USW Alumni Awards

The University of South Wales community - graduates and students alike - is filled with people making a difference at all levels of society, worldwide. Be that in business or industry, society or culture – or right here on our doorstep within the University.


The annual Alumni Awards seek to recognise the excellence and achievement of individuals within our network. The actions of our alumni reflect the excellence of a USW education and our mission to provide not only innovative education and world class graduates, but also culturally aware global citizens making positive strides. 

The deadline for nominations is Friday 1 September 2017, although early nominations are welcomed.



Alumni Awards 2017


Inspiring The Next Generation Award

Awarded to a graduate who has volunteered their support to the University of South Wales, providing inspiration to current and prospective students through single or combination activities including, but not limited to:

  • Giving talks
  • Providing testimonials or personal interviews
  • Becoming a mentor
  • Supporting international recruitment
  • Providing placement for students

Excellence in Service Award

Awarded to a current student or graduate who has shown outstanding commitment to enhancing the connectivity of the alumni and/or student community, and supporting its activities. This may be recognised through single or combination activities including, but not limited to:

  • Arranging reunions
  • Revitalising University traditions
  • Supporting telethons
  • Being class representative
  • Promoting the spirit of community and the value of networking
  • Leading an international alumni group

GOLD Award (Graduate of the Last Decade)

Celebrates a young alumnus/a who has graduated within the last 10 years and who has demonstrated exceptional achievement and/or leadership potential in their chosen profession. The alumnus/a could be making an outstanding contribution in fields including, although not limited to: business, industry, creative arts, healthcare, third sector, culture, media and sport.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Awarded to a former student to acknowledge their achievements and success, be this through personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service. Relevant achievement may occur in a single year or over a span of years, preferably extending into the year of selection.

Emerging Entrepreneur Award

This Award recognises - and provides up to £1000 investment for - a single individual or team of student or graduate entrepreneurs, who are on the road to achieving success through a business or social enterprise. This category is seeking submissions that represent ventures that have been operating for less than four years. This would indicate that a product/service is in early to midstage rollout, a business plan is in place, but that the initiative might benefit from additional support to be taken to the next level. Whether it’s a person’s demonstrable entrepreneurial passion for the product, a sense of originality shown, or a product that has clear commercial or social benefit – this award recognises the tenacity and achievements of early stage entrepreneurs, and helps support the future impact of their enterprise.

Proudly sponsored by Kier Construction Alumni Awards 2017

Accomplished Entrepreneur Award

This award recognises and celebrates alumni - either an individual or a collective - who are creating successful entrepreneurial value and whose activities are making a mark in their respective industry. Whether jobs and wealth are being created, new innovative products and concepts being brought to market, or perhaps the creativity and competition they are encouraging – this Award celebrates success and the contribution that entrepreneurs are making to our economy and/or society; plus the legacy they’re building. This category is seeking submissions that represent ventures that have been operating for more than four years, by which time they will be transitioning into growth and are well on their way to becoming ‘established’.

Contribution to Welsh Life and Culture Award

Awarded to a current student or graduate in, or from Wales, who has contributed to Welsh life, language and culture. The award celebrates the contribution of an individual to the University’s Welsh community and/or to Welsh life, language and culture, be that on a personal or professional level. 

Relevant activity may occur in a single year or over a span of years, preferably extending into the year of selection.

Nomination links

Who is eligible?

As relevant to the Award, all currently enrolled students and all former students who have exited with a University awarded qualification are eligible. This includes alumni from predecessor institutions, from all year groups. This includes the University of Wales, Newport and University of Glamorgan – and all their predecessor institutions too.  Category finalists from previous years are welcome to enter or be nominated for all current categories. Category winners from previous years are welcome to enter or be nominated for all categories, except the category that they previously won.


Who can nominate?

