7th February 2017, 12:09pm
British Council Alumni Awards showcase Lincoln’s global graduate success
Graduation The international success of two graduates of the University of Lincoln, UK, has been recognised as they are named finalists in the British Council Alumni Awards 2017.

The prestigious awards, now in their third year, celebrate the outstanding achievements of graduates of British universities and showcase the impact and value of a UK higher education.

Award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, professions and countries.

Irene Ai Ling Cheng, who graduated from the Master of Architecture programme at the University of Lincoln in 2015, has been shortlisted in the Entrepreneurial category for her work in initiating and contributing to innovative new business opportunities with strong growth properties.

After studying in Lincoln Irene returned home to Malaysia and, noticing a lack of companies operating in design and development, she co-founded her first company, Virtuoso INdesign. Just a few years later, and at the age of 27, Irene is the CEO of three companies.

Joining Irene is USA finalist Vicki Phillips, who completed an EdD Educational Leadership programme in Lincoln in 2002 before being awarded with an Honorary Doctorate in 2010. Vicki is a finalist in the Social Impact category which acknowledges those who have made an exceptional contribution to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

Until recently Vicki served as the Director of Education for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where, alongside her team, she developed and executed the largest philanthropic investment in US education worth over $2.8 billion. She has also served as District Superintendent of Schools and State Minister of Education.

Reflecting on her time in Lincoln and how it prepared her for her career, Vicki said: “The combination of rigorous coursework, practical application and an international perspective drew me to the University of Lincoln initially, but it was the innovative approach to leadership challenges, the encouragement of risk-taking and the knowledge of the world that made it different to other university experiences.

“The multiple lenses on leadership gave me a foundation for confidently tackling the leadership opportunities that have come my way and has enabled me to consistently step into significantly more impactful roles and achieve results in even the most challenging of circumstances.”

Finalists and winners will be celebrated throughout 2017 with an award ceremony in each of the ten locations taking part in this year’s awards (Brazil, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the USA).

For more information on the British Council Alumni Awards 2017 visit: www.britishcouncil.org/education-uk-awards
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