Sail Magazine 2020 [Eng]

SAIL Campaigner, activist and Obama Fellow, ALUMNI MAGAZINE 2020

t ells us about her Stand to End Rape initiative and meeting Barack Obama. Oluwaseun

ALUMNI PROFILES PHOTO SHARING VIRTUAL VARSITY OUR COVID RESPONSE

A Century of Inspiring Alumni

WELCOME TO THIS CENTENARY EDITION OF OUR ALUMNI MAGAZINE,

Sail.

Across the world, the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) has changed the way in which we live and work together. Here at Swansea University, we have drawn upon 100 years of resilience, innovation and collaboration to adapt, and contribute to national and international response efforts. Our staff, students and partners are working together to support the logistical demands faced by our healthcare infrastructure. We have used our state-of-the-art 3D printers to produce visors and face shields and have repurposed one of our solar laboratories to produce 5000 litres of hand sanitiser a week to supply our local NHS. A team of our students has developed a new rapid-release gas treatment for ambulances which could reduce the time it takes to remove Covid-19 contamination from surfaces and the air from 45 minutes to under 20 minutes, removing human cleaning intervention. Our world-leading researchers are modelling the social, economic and psychological impacts of the outbreak upon our lives. We are exploring the effects of the pandemic on mental health, looking at the long-term impact of social distancing and offering wellbeing support to those who need it most. We are modelling public perception of the Covid-19 contact tracing smartphone app and are working with partners to understand the population effect of Covid-19 on people’s physical activity and wellbeing at different stages of the UK’s lockdown. The response of our staff, students and partners to this crisis has been inspiring, and builds on a century

of positive impact and purposeful action. I am therefore delighted that this Centenary edition of SAIL provides an opportunity to highlight our University’s long tradition of supporting the development of inspirational and talented students, by showcasing a selection of our alumni and their achievements. While we have many more talented alumni than we could hope to include in one magazine, this collection provides a snapshot that reflects the diversity of our alumni community’s success, across the fields of research, sport, entrepreneurship, societal contribution and social activism. The talent and diversity of our alumni community is a source of great pride to our University, as our former students continue to contribute positively to society across the world. As we enter our second century as a University, I have no doubt that they

will uphold this tradition, continuing to rise to the global challenges of the day as proud ambassadors for our University. Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle

Contents

01.  Swansea Uni Connect 02. Centenary Events

03. Your Support, Our Thanks 04. Our Covid-19 Response

SWANSEA UNI Connect For those of you that have not registered, Swansea Uni Connect is your exclusive online community. As a valued member, we invite you to join today and start enjoying the benefit of a wide and varied network of contacts who all share the Swansea Uni experience! It takes two minutes to sign up by registering through LinkedIn and having your professional information pulled right into your profile on the platform. Alternatively, you can follow easy steps to set up your profile in Connect.

SwanseaUniConnect.com

The benefits of signing up are: 1. A custom news and job feed. 2. Opportunities to mentor and give back, or to get help, advice and assistance that you may need. 3. Scheduling meetings with professionals in your industry for networking, advice, mentoring and more. 4. Finding old friends and classmates. Swansea Uni Connect gives you an exclusive spot to stay connected with your Swansea Uni network and keep up to date with what is going on at the University.

Editors: Rachel Thomas, Gerard Kennedy, Ffion White & Sioned Williams. Design by : IconCreativeDesign.com

SHARE THE SWANSEA EXPERIENCE:

Download the App: Android: “Swansea Uni Connect” Apple:  “Graduway Community” – enter

05. Reunion 06-24. Alumni Profiles

“Swansea University” when prompted

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CENTENARY EVENTS

CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY

2020 was supposed to be the year that we celebrated our centenary. However, the extraordinary and devasting effects of the pandemic across the globe, have rightly taken precedence instead this year. Since opening our doors 100 years ago we have innovated, collaborated and grown into a dual campus, world-class institution which serves its community, educates its people, tackles global problems and provides a home for many; our achievements have impacted the world in many ways, and we are extremely proud to have reached this significant milestone in our rich history. Unfortunately, we are unable to celebrate these achievements in the way we had planned, so we have taken the difficult decision to postpone all physical centenary events in 2020. Instead, alongside the crucial donations we receive from our generous supporters, £200,000 previously set aside for our centenary celebrations will be used to fight Covid-19, support our students, and drive innovation, as we begin our next 100 years. While we are disappointed not to be celebrating in person with our alumni, staff, partners, students and friends, we must ensure the safety of our communities and acknowledge that this is a very difficult time for many of the Swansea family. So, in order to keep our Swansea University community entertained and informed during lockdown, we have hosted a series of events online, with more in the pipeline.

On the 29th April, Varsity went virtual. Our student sports teams pitted themselves against arch-rivals Cardiff in a range of online challenges, such as Rugby Ball Keepie Uppies, The Dizzy Penalties Challenge, The Snorkel, Too Hot to Squat and much, much more. Over the course of the day, Swansea triumphed by 17 – 14 to claim the Virtual Varsity crown. A fantastic day culminated with a Virtual Varsity Quiz hosted by Welsh International, Ryan Jones and featuring a host of alumni and friends including Liz Johnson, Paul Thorburn, Alun Wyn Jones, Michael Sheen, Max Boyce and Eddie Izzard. On the 13th May, alumni gathered on Swansea Uni Connect to share their photos and memories of their time in Swansea. During the event, more than 350 photos were shared – spanning 100 years of Swansea University.

