Ede and Ravenscroft Anniversary Student Prize 2016/2017

We are always excited to celebrate our students’ achievements and January 2018 brings us happy tidings of further success. Four of our fabulous students win the Ede and Ravenscroft Anniversary Student Prize 2016/2017 for outstanding contribution to student life.

Each prize is worth £250, and is given in recognition of students’ ‘outstanding contributions’ during Year 2 and 3 of their undergraduate studies.

The students are: Gita Kalnina, Amelia Cobner, Tesni Galvin and Sophie Peacock

While Sophie* is now working for the police and prison service, I managed to speak with Gita, Amelia and Tesni and found out what the prize meant to them.

Gita Kalnina

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I am from Latvia. I have lived in British Isles since 2004. I have been in Swansea for 6 years now.  I am multilingual  (speaking Latvian, Russian, English) who has a great passion for the English language – you can tell as I am studying English language and TESOL at Swansea University!

What did you receive your Ede and Ravenscroft prize for?

I received it for my volunteer work supporting a blind student taking the CELTA course. I had graduated from the CELTA course in April 2017 myself with an A.  I had an amazing experience on the course myself — I learnt so much through the 10-week intensive training, and all the tutors were very encouraging and supportive. So,  I wanted to share my experience and help a particularly outstanding student doing this course too!  I aided her lesson material making by editing her PowerPoints and handouts, if needed. I was with her in the classroom and worked with her as her teaching assistant: I handed out lesson materials, ran the PowerPoints and mediated between her and the students when necessary.  It was an inspirational and motivating process as she achieved so much regardless of any additional needs. It was an truly awe-inspiring experience for me.

How did you feel when you heard you’d won?

I was totally astonished as I was not aware of having been entered into this prize! It came as a complete surprise to me and my initial reaction was utter disbelief. I felt very humbled by the confidence and  appraisal of my work from my tutors who all supported this recommendation.

Amelia Cobner

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I currently live in Cwmbran, South Wales. I am studying an MA in Applied Linguistics by Research at Swansea University following graduating with a BA Joint Honours in English Language and English Literature in July. I am very keen traveller, and I have recently returned from traveling through Europe. During my undergraduate degree, I achieved my CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) with a Pass B. The CELTA qualification has provided me with endless opportunities to travel and earn through teaching. Soon after completing my CELTA, I traveled to Malta where I worked as an EFL Teacher for Education First (EF). I stayed in the beautiful area of St. Paul’s Bay for six weeks, where I taught English to children at the local primary school. I continue to use my CELTA qualification whilst being at home in South Wales, I currently work for TutorABC and teach Taiwanese adults English through video call. I hope to continue my travels in the near future and visit some new countries that are further afield. Further to teaching, I am also very interested in Speech and Language Therapy. I hope to embark on a second undergraduate degree in Speech and Language Therapy in September 2018 after finishing my MA. I have always been very interested in clinical cases in speech and language, in both paediatrics and adults, and aspects of my undergraduate degree have really encouraged me to pursue this career path.

What did you receive your Ede and Ravenscroft prize for? 

I received the Ede and Ravenscroft prize for my outstanding contribution to student life. I was nominated for this award because of my voluntary work for the Stroke Association. I began volunteering for the Stroke Association whilst living in Swansea in my second year of my undergraduate degree. I became very interested in the causes of stroke and the affect stroke as has on speech, language and communication following a lecture taught by Dr. Vivienne Rogers. I contacted the Stroke Association originally to see if I could help fundraise, and I learned that they needed volunteers for their Swansea support groups. My role as a volunteer consisted of working alongside an SLT and helping to deliver group activities such as quizzes, technology workshops, art and craft activities and helping to make refreshments. After graduating from Swansea and moving back to Cwmbran, I wanted to continue to help at the stroke support groups and began volunteering at the Cwmbran weekly stroke group. The Cwmbran support group is a much larger group, and the support sessions are followed by choir practice. The lead up to Christmas 2017 was very enjoyable with so many festive activities for everyone to participate in from Christmas meals, to carol singing and a Christmas party. I thoroughly enjoy learning from and working alongside survivors of stroke, and I am very grateful that I can be a small part of their journey to recovery.

How did you feel when you heard you’d won?

I was very pleasantly surprised, as I was unaware that I was nominated for any awards. I was really appreciative that someone had recognised my hard work, and felt that I was worthy of an award. It’s such a lovely gesture to just be nominated, but to win as well was really unexpected!


Tesni Galvin

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I am from Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Not only do I study applied linguistics, I am a hockey enthusiast, who plays, umpires and coaches to an elite level. I also enjoy spending my time reading, playing the piano and powerlifting. My degree was in English Language. The course looked at several different elements, ranging from the analysis of grammar, to looking at children as language learners. The favourite part of my degree was conducting my year 3 dissertation project, which investigated the relationship between working memory and language learning aptitude, in relation to age and bilingualism. Having enjoyed this project so much, I decided to apply for the masters by research at Swansea university.

What did you receive your Ede and Ravenscroft prize for? 

I received the prize for my hockey. I am a member of the university’s ladies hockey club. I have represented the 1st team for 3 years (now the fourth) and have played all varsity games thus far. I am also the current secretary of the club and I was the umpire secretary during my second year. Additionally, I am a qualified level 2 umpire who sits on the Welsh Umpires Development Panel and umpires both women’s and men’s teams.  I recently qualified as a level 2 hockey coach, so now I coach an elite team that sits in the second highest women’s league in south Wales. The prize is an extremely generous amount of money and is an acknowledgment of all the long hours and hard work undertaken alongside my undergraduate degree.

How did you feel when you heard you’d won?

At first, I was confused, I thought it was ‘spam’ or a ‘con’ email. However, once I had seen that Dr. Rogers was cc’d into the email, I thought to myself, ‘Hang on, maybe this is real, maybe I have won an award’!! So, there I was calling my parents, neither answered as they were in work. Instead I sat on my own and did a little wave of celebration in the air and waited to tell my parents –  I knew they would be extremely delighted and proud.

What are you doing now?

I graduated with a first class in English Language in July 2017, now I am embarking on a journey to complete my masters by research at Swansea University. The project is investigating gender processing in Welsh English bilinguals, and cognitive demands – mainly working memory.


Sophie Peacock

Sophie received the prize for her work as student rep within the department, in which she engaged students to work with staff in developing a greater sense of shared partnership. During her time she contributed several times to the departmental blog, you can see her contributions here and here.