Recognising excellence: UWTSD Women of Achievement 2022


To mark and celebrate the achievements of women across the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), the University has launched its inaugural Women of the Year Awards at an event at the Dynevor Conference Room in Swansea.

Group shot of Women's Network members at UWTSD Women's Awards 2022

The awards, organised by the UWTSD’s Women’s Network, aim to recognise and celebrate positive and inspirational role models who are undertaking remarkable work and making a difference to others.

The Women’s Network was founded on a shared passion for raising the profile of women at UWTSD, of female empowerment, and creating a supportive, aspirational and motivational space for female staff at all stages of their careers.

UWTSD Honorary Fellow Uzo Iwobi delivered an inspirational speech of encouragement and positivity to the audience of women during the lunchtime event, and presented all the nominees with a certificate.

Professor Iwobi said: “Today has been absolutely phenomenal. We have seen and celebrated and spoken to the amazing women of Wales who are working at this University. The dedication, the commitment, the intentional, purposeful determination to make a change in their workspaces, to lift others up and to help, especially during the pandemic – these women went above and beyond, and continue to inspire new generations of women.”

A video from Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon FREng, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David was also shown. Professor Rodriguez-Falcon was unable to attend as she was receiving a prestigious fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering at a ceremony in London.

Professor Rodriguez-Falcon said: “Today is a great opportunity to come together to celebrate the achievements of women in our institution across all levels and in any job that we undertake, and I believe in this agenda wholeheartedly. We are stronger when we support each other, encourage each other and celebrate each other’s successes.”

Professor Uzo Iwobi delivering a speech at UWTSD Women's Awards 2022

Those awarded included:

Alisa Mahdich, Programme Director for the University’s BA(Hons) International Management programme, which is delivered in Dnipro, Ukraine. Throughout the past 9 months she has overseen the delivery of the programme for the students in atrocious and appalling conditions some of which have been spent in a bomb shelter. She continues to do her best to ensure that all the requisite student work is marked and moderated so that students are able to not only continue with their studies but even graduate.

Mirjam Plantinga, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Experience - for exceptional leadership and support through Covid 19. Mirjam has also been instrumental in bringing all the different academic programmes together under one quality assurance framework – collaborating and inspiring colleagues as she does so.

Caroline Thraves, Academic Director Art & Media - a woman of leadership who strives to achieve the best for her team with compassion, empathy, and commitment to help everyone around her move forward with their aspirations and ambitions. This role is a demanding commitment whilst balancing with raising a family. Caroline wants the best for all around her and continues to speak up against injustices and issues of inequality whilst encouraging and supporting others to be their best and being an inspiration to other women.

Alison Harding - Executive Head of Library Services, who strives to improve herself and others in the kindest and most accepting way and inspires confidence in people to realise their best selves. Alison's quiet and unassuming approach to leadership is also impactful and powerful and deserves to be recognised for the huge impact she has on those around her, her contributions to the sector and to the Institution, and especially to other women in the workplace, no matter their role or level.

Morwenna Chapman, who has a young family and chose to switch her career to study for a BA in Graphic Design and has graduated with a First Class Honours Degree. Morwenna is now a full member of staff and runs the University’s Printmaking facilities, whilst also a volunteer for RNLI Lifeboats at Mumbles which requires her to respond to emergency call-outs day and night.

Melanie Lawlor Fellowes – the principal administrator in the University’s Wales Institute of Science and Art. Without the support of Melanie and her team, staff say they couldn’t continue to deliver the high standard of teaching and learning. “There is nothing that Mel doesn’t know. If you need help Melanie is always there and if she can’t help, she will find the person who can. We want her to know just how much she is appreciated.” Melanie is also a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance.

The Network is underpinned by a shared passion for raising the profile of women at UWTSD, female empowerment, and creating a supportive, aspirational and motivational space for female staff at all stages of their careers.  The Network is open to any staff who identify and/or present as female, and has an active Teams site that offers discussion and the opportunity to share resources. We also have an email list, and are on twitter @UWTSDWomen. If you would like to find out more please contact

Professor Uzo Iwobi and Caroline Thraves at UWTSD Women's Awards 2022

Further Information

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Press and Media Officer

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