MBE for SRUC Barony Lecturer Tom Karas

Published Tuesday, 21st June 2016 in Barony Campus news

Tom Karas leacturer

The award of an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list to Tom Karas, lecturer at SRUC's Barony Campus, has been warmly welcomed by students and colleagues across the organisation.

Tom, a popular member of the Forestry department and also Senior Warden for residential students at SRUC Barony, received his award for “Services to Rural Education in Scotland”.

Congratulating Tom, Janet Swadling, Acting Chief Executive and Principal of SRUC commented:

“The award is a richly deserved recognition of your work as a Lecturer in Forestry, and as Senior Warden at our Barony Campus.  It especially recognises the valuable extra-curricular activities in which you are involved, and the way in which this enhances the student experience. Well done!"

This most recent recognition of Tom’s contribution follows the internal SRUC Award he received last year following a secret nomination by his students. They had recommended him for the Sir Stephen Watson Award given to staff who contribute over and above the normal expectations of their role and who deserve wider recognition of their work. Tom only discovered what they had done when his name was read out at the Barony Prize Giving.

Tom, who has worked at Barony for 36 years, was described as “the epitome of a member of staff who not only does his job well but someone who goes well beyond his ‘job description’ for the benefit of others.”

He already leads a busy life as a lecturer committed to forestry while also acting as Senior Warden. However the students thanked Tom for many more of his activities, including organising the annual Barony cross-country run; the Christmas Ceilidh; Burns Night Supper, Quiz Nights as well as driving the mini bus for students wanting mid-week visits to Dumfries, to name but a few.

Commenting on his MBE Tom said:

“It is a great honour to be recognised by your fellow staff, students and now in this way. I don’t really feel like I have done anything out of the ordinary, I just believe that I am doing my job, and it is a job that I thoroughly enjoy.  I have been overwhelmed by people congratulating me the last couple of days, both close family and friends, and the wider Barony family”

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