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Visitors Book: Visits to King's
Almost every day our campus welcomes distinguished guests, from experts in their field and members of the King’s alumni community...
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It was a sunny and clear evening in London on Thursday 22 June when alumni, their guests, staff and students – all dressed in their finery – arrived at Strand Campus for a memorable occasion: to celebrate the King’s Distinguished Alumni Award winners for 2023.
Now in its seventh year, the King’s Distinguished Alumni Awards give the King’s community the opportunity to commend alumni who are making an impact through their outstanding work to support the university, or society more widely. ‘These awards not only give us an opportunity to celebrate our selected winners, but also the chance to discover hundreds of alumni who are making the world a better place,’ says Katie Raymond, interim Head of Alumni Relations at King’s, adding that ‘the ceremony is a highlight in our King’s calendar; a beautiful evening of good food, music, and community. I left feeling incredibly inspired.’
This award recognises a member of the King’s alum body who has achieved exceptional success in their field or has demonstrated outstanding personal achievement.
This award recognises a member of the King’s alum community who has made an exemplary contribution to the university or alumni body.
This award is given to a current King’s student who has demonstrated exceptional potential alongside their studies through extracurricular activities.
This award is for a member of the King’s alum community who has made a significant impact to society through charitable or voluntary work.
This award recognises a King’s graduate who has made an outstanding impact within one of King’s home boroughs (Lambeth, Southwark or Westminster).
This award recognises a member of the King’s alum body who has made an outstanding impact globally or within an international community, working to address worldwide challenges.
This award is given to a King’s graduate who showcases exceptional business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit and has used their entrepreneurial mindset to make the world a better place.
The winner of this award is a King’s graduate who has shown outstanding achievement within the arts and culture, demonstrating creativity, ingenuity and cultural impact.
This award recognises a member of the King’s alum community who is driving impact and transformation in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
This award celebrates a King’s graduate who has demonstrated outstanding impact in the medical or healthcare sectors.
This award recognises a recent King’s graduate (within five years) who has exhibited exceptional success or rapid progression within their chosen profession, and come to be recognised as a ‘rising star’.
This award celebrates a King’s graduate who uses their knowledge with purpose to challenge the status quo and shift traditional norms to address challenges in society.
Dr Abidemi (Ronx) Ikharia (Medicine, 2011), emergency medical doctor, author of Amazing Bodies and known for their work on TV shows such as Operation Ouch! (CBBC), The Unshockable Dr Ronx (BBC Three), Is Covid Racist? (Channel 4), The Truth About… (BBC One) and Are Women the Fitter Sex? (Channel 4) hosted the evening’s celebration. It was perhaps a full-circle moment for them as, alongside being an alum themself, Dr Ronx was also the recipient of the Alumni Impact Award in 2020. ‘The winners were so deserving,’ says Ronx, adding: ‘I know good people when I see them and [Professor Shitij Kapur] is really, really championing diversity, inclusion and accessibility. Thanks for asking me to host – I am so excited to collaborate more in the future.’
Jasvir Singh CBE (History, 2001)
Jasvir is a British family law barrister and a presenter of the Thought for the Day segment on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. He is also a co-founder of South Asian Heritage Month in the UK, an awareness initiative that aims to celebrate British South Asian culture and identity.
He is the Co-Chair for the Faiths Forum for London and the founding Chair for City Sikhs, a charity representing the interests of progressive Sikhs. Jasvir was instrumental in the Grand Trunk Project, which brought South Asian communities together to mark the 70th anniversary of the independence of India, the creation of Pakistan, and the partition of Punjab and Bengal.
In 2018, he was made an honorary fellow of the Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion, and in 2021 he was appointed to the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm.
Jasvir’s services to charity, faith communities and social cohesion earned him an OBE at the age of 36, making him the youngest Sikh to hold that honour at the time. This was followed by a CBE in the 2023 New Year Honours.
Being at this university gave me the strength and confidence to become who I am today.
Jasvir Singh CBE
Diana Garnham (MA War Studies, 1979)
Diana is a long-standing supporter of King’s and has made a significant impact as the inaugural Chair of the King’s Alumni Advisory Group (London). In addition, she has been President of the King’s College London Alumni Association since 2019 and has mentored several King’s students.
Outside of her contributions to life at King’s, Diana is Chair of Skills East Sussex, as well as an independent board member, consultant and company director. She was previously Chief Executive of the Science Council (2006–15) and Chief Executive of the Association of Medical Research Charities (1987–2005).
