High flying Ayr student wins prestigious national award

Published Tuesday, 14th February 2017 in Study at SRUC news

SRUC Ayr Student Claire Simonetta with her British Education Award.

A high-flying student from the Ayr Campus has been named regional winner for Scotland at a prestigious national education award.

This comes just a few months after being named Agricultural Student of the Year.

Claire Simonetta from the Ayr campus was amongst the British Education Awards (BEA) finalists, their families, teachers and supporters from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, and Wales who travelled to attend the special occasion held to honour their individual academic and extracurricular achievements in a celebration of British education.

The inaugural BEA event took place at the Grand Connaught Rooms, Covent Garden at the end of January, and was hosted by BBC news presenter Sophie Long.

The 25 year old student is currently in her fourth and final year of a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture at SRUC’s Ayr campus – while helping run a beef and sheep hill farm on Mull with her partner.

On Claire’s triumph at the award’s ceremony, the BEA judging panel commented: “The margins were tight but Claire impressed the judges with her extensive list of achievements and the lead role she is taking within an already challenging industry, but particularly as a female and the additional trials this may bring. Already she is making a significant difference – being sought out to educate both those within the industry and within the wider community on agricultural practices and activities. In this position she is already influencing the future direction of agriculture, not only in Scotland but potentially globally, and marking out a vitally important role for women as she does so.

“The active and supportive role she takes within her community and the overall wider sense of responsibility to the industry she displays is also admirable. Her commitment has surpassed academia and Claire is an example of the power of education and the opportunities it can bring to not only have a satisfying and fruitful career as an individual, but to drive change and make a significant difference in our world.”

Dr Jan Connell, Senior Tutor and Programme Leader for Agriculture at SRUC Ayr, said: “This is another fantastic achievement for Claire and so deserving Claire excels in everything she puts her mind to and we are so fortunate that she is a student with us at Ayr.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed having Claire as a student and it is so rewarding when we can see both the hard work of students and teaching staff being recognised in this way.”

All 67 BEA finalists received a framed certificate on stage before the category winner was announced. Four BEA medals were also presented to the national winners in each category.

Photo caption: SRUC Ayr Student Claire Simonetta with her British Education Award.

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