We have two awards which recognise the efforts of alumni this year.
Our Exceptional Contribution award recognises a volunteer who has gone above and beyond during the Covid-19 pandemic to help the university community; including student experience, research and wider activity.
Yinka Adegbenle (Industrial Economics, 2001)
Yinka has been supporting the University of Nottingham as a volunteer since 2012. She has been instrumental in bringing the New York alumni community together; organising, supporting and attending events when UoN was 'in town'. She helped with event logistics and is always a great networker and communicator at all events she attends; really adding to the network's value.
Yinka also enthusiastically became a member of our Cascade panel in early 2020 and has continued to serve as a dedicated member.
This year, as well as launching her own business and publishing her book, Yinka took part in our webinar 'How to Bounce Back and Finish Strong'. She presented and answered questions and was a fabulous addition to our panel.
Yinka also receives a Longstanding Volunteer award this year.
Our Longstanding Volunteer award recognises individuals who have shown sustained and substantial commitment to the university for a period of at least four years. We hope to be celebrating the longstanding volunteer winners in person following the end of the pandemic.
Michael Abiodun Olatokun (Law, 2014)
Not content with winning our Volunteer of the Year award, Michael also receives a Longstanding Volunteer award this year.
Michael is a Law graduate and during his student days he was a leading figure in the SU team, and played a major role in mobilizing the student community to get involved in the political process.
Since graduation, he has been a prolific figure on social media and TV where he has campaigned to increase first-time voter registration and to supported disenfranchised groups to participate in public life.
As the current Deputy Chair of the Teaching Excellence Framework Subject Pilot Panel for Law, Michael leads senior law academics in piloting, testing and applying methods for assessing quality in higher education programmes.
Aparajita (Ivy) Roy (Economic Development and Policy, 2016)
Ivy participated in the Study UK Alumni Awards on behalf of the University of Nottingham. The Study UK Alumni Awards is a British Council flagship event, aimed at finding and celebrating the UK’s outstanding alumni and the impact created by them in their profession, community, and countries around the globe.Ivy was given a slot at the beginning of the event where she shared her experience of being a UK alumnus and how it shaped her and her career.
It was a really engaging session, with lots of audience questions for Ivy, particularly around women-led initiatives. Ivy was extremely engaging, passionate and positive about her experience at Nottingham. She was a fantastic ambassador for the university, and we were lucky to have her speak at such a high profile event.
Alison Isherwood (Chemical Engineering, 1997)
Alison has been an engaged volunteer for a number of years. She has been a member of the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, providing insights to help improve the curriculum. She has been a speaker at multiple events and each time Alison has been a speaker we have received excellent feedback from students regarding how they have benefitted from hearing what she has to say.
This feedback from a student who attended our “How to find your role model” event sums up the impact of Alison’s contribution: “I have learned the importance of having mentors to guide you through key points in your career and also that it is useful to have different mentors for different things. Going forward, I am interested in networking more and finding a mentor to help me progress from university into the working world.”
Alison has gone above and beyond in her contribution to supporting the university and enhancing the student experience.
Shash Patel (Mathematics with Engineering, 1983)
Shash has been an exceptional volunteer for the university for many years. Starting as a mentor on the central careers mentoring scheme, to taking on the role of mentor for SU officers, to hosting 'Lunch with a Leader' sessions for students in both the Faculty of Engineering and Nottingham University Business School.
Shash's dedication to supporting students at Nottingham is evident. He is happy to give his time willingly, wholeheartedly and with a smile, as evidenced by the following statement from his current mentee Abdi Ahmed:
"Shash, in his capacity as a mentor, has not only done an exceptional job in his duties, but has gone far and beyond what would be expected of a typical mentor. His passion for wanting to help people, using his wisdom and knowledge, has been of huge benefit to me. His willingness to go above in terms of frequency of meeting to check up on you and your aims, to his skills in going through various documents with me and finally his balanced response with advice not just in education/work and personal life, really has made me feel incredibly lucky to have a mentor of such brilliance."
Why not sign up and register your interest in our volunteering programme - we'll email you opportunities twice a year.