CATCH UP ON WHAT YOU’VE MISSED:

All the photos can still be viewed on the photos and albums section of SwanseaUniConnect.com Watch the Varsity video here Swan.ac/virtual-varsity

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While our celebrations have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, we have been delighted by the response to our fundraising campaign. From providing seed funding for cutting edge research, to supporting our most vulnerable students, donations from our alumni and friends make a huge difference across the University and beyond. OUR THANKS. Your Support.

PLEASE MAKE A DONATION BY VISITING: swan.ac/donate Your gift will be directed toward the most impactful, pressing and important initiatives at Swansea University.

Thank you so much for your support. By harnessing the collective spirit of the Swansea family, we can look forward to a bright and successful future as we begin our next 100 years.

If you’d like to read more about the University’s centenary, our history, planned events and future aspirations, you can visit: swan.ac/2020

FUNDED HARDSHIP GRANTS. Alumni

“During my second year at Uni, I lost my part-time job and my childcare options. I was considering leaving Uni but then I heard about the alumni funded Hardship grants. Following my application, I was approved the very next day and had the award money in my bank account by the end of the week. The award also came with expertise and guidance which has been invaluable to me and my family, and enabled me to continue my degree.” – Recent Hardship grant recipient

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COVID RESEARCH & NEWS

OUR RESPONSE TO

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

• Teams from across the University have come together to support a newly established consortium – SWARM (The South Wales Additive and Rapid Manufacturing Consortium) – in its mission to support NHS Wales’ Covid-19 response. • A team of students has developed a new rapid-release gas treatment for ambulances, which could remove Covid-19 contamination from surfaces and the air, in under twenty minutes; half the time it usually takes with human cleaning intervention. • Our Nursing, Paramedic Science and Midwifery students are working on the frontline alongside NHS staff. • A group of Swansea University Graduate Entry Medicine students have been offering emergency relief childcare for vital NHS staff. • A team of Swansea doctors and engineers have designed a new ventilator that can be built quickly from generic parts. Existing ventilator designs can be quick to build or can treat complex patients, but not both. The new design is quick and cheap to build in bulk and can also treat patients with complex needs. • The Medical School and the College of Human and Health Sciences have made their joint clinical skills suite available to the local Health Board.

University staff have been rallying together to donate essential PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to the local hospital.

FIND OUT MORE:

See how the University is supporting the global effort: swan.ac/covid-19 #WeAreTogether #OurSwansea

Students and staff are using the University’s state-of-the-art 3D printers to produce visors and face shields for NHS and frontline workers.

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Covid-19

During these unprecedented times, our staff and students have been doing all they can to support the fight against Covid-19. We wanted to use this as an opportunity to shine a light on some of this vital work.

A lecturer, from the College of Arts and Humanities, and her husband have transformed their gin business to produce approved hand sanitiser.

2020 hasn’t worked out the way anyone planned it…we were supposed to be having a Centenary Reunion: tours of the campus, Joe’s ice-cream, a trip down Mumbles, a walk around Singleton Park and a Gala Dinner in Fulton House. COMING SOON... Reunion

The University’s solar tech lab, SPECIFIC, has temporarily switched to producing 5000 litres of hand sanitiser a week, which is being used by the local NHS, care homes and frontline housing teams.

IT IS NOT CANCELLED, JUST DELAYED.

More details will be winging their way to your inbox as soon as we can plan some events for everyone to get together. If you have not had an email from us in a while, stay connected and update your details here:

swan.ac/sail-update

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ALUMNI PROFILES

A Century of

As Swansea University celebrates its centenary, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate a Century of Inspiring Alumni. As a University we are extremely proud of our graduates. Many go on to achieve great success in their careers, some become internationally recognised and many others achieve success on a more local level. They are all making waves. Excelling in sports, breaking down barriers, challenging stereotypes, giving voice to the oppressed, undertaking ground-breaking research. They are the thinkers, the dreamers, and the doers. They are all Swansea Alumni. INSPIRING ALUMNI

Read the full profiles here: swan.ac/profiles

6.  JOANNE HILL BSc Nursing. Class of 2019. FROM ADDICT TO NURSE. TURNING HER L I FE AROUND. 7.  GEOFFREY THOMAS BSc Physics. Class of 1962. SCHOLAR. EDUCATOR. 8.  FIROUZEH SABRI BSc Physics. Class of 1995. MATERIALS SCIENT IST. MARS LANDER. ROLE MODEL . 9.  NIA PARRY BA Spanish and Welsh. Class of 1996. PASSIONATE WELSH LANGUAGE ADVOCATE. BROADCASTER. STORYTELLER. 10.  SIAN REYNOLDS LLB LAW. Class of 2002. SAI LOR. SOL ICI TOR. 11.  MARIA MARLING BA Business Management. Class of 2012. CO- FOUNDER OF WALES’ F IRST VEGAN FACTORY, SAVEG.

