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Alumni Achievement Awards

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About the awards

The Alumni Achievement Awards allows us to celebrate and recognise the many and diverse achievements of our growing and vibrant alumni community – locally, nationally and across the world.

Former students of the University are engaged in many activities that we should recognise: some are making a difference in their communities, while others may be creating successful businesses, or have achieved in the arts or by helping charities. Others may be contributing directly to the life and reputation of the University itself. The Alumni Engagement team feel it is important to celebrate these achievements.

The values of the University of East London can last a lifetime – and the evidence was on show at the inaugural Alumni Achievements Awards which celebrated the accomplishments of eight category winners and nominees. The awards recognise the alumni who have distinguished themselves for their excellent and sustained contributions and achievements in their chosen field over their professional lifetime.

The first ever Alumni achievement awards ceremony was held on Thursday 17th October 2019 at University Square Stratford and was bookended by networking with alumni swapping stories of their time at University and their journeys since.

The winners of the eight awards are listed, together with excerpts from the citations.

Charlie Werren, alumni engagement manager, said, “We celebrated our rising stars through to lifetime achievers and everything in between. We received over 500 nominations across the eight categories, which is fantastic and truly highlights the breadth of talent we have among our alumni.”

East London Local Engagement Award

Winner: Abdal Ahmed (pictured), BSC Sports Development, 2004

“Our winner this evening is dedicated to delivering curriculum support in east London schools; has served as a variety of roles including an educator, sports teacher, coach and mentor; and over the last six years he has managed over 70 sporting competitions for primary and secondary school children in Tower Hamlets.”

Mental Wealth Advocacy Award

Winner: Darren Wiafe-Morson, BSc Sports Therapy, 2018

“Having recently secured his second client Sports Interactive, our winner’s sports therapy company is going from strength to strength, and his work is promoting and embedding the importance of Mental Wealth within the workplace.”

The industry 4.0 award

Winner: Tracy Goodluck-Constance, BSc Computer Science, 2017, MSc Computer Science, 2018

“Our winner took on the post of Research Assistant working on an Innovate UK funded project. The aim of the project is to develop breakthrough software that will combine AI and speech recognition technology to detect and interpret emotion and linguistics to assess the credibility of insurance claims.”

Diversity award

Winner: Laura Iosifescu, BA Fine Art, 2012

“Our winner has recently created the Society of Gold Minds for artists and entrepreneurs from all races and backgrounds which aims to break down barriers between artist and audience to foster a collaborative community in Barking and beyond. Our winner understands the importance and value of a diversity and aims to use this to make the world a better place through art.”

Alumni Engagement Award

Winner: Alumni Advisory Board (pictured)
(Chair Joan Saunders-Reece, Vice-Chair Jacqueline Malcolm and subcommittee leads, Jaasir Ali, Jacqui Bashford and Vadi Loango)

“From regular board meetings to welcoming new students as part of our convocation ceremonies; from taking part in mentoring and networking events and attending our graduation ceremonies, this diverse, knowledgeable and committed group always go above and beyond.”

Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Winner: Charlie Blair, BA Dance: Urban Practice, 2017

“Our winner this evening graduated from the Dance: Urban Practice course in 2017 and earlier this year won the University’s prestigious E-Factor entrepreneur competition, where she received £6,000 to help get her business the Blair Academy up and running. The Blair Academy is for adults and children in the UK facing social isolation and loneliness.”

The Rising Star of the Year Award

Winner: Reece Parkinson, BA Media Communications, 2015

“Our winner honed his presenting skills at youth station Reprezent and through covering various daytime 1Xtra shows, before moving onto to be the host of the 1Xtra Talks show. All by the age of 23. Now at just 25 he has also recently taken on the role of co-host on the BBC’s new football show MOTDx and presented his first show on BBC Radio 1.”

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award 

Martine Wright, BSc Psychosocial studies and communication studies, 1996
Winner: Martine Wright, a 7/7 survivor, Paralympian and charity ambassador

“Whilst playing sport, our winner wears her lucky number 7 with pride, transforming what happened into a positive and a clear and meaningful sign of her rehabilitation, and in memory of those who lost their lives.”

“She is currently busy sharing her journey from despair to determination to succeed through her motivational talks and has spoken to audiences of more than 10,000 at Wembley Arena and The O2 and is living testament to how catastrophic life changes can have positive outcomes.”

Information on next year's Alumni Achievement Awards

Nominations will open in July 2020 for the 2020 Alumni achievement awards with the ceremony taking place in October 2020. Further information and dates will be released nearer to the time.

We hope for you to join us and take part in the celebrating of our many successful talented alumni.