This time of year affords many opportunities for reflection. For staff it is time to consider the academic year past, both in a practical way through the revision of handbooks and development of teaching material, and in a more holistic way taking stock of the many highlights and successes of the year. For students it is a time of significant change with the opportunity to reflect on the experiences gained through the programme and on placements before moving forward.
One of the most joyful tasks in this period is the opportunity to consider nominations for the three prizes we have the good fortune to be able to award with the support of our funders. It is always a very difficult decision, but it is a great pleasure to announce this year’s winners:
Tabitha Gibbs is awarded the Certificate of Excellence by the Weavers’ Society of Anderston. The Weavers’ are part of the Trades House of Glasgow and support us each year by offering a prize to one of the students to mark overall progress at the end of the first year.
Erinn Dunlea, is awarded the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, one of the oldest of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The award, f is presented to a second year student in recognition of excellence.
Sarah Bernardo Souza Almeida is awarded the Karen Finch Prize. Established in 2015 to mark the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Textile Conservation Centre by Karen Finch the prize is presented to a second-year student in recognition of excellence.
It was a lovely surprise for Sarah to receive her award from Textile Conservation Foundation Chair, Clare Meredith, during a reception organised by Sally Tuckett to mark the 10th Anniversary of the MLitt Dress and Textile Histories programme at the University of Glasgow. The celebrations started with a fabulous, entertaining and insightful talk by Barbara Burnam, independent historian who works on dress and textiles of the early modern and modern period in Britain and has had a long association with the programme, and the reception that followed on was equally enjoyable, with free-flowing wine, a fittingly giant cake and a great atmosphere.
To the delight of all her peers and tutors, a further prize was awarded by Barbara to Dress and Textile History student Sydney Everett for the best essay of the academic year.
Attending a summer graduation was a further and very special surprise. Organised by the University as an opportunity for students who had graduated during lockdown, we were absolutely delighted that Anaka Asokan, Vivienne Chen and Isabella Rossi from the 2018-2020 cohort decided to attend. It was an absolute treat to be able to celebrate their success and we were delighted that they came. Although the ceremony was slightly smaller than usual, it lacked none of the grandeur and was a fitting tribute to the students’ hard work, commitment and determination under the most challenging and unprecedented of circumstances. The claps and cheers were even louder than usual and there was a genuine and tangible sense of mutual appreciation, respect, gratitude and admiration amongst all who attended. It was also a great opportunity to catch-up on news from the intervening 2 years, to hear about their successes beyond the programme as emerging conservators and to share news about developments on the programme. Congratulations all!
The next 2 blogs will continue the theme of reflection ahead of the start of a new academic year, with pieces from Joanne Hackett looking back on her first year with the programme and Beth Gillions reflecting on her experiences one year on from graduation.