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Influential alumni give back to Sussex

Ashley Pharoah delivering his masterclass

Ashley Barr, Sussex Future Leaders (English) Scholar

Jacqui Harper and Harper Undergraduate Award recipient, Denis Duba

Ashley Pharoah, (ENGAM 1978), British screenwriter and television producer, was among notable Sussex alumni who recently returned to campus to give career guidance to students.

The co-creator of Life on Mars and Wild at Heart delivered a masterclass to students who are thinking of pursuing a career in screenwriting and television production, giving insightful tips on how to get that elusive first break, as well as how to hone screenwriting skills.

Whilst on campus, Ashley, who also generously supports the Sussex Future Leaders Scholarship (English), took the opportunity to meet up with his scholar, Ashley Barr, a Sexual Dissidence MA student from Massachusetts.

Ashley expressed her immense gratitude and acknowledged the profound benefit that her scholarship has had on her:

“I feel so very fortunate to have the chance to study at Sussex and live in Brighton! I would not have access to such excellent resources, people and culture without this support.

“I’ll be starting my PhD in Critical and Creative Writing at the University of Sussex this autumn! I am thrilled to be able to stay in Brighton and at Sussex for the next three years! I know for sure that such a thing would not have been possible without the support I have received through the Sussex Future Leaders (English) Scholarship. Thank you for helping to make all of this possible!”

Another Sussex alumna, Jacqui Harper, MBE (ENGAM 1981), broadcaster, INSEAD Professor and leading business coach, recently took the opportunity to mentor a group of current students from the University of Sussex Business School. Attending the Women Mean Business initiative which was hosted by Suzy Foster (English 1995), Microsoft’s Director of Health & Life Science at the Microsoft offices in London, Jacqui and a cohort of other inspirational Sussex alumnae met with a group of female students to discuss candidly the challenges and opportunities for women in the corporate world.

Like Ashley Pharoah, Jacqui supports a scholarship at Sussex - the Harper Undergraduate Award - the most recent recipient of which is Denis Duba, a Foundation year student from Kosovo. As a mark of Jacqui’s commitment to the young people that she philanthropically supports, she took the opportunity to catch up with Denis during her visit to London.

Referring to the tremendous impact that Jacqui’s Award has had on him, Denis said:

“Being a care-leaver, my life has been difficult, though this has strengthened my ambition to attain a stable future and make a strong career for myself. I was delighted to be selected to receive the Harper Undergraduate Award. It will definitely go a long way for me, especially since I am financially independent.”

Alumni mentoring and support makes a huge difference to our students, providing valuable insight, advice and financial assistance at critical points in their lives and contributing to their success. We are committed to promoting interaction between alumni and students via a programme of events and initiatives.

If you are interested in acting as a mentor to Sussex students, please visit the Sussex Connect website. The platform provides a members-only environment that allows alumni and students to connect and develop global mentoring and networking relationships.

Alternatively, to make a gift and help equip our Sussex students to go out and make a difference in the world, please visit our secure online giving page.

By: Emma Wigmore
Last updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2018