Former students celebrate outstanding success

Published: 1 December 2017 at 11:30

Professor Iain Martin

Anglia Ruskin University brings together inspirational alumni for awards evening

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A number of incredible success stories were celebrated last night as Anglia Ruskin University held its second annual Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Awards.

Anglia Ruskin held the awards to mark the success of its former students who have made a difference in their respective fields. The ceremony was held at the Cambridge campus and was compered by Anglia Ruskin lecturer, alumnus and BBC television presenter Dr Ben Garrod.

The winners in each category were as follows:

Alumni Service to Society: Rita McIntyre
After graduating from Building Surveying in 2003, Rita became a building surveyor at the prestigious CB Richard Ellis firm and achieved her chartership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. In 2011, Rita left her job in London to become a volunteer in Haiti, using her building surveying skills to provide technical advice to communities devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

Since then, Rita has continued to design homes for refugees and internally displaced people, and train carpenters and masons in Iraq, Jordan and Nepal.

Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year: Kat Bruce
Kat came to Anglia Ruskin to study Wildlife Biology, after spending a year in the Amazon rainforest. After graduating in 2008, Kat completed a PhD in Molecular Ecology at the University of East Anglia and ran the university rowing club there. She founded NatureMetrics in 2015 to provide DNA testing of environmental samples, which allows large-scale biodiversity data to inform environmental management in industrial and conservation contexts.

Alumni Contribution to Culture: Chris Cook
Chris Cook is an award-winning Visual Effects Artist working on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster films. His credits include Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the Oscar and BAFTA-winning Gravity.

Since graduating with a BSc Hons in Computer Aided Visualisation in 2009, Chris has also become an industry mentor, regularly visiting schools, colleges and universities to help train future industry talent.

Young Alumni of the Year: Briony Clarke, Hayley Ginn (joint winners)
Briony graduated from the LPC Legal Practice course in 2009 and is a Partner at Taylor Haldane Barlex LLP. She had qualified as a Police Station Representative by the age of 19 and in 2017, aged 31, became the youngest female Deputy District Judge on record in the UK.

Hayley is the founder of Carbon Motion, a company established in 2013 to provide specialist support and training for lower limb amputees wanting to run.  Hayley, who graduated with a degree in Sports Science in 2006, works with her clients in a variety of ways and circumstances, whether immediately following rehabilitation through to coaching the next generation of Paralympic athletes. Double Paralympic Gold medallist Jonnie Peacock and current World Record holder Richard Browne are among the athletes she has worked with.

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Guy OBE JP
Richard has lived with a life-changing disability for most of his life yet he has remained active in the local community for over 40 years. A graduate in Health, Welfare and Social Policy, he worked for 35 years in criminal justice, several years as an associate hospital manager of three secure psychiatric hospitals, chairman of two charities, and director of a residential management company. His philanthropy also supports local causes in addition to him being an advocate for the disabled and disadvantaged. This work was honoured earlier this year when he received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Professor Iain Martin, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, said:

“All of our alumni are part of the Anglia Ruskin community and we are extremely proud of their achievements. We want them to enjoy success and make a difference in their own way.

“I was honoured to meet our former students that have achieved excellence in their respective fields last night – their accomplishments are truly remarkable and for Anglia Ruskin to have played some part in their journey is testament to the hard work and commitment of our staff. 

“It was a special evening and I am already looking forward to next year.”