The 2012/13 Alumni Bursary has been awarded to Gemma Smith from the College of Arts and Humanities. Gemma is currently studying for a Masters in Ancient Egyptian Culture. At undergraduate level, Gemma studied Egyptology and was awarded a First Class Honours degree as well as the Gwladys Thyer-Jones Memorial Prize, an award for the best results achieved by a female student graduating in Arts and Humanities.

Gemma SmithGemma consistently excelled throughout her undergraduate course, especially in the areas of Egyptian language, ancient Egyptian material culture and religion. Her final year dissertation examined an unpublished stela* from the British Museum, and tutor Dr Martina Minas-Nerpel said: “She offered an astute translation and analysis of the hieroglyphic inscriptions and relief scenes...Her BA dissertation could have easily passed with distinction as an MA thesis and could be publishable in a peer reviewed academic journal.”

The Egypt Centre attracted Gemma to Swansea, she said: “Swansea was the only place where I wanted to study. I chose to study here because of the great resources at the Egypt Centre. The best thing about studying at Swansea is the great support and encouragement from my tutors”.

Whilst studying for her Masters, Gemma will be undertaking an extensive amount of original research, examining and translating donation stelae from the Third Intermediate period. Upon completing her MA, Gemma would like to continue her research by completing a PhD at Swansea.

Asked what receiving the Alumni Bursary means to her, she said: “It meant everything. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to continue with my studies, as a mature student I already have a number of financial commitments. I’m extremely grateful to the alumni who donated to the Alumni Fund, and I would consider donating money in the future as I know first-hand how donations can benefit students”.

*Stone slabs used in the ancient world mainly as grave markers but also for dedication, commemoration and demarcation.

Gemma Smith

Jenny Phillips

“As the organisation I work for is very small, they could not afford to sponsor my studies but are very supportive of me studying part time. Without the Alumni bursary I would not have been able to return to Swansea University to study. I am very grateful for receiving the Alumni Bursary and consequently the opportunity to undertake research which will assist AIDS Trust Cymru.”

MSc Ageing Studies, 2011

Mark Chorlton

“The Alumni Bursary Scheme enabled me to study for an MA in Translation. I am visually impaired but haven’t let that get in the way of my ambitions. My goal is to work as a translator as I love the challenge of living and working abroad. The Bursary Scheme will help my dream become reality.”

MA Translation, 2010

Sophie Collings

“Without the bursary I would not have been able to continue my studies at Swansea. I had undertaken a study on Polish immigrants for my BA Geography dissertation, and was keen to carry out further research in this area. Winning the bursary has helped ease a huge financial burden and I am very grateful.”

MA Human Geography, 2011