London Grammar and polar explorer honoured

08 Dec 2014 15:29:10.347

The acclaimed pop group London Grammar and polar explorer Adrian Hayes are among graduates being honoured by The University of Nottingham.

The Alumni Laureate Awards 2014 are a testament to the excellence achieved by graduates in fields including conservation, international cuisine, sports medicine, entertainment, public service and education.

London Grammar, who met at the University, will each receive a Recent Graduate Award, while among those also attending an awards ceremony at University Park on 10 December will be a midwife dedicated to delivering healthcare in overseas disaster zones and an academic whose teaching and research has influenced generations of students and social policy makers.

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Anna Kent will receive a Recent Graduate Award in recognition of her dedication as a nurse, midwife and educator. She volunteers with Medecins Sans Frontières in countries including South Sudan, Haiti and Bangladesh. Between missions, Anna is a specialist midwife caring for mothers with HIV, and also teaches humanitarian aid to undergraduate nurses, midwives and medics.

Anna said: “It is an absolute honour to be awarded the Recent Graduate Laureate Award from The University of Nottingham. Graduating with a Masters Degree in Nursing in 2003 and a Degree in Midwifery in 2010 has enabled me to fulfil my dream of working with Medecins Sans Frontieres. Support from theSchool of Health Sciences has enabled me to practice my belief in 'témoignage', or witnessing and increasing awareness of humanitarian crises. The recognition of my work, shown by the Alumni Laureate Award, inspires me to continue my passion within humanitarian medical assistance and my next overseas placement is due to begin in January 2015.”

Special Excellence Award winner Adrian Hayes graduated with a Masters in Business Administration in 1994 and went on to become a record-breaking polar explorer and adventurer, campaigner on sustainability and business coach. He said: “I am delighted - and frankly flattered - to be receiving the Alumni Laureate Award from The University of Nottingham. As well as being one of the happiest periods of my life, the time I spent there undoubtedly shaped my career immensely - launching me into the whole world of personal, team and leadership development, which is now my core work outside of my adventures and expeditions.”

Watch a video of Adrian’s exploits here.

Bill Silburn, who graduated in Social Administration in 1961, says his Lifetime Achievement Award reflects an association with The University of Nottingham of more than 50 years. He taught social policy to generations of students, many of whom are now staff in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, and others who have gone on to be academics, researchers, and professionals across the world. His most famous research was into poverty in Nottingham, particularly in the St Ann's community. He said: “I feel very honoured to have been chosen for a University Lifetime Achievement Award. I have spent my whole adult life at the University. In 1958 the University was small with barely 2000 students. They were mainly British and the University was very self-contained, with little engagement with the local community.

“Now there are 43,000 students, many from every corner of the world, and all helping to make the University a leading player in the cultural and intellectual life of both the city and the region. I am sure it will continue to go from strength to strength and give future generations the rich opportunities it gave me.”

The Alumni Laureate Awards were introduced in 2007 to recognise graduates who have achieved excellence in their chosen field. The awards are decided by panel of alumni, senior University staff, and Students’ Union representatives from nominations put forward by fellow alumni and staff.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Greenaway, said: “I am constantly amazed that graduates from the University go on to have such a positive impact here in Nottingham and the UK and across the world. Once again our Alumni Laureates have made their mark in an exciting and intriguing range of endeavour. What they share is exceptional dedication and a determination to make real contributions to their fields, while exhibiting qualities that inspire others and help transform lives.”

The other UK Alumni Laureate winners are:

Recent Graduates Award

London Grammar – Dot Major, English 2012; Hannah Reid, Art History and English Studies 2011; Dan Rothman, Economics and Philosophy 2011. 
London Grammar met at the University and their first gig was at the Bag o’ Nails in Lenton. Their platinum-selling debut album, If You Wait, was 2013’s iTunes Album of the Year and a Brit Award nomination followed for Best British Breakthrough Act in 2014. Their single Strong was an Ivor Novello Award winner in May 2014. They have headlined music festivals and had sell-out shows across the UK.

Special Excellence Awards

Eva Carneiro – Medicine 1999
Eva is first-team doctor at Chelsea Football Club and is the first woman to sit on a team bench at a UEFA Champions League game.  After completing her medical training and surgical primary, Eva studied Sports Medicine in Australia and completed a Masters Degree in Sports and Exercise Medicine at the University of London. She was one of the first four appointed to the UK Sports and Exercise Medicine Specialist Training Programme. She has worked with UK Athletics Disability Squad, England Women’s Football and with British athletes preparing for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Eva is also a medical advisor for Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Rowing, which will enable individuals with spinal injuries to take part in exercise.

Nagulendran Kangayatkarasu – Microbiology 1994; Environment Management 2003
Malaysia’s ‘father of biosafety’ has been instrumental in the development of conservation in the country. Nagulendran has dedicated 17 years to environmental and natural resource management, focusing on the fragile balance of conserving biodiversity while promoting socio-economic development. He has been responsible for drafting legislation on wildlife conservation and biosafety and has been instrumental in the adoption of Malaysia’s National Tiger Conservation Action Plan.

Willin Low – Law 1996
After practising for eight years as a lawyer, Willin opened his first restaurant, Wild Rocket, in 2005. An acclaimed ambassador for modern Singapore cuisine, he has been named as one of the world's top 100 emerging culinary stars by his fellow contemporary chefs. The chef now owns four restaurants in Singapore and operates a business model that allows employees to invest in company shares to improve their quality of life.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Sir John Sawers KCMG  – Philosophy and Physics 1976
Sir John Sawers has had a distinguished career in foreign affairs, diplomatic relations and national security. A former Foreign Affairs Adviser to Tony Blair, Ambassador to Cairo, Political Director, and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sir John was closely involved in the major foreign policy issues of the past 20 years, including UK policy on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans. More recently, he was the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. The first outsider to be appointed to the Secret Intelligence Service more than 40 years, he is credited with having modernised the Service during his five-year term.


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings.


Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…



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Robert Ounsworth - Communications Officer

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 748 4412  Location: University Park

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