Read about Keele's Students of the Year:

2016: Adrian Craig
2015: Jaimie Marshall
2014: Nicola Edwards
2013: Lauren Gallimore
2012: Andreas Steffensen
2011: Amy Chapman
2010: Darrell Simkins
2009: Sam Creavin
2008: Rachel Wiggett
2007: Suzy Stokes
2006: Heather Phillips

2015/16 Student Of The Year Finalists

Francis Parry Roberts

Picture of one of the Neil and Gina smith runners up

Francis currently studies BSc Environment and Sustainability and has been accepted onto a PhD at Bangor University.

Francis is a mature student, coming to Keele when he was aged 28. He has passed on some of his food-growing expertise to a new generation of Keele students through the Student Eats and Sustainable Bungalow projects. His knowledge of how to run a business has helped to establish the Veg Box project (making local and organic food easily available to students and staff on campus), which whilst he was running it was awarded the 'Volunteer Project of the Year' award.

His School have praised him highly "Francis provides constructive feedback about what we offer as well as affirmation that interdisciplinary sustainability studies have real resonance with diverse kinds of learners. He is a source of inspiration for his peers, balancing scholarly curiosity with politial passion and action"

Francis has helped fund his degree by running a small vegan catering business that tours various festivals in the UK in the summer.


Shagufta Zakir

Picture of a finalist for the Neil and Gina smith award

Shagufta currently studies Economics and Mathematics and is planning to pursue an MSc in these subjects.‌

Shagufta is currently the President of the Economics and Finance Society, leading the committee to organise events such as group study sessions. The Society also performs an important strategic role by involving students in the formation of a student-led support network.

Complementing this, Shagufta is also the student academic representative (StAR) of the Economics course, representing her peers. During her second year, she was elected by her fellow StARs as the HUMSS Faculty Representative to represent the needs of the faculty. She was also awarded the ‘Outstanding Student Contribution Award 2015’ by the KeeleSU.

Shagufta is a Senior Peer Mentor, helping both current students to be effective mentors as well as helping new students settle into Keele.

Shagufta was awarded the 'Shalimar Ward Memorial Prize 2015' by the University Senate for both academic performance in her second year along with her overall contribution towards the University community.


Richard Seymour

Picture of one of the finalists for the Neil and Gina student of the year award.

Richard is a mature student, arriving when he was 39 to study English and Psychology after a career as a jounalist for 15 years.

Richard's final year research project saw him partner up with Staffordshire Housing to look for a prevention for loneliness in older adults by means of reading poetry in groups. This has proved so successful that Staffordshire Housing wish to expand the project to all of their housing schemes and as a result he has been volunteering on a weekly basis to facilitate what they now call their Poetry Corner.

Richard has worked with both Student Services and the Psychology department championing mature students and working to find ways to improve the experience of mature students at Keele. Richard helped to set up and run the mature student society which is still going strong and would regulary volunteer in the holidays to present at events or organise social events.

Richard has also worked as a Keele Mentor, winning the Above and Beyond mentor of the year award