As a community-wide initiative we welcome nominations from graduates, staff and students – all partners in our network. We also welcome self-nomination and nominations from organisations who recognise the excellence of staff members who attended the University of South Wales, or predecessor institution. The nominators of our Award finalists will also be invited to attend the Awards and Supporter Reception event.

What questions will be asked in the nomination process?

For ease, you can download a summary for all categories here. We encourage submissions to be compiled ahead of accessing the online link and also saved locally to your device or machine. This will avoid the possibility of losing some or all of the details you compile as part of your submission. Once you are satisfied with your submission, please proceed to the relevant online form to submit.

Given the level of detail required, our entrepreneurial categories require submission by the entrepreneur themselves. If you are not the entrepreneur but would like to submit a supporting statement as to why they should be encouraged to self-nominate, you can do this online. For the Emerging Entrepreneur category, the submission is a combination of written statement and short video. Need inspiration?


Where do I nominate?

Nominations (or a supporting statement for our two entrepreneurial categories) can be made online by following the links above. Submissions can be made in English or in Welsh. There is no limit on the number of nominations you can submit.


What’s the process?

Nominations are now open and will close at midnight GMT on Friday 1 September 2017. Once all nominations are received, the judging panels will consider all submissions ahead of agreeing a shortlist for each category that totals no more than 4 for each Award. Those shortlisted will be notified at this stage and extended an invitation to our Alumni Awards and Supporter Reception being held on Friday 6 October. Judges will convene a final round of consideration before agreeing a winner for each Award.

How will submissions be judged?

As relevant to the individual Award, judges will be looking for a combination of factors to help ascertain a category winner. Factors may include demonstrable impact, a sense of community cohesion, sustainability of achievement and value added to the student/alumni network experience. Please refer to each Award for relevant points for each category.

Is there a world limit for submissions?

Yes. Please do not exceed 1000 words. The judges will be looking for quality of evidence, not necessarily length of written submission. If your submission falls short of 1000 words this is acceptable, as this represents the limit.


How are Award winners recognised?

Shortlisted finalists and award winners will be formally announced at our Alumni Awards and Supporter Reception being held on Friday 6 October. The venue is the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff. Shortlisted finalists and award winners will also feature in other channels of communication including on the alumni website, across social media and in print materials.

New for 2017 is our 'Emerging Entrepreneur Award' category. Kier Group are proud sponsors of this category for 2017 and are supporting up to £1000 investment for the category winner.  

How do I /we claim our funding if we are category winners for the 'Emerging Entrepreneur Award'?

The category Winner has a six month window to claim up to £1000 funding. Receipts can be submitted or USW can purchase items/services up to a maximum of £1000.


As a successful nominee, what if I am unable to attend the Alumni Awards and Supporter Reception in Cardiff?

While we would of course be delighted to welcome Award finalists to the Alumni Awards and Supporter Reception ability to attend does not affect the outcome of the Awards in any way. Awards would simply be forwarded in due course and the achievement of the Award winner would still be celebrated.

Who won in 2016?

Check out the event review for links to 2016 category winners and photographs from the Awards night in October >>

Judging panels

Given the breadth of categories in the Awards and to ensure that the very best expertise is involved in the shortlisting process, there are two judging panels. Two of the judges will sit on both panels.

One Panel will judge Inspiring The Next Generation Award, Excellence in Service Award, GOLD Award (Graduate of the Last Decade), Distinguished Alumni Award and Contribution to Welsh Life and Culture Award. The second Panel will judge our Emerging Entrepreneur Award and Accomplished Entrepreneur Award.

'Community' Panel

Louise Bright

Dr Louise Bright, Deputy Director of Research and Business Engagement

Louise is a key driver in managing the University's research agenda and combines this with leadership and management of the University's outreach to business. Dr Bright is also Chair of the Gender Equality Sub Group and University Ethics Committee.

