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Class Notes

We continue to be inspired by our alumni. Each month, we highlight a selection of your achievements to share with our community. 

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June 2024

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Line Break imageAndrew Allman (BA in Theology, St Chad's College, 1998-2001; MA in Education, 2004-08) is set to become headmaster of Lucton School in Herefordshire.

Line Break imageHarriet Axbey (BA in Education (Primary) 2015-18; MA in Research Methods, 2018-20, Stephenson College) has recently published 'University: The Autistic Guide: Everything You Need to Survive and Thrive' tackling one of the biggest transitions facing prospective students.

Line Break imageBen Cardwell (Economics & Law, St Cuthbert's Society, 1961-64) has published a selection of poems, 'From B to W' composed during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Line Break imageThe Venerable Dr Edward Dowlers (PhD in Theology, 2003-07) is set to become the next Dean of Chichester after his nomination was approved by His Majesty King Charles III.

Line Break imageJack Edwards (English Literature, St Cuthbert's Society, 2017-20) is the subject of a Q&A in The Guardian about his career as a renowned book influencer.

Line Break imageProfessor George Efstathiou FRAS FRS (PhD in Physics, Graduate Society, 1976-79) has given the 34th Oort Lecture entitled 'Do we have a standard model of cosmology?' at Universiteit Leiden in the Netherlands.

Line Break imageProfessor Joe Elliott (Combined Arts, 1973-75; Education, 1974-77; MA in Education 1979-81; PhD in Education, 1988-94, College of St Hild and St Bede; current staff member and Principal of Collingwood College) has released new book 'The Dyslexia Debate Revisited'. 

Line Break imageHannah Evans (Combined Arts, Josephine Butler College, 2014-18) has launched debut novel 'The Mapmaker's Wife'. Inspired by the true story of her grandparents, Hannah began writing this while studying at Durham. It has been featured as a top pick on the Radio Wales Arts Show.

Line Break imageColleen Flynn (Archaeology, Hatfield College, 2002-05) has been awarded a BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) for the Television Single Documentary in 2024 category for her work with Paralympian Ellie Simmonds.

Line Break imageDr Michael Garbutt (English Language and Literature, Hatfield College, 1973-76) is currently a senior lecturer at the School of Art & Design at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, and research fellow at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art in Washington DC on a journey of art exploration that began in the then Gulbenkian Museum in Durham during his studies.

He has co-authored best-selling 'Mindful Eye, Playful Eye: 101 Museum Activities for Discovery, Connection, and Insight' and is also co-chair of one of Central Asia’s most important cultural festivals, Nomad 24: The Infinite Sky, held in Kyrgyzstan. 

Line Break imageVice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence KCVO CB ADC(P) (Geography, University College, 1973-76) has been named as Kent County Cricket Club's president for a second time.

Line Break imageJim Mann (Ecology, Collingwood College, 1995-98) in conversation with The QT, has called for the UK Government to use volcanic rock on farmers' fields as fertiliser following research.

Line Break imageStevie Martin (English Literature, St John's College, 2006-10) has been featured in an interview with The Guardian, starting from her time in The Durham Revue.

Line Break imageJames Reed (Law, St John's College, 2005-07) has been longlisted for the Legal Cheek Campus Ambassador of the Year Awards.

Line Break imageJulia Sowerbutts née Josephs (Combined Arts, Collingwood College, 1977-80) is currently the artistic director of the annual INK Festival which celebrates short plays, many of which are penned by new writers.

Line Break imageCameron Steel (History, College of St Hild & St Bede, 2013-16) is featured in The Guardian, with the focus on his professional cricketing career to date.

Line Break imageEdward Timpson CBE MP (Politics, Hatfield College, 1993-96) and his political career is featured in The Guardian.

Line Break imageJenny Walser (Natural Sciences, University College, 2013-16) is the subject of a feature by TVOverMind on her background and acting career to date ahead of the new TV series of 'Heartstopper' in October 2024.

Line Break imageSilas Welsh (Geology, St Aidan's College, 2019-22) is planning to cycle approximately 500 miles around the coast of Wales at the end of June to fundraise for the Earthly Paradise English Speaking Secondary School in Besishahar in Nepal.

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May 2024

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Line Break imageBeth Blacklock (BA in Business Management, Stephenson College, 2016-19; MSc in Defence, Development & Diplomacy, Hatfield College, 2019-22) has been named to the Scotland Women's Six Nation rugby squad this year.

Line Break imageSir Graham Brady MP (Law, St Aidan's College, 1986-89) is to write a tell-all book about his career in the House of Commons.

Line Break imageProfessor David Breeze OBE FSA (BA in History, 1962-65; PhD in History, 1965-68, University College) has produced 'Hadrian's Wall in our Time', containing accounts by 80 archaeologists of their favourite places on Hadrian's Wall to mark the chainsaw massacre of the iconic and much loved tree in Sycamore Gap in September 2023.

