Congratulations: Announcing our 2023 Alumni Awards shortlisted nominees!

From online teaching provision during lockdown, to supporting young people through tough times, to raising awareness of people with sight loss, to making legal advise accessible to all – these are just some of the examples of the incredible alumni who were nominated in this year’s Alumni Awards. The competition was high, but we are delighted to announce the shortlisted alumni, and also congratulate all those who were nominated for their efforts.

Community Hero Award 

Recognising alumni who have gone above and beyond to make a positive impact in the local community and the betterment of society. 

Congratulations to all our nominees:

  • Marlize De Vivo, MPhil/PhD Sport & Exercise Science 2017 
  • Filipe Gomes, BA (Hons) Creative Music Technology 2011 
  • James Gregory, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science 2004 
  • Liz Hayes, PGCE 11-18 (Citizenship) 2006 
  • Stephen James, BA (Hons) Primary Education (Juniors) 2013 
  • Ellie Johnstone, BA (Hons) Dance Education 2022 
  • Lisa Kane, Foundation Degree In Early Years Studies 2009 and BA (Hons) Early Years Studies With Recommendation For EYPS 2011  
  • Millie Kingsnorth, BA (Hons) Dance Education 2021 
  • Conor McSorley, PGCE Secondary Citizenship 2017 
  • Dellaine Nash, BSc (Hons) Interprofessional Learning (Adult Nursing) 2019 
  • Nayelli Navarro-Pollott, PGCE Primary (3-7 Yrs) General 2005 
  • Alex Richardson, BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) 2021 and Certificate of Higher Education in Health & Social Care 2023 
  • Soundaram Thacis Thoumiyan, BSc Business Management 2021 
  • Caroline Purvey, BA/BSc (Hons) Business Studies and Social Science 1993 and MA Education 1997  

Shortlisted alumni in this category are:

Dr Marlize De Vivo for her work in founding the internationally recognised charity, Active Pregnancy Foundation, providing trusted advice to pregnant women helping them make informed decisions about physical activity over the course of conception, pregnancy and postnatal periods.

James Gregory for his work in highlighting the power of sport in creating positive change in the lives of young people from under-served communities, and providing free sport and physical activity opportunities for people facing barriers to participation.

Stephen James who co-founded Invicta National Academy, an online school that provided free, high-quality education to children of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as his commitment to reducing digital poverty during this time.  

Conor McSorley was nominated for his drive to always go above and beyond to support his students, at his specialist school for people with visual impairments. Outside of the school he is a champion for those with visual impairments aiming to raise awareness of the daily challenges they face and co-ordinates educational events with local schools and agencies. 

“I am truly honoured to be nominated for an Alumni Award. The knowledge and experience I gained while completing my Post Graduate here at CCCU helped shape me into the teacher I am today”

Conor McSorley

Nayelli Navarro-Pollott is the Director and Head of Service at Tuition Extra, an interim education service that provides vital support to young people who have been let down by the education system. Under her leadership the organisation has changing the lives of countless young people, supporting them to success in their studies and beyond.

Alex Richardson set up his own ‘check-in and chat’ service to support isolated elderly and vulnerable people during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Keep Talking Services’ is now a registered charity with over 50 volunteers, many of whom are CCCU students. Alex is also a registered Mental Health Nurse Mental.

Rising Star Award 

Recognising innovative and successful alumni who have recently graduated, who have shown determination, drive and excellence in the workplace or community.

Congratulations to all our nominees:

  • Naomi Baker, BA (Hons) Photography 2014 
  • Lauren Baugh, BA (Hons) Film, Radio & Television Studies 2021 
  • Claire Boucher, BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences 2018 
  • Emily Brewster, BA (Hons) Commercial Music 2022 
  • Walker Darke, BA (Hons) French / Music 2016 
  • Sue Fletcher, BA (Hons) Counselling, Coaching & Mentoring 2018 
  • Luke Hill, BA (Hons) Film Production 2021 
  • Eloise Jones, LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Law 2022 
  • Dr Nirja Joshi, MSc Healthcare Practice 2021 
  • Millie Kingsnorth, BA (Hons) Dance Education 2021 
  • Holly MacArthur, BA (Hons) Creative Music Technology 2020 
  • Lynnette Onomuvwe, BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) 2021 
  • Tom Postgate, BA (Hons) Creative Music Technology 2021 
  • Megan Ryan LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Law 2020 
  • Stuart Tite, LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Law 2017 
  • Daniel Vince, BA (Hons) English Literature 2022 
  • Yaundeen Wright, MA in Creative Writing 2019 