1.  BRONWEN WINTERS BA American Studies. Class of 2020. REACHING WIDER AMBASSADOR. CAMPAIGNER. 2.  ANNABELLE APSION BA Drama and English. Class of 1984. ACTRESS: SHAMELESS, CALL THE MIDWI FE, SOLDIER SOLDIER. 3.  SAM BLAXLAND PhD History. Class of 2017. AUTHOR. TOUR GUIDE. HISTORIAN. 4.  PETER STEAD BA History. Class of 1964. WELSH WRI TER. BROADCASTER. HISTORIAN. 5.  MANUEL NICHOLAUS MSc Aquaculture. Class of 2008. MARINE BIOLOGIST. PROTECT ING

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PhD Aerospace Engineering. Class of 2008. AIR BENDER. SPEED DEMON. RECORD-BREAKER. BSc and PhD Physics. Class of 1966. PHYSICS PIONEER. PART ICLE SMASHER. HIGGS BOSON HUNTER. 14.  SHEKHAR DUTT PGDip Development Economics. Class of 1984. GOVERNOR, DEFENCE SECRETARY. 15.  HANNAH LAMDEN 13.  LYN EVANS

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19.  ROGER PHILLIPS BSc Biochemistry. Class of 1977. BUSINESS LEADER. ADVISOR. MENTOR. 20.  ELOISE WILLIAMS MA Creative and Media Writing. Class of 2011. CHI LDREN’S AUTHOR. F IRST CHI LDREN’S LAUREATE WALES. 21.  JONNY OWEN BA History. Class of 1999. BAFTA WINNER. WRI TER. DIRECTOR. ACTOR. 22.  PAUL PINDAR BSc Psychology. Class of 1981. ENTREPRENEUR. BUSINESS LEADER. CAPI TA. PURPLE BRICKS. 23.  LIAM DUTTON BSc Geography. Class of 2002. BROADCASTER. WEATHERMAN. MUSICIAN. EDUCATOR.

BA American Studies. Class of 2008. MEDIA DIRECTOR: L I TTLE MIX, SIMON COWELL . 16.  JONATHAN ELPHICK

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THOMAS BSc Psychology. Class of 2015.

BSc Zoology. Class of 1968. NATURAL HISTORY AUTHOR. ORNI THOLOGIST. 17.  MICHELLE OWEN BA Language and Communication. Class of 2011. COMMENTATOR. COMPERE. FOOTBALL AF ICIONADO. 18.  AIMEE

COMMONWEALTH RECORD HOLDER. 25.  KIRITKUMAR LATHIA BSc Electrical Engineering. Class of 1970. SETT ING THE STANDARDS FOR GLOBAL COMMUNICAT IONS. 26.  ALISTAIR BARNES BSc Chemistry and Management Science. Class of 1990. CHARI TY LEADER. OPPORTUNI TY PROVIDER. COMMUNI TY BUI LDER.

EHRENZELLER BSc Psychology and MSc Physician Associate Studies. Class of 2019. HEALTHCARE HERO.

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ALUMNI PROFILES

JASON MOHAMMAD BA Welsh and Politics. Class of 1996. RADIO AND TELEVISION PRESENTER.

Anne is on a mission to revolutionise the banking sector in a way that delivers a better experience for customers. Leading an established UK bank, she is also a powerful advocate for more women to take up leading roles in business. What led you to the decision to study Computer Science and Chemistry at Swansea ? One of the earliest childhood photos I have is of me clasped in my father’s arms as he stood outside the Swansea University campus. I was born and brought up in the city and everyone there was very proud of the University. I had decided to study medicine and was planning on travelling further afield for my degree. My A-Level results didn’t turn out as good as I hoped, so I spent a long morning on the phone speaking to various universities to see what was on offer. Eventually, I spoke to someone at Swansea who mentioned a Computer Science degree and as soon as they said it, I thought, that is what I want to do. It brought together everything I was interested in and would introduce me to some new skills too. What are your favourite memories of your time at Swansea ? I’m afraid anyone wanting any stories of wild days at uni are going to be very disappointed when they talk to me. Most of my days were spent in the library. I had spent most of my childhood in bookshops, or the library, or with my head in the second-hand Encyclopaedia Britannica that my father had bought me during a teachers’ strike. Now I had an opportunity to sit in a library studying all day long. It was bliss. Computing was still quite basic in those days. We had a PDP 11 Unix computer that allowed us to key in data on cards. There was a very exhausting system, where you’d write your programme, then take the punch card and dash off downstairs to another room beside the cafeteria to run it. There would always be a bit of a queue and then an hour-long wait to see if it worked. Then you’d have to go back up to the computer sciences room and make any adjustments necessary to the programme, before going through the whole process again. I got very fit in those days, with all the running up and down the stairs.

Why did you choose to study at Swansea University and why Welsh and Politics ? I knew that Swansea University had brilliant Welsh and Politics departments, I wanted to study there to be taught by the best. Also, the appeal of the nearby Gower and beaches was a massive draw.

Queen, ABBA and 10cc records when I was just five years old, so I was destined to work on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Wales! I also used to commentate on video games back in the 1980s – sporting video games – so I suppose a career in TV sport was also on the cards. Did your time at the University help you start such a successful career in broadcasting ? Indeed. I met a careers advisor, Mr Hugh Jones, when I was applying for the journalism course at Cardiff University and he encouraged me to go for that. I won a scholarship with BBC Wales and the rest is history. Had it not been for Swansea University, I wouldn’t be where I am today. What is the highlight of your career ? Without doubt, getting the email from my producer to say that I was going to be part of the pitchside presenting team for the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil between Argentina and Germany. You’ve travelled extensively with your career. Where was your favourite country ? Russia. I travelled all over the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals and was absolutely blown away by the history, the splendid architecture and phenomenal food. Who has inspired you – during your youth and throughout your career ? I’ve been so lucky to have been blessed with brilliant teachers, lecturers and producers who have helped me, but throughout my career my inspiration has been my sporting hero Muhammad Ali. His quote of ‘having the skill and the will’ is on my wall and I look at it every single day. Ultimately my faith has given me the power and the ability to succeed.

