Alumni news

Sussex alumni all over the world have been active in starting new projects, making an impact at local, national and international level, achieving career milestones and gaining recognition. Here is a snapshot of their news.


Jennifer Uchendu (Development Studies 2019) won the British Council’s national Study UK Alumni Award (Nigeria) in the Science and Sustainability category. Recently named one of the 2023 BBC 100 Women, she set up SustyVibes and The Eco-anxiety Africa Project (TEAP), two NGOs that help to promote sustainable business practices and raise awareness of the link between climate change and mental health. Read more about Jennifer 

Professor Anil Seth (Informatics 1995) has been awarded the Royal Society’s Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture 2023 for his ability to inspire and communicate concepts and advances in cognitive neuroscience and consciousness to the public. Read more about Anil's research

Headshot of AnuOluwapo Adelakun.

AnuOluwapo Adelakun (Journalism and Documentary Practice 2017) won the Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting from the Society of Environmental Journalists for episode one – Osun (Water for Gold) – in her documentary series, The Water Manifesto. She has also been nominated for the 2024 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in the best documentary category.

UK Honours 

In the King’s 2023 Birthday Honours and 2024 New Year Honours lists, at least 12 members of the University of Sussex community were honoured by His Majesty King Charles III: 

Labour MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw (German 1978), was Knighted for his political and public service.

Professor Ivor Gaber, smiling at the camera, head and shoulders portrait shot, in front of campus flint wall

University of Sussex Professor Ivor Gaber (Labour Studies 1970) received an OBE for his services to media freedom around the world. 

Author Ian McEwan (English Literature 1967) who has six times been nominated for the Booker Prize – winning it in 1998 for his novel Amsterdam – has been made a Companion of Honour for services to literature.

Shona Elizabeth Riach (International Economics 2002), UK Executive Director to the International Monetary Fund, was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath for Public Service.

Bidesh Sarkar (Mathematics 1987), Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Business and Trade, was awarded a CBE for public service.

Dr Ed Garratt (History 1995) was awarded an OBE for services to the Integrated Care System.

Chloe Mawson (Applied Psychology 1996), a Clerk Assistant at the House of Lords, was awarded an OBE for services to Parliament and for her role in the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Dr Rex Strong (Physics 1974) was awarded an OBE for services to the civil nuclear industry.

Susannah Schofield (History of Art 1984) was awarded an MBE for services to Journalism and to diversity in the broadcasting industry.

Professor Rachid Hourizi (French and German 1985), Director at the Institute of Coding located in Bath, was awarded an MBE for services to the digital sector.

Janet Zmroczek (Russian 1979) is the former Head of European, Americas and Oceania collections at the British Library and has been made an MBE for services to literature and heritage.

Alumnus Liam Hackett MBE in white shirt with green countryside background

Founder and CEO of global youth charity Ditch the Label, Liam Hackett (Business and Management 2009) became an MBE in the 2024 New Year Honours for services to young people. Read more about Liam 

Community heroes 

Headshot of Leonor Cutileiro Correia. Image credit: Ana Brigida.

Image credit: Ana Brigida.

Dr Leonor Cutileiro Correia (Media and Cultural Studies 2017) coordinated the UBI Acolhe project providing housing for Syrian refugee families in student dormitories on the University of Beira (UBI) interior campus in Covilhã, Portugal. The scheme was born out of a non-academic paper Leonor wrote for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) while completing her doctoral thesis at Sussex.

The following alumni are national finalists for the Social Action Award at the British Council’s 2023 Study UK Alumni Awards, in recognition of the impact they’ve made on their communities, industries and countries:

For BangladeshTanjila Mazumder Drishti (Globalisation, Business and Development 2017), a women’s rights advocate currently serving as Regional Lead Asia at Building Resources Across Communities (BRAC) International, is recognised for her commitment to equality while developing large-scale interventions.

