Zuzana Student of the Year
Zuzana is Student of the Year
Forth Valley College’s Student of the Year for 2018 won the award for her work helping to develop her classmates and youngsters interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.
Zuzana Paleckova (20), who is originally from Prague, but who now lives in Stirling, was presented with her award at the graduation ceremony held at Falkirk Town Hall on the evening of Tuesday 9 October.
Zuzana - who graduated with a HND Applied Biological Sciences - was presented with the top prize (sponsored by SQA) along with the Most Promising Student in the Department of Applied Science, Maths and Mechanical Engineering (sponsored by Falkirk Council).
There to see her all the way from Prague were he father Petr, her grandfather Jiri and her boyfriend Jakub Hovorka (all pictured).
A student on the innovative Integrated Degree Programme – a link between Forth Valley College and the University of Stirling – Zuzana spent the first two years of her course at college’s Falkirk Campus to complete her HND, before progressing on to the third year of her BSC degree in Applied Biological Sciences at university.
Zuzana, who taught the STEM Club to teenagers, tutored a first year degree student who started the course late and helped lecturers deliver science classes to high school pupils on the SCOTS course while studying for her own qualification, said: “I thought my heart had missed a beat when they said I had won the Student of the Year prize. I feel so honoured and happy and full of emotion, and also very proud to have won.
“My advice to other students would be to take any opportunity volunteer for extra projects that is offered to you at college as these will definitely be worth it in the end. Just go for it.”
More than 1000 students were eligible to graduate this year from Forth Valley College and 310 of them chose to collect their scrolls - 117 at the Stirling Castle ceremony on Thursday 11 October and 193 at Falkirk.
Barry Fisher, Director, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scotland spoke at Falkirk Town Hall, while guest speaker at the Stirling Castle event was Scotland’s Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science – Richard Lochhead.
The Alloa Bowmar Pipe Band were on hand to lead in the top table and guests of honour at both ceremonies.
Forth Valley College Principal Dr Ken Thomson said: “Zuzana has demonstrated tremendous qualities throughout her time at Forth Valley College and over the past year has gone above and beyond what has been expected of her. Not only has she reached the heights academically, but she has used her dedication to her industry to volunteer to tutor a fellow student who needed to catch up on various projects and helped lecturing staff deliver science subjects to school pupils on our SCOTS programme. And to think she has done this with English as her second language!
“Zuzana is an outstanding student and thoroughly deserves her Student of the Year award. She is a credit to herself, her family and to the College and we know she will continue to excel in her career.”