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The award for Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Student of the Year at its graduation ceremony in Sleat on Skye earlier this month went to Shannon Maclean from Mull.
Shannon completed three years on the BA Gaelic and the Media degree course and then undertook the Diploma in Gaelic Media thereafter.
She was brought up in Tobermory and her mother hails from the west side of Lewis. She went through Gaelic-medium education at Salen Primary School and Tobermory High School.
Shannon joined other graduates, employees and guests at the event gathered to celebrate a wealth of achievement and success.
In total, 48 students graduated from the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture from the undergraduate and postgraduate programme which the college offers, varying from Cert HE, Diploma, BA, BA (Hons) and MSc. Three graduates were awarded first class degrees.
Chairman of the board of directors at SMO, Angus Macleod, addressed those present, telling them that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is unlike anywhere else.
‘It is always appropriate, and especially today as we celebrate another year of success at the college, to remember why we exist. As the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture in Scotland, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has a pivotal role in bringing about the revitalisation of Gaelic,’ he said.
‘We all witness here tonight the fruits of your hard work, your commitment and also the help and support you received from loved ones and friends, over and above the teaching staff at the college.
‘When you take your next step on your onward journey, and each step thereafter, be sure and use your Gaelic. It has value, and meaning, and its honour is always worthy of defending. Be proud of your language, of your community, of your culture and of yourselves – as sure as we are all proud of you.’
After completing the BA, Shannon knew that the TV course was the appropriate next step for her. It was the most challenging and busiest year, but she learned a great deal and got fantastic opportunities to work with industry experts throughout the year.
As part of the course, Shannon produced a 10-minute documentary programme about Janet Macdonald, from Mull. Janet used to teach on the college’s distance learning courses and has contributed much to Gaelic, especially in Mull and Iona.
On receiving her award, Shannon commented: ‘I am delighted I was chosen for this award. There are many diligent students at SMO each year and so it’s an honour to receive it.
‘The staff here have been so supportive and helpful through the years and I would like to especially thank Catriona Johnson and Morag Stewart who have encouraged me tirelessly. SMO is a really special place and I’m so thankful I got the chance to come here.’
Shannon is now on her second year of the diploma and is on work placement for 10 months where she will experience a variety of work across different companies.
Presently she is on placement with Young Films, on the Gaelic drama Bannan, where she is learning about editing and will further her
editing knowledge with MacTV, in Lewis, after Christmas.