Alumni Achievement Awards Winners 2023

The annual Alumni Achievement Awards are our opportunity to honour and recognise alumni who have achieved excellence in their field and inspire others to succeed.

Please read on to find out about this year's award recipients, including two new categories for this year: Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award and Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Alumni Achievement Awards

The recipients of our first and original award strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership for others to follow. 

Vicky Hawkesworth

Vicky Hawkesworth portrait, Alumni Achievement Award Winner 2023

BA Television & Radio, Class of 2017 

Vicky Hawkesworth made broadcasting history in September 2022 when she took over Scott Mills' afternoon show on BBC Radio 1, becoming the first weekday program to be broadcast from Salford instead of London. Vicky's journey began during the 2020 festive period when she hosted Radio 1's Christmas Takeover, showcasing her upbeat and witty style to a national audience. Her career flourished with frequent appearances on Radio 1 and a regular role at BBC Radio Manchester. Vicky also hosted the BBC iPlayer coverage of Radio 1's Big Weekend 2022 and the Platinum Jubilee Concert. Vicky then joined forces with Dean McCullough to host a brand-new daytime show on Radio 1, entertaining a nationwide audience. 

Beyond her broadcasting success, Vicky actively contributes to her community. She played a key role in fundraising activities for Bolton FM, including an annual charity event supporting Bolton Hospice. Vicky also champions inclusivity and LGBTQ+ rights through her show on Gaydio, promoting diversity. As a proud northerner from a modest background, Vicky's achievements are even more impressive, breaking barriers in a media industry often dominated by middle-class privilege. She has visited schools in Bolton, offering career guidance and inspiration to students.  

Vicky has remained connected to her roots, providing inspirational content for students at the University of Salford and sharing valuable career advice through interactive seminars.  

Richard Jeffery  

Richard Jeffery portrait, Alumni Achievement Award Winner 2023

MSc Management Studies, Class of 2002 

Richard Jeffery is the National Director of GC Business, a division of The Growth Company. He has spearheaded the growth of GC Business's support services, impacting 35,000 UK businesses annually.  

In 2011, he established the GC Business Growth Hub, a blueprint for Growth Hubs in England, turning a £500k investment into a £20M per annum business that has aided over 12,000 entrepreneurs globally. Richard has launched national programs, like Creative Scale-Up and Global Scale-Up, and played a pivotal role in the government-backed Peer Networks program. He received the Institute of Directors 2018 ‘Director of the Year Award’ and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.  

Richard chairs the Northern Powerhouse Growth Hub Network, co-chairs the Scale Up Institute's Access to Market Committee, and actively supports the University of Salford's Business School in various areas, including COVID-19 recovery response, employability programs, digital leadership, start-up and SME engagement. 

Tervinder Singh Matharu 

Tervinder Singh Matharu portrait, Alumni Achievement Award Winner 2023

BSc Biomedical Electronics, Class of 1982 

Tervinder is a distinguished figure in medical physics and radiation therapy with a career spanning over 40 years. He currently leads the Radiotherapy Physics team at The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust. Despite facing adversity as a Ugandan-born refugee, Tervinder emerged as a pioneer in the UK's Medical Physics field, graduating with honours from the University of Salford in 1982 and obtaining a Master's degree in Medical Radiation Physics in 1985. 

His noteworthy accomplishments include winning the Best Presented Paper award in 1992 for ground-breaking research on Stereotactic Radiosurgery. Tervinder has authored influential papers and shared his knowledge globally. He plays a pivotal role as a Medical Physics Expert co-authoring West Midlands Cancer Alliances Treatment Protocols and actively educates aspiring clinical oncology specialists. His philanthropic efforts include fundraising for free health checks and cataract operations in India, while he has also served his local community as a school governor, temple financial auditor and voluntary Wedding Registrar.  

Tervinder's dedication to mentoring the next generation is evident through his involvement in the University of Salford mentorship program, sharing his experience to help others achieve their dreams. 

Nic Humphries 

Nic Humphries portrait, Alumni Achievement Award Winner 2023

BEng Electrical Engineering, Class of 1990 

Nic Humphries is a Senior Partner and Executive Chairman of HgCapital and their Saturn Fund, leading Europe's largest investor in software and technology. With over 30 years of experience, Nic has been responsible for Hg's strategy, management, and governance, focusing on significant software investments catering to professionals in various fields. He joined Hg in 2001 as the founder of the Technology Team and has since led or co-led more than 30 investments. Nic currently serves on the boards of tech companies, IRIS Software, and Visma. 

Raised in Mansfield, Nic was the first in his family to attend university, having studied at Salford, which he credits for opening new opportunities in his life. He remains deeply engaged with the university, actively supporting various ventures including scholarships, IntoUniversity and Energy House Labs. Nic initiated the Hg Access to Tech Scholarship program, providing opportunities for students, and personally mentors one of the scholars pursuing a Biological Sciences Degree. Additionally, Nic and Hg have contributed to Salford's Community Outreach and Impact fund, assisting the university in building networks through introductions to high-profile Salford alumni. 

Rising Star Awards

Our Rising Star Awards recognise the achievements of our recent graduates, who have already accomplished great things and are on the way to achieving even more.

