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Graduates celebrate success at ARU alumni awards

Published: 29 April 2022 at 13:00

Alumni awards

Anglia Ruskin toasts the achievements of its former students at annual event

Former Anglia Ruskin University students who have achieved success and excellence in their careers and lives since graduating came together for an awards ceremony last night (Thursday, 28 April).

The annual Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Awards took place at ARU’s Chelmsford campus – the first time they had been held in person since 2018.

The event included seven award categories, which highlighted the excellent achievements of ARU graduates in their respective fields.

The Alumni Sustainable Champion Award was won by 29-year-old Steven Allain, whose academic work has focused on the field of herpetology. With almost half of all amphibian species and a quarter of reptiles threatened with extinction, Steven has made it his mission to help raise awareness and change the public’s perception of these animals.

Steven sits on the Council of the British Herpetological Society and is an advisory committee member for the non-profit Save the Snakes. He has been featured in the BBC Wildlife Magazine thanks to his outreach and conservation work.

The Alumni Contribution to Culture Award went to 28-year-old Ricardo P. Lloyd, who is considered one of the fastest rising acting talents in the UK. A Masters in Business Administration graduate, Ricardo had to fight hard to overcome pressures around him when growing up, and used acting as an escape. His determination to rise above his circumstances has led to his promising career.

Jefferson Webster was named the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year. The 31-year-old is the co-founder and chief visionary officer of Hunter & Gather, a brand focused on spreading the word about eating clean, healthy food for optimal health and wellness. The company has achieved a gross sales value of £6million since its launch in 2017.

The Alumni Rising Star Award, which recognises people who have distinguished themselves professionally and graduated five years ago or less, was won by Jodie Howard who, since graduating from her Illustration degree in 2020, has worked with clients including Gucci, Dorling Kindersley Publishing and Chillhop Music. Jodie has also worked with mental health charity Unreal to raise awareness of Derealisation; illustrating the dissociative disorder which is often incredibly hard to describe with words alone. This project, along with her self-published book Habitats, was longlisted at the World Illustration Awards.

The Alumni Public Service Award was won by Professor Roy Sleator, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biological Sciences at Munster Technological University, Ireland. As well as an MBA in Educational Leadership and Management from ARU, Roy also holds a BSc in Microbiology, an MA in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and a PhD in Molecular Biology from University College Cork, as well as a PGCert in Bioinformatics from The University of Manchester and a DSc (higher decorate on published work) from the National University of Ireland.

Jose Trinidad Molina Casares was named the winner of the Alumni Voluntary Service Award. Jose has worked in tourism for 20 years in a third-generation family company. A quarter of a century ago, Jose founded Merida Food Bank, and works with grocery stores and manufacturers to deliver quality food, that would otherwise be thrown away, to Mayan communities. After completing his MBA at ARU, Jose began to apply strategy and business concepts to the foodbank that now serves more than 30,000 people in Yucatán, Mexico.

The Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a graduate who has distinguished themselves for their excellent and sustained contributions and achievements in their chosen field over their professional lifetime, was won by Lois Brown.

Lois, who lives in Canada, has taught Medical Physics and Imaging to imaging technologists in Canada for more than 50 years. Lois has co-authored seven editions of a Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging textbook, which is sold throughout the world. Despite being 77, Lois believes lifelong learning is key and has no plans to retire.

Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“It was wonderful to once again be able to celebrate the successes of our graduates in person at our Chelmsford campus.

“It was a privilege to meet so many of our former students who are changing lives and achieving great things in a wide range of areas. We are proud to have been a part of their journey and in turn they are now lifelong members of our ARU community.”