What are your defining memories of being a student at Swansea ?

Being taught by outstanding lecturers, the friends that I made at University and the many sporting activities that I took part in. What are your memories of being a Welsh speaking student at Swansea University ? It was at Swansea University where my confidence grew as a Welsh learner. I remember the great Hywel Teifi Edwards encouraging us all to use our Welsh speaking skills. He didn’t see any difference between ‘first language’ Welsh-speaking students and second

language ‘learners’. And that is where I gained my confidence.

Why choose a career in broadcasting ? To be perfectly honest, it was the only thing I wanted to do. I used to play

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BODEN ANNE BSc Computer Science. Class of 1981. ENTREPRENEUR. FOUNDER OF STARL ING BANK.

Setting up a company to disrupt a sector like banking couldn’t have bee n easy. What were the biggest challeng es ?

What did you do after graduating from Swansea ? I took getting a job very seriously and started planning what I would do from my second year at Swansea and spent a lot of time in the Careers Office. After a lot of looking around, I applied for a job doing computer analysis of paint in Zurich, another working for the defence industry and another at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). As a bit of a wildcard, and at the suggestion from my mother who opined that white lab coats were ‘a bit draining’, I also applied for a job at Lloyds Bank. Given that 1000 applicants were going for a single graduate trainee position, I hadn’t held out much hope, but I was offered the job. I loved working in the Lloyds Bank computer department and often marvelled that I was getting paid to do something which not only came easily to me but was really enjoyable too. You’ve worked for several banks. What made you think the sector needed changing ? I first started thinking seriously about a new way of banking in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. At that time, it had been the worst financial meltdown in living memory, yet, after all the fuss had died down, banks had pretty much gone back to business as usual. They were operating in pretty much the same way as they had been doing for decades, despite the digital advances that seemed to be changing everything else at a fantastic pace with businesses such as Uber, Netflix and Amazon. The success of tech companies told me that it always begins with the customer and the reason that Apple, Amazon and all the others are so successful is they have perfected the delivery of products and services. A shining example of how banks were getting it wrong was account opening. It was a horribly long and frustrating process, involving a visit to a branch, a lengthy interview, a great deal of paperwork and then a long wait until the end goal was achieved. Yes, there needed to be rules to prevent fraud, but banks were making it needlessly complicated. At the heart of what I wanted to do was to help people to have an easier relationship with money. My vision was for a digital banking service that can be run from a mobile, a device we all have with us, all of the time, where everything is open, transparent and easily accessible to the account holder.

One of the biggest challenges was the same one that faces anyone trying to start a business: money. In my case, I needed a lot of money, possibly as much as £300 million by my early estimates. The cash was not just needed to build the bank itself and get all the tech in place, I also needed to have enough to cover the day-to-day fluctuations of money coming in and out of the bank. As you can imagine, it is not easy to attract investors, particularly for anyone who has no track record as an entrepreneur. At the time of writing, the nation is in lockdown due to Covid-19. Has the lockdown enabled Starling to sho w it s strengths ? The pandemic changed everything for households and businesses in the UK and wider world. From the start, we were very aware that people would be very worried indeed about their finances and that many faced an uncertain future. This was the time that Starling’s philosophy of banking putting its customers’ needs first, rather than the other way around, was really put to the test in the most extreme circumstances. Our first challenge was to get the entire team set up to run the bank from their homes. We’d always said Starling could be run from laptops and within a matter of days we proved this was the case. Then we turned our minds to what it was that our customers most needed. We introduced the Starling Coronavirus Support Scheme to help hard-pressed individuals with a three-month interest holiday on the first £500 of an arranged overdraft. For our business customers, we worked hard to ensure that we were accredited by the British Business Bank as a lender under the Government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). This means we can provide loans of £5,000 to £250,000 to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that are struggling financially was a result of the emergency. Five weeks after the lockdown, the Government announced more financial support for SMEs via emergency Bounce Back loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 and we were able to get this scheme up and running!

You are one of the few female banking and tech leaders. Is enough being done to reduce the g end er imbalance ? The short answer is no. I still find it hugely depressing when I attend industry events and am invariably one of just a handful of senior women in a group of 100 men or more. In the early days of Starling, I was frequently asked what I ‘did’ at the bank. I’ve got used to the fact that there is unconscious bias everywhere, but that doesn’t mean I accept it. I am a passionate advocate of women and do everything I can to support them so more join the ranks of female entrepreneurs and business owners. My advice to any woman reading this piece is to fight hard, demand the same treatment, go for the top positions and never give up.

READ MORE Read more of Anne’s interview here:

swan.ac/profiles

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ALUMNI PROFILES OLUWASEUN OSOWOBI MSc International Relations. Class of 2012. CAMPAIGNER. ACT IVIST. OBAMA FELLOW.

