Nominate a Bristol Volunteer for the Alumni Association Community Award

Nominations for the Alumni Association Community Award are now open. The Alumni Association Community Award is awarded to volunteers who have worked hard to build and strengthen the University’s alumni community. This could be through organising alumni networks, coordinating events or actively participating in the Association.

The Alumni Association is the official body of the University’s alumni community – anyone that has studied at the University automatically becomes a member. The Alumni Association Committee represents the Association and it is now looking to recognise individuals who have championed the Alumni Association through their service.

Nominations will be open until Friday 2 September. You can nominate yourself, or a fellow member of the Alumni Association by completing the Alumni Association Community Award Nomination Form. If you would like to nominate more than one volunteer, please fill in a separate form for each nomination.

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Your 2022 – 2023 Alumni Association Committee

The Alumni Association Committee helps to champion and support Bristol’s alumni community by working in partnership with alumni, the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) and the wider University. Committee members provide expert advice, strategic insight and act as ambassadors for the University and its alumni.  ‌

This year, three new members will join our 2022 – 2023 committee: Fred Moss (BA 2013), Vona Aghoghovbia Ezichi (BSc 2005) and Harri Davies (LLB 2013). Jonathan Phillips (BSc 1994) will remain as Chair for a second term to 2025. Read their bios below to learn more about them.

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2022 Alumni Award winner for Achievement in Sport: Hannah Mills OBE (DipHE 2012)

This year’s Alumni Award for Achievement in Sport has been given to Hannah Mills OBE (DipHE 2012) in recognition of her incredible career in sailing and sustainability.

At Tokyo 2020, Hannah became the most successful female sailor in Olympic history, after she won gold with Eilidh McIntyre in the women’s 470 event. Hannah also sailed to a gold medal in Rio in 2016 and a silver medal at the London 2012 games, alongside her then sailing partner Saskia Clark.

Cardiff-born Hannah started sailing at age eight, while on holiday in Cornwall with her family. She went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bristol, training in her spare time to prepare for the London 2012 Olympic games.

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Alumni, staff and a student celebrated in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List

This year we were delighted to see Bristol alumni, staff and one of our current students recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In these awards, which conincided with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, alumni were honoured for their services to academia, the arts and more. Read on to see if you can spot any of your former classmates below!

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2022 Alumni Award winners announced!

Alumni Awards 2022: Climate Scientist, Olympian and Charity Champion among this year’s winners

Each year, the University of Bristol recognises alumni who have made remarkable contributions to society through the Alumni Awards. From highly successful tech entrepreneurs to an award-winning journalist, this year’s winners are all inspirational leaders in their fields.

The winner of this year’s Lifetime Achievement award is Professor Dame Julia Slingo FRS OBE (BSc 1973, PhD 1989, Hon DSc 2010), who served as Chief Scientist of the UK Met Office from 2009 to 2016.

Speaking about her award, she said: “It is wonderful and rather surprising to receive this recognition. It is up there with the very best of all the special things that have happened in my life, including becoming a Dame and the Chief Scientist at the Met Office – and of course a mother.”

Also recognised in this year’s awards is Ben England BEM (BA 1998), who won the Community Engagement and Impact Award for his work with Homechoir. This global digital choir provided solace and helped thousands of people to stay connected throughout the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Ben said: “It is a huge honour to be the recipient of this year’s Alumni Award for Community Engagement and Impact. Throughout my life I’ve tried to share what I learned in Bristol with the people I teach.”

“Going to Bristol was a hugely significant turning point in my life and this award acknowledges what Bristol has given me more than anything else.” (more…)

“It really does mean everything to me”: William’s scholarship story

First-year student William Shelley was inspired to study for a degree in law, after working as a Royal Marines Commando and witnessing the importance of humanitarian law.

William is one of the 160 Futures Scholars who have received support through the programme since it began in 2019.

Futures Scholarships provide undergraduate students with a £2,000 bursary, which helps them to buy essential items for their studies and a further £2,500 for employment opportunities.

Speaking about the impact of his scholarship, William said: “The moment that I found out that I received the Futures Scholarship it was life changing. The first person I told was my mum, and she was elated.

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In-person graduation ceremonies (and mortar boards!) return to the University

From Friday 8 to Thursday 14 of April, the Wills Memorial Building will be a sea of gowns and mortar boards as the first in-person graduations in over two years take place. Around 4,500 students will have their graduations conferred after ceremonies were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year students will be wearing mortar boards, which have not been part of University of Bristol graduation dress since the 1960s.

Speaking about the occasion, Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor & President, said: “Graduation is the focal point of the University of Bristol calendar and a chance for students and staff to celebrate their considerable achievements. Many of those graduating left us during the pandemic, and I am truly thankful that we have this chance to see them again in person, and to congratulate them on their nous, tenacity and aptitude.

“Gaining a degree is challenging. It involves sacrifice and fortitude; intelligence and insight; and every one of the 4,500 new graduates deserve their hard-earned reward.”

The ceremonies will also see five distinguished guests (three of whom are alumni of the University) receive honorary awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements:

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“It felt like the world was on my side”: David Afikuyomi on his scholarship journey

 

David Afikuyomi’s (BSc 2015) dream of completing a Master’s in Research (MRes) in Economics was almost ended because of financial concerns. But after securing an Opportunity Bristol studentship through the University’s Black Bristol Scholarship programme, David was able to start his course last year.

Here he explains the impact the scholarship has made on his life and his plans for the future.

When I got the email telling me that my application for a Black Bristol Scholarship had been successful, I was so shocked that I threw my phone across the room! I picked it up, read the email again, ran a couple of laps of my flat and then burst out crying. I just couldn’t believe it.

In the weeks leading up to that moment, I had decided that I’d have to defer my place because I couldn’t see how I would fund the year without a stream of income. The Economics MRes course is very rigorous and it would have been hard to earn enough in a part-time job to support myself while studying. When I found out I had a scholarship a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders; it felt like the world was on my side.

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Liam White (BEng 2015): From investment banking to start-up success

After graduation, Liam White spent two years working in the world of investment banking before embarking on his entrepreneurial journey. Alongside co-founders Dr Will Breakey and Josh Rose, Liam launched Dr. Will’s, the UK’s first all-natural condiment brand. Now, the trio are leading a low-sugar revolution, with their products stocked in retail giants such as Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado and Selfridges. We spoke to Liam to find out more.

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Fred Moss (BA 2013): transforming company cultures through peer learning

Most office workers will be familiar with the annual cycle of employee training. You log on to a website, read some module material, complete a quiz and you’re done. It’s a tried-and-tested (if somewhat uninspiring) format that peer-learning company Hive Learning are aiming to disrupt.

Founded in 2013 by rugby world cup winning coach, Sir Clive Woodward, and digital venture builder, Blenheim Chalcot, Hive Learning’s technology is based on a combination of network science and nudge theory – borrowing some of the principles that draw users into social media. Users of the platform can come together with their colleagues to learn about a wide range of topics, which cover everything from improving resilience in the workplace to becoming a more inclusive company.

Bristol alumnus Fred Moss (BA 2013) has worked at Hive Learning for seven years, during which time he moved to New York to set up the company’s US business. We caught up with him to learn more about life in the US and how Hive Learning is reimagining corporate learning.

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