Rhod Gilbert and Jeremy Bowen amongst those honoured as Fellows at Aber

A TOTAL of eleven Fellows were honoured by Aberystwyth University during this year’s Graduation ceremonies which took place at the University’s Arts Centre from Monday 14th until Friday 18th July. What follows is an outline of each new Fellow.

Author, D Geraint Lewis 

D Geraint Lewis

D Geraint Lewis

Author, former Education and Children’s Librarian for Dyfed and Assistant Director of Education at Ceredigion County Council, D Geraint Lewis, has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Originally from Ynys-y-bwl in Cwm Clydach, he was educated at Aberystwyth University and is the author of Geiriadur Cynradd GomerY Llyfr BerfauPa Arddodiad?, Y Treigladur, and Geiriau Lletchwith.

He has been the Honorary Secretary of the Welsh Books Council since 1986 and was the winner in 1996 of the Tir na n-Og award for his dictionary Geiriadur Gomer yr Ifanc.

Mr Lewis was presented by Dr Mari Elin Jones, Director of the Centre for Welsh Language Services at Aberystwyth University, during the first of the 2014 graduation ceremonies which was held on Monday 14 July.

Atmospheric physicist, Professor John Harries 

Professor John Harries

Professor John Harries

Renowned atmospheric physicist, Professor John Harries, has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Wales’ first Chief Scientific Adviser (2010-2013), Professor Harries led the team that produced the first direct observational evidence of an increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect between 1970 and 1997.

He is a past President of the Royal Meteorological Society, and of the International Radiation Committee and previously a board member of the Natural Environment Research Council.

An Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Research Fellow at Imperial College, he is also Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union and a member of the American Meteorological Society.

Professor John Harries was presented as Fellow on Monday 14 July by Professor Andrew Evans, Head of the Department of Mathematics and Physics.

Journalist and television presenter, Jeremy Bowen 

Prominent Welsh journalist and television presenter, Jeremy Bowen has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Born in Cardiff, and a graduate of UCL and John Hopkins University, Jeremy Bowen joined the BBC in 1984.

A war correspondent for much of his career, he became the BBC’s Middle East correspondent in 1995 and was based in Jerusalem until 2000.

Since 2005 he has been the BBC’s Middle East Editor and has reported from more than 70 countries, often in the line of fire. While reporting from Kosovo in 1999 he was robbed at gunpoint by bandits.

In July 2013, while reporting for the BBC on the protests in Egypt, he was shot in the head. He was recently one of the few journalists inside Syria reporting on the crisis. @BowenBBC

Jeremy Bowen in currently reporting for the BBC from Gaza and was unable to attend the graduation ceremony in person. A video address by him, and recorded shortly before the ceremony, is available below:

Chairman of Sequoia Capital, Sir Michael Moritz 

Sir Michael Mortiz (right) and Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of Aberystwyth University

Sir Michael Mortiz (right) and Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of Aberystwyth University

The Cardiff-born venture capitalist and philanthropist, Sir Michael Moritz has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth.

Sir Michael is chairman of Sequoia Capital in California’s Silicon Valley where he has worked since 1986.

After studying history at Oxford University, he moved to the US and worked for a while at Time magazine before carving out a career as one of Silicon Valley’s most sought-after investors.

He is a former member of the board of directors of Google and his internet company investments include Google, Yahoo!, PayPal, Webvan, YouTube, eToys, and Zappos.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to promoting British economic interests and philanthropic work.

Sir Michael Moritz was presented by Professor Steve McGuire, Head of the School of Management and Business, on Tuesday 15 July.

Actor and Aberystwyth University alumnus, Rhodri Meilir 

Rhodri Meilir

Rhodri Meilir

Actor and Aberystwyth University alumnus, Rhodri Meilir has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

A graduate from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Rhodri has appeared in a number of popular television shows including playing the role of Alfie Butts in the long running BBC sitcom, My Family, ITV’s Afterlife and Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather on Sky One.

He has also featured in a number of films including The Baker, Kevin Allen’s Y Syrcas and appeared in the Doctor Who Christmas SpecialThe Runaway Bride.

Later this year, he will appear on cinema screens in Pathé Films’ new film Pride. He is well known on Welsh television for his roles in Y Pris, Caerdydd, Teulu, Tipyn o Stad and as Rapsgaliwn.

He received a Best Actor BAFTA Cymru nomination in 2013 for his role as Trefor in Gwlad yr Astra Gwyn. Rhodri was recently part of the National Theatre of Wales’ highly acclaimed Mametz.

Rhodri Meilir was presented by Dr Jamie Medhurst, Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at Aberystwyth University on Wednesday 16 July.

Playwright, director and producer, Ed Thomas

Ed Thomas

Ed Thomas

Playwright, director and producer, Ed Thomas, has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

A founder member and creative director of TV production company Fiction Factory, Ed Thomas has written, directed or produced more than 120 hours of award-winning drama across all genres.

His first play, House of America (1988) won numerous awards both nationally and internationally.

His other plays include East From the GantryFlowers of the Dead Red SeaSong From a Forgotten CityGas Station Angel and Stone City Blue.

