Date of release: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Vice-Chancellor Prof David Maguire and Polina Stoyanova 

Three exceptional individuals have been named as the winners of the University of Greenwich's Recognition Awards.

In a ceremony last night (Tuesday 14 July), prizes were presented by the university's Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Maguire, to the staff member, student and alumnus of the year. Now in their fourth year, the awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by many, not just to the university but to society as a whole.

Polina Stoyanova was named as Student of the Year for her outreach activities and mentoring abilities, and for the excellent contribution she made in her sandwich year. She has also been involved in new developments in the British Computing Society. "With her all-round academic and personal skills, Polina embodies the values of what being a Greenwich student is all about," says Professor Maguire.

Lynn Wilson, an Admissions, Open Day & Induction Officer with the Faculty of Engineering & Science, is Staff Member of the Year. She was praised for her all-round skills, including her ability to go beyond the requirements of her role. Applicants, students and staff all speak in glowing terms of her positive influence, the awards ceremony was told.

Playwright and screenwriter Bola Agbaje, who completed her BA in Media & Society in 2002, was voted Alumnus of the Year following an online poll of former Greenwich students. This award celebrates exceptional achievements by a former student over the previous 12 months. The film version of Bola's Olivier Award-winning play, Gone Too Far!, is on general release and has received international recognition.

Professor Maguire adds: "All our nominees tell you something about the work that the university does, and the difference we can all make. In each category we sought people who exemplify the values and behaviours of the institution as whole, and choosing the winners was a difficult task."

The awards were presented at the Chancellor's Dinner, which was attended by guests from the worlds of industry, commerce, education, finance and public service. Winners were each presented with a trophy, designed by a Greenwich student.

Shortlisted nominees for Student of the Year were Osheane Jabari Chambers, nominated for his outreach activities, and Samuel Breadwell-Lacey, who mentors students from the Royal Borough of Greenwich University Technical College and acts as a link between the UTC and the university.

Sarah Crofts, Senior Academic Services Librarian at the Greenwich Campus, and Alex Lichtenfels, a Lecturer from the Creative Professions and Digital Arts Department  at the Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities, were both nominated for Staff Member of the Year. Sarah has demonstrated first-class customer service to staff and students, while Alex has proved to be an inspiration to his students.

There were three other nominees for Alumnus of the Year. These were Steve Davies, Executive Headteacher of Sheerness West Federation, recognised for his leadership qualities and outstanding commitment to primary education; Sarah Eberle, a landscape designer of international reputation, who won a further two gold medals at this year's Chelsea Flower Show; and Julian Phelan, a fundraiser and film-maker, who recently led an expedition to the North Pole to raise money for charity.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: Vice-Chancellor Professor David Maguire with Polina Stoyanova, named as Student of the Year.