Shortlisted alumni in this category are:

Millie Kingsnorth for her passion to ensure dance is inclusive and accessible to all, particularly those with learning disabilities and Autism. She runs her own inclusive dance company in Kent, as well as supporting several other charities and raising overall awareness by speaking at events and training.

Megan Ryan is a Director and Treasurer of Women In Law Kent, helping to empower, support and connect women who work and aspire to work in law. She has a genuine passion to provide individuals with access to justice, volunteering her time to support others through various legal charities.

“I am elated that I have been shortlisted for Rising Star of the Year in CCCU alumni awards. CCCU will always hold a close place in my heart so I am always happy to help and assist students when I can, so to be recognised for this is amazing.”

Megan Ryan

Sue Fletcher set up her own business, TIME, supporting children with a range of issues, from anger to anxiety and those who have experienced domestic abuse. She has written, developed and delivered programmes to support teenagers to better understand healthy relationships and transitioning schools, and continues to support CCCU students with placements, lectures and mentoring.

Dr Nirja Joshi, a GP in South West London, has co-founded The WorkWell Doctors to improve workplace wellbeing for NHS staff, delivering over 70 successful workshops. She is also a dance teacher and uses physical activity as a strategy towards positive wellbeing, encouraging networking and socialising to help women of all ages with issues such as motherhood, body image, health and loneliness.

Walker Darke has extensive experience in communications and sustainable policy development at international organisations making a real impact on global issues, such as carbon neutrality. Walker was recently named in Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe for this work in the Social Impact category. 

Outstanding Contribution Alumni Award 

Recognising the incredible voluntary contribution that alumni make to the life and community of the University. 

Congratulations to all our nominees: 

  • Janine Allen, Postgraduate Certificate In Primary Mathematics Specialist Teacher 2013  
  • Tom Delahunt, Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing Studies  2005, MSc Health & Wellbeing 2018 and Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice 2023 
  • Shayne Halfpenny-Ray, BSc (Hons) Politics and Global Governance 2016 
  • Daniel Loveday, BA (Hons) Photography 2017 
  • Mussie Naizghi, BSc (Hons) Biomolecular Science 2021 
  • Anastasia Semaan, BA (Hons) Education Studies / Special Educational Needs & Inclusion Studies 2021 and MA Special Educational Needs & Inclusion 2022 
  • Mike Spencer, BA (Hons) Film, Radio And Television Studies / Media And Cultural Studies 2007

Shortlisted alumni in this category are:

Janine Allen has worked with the Primary Education team at the University and our undergraduate and postgraduate students since 2012. Her expertise in mathematics has contributed significantly to our courses and curriculum, as well as providing mentoring and work placements. She has also led training for the maths tutor team to ensure the team’s knowledge and understanding remains up to date.  

Shayne Halfpenny-Ray has supported the University since he was a student, volunteering for open days and working as an intern for different research projects. He has continued to do so as a graduate, contributing to many events over the years, sharing his advice and expertise. Shayne is also a social media ambassador, helping to promote our courses and interacting online to increase the reach and audiences of our communications.  

Mike Spencer is one of the key architects of the hugely successful reality show, Love Island, but still finds time to support CCCU. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he contacted CCCU and offered his support for current students who were facing a tough time breaking into the TV industry. He has provided guest lectures, mentoring, sector specific knowledge and job opportunities.

“I was thrilled to be even thought of for such a wonderful honour. Canterbury Christ Church is always in my thoughts. It’s not only paved my way into the media industry, but paved my way as an adult in life. I will continue to work with the university and aspire to inspire the next generation of students as much as I can.”

Mike Spencer

The winners will be announced at our Alumni Awards Gala Dinner on 10 June – good luck to all our shortlisted alumni!