Outstanding PLUS Awards: Honourable Mentions 2022/23!

Outstanding PLUS Awards

The Outstanding PLUS Awards (OPA) recognise exceptional Bristol PLUS Award achievers who have gone above and beyond in their PLUS Award activity.

Whilst there can only be one winner for each of the eight categories, the judges awarded a number of honourable mentions to those shortlisted in each category.

With 114 nominations overall, the judging was tougher than ever, so a huge congratulations to everyone who received an honourable mention! Let’s meet them… 

Better World  

Brief: Tackle global challenges in a local or global context, making a better world in a big or small way.

Benjamin Reed – English and Philosophy (BA) 

Working as a Construction Worker alongside his studies, Benjamin tackled sustainability issues in construction.

Benjamin Reed

‘I made vital contributions towards a PassivHaus sustainable development project that intertwines exceptional design to produce an ultra-efficient and sustainable solution to modern building, demonstrating how the carbon footprint of regular construction can be reduced.’ 

Change Maker 

Brief: Create positive change in your community or workplace, by solving a problem or improving a process.

Phil Smith – Physics (PhD) 

As a rep on the student – staff liaison committee, Phil led action for better working conditions for the PGR community. 

‘I initiated a grassroots campaign to tackle the Cost of Living Crisis faced by Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs).

My campaign led to a successful boycott for better pay and conditions, benefitting PGRs across the entire University with increased stipends and hourly pay.’ 

Phil Smith

Civic Superstar 

Brief: Make a positive difference to the people you serve, by being a community hero in your neighbourhood.

Kola Thomas-Orogan – Medicine (MBChB) 

As a COVID-19 vaccinator, Kola worked to stop the spread of COVID-19, making a special effort to reach out to minority communities in Bristol.

Kola Thomas Orogan

‘I helped administer vaccines to the Bristol public, particularly ethnic minority communities who had lower uptake of the vaccine and were most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.’ 

Diverse Partnerships 

Brief: Collaborate with diverse groups to design inclusive solutions to problems.

Claudia Anthony – Psychology of Education BPS (MSc) 

As project manager for Teach For All, Claudia collaborated across her organisation and demonstrated inclusive problem solving. 

‘I fostered partnerships to create a more effective process of measuring Teach For All’s impact, by implementing a standard way of capturing learning experience data.’ 

Everyday Hero 

Brief: A reliable team player, inspiring others by bringing energy and enthusiasm to your work.

Laxman Yadav – Nuclear Science and Engineering (MSc) 

Working as a Resident Support Assistant at St. Monica Trust, Laxman showed dedication and enthusiasm in his role.

‘I support elderly residents who require assistance with their daily living activities.

I go above and beyond my role by providing emotional support and companionship, taking extra care to make residents feel special and cared for.’ 

Alice Simmonds – Management (International Business) (MSc) 

As a Car Park Marshal, Alice brought consistent positive energy to her role, uplifting the customers she interacted with.

‘I spread positivity during the festive period, going above and beyond for customers to ensure they had the best possible experience when visiting the shop.’ 

Alice Simmonds


Brief: Develop a new idea in response to a real-world problem.

Akshata Valsangkar – Medicine (MBChB) 

Akshata’s innovative social media ideas transformed the Medical Doctors’ Union presence on campus. 

Akshata Valsangkar

‘By creating a Bristol-specific social media account for the BMA (National Doctors’ Union) and designing a social media campaign, I’ve enabled the BMA to engage on campus in a new way.’ 


Brief: Demonstrate inner strength in overcoming personal challenges in pursuit of your PLUS Award.

Debby Olowu – Psychology with Innovation (MSci) 

Debby persevered with her Peer Navigator role at OTR (a mental health charity) during difficult times, allowing her inner strength to shine through.

‘I provided service chats and mental health support to young people and their parents.

Despite experiencing extreme burnout in my second term, I continued helping others at work, even successfully achieving a Level 2 AQA certificate in Adolescent Mental Health.’ 

Debby Olowu

Harry Liu – Electrical and Electronic Engineering (BEng) 

Harry took on the challenge of being a Headhunting Consultant Intern to face overcome his fears, showing his inner strength.

‘As a highly introverted individual, I took the initiative to push myself out of my comfort zone by becoming a headhunting consultant.

I faced my fears head-on, successfully overcame them and achieved an A in KPI at the end of my internship.’ 

Wellbeing Champion 

Brief: Improve the student experience or wellbeing of others in your community or workplace.

Mia Hite – Biology (BSc) 

Mia championed the wellbeing of students in the university community through her Peer Mentor role.

‘I have provided a nurturing and dependable form of support for new undergraduate students.

I encouraged my mentees to embrace familiar customs and traditions from their home culture whilst discovering new ones, making Bristol feel more like home.’ 


Well done to everyone who took part in the nominations this year, the judging panel were blown away by your outstanding contributions in your PLUS activities!  

Don’t miss… 

Check out these other posts in our OPA blog series

  • Meet the esteemed panel of judges for this year’s OPA (coming Monday 22 May) 

Currently completing your PLUS Award? 

All evidence must be logged by the 9 June deadline. Log into mycareer to stay on track. 

If you need additional guidance or support, email careers-plusaward@bristol.ac.uk and a friendly member of staff will be happy to help. 

Complete your PLUS Award 
Registered for the PLUS Award? Stay on track - log your evidence on mycareer by 9 June.