Where are they now?

This is our ever popular 'class notes' section. If you'd like your update to be included, email alumni@stir.ac.uk and we'll do our best to post it.


Marianthy Yiannopoulou, PG Dip TQFE 2016 and MSc Information Systems Management 1995
I have recently passed my Postgraduate Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE) course and put on a Stirling gown for the second time at the June 2016 summer graduation.

Natalie Sweeney, BA (Hons) English Studies 2015
After graduating, I have ended up back at the University working for the alumni and fundraising team. I am also performing and writing stand-up comedy most nights of the week as well as writing a fortnightly newspaper column called Nat’s Chat. I look forward to working on 50th Anniversary events at the university next year.

Dr Christopher F Minty, PhD 2015 and BA (Hons) History 2010
Between August 2014 and September 2015, I was a 'Bernard and Irene Schwartz Fellow' at the New York Historical Society and Eugene Lang College, The New School of the Liberal Arts in New York City. In October 2015 I moved to Boston, where I joined 'The Adams Papers' at the Massachusetts Historical Society as an Assistant Editor.

Karen Lloyd, MLitt Creative Writing 2014
Congratulations to Karen on the success of her book: 'The Gathering Tide; A Journey around the Edgelands of Morecambe Bay', which was published in January by Saraband. Karen says: "I began writing it during my MLitt at Stirling 2013-14. Kathleen Jamie was my tutor and I gained a first for my dissertation (four chapters of the book), as well as an overall distinction. The book has gained some wonderful reviews, which you can read at www.karenlloyd-writer.co.uk

Konstantinos Ioannidis, BA (Hons) Business Studies and Marketing 2014
I started my career as a Business Development Executive two years ago in a globally recognised fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company and have also gained valuable experience from my role as an area manager there. The opportunity to manage, progress and develop a team has been priceless.

Joseph Welstead, BSc (Hons) Management 2013
I have just launched Motion Nutrition with my business partner Charles Matthews and both of us are Stirling graduates. Motion Nutrition is the first European brand to offer a range of organic sport supplements made from superfoods. For more information, visit: www.motionnutrition.com

Dr Brian Christopher Jones, PhD Law 2012
I have recently been appointed Lecturer in Public Law at Liverpool Hope University, Department of Law. A full list of my academic publications to date can be found at http://works.bepress.com/brian_jones

Indibar Ghosh, MSc Energy Management 2012
I am self-employed and my business is called Learners & Winners Training & Consultancy Private Limited. My office is based in Mumbai, India, but operates globally in the field of education and training specialised in the power and energy sector. We conduct Executive Development Programmes and provide facilitators for various technical and management training programmes. Find out more at www.lwtcpl.com or contact me on: indibar_biotech@yahoo.co.in


Dr Kriengkrai Satapornvanit, PhD Aquaculture 2006
I am a faculty member at the Faculty of Fisheries, Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand, teaching Physiology of Aquatic Organisms to undergrads, and Aquatic Toxicology and Risk Assessment to graduate students. I am currently the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and a member of the committee to develop standards under the Office of National Standard for Research Animals, National Research Council of Thailand.

Janette Ayachi, BA (Hons) English/Film & Media Studies 2004
I am now a published poet. Being a student at the University of Stirling was such an empowering experience for me. You can read some of my work at: www.scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk/poetry/poets/janette-ayachi.  

Yassir Pitalwalla, MSc Media Management 2004
I recently moved from my position of Consulting Editor of the alternative health and wellness magazine, ‘Homeopathy & You’, to becoming a Contributing Editor at India’s most well-known business magazine, ‘Business India’. I am also pleased to announce that my wife and I are now also parents to a baby boy!

Keith White, class of 2001
When I was a student, digital marketing and social media were in their infancy, but now make up 85% of business volumes at Dobell, a formal menswear brand based in Eastbourne, where I reside as Head of SEO/Marketing. I have many fond memories of celebrating completed assignments with fellow class mates in the Student Union, The Med and back in the communal kitchens of (the now demolished) AK Davidson halls.

Michelle Rose (née Harris), BAcc Accountancy & Business Studies 2000
Since graduating I have been very busy! I’m married, with three young children, and have had various jobs, including running my own gift shop for four years. I now run my own business, ‘Custard and Bear’, providing marketing advice for small business owners and mumpreneurs via my #MarketingForMummies courses. I have also just released my first book ‘#FacebookThirty’, which teaches businesses how to improve their Facebook presence. It’s available on my website at: www.custardandbear.com

Dr Robert W. Robertson, PhD 2000
I was recently named a Fulbright Scholar by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). In addition, I was a keynote speaker at the Global Universities in Distance Education conference in Madrid in June this year. My forthcoming work takes me to the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia to develop workplace-relevant skill training using online education tools and techniques. 


Dr Francisco Lozano Llanos, Visiting Student 1999
Since graduating I took a PhD on Remote Sensing and Ecology, got married and recently fathered twin girls. I worked for five years for a small satellite company and then, three years ago, I joined Airbus Group in Seville supporting A400M aircraft operations.

