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Graduate Student and Alumni Volunteer of the Year

We are pleased to announce the Allstate NI Queen's Student of the Year 2022


Natasha Oviedo, a postgraduate student in the School of History, Anthropology, Politics and Philosophy, has been named the Allstate NI Queen’s Student of the Year 2022. Natasha – who is currently completing a MA in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice – has been described as a “true role model for her fellow students” for her work supporting newcomers to Northern Ireland over the past two years.

Read Natasha's story
Man stands in a dark grey suit and red tie
Bill Neely
Allstate NI Queen’s Graduate of the Year 2021

BA Modern History and English (1981) alumnus and broadcast journalist, Bill Neely, was named the 2021 Allstate NI Queen’s Graduate of the Year in recognition of his services to broadcast journalism. Bill was formerly Chief Global Correspondent for NBC News from 2014-2021, prior to which he worked at ITN (ITV News) for 25 years. During his illustrious career, he has won four coveted BAFTA awards and was twice nominated as Broadcasting Journalist of the Year, winning the award in 2011.

Read Bill’s story

Listen to Bill on the latest episode of Best of Belfast.

Man standing under a tree in rowing blazer
Andy Wells
Allstate NI Queen’s Alumni Volunteer of the Year 2021

Highlighting a life of volunteering, Law alumnus (1974) Andy Wells was named Allstate NI Queen’s Alumni Volunteer of the Year. Andy’s achievement follows years of volunteering contributions to Queen’s Boat Clubs. He took up rowing in 1970, while at Queen’s, and subsequently became Vice-Captain of the Queen’s Boat Club in the early 70s. Since then, he has dedicated over 50 years to Queen’s rowing and has shaped the culture and progression of the clubs at Queen’s.

Read Andy's story
Two students from the GP society put their arms around each other and smile
Student impact and contributions
Student of the Year Award

Queen’s students are distinguished alumni in the making. Every year thousands of individual students make a positive impact by participating in community service projects, internships and volunteer activities both on and off campus. Those nominated for the Student of the Year Award should have made a significant contribution to the life of the University, or to the lives of others, during the previous 12 months. In the past, this award has gone to individuals for their volunteer work or their entrepreneurism and to groups of law, medical and engineering students for initiatives and breakthroughs in their respective fields.

Previous Winners
Graduate of the Year trophy is awarded to Lisa McGee
Making a difference after graduation
Graduate of the Year Award

Nominations for individuals or groups should be made for those who have made substantial contributions to the arts, sciences, business, sporting, public or academic life. Entries for those who have made a significant contribution to the lives of others, or to the life of the University, are considered. The recipient(s) will be awarded at the annual black tie Charter Day Dinner, organised by the Queen’s Graduates’ Association. The judging panel consists of representatives of the QGA, the University, and the Students' Union. Judges stress that academic qualifications, high office or fame are not prerequisites to winning; nominations that are novel, courageous, innovative and bold are encouraged.

Previous Winners
Sean Hunt accepts his award
Enhancing the lives of others
Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award

An Award will be made to the graduate or group of graduates who has (have) committed time and expertise to the University in support of its goals, to advance the student experience, enhance the University’s reputation, support student recruitment activities, improve the employability of our students, support our alumni community, or to assist in governance. The Alumni Volunteer of the Year may have mentored staff or students, provided student placements or projects, supported the University, association or committee governance, written graduate profiles, spoken at Queen’s events, organised alumni events and activities or otherwise supported the University with a substantial gift of time. A selection criteria will be used by the panel to assess all nominations.

Previous Winners
More information
Contact Andy Nisbet Friel