Filipina filmmaker named Global Alumni Awardee for Social Impact

MANILA — Award-winning filmmaker and Chevening alumna Baby Ruth Villarama was named as one of the three outstanding global winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards initiated by the British Council.

Villarama, director of the highly-acclaimed “Sunday Beauty Queen” was awarded the Global Alumni Award for Social Impact, citing her contributions to the society through her films.

Her films are generating national conversations and raising international awareness of modern day issues such as human trafficking and slavery. Villarama co-founded Voyage Studios, an organization that collaborates with local and international filmmakers to produce stories that inspire audiences around the world to open their eyes to social issues. Baby Ruth studied a MA in Film Distribution and Marketing at Birmingham City University, and is a Chevening Alumna.

Villarama joins two other individuals in this prestigious award that recognizes the alumni’s outstanding achievements as professionals, entrepreneurs and social change makers. All three awardees represent three countries and four UK higher education institutions across the UK.

Winner of the Global Alumni Award for the Professional Achievement category is Asha de Vos, a marine biologist from Sri Lanka who is passionate about conserving the world’s oceans, and blue whale research in the Northern Indian Ocean. Asha is the founder of Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organisation, Oceanswell, which works to change the trajectory of the world’s oceans by empowering and inspiring people to be custodians of the oceans. Asha studied for her BSc in Marine and Environmental Biology at the University of St Andrews, and her MSc in Integrative Biosciences at the University of Oxford.

José Ignacio Valenzuela was awarded the Global Alumni Award for Entrepreneurialism for his ground-breaking work in Health Informatics in Colombia and across Latin America. José Ignacio’s work is changing the way Spanish-speaking communities around the world can access the vital healthcare that they need, and the Ministry of Education have just approved a Master’s programme in Biomedical Infomatics– the first of its kind in Latin America. José Ignacio has a MSc in Health Informatics from City, University of London.

The three global award winners were announced on Study UK social media on May 24, following a 21-day campaign to celebrate and promote the stories of 21 regional winners. The global winners will be invited to the UK for a professional networking visit.

Now in its fourth year, the Alumni Awards 2018 received more than 1,700 applications from international UK alumni in a record 123 countries, representing more than 140 UK Higher Education Institutions across the UK. Following several rounds of judging panels, award winners were selected for the three award categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial, and Social Impact. (British Council PR)