Award for Outstanding Alumni

Nottingham Trent University introduced its Award for Outstanding Alumni in 2007. The award recognises the vital role former students play in raising the University's profile through their distinctive attainments, professional success and contributions to society.


Award for Outstanding Alumni Recipients RSS Feed
2019: Jane Donald (BA Hons Graphic Design 2003)

Jane DonaldJane Donald is a global tour manager and production co-ordinator in the music industry. She has worked with some of the highest profile artisits of our time.

After her graduation in 2003 Jane became a design and project manager for Frances Lincoln Publishers in London. In 2009, she took on production assistant duties for supergroup Them Crooked Vultures. Subsequent work with the Sound City Players took her to LA, New York, the SUndance Film Festival, and SXSW.

Jane has assisted Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield and Rick Nielsen. She has been on the road with Mariah Carey, Blink 182 and Tenacious D, and worked with the likes of Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Ariana Grande. She has taken Foo Fighters through four full internaitonal touring and promotion cycles across six continents.

In 2019 alone Jane has tour managed Sara Bareilles and Miley Cyrus, and has recently returned from supervising Childish Gambino's Australian tour and American festival dates.

2019: Dr Anino Emuwa (DBA 2016)

Dr Anino EmuwaDr Anino Emuwa is an international management consultant with over 25 years' professional experience in Europe and Africa. A former corporate banker with Citibank, Anino is the founder and Managing Director of Avandis Consulting in France and Nigeria.

Anino is a highly respected advocate for women in business leadership. She has been invited to speak at Facebook, ING, the French National Assembly, the Institute of Directors, the University of Cambridge, and the London School of Economics.

She is an experienced non-executive director, a Fellow the Chartered Management Institute, and a member of the Institute of Directors. She is also an AACSB-certified business school instructor, and an Alumni
Fellow of Nottingham Business School.

Anino has lived and worked in six countries in Europe and Africa, and is bilingual in English and French.  The impact of her work has been felt by thousands of entrepreneurs and business people worldwide.

2019: Mike Rayment (BA Hons International Relations and Global Politics 2006)

Mike RaymentMike Rayment is a freelance TV producer who specialises in comedy entertainment, studio comedy, and edit producing.

After graduation Mike worked as a runner on X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and PhoneShop; as a researcher on QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Room 101; and as an assistant producer on shows with Jonathan Ross, Alan Carr and Russell Howard.

Mike has devised and produced tasks on BBC1's The Apprentice, written scripts for Sky One's A League of Their Own, and edit-produced
packages for Channel 4's Great British Bake Off.

He currently writes and produces for Have I Got News for You on BBC1 for Hat Trick Productions, and The Big Narstie Show on Channel 4 for Expectation Entertainment.  He also supports Nottingham Trent University by volunteering his time as an Alumni Fellow.

2019: Daniel Hill (BA Hons Business Studies 2009)

Daniel HillDaniel Hill is an investor, developer and serial entrepreneur. He is the founder and chairman of Pulse Trading Group, an award-winning consortium of ten privately owned commercial businesses.

His companies include Multi-Let UK and Pulse Property Network (PPN), which handle the managment and development of commercial and residential property around the UK for sophisticated investors and individuals of high net worth.

Specialising in the multi-let market, Daniel's businesses currently operate over 500 house-in-multiple-occupation (HMO) rooms in the Midlands.  They have expanded across the country, with new offices in Luton, Bedford, Leeds and Milton Keynes.

2018: Elizabeth Carr (BA Hons English 2007)

Lizzie CarrIn May 2016, Lizzie Carr – also known as Lizzie Outside – became the first person to paddleboard the length of England’s connected waterways. Alone and unsupported, she completed the 400-mile journey in 22 days, plotting over 2,000 photos of the plastic pollution she encountered. 

One year on, Lizzie became the first woman to stand-up paddleboard across the English Channel solo. Her record-breaking crossing took seven hours, and drew attention to the bigger story of plastic pollution in our oceans. Her social media channels feature photos and videos from her adventures, keeping her followers up to date with every challenge she undertakes.

