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- 2017: Steph Lonsdale
Neil and Gina Smith Student of the Year 2017
Steph joined Keele as a mature student, returning to education after a 25 year break and with few qualifications.
Steph’s diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition gave her the inspiration to study Psychology and since joining Keele has dedicated a great deal of time and effort supporting students and members of the community who share an autism diagnosis. Steph founded and is the current President of Keele SU’s Spectrum Society in addition to volunteering with the National Autistic Society. She has also established new ties with LifeWorks Staffordshire including fund raising and organising an outreach visit. Through her hard work, Steph has helped improve the lives of individuals with autism and received an Autism Ally Award in 2017.
Steph has received the highest mark ever given in the module Psychology and Community Action, going above and beyond in her work with a resident in a local supported residence to produce a book for the “This is your Life” inspired module.
Steph has also researched new and improved ways for staff and final year Psychology students to recruit participants for research. By linking up with the SU Volunteering scheme, research participants can now be rewarded for their time.
Steph recently won the runner up award for Peer Mentor of the year and has also worked as an ambassador for the University.