Campaigner, activist and Obama fellow, Oluwaseun is working hard to educate about and reduce gender-based violence, with her Stand to End Rape initiative. Why did you choose to study at Swansea University for your Master’s in International Relations ? I was interested in studying a course with a component of human rights and gender equality, while also investigating the economic and political relationships between countries and government and how this impacts those two issues. Initially, I had settled to study International Management, however, it was limited in its research on human rights. I began researching various institutions across the UK that offer my specific interest area. My agent at the time advised me to consider Swansea University and spoke widely about the perks of studying at the institution, including affordable tuition and a wonderful location. After reviewing various articles and posts about the institution, I knew I had found a home for my future. And yes, the scholarship for international students was also one of the perks. What is your favourite memory of your time at Swansea ? My favourite memory of being in Swansea is building a community of friends and family within the school and social settings. I loved the church activities, study times with other students at the library, hopping on the bus to get to work with colleagues. As a master’s degree student, I was keen on not only gaining academic experience, but also professional experience. I was able to get a job within the College of Arts and Humanities as well as in other formal work sectors. Some of these jobs contributed to my length of work experience and the funds raised aided the establishment of my organisation in Nigeria. Since graduating you have founded the Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER) and been a vocal advocate and campaigner to end gender based violence. What has been your biggest challenge in getting the charity established ? Speaking up about ending sexual and gender-based violence was a huge difficulty especially in religious and cultural settings. Challenging social stigma and archaic cultural beliefs were one of the biggest challenges of establishing STER. The culture of silence over time has forced survivors to damnation, living with their pains every day, sometimes with their abusers, and watching the perpetrators walk freely just so they ‘protect the family name and dignity’ by keeping silent. Raising awareness on gender equality and sexual and gender-based violence was like attempting to dismantle social norms and beliefs that have been upheld for centuries. As such, engaging with different target audiences on the need to intensify efforts to prevent sexual and gender-based violence by teaching consent to boys and

men for example, was met with so much resistance. There was also pushback on encouraging survivors of such crimes to speak up to receive adequate support. What have you been most proud of since founding STER ? The proudest moment for me has been the joy in the faces of the survivors we have worked with. There is an innate sense of accomplishment when the organisation removes a victim from an abusive situation and months/years down the line, the survivor is safe and living the life they truly enjoy. In most cases, the survivors we support, as a means to pay it forward, join STER as a volunteer or staff to further push the mandate of the organisation. That is one of the greatest feelings any founder could ever have. You’ve been honoured as the Commonwealth Young Person of the Year and as an Obama Foundation Emerging Leader. How does it feel to have your work recognised so prominently. It feels great to have been honoured as a #TIMENEXT100, Commonwealth Young Person of the Year 2019 and an Obama Foundation Leader in Africa, among others. These are incredibly prominent platforms and being recognized for the work STER is undertaking is testament to the impact the organisation is making, not only in Nigeria, but across the world. This encourages us to intensify our efforts and inspires other young people to be change agents. Nonetheless, with the recognition comes the responsibility of public accountability, leadership for the community and sustenance of the vision. Who’s the most famous person you have met at these awards ceremonies ? I met with former President Barack Obama at the Obama Foundation Leaders in Africa convening in Johannesburg, South Africa and I was like ‘oh my goodness! It is Barack Obama right here in front of me.’ You know that moment when your celebrity friend walks in and you want to scream ‘yeah, that’s my friend. I know her.’! It was a surreal moment for me to be standing next to such a world-renowned change agent. I really enjoyed the keynote message he shared during one of the sessions. Are you still in touch with any of your Swansea friends ? I kept contact with a couple of friends I made in Swansea especially my housemate, Temi Coker, who has become more like a sister now. Our friendship blossomed into a relationship that has yielded opportunities among other things. I also share a good relationship with a couple of others that I met in Swansea whether as students, staff of the institution, like Bev Evans of the College of Arts and Humanities, or members of social communities I was involved with.

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So far you have helped over 200,000 women through STER. What are your ambitions for the charity ? Yes, STER has reached over 200,000 people with information and about 350 women, girls and boys with direct service. As an organisation, we look forward to a day where sexual and gender-based violence becomes a part of our history, rather than a part of our everyday lives. Currently, we hope to expand our services across the different states in Nigeria to enable us to reach more people and pilot innovative programs that have been developed for the years 2020 – 2025. This will require funding. In the long run, our ambition is to morph into a global advocacy organisation, leading policy advocacy initiatives and advising governments in sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response programming.

What would you say to anyone considering Swansea as a destination for study ?

If you are considering Swansea University for your Undergraduate, Postgraduate or PhD degrees, then I can tell you are making a good decision in life. The academic institution is super affordable, the teaching technique is great, and you get an invaluable academic experience tailored for your career growth. As an alumna of the institution, I can authoritatively tell you that the relationship also does not end within the four walls of Swansea University. There is an intentional act to continue to support you post your academic studies, just like I have been. Isn’t that a good reason to study at Swansea ?

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ALUMNI PROFILES Media Practice and Public Relations. Class of 2014. WELSH RUGBY PLAYER. FOUNDER OF YOGABI L I TY AND THE YOGA HUB. ALECS You’ve been successful in sport and in business, where do you get your drive to succeed ? I come from a very sporty family: both DONOVAN MA Communications

parents are internationals (mum with hockey and dad with rugby) and my sister is an incredible athlete. They all inspire me in different ways and they’re all so supportive – even when they aren’t physically there, I can still feel their encouragement, which gives me that extra drive to succeed. They are all so talented – they’ve set the standard pretty high! When I was younger, netball was my main love sport wise; unfortunately my main love also started my injury life – a few ankle sprains here and there and a knee op; not unusual to the game…But the injury that stopped netball in its tracks was a complete rupture of my Achilles. The lowest point of my injury was hearing I may not be able to run or jump properly again. After what felt like months of learning to walk again, the specialists suggested yoga. Yoga for me at that time was a bit of an eye roll, to be honest – I felt that if something didn’t make you sweat or make you fitter, it wasn’t even worth giving it the time of day. I tried a few different styles – some I couldn’t wait to leave; some were too hard; and I even actually fell asleep in one!