Line Break imageProfessor Robert Deng (PhD in Chemistry, University College, 1978-81) has been appointed as the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Juba in Sudan.

Line Break imageGuy Deacon CBE (Anthropology, University College, 1981-84) has given an interview as part of an event entitled 'Running on Empty' at West Sussex's Stansted Park. The evening was held in aid of Parkinson's Disease. He is also the subject of a feature in Pathfinder International on travelling the full length of Africa. Guy will be the subject of a forthcoming Channel 4 documentary in July 2024.

Line Break imageHannah Doyle (English Literature, St Mary's College, 2002-05) has written her fourth book, 'The Pick Up', available from 9 May 2024, with HQ Digital. Hannah writes uplifting, relatable romcoms and her fifth book is slated for spring 2025.

Line Break imageDavid Fairs (Mathematics, Hatfield College, 1980-83; MBA, 1995-97) has been appointed Honorary Professor at Durham University Business School.

Line Break imageEd Gamble (Philosophy, Hatfield College, 2004-07) has spoken to i news in an interview about his time as a student at Durham.

Line Break imageCoreen Grant (English Literature, St John's College, 2015-19) has also been named to the Scotland Women's Six Nation rugby squad this year.

Line Break imageLauren Irwin (Sport Health & Exercise, College of St Hild & St Bede, 2016-19) has spoken to BBC Tees ahead of the 2024 Olympics about the role Durham played in her early career as a rower. Fast forward to 2:11:11 to hear her interview.

Line Break imageHugh Kingsmill Moore (Biological Sciences, Hatfield College, 1992-95) has penned debut novel 'Selection', which follows fictional character Sebastian Faber on his journey from a bleak future to a lucrative City job offer, and beyond.

Line Break imageNish Kumar (English & History, Grey College, 2004-07) discusses his experiences of doing comedy while studying ahead of new tour 'Nish, Don't Kill My Vibe', launching in September 2024. Nish was a member of the Durham Revue during his studies.Line Break imageBlair Mowat (Music, Van Mildert College, 2004-07) has been interviewed by the Movie Music International blog about his work composing hundreds of scores for film, theatre and television.

Line Break imageHenry Patten (MSc in Finance & Investment, Collingwood College, 2019-20) has won his first Association of Tennis Professionals doubles title at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech.

Line Break imageAnna Pennington (PGCE, Trevelyan College, 2018-19) is currently teaching Geography in New Zealand and was invited to speak at the NZ Board of Geography teachers conference in Christchurch. 

Line Break imageKit Sadgrove (Latin, Collingwood College, 1973-76) has published 'The Concierge Class', which reveals how Britain's middle class is responsible for the country's growing inequality, and what we can do about it.

Line Break imageHarry Macklyn Swan (Plant Science, College of St Hild & St Bede, 1995-98) has been sworn into office as High Sheriff of County Durham.

Line Break imageDr Anthony Wells (BA in Modern European History, 1962-65; MA in History, 1965-69, St Cuthbert’s Society) has written 'The Pursuit of Peace Science, Law, and Art', focusing on large scale natural and man-made tragedies that occurred in 2022/23, and the impact of positive and courageous human endeavour.

Line Break imageDiana Wilkinson née Kennett (Geography, Trevelyan College, 1974-77) released new book 'The Girl in Seat 2A' in January this year. The publication topped the sales chart in Amazon's Kindle Store in the UK and Australia at the end of March.

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April 2024

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Line Break imageProfessor Patrick Armstrong (BSc in Geography & Geology, 1960-63; MA in Human Geography, 1966, University College) has written short biographies of Alfred Russel Wallace, co-discoverer of the concept of evolution through natural selection, and Sir Richard Owen, a strident opponent of evolutionary ideas. He has previously published several books on Charles Darwin, for which he was awarded a DLitt from the University of Western Australia. He is currently writing a book on John Ray, 17th century naturalist and theologian.

Line Break imageKaren Charlton née James (PGCE in Education, University College Stockton, 1997-98) recently published her latest novel, 'The Resurrection Mystery', the seventh in her Detective Lavender Mysteries series. She is delighted that 24 hours after its release, it was ranked within the top ten books of Historical Mysteries in the UK and labelled 'hot new release' in Historical Fiction in the USA.

Line Break imageFelicity Cunliffe-Lister (Law, St Mary's College, 1989-92) has been revealed as the Liberal Democrats' candidate for the first mayor of York and North Yorkshire.

Line Break imageAndrew Dobson (Ecology, St Cuthbert's Society, 2000-03) is approaching the first anniversary of the publication of his book 'Flaws of Nature: the Limits and Liabilities of Natural Selection', which focuses on the quirks of evolutionary biology.