In July 2018 Lizzie launched #PlasticPatrol – a nationwide campaign to rid our waterways of plastic pollution. Around 80% of marine debris comes from inland sources, so her mission is to combat the global plastic crisis by stopping the problem at its source in the canals and rivers she knows so well.

2018: Bethan Chilton (BA Hons Fashion and Textiles Management 2008)

After graduation Beth secured work at a fashion industry start-up, and thanks to the practical and creative skills developed on her course, she was able to help it grow into a successful business. Bolstered by this experience of running a small company, Beth identified a gap in the market for beautifully designed occasionwear at affordable prices, and set up the fashion label Hope and Ivy with her business partner Sarah Sleightholm.

Determined to expand, Beth and Sarah applied to Dragon’s Den and pitched their idea for an e-commerce site. They left the Den with £78,000 and the backing of “Dragons” Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones. Today Hope and Ivy products are sold all over the world by large fashion retailers and independent boutiques. In just three years, their annual turnover has surpassed an impressive £2 million.  

2017: Umamaheshwaran Panneerselvam (MRes Applied Biosciences 2010)

Umamaheshwaran PanneerselvamUmamaheshwaran Panneerselvam (MRes Applied Biosciences 2010) risked his life to save more than 500 lives across the city of Chennai and provided food and shelter to more than 3,000 people, after heavy flooding hit the area in 2015.

Chennai was submerged in high levels of water during the floods of 2015 and official help from the state government and the army was delayed for weeks. Umamaheshwaran and his friends decided to take action and set up a ‘help hub’ in his home. Using social media they organised a rescue team consisting of swimmers and fishermen. The rescue team collected food and water from all over India and they swam across the water-clogged rivers to distribute it. They moved disabled children, the elderly and hospital patients and liaised with other cities to find medical supplies. With the help of local community leaders and businessmen, Umamaheshwaran arranged shelters for all over Tamil Nadu and relocated those affected by the floods.

Since leaving university, Umamaheshwaran has made himself a career in the mainstream media and now works for News7 Tamil. He has also worked as a political analyst and social media strategist for various political parties in India.

Umamaheshwaran said: “To receive a prestigious award from the university which has made me who I am today, will push me to do more service. I feel this award will inspire people back home to help others. I owe everything to NTU. The University broadened my horizons and more than education, I took with me a paradigm shift from an introvert into an open and outspoken social worker.”

2016: Jon Burgerman (BA Hons Fine Art 2001)

Jon BurgermanJon Burgerman (BA Hons Fine Art 2001) is a global leader in the popular 'doodle' art style.

Known for his instantly recognisable pop-art cartoon aesthetic, his works exist across a multitude of forms including canvases, large-scale murals, sculpture, toys, colouring books and more. His work is exhibited internationally and features in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and Science Museum, London. 

In 2008 Jon first entered the public consciousness when his 300 page monograph - Pens Are My Friends - was published by IdN. In the same year he appeared on BBC TV show Blue Peter to create a mural 'doodle' live on set. He has won awards and collaborated with numerous global household brands that include Samsung, Pepsi, CocaCola, Nike, Sony, Sky, BBC and more.

In 2010, he relocated to New York to develop his practice and in 2015 he exhibited work in the White House. Today Jon regularly performs at events, conferences and universities internationally, delivering keynote lectures and running creative workshops.

Jon said: “I’m extremely humbled and honoured. NTU pointed me in the right direction and geared me up to enter ‘the real world’. I don’t really feel like I deserve an award, but in stopping and thinking about the last 15 years, reflecting on why I might be given such an honour from the University, I realise I’ve actually gone quite far. It’s great and I’m very thankful.”

2015: Emily Macaulay (BA Hons Criminology 2003)

Emily MacaulayEmily received an MBE in 2014 for her work as chair of the Devon and Cornwall Gay Police Association (GPA). This involved leading ground-breaking activities to improve equal opportunities within the service as well as instigating the Visible and Everywhere campaign to tackle isolation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues.

