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AN inspirational Moray graduate has been recognised with UHI Moray’s Student of the Year award.

Salome Winkler was named Student of the Year at UHI Moray. Picture: Beth Taylor
Salome Winkler was named Student of the Year at UHI Moray. Picture: Beth Taylor

Salome Winkler, a dedicated student from Portgordon, received the award UHI Moray’s graduation ceremony on Friday (October 6). The 23-year-old crossed the stage at the afternoon ceremony and received her honours degree in Sport and Fitness – which she completed despite facing life-changing health challenges throughout her academic journey.

Salome began studying at Moray College in 2015, when she joined the schools program studying Sport and Fitness at level 4 and her passion for the subject led her to continue studying to pursue a degree in the same field. However, in 2020, Salome’s life took an unexpected turn when she began to have seizures and was diagnosed with a right temporal mesial lesion, a brain tumour which caused her to become unwell.

These seizures had a profound impact on Salome, as her near weekly seizures often left her exhausted and made it difficult for her to attend college, concentrate and complete tasks.

However, despite these challenges Salome was determine to continue her studies and even postponed her surgery to remove the tumour while she completed her degree.

She said: “The support of my brilliant lecturers made such a difference. They were really good and were always there to help, I don’t think I would have been able to finish my degree without them and the support from my family.

“I’m just really happy to graduate, I don’t regret postponing the surgery. I’m happy that I finished and managed to get my degree.”

Salome is now waiting for a new surgery date but plans to continue studying to become a physiotherapist or a P.E teacher once she has completed her recovery – which could be up to a year long.

Reflecting on her experience Salome said: “Just because you have an illness, it doesn’t mean that you can’t complete or achieve something. With the right support you can still do it, there are always ways to achieve and it doesn’t have to limit you.”

READ MORE: UHI Moray graduates are celebrated at packed Elgin Town Hall event


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