Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s UHI Student of the Year 2007
Derek MacLean from Inverness has been awarded the title of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s UHI Student of the Year.
The 21 year old is originally from Lewis but was brought up in Inverness where he studied at Charleston Academy. He came to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig immediately after he left school as he wanted to develop his Gaelic language skills and also support the diverse Gaelic culture. Derek is a very keen singer and he always had a strong bond to Gaelic culture before coming to the Isle of Skye.
“I came to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig after leaving school because I was interested in Gaelic but I wasn’t entirely sure what I would do” Derek continues, “I’m really happy to receive this prize and I have really enjoyed my time at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. I have had many opportunities whilst at the college that I might not have had anywhere else.”
Derek was chosen as the Sabhal Mòr representative because he was a highly enthusiastic student and was always willing to speak Gaelic. As well as studying and attending classes Derek was also a volunteer of several communities groups such as, the local drama group, Sradagan an after school club for Gaelic primary children and he was also involved in a local football team. As well as this he worked for a local company, Cànan from time to time and was a very active member of the community.
John Norman MacLeod, Head of Studies at Sabhal Mòr said; “"Derek deserves this award for his enthusiasm and willingness to participate in the daily life of the College whilst fully promoting Gaelic culture and heritage. Derek, who came to SMO straight from school, is a fine example amongst his peers and an excellent ambassador for both Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and UHI Millennium Institute."
Derek completed his degree in Gaelic and Media Studies this year and is now going on to do a Diploma in Gaelic Media, in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and Gaelic Media Services.
Before this however, he must go forward to represent Sabhal Mòr Ostaig against fifteen other nominees in the UHI wide competition next month where they will choose an overall Student of the Year 2007. Good luck Derek!