My approach to my career was not to stick to a blueprint or single path but to look for opportunities and make the most of them.
Rashida Abdulai (Law, 2005)
Since qualifying as a barrister in 2008, Rashida has used her entrepreneurial spirit for good. In 2013, Rashida co-founded NOTICED – the UK’s first inter-firm diversity network in the legal sector. Since its inception, NOTICED has welcomed hundreds of junior and aspiring lawyers from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The network aims to support minority ethnic people coming into the legal profession, celebrating their success and promoting debate about cultural change.
In 2018 Rashida founded Strand Sahara, an online legal platform that provides world-class legal support to businesses that are having a positive impact on the African continent. Strand Sahara has educated many African businesses on their legal rights, helping them to feel empowered, protected and able to focus on business goals.
You are the key to your success, so make sure that you schedule time for self-discovery and self-development every day. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself and everything else will follow.
Follow Rashida on Instagram: @rashidallp
Vinita Marwaha Madill (Mathematics & Physics with Astrophysics, 2008)
Vinita Marwaha Madill is a successful British Space Operations Engineer, having previously worked for organisations such as the European Space Agency and the International Space University, before moving to her current position as Project Manager at Mission Control Space Services in Ontario, Canada. In 2012, Vinita founded Rocket Women, a platform that aims to inspire the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by supporting trailblazing women in these fields globally.
In 2014, Vinita featured in the Telegraph’s Women In Space database and in Elle magazine’s ‘12 Genius Young Women Shaping The Future’. In June 2016, she was one of eight young Canadians to attend a private meet at Parliament Hill with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In 2019, Vinita was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women Leaders in Engineering in the UK and Europe by the Financial Times, and nominated for the Women of the Year awards in the UK.
Prioritise your passion and persevere, whether you’re able to do that in your main job or in a volunteering role. It’s important to wake up and be excited about the impact of your work, whilst paying attention to what your passion is for.
Vinita Marwaha Madill
Dr Mark Ellis (PhD Law, 2010)
Dr Mark Ellis is an international criminal law expert and the executive director of the International Bar Association. Dr Ellis initiated the creation of ‘eyeWitness to Atrocities’, an app that uses pictorial evidence of international crimes in a court of law. The information is reviewed by an expert team, which then seeks to ensure that the data is used to prosecute perpetrators of international crimes. Dr Ellis is an outspoken proponent of bringing Russian war criminals to justice and holding the Russian leadership accountable for launching the war in Ukraine.
Live life fully. Make it bigger than yourself. Be open to taking risks. Try not to be pressured to follow the crowd. That is not always easy, but it will help to surround yourself with people and friends willing to take unpopular stands or make courageous decisions. Never shy away from speaking out forcefully against injustices. Be willing to be extraordinary when those around you are not. And along the way, try to make a difference.
Dr Mark Ellis
Follow Mark on X: @MarkEllisIBA
Councillor Hamza Taouzzale (MSc Global Affairs, 2021)
Councillor Hamza Taouzzale is Westminster City’s first Muslim Lord Mayor and the first person from a Black, Asian or multiple ethnic background to hold the post. At 22, Hamza is also the youngest ever Lord Mayor of Westminster City Council. As a youth councillor, Hamza campaigned about mental health issues for young people and helping the local council to be aware of what’s happening in the community.
In his role as Lord Mayor, Hamza attended events with community organisations, performed ceremonial and council duties, and represented the city at high-profile national events, including the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the fifth anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, the funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the reading of the official proclamation of King Charles III.
Lucy Maguire MBE (Music, 2014)
Lucy Maguire is the founder, Chief Executive and Programme Director of Nucleo, a ‘music for social action’ project offering free, ensemble-based music-making opportunities to children and young people through an immersive programme in North Kensington, London.
Founded in 2013, Nucleo now has 22 teachers working with almost 400 children and young people in the community. Almost half of these children are living in the lowest 20 per cent measured by the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index.
Nucleo runs a national Instrument Donation Bank to get unused instruments into the hands of young musicians, and delivers the national Young Leaders Programme, which was originally pioneered by Sistema England. In 2022, Lucy was awarded an MBE for services to children and young people.
Julia Pointon-Haas (MSc Health Promotion, 2014), PhD IoPPN (student)
In 2016, Julia founded Time to Thrive, a sector-leading student-led wellbeing service in partnership with King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU), which empowers students to build a community of positive wellbeing where they can support themselves and others to thrive. Under her leadership, there has been a 278 per cent increase in positive student-led wellbeing activities since 2016. There has also been a 422 per cent increase in the number of wellbeing leads, with more than 300 student leaders now being trained to run wellbeing activities and support the mental health of their peers.
