Director of Creative Cardiff Sara Pepper has won the Vice-Chancellor’s award for Outstanding Contribution to Cardiff University. 

Sara was recognised with the special award at the Celebrating Excellence ceremony, which took place  on Thursday, 14 November. 

Sara has worked at Cardiff University for more than 10 years, first at Cardiff Business School and then as Director of the Creative Economy Unit, developing Creative Cardiff from a concept into a network of more than 3000 members. 

Sara was a key driver in securing Clwstwr - the University’s first successful bid for a research council Industrial Strategy award and the largest award ever received by a Welsh university in the Arts and Humanities. She is  Chief Operating Officer of the £10 million R&D programme.

On awarding the accolade, Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “Sara’s commitment to the University’s innovation strategy and her belief in its value shine through in her inspirational leadership. These qualities create a level of confidence that leaves no doubt in my mind that her future achievements will be considerable.” 

Professor Justin Lewis, academic lead and co-founder of Creative Cardiff, said: “We're really proud of Sara and delighted to see her fantastic work recognised by the VC. She is a brilliant ambassador for the University. And her look of surprise when her name was announced was priceless!” 

Sara said: “I feel extremely honoured and proud to receive this award. It was such a surprise! I am very grateful to the Vice Chancellor for this recognition and to all of the brilliant and talented colleagues and contacts I have in my work that have enabled this to happen.”  

Another winner on the evening from the School of Journalism, Media and Culture was School Manager, Jo Marshall-Stevens, who won the Exceptional Enhancement of the Staff Experience award. Congratulations!