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Vice Chancellor's Outstanding Alumni Awards


The Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Awards celebrate Anglia Ruskin alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their communities and professional fields.

Nominate inspirational alumni for an award

Nominations for 2016 are now closed. Information for the 2017 nominations coming soon!

We've launched the Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Awards.  These awards have been designed to publicly recognise and celebrate alumni achievements, particularly where their study here has contributed to their success.

2016 Past winners

The Anglia Ruskin University Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Awards were presented on Wednesday 7 December 2016 to former students who have excelled in their respective industries since graduating.

Alumni Service to Society Award (2 joint winners):

Jan Cassidy. A writer, environmental photographer and prison health researcher, Jan graduated as a mature student from Anglia Ruskin in 1993. Soon afterwards, she began her lifelong dedication to improving the health and human rights of prisoners. Appalled by the high levels of blood-borne viruses within the prison population in the 1990s, she completed a pilot study vaccinating against hepatitis B whenever a prisoner was moved. In 2000, she became a specialist commissioner for High and Medium Secure Psychiatric Hospitals, arguing for better, more appropriate care. She went on to advise the Home Office on prison health.

Neil Clephan OBE. The headteacher at Roundhay School, Leeds, for more than 20 years, Neil has transformed the school in terms of its leadership and management. He was one of the first National Leaders in Education to be appointed by the National College, and has been seconded to work with a number of schools. He was awarded an OBE in the 2016 Queen’s New Year Honours List for services to education.

Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Award:

Lloyd Amsdon. After graduating from his History degree, Lloyd co-founded Watchfinder, which specialises in buying, selling and servicing pre-owned watches from 50 brands including Rolex, Omega and Cartier. The business is now the largest pre-owned retailer in Europe with sales forecast to reach £90million in 2016, and employing more than 160 staff. Lloyd also co-founded Hospitality Founder, which has a £10million turnover. Shareholders in the business are ex-England rugby stars Lawrence Dallaglio and Mike Tindal.

Alumni Contribution to Culture Award:

Léo Reitzell. Léo joined MTV in 1996, just three months after graduating from her Fine Art degree at Anglia Ruskin, and launched in excess of 40 channels. She subsequently worked as the Creative Lead for all four UK Disney Channels, and then as Creative Director at Discovery Channel. She founded her own creative agency, brandAnonymous, in 2010.

Young Alumni of the Year Award:

Michelle Keaney. Listed as one of the Observer’s Future 500, Michelle is acknowledged as one of the most talented leaders shaping industry. Her career is a mix of business and consumer sales and marketing which saw her leading a major retail drive for The Walt Disney Company, establishing the UK Marketing Capability function for Heineken and co-founding award-winning social enterprise Inventing Futures. In 2015, Michelle co-founded purposeful brand consultancy Three Point Zero. Michelle graduated from Anglia Ruskin in 2004 with a BA (Hons) in Business and Management.

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award:

Stephanie Newell. A graduate of English and European Thought and Literature in 1991, Stephanie is now a tenured full Professor of English at Yale University, in her own words thanks to the inspiration of her teachers at Anglia Ruskin. Her latest book, The Power to Name, was shortlisted for the prestigious Herskovitz Prize for African Studies in 2014. Stephanie is regarded as a researcher leader by senior scholars of Africa in the UK and USA and holds fellowships from the University of Cambridge.

The awards were presented by Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, Professor Iain Martin, and compered by BBC television presenter, Anglia Ruskin Teaching Fellow and former student Dr Ben Garrod.

Runners up

Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year:

Eddie Law: Eddie graduated with an LLB Hons Law in 1999 and is the Founder of eLawyer, a legal recruitment and legal services company. Nigel Livingston graduated with a BA Hons Business & Politics in 2001. 

Nigel Livingston.  Nigel is the Managing Director and Founder of Optimus Search Ltd. Recognised in Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 as the 53rd fastest growing company.

Alumni Contribution to Culture Award:

Gruffydd Harries: Gruffydd is a Musician, performer and broadcaster. He’s the Founder and Director of Chamber Orchestra of Wales and has performed with The British Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, QE2 and Loose Tubes jazz group.  Gruffydd is also an Honorary member of the Gorsedd of the Bards and now works on TV and film shows. Gruffydd graduated with a BA Hons Geography in 1976. 

Nicholas Juett. Nicholas is a renowned artist. His artwork is on display both nationally and internationally (on TV and radio). Nicholas is also an art teacher. Nicholas graduated with a Foundation Art in 1983.