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Business and Law’s high-achieving students and alumni are honoured

The Open University Business and Law Schools celebrated their highest achieving students in a joint awards ceremony in Milton Keynes on Friday 12 July.

The annual awards, bigger and better this year as the OU celebrates its 50th birthday, commended the exceptional achievements of high-calibre Business and Law students and graduates from the previous academic year. They also honoured some of the Business School’s alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to an organisation or to society.

This year’s winners were selected from thousands of candidates in dozens of countries. They were congratulated by Devendra Kodwani, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) and Head of the OU Business School, together with fellow academics Mark Fenton-O’Creevy and Simon Lee, at the OU’s Walton Hall campus.

Professor Kodwani said: “It’s a real privilege to meet so many of our talented Business and Law students and to celebrate their achievements and successes. These winning students have all distinguished themselves as the highest achievers in their qualification and fields with a real determination to succeed.”

“We are also immensely proud of the achievements of our alumni who have demonstrated significant contributions to society, community or business. In this, the OU’s 50th year, I wish all these deserved winners my warmest congratulations on their achievements and for continued success in the future.”

Open University Business School (OUBS) winners

The MBA Graduate of the year is Rob Crellin who is Head of Operations for one of the world’s fastest-growing and dynamic Alternative Investment Fund Managers, Rokos Capital. He had previously become one of Barclays’ youngest titles – a Vice President – in less than five years.

Robert Crellin

Robert Crellin, MBA Graduate of the year

Leadership & Management Student of the year: Stuart Sheldon

Professional Certificate in Management Student of the year: Gerard Perryman

Professional Certificate in Accounting Student of the year: Donna Young

BA (Hons) Business Management Student of the year: Adam Morris-Cope

MBA Dissertation of the year: Gillian Byrne

MSc Human Resource Management (HRM) Graduate of the year: Joanne Orr

MSc Human Resource Management (HRM) Dissertation of the year: Darren Gilmore

MSc Finance Graduate of the year: Jenny Rodgers

MSc Finance Dissertation of the year: Thomas Holzer

Visit the OUBS website for more information on the OUBS winners

Open University Law School (OULS) winners

Bachelor of Laws LLB: Lucy Bessant

Master of Laws LLM: Nerys Davies

Master of Laws Dissertation of the year: Rebecca Senghore

Tom Bingham Memorial Essay Prize: John Young

The Open Justice Centre, which has worked to develop practical pro bono opportunities for OU Law students since it was launched in 2016, also presented six students with their awards.

The Outstanding individual contribution to Open Justice was shared by Jamahl Peterkin and Ben Platts. Jamahl was one of the stars of a group project at HMP Foston Hall in Derbyshire, while Ben worked in Citizens Advice for one day a week for most of the module and reduced his working hours to four days a week so he can attend, at some financial cost to his family.

Best team contribution to Open Justice: William Pengcheng Gu, Aimee Foster, Hannah Vo and Alexandra Priestly

Visit the OULS website for more information on the OULS winners

Alumni Achievement Awards

Gerard McGurk

Gerard McGurk, Alumni of the year

Gerard McGurk MBE who works for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office received the honour of Alumni of the year. He is a diplomat with 30 years’ foreign policy and leadership experience who is currently based at the British Embassy in Madrid. Gerard provides strategic direction for the delivery of high-quality consular services and real-time crisis responses across 37 diplomatic posts located in 17 countries from Portugal to Turkey. He was responsible for design and delivery of the overseas response to the Monarch Airlines collapse in 2017, returning 89,000 passengers from 34 locations. Gerard, who graduated with an MBA in 2012, is a member of The Open University Business School’s Alumni Council.

Highly Commended in the Alumni of the Year category were Marianne Fennema, Gwyneth Letherbarrow and Carlo Stasi. 

The awards also recognised the achievements of Tillmann Henssler, one of only 33 business school graduates worldwide honoured by AACSB International, the world’s largest business education alliance, as the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders.



About Author

Liz works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She has over 15 years' marketing experience working across a range of sectors, from diamonds to shampoo. She has a BSc (Hons) in Management from UMIST. In her spare time, Liz is usually found on roller skates or off travelling, having adventures.

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