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Outstanding Contribution to UPSU Award 2020


Awarded to a group or individual who has demonstrated success or made a huge impact to UPSU throughout the year. 

The winner is...

James Hywel-Davies 

James carries out a huge range of commitments for UPSU. As Chair of UPC his aim this year was to encourage the sport’s social aspect for people not confident in competing. This included organising Give It A Go rides, taking the register and ensuring sessions run smoothyly as well as taking responsibility for charity events, such as the 12 hour turbo event twinned with a cake sale in September in the Roland Levinzky Building. 

In addition, he also helped organise and take part in a team for the Plymouth 10km. These charity events led to him taking responsibility for UPC’s endurance event in Cornwall in April. James also volunteers his time to take weekly road rides as a ‘ride leader’ to promote the club community, and hosts social runs in the evening as a member of the UPAC committee. James also organised BUCS trips to Derby and Edinburgh. 

“Further to the UPC and UPAC committees, James demonstrates his commitment as a Trustee on the Board of Trustees. He uses this opportunity to communicate the student voice to the board, and works to benefit the services of UPSU, and the experience of its staff and students.” 

As well as being a Trustee, James is also a Course Rep, and often attends staff-student meetings with faculty leaders to benefit the experience of those on his course and faculty students. The skills he has developed on his course led him to start the process of renovating the new SU cafe, where he volunteered time to produce a series of concepts and mood boards. James’ commitment to his roles can be seen in over 140 hours on the recognition scheme. 


The following individual was shortlisted for this award, read more about what they’ve achieved this year. 


Ropafadzo Mugadza 

Ropa is UPAD’s Showcase Coordinator and her commitment to the society is without bounds. She is described as the “champion of positivity within the society” and is in charge of organising the two biggest events of the society’s year, the Spring and Winter Showcase. These both require months of planning, budgeting and dedication: all of which Ropa does with ease and a smile on her face. As part of this, Ropa has been passionate about engaging with other societies to collaborate with the wider student community.  

In the first showcase, Ukelele and Acapella society both performed additionally. This was something that Ropa felt was important, as she wanted members to feel connected with other societies. Ropa is also a director in showcases, she balances her direction and organising roles with ease. 

“I genuinely think that without Ropa, our society would not be the inclusive and positive atmosphere that it now is. No one could do what Ropa does.” 

This is Ropa's fourth and final year as a committee member of the society and over the past four years she has gone above and beyond in her various roles, from Chair to Showcase Co-ordinator to Workshop Co-ordinator. She has always supported the society and its members, putting their values and priorities before her own to ensure a well working and happy society. Over the course of her time in this society she has engaged with many members both in and across the societies such as Ukelele, Tropical Island and A-Capella, building opportunities for collaboration and expanding the reach out across the SU community.  

“On top of all of this she has a brilliant sense of humour which always uplifts any member during a hard time. She has done more than we could of ever asked for her to do for the society, and we believe she deserves to have this outstanding effort recognized.”