Gareth and Bethan met during their undergraduate studies, while Gareth was studying Criminology and Bethan was studying Law. The couple knew each other through mutual friends, and their relationship blossomed during their final year of studies.
Following the completion of his undergraduate studies, Gareth was deployed with the British Army to Afghanistan whilst Bethan embarked on her career within the Probation Service. On Gareth's return home in 2015, he suffered a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalised, being placed in an induced coma for a number of weeks.
This was an extremely challenging time for the couple, however, with great determination Gareth made a remarkable recovery. He has since continued his career within the army, as a recruiter, and has gone on to achieve two promotions since his injury, now holding the rank of Corporal.
Their time at Swansea hadn’t ended just yet though. Bethan had been longing to return to university to complete further studies and given the support received during her undergraduate studies, she felt Swansea was the natural choice. She began her Criminology master’s studies in September 2015, whilst continuing to build a career within the National Probation Service. Gareth also returned to Swansea University in 2016 to start his Criminology master’s studies.
So strong is their connection to Swansea, they decided to invite Associate Professor Debbie Jones to their wedding, as they had both been taught by her during their time at Swansea, and even returned to campus for their wedding photos.
Reminiscing on their time at Swansea, Bethan said:
“We have received so much support and encouragement from the department throughout our education and we have been left with a desire to continually grow, learn and develop. The support we have both received from staff is remarkable, really going above and beyond to guide you so that you are able to develop and expand on your research skills. On completion of the course, after years of hard work and research the sense of achievement you feel standing in your gown on graduation day is unforgettable.
“Now that we are starting our next adventure into married life education has not yet stopped. I have recently completed the first year of a higher education PGCE and would like to go onto complete a doctorate within Swansea University.”
Speaking of the occasion, Associate Professor Debbie Jones said:
“I was very fortunate to have had the pleasure of teaching both Bethan and Gareth – Bethan during her time on the MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology and Gareth during his time as both an Undergraduate and MA Criminology student. In fact, I got to know them both well as I supervised Gareth for his Undergraduate Dissertation and Bethan for her MA Dissertation.
“They were both great students but more importantly great people. Together they faced and overcame a number of personal challenges that would test any relationship. I was therefore delighted to be invited to share their wedding ceremony with their family and friends. It was a wonderful day and I felt incredibly honoured to represent the College and be part of a really special occasion. We all wish Gareth and Bethan all the best wishes for a happy and healthy life together.”