Two Brookes alumni shortlisted British Council Alumni Awards 2017

Wednesday, 01 February 2017

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Two Oxford Brookes University alumni have been shortlisted in the British Council’s Alumni Awards 2017, which recognise the outstanding achievements made by people who have studied at a UK Higher Education Institution.

Massimiliano Rebaudengo, who completed a Master’s in Development and Emergency Practice in January 2016, has been nominated in the awards’ Social Impact category which acknowledges the exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

After completing his studies, Massimiliano joined Médecins Sans Frontières as Head of Mission, responding to the Syrian humanitarian crisis, based in Gaziantep, Turkey. His work has included overseeing and management of medical responses such as setting up of hospitals and health services for people who have been affected by conflict in North Syria. His programme runs the only Surgical Burn Hospital in North Syria which, since January 2016, has performed over 500 surgeries to patients coming from Aleppo, Idlib and Hama Governorate. Other services provided by Massimiliano’s programme include providing medical and running cost support to nine primary health care centres, 13 hospitals and four ambulances. 

Massimiliano’s work has positively contributed to the health and wellbeing of thousands of conflict-affected and displaced persons and children in Syria. His humanitarian work will continue to inspire future MA DEP students and its alumni around the world.

Dr Supriya Akerkar, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Development and Emergency Practice, Oxford Brookes University

Massimiliano’s tutor Dr Supriya Akerkar said: “Massimiliano was a brilliant student and has completed the MA in Development and Emergency Practice with a Distinction. What sets Massimiliano apart is his passion for making a difference in a difficult setting such as Syria which is ravaged with war. 

“Massimiliano is the head of the mission for Syria for the international NGO MSF. Massimiliano’s work has positively contributed to the health and wellbeing of thousands of conflict-affected and displaced persons and children in Syria. His humanitarian work will continue to inspire future MA DEP students and its alumni around the world. We are very proud of Massimiliano's achievements and his relentless efforts to alleviate human suffering.”

Sherif Hefni completed a Graduate Law Diploma at Oxford Brookes University. Sherif has been shortlisted in the Professional Achievement category of the awards, which recognises those who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry, and who can demonstrate the impact and scale of their achievements in their profession, and beyond. 

Speaking about his time at Oxford Brookes University, Sherif said: “At Oxford Brookes, we were given access to the best legal libraries, full access to legal databases and continual support from the law lecturers. The University went further, by organizing events, competitions and practical days ensuring a balance between legal academia and practice. I thoroughly benefited from the course and the university as a whole, giving me the foundations to take on the BVC and succeed.”

In 2012, Sherif founded Levari LLP – an international law firm based in Cairo, Egypt. In 2015, Levari was ranked as a tier 2 law firm in Legal 500 internationally and in the top ten law firms in Eygpt. Today, the company has over 15 members of staff, 75+ clients and has developed two legal products for local and foreign businesses and start-ups in Egypt and are under consideration for adoption by UK law firms. 

The winners will be announced at an award ceremony in each of the 14 locations taking part in this year’s awards (Egypt, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Turkey and USA) between January and March 2017.