Inspiring the nation with her unique take on yoga during the Covid-19 pandemic, Welsh International, Alecs Donovan, is a force to be reckoned with – both on and off the rugby pitch.

KATE MCMURDO LLM Legal Practice and Advanced Drafting. Class of 2019. DISABI L I TY RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER. EDUCAT ION ACT IVIST. SUPER MUM.

JAMES ROBERTS BSc Sports Science. Class of 2010. PARALYMPIAN. ROWER. VOLLEYBALL

TERRY MATTHEWS BSc Electrical Engineering. Class of 1969. ENTREPRENEUR. FOUNDER. INVESTOR. BI LL IONAIRE. 12

AND WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL PLAYER.

It is fair to say that you are doing your bit for the public in the current pandemic with your free Instagram Yogability sessions. What inspired you to do this? What has the response been like ? Ah thank you! Well, along with others, the fitness industry has been hit quite hard; with studios and gyms forced to close. A lot of my friends and clients work in the industry; so, I started doing Instagram Live classes for them; the word spread, and people seemed to love it. I had messages asking when the next one was and messages to say thank you from people I had never met. I think like me, it was something for them to set an alarm for and get moving in the morning and for some sort of structure to their day. Now a lot of people who have never tried yoga before are doing it regularly, and people who live too far away to come to my class can do it – which is great! I keep getting offered money and donations which is very sweet – but I feel lucky to be in the position I’m in. I have support from my partner, my family and savings, and I’m not the only one that has been hit with no work so I don’t want to make money off it – it helps me just as much as it helps everyone that does it. We know that you’ll be an inspiration to many of our readers, but who is your inspiration ? One of my friends, Elli Norkett, passed away in a car accident a few years ago; I played rugby with her and she was also in the Welsh squad. No matter what I do, she inspires me to see how far I can get and reminds me that life’s too short not to try and not to live. Everything I do now subconsciously is for Elli.

After going for about six weeks to a class I enjoyed, I could see such a difference between how my left side worked from my right – and how immobile I had become through years of no flexibility work, constant impact sport and seeing a warm up as a waste of time. You’ve now founded two yoga-based businesses Yogability, and The Yoga Hub. How did you turn that rehabilitation experience into your career ? I couldn’t find a yoga method specific for athletes and catered for people like me – so I created Yogability. Deep down I knew I would never go back to netball after my Achilles rupture, but I thought why not try rugby again. I joined a local club that my friends played for. We won the league and the cup that year (probably not much help from me because I was still unsure of all the rules!). The club then dropped the Women’s team, so my Dad helped set up a Women’s team in Swansea where he is Club Secretary; and the entire team moved over to play for the Whites. After hearing I was playing rugby after an Achilles rupture, a few rugby teams asked for me to teach them Yogability… before long I started working with the WRU 7s team and that’s when I knew A similar thing happened with The Yoga Hub; I’d love to be able to pay monthly to get unlimited amounts of yoga and Pilates. Speaking to people in the gyms I used, I realised that most people didn’t go to yoga classes as they were too expensive. So, my first aim was to make it very reasonable. I had something – within a year I couldn’t believe how much the business had grown!

The second aim was to get away from the misconception that there is only one type of yoga. We offer 14 different styles of Yoga and Pilates – taught by 12 different instructors. I wanted people that may not have liked a class in the past to realise that there are so many others they could go to and try. Everyone has different needs and wants so I wanted to cater to that. I opened the Hub, upstairs in a gym called UFIT in Cardiff; The gym and the coffee shop are open 5am until 11pm, which was a massive appeal to me as I wanted people to see it as more of an event. Rather than just turn up, do a class and go home, you can stay for coffee or meet up with friends too. You made your Wales debut as a second-half replacement against Italy in what was a record attendance for a Wales women’s international, at Principality Stadium (11,062). What was that like ? It was a dream come true; it all happened so fast it was a bit of a blur. I just remember someone going off for a head injury assessment and the manager shouting my name; I didn’t have time to think but even just running onto the pitch took my breath away. I was lucky enough to have my first cap at the Principality Stadium and I think I’m the only woman to do so, which is cool! I also think at the time, I was so early into my rugby career that I almost didn’t realise what I had achieved, so I was a bit naïve to it; which in the end I think was a good thing as I would’ve been too nervous otherwise! I’m still in the Welsh squad but in the Sevens squad at the moment – a lot of running compared to 15s but it’s great fun and great fitness, so I am thoroughly enjoying it!

Read the full profiles here: swan.ac/profiles

ALUN BAKER BSc Economics and Geography. Class of 1982. BUSINESS LEADER. ENTREPRENEUR.

GEMMA ALMOND BA History. Class of 2014. HISTORIAN OF DISABI L I TY AND

SIR JOHN THOMAS BSc Chemistry, PhD Mass Spectrometry. Class of 1957.

MEDICINE. FORMER EL I TE ATHLETE AND SWIMMER.

SOL ID-STATE CHEMIST. EDUCATOR. HISTORIAN.