Line Break imageEd Gamble (Philosophy, Hatfield College, 2004-07) has embarked on his new UK-wide tour, 'Hot Diggity Dog', promising comedy involving classic Gamble ranting, raving and spluttering.  

Line Break imageJeremy Ho (Combined Arts, St Cuthbert's Society, 2015-18) has been hired by Aviva Investors as part of the Real Assets Responsible Investment Team

Line Break imageKeir McGovern (Law, St John's College, 2014-17) has been appointed to North East law firm Hay & Kilner as part of their award-winning private client team.

Line Break imageSimon Mold (English Language & Medieval Literature, 1976-79; PGCE in Education, 1979-80, University College) is celebrating the first anniversary of the global release of cantata, 'Passiontide'.

Line Break imageWaleed Noor (Business Finance, Stephenson College, 2001-04) has been appointed Managing Director and Head of Middle East Distribution at Monroe Capital.

Line Break imageKathy Spencer née Heap (Education, College of St Hild & St Bede,1970-73) and Jeremy Spencer (Education, College of St Hild & St Bede, 1970-73) have published two books - 'Sailing by on Sal Darago' volumes 1 and 2 - which detail their adventures and experiences from having sailed around the world twice.

Line Break imageSteve Tunnicliffe (Arabic with Middle East / Islamic Studies, Trevelyan College,1990-94; MBA, 1999-2003) has published 'Somalia: The Land of Camel Milk and Honey', which reflects on his peaceful childhood in the country prior to the outbreak of Civil War and subsequent conflict. Proceeds from the book go directly to Unicef's East Africa Crisis appeal.

Professionally, Steve has recently joined the Board of Commercis Plc focusing on strategy to support the company through its next stage of transformation. Steve also continues to offer mentoring to current students at our Leadership Academy and at Durham University Business School and was previously awarded 'Mentor of the Year 2017/18' at the Business School.

Line Break imageSally Wainwright (Sociology, Van Mildert College,1973-76) has co-edited 'Women's Rights, Gender Wrongs: the global impact of gender-identity ideology', which tackles the diverse ways that the global spread of gender-identity ideology has affected all aspects of women's lives.

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March 2024

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Line Break imageDr Adam Berlie (PhD in Physics, Ustinov College, 2008-13) has written an article on his career to date, what it's like to be a neurodivergent researcher, and embracing neurodiversity in neutron science.

Line Break imageDr Emma Bridges (PhD in Classics, Ustinov College, 2000-03) has published 'Warriors' Wives: Ancient Greek Myth and Modern Experience' with Oxford University Press. It compares the experiences of these mythical characters with those of contemporary military spouses. Listen to Emma discuss it in a dedicated New Books Network podcast episode.

Line Break imageAdam Brocklebank (Sport Health & Exercise, Collingwood College, 2014-17) has signed a new three-year deal with Newcastle Falcons rugby club as prop-forward.

Line Break imageMatthew Featherstone (Business Finance, Stephenson College, 2001-04) has been named as Newmark's new Head of Debt & Structured Finance in the UK and Europe.

Line Break imageJohn Hindle (Community & Youth Work, St Cuthbert's Society, 2000-03) has published 'Hidden Depths' poetry pamphlet following a three year collaboration and exhibition at King Street Arts in Lancaster.

Line Break imageSimon Lazenby (Natural Sciences, College of St Hild & St Bede, 1993-96) is named as part of Sky Sports motorsport presenting team for 2024.

Line Break imageRupert Lloyd Thomas (Combined Arts, University College, 1970-73) talks to Computer Weekly about his experience of IT decision making in the Post Office in the 1970s as a former employee.

Line Break imageDr Fiona Lovatt (PhD in Biological Sciences, 2002-08), sheep veterinary expert, has been awarded the National Sheep Association's George Hedley memorial award for outstanding contribution to the industry.

Line Break imageRevd Dr David Pennant (PGCE in Education, St Chad's College, 1973-74) has penned 'The Riddle of One Samuel', exploring wordplays in Hebrew text.

Line Break imageDr Anna Rae (MA in Counselling, Graduate Society, 2001-02) completed her doctorate in International Psychology in 2022 and has since taken up the position of Chair of the International Committee for Women within the American Psychological Association, alongside other roles.

Line Break imageKate Silverton (Psychology, St Cuthbert's Society, 1990-94) talks to the Mirror about quitting her position as a high-profile BBC newsreader to retrain as a child therapist and author of parenting advice books. 

Line Break imageOlivia Sparkhall (Music, Hatfield College, 1995-98) and her book 'A Young Person's Guide to Vocal Health' have been honoured as a finalist in the Music & Drama Education Awards 2024.

