St Andrews Student Leader of the Year Award

 Leader award header

The purpose of the “St Andrews Student Leader of the Year Award” is to recognise and celebrate the excellent examples of leadership shown by our students which made the biggest contribution to the growth and vitality of the University of St Andrews or the broader community. We recognise leadership in all its forms.

Nominations open 1st March - 1st April 2022

Who is eligible?

The Award is open to all matriculated students at the University of St Andrews, both undergraduates and postgraduates who have displayed peer leadership and self-leadership qualities during their university studies.


The winner will receive funding up to £300 to attend a personal development event of their choice and the award will figure on their degree transcript.

What are we looking for in successful candidates?

Applicants will be judged against criteria that include innovation and vision in their leadership activities, resilience and adaptability to new challenges, personal effectiveness, dedication to self-development, and working with others within the team and/or the broader community.

This is not an academic award. We welcome applications from a broad variety of leadership backgrounds – sports, student societies, charities, student enterprise, start-ups, both team members and team leaders.

The St Andrews Student Leader of the Year Award is designed to celebrate peer leadership and promote personal development.

Nomination and application process

All students are welcome to nominate themselves, or nominate a peer. Applications are now open! 

To nominate a peer, please complete this short form before 28th March. The nominee will then be contacted and invited to fill in an application.

To nominate yourself or if you have been nominated by someone else,  fill in an application form on My Saint.  Click on 'My Applications'; under 'e:Vision applications', click on Scholarships and funding to access the scholarships and funding catalogue.  Select 'Projects and Initiatives' for the 'Award type' to bring up the Leader of the Year Application.  If you have any problems with the application process please contact

2021/2022 Winner 

We would like to congratulate all applicants – especially our finalists and winner – for their incredible achievements this year and for the contributions they make to our community. 

Salma Ali 

Salma is a final year Biochemistry student and our 2022 winner, who has evidenced her outstanding leadership skills through multiple projects and initiatives over her time at St Andrews. Most notable is Salma’s commitment to diversity and equality and her vision to dismantle structural racism. This vision was implemented through co-founding and chairing the Biology Anti-Racism Committee (BARC), which was the first collective pursuing racial justice at the university.

Under Salma’s leadership, BARC initiatives included the BAME microgrant scheme, open forums, admissions projects and practices, a staff guide to Decolonising Biosciences and lectures and seminars with topics including racism, colonialism, and Social Responsibility in science. Salma has demonstrated exceptional originality, empathy, and excellent communication skills. Salma is a highly deserving winner of the Student Leader of the Year 2022 Award and we congratulate her on this fantastic achievement. 

2021/22 Finalists 

Lauren Cusick

Lauren is a fourth-year student studying Arabic and Middle East Studies. Working with a local organisation, Younglife International, Lauren has inspired and brought adventure to the lives of young adults in North-East Fife. This included coordinating student volunteers to create innovative ways to support local high school students, such as creating an adventure camp and multiple other activities. Lauren has worked tirelessly through the pandemic to engage the local community, especially those from diverse economic backgrounds.

Emma MacAndrews

Emma is a fourth-year Modern History student. She has become a SLOTYA finalist through leading in three different student groups: SolidariTee St Andrews, an international student-led organisation working to raise funds to provide essential legal aid to refugees; the Disabled Students’ Network, a newly formed subcommittee of the Students’ Association which advocates for disabled students; and St Can-drews, a team of students which fundraises for and organises donations to local food banks in St Andrews and the wider Fife area. The judges were highly impressed by Emma’s vision in supporting both her local and international community.

Catherine Mullner

Catherine is a third-year undergraduate student pursuing a joint honours degree in the Schools of Comparative Literature and English. As President of the School of English this academic year, Catherine has worked to implement new policies and innovative projects in fields touching upon careers support, EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity), and student wellbeing to create sustainable positive change for her school. Beyond being President of the School of English, Catherine also served as President of Women for Women International St Andrews this academic year and is the Social Media and Operations Coordinator for Enterprise Education in the University of St Andrews’ Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development (CEED). Catherine has evidenced her excellent resilience in her continued endeavour to improve the student experience at St Andrews. 

2020/21 Winner: Elise Lenzi 

2020/21 Finalists: Abi Whitefield, Ananya Jain, Chloe Fielding, Deanna Coleman