He has also produced a number of drama programmes for S4C including Caerdydd, Y Pris, Pen Talar, Gwaith/Cartref, and most recentlyHinterland/Y Gwyll, a detective series produced in Welsh and English for S4C, BBC and distributed internationally by All3Media.

Much of Hinterland was filmed in and around the University and Ed was instrumental in establishing a number of placements for University students during its filming.

Ed Thomas was presented by Dr Kate Woodward of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies on Wednesday 16 July.

Comedian Rhod Gilbert

Elizabeth France, Rhod Gilbert and April McMahon, Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University

Elizabeth France, Vice President of Aberystwyth University, Rhod Gilbert and April McMahon, Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University

Stand-up comedian and TV and radio presenter, Rhod Gilbert, has been made a Fellow of Aberystwyth University today, Wednesday 16 July.

The son of two Aber alumi, Rhod Gilbert is best known for his comedy genius.

A former market researcher, his comedy career began in 2002. In the first 18 months of his career he was the first person in the UK to reach the finals of every major new talent competition and succeeded in scooping four awards.

In 2005, he was nominated for the Perrier Best Newcomer Awards and in 2008 was nominated for the main if.comedy award.

In 2010, Rhod fronted the BBC series Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience that saw him turn his hand to a variety of jobs.

He has been a regular contributor to a range of major comedy shows and now hosts the BBC Radio Wales’ Rhod Gilbert Show every Saturday morning.

Rhod Gilbert was presented by Professor Sarah Prescott, Director of the Institute of Literature, Languages & Creative Arts on Wednesday 16 July.

Leading rice expert, Dr John Sheehy

Dr John Sheehy (right) and Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of Aberystwyth University

Dr John Sheehy (right) and Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of Aberystwyth University

Emeritus Head of Applied Photosynthesis and Systems Modelling Laboratory at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Dr John Sheehy, has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

An alumnus of Aberystwyth University, Dr Sheehy has been a scientist leading multidisciplinary teams in the public sector specialising in the physiology of crops, their yield and the environment.

He pioneered a ground-breaking research program, assembling an international team of scientists to kick start a new evolution in rice and break the rice yield barrier by supercharging photosynthesis.

The initiative was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and, shortly after retiring, he was honoured with an OBE.

Dr John Sheehy was presented by Professor Iain Donnison from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences on Thursday 17 July.

Former US Chief Public Health Veterinarian, Professor Bonnie Buntain

Bonnie Buntain

Bonnie Buntain

Professor Bonnie Buntain, former Chief Public Health Veterinarian at the Food Safety and Inspection Service for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Professor Buntain is currently Assistant Dean Professor of Public Health at the University of Calgary in Canada.

At the USDA, Professor Buntain advised the Office of Field Operations of all veterinary issues regarding food safety, humane slaughter and handling and optimizing the use, retention and recruitment of public health veterinarians.

Professor Buntain received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in Animal Science from the University of Hawaii and obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1977 from Colorado State University.

Professor Buntain was presented by Professor Chris Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Academic Quality on Thursday 17 July.

Farmer, entrepreneur and founder of Castell Howell Foods, Brian Jones

Brian Jones

Brian Jones

West Wales farmer and entrepreneur, Brian Jones, who established Castell Howell Foods Ltd in the mid-1980s, has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Twenty years after it was established, Castell Howell has become firmly established as one of the country’s leading independent food wholesalers specialising in Welsh products and employing 400 staff and Mr Jones continues to lead the company as its Managing Director.

Castell Howell is one of IBERS’ industrial partners and supports the research and development of improving food quality and sustainable supply chains.

Brian is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society and currently President of the Welsh Charitables RFC and Carmarthen Quins RFC.

Brian Jones was be presented by Professor Nigel Scollan from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences on Thursday 17 July.

Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, Baroness Kay Andrews

Vice President, Dr Glyn Rowlands, and Baroness Kay Andrews

Dr Glyn Rowlands, Vice President of Aberystwyth University and Baroness Kay Andrews

Baroness Kay Andrews, Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, former Chair of English Heritage and Aberystwyth alumna, has been honoured as Fellow of Aberystwyth University.

Baroness Andrews graduated from Aberystwyth University with a BA in International Politics in 1966.

Following a period working as Research Clerk in the House of Commons where she specialised in science policy, social policy and education, she became a policy adviser on health and education policy to the then Leader of the Opposition, the Rt Hon Neil Kinnock (now Lord Kinnock) in 1985.

In 1992 she founded and became the first Director of the Foundation for Out of School Learning (Education Extra) a UK wide charity developing after school learning programmes for children and young people.

A working peer on the Labour benches in the House of Lords since 2000, Baroness Andrews was House of Lords Spokesman/Government whip on health and education (2003-2009), and House of Lords Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Planning at the Department of Communities and Local Government (2005-2009).

In 2009 she became the first woman Chair of English Heritage (2009-2013). She is the author of a recent report for the Welsh Government on Culture, Heritage and Poverty, and has also written books and articles on science policy, social policy and education. She is a Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords.

Baroness Kay Andrews was presented by Rebecca Davies, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Student and Staff Services, on Friday 18 July.