Diamantis Kitridis, Diploma Investment Analysis 1998
I have more than 10 years of experience in developing strategies for social media, brand development and public relations, blogging and community development, statistical analysis and optimisation of search engines. I specialise in the design and development of integrated strategies to promote companies, products, public figures and politicians in social media. I am also Course Director of the Diploma in Social Media, which is done in collaboration with City Unity College.

John Deuchars, BA (Hons) German 1996
I am currently volunteering for the British Red Cross shop in Perth. I have also been volunteering from the end of June for the Black Watch Museum, which is based in Balhousie Castle in Perth. 

Gregor Hank, Visiting Student 1995
As a postgraduate of English Studies, History and Scottish Studies (Year of Graduation 2001 at the University of Bonn, Germany) I have profitted very much from my experiences at Stirling both academically and socially. I returned to Germany after that to complete my first degree of a state examination to become a secondary grammar school teacher at the University of Bonn, Germany in 1998. I am now an established graduate secondary-school teacher (Studienrat) in English and History at a German grammar school. Besides, I have completed my postgraduate studies in English and American literature as well as History of 19th and 20th century Britain and the U.S. by gaining a Master of Arts (M.A.) at the University of Bonn, Germany in 2001.

Stan Shires, BA Marketing 1994
I am now Owner Experience Manager for the Overseas Division of Jaguar Land Rover, which covers markets as diverse as Brazil, South Africa, Russia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the Middle East and Australia. On a personal note, I have passed my flight training qualification so I can now fly four-seat, single-engined planes. I was examined by a Squadron Leader at RAF Brize Norton which was quite an experience and have now bought a share in a plane, which I fly out of Gloucester Airport.

Heidi Williamson (née Camish), BA French 1994
My second book has just been published with poetry publisher Bloodaxe Books. ‘The Print Museum’ is partly inspired by my three-year residency at the John Jarrold Printing Museum in Norwich, and was recently featured in ‘The Guardian’. My first book, ‘Electric Shadow’ (Bloodaxe, 2011) was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry. I work as a poetry mentor and tutor for organisations, including Writers’ Centre Norwich and The Poetry Society. See www.heidiwilliamsonpoet.com for more information.

Dr Susan Eley Morris, MSc Applied Social Research 1993
I nurture individuals to thrive at making written and online applications with Five Point Soar Academy locally in Scotland. I publish open learning: Dyslexia Friendly Style Easier to Read for Everyone and support individuals to flourish in Science for The Open University globally as a Learning and Teaching Professional (FHEA).

Melissia Terlato Schmidt, Visiting Student 1992
On behalf of the Eastman School of Music Office of Student Life, I have been awarded the Association of College Unions ‘International Shirley Bird Perry Staff-Driven Program of the Year Award’ for ‘Identities@Eastman’. This award, given to a programme created and implemented by professional staff, represents standards of excellence and innovation in campus programming, and recognises the impact of programming on student learning in higher education institutions.


Clive Wright, MPhil Modern French Literature 1989
I was recently named as the new Stirling Poet Laureate or Stirling Makar. This is a ceremonial position dating back to the 15th Century and I will hold the post for a period of three years. During this time I will produce one poem per year to celebrate the Stirling area and its people. Stirling is such a wonderful place to live and to write about – my aim is to pass on my own passion for the area and encourage others to take up the pen.

Drew Law, BA (Hons) Philosophy, 1989
After a number of years in the book trade, I retrained as a psychotherapist. I now work in a busy GP surgery, and also have a private practice specialising in three areas; middle aged men, classical musicians, and adults whose issues originate in childhood sibling relationships. I live in London, am married with two lovely kids, and sing a cappella for relaxation. Always happy to hear from old friends!

Dr Christine Goodall OBE, BSc Biology 1985
I am Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Glasgow and Co-Founder of Medics Against Violence. I have received an OBE for services to violence protection and support.

Lesley Onslow (née Jolly), BSc Management Studies & French 1985
After graduating 30 years ago I find myself back at the University of Stirling working in Development and External Affairs, dealing particularly with alumni. After a career in Corporate Pensions, the last 20 years have taken me around the world as an army spouse. The nomadic lifestyle has provided many challenges on the home and work front! Highlights have included the Mojave Desert, Milan, Balmoral and working with the Pentagon in Washington DC.

Tom Nixon, BSc Management Science 1985
I have been resident in the California area since 1998 and I’m now a US citizen. I met up recently with Russell Mannion (BA Economics, 1985) in Berkeley and San Francisco. He’s now Professor of Health Systems at the University of Birmingham. We had a great time recalling our days at Stirling.

Jonas Berwick, BA English 1984
I moved to the US after graduating, where I travelled for a year before becoming a Security and Loss Prevention Manager for Federated Department Stores and then joining an investigative agency. In 1995 I opened up my own company, Delve Information Resources Inc., which I recently sold to my eldest son. I now work as a part-time retiree, managing real estate holdings and investment portfolios as Managing Member of Berwick Investment Group, LLC. I’m still in contact with my closest friend, Sir Paul Grice, Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament and many other friends from my time at Stirling.