Since February 2021, Julia has been leading this growing team alongside her PhD in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, researching university peer support for student mental health and wellbeing. In addition to her work at KCLSU and her studies, she also volunteers as a Senior Welfare Lead in King’s Residences, helps her fellow PhD students as the Department of Psychology student rep, is on the leadership team of the UK Healthy Universities Network and acts as the King’s Institutional Lead for the global student mental health research network.
Hurdles are opportunities. When something is getting in your way, see it as a chance to think innovatively and try something new. If it fails, you’ve learnt and can grow, which is perhaps the most worthwhile. As my father would say, “It’s an opportunity for character development.”
Kaloyan Konstantinov (MA Middle Eastern Studies, 2018)
Kaloyan is a unique talent, receiving international accolades for the investigative journalism he undertakes for his website, klinklin.bg. He has produced award-winning coverage of the Ukraine war and protests in Iran (for his work in Iran, he was operating undercover), as well as covering other important events all over the world. Last year, the impact of his work saw him recognised in Forbes magazine’s prestigious ‘30 under 30’.
In 2022, Kaloyan developed the Intercultural Media Academy, designed to train and bring together youth from the Middle East and Europe interested in disinformation, ethical leadership and foreign policy.
‘[Kaloyan] told me that he could not have produced [his] award-winning coverage without the area and methodological expertise he gained in the MA, underlining the importance of area expertise at King’s.’
Jeroen Gunning, Professor of Middle Eastern Politics and Conflict Studies at King’s
Dr Sabrina Bajwah (MSc Palliative Care, 2005; PhD Health Services Research, 2016)
Dr Bajwah is a clinical academic driving forward a step change in palliative care access. She has brought the needs of those from ethnically diverse groups to the fore, inspiring others to deliver equitable care, and has challenged structural racism. She recognised the lack of information for vulnerable non-English speaking patients admitted to hospital during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and helped to produce translations of key information on the virus into 25 languages within four weeks. These factsheets, co-designed with international patient groups, are now used in clinical care nationally and internationally.
So often over the years, I have seen people’s eyes glaze over when I talk about racial inequality, and at times I have felt disheartened that some don’t care. However, the things that are really worth achieving in life aren’t meant to be easy. Even if the changes that we bring about are small, they are important. Lots of small changes will snowball, and each day we will move a little bit closer to equity.
Dr Sabrina Bajwah
Follow Dr Sabrina on X: @SBajwah
Dr Renata Micha (PhD Nutrition, 2008)
Dr Renata Micha is an award-winning scientist and an influential leader in nutrition and health nationally and internationally. She is the Chair of the Global Nutrition Report (GNR), the world’s leading independent assessment of the state of global nutrition, which is endorsed by major global stakeholders including the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme and UNICEF. Chairing the GNR is a highly prestigious role, with the mission to drive greater action to end malnutrition in all its forms, from hunger to obesity, through independent and trusted data and evidence. As part of this role, in 2021 Dr Micha developed and launched the Nutrition Accountability Framework, a global public platform for monitoring nutrition action and how it translates into impact.
Dr Micha was named to the Clarivate 2022 list of the world’s most highly cited researchers; these researchers rank in the top 1 per cent.
Nutrition has the power to transform lives, strengthen communities and create a healthier world. As future leaders, I encourage you to pursue innovation and foster collaboration to build a brighter, healthier and more nourished future for all.
Dr Renata Micha
Follow Dr Renata on X: @DrRenataMicha
Eeshar Singh (Biomedical Engineering, 2019)
Eeshar Singh is a musician, composer, producer and animator. He is the youngest professional santoor player in the UK, of which there are only five. The santoor is a 100-stringed instrument that originated in Kashmir and is used to aid meditation practices. Eeshar regularly shares the music of the santoor with the public, hosting community wellbeing and meditation sessions that are open to all.
Eeshar co-founded Adrak Studios, an animation company dedicated to bringing rare and powerful stories to life through film. He successfully crowdfunded to produce the music and animation for the seven-minute short animation called Ru, a film inspired by the story of human rights activist Bhai Jaswant Singh Khalra.
Follow Eeshar on Instagram: @100stringsingh
Almost every day our campus welcomes distinguished guests, from experts in their field and members of the King’s alumni community...
The King’s Distinguished Alumni Awards recognise alumni and students who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, civic leadership, or service to...