Through the Alumni of the Year awards, we seek to share the inspirational stories of BU alumni who have gone on to make an impact in line with the university’s stated purpose to “Inspire Learning, Advance Knowledge and Enrich Society”.
Nominations for the awards can be made by BU staff, as well as by BU graduates who wish to nominate others.
Rob Mitchell, Advancing Learning Award
Rob studied BA (Hons) Leisure Marketing and graduated in 2003
Rob is a fantastic ambassador for Bournemouth University and demonstrates all the qualities you would hope to find in a former student. In his role as Commercial Director of AFC Bournemouth, he has supported and inspired the university’s current students, always making himself available to the students and members of staff wanting to engage with him and the football club. He is very patient and kind, calm under pressure and always encourages positive discussion. Even during the pandemic, Rob gave up his valuable time to give online guest lectures and Q&A sessions, and supported students with their various endeavours and projects. Rob works hard to enable placements and real-life experiences for current students. This has developed over the years and there are now many Bournemouth University students volunteering and working at the football club.
In addition to supporting and inspiring learning, Rob is a clear example of how Bournemouth University and its graduates contribute to the region’s growth and advancement. He was key in the development of both the partnership between the club and Bournemouth University throughout the past nine years and the British Council China UK Football Study Programme that AFC Bournemouth and Bournemouth University partnered to deliver for four consecutive years. Furthermore, her has been instrumental in the expansion of community girls’ and women’s football.
The judges said: “The time which Rob has spent mentoring students and finding a place for them at the club is impressive, as is his support of women's sport. Through his own career achievements and his work to develop opportunities both for BU students and the community, Rob demonstrates the qualities needed to inspire learning in others.”
Rob commented: “It is an incredible honour to be given this Bournemouth University Alumni of the Year Award. I look back at my time at Bournemouth University with great fondness and know that without my degree, I would not have been able to progress my career in football. I am delighted that my relationship with BU has been able to continue through the official partnership that AFC Bournemouth has with the university and very much enjoy working with students on various projects. It is rewarding to know that these experiences go a long way in supporting a student’s success at BU, as well as in their future careers. I hope to inspire others to know that through hard work, dedication and desire, you can achieve great things.”
Robert Clark, Advancing Knowledge Award
Robert studied MSc Coastal Zone Management and graduated in 1998
Listed in the ENDS Top 100 Most Influential Environmental Professionals that have made the greatest impact, Robert is a fisheries and conservation manager and has a proven record of delivering novel and effective solutions to marine environmental issues. Robert is clearly contributing to the safeguarding and preservation of a sustainable environment, as well as having had a positive impact on the local economy through his professional career.
Robert has worked in coastal and fisheries management for over 20 years. During this time, he has worked locally, nationally and internationally as an enforcement officer, a fisheries and conservation scientist and fisheries manager. He has published extensively on marine policy and fisheries management, including co-editing a book, published by Elsevier on Marine Protected Areas: science, policy and management with Professor John Humphreys, a visiting professor at Bournemouth University.
Previously Robert was Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA). During this time the IFCA introduced fisheries management of the extensive marine protected area network off the south coast of England. Locally in Dorset he led work to enable and manage the largest oyster farm in England (in Poole Harbour) and regularise the Poole Clam and Cockle Fishery. The management of the clam and cockle fishery went on to be awarded a world first for dual certification, achieving both the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) accreditation for sustainability and the Responsible Fishing Scheme certification, which provides assurance of decent working conditions and operational best practice from catch to shore.
Robert is now the national Chief Officer for the Association in Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities and works on national inshore fisheries management and policy. He also works as a consultant to the United National Office on Drugs and Crime. In this latter role he was recently deployed in the Indian Ocean providing training and mentoring to Somali fisheries inspectors, coastguards and prosecutors on how to detect and intercept illegal fisheries.
The judges summed up Robert’s achievements by saying: “Robert has demonstrated a significant impact on his industry and on leading environmental issues in the sector. He has enjoyed a very interesting and successful career and is a tremendous role model for BU students.”
Robert commented: “Thank you so much! I am honoured to receive this award. I would like to thank my lecturers and all the staff at Bournemouth University, who inspired me to pursue a career in coastal management and provided such an excellent multidisciplinary education. I have been fortunate to work in a career I love and with people who have taught me a great deal. It has been a privilege to work with and on behalf of the local community and with many brilliant people. I am proud of what they have achieved to put the local fisheries on the global map for sustainability.”