Read about the University's latest research >>

Euros Evans USW Careers

Euros Evans, Head of Careers and Employability

Euros leads the team who are committed to enabling students to access career development opportunities that will assist them to achieve their professional career aspirations following graduation. Whether delivering careers speaker events or supporting enterprise training, Careers & Employability sits at the heart of the USW student experience. USW Careers & Employability achieved a ‘Top three in the UK’ position for Best University Employability Strategy for 2017 (Target jobs).  Read more about Career services and events offered to students and graduates >>

Alumnus Hamed Amiri, Target Group

Hamed Amiri, Software Delivery Manager, Target Group and USW graduate

Hamed was named inaugural winner in the University’s ‘Inspiring the Next Generation’ Alumni Award category in 2016. Having graduated from the University’s BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree in 2011, Hamed has progressed his career with OCS Group UK, CGI and is currently a Delivery Manager with Target Group. Originally from Afghanistan and having overcome personal adversity to arrive in the UK, Hamed demonstrates stellar graduate attributes and is a keen advocate of inspiring others to be the best they can.

'Enterprise' Panel

Emma Forouzan

Emma Forouzan, Student Enterprise Manager

As part of the Careers and Employability Team, Emma is responsible for leading and managing enterprise and entrepreneurship education across the University. 

Services delivered by the Student Enterprise team include 1-2-1 start-up support, delivering workshops within and alongside the curriculum, the annual Freelancers Academy and the Bright Ideas Den.

Student Enterprise supports graduate as well as student entrepreneurs.  Read more about Student Enterprise >>

Alumni Awards 2017

Caroline Thompson, Entrepreneurial Development ManagerNatWest

Caroline is NatWest's Entrepreneurial Development Manager for Cardiff and Bristol. Her role supports entrepreneurs as part of the Entrepreneurial Spark progamme to power their growth plus she links to the external ecosystems to make appropriate connections for all entrepreneurs. NatWest have put in place an Entrepreneurial Development Programme for all of their staff to support and encourage entrepreneurial thinking and growth mindset.Caroline is heavily involved with this work in addition to supporting entrepreneurs and linking with the ecosystem.

Gareth Jones - Welsh ICE

Gareth Jones, CEO and Founder of Welsh ICE

Entrepreneur Wales Awards’ 2015 Champion winner Gareth Jones is the founder of Welsh ICE, an award winning space for start-ups in South Wales which is now home to over 150 companies. He’s also founder of Boma Camp, a platform designed to help people develop business ideas around work, study, and other commitments by learning from other founders. Gareth holds board positions on Properr, a proptech company; Cardiff University Impact Accelerator, funding activities that deliver impact; Cardiff Capital Region’s Strategic Regional Group, identifying business, innovation and digital network priorities for the region; and others.

Alumni Awards 2017

Jason Taylor, Kier Group

Jason Taylor is the Operations Director for Kier Construction, Wales. Jason joined the industry in 1989 as a Management Trainee and progressed from an operational perspective via Site Engineer, Site manager, Project Manager & Contacts Manager into his current day role. Jason is currently Vice Chair of FBE Cambria Branch and a Board Member of the CIOB Wales Hub.

Judges common to both Panels

Rachael Barker - small

Rachael Barker, Head of Alumni Relations and Development

Rachael leads the team responsible for engaging with graduates of the University. Services delivered by Rachael and her team include reunion activity, alumni mentoring, supporting projects through philanthropy and network communications. Read more about the team and the benefits and services available >>

alumni mint colour block - R111G194B182

Dr Gwawr Jones, Head of the Welsh Language Unit

Gwawr leads the Welsh Language Unit which is responsible for implementing and monitoring the Welsh Language Scheme across the University, co-ordinating Welsh-medium course provision with faculties, and managing translation requirements.

Mae Gwawr yn arwain yr Uned Gymraeg sy’n gyfrifol am faterion cydymffurfiaeth Cymraeg ar draws y Brifysgol, cydlynu a datblygu darpariaeth cyfrwng Cymraeg ar draws Grŵp y Brifysgol, a rheoli’r gofynion cyfieithu.