Sheffield Alumni Volunteer Awards 2015


Pioneering Alumni Award – David Naylor-James

The Pioneering Alumni Award recognises a recent graduate that has demonstrated outstanding commitment and enthusiasm as a volunteer.

Pioneering Alumni Award – David Naylor-JamesOur current and prospective students can really relate to recent graduates and ask about the current job market and securing their first role, and also offer advice on the current curriculum and provision for students.

We know it isn’t always easy to request the time off work to support these activities at the start of a career, so we are very grateful.

The shortlisted alumni for this category were:

  • Rasshad Khan
  • Carl Naven
  • David Naylor-James
  • Nathan Seef

The winner of this award showed a significant level of commitment over the last few years and was nominated by two members of staff for his positive attitude and charisma as well as his ongoing enthusiasm to support new projects.

David has delivered a number of careers talks and participated in a Speed Networking event for his department. He also participated in the faculty-wide Achieve More challenge, chatting to students about their career, offering feedback on the students’ projects, and joining a panel to give feedback on student posters. David also put himself forward to participate in the pilot eMentoring scheme, and has since mentored two more students following the roll out of the scheme.

On winning his award David said:

"I am honoured to have won this award – I really enjoyed my time at the University and always knew that I wanted to give something back to current students once I had graduated. We need more engineers across all disciplines and in all industries in the UK so if I can inspire students into careers by sharing my experiences and knowledge gained so far, I am more than happy to dedicate my time. I look forward to getting involved in many more alumni events in the years to come."


Alumni Leadership Award – Trevor Richards

The Alumni Leadership Award recognises an alumnus that has shown exceptional leadership skills in their involvement with the University, often juggling personal, professional and other voluntary commitments.

Alumni Leadership Award – Trevor Richards (collected by Chris Furness)The alumnus demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the values of the University, acts as an ambassador to promote the institution, shares networks, opens doors or initiates new activity to support the University, as well as inspiring students, staff or other alumni.

The shortlisted alumni for this category were:

  • Abdulrahman Hariri
  • Roy Jeans
  • Trevor Richards
  • Ken Smith

The winner of this award went to an individual that has supported the University for a number of years at a strategic level. This alumnus has acted as a trustee on the Board of Directors for the "University of Sheffield in America" for six years, and more recently joined the Alumni Board, representing international alumni in particular.

Award winner, Trevor Richards, has also shown initiative by building a steady and strong relationship with the study abroad office at the University of Texas at Austin, one of Sheffield’s exchange partners. He has also represented the University of Sheffield at recruitment fairs to boost the number of students coming to Sheffield.

Trevor has also influenced his own employer and the University of Texas at Austin's Engineering department to match his own donations for Study Abroad scholarships, doubling the number of scholarships available to students wanting to come to Sheffield.

On winning his award Trevor said:

"I was humbled and honoured to receive the first Alumni Leadership Award this year, and firmly believe it reflects the hard work of my fellow alumni on the University of Sheffield in America board. Attending the University of Sheffield was a life-enriching experience for me: I learned to work hard but to also play hard—and how to balance the two in order to have the satisfaction of achieving both academic success and personal fulfilment. Sheffield gave me a lot. Now it’s my turn to reciprocate. One of the best ways I know of doing that is by helping others discover Sheffield and the rich experiences it has to offer."


Sheffield Alumni Volunteer Project of the Year Award – eMentoring Programme

The Alumni Volunteer Project of the Year Award recognises alumni volunteers and staff involved in delivering an outstanding project, activity or event which has had a substantial impact on its beneficiaries.

All involved will have shared a vision and enthusiasm for the project and its aims. The project will have met University objectives in an innovative way, involved a number of partners, and been delivered to a high standard with exceptional results.

The shortlisted projects for this category were:

The panel made a special commendation to City Connections for its innovation and high levels of collaboration to meet the needs of students and engage alumni.

The winning project, the Careers Service eMentoring Programme, provides the opportunity for students to connect with alumni in a flexible way, whilst also enabling international alumni to support the University and students to fit

 employability initiatives around their studies. This scalable project has exceeded its first year target, and is an excellent example of collaboration between departments to achieve a shared goal.

98% of the students participating have said they benefited from the scheme, 79% of students have maintained contact with their mentor after the end of the scheme, and over a quarter of students have secured work experience as a result of their mentoring relationship.

Talking about the scheme Mentoring co-ordinator Lizzie Ruse said:

"Managing this scheme is such a rewarding job! Our alumni mentors are making a real difference to Sheffield students providing them with practical advice and inspiration to explore their chosen careers. It's great to see so many students benefiting from across the faculties, and to have such a fantastic community of alumni who are so willing to put themselves forward to support them."

Alumni Volunteer Project of the Year Award – (Highly Commended) City ConnectionsAlumni Volunteer Project of the Year Award – eMentoring Programme



Sheffield Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award – Roy Jeans

The Alumni Volunteer of the Year Award recognises an alumnus of any graduation year and department that has demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm, inspired others and gone above and beyond the expected role of a volunteer.

Volunteer of the Year Award – (Highly Commended) Alaster YoxallThis alumnus may have contributed to a number of projects across the University, or given more than was required of the role.

The shortlisted alumni for this category were:

  • Anna Carlisle
  • Roy Jeans
  • Trevor Richards
  • Alaster Yoxall (Highly Commended)

The panel made a special commendation to Alaster Yoxall for his commitment and work as a volunteer.

The winner of the award, Roy Jeans, has supported the University in a number of ways and across a number of departments. Roy put one of the companies he is involved with forward to host a business visit and workshop for the first ever City Connections event and set up two internships for participating students. He also provided a heart-felt presentation on his time at Sheffield and experiences since graduating which resonated with many of the students.


Volunteer of the Year Award – Roy JeansRoy also attended the evening networking event, sharing advice with current students, and has since been informally answering questions from students and facilitating work placements.

This alumnus has also facilitated the relationship between Brilliant Basics and the University of Sheffield Enterprise to launch The Sheffield Crowd, a new way for alumni and friends to support enterprising students make their projects a reality.

Roy has been a valued support since the creation of the Development, Alumni and Relations Office, providing advice, sharing networks, and attending events in Sheffield and London. The panel recognises Roy’s work in opening doors for the University, to businesses and alumni, and his incredible support and advocacy for the University.


On winning his award Roy said:

"Like so many people in the City Connections programme I was the first person in my family to go to university. Sheffield University opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities that was completely unknown to me before. My connection and commitment to the university is lifelong, and actually quite emotional, as a result.

"I am delighted to be able to help a new generation of Sheffield undergrads, and to show them the lessons I have learnt over the years.

"My 'Alumni Volunteer of the Year' award was genuinely unexpected and humbly received. I was delighted to attend the awards event in June, and was also able to meet many undergrads who are experiencing the same issues that I did."

If you’re interested in volunteering, just fill out our volunteer registration form