Alumni Services

April '18 bulletin

Our alumni-oriented round-up of news, events and opportunities for April 2018, updated throughout the month.

1. Alumnus bags British Council award

Sushant Desai
1. Alumnus Sushant Desai wins British Council Alumni Award

Management graduate Sushant Desai has walked away with the Entrepreneurial Award at this year's British Council India Alumni Awards. The award recognises alumni who have developed innovative solutions to problems within their industry. Sushant is co-founder of Camphor Cinema, which provides an international platform for unique Indian stories, and also Sitting Duck Pictures, which develops and produces global film content with worldwide sales and offers top value to investors. His first Production ‘Ramanujan’ was critically acclaimed and bagged a lot of awards including the Best Production Award at Norway's NTFF in 2015. Through Sitting Duck Pictures and Camphor Cinema, he aims at developing and producing other interesting films.

The MSc graduate taking on the silver screen

British Council Inida Alumni Awards (external)

2. Sylvia Earle joins the alumni community

Sylvia Earle at her honorary graduation in April 2018
2. Sylvia Earle receives her honorary degree and chats with current Geosciences students

Sylvia Earle, the renowned marine biologist, explorer, author and lecturer, received an honorary degree from the University on 10 April for outstanding achievements in ocean conservation and environmental stewardship. She told a gathered audience of Edinburgh students, staff and alumni at the School of Geosciences: "We have the chance to make a change for a better world, more so now than ever before, and perhaps than we ever will again."

Honorary graduates and degrees

School of Geosciences

3. Alumnus wins Pulitzer Prize for second time

Andrew R.C. Marshall wins Pulitzer Prize
3. Andrew R.C. Marshall recognised by the Pulitzer Prizes, again

English Literature graduate Andrew R.C. Marshall, South East Asia Special Investigator with Reuters, has just been awarded his second Pulitzer Prize in the space of four years in the category of International Reporting. Andrew's first Pulitzer came in 2014 for his investigation into the violent persecution of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority in Myanmar who, in their efforts to flee the country, often fell victim to predatory human trafficking networks. His latest prize is for his relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Read the citation on the Pulitzer Prize website

4. Alumni join New York parade

Alumni march in the New York Tartan Day Parade April 2018
4. Alumni take to the streets of NYC for Tartan Day

The University was delighted to welcome several alumni who marched with their alma mater in the annual New York Tartan Day Parade, held on 7 April. The parade was the culmination of Tartan Week, a series of events that celebrate Scotland and Scottish culture, now in its 20th year. Professor Frank Cogliano - professor of American history and the University's Dean for North America - was there and wrote a blog post about the experience.

Read Professor Cogliano's blog post

New York City Tartan Week (external)

5. Hall hosts Verdi concert

McEwan Hall interior dome detail
5. McEwan Hall's restored dome will oversee a public concert

The University's Reid School of Music is collaborating with the Edinburgh Royal Choral Union on a unique musical project that will culminate in a gala concert at the McEwan Hall on Saturday 2 June 2018. Student players and singers will join with professional musicians and established choral societies to perform Verdi's Requiem and Szymanowski's Stabat Mater in a public concert set in the impressive surroundings of the refurbished Hall.

More information (external)

6. Eminent historian receives honorary degree

Joan Wallach Scott
6. Joan Walloch Scott becomes an honorary graduate

Acclaimed historian Professor Joan Wallach Scott of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study has been awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (Social Science). Professor Scott, Professor Emerita, has received world–wide recognition for her groundbreaking work in feminist and gender theory. The award, presented by the University's Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Mathieson,  is in recognition of Professor Scott’s distinguished contribution to critical history, gender studies and academic freedom.

School of Social and Political Science

7. Insight: five keys to leading digital transformation

An illustration of a flash and, inset, Dr Jim Hamill
7. Dr Jim Hamill provides a flash of thoughts on digital leadership

Ahead of his masterclass in digital leadership this October, Dr Jim Hamill explains how technology is transforming society at an ever-increasing speed. Failure to react now, he argues, could spell the end for organisations who can’t keep up.

Read Jim's thoughts

Masterclass in digital leadership

8. Lecture puts gender issues in the spotlight

Professor Dame Athene Donald's event: Labels are Dangerous
8. Professor Dame Athene Donald will probe gender issues

A world-leading experimental physicist will discuss gender divides in academia at the University’s inaugural Futures Lecture. Professor Dame Athene Donald from the University of Cambridge will argue that binary divisions – such as male versus female and art versus science – are unhelpful. She will draw from her own experiences to suggest that such labels can hold back progress in academic research and in society more generally. The lecture takes place on Friday 18 May.

Labels are Dangerous

University events

9. Mental health research benefits from major investment

Image of human head and data
9. Research into mental health receives major boost

Novel research aimed at better understanding mental health conditions such as depression is to receive a £2.2 million investment. The initiative heralds a step-change in the approach to understanding mental health and could pave the way for new treatment, researchers say. It is based on big data – an emerging area of research that draws meaningful insights from vast amounts of information. Scientists will pool data from several sources including anonymised health records, genetics and psychological studies to build a picture of the development of disease. The funding – a combination of a prestigious Medical Research Council Data Pathfinder Award and backing from the University of Edinburgh –  will also be used to create secure facilities for health data research, which will form a vital resource for Scottish researchers.  

Find out more

10. Awards for restoration projects

St Cecilia's Hall, McEwan Hall, Appleton Tower
10. St Cecilia's Hall, McEwan Hall and Appleton Tower

Three University buildings have been commended at a major awards ceremony for innovation in construction. Renovation projects at St Cecilia’s Hall, McEwan Hall (both supported by alumni  and supporter donations) and Appleton Tower were commended at the 2018 Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors Awards in Scotland.

Find out more

11. Dolly scientist backs drive to tackle Parkinson’s

Sir Ian Wilmut and Dolly the Sheep
11. Professor Sir Ian Wilmut and Dolly the Sheep

Professor Sir Ian Wilmut – who led the team that created Dolly the sheep – has backed an initiative to tackle Parkinson’s disease, after being diagnosed with the condition. The eminent scientist announced his diagnosis on World Parkinson’s Day ahead of the launch of a major research programme that will see experts at the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee join forces in the quest to better understand the disease.

Find out more

12. Webby win for Kimberly

A still from the Webby award winning film by Kimberly Arms showing Meryl Streep and Anna Wintour
12. A still from Kimberly Arms's award-winning film (from YouTube)

Kimberly Arms (Religious Studies 2010) has won a Webby awards for her short film for Vogue magazine that shows Meryl Streep and Anna Wintour in conversation. The film won in the category Film and Video: Variety. The Webby Awards are widely regarded as the Oscars of the internet and are now in their 22nd year. 

Watch the film on YouTube

13. Scholarships open doors for online students

e-learning on tablet computer
13. Scholarships boost for online learners

Fifteen distance learning scholarships for lower and middle income Commonwealth countries have been awarded to the University. Online Masters Commonwealth Commission Scholarships will allow students from these countries to study at the University’s Global Health and Global Environment and Society Academies.  

Find out more

14. Graduates welcome at career days

North American student recruitment event
14. Career advice for graduates

The University's Careers Service has designed two days dedicated to the future plans of Edinburgh graduates. The Graduate Jobs Fair takes place on 28 May in McEwan Hall and offers all graduates - no matter when they graduated - careers advice and the opportunity tospeak to over 40 recruiters.

Then on 6 June in Appleton Tower, the PhD Horizons Careers Conference will showcase thr breadth of opporunities open to the University's PhD graduates.

Graduate Jobs Fair

PhD Horizons Careers Conference


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