Petter Berge, BA Business Studies 1984
I moved back to Oslo after many years elsewhere – in Norway and abroad. I’m in the process of opening a new wealth and risk management boutique with fantastic partners, and debuting as the chairman of a new Norwegian oil company.


Rev Maggie Roderick (née Clarke), BA Psychology & Sociology 1979
I became the Parish Minister at Menstrie Parish Church on 5 November 2015, a day to remember. It’s great to live so close to the university and now, in addition, I’m delighted to have been appointed as a Lay Member of the University Court. I’m looking forward to this new area of work, supporting the university that has given me so much.

Professor Steve Allsop BSc (Hons) Psychology 1977
After graduation I ran the Gannochy Bar for a while, before moving to the Alcohol Studies Centre in Paisley. After taking a postgraduate diploma there, I eventually became Director of the Centre. In 1987 I moved to Australia, and worked in various university and government settings, as well as receiving my PhD from Curtin University in the mid-1990s. In 2005 I took on my current role as Professor and Director of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University. I also act on a number of key government advisory groups, such as the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs of which I am Deputy Chair.

Professor Roddy Cowie, BA (Hons) Psychology & Philosophy 1972
After Stirling, I went to Sussex to do a PhD on human and machine vision. I was appointed as a lecturer in Psychology at Queen’s, Belfast in 1975, and retired as a professor in 2013. My research included ‘affective computing’ (developing systems that can recognise human emotions and react appropriately). Work, family, and interests in music, ME/CFS, religion and peace-making have kept me busy. I am now writing a book on self-knowledge while I still have working neurones, and would be delighted to hear from other antiques! You can find out about ‘affective computing’ on Google Scholar, or our ‘Sensitive Artificial Listeners’ on YouTube.

Looking to get in contact

The following alumni are not in contact with the University so we were unable to put University friends back in touch.

Jonas Berwick, BA English 1984 is looking for his long-lost friend, Josie Cathro, BSc Psychology 1985, originally from Brentford, Essex and last known to be happily married with two children in London.

YW Lau, MBA Management Information Systems 1987 would dearly love to get in contact with Betty the cleaner who worked in Polwarth. 

A former elementary school classmate of Pei-Yi Jone, BA English Language Teaching 1996, would like to get in touch with her. 

Jenny Tod, who was Overseas Welfare Officer in the Counselling Department from 1984 to 1994/95 and founded and ran the Welcome Centre for all overseas families, would love to hear from those who knew her to catch up. Her email is: jennytod245@btinternet.com.

Fiona Thompson (née Nicolson), BSc Biology 1978 would like to get in touch with Alastair Brown, BSc Chemistry 1979.

Suzanne Mersch (née Sitzes), Visiting Student 1986 is looking for Shandini Dhanabalan, BA Business Studies 1987; Lesley Sawers, PhD Business Studies 1986 and Caroline Davies, BA Hispanic Studies 1986.

Richard Coffey, BA Economics & Politics 1997 would like to find Iain Green, BA Marketing 2000.

Hugh Fitch, BA History & English 1977 is looking for Charles Cameron, BA Sociology & Psychology 1974 and Ross Marshall, BA English 1977.

Catherine Mallon, BA Political Studies 1988 would like to find Mark Peterson, BA Political Science 1988, Paul McQuillan, BA English Studies 1988 and Elaine Sneddon, BA English Studies 1987.

We were contacted by Sara Hogan, who spent some time abroad with Kelly Moody (BSc DipEd 1997) in 1997-1998 before Kelly went on to become a teacher. Is anyone in touch with Kelly?

If you know where any of these people are, email alumni@stir.ac.uk and we'll put them back in touch.


The University regrets to announce the following deaths, and offers its condolences to family and friends.

Margaret Stewart, BA Sociology & Social Policy 1992

Alastair Bruce, MSc Social Work 1992

Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick OBE, BA Philosophy 1982

John (Anthony) Hawkins, BA Economics 1974

Carol Susan Swan, BA Biology 1971

Otto Karolyi, retired member of staff from English Studies

Thank you to Professor Angela Smith for her memories of Otto: "Otto Karolyi, who died on 6 October, founded a department of music at the University. The department was closed the eighties but Otto stayed on, delighting students with his dynamic teaching. In lectures he moved between the piano and recordings, playing, singing, whistling, and always taking his audience with him."

Dr Wendy Amy-Chinn, retired member of staff from Communications, Media & Culture

Andrew Bruce, former Senior Teaching Fellow and retired member of staff in The Stirling Institute of Education

Bishop Emeritus Ian Murray, first Catholic Chaplain at the University in the 1970s

Professor Karl Butzer, DUniv 2011

Jim Bradley, first contributor to the then Division of Academic Innovation and Continuing Education, then Director of the Access Programme and Teaching Qualification in Further Education (TQFE).

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