Alpha Evans from Swansea University was crowned the winner of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's Merêd Award at the Ceredigion National Eisteddfod in August.
Established in 2015 in memory of Dr Meredydd Evans, the Merêd Award acknowledges the contribution of a student who is a current member of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to the Welsh language and culture.
Alpha, who is from Cribyn near Lampeter, graduated from Swansea University with first class honours in Welsh in 2021. She is now working on interdisciplinary doctoral study in Welsh, History and Law at Swansea, and is a holder of the Coleg Cymraeg Research Scholarship, as well as Swansea University’s Hywel Teifi Edwards Memorial Scholarship.
Throughout her time at Swansea, she has worked as an ambassador for the University and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol – working at open days, creating content on the University’s corporate social media channels, arranging events for the Welsh Language Society and much more.
During 2021, she was also a core part of the student team that produced the Urdd’s 2021 Message of Peace and Goodwill which focused on equality for women. She was a public voice and face for the Message and engaged in media interviews to share her own experiences and to raise awareness of the Message. The video message reached more than 5.2 million people across the globe and was the Urdd’s most successful Message in its 100-year history.
On receiving the Merêd Award, Alpha said: "It was a huge privilege to win the 2022 Merêd Award which recognises a contribution to Welsh life and culture within a university. It's even more special for me to win in Tregaron, in the area I grew up in. This Eisteddfod will certainly be one to remember!"
To mark the tenth anniversary of the Coleg Cymraeg, Swansea University students collaborated with singer Welsh jazz-pop singer Kizzy Crawford to compose a special song. The words to ‘10’ were written by Alpha, while Swansea student Elen Jones contributed vocally during a performance at the Eisteddfod.
Chief Executive of the Coleg Cymraeg, Dr Ioan Matthews, said: "The past year has been an important and busy one for the Coleg as we celebrate our tenth anniversary. I was delighted to return to the Eisteddfod this year to continue our celebrations and to award the winners of the Eilir Hedd Morgan Memorial Award and Merêd Award.
"Today's winners deserve every praise and recognition for their work but also for encouraging and supporting their peers and colleagues within the universities and workplaces to raise the profile of the Welsh language in the institutions.”