A BURSARY winner from Cardenden is back home after taking "the biggest step of my life" on a once in a lifetime trip to America.

Niamh Hogwood recently returned from a historic building design internship after being one of two students to receive a George Lauder Bursary award.

The awards, offered through Adam Smith Scholarships, part of Fife College, are generously funded by the family of George Lauder and the St. Andrews Society of the State of New York, which has fully supported both students’ stays including food, travel, and accommodation.

William Garner, George Lauder’s great-great grandson played a pivotal role in planning and arranging the details for both students’ visits, ensuring they had the most enjoyable and memorable time while maximising every opportunity of their stay.

Both students were awarded the scholarship opportunity at the end of 2019, however, their trips were postponed due to Covid and travel restrictions.

Niamh studied BA (Hons) Creative Enterprise at the college, and graduated this year.

She also enrolled in the HND 3D Design with Architecture course before going on to do the Creative Enterprise degree programme, and recently returned from a three-month trip to Baltimore where she produced a range of computer aided designs and videos to support staff at Mount Clare Museum House.

Baltimore’s first museum house, Mount Clare House is the oldest example of grand Georgian architecture in the city and Niamh’s work will be used to help explain to visitors the evolution and interesting history of the house

Niamh said: “Having never travelled on my own before, I was delighted to receive the George Lauder Bursary – this gave me an opportunity to take the biggest step of my life. I have come home as a completely different person with much more confidence.

"Working at Mount Clare Museum House was an incredible experience as I was able to use the skills that I learned through Fife College in 3D Design to contribute materials for the grand re-opening which I was lucky enough to attend just before I departed back to Scotland.

"I am so grateful to everyone who looked after me whilst I was there and welcomed me into their family and homes.”

The award of the George Lauder Bursary celebrates the vision of George Lauder, the Uncle of Andrew Carnegie, in promoting the foundation in 1899 of a Further Education College in Dunfermline, now known as Fife College.

Andrew Carnegie also donated funds to the Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York which supports the Bursary.

Lyn Gold, Scholarship and Alumni Engagement Lead at Fife College, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have this amazing scholarship as part of the range of scholarships and funding we offer to Fife College students.

“This is a truly life-changing opportunity that Abby (Abigail-Rose Cloete) and Niamh have thoroughly enjoyed and during which they have been fantastic ambassadors for Fife College.

“We are enormously grateful to William Garner, the Lauder family and the St Andrew’s Society of the State of New York for their continued support of this scholarship.

“We are currently on the lookout for two more lucky students to follow in Abby and Niamh's footsteps in summer 2023 – applications are now open for students studying HND level and above, as well as former students who have left us within the last four years.”

Adam Smith Scholarships, part of Fife College, is one of the largest college scholarship programmes in Scotland, awarding thousands of pounds each year to support students, develop opportunities, open doors and transform lives.

For further information about scholarships, including details on how to apply for the 2023 George Lauder Bursary, visit the Adam Smith Scholarships page on the Fife College website or email: scholarships@fife.ac.uk.

Applications for the 2023 George Lauder Bursary close on Monday, December 12.