Alumna of the Year 2020

Anne Fine OBE and Professor Sasha Roseneil have been nominated for the award

As you know, many of our alumnae have achieved great levels of success and renown and have gone on to extremely exciting, dynamic careers. We regularly have opportunities for our pupils to find out more about our alumnae’s many and varied career paths and how to progress in a myriad of fields.

The GDST Alumnae Network now has more than 70,000 former students and staff of the 23 schools and two academies of the GDST. The network offers girls in our schools mentoring, networking, special interest communities and much more. Within the network are many successful alumnae who have become highly regarded and even household names, including, amongst many others, Konnie Huq, TV presenter and children’s author (Notting Hill & Ealing), Hannah Mills MBE, Olympic gold medal-winning sailor (Howell’s), Olivia Colman, Oscar-winning actor (Norwich), Khadijah Mellah, Magnolia Cup winner 2019 (Sydenham), Cressida Dick CBE, Metropolitan Police Commissioner (Oxford), Sophie Simnett, Actor (Putney), and Dame Mary Beard, Classicist (Shrewsbury).

To recognise the inspirational alumnae of our group of schools, the GDST runs the annual ‘GDST Alumna of the Year Award’. The GDST Alumna of the Year Award is now in its tenth year, and our 25 GDST schools have been asked to nominate alumnae for consideration for this year’s competition.

A shortlist is currently being drawn up by GDST colleagues, and the whole school community will soon be invited to vote for the alumna who, in their opinion, most deserves this accolade.

We are exceptionally proud to have nominated two of Northampton High’s revered alumnae this year, and we would like to share with you a little information with you about each of our nominees.

Our first nominee is Anne Fine OBE.

Anne Fine is one of Britain’s most distinguished writers for both adults and children. She has twice won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year Award, as well as the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, the Smarties Prize and numerous other regional and foreign awards.  She has twice been voted Children’s Author of the Year. The BBC has screened adaptations of several of her books, and her novel Madame Doubtfire was transformed into a Hollywood film starring Robin Williams in 1993.

Anne was Children’s Laureate from 2001-03, during which time she set up, a website that continues to offer a host of freshly designed and freely downloadable modern bookplates to enthuse young readers to form their own home libraries from the second-hand books around them.  She also published three classic anthologies of poetry for different ages called A Shame to Miss 1, 2 and 3.

She has published eight highly acclaimed black comedies for adults, and her work has been translated into forty languages. In 2003 she was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and awarded an OBE.

Our second nominee is Professor Sasha Roseneil.

Most recently, Professor Roseneil inspired many members of Northampton High’s Senior School and Sixth Form community at the annual Awards Evening back in November last year. Sasha is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences and Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science in the Institute of Advanced Studies at UCL. She is a highly-reputed sociologist and gender studies researcher, and a group analyst (MInstGA) and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Previously, she was Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Essex. Before that she worked at Birkbeck, University of London, where she was Director of the Birkbeck Institute for Social Research and Professor of Sociology and Social Theory in the Department of Psychosocial Studies. She has also held prominent positions at the University of Leeds and the University of Oslo.

Sasha’s research has been funded by the ESRC, the European Union, the Leverhulme Trust, the Wellcome Trust, and the Arts Council. She is currently undertaking a research project on the politics, practice and provision of the talking therapies, funded by The Wellcome Trust.

We will let you know whether Professor Roseneil and Anne Fine OBE have been shortlisted, however, we are sure that you will agree that both of these nominees would be deserving recipients of the Alumna of the Year Award.


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