Emily, who was chair of the Devon and Cornwall GPA for six years, held several roles within criminal justice until 2013. These included engagement and volunteers officer for the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall; community engagement lead for the Devon and Cornwall Police Authority; and community justice business analyst for the Devon and Cornwall Criminal Justice Board.

Emily was involved with the LGBT Society during her time at NTU and continues to work with the University to engage students in relation to LGBT issues and to support course curriculum development within the School of Social Sciences.

Emily, who is currently senior supervisor for operations at Exeter Library, said: "I am thrilled and shocked to hear I am the 2015 Alumna of the Year. There are so many successful people that have graduated from NTU that are making a difference in our world and I feel humbled to be considered worthy of such an award.

"My time at University was hugely important to me and very formative. Beyond the academic, being involved in societies and feeling like part of a huge community was an experience that I will forever hold close to my heart."

2014: Amerdeep Somal (LLB Hons Laws 1988)

Amerdeep SomalAmerdeep Somal was the first woman from her family to go to university, determined to pursue her dream of becoming a lawyer despite what cultural expectations dictated for her.

After graduating, Amerdeep worked in private practice and then the Crown Prosecution Service, before moving to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for ten years as a commissioner and taking a lead on gender abuse and domestic violence. Amerdeep Somal is currently the independent assessor to the board of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). 

Amerdeep said: "Nottingham Law School was an amazing springboard. Not only did it provide a fantastic academic education that led on to a diverse and enriching career, it also provided wonderful opportunities in drama and debating which without a doubt stimulated my passions for human rights which have been a core part of my life ever since. I could not have become the person I am without Nottingham Trent University and the inspirational teaching it gave me."

Amerdeep now also sits on the Board of Nursing and Midwifery and has received numerous awards for her work on tackling domestic violence, including the Asian Woman of Achievement award.

2013: Joe Sargison (PGCE 2004)

Joe Sargison is Alumnus of the Year 2013Joe Sargison (PGCE 2004) set up Balls to Poverty in 2004 following a trip to Johannesburg, where he found a group of township children playing football with a bunch of rags.  He gave them a football and was astounded by the effect such a simple gesture had on them.

Now, almost ten years later, Balls to Poverty has raised more than £275,000, held 800 education workshops for South African and Ugandan coaches, and handed out more than 28,000 footballs and rugby balls to South African and Ugandan children. It has won praise for the way it has used sport to help steer youngsters away from crime and drug abuse and also offers regular coaching for more than 20,000 children in Nottingham.

He said: "Sports coaching is a powerful tool which can help steer young people away from issues like crime, gangs and drug abuse. In fact, Western Cape Province authorities in South Africa attribute some of their reduced crime figures to the influence of Balls to Poverty.”

He added:  "It's great to be recognised by Nottingham Trent University where my teaching career began”.

2012: Matt Wallace (BA Hons Communication Studies 2002)

Matt WallaceGiving up a full time job, fundraiser Matt Wallace set out in September 2011 and walked over 1,500 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End via 16 cancer research centres. So far he has raised almost £25,000 for Cancer Research UK.

During his Where's Wallace? journey he walked around 16 miles a day for six months, visiting all of Cancer Research UK's dedicated research centres along the way where he filmed a series of short videos about the work undertaken at each one. After completing his journey, Matt was invited to take part in lighting a beacon at Scafell Pike for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and also received the Cancer Research Flame of Hope Award for Innovation.

Matt has been an outstanding ambassador for NTU since his graduation in 2002. He was President of the NTU Students' Union, and later joined NTU as Student Communications Officer, then Press Officer. He gave up his job on his 30th birthday to undertake his ambitious task.

Matt said: "NTU graduates take away much more than an academic qualification when they leave. I know that I became the sum of all my experiences along the way. I'm everything that the university helped me to learn inside and outside of the lecture theatre and I'm every opportunity I took to try something new. I'm very lucky to have witnessed tens of thousands more students graduate, each one as proud as me to be an alumnus."

