has been welcoming and informative to new students at Sussex, showing enthusiasm, passion and dedication to their role and to the team; displaying excellent communication and going above and beyond to help students and visitors at Sussex during Freshers Week.
Kieran has been amazingly enthusiastic as part of the Welcome Team, helping new Students get settled right away; and always making sure they have all the information they need.
“Sam has excelled in so many of the roles he has taken up with the Students’ Union, and his work with the Welcome Team is no exception. He is someone who is friendly, approachable and very knowledgeable of what's happening around campus. Most importantly, he is always happy to pass on this knowledge to new students in an enthusiastic and engaging manner.“
"Always a friendly and knowledgeable person to be greeted by. Whilst starting her Masters she worked tirelessly through Freshers’ making everyone feel welcome and excited to be at Sussex"
For an individual writer, broadcaster, editor, committee member or someone otherwise involved with student media who has gone the extra mile.
“Bianca Serafini has worked tirelessly for two years as Arts Editor for The Badger, overseeing one of the largest and most popular sections of the paper. Her innovation and commitment to representing the widest possible selection of authors and standpoints can be seen in the variety and high standard of the content published in Arts. (...) Bianca is without doubt one of the most committed individuals in student media at Sussex and has been throughout her time on The Badger - she puts many hours a week into planning, writing, editing and designing, and still finds the time to mentor her team and Arts contributors!”
“Fin has worked really hard to improve the running of URF this year, increasing the number of shows available to work on, the number of people on the Exec of the station, improving equipment by applying for funding and being resourceful, all to give more students the chance to get involved. Fin's taken on a lot of responsibility for the running of the station, as well as being part of Media Committee”
“Seb has been amazing mentors to UniTV members both new and returning members with the equipments, software, and other valuable skills such as live-streaming, motion graphic, or special effects. He has done far beyond his elected role as Head of Tech. Furthermore, he is the director, cinematographer, and editor of UniTV does black mirror, the most amazing short film I have seen students create so far”
This award recognises an individual contribution to Union campaigns; showing innovation, commitment, and dedication to creating positive changes for Sussex students. This student has been involved in a number of areas of campaigning, and has always brought enthusiasm and passion to campaign meetings.
“Fi has been a driving force for the Access Sussex campaign. They have dedicated so much of their time and energy to making the campus a safer and more accessible place for everybody. They have shaped the campaign, ensuring it is inclusive and aware of the vast range of inaccessibilities on campus. Fi is a vital part of the Access Sussex campaign, and has been a huge part of working towards making positive change on campus.”
“Nicole has been involved in several campaigns, organising loads of cool events such as Safer Sussex poetry night, consent panel, ‘speaking of spaces’ poetry night, light demo, a workshop on sexual violence policy with 1752 group etc. They always strive to make events inclusive and accessible to everyone. They are very passionate and care about the issues that affect all students.”
“They have tireless and successfully made expensive campus rent a campus wide issue that everyone is concerned about and wants to be seen to be supporting. He pretty much single handedly got over 1,000 signatures on a petition about campus rent which was then handed in to the VC. He has been door knocking hundreds of students to make them aware of the issues around campus rent and housing quality. This campaign was started in Spring last term and has not calmed down at all, it's been great. He successfully got a meeting with senior University management to discuss their campaign aims, and as part of this played a role in getting the University to Launch their rent guarantor scheme.”
This award is to acknowledge an individual student for their contribution in the local community through their commitment to volunteering with community organisations. We recognise that Sussex students get involved in projects which make a difference in the local community whether they are working with people, animals or the environment, students have a positive impact on services that are being provided in Brighton and Hove.
“Ashleigh has been an outstanding student whilst on placement and has embraced the work that Sussex Pathways is committed to. Working in the prison environment can be a difficult and daunting task whilst offering support and guidance to offenders that are coming up for release also a challenge in itself. Ashleigh has shown great commitment and dedication in picking up referrals and has received excellent feedback in respect to the work she has already carried out. Ashleigh has also helped in setting up new projects within Sussex Pathways and also looking at ways to further increase our referrals into our support services going above and beyond what would normally be expected of as a student. Ashleigh is incredibly adaptable and takes on any challenge within our charity with dedication and commitment to making things work.”
“Joe has volunteered for over a year with a small project within the YMCA. He works tirelessly supporting an extremely vulnerable young person from the local community. He has helped him SO MUCH to overcome anxiety and issues relating to having been bullied in school. Joe is really busy with his masters but takes the time to meet with this young person every week.
Without Joe and other volunteers like him, this project would not exist. He is an excellent mentor and is extremely professional. The young person that he has mentored has just completed a full year with our project 'positive placements' and has fedback that his experience was lifechanging.
The fact that Joe decided to become a volunteer of his own accord and completed all the training and admin involved in getting set up with the YMCA is amazing. He is the best mentor we have and an incredible person who deserves this award so much!”
“Helen volunteers for us at the Neighbourhood Care Scheme, which is a befriending scheme for older and isolated people in the city. Helen has been seeing an older lady in the community for almost two years, they spend time together, and go out and about to places like the cinema. Helen is an incredibly positive and involved woman, who is a real credit to our service. She goes above and beyond her role and often helps us out at promotional events, at which she is fantastic, her enthusiasm at a recent event helped us to recruit three more students from the university of sussex, and she has previously helped us to recruit 5 volunteers from the school of geriatric medicine.Her dedication, passion and enthusiasm for the work she does is inspiration and we feel very lucky to have her a volunteer.”
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