Alumni Association Awards: 2009 winners

Read more about the winners of the 2009 Alumni Association Awards.

Matthew Nash (BA 2009, MA 2012)

Matthew is a local student whose involvement with the University started in 2003 when he joined the Choral Society as a bass. When the society was unexpectedly let down by their accompanist, Matthew saved the day by emerging from the choir to sight-read the piano score of Verdi’s Requiem for the entire rehearsal.

Matthew became a regular and valued member of the Choral Society, as well as its official accompanist. Sometime later, he explained that he had left his Bristol school during the sixth form, so had not completed A-level music. He had begun a retail career, though music remained his true passion, and he worked his way through the Associated Board grades, achieving a high standard of both practical and theoretical skills.

After much discussion and preparation, he eventually enrolled to read for a BA in Music in 2006. His academic work was of the highest standard and he gained a first-class honours degree in 2009. This was balanced with a remarkable contribution to the wider musical life of the University. He acted as accompanist to many of his peers for their instrumental exams, directed the choir at St Paul’s Church, sang in the University Chamber Choir and, in his final undergraduate year, became their conductor, taking them to perform in a concert in the Czech Republic.

Additionally he has been a Student Representative on the Staff-Student Committee, a member of the Concert Planning Board, a mentor to many younger students and a valued participant in University and Departmental Open Days.

Through sheer talent and determination, Matthew has overcome considerable obstacles to fulfil his personal ambitions and to contribute to the lives of fellow students and members of the wider community.

Laura Marquez Perez (MA 2013)

Laura’s nominees say she has 'devoted herself to the life of the University and the people who populate it. There are vast numbers of students and staff who she has helped and influenced in an array of different ways….'

Laura has served on various student society committees in a broad range of roles. The Improv Soc, Musical Theatre, Opera Society and Photo Soc have all felt the effects of her considerable vision and presence. Laura served on the Goldney Hall JCR between 2007 and 2009, as the Dark Room Rep where she gained the utmost respect.

At the time of receiving this award, Laura was busy producing the musical Hair for the Musical Theatre Society, her first venture into drama.

Laura is an invaluable and active member of the Union’s Training Team, advising students in key skills, management and leadership. In 2009/10 she was Chair of the Union’s Steering Committee, Station Manager of the Union TV station, Blink, and Vice-Chair of RAG. She organises the RAG reps, of whom there were more in 2009/10 than ever before. Laura was the top collector for RAG in 2009/10.

Laura is described as giving huge amounts of her time and energy to help people make the most of their time at University, yet she still finds time to be thoroughly engaged with her degree which she loves with a passion and describes as 'intellectually elegant'!

Alexander Goater (BSc 2008, PhD 2012)

Alex Goater is an extremely committed member of Student Community Action (SCA), giving up much of his spare time to work as a volunteer in the community. He has been involved with SCA since 2005, and, at the time of receiving this award, he was the SCA Deputy Coordinator.

Additionally, Alex is involved with several other Union societies, sits on Student Council and raises money for local charities through RAG.

Alex is the Project Coordinator for the Saturday Club. He ensures that there are enough student volunteers to allow adults with learning difficulties to participate in various trips and activities.

During the summer, Alex drove the minibus for the Pitstop project, taking children with learning difficulties away on a five-day trip to give parents some much needed respite.

His peers say that Alex always gives his time willingly and, through his unassuming manner and diligence, ensures everything is done well. He is a great source of communication with student volunteers and has shown patience, kindness and responsibility through his community work.