2011: Air Marshal Sir Barry "Baz" North (HND Business Studies 1981)

Air Vice-Marshal Baz North (© Crown Copyright)

Baz is the Assistant Chief of the Air Staff for the RAF. He joined the RAF in January 1982. Highlights of his outstanding 30-year service include commanding the UK response to the flood relief operation in Mozambique, working with the Chief of Defence staff during the break-up of the Soviet Union, acting as Aide-de-Camp to the Queen and flying with the Red Arrows as their Air Officer Commanding.

Baz's service has gained him the MBE and OBE, and he has also received a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the 2006 Operational Honours List following his last overseas post commanding all UK air operations in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. Now based at the Ministry of Defence, he delivers air policy advice to the Secretary of State, and coordinates the RAF's implementation of the changes falling from the Strategic Defence and Security Review and the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Baz said: "When I left in 1981, I never imagined that I might be considered for such recognition in future. Receipt of this magnificent award serves to demonstrate to current and future students how they too can capitalise throughout their life on the grounding that they receive at Nottingham Trent University."

Note:  In April 2013 Baz was promoted to Air Marshal and became the Air Member for Personnel and Capability. He received the Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) in the 2015 New Year's Honours List.

2010: Paul Kenyon (BA Hons Social Sciences 1987)

Paul Kenyon

Paul joined the BBC as a producer in local radio and went on to be a political reporter for BBC TV in Southampton. He was eventually given his own investigative series on BBC1 called Kenyon Confronts and had his first experience with Panorama in 1999. Since then Paul's had some extraordinary experiences – being shot at in a military helicopter whilst investigating drug cartels in Colombia; exposing child labour in garment factories in Cambodia; he's even faked his own death and funeral in Haiti to expose a gang of fraudsters.

Paul said: "I am extremely touched to be given this award. Nottingham Trent University was inspirational to me. It encouraged me to think freely and creatively and to constantly question authority - all valuable qualities for a journalist. Some of the books I had to read in Nottingham 25 years ago I still re-read today, taking them around the world and always finding something fresh and insightful. I've been fortunate in arriving at a career I love and I have to thank Nottingham Trent University for helping me get here."

Note: Paul won a BAFTA in 2012 for his panorama Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed.

2009: Chris Furber (BSc Hons Sport (Administration and Science) 1999)

Chris Furber (left) with athlete Darren Kenny

Since taking on the role of Lead Coach for the British Para-Cycling Squad in 2006, Chris Furber has led the team through three World Championships and a Paralympic Games, earning an incredible 50 gold medals along the way - including 17 golds and three silver at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

Chris said: "I'm really very lucky to be working in a job that I love and that I'm very passionate about. My time at Nottingham Trent University set me on a path to playing a part in the success that British Para-Cycling has earned in the past few years. To be recognised for these
achievements by the University is a real honour."

Note: In May 2013 Chris was appointed the National Performance Director - Para-Swimming.

2008: Louise Thomas (BSc Hons Sport (Administration and Science) 1988)

Louise Holland

Race for Life, the annual women-only 5k run in which thousands of participants raise millions for Cancer Research UK, wouldn't be what it is today without Louise Thomas (formerly known as Louise Holland). With her help and inspiration it is estimated that, since it began, Race for Life has raised over £300 million to support pioneering work in the fight against cancer.

Louise said: "I feel honoured, excited and privileged to receive this award - especially as it's all come about because I'm simply doing a job I love."

2007: Simon Starling (BA Hons Photography 1990)

Simon Starling

Celebrated artist and 2005 Turner Prize winner, Simon has made his name as an artist fascinated by the processes involved in transforming one object or substance into another. In solo exhibitions worldwide, he has showcased installations and pilgrimage-like journeys highlighting ideas about nature, technology, economics, modernity and mass production.

Simon said: "Winning the award was complete surprise, but a very welcome one. I have been living outside Britain for some years now and it came as a bit of a shock that I was still on the map in Nottingham. I feel I was lucky to be part of an interesting group of people who studied photography there in the late 1980s."

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