For KazakhstanDr Aigerim Mussabalinova (Law 2016) has advocated for enhanced support services to prevent the unnecessary separation of children from their families, resulting in a halving of the number of children in care in Kazakhstan. Read more about Dr Aigerim

For Nigeria –  Sarah Egbo (Gender and Development 2018) as Policy Lead at Gender Mobile Initiative – an NGO working towards eliminating sexual and gender-based violence within Nigerian higher education settings – has engaged with over 101 Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and more than 50,000 members of campus communities. 


Professor Sonya Grier (Social Sciences and Cultural Studies 1985) has been appointed Eminent Scholar Chair in Marketing – one of three new endowed chairs at American University’s Kogod School of Business. Sonya is one of the foremost experts on race in the marketplace.

Professor Sangook Park (Science and Technology Policy 2005) from Seoul National University’s College of Natural Sciences has been appointed as the first Science and Technology Advisor to the President of Korea. Since 2022 he has been working with the University of Sussex Business School in developing and running the USBS-SNU Summer Programme. Read his expert insights on the programme 

Giles Adams (History of Art 1985) was appointed as a Board Member of the British Library for a four-year term in October 2023. Having recently retired as a Partner at KPMG UK, Giles has been a Trustee of Historic Buildings & Places since 2018.

Pankaj Barua (Development Studies 2021) is currently posted as Additional Deputy Commissioner for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, based in Cumilla.

Helen Rimmer (Psychology of Kindness and Wellbeing at Work 2022) was awarded the first Small Business Sunday of 2024 by Theo Paphitis for her company The Kind Brave Leader. Helen provides workshops and insights that help to transform the workplace into a kinder, better environment. Read more about Helen

James Evans, Katie Deans, Katy Malone stood together at a stand for OurFamilyWizard.

James Evans (Theatre Studies and Film Studies 2013) manages UK growth for award-winning US co-parenting app OurFamilyWizard, which helps families to have a better experience during divorce proceedings and following separation. He works with fellow Sussex alumni Katie Deans (Law with Business and Management 2018) and Katy Malone (Law 2016) and, in the Australian office, Naomi Ives (Law 2013)

Lauren Leigh Kelly (Media Arts and Humanities, Visiting & Exchange 2003) has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University.

Professor Elizabeth Churchill (MSc Artificial Intelligence 1986) has joined the American Friends of University of Sussex Board and also has a new role as Professor and Department Chair of Human-Computer Interaction at Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence in Abu Dhabi.

New ventures 

John Locke in a promotional shot for the film Vindication Swim.

John Locke (Social Anthropology 1984) is back on the big screen this year in a new biopic Vindication Swim about Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel in 1927 and her subsequent fight for her legacy. John portrays her coach in the film, which was released in the UK and Ireland on International Women’s Day 2024.

Theo Maloney (Marketing and Management with Psychology 2017) founded JAR – Just Add Rum – a tropical mixer for making quick and easy rum punch. He suggests, “just add the rum of your choice, ice and enjoy!” Read more about Theo

Szymon Mikolajczyk (Ecology and Conservation 2004) has dedicated the past 15 years to working in climate change (at Climate Focus) and recently helped establish Football for Forests (F4F) – a non-profit using the power of football to raise funding for tropical forest restoration. The initiative was launched in the summer of 2023 with the FIFA Women’s World Cup as the inaugural tournament. Around 56 football-pitch sized areas of forest have so far been replanted in the Colombian Amazon – the goal is to reach 10,000 in the next few years.

Yaren Steven Sahilli (Art History and Museum Curating 2018) recently launched art consultancy studio Artelmina, whose services range from renovation and restoration to sourcing art for workplaces, residences and community spaces.

Julian Langinger (Politics and International Relations 1964) believes that prevention is the answer to the global mental health and family estrangement crises, and he has launched the Cool is Best Method book, app and website to teach the six skills of emotional intelligence through fun activities.

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