Alumni win British Council awards

City, University of London alumni have been named regional winners at the Study UK Alumni Awards held in April 2018

The prestigious ceremony, organised by the British Council, celebrated the achievements of international students who have studied in the UK and returned to their home country as ambassadors for UK education, bringing positive change to their communities, industries and countries.

Isabella Cota Schwarz (MA Erasmus Mundus Journalism, Media and Globalisation, 2010) from Mexico and José Ignacio Valenzuela (MSc Health Informatics, 2006) from Columbia were among the regional winners, who are considered leaders in their field and had demonstrated outstanding achievements.

Cota Schwarz, a freelance journalist who has previously worked for Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters, was awarded a Professional Achievement Award for her influence in the way foreign exchange is reported in Mexico. She believes her time at City was crucial for her success.

Isabella Cota Schwarz learned to “question everything” at City.

"The highlight of my UK education was the first class I had with Tony Bonsignore, a broadcast journalist  at the BBC. He asked us to question whether the current financial system was functional, something I had never been asked to do in class. This was when I knew that I would learn to question everything at City. And I most certainly did."

Isabella Cota Schwarz

Valenzuela, who was the first Colombian formally trained in health informatics, was recognised in the Entrepreneurial Award category for his work on the first health e-learning programme and Doctor Chat, the
first medical orientation service in Latin America. He went on to win the British Council’s Global Alumni Award (also in the Entrepreneurship category) in May 2018.

“The education I received and the multicultural environment filled me up with ideas, changed my way of thinking and reshaped my mentality,” he said. “Coming back to Colombia with a degree from City empowered my voice and helped me become a pioneer in health informatics in my region.”