Two business owners, a communications coach and an elected local authority leader have been named the winners of BU’s Alumni of the Year Awards 2019.
The awards set out to recognise and celebrate the diverse achievements of BU’s graduates, with nominations sought from the university’s staff and alumni community.
This year there were four award winners across three categories linked to BU’s core purpose – Inspiring Learning, Advancing Knowledge and Enriching Society.
Inspiring Learning Award winners
Georgina studied BA (Hons) Television Production and graduated in 2006. She is the founder of LoveLove Films, an independent animation and video production company which produces content for television, film and web. The company develops new talent through a placement programme which has taken on over 200 students and Georgina works personally to encourage more women into animation through talks and workshops.
The judges commented: “It is clear that Georgina has been a true inspiration for numerous young people throughout the initiatives she champions. She uses her position to push for greater gender equality in her industry and to open the field to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Georgina said: "I'm so thrilled to be receiving an Alumni Award and the fact it's for the 'Inspiring Learning' category means an incredible amount to me. Many of my team at LoveLove Films are former BU graduates, and having the opportunity to inspire current BU students through our New Talent Placement Scheme and help to guide them towards their professional goals is such a pleasure.
“I look back at my time at BU with fond memories, and I'll always be incredible grateful for all the knowledge and skills I developed during my time there. The BA Television Production course - and the Media & Communication faculty as a whole - were vital in preparing me to enter the media industry; frankly, I don't think I would be in the position I am now if it wasn't for my time at BU."
Trisha studied BA (Hons) Communication and graduated in 2005. Today she is a communications coach and mentor who works with business clients and young people to build confidence, develop presentation, conversation and leadership skills. She has developed a series of tools and techniques to help people understand imposter syndrome and how they can tackle it to improve their wellbeing and personal effectiveness.
The judges commented that Trisha “used education and professional development to inspire others in a manner which they really benefit from and enjoy”.
Trisha said: “Winning this award is special – it feels so aligned with me! Not only is it part of my story but it also recognises that I am a positive part of other people’s stories.
“My time at BU as a mature student marked a comfort-zone pushing journey – and took me beyond my parental role! Pushing myself to complete the dissertation was both painful and empowering.
“The whole experience sparked my self-belief – an essential part of setting up my own business a few years ago and being able to help others increase their confidence – an all-round win.”
Advancing Knowledge Award winner
Tom studied BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation and Animation and graduated in 2000. He is the co-founder of Blue Zoo which is now one of the largest animation production houses in Europe. As well as overseeing the creation of award-winning content.
Tom is an active campaigner for making the UK animation industry one that is inclusive and accessible to all. He co-founded AnimDojo to create affordable animation training, is the chair of the NextGen Skills Academy and the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council, and is the director of ACCESS:VFX, which champions inclusivity and diversity with the industry. He is also a leading figure in promoting animation and visual effects as a career option to school children.
The judges said: “Tom demonstrates real evidence of change within the sector, particularly given his focus on inclusivity. He has a commitment to put back into the industry which is exceptional.”
Tom said: “One of my most cherished letters is the one I received from Bournemouth University in 1997, offering me a place on the BA (Hons) Computer Visualisation & Animation course. I cannot imagine what my life would be like should I have not received it.
“From starting what is now one of the UK’s largest animation studios with my university course-mates, to meeting my wife through university friends.
“University has so much more to offer than academic learning alone, it’s truly life-shaping. I’m extremely fortunate it has taken me to a place where I can pursue sharing that knowledge even further, helping the next generation of animators, and crucially very lucky to be surrounded by friends and colleagues that facilitate my time to do it!”
Enriching Society Award winner
Christopher studied BA (Hons) Television Production and graduated in 2008. Christopher is now the elected Leader of Southampton City Council and the youngest LGBT leader of a council in the UK at 31. He is a tireless advocate for addressing climate change and tackling air pollution and has spearheaded new initiatives including discounts for electronic vehicle drivers, a taxi scrappage scheme, a retro-fit forever bus and new cycle highways. He regularly works in schools to engage young people in thinking about democracy and environmental issues.
The judges said: “Christopher is making a real impact on the sustainability agenda and taking on the challenges facing society in a way that can make a real difference.”
Christopher said: “Being recognised by your own university is a fantastic feeling, and one I intend to enjoy with fellow alumni and my family. I’m thankful to the Alumni Association and BU for giving me this award.
“My hope is that current students will see that they can make quick progress in their careers, thanks to their education at BU, and work doubly hard to fulfil their potential. Having recently visited the university, I’ve been left in no doubt that the expansion of its facilities and development of its campus will enable many more students to turn their dreams into reality.
Last year’s overall Alumni of the Year Award winner was Brian Heppenstall, who works as the Senior Ranger at Hengistbury Head. Following his win in 2018 he says: “It was, and will forever be, a pleasure to have been selected as the recipient of last year’s award and it’s has certainly had a positive affect on my relationship with the university.
“Being invited to present to the Global Talent Programme was a real highlight for me and I am in no doubt that this would not have happened without the award.”
The Alumni of the Year Awards 2020 will open for nominations in March. To read more about the Alumni of the Year 2019 award winners, please head to the alumni pages of the website.