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ALUMNI PROFILES

PARALYMPIAN, MEng Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2014. SMITH

Receiving his first Paralympic gold just before Fresher’s Week in Swansea, World and Paralympic Champion, David, aims to dominate in the sport of Boccia. What brought you to Swansea University ? I wanted to study Aerospace Engineering and the staff around the course, the general atmosphere and the beach were the main draw. What are your favourite memories of studying in Swansea ? The study trips that involved flying, like the flying lab at Cranfield or flying around the Gower. How did you balance the demands of your degree with an international career playing Boccia ? Initially, I studied full-time as my playing career was quite low in demand. However, with the rapid development of international Boccia and London 2012 looming, it became necessary to defer parts of my degree. The Uni was very accommodating and did everything they could to support me, even allowing me to stay in halls so I could continue training through the summer. How did you get started in Boccia ? I did it at primary school because it was a special needs school and I first competed when I was six at a competition at Stoke Mandeville. For those of us that don’t know anything about Boccia. What’s it all about ? Boccia is a bowl type game for people with physical disabilities (although it’s a popular European garden game too). Similar to Boule, we play with soft leather balls on a hard-indoor badminton-sized court. There is an app now called Boccia Battle; it is very realistic and gives a good idea about the sport.

You’ve gone on to compete at various Paralympics around the world. How does it feel to represent your country internationally ? I feel very privileged and

proud to be part of Boccia UK and to represent my country; hearing the anthem most places I go to is very satisfying. Also being able to entertain and play my best stuff in front of a few spectators is very rewarding. How did it feel to win your first Paralympic gold ? It was very joyful and

emotional because that was in the team event, so it wasn’t just a win for me, it was a win for my friends and teammates too. My first Gold was just before I started fresher’s week in Swansea, so celebrating that wasn’t difficult! You’re the World and Olympic champion. You’re the most successful British Boccia player in history. What’s next ? Technically I’m Paralympic champion, whilst there might not seem a massive difference, in certain aspects of the culture, it is quite profound. I’m proud to be a Paralympian rather than an Olympian. I’m the joint most successful British player, alongside Nigel Murray MBE, so my aim is to set a new record and be the first-ever BC1 player to defend a Paralympic title.

You were honoured with an MBE for your achievements. How did that feel ? Collecting the MBE gave me a lot of pride personally. I had my parents and my sports assistant with me, so it was very special being able to take my parents into Buckingham Palace. When you’re not playing Boccia, what do you do with your free time ? We all have lots of free time at the moment! However, I’m usually so busy I enjoy just relaxing at home. Or spending time with friends and family. What advice would you have for anyone considering studying at Swansea ? My advice would be, why not ? It’s far enough away if you live in England to avoid parents checking up on you, you have beautiful scenery at your fingertips and the people are very warm and friendly.

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PROFESSOR COLIN PILLINGER BSc Chemistry, PhD Mass Spectrometry. Class of 1964. PIONEER. SPACE SCIENT IST. MARS EXPLORER.

PROFESSOR CARL JONES BSc and PhD Biology. Class of 1980. WORLD- LEADING CONSERVAT IONIST.

MATTHEW WARE BSc Sport Science, MSc Nanomedicine, PhD Nanotechnology. Class of 2006. GROUND-BREAKING CANCER RESEARCHER.

SIAN THOMAS BA and MA Welsh. Class of 1980. BROADCASTER. TRAI LBLAZER.

GEORGIA DAVIES Law. Class of 2013. OLYMPIAN.

GEMMA MCKINLAY BA Humanities. Class of 2019.

SINGLE MUM OF SEVEN. EDUCAT ION EXEMPLAR.

SARAH POWELL BSc Psychology. Class of 1995. CHIEF EXECUT IVE. HOCKEY PLAYER. SPORTS ADVOCATE.

CHRISTIAN SAUNDERS MSc Epidemiology and Health Planning. Class of 1988. LEADING THE UN’S RESPONSE TO PALEST INIAN REFUGEES.

JAMIE TAGG BA Politics and History.

Class of 2009. OWNER OF EAST CREAT IVE. FEST IVAL DIRECTOR. LGBTQ+ SUPPORTER.

VERITY OCKENDEN BA English and Italian. Class of 2014 . ATHLETE. CHEF. POET.

RENEE GODFREY BA Anthropology. Class of 2003. SURFER. PRESENTER AND DOCUMENTARY F I LMMAKER.

CAROL ROBINSON MSc Chemistry. Class of 1980.

PRESIDENT OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF CHEMISTRY.

Read the full profiles here: swan.ac/profiles

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ALUMNI PROFILES PROFESSOR ANDY HOPPER BSc Computer Technology. Class of 1974.

PROFESSOR. CO- FOUNDER OF ACORN COMPUTERS.

I think it’s fair to say that computers have had a big influence on your life. Can you tell us a bit about it ? Swansea put on a course which was amazingly good for me and the other students because at the time it foretold the whole computing thing in the world. The course was called Computer Technology. I fell into it for reasons I will explain, but that course shaped everything else for me. The special thing about the course was that it combined computer science with electronics and also accountancy and economics. During the time I was at Swansea, there was a lot of freedom in education. Swansea was quite pioneering; in a

How did you end up at Swansea ? Three reasons. I am Polish by birth and was brought up Polish. When I was a teenager at school in the UK we had some farming holidays in the summer in Llanybydder, West Wales. Some Polish farmers settled there after the war and I spent some summers there. Secondly, a friend of the family, because I didn’t do very well at school, (the UK is quite different to Poland), suggested that this computing lark might be interesting, and thirdly I applied for places at Manchester and Swansea but I didn’t get the grades for Manchester. I don’t think I got the grades for Swansea either, but Aspinall took me anyway.

good way, and that was down to two people in particular. A Professor of Electrical Engineering called William Gosling who had the idea to put on the course, and a man he recruited from Manchester University called David Aspinall, who became a Professor and was recruited to run the course at Swansea. Gosling was a man who had a lot of connections with industry and he was also a Technical Director of a company called Plessey. He was a person who just through his work, was very familiar with the industrial side of things and of course for me personally that was very inspiring because that is what I have done with my career ever since. I have had a simultaneous career in academia and industry.

