A number of Westminster alumni and members of staff have been recognised in the Queen’s News Year’s Honours list for their achievements and service of people across the UK.
Along with the Birthday Honours, the New Year’s Honours list is the most significant announcement of civilian and military gallantry awards. The recipients have improved the lives of others or are outstanding in what they do in some way.
Sadie Morgan, Westminster Professor of Professional Practice and co-founding director of the Architecture studio dRMM, has become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the advocacy of design in the built environment and promotion of diversity in the building industry.
Professor Morgan’s studio is best known for its Stirling Prize-winning Hastings Pier. It has been nominated for the Stirling Prize two further times, first for its extension to Clapham Manor Primary School in 2010 and then in 2016 for its Trafalgar Place housing at Elephant and Castle in London. She has recently been appointed to the board of Homes England, a non-departmental public body that funds new affordable housing across England.
Yewande Mayomi-Akinola, who is Visiting Professor at the University and Principal Engineer at Laing O’Rourke, was one of the recipients of an MBE for her services to engineering and to diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) design and innovation.
Ranked one of the top 100 Most Influential Women Leaders in Engineering UK and Europe by the Financial Times, Mayomi-Akinola sits on the Board of Trustees of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and she is on the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa CATALYST Steering Committee. Her wide experience in engineering has placed her in designations to oversee Design and Construction, Innovation and Manufacture of buildings and systems in the built environment.
A number of Westminster alumni have also been recognised for making a difference. Alistair Clarke, a Media Studies BA Honours graduate, has been honoured for his services to social enterprise in Lancashire. Clarke is Volunteer Director and Vice-Chair of the Board at Social Enterprise Lancashire, Volunteer Director and Chair of the Board of Directors at Social Enterprise Solutions CIC in Blackpool, and Founder and Director of Tick The Publicity Box CIC helping third sector organisations with their marketing. His media career included being Joint News Editor of Radio Wave, Blackpool, and holding the positions of Head of News and Sport at Wish FM (Wigan and St Helens) and Wire FM (Warrington and Runcorn).
Dr David Michael, an Honorary Doctor of Laws of the University, has received an MBE for services to the community in Greater London. Being Lewisham’s pioneering Police Officer and former Lewisham Councillor, he was the first Officer of African heritage to serve in Lewisham in modern history and at the time was one of only 11 black Police Officers in a Force of 22,000. David had a successful and productive police career retiring as a Detective Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard after 30 years of police duty. He went on to take up several roles in a journey of keeping the Lewisham community safe.
Another Westminster alumnus who graduated with the MBA in 2003, Matt Hyde, has been awarded an OBE for his contribution to work with young people. The UK Scouting Chief Executive has made a huge difference by leading the growth of Scouting's membership by 19 per cent since he joined in 2013. He has also launched an award-winning campaigning social action programme named A Million Hands which works with five charities to provide opportunities for a quarter of a million young people. Additionally, Hyde designed the world's first degree apprenticeship in social change, writes The Herts Advertiser.
Another alumnus, Nadeem Javaid, who graduated from the Information Systems with Business Management BSc course, has been awarded an MBE for his services to community cohesion and young people. Javaid now works as a public affairs professional and grassroots campaigner.
Famous names on the list this year has also included actress and singer Olivia Newton-John, TV cook Nadiya Hussain, England cricketer Ben Stokes, singer and composer Sir Elton John, 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and American Beauty director Sam Mendes.