Dev Mistry, Enriching Society Award
Dev studied BA (Hons) Public Relations and graduated in 2015
Dev has made great strides in his career since graduating only seven years ago and is a very inspiring role model for current students. He has worked his way up through junior positions to his current position of Global Internal Communications Manager at DICE, a fan-centred ticketing app. It is truly impressive that at such a young age, he already occupies a professional role that encompasses responsibility on a world-wide scale. Among Dev’s prior roles is Internal Communications Executive at Virgin Media, a position that he held prior to joining DICE.
However, Dev is also making a concrete impact on societal challenges and, in so doing, is clearly demonstrating Bournemouth University’s value of inclusivity and its work to challenge marginalisation, misinformation and under-representation. He does this both by advocating for positive change in the communications industry and by providing inspiration for people from under-represented and potentially marginalised groups.
Dev’s commitment to social change focuses on two different areas falling under the umbrella of diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI). He is passionate about increased racial and LGBTQ+ equality in industry. In his current role at DICE, he is responsible for closely supporting the DEI team on award submissions, as well as external speaking opportunities. However, he also takes up regular opportunities to promote DEI at communications industry events and other institutions, Bournemouth University included. Earlier this year, Dev took part in Bournemouth University’s award-wining DRIVE Change programme. Dev is also a founding member of LGBT CLT, an initiative seeking to address LGBTQ+ based housing inequality by establishing the UK’s first LGBTQ+ Community Land Trust in the UK.
In terms of social change related to race in the workplace, Dev was the Co-Chair and a founding member of the Virgin Media’s Empower network, which represents employees from underrepresented ethnic groups. Outside of work, he has been a mentor to others in the PR industry as part of the BME PR Pros/PRWeek mentoring scheme (BME PR Pros is an initiative founded to promote racial diversity in PR and communications). He was also an Advisor for the Blueprint kite mark, and chairs events for BME charities and organisations.
In addition, Dev is also a content advisory member for the Institute of Internal Communications (IOIC), focusing on highlighting content for 18-30 year olds who are interested in Internal Communications, DEI communications and culture.
The judges commented: “Dev has championed inclusivity and led calls for positive change within his sector, which demonstrates positive impact. Through his career pathway and achievements, he is a strong role model for underrepresented individuals especially.”
In response to his award, Dev said: “Bournemouth University has played such a huge part in my life and career, helping me to get roles I'd only ever dreamed of – while being supported by the university and alumni throughout my journey. Coming to Bournemouth University was the best decision I made, and it gave me the chance to thrive both professionally, creatively and more importantly, personally too.”
Béatrice Boué, International Alumni Award
Béatrice studied MA Marketing Communications and graduated in 2000
Béatrice Boué has had a remarkable career since graduating with an MA Marketing Communications from BU in 2000. After graduating, Béatrice started at leading media agency, OMD (Omnicom group) and pursued her career at various leading global agency networks (WPP, Aegis, Havas and Publicis Groupe). The challenges of working in the advertising industry are well known to many insiders. It is a male-dominated, high-stress, results-orientated business. Béatrice has thrived in this high-pressure environment and is the current Global Head of Media for the De Beers Group, where she is driving digital transformation, operational excellence and accelerating the transformation of the business into one that is better positioned to realise the opportunities ahead. Beatrice also leads strategic conversations across multiple media channels, both traditional and digital, incorporating brand and performance to identify new opportunities. Furthermore, she is responsible for crafting innovative and integrated marketing strategies and delivering brand and business targets and objectives. Beatrice also supports positive change in the organisation through her contribution to its diversity, equality, inclusion and sustainability strategies.
Beatrice’s previous positions include Business Director at MEC (UK), where her contribution on the Danone Activia account won IPA Silver Advertising Effectiveness Awards in 2008 and 2012 for increasing sales by £58.6 million and net profit to £3.6m. During the last 10 years as a Managing Partner in agencies leading global clients such as Emirates, LG, Rolex and Nomad Foods Europe, Beatrice has driven fundamental changes through impactful strategic and digital transformational work. Throughout her career, she has helped creative and cultural industries to thrive.
The judges felt Béatrice was an inspiration for others and summed up her achievements by saying: “Béatrice has clearly had a very impressive international career since graduating over 20 years ago and has drawn upon her Bournemouth University experience to do so. She has also driven positive change in the organisations for which she has worked, as well as continuing to support the university and its students.”
Béatrice commented: “I am humbled to have been nominated by Dr John Oliver and delighted to have won the International Alumni Award. I came to Bournemouth University from my native France to study an MA in Marketing Communications after graduating from my four-year degree in Business Law. The year 1999 did not disappoint. It was a milestone year in my life. For a start it was the first time I enjoyed and thrived at school! It allowed me to grow, to believe that I could try anything and gave me the toolbox to blossom in my career.”