Wolfson students recognised in Outstanding Student Contribution to Education Awards

The hosts of the Shade in Cambridge podcast, Megan, Annoa, and Raquel

Six Wolfson students have been recognised for their achievements in the 2021 Outstanding Student Contribution to Education Awards (OSCEA).

The hosts of the Shade in Cambridge podcast, Megan, Annoa, and Raquel

The awards, founded in 2019 by the Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning (CCTL), recognise the contribution that students make to enhancing educational practices at the University of Cambridge.

Each year, members of staff and students at the University can submit nominations across five categories: Inclusive Practice; Access and Outreach; Peer Support; Innovative Practice; and Academic or College Representative.

Impressively, Wolfson students featured in three of the five categories this year.

Here are the successful students and their award summaries from OSCEA:

Annoa Abekah-Mensah, Megan Coe and Raquel Scarpa-Gebara 

Jointly highly commended for the "Access & Outreach" category

“Raquel, Annoa and Megan have created a podcast series, “Shade in Cambridge”, which provides a platform for stories, experiences and perspectives of students from racialised minorities, particularly at the University of Cambridge.

“The idea emerged from their involvement in the steering group for “Let’s Talk about Race and Racism”, a College initiative intended to inspire new dialogues about race and racism. Topics so far have included colourism, decolonising the curriculum, the intersection of race and class, COVID-19 and inequality and – in a particularly lively episode – the broader implications of the backlash against a holiday advert depicting a Black British family.

“The podcast foregrounds the voices and perspectives of students from groups underrepresented in Cambridge. While these conversations address difficult issues, they also make clear that the student hosts and their guests have found friends and supportive peers in Cambridge. Raquel, Annoa and Megan have put a huge amount of time, thought and creativity into the episodes released so far.”

You can find out more the Shade in Cambridge podcast on our website, including links to episodes.

And you can read an interview with Annoa, Megan, and Raquel about the podcast on our News page.

Tamara Achampong

Highly commended for the "Peer Support" category

“Tamara is a hugely inspiring young scholar. She was elected by her peers on the Psychology & Education route for the Student-Staff Consultation Committee, where student representatives from each of the Masters routes in the Faculty of Education meet the Masters Leadership Team to work in collaboration to ensure the learning experience is optimal.

“This is a role she has taken very seriously, co-chairing bi-monthly meetings with her peers and conducting surveys to discuss cohort-wide issues, as well as holding one-to-one meetings to find out how peers were coping and adjusting to the course.

“This has allowed her to support and encourage her peers during what has been a challenging year of postgraduate study. Tamara also has a coordination role for the Wellbeing and Inclusion Special Interest Group.”

David Sanchez Garcia

Highly commended for the "Academic or College Representative" category

“David Sánchez García has been an extraordinary Welfare Representative for LGBTQ+ students at Wolfson College, single-handedly organising an ambitious series of events for LGBTQ+ History Month including talks on Asexual History Then and Now (Beth Rees), Nigerian Queer Visibility in Indigenous Storytelling (David Ikpo, University of Pretoria), Trans Lives in British History (Rico Chace) and Non-Binary Spanish (Artemis Lapez). Speakers participated by Zoom from across the UK, Spain and South Africa. As a result of David’s initiative the Wolfson College Student Association now has a Gender Expression Fund to support trans students.

“David has also taken a leading role in the College’s recently established Interdisciplinary Research Hub on Gender, most significantly in the organisation of an international panel of speakers to discuss Sex Work and Borders on International Sex Workers’ Rights Day.

“Through tireless and creative organising, David has dramatically expanded the range and diversity of College-based conversations about gender, gender expression and sexuality, particularly in relation to the experiences of racialised minorities. David’s preparation for these online events was also exemplary, with careful attention to accessibility for attendees with visual or hearing impairments.

“David has in every respect gone far above and beyond the expectations one might have for a welfare rep.”

David Izuogu

Winner of the "Access & Outreach" category

“David founded a non-profit organisation, the Africa of our Dream Initiative, after arriving in Cambridge in 2017. Since then, he has used his foundation to run a series of outreach activities targeting Black students, especially in Africa. David’s work in this area is extremely important: the misconception that Cambridge wouldn’t take students from Africa due to a preconceived notion of the low standard of education in the continent prevents a lot of people from applying.

“David devotes his time, energy, resources and skills to plan and run free annual outreach activities while partnering with various teams across the University, such as the Admissions Office and Cambridge Trust. Last year, for example, David reached more than 1500 students through a two-day global programme which brought together different University teams and current Cambridge students from various fields to interact with prospective students on making successful applications to Cambridge.

“He also runs a mentorship programme for current students to mentor those making an application. David’s selflessness, passion and total commitment to making a way for others and creating lasting impact is unrivalled.”

Wolfson wishes to congratulate all the nominees for their excellent achievements.

You can find out more about the awards, including profiles of each of the winners, on the Cambridge Centre for Teaching Learning webpage.