Maudlyn Akosua Awuku

Maudlyn Akosua Awuku portrait

MSc Project Management, Class of 2021

Maudlyn is a dynamic leader, managing two impactful organisations: GEWE Global Network CIC in the UK and Anijie Global Foundation in Ghana. GEWE Global Network CIC advocates female leadership in politics and civic engagement while fostering the growth of young women through workshops and events. As the founder of Anijie Global Foundation, Maudlyn focuses on empowering women, youth, and children, aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals. Her remarkable work has earned her recognition as a Board Member for the European Forum Alpbach in Austria and as a delegate for UN Women UK at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York. Anijie Global Foundation has initiated numerous programs, including a nationwide campaign donating exercise books to marginalized schools and providing quality education programs for over 6000 beneficiaries, primarily women, persons with disabilities, and youth.

Maudlyn's commitment to gender equality, female leadership, and climate action is showcased through her involvement in global conferences and her latest project, GEWE Global Network, which empowers young African and BME individuals in the UK.

Nisha Kassam

Nisha Kassam portrait

MSc Public Health, Class of 2019

Nisha held a critical role as the Regional Faith and Beliefs Manager (North Region) at NHS Blood and Transplant during the pandemic, notably contributing to the Convalescent Plasma program. She mobilized faith and belief communities to boost plasma donations, initially for COVID-19 treatment and later for medicines. Nisha conducted research, proposed campaigns, engaged stakeholders, organized community events, and managed newsletters. Her efforts earned her team a High Commendation in the Community Initiative category at the CIPD awards. Nisha also co-organized a highly successful inaugural TEDx program at the University of Salford, showcasing diverse speakers and enhancing the university's visibility. With a community-focused approach, Nisha aims to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Health at the University of British Columbia, establishing herself as a future leader in the field.

Laura Praill

Laura Praill portrait

BSc Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology, Class of 2019

Laura Praill is a devoted conservationist and primate advocate, serving as the Fundraising and Communications Manager at the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon. She made a bold move, relocating to actively contribute to conservation efforts in a different continent. Laura excels in fundraising and communications, actively engages in animal care, conservation planning, and offers expert advice on primate behaviour and conservation. She created the Global Primate Roadkill Database, a vital resource shedding light on the impact of expanding roads on primate populations, particularly in developing tropical countries. Laura is a beacon for aspiring female researchers and conservationists, supporting equal opportunities and mentoring women in Cameroon.

She proudly represents the University of Salford, having founded the successful Pole Fitness Society during her time as a student, served as an ambassador, and organised immersive experiences for wildlife students and inspiring talks featuring renowned conservationist Ian Redmond. Laura's work is instrumental in primate conservation, making her a role model for future female conservationists.

Pien Meulensteen

Pien Meulensteen portrait

BA Journalism: Broadcast, Class of 2019

Pien is a groundbreaking sports commentator who shattered gender barriers in the broadcasting industry. She made history as the first woman to commentate on a live Premier League game for Sky Sports and the youngest-ever commentator for Premier League TV. Pien's voice has graced major sporting events like the World Cup on BBC radio and TV. She advocates for women's voices in football, mentors students, and champions International Women's Day features for Premier League TV and Manchester United. Pien's influence extends to the Women's Super League and Champions League, making sports journalism more inclusive for young women. Her remarkable achievements and commitment to breaking barriers inspire a new generation of female broadcasters and commentators.

Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award

This award honours a member of our alumni community who has continually delivered exceptional service to the University and our students. 

Phil Bishop

Phil Bishop portrait, Alumni Volunteer of the Year 2023

MBA, Class of 2022 

Phil's career trajectory began in the Fire and Rescue Service, later transitioning into the NHS with a focus on Fire Safety, ultimately assuming a compliance role in Capital and Estates functions. He then oversaw Fire Safety strategy in Social Housing. During the pandemic, Phil played a key role as the Estates and Facilities service delivery lead in a Northwest NHS Trust. His extensive experience and pursuit of an MBA program with distinction and Fellowship status with the Institute of Leadership and Management prepared him for success at Capita, where he has made substantial contributions. He developed client relationships in local and central government, led digital innovation projects, and initiated an apprentice program, supporting college graduates. Recognised for his achievements, Phil was promoted to Technical Director - Growth, entrusted with enhancing client propositions for a £25m business.  

Phil's influence extends beyond the corporate realm. He initiated an apprentice program at Capita, offering college graduates employment opportunities and funding their Level 6 Building Surveying degrees at the University of Salford. Additionally, Phil has supported the University's Business School through guest lectures and volunteering activities. 

Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award

The recipient’s inspirational support has raised the confidence and aspirations of our student body, as they prepare for a successful life after university, helping us to achieve our shared vision of creating a rich and diverse, industry-led experience for our students.

Jeanette Gamble

Jeanette Gamble portrait

BSc Business Information Systems, Class of 2000 

Jeanette, an alumna of Salford Business School, began her career at Morgan Stanley as a graduate trainee in their analyst program 23 years ago, after completing her BSc in Business Information Technology. Throughout her tenure, she has held roles in Technology and Finance, gaining expertise in enterprise computing, application development, quality assurance, production management, finance, and enterprise crisis management. A trailblazer for women in technology, she actively promotes gender equality within Morgan Stanley, co-leading Gender Diversity and Women in Tech initiatives. As one of Morgan Stanley's youngest female Managing Directors, she believes in defying limitations and encourages others to pursue their aspirations.  

Jeanette dedicates her time to mentoring and supporting women and girls in technology, serving as an Honorary International Industry Fellow at Salford Business School, and participating in various outreach programs and initiatives. Her journey from the University of Salford to becoming a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley serves as an inspiring example for students, and she is committed to guiding the next generation of professionals.