Line Break imageJames Stewart (Theology, St John's College, 1996-99) is currently on 'The Narrow Road' tour with Riding Lights Theatre Company. He also balances tour guide duties at The Real Mary King's Close in Edinburgh with speed coaching online and in-person with The Elocution Coach.

Line Break imageJames Timpson (Geography, Hatfield College, 1991-94) CEO of Timpson (best known for show repair and key cutting services), has been interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Profile show about his life as a businessman and philanthropist.

Line Break imageEdward Twiddy (BSc in Geography, 1988-91; PhD in Geography, 1992-97, Collingwood College) has been named as Board Chair at Northstar Venture. He retains his position as Director of Environment, Society and Government at Atom Bank.

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February 2024

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Line Break imageDr Peter Appleton (Psychology, St John's College & St Cuthbert's Society, 1967-70) will be releasing new book 'What Matters and Who Matters to Young People Leaving Care' in Spring 2024.

Line Break imageDr Nigel Aston (History, St Cuthbert's Society, 1976-79; current member of Hatfield College SCR) has published 'Enlightened Oxford: The University and the Cultural and Political Life of Eighteenth-Century Britain and Beyond'.

Line Break imageDr Emma Black (BA in Business Finance, John Snow College, 2005-08; MSc in Finance & Investment, Ustinov College, 2008-09; PhD in Accounting & Finance, Ustinov College, 2009-14) has become the new President of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment North East Committee. 

Line Break imageJack Edwards (English Literature, St Cuthbert's Society, 2017-20) is the subject of a profile for his work within the 'StudyTube' community on YouTube for his engaging, informative content focusing on academic study, productivity and university life as the self-proclaimed resident librarian of the internet. 

Line Break imageCallum Elson (History, Collingwood College, 2017-20) qualified for the GB squad and was selected as captain for the European Cross Country Championships in Brussels in December 2023.

Line Break imageGabriel Francis-Dehqani (Music, University College, 2018-21) has won the fourth edition of the International Contemporary Music Interpretation Competition (article in Italian).

Line Break imageDr Zulkifli Hasan (PhD in Government & International Affairs, Ustinov College, 2008-11) takes on the position of Religious Affairs Deputy Minister in Malaysia.

Line Break imageTess Howard (Geography, University College, 2017-22), who plays hockey for Team GB, has spoken to about her dissertation and how it has led to a 'kit revolution' in hockey.

Line Break imageDr Joanne Johnson (Geology, Hatfield College, 1995-98) was named as a recipient of the prestigious Polar Medal in the King's New Year Honours List 2023. The Polar Medal is awarded to a small number of individuals who have given outstanding achievement and service to the UK in the field of polar research each year. Joanne received her medal from Princess Anne at Windsor Castle in an investitute ceremony on 24 October 2023. She is the 21st woman to be awarded this medal of over 900 recipients.

Line Break imageSindhura Kalyanam (MBA, Ustinov College, 2019-20) has launched new YouTube channel, AnalytixSync, which has as its objective unravelling often unnoticed mysteries and insights across a wide range of spheres, from uncovering hidden destinations, to financial round-ups from across the world and FIFA World Rankings.

Line Break imageThomas Lister (Economics, University College, 1973-76) takes over as CEO of Global Ship Lease, an independent owner of containerships, after having held numerous senior executive roles since the company's establishment in 2007. 

Line Break imageProfessor Roger Little (BA in French, 1964; PhD in French, Hatfield College, 1970) celebrates the milestone 200th volume of his series of books 'Autrement Mêmes', which focuses on texts representing 'Other' peoples, especially those colonised by the French. The collection marked its 20th anniversary in 2021 with an interview with Roger (article and interview in French).

Line Break imageAmbika Mod (English Literature, St Mary's College, 2014-17) has been named as one of OK Magazine's women to watch in 2024.

Line Break imageRevd Canon Daniel O'Connor (English, University College, 1951-54) has published 'India and the End of Empire: Selected Writings of Daniel O'Connor', containing an introduction to his many writings throughout his career.

Line Break imageMatthew Stafford (Software Engineering, St Cuthbert's Society, 2003-06) co-authored 'Find Your 9others' alongside Katie Lewis last year, building on the success of the 9others network the duo founded in 2011. The network now consists of 5,000+ entrepreneurs in over 45 cities around the world. 'Find your 9others' focuses on questions to ask yourself as you start and scale your own start-up, and contains stories and insights that Matthew has learned since founding the network.

Line Break imageDr Leonidas Tzonis (MSc in Finance & Investment, Graduate Society, 1998-99; PG Certificate in Higher Education, Graduate Society, 2005; staff member in the Department of Economics, 2002-06) has been awarded the Office of Archon Ostiarios (Office of Lord Host) at the Patriarchal Church.

Line Break imageJack Williams (Law, University College, 2008-11) is the joint winner of the prestigious Fred Ebb award for song-writing.

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