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What are your favourite memories of Swansea ? I had a great time. The University

was able to do stuff industrially that took advantage of that freedom, not in any linear way, but it was connected with the University for the broader reason of the background, recruitment, prototypes of something new or demonstrations which would spark off ideas or whatever. So, all the companies started independently and the ideas for them came not out of the University but out of the background of other work. An important development that relates directly to this is the company, ARM. I was Research Director at Acorn and I was at the University at the same time, it was the early 1980s and we had done quite well with the BBC Micro, which had chips in it that came out of my background in the University, but it’s not the chips, it’s the knowledge. So, ARM is Acorn RISC Machines and RISC was written instructions for the computer. We didn’t come up with that, that was developed in the University of California, Berkeley. It’s a technology transfer from the US and that was spotted through the academic line, it didn’t come through the industrial line. You were at the forefront of computing in the UK. Acorn was described as the British Apple. What was it like to be in that place at that time ? Well at the time it still felt very competitive. There was a little company called Apple, there was a little company called Intel so when starting the microprocessor project in a company called Acorn and the ARM project we were aware that Intel (who made those microprocessors I used in Swansea in 1971/72) was a giant. That was who we had to compete with. You must be extremely busy. Do you get any free time and what do you do with it ? I’m not extremely busy because you have to delegate and trust and forgive and all that. My main passion though is flying. Flying combines several interesting things for me. I’m an engineer fundamentally, a technology engineer. I like electronics and I like to fiddle. I have a smallish aeroplane and I like to fiddle with it; electrical systems, d.c., a.c., vacuum systems, pressure systems, fuel system, oil system, avionics system, de-icing system, variable pitch propeller system, undercarriage and hydraulics systems, all that kind of stuff. Though when I say fiddle, I might look at stuff, test some

parameters but I have professional people looking after it and making sure it’s safe to fly! I also quite like cycling on the Gower so I throw my bicycle in the back of the aeroplane, fly down, spend the day cycling and then fly back in the evening. I occasionally pop into Fulton (College) House to have a cup of tea but I don’t announce my visit, so people probably think I’m just someone who’s walked in off the street. So, sitting where you are at the forefront of technology. What in your view, is the next big thing we are going to see in that area ? I think the whole framework of computing and sustainability is really exciting. Imagine If we observe the world using sensors, mostly aerial, heat and technical sensors. Optimise that data in cyberspace and feed that back in to affect the world in a better sustainability sense. In other words, computing could become the pacemaker of the planet. The technology will continue to make leaps and bounds. An example might be, we have the global positioning system, which is great and it’s a free service and it’s worldwide. So, imagine a global temperature system that can give you the temperature of each square metre of the planet in real-time for everybody, free of charge. It has all sorts of headaches, ethics, politics, etc. I know, but you have asked me the question and I suspect people’s attitudes will change. For instance, tracking the coronavirus on mobile phones is becoming acceptable whereas a month ago it would have been the end of the world. But similarly, as the ice caps melt, and cities start to flood people will come to accept that maybe this is an important thing to have. I think computing supporting the sustainability of the planet, is a marvellous glittering prize that I would like to see happen.

supported me well in the technical subject and also the social life. The geography was also wonderful, I had the good fortune that I had a crappy old car. I did some window cleaning and saved a bit of money to buy a clapped-out old Triumph Herald so I was mobile, which was unusual for a student at the time. I took advantage of it with trips to the Gower and all that sort of stuff. The social life was very good and I was able to do a bit of surfing. Through the University sports clubs, we had some surfboards. The Triumph Herald was a convertible, so I was able to strap the surfboard across the top and off I went. I was also a reasonable skier and I managed to go on some inter-university ski trips to Scotland and so on. As a serial entrepreneur where have the ideas for your businesses come from ? I don’t believe that academia and academic research leads to business in any substantive way. You’ve got to be in the right environment and Cambridge had a culture and environment of building things that are practical as well as other stuff. It was just part of the DNA. My PhD was very practical. I was part of a bigger project related to a high-speed network (this was before ethernet). Several companies started commercialising that, and I did a little bit with it, so I’m wrong in saying nothing came from University work, but it was open to everyone. The culture of the department (and I’m proud to say I was Head of that Department for 14 years) is a strong culture of supporting collaboration with industry. In those days, and to some extent we’ve continued it, the industrial side was encouraged and not bean-counted or restricted in any way. What, in practice, happens is that being able to have an industrial existence – and being encouraged to do so – you are part of a portfolio. You’re delivering in a broader sense rather than the number of papers you have published. My kids went to university and I was delighted that people taught them well. That’s good, it’s important! It’s not all about research excellence and I’m top of the pile at my department and my REF score is blah, blah. So, in those days freedom to move between industry and academia sat much more comfortably than today. I

READ MORE Read more of Andy’s interview here:

swan.ac/profiles

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