Dr Rhian Hedd Meara, Senior Lecturer in Geography at Swansea University, has been awarded the Eilir Hedd Morgan Memorial Award by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol in recognition of her significant contribution to Welsh language geography provision at Swansea.
Dr Meara received the Award during the Coleg's annual reception at the 2023 Llŷn and Eifionydd National Eisteddfod, where five awards were presented to students and lecturers in recognition of outstanding work and significant contribution at their universities.
The Eilir Hedd Morgan Memorial Prize is presented to a scholar of 40 years of age or younger in recognition of, not only the advancement of research among the sciences, but a contribution to the teaching of the sciences through the medium of Welsh in an institution of higher education.
Dr Eilir Hedd Morgan was a young, bright and capable scientist, and also an intuitive educator who was extremely popular. The Award was established by his parents Iwan and Alwena in his memory, after he died at just 29.
Dr Meara is a senior lecturer in Physical Geography and Geology at Swansea University's Department of Geography on behalf of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. She completed her undergraduate degree in Geology at the University of Leicester in 2003 – 2007 and specialised in geochemistry, igneous petrogenesis and physical volcanology. She then moved to Edinburgh where she earned her PhD which focused on the tephrochronology of Holocene silicic tephra layers in Iceland.
On receiving the Prize, Dr Meara said: “It’s an honour to receive this Award from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, an organisation that has given me so much support and has provided so many opportunities during the nine years I have been teaching at Swansea. It is a pleasure to teach so many students who are passionate about studying geography through the medium of Welsh, and it is a privilege to play a part in geography’s Welsh medium provision within the higher education sector."
Coleg Cymraeg Chief Executive Dr Ioan Matthews said: "The 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 espouse their Welshness and in doing so raise the profile of the Welsh language. We would like to wish them every success in the future".