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.


Dr Majed Abahussain, PhD Education 2016
I am a faculty member of School of Education at Majmaah University, Almajma'ah, Saudi Arabia. Recently, I have been appointed as the head of English Language Department at the School of Education.

Natalie Sweeney, BA (Hons) English Studies 2015
Having only been away from the University for three months since graduating, I have started my second job here with the Directorate for Advancement as a fundraiser. I am also a keen new stand-up comedian and comedy writer and have even managed to get back to playing basketball with the Stirling team!

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.

Laura Brown, BA General 2012
I got married to my partner Liam in March 2017, having recently bought our first house in Grangemouth together. I enjoy working as a legal secretary with Livingstone Brown Solicitors in Glasgow. My ambition is to become a paralegal, having recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Law with Scotia Law Training.

Kathleen Anderson, BA (Hons) Film & Media and Marketing 2012
I have recently had my first book published. Sweaty Hugs explores how free fitness is changing lives by examining the core benefits of engagement - community, culture and positive mindset. Hopefully it will make you laugh, cry and inspire you to get your trainers on and find some free fitness. Click here to find out more about the book. 

Paul Cowell and Jennifer Cowell (née Wilson), BA Economics (Hons) 2010 and BA History (Hons) 2014
After Paul completed his studies he went on to complete his MSc Economics at the University of Edinburgh in 2012. He then returned to the University of Stirling in 2013 as an Economics PhD student and is due to finish later this year. Since 2014 he has also been working as a staff member within the Stirling Management School including the course co-ordinator of ECNUX from 2014-2017. When Jennifer completed her studies she went on to complete her MSc History at the University of Edinburgh, graduating in November 2015. In May 2015 they tied the knot, after being a couple for three years, in a Humanist celebration which incorporated Scottish and French traditions, and had a barn owl as the ring bearer. In November 2016 Jennifer returned to the University of Stirling as a Database Assistant in the Directorate for Advancement.


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.

Dan Thompson, MLitt Religious Culture 2005
After a number of years down south in England, teaching and working for a trade union, Scotland has called me back and I now find myself living outside Dundee and recently recruiting members at Stirling. It's great to be back and able to see the campus again. I'm getting married in April in Gretna Green and starting a new chapter of my life. 

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!

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 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.

Christopher Baker, BA DipEd English & Education 1997
Since leaving Stirling, I have taught in Thailand (13 years), Germany, and in New Zealand at Auckland University of Technology. I also had my own business here in New Zealand. Now I am semi-retired and in my spare time, I do long-distance hiking. I have hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Himalayas and recently in the South Island of New Zealand. If anyone remembers me, I can be contacted at cgb1953@yahoo.com

Mike Meadows, BSc (Hons) Ecology 1996
I read my MSc at UEA in 2006/07. I am currently a Natural England Senior Marine Ornithologist, working with partners across Europe on seabird conservation, and I advise on Marine Conservation Zones. From April, I will be the Senior Ornithologist advising on implementation of the English Coast Path.

Scott Fyfe, BA (Hons) Marketing 1996
Having been a Board Director at Marks and Spencer for 12 years, I was appointed CEO of Country Road Group in January 2017. I moved to Melbourne with my wife Lauren (also class of 1996) and our family to run five retail businesses across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Jon 'JB' Beckett, BA Business Law & Sociology 1996
I am a Senior Manager at Scottish Widows and have been a fund selector and strategist for more than 16 years. I am UK lead for the Association of Professional Fund Investors, an ambassador for the Transparency Task Force, a Chartered Member and senior reviewer with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments, member of the Z/Yen Long Finance think-tank and a regular columnist and presenter. I am also the author of the book #NEWFUNDORDER.

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.

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.


James (Jim Terrell) Visiting Student 1988
I was a Philosophy exchange student from St Andrews Presbyterian College, North Carolina. I live in Charlotte, North Carolina and own a handy-man business. I play traditional bluegrass music and enjoy time with my wife and three children.

Vikram Subrahmanyam, MSc Information Technology 1988
I moved to Singapore in August 2016 to run Citibank's Operations & Technology function across Asia Pacific. I'm delighted with the opportunity, and I would love to connect with alumni in the region.

Heather Savage, BA General 1987
Since June 2016 I have been the Community Development Coordinator for Greater Western Sydney with the youth mental health organization Headspace.

Pierre Verdeaux BA DipEd French & Education 1987
After leaving Stirling I started my teaching career in Hampshire before moving to Dorset, progressing from teacher to Head of Modern Languages Department. Now disillusioned with the direction education is taking and the relentless conversions to Academies, I am retiring early to concentrate my efforts on raising my adopted son.

Lesley Onslow (née Jolly), BSc Management Studies & French 1985
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. I recently worked in the Directorate for Advancement at the University of Stirling and now my latest challenge is to support The Thin Red Line Appeal, raising money for the redevelopment of The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum, based in Stirling Castle.

Robin Sheehan, BSc Environmental Science & Biology 1983
Since 1983 I've worked as a Climatologist/Agricultural Meteorologist; on environmental and space systems; and an Oceanographer. I have an MBA, and a Masters in Natural Environments and Plant Growth. Today I'm a wilderness tharapist, Director of Outdoor Programmes for www.eQeOUTDOORS.com, trained in Prehistoric Hunter-Gathering, Survival, Bushcraft, and Rites of Passage.

Dr Elspeth Reid, PhD German 1983 and BA German 1976
I have co-researched and co-written a book The Post-Reformation Gravestones of Angus up to 1715, due out shortly. I divide my time between London and Angus.


Rev Maggie Roderick (née Clarke), BA Psychology & Sociology 1979
I'm the Parish Minister at Menstrie Parish Church. It's great to live so close to the University. As a Lay Member of University Court, I visit the campus often and it's great to see our University doing so well. As one of the alumni ambassadors for Central Scotland, I'd love to hear from anyone living in or near Stirling who would like to meet up for any events. My email is revmaggieroderick@btinternet.com.

Dr Sue Oliver PhD (née Brotherstone) BA Sociology & Psychology 1973
I am co-editing The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Wellbeing (OUP), publication date October 2017. My son and his family have just emigrated to Australia. We’re missing our only grandson but our first trip down under is being planned.

Penny Dade (née Watt), BA German 1973
I was an academic librarian for 30 years in four academic institutions in London and the South of England. I retired nine years ago and after 42 years living down South moved to Glasgow, where I volunteer at Glasgow School of Art Library and at the University of Stirling in the archives.

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.

Yan Kuen (Billy) Ng, MBA 1987 would like to get in touch with any former classmates and his email is genji02127@yahoo.com.

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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