Recipients of Glasgow Caledonian University’s 2018 Magnus Magnusson Awards include a wild water racing champion, mental health volunteers and two students who will return to where they grew up in Rwanda to start menstrual hygiene and clean water projects.

The Magnus Magnusson Fund was established in 2007 in honour of late GCU chancellor, television presenter, journalist, writer and historian, Magnus Magnusson KBE. The awards have now supported more than 100 students to undertake their dream projects in more than 35 countries.

 The awards provide students with opportunities to pursue their goals while making a positive impact on the lives of others around the world. The 2018 awards ceremony was held on Tuesday, May 15.

Full list of winners

Dearbhla Ahern, BSc Occupational Therapy, will travel to the Philippines with her Magnusson Award, where she will work as a volunteer occupational therapist. After one of the country’s worst storms in 2013, there has been a strain on resources and many people left with life-changing injuries, meaning occupational therapists are in high demand.

Adam Dow, BA (Hons) International Events Management, is dedicated to helping young people suffering with mental health issues and has started his own social enterprise to reduce the stigma surrounding the issue. With the help of his Magnusson Award, he aims to expand his charity to help those struggling before crisis, providing ideas for people to help them help themselves and manage their symptoms.

Gordon Howie, MSc 3D Design for Virtual Environments, will use his award to undertake an internship at an animation studio in New York City, where he will expand his skills and gain inspiration from the city’s creative culture.

Heritier Muhire, BSc (Hons) Computing, African Leadership College, grew up in Rwanda, and aims to give back to his community by building a menstrual hygiene room for girls, teaching them how to make reusable sanitary products and improving the community health centre’s existing facilities.

Victoria Murray, BSc Computer Games Art and Animation, began wild water racing when she started studying at GCU. Within six months, she was the Scottish wild water racing sprint champion, and was selected as part of Team GB for the Senior World Championships. Her Magnusson Award will permit her to purchase a new boat, which will allow her to progress further in both training and competitions.

Rutaganza Phillippe, BSc (Hons) Computing (Information Systems Development), African Leadership College, was born and raised in Rwanda, and shocked at the living conditions in other villages in the country. He saw children travelling several kilometres down a steep hill just to get water, often taking two hours to share a small well with around 100 other families. With his Magnusson Award, Rutaganza aims to implement a project that will provide people with clean water, regardless of their economic status. He also aims to campaign to raise awareness of the issue and the importance of having safe water for the community.

Cheryl Venart, BSc (Hons) Applied Psychology, will use her Magnusson Award to travel to Sri Lanka to volunteer in the mental health sector, where there is currently one psychiatrist for every 500,000 people.



Glasgow Caledonian University