Anna Hall (English 1987) produced and directed ‘Behind Closed Doors’ (True Vision Aire for BBC One), which was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Single Documentary. The film has also been nominated for The Orwell Prize for Exposing Britain’s Social Evils 2017. Shot over 12 months, and starting from the moment a 999 call is received, 'Behind Closed Doors' follows three brave women who each waive their right to anonymity to show how insidious and terrifying domestic abuse can be. It gives an extraordinary insight into the most common violent crime to take place in the home.

Denise Xifara, (MMath, 2005-9) co-founder of Nupinion, an ethical big data company dedicated to improving media literary, was Enterprising Oxford's Entrepreneur of the Week on 3 April 2017. Enterprising Oxford is a University of Oxford initiative to encourage, support and promote entrepreneurship in and around Oxford. Read more about Denise and her work at Nupinion to develop free tools that empower digital citizens to break through media biases, regional and linguistic barriers and mitigate information overload here.

Dr Val McDermid (English, 1972) was elected to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in February 2017. She is one of 60 distinguished individuals hailing from sectors that range from the arts, business, science and technology and academia. They join the current RSE Fellowship whose varied expertise supports the advancement of learning and useful knowledge in Scottish public life.



Anna Hall (English, 1987) has been shortlisted for this year's Grierson Award for 'Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme - Domestic', for her work on Behind Closed Doors.

P D James (Honorary Fellow) is having a collection of her short stories published posthumously. The Mistletoe Murder will be available for purchase from October 2016, and features a foreword by alumna Val McDermid (English, 1972).

Professor Julia Yeomans (Fellow in Physics) is part of the team carrying out groundbreaking research on harnessing bacteria's natural movement to power microscopic engines.

Both Kate Barker (PPE, 1976) and Deirdre Trapp (PPE, 1980) feature in City AM's 'Power 100 Women', celebrating the most influential women in the City.

Mikita Brottman (English, 1986): The Maximum Security Book Club. Mikita describes her experiences of reading and discussing literature with criminals in a maximum security men's prison. Interviewed by Oxford Today, she explains how this mutual appreciation of books has led to murderers and drug dealers becoming her friends.

Victoria Cleland (PPE, 1988), Chief Cashier of the Bank of England, launches new plastic banknotes, due for issue in September. Fun fact: all £10, £20 and £50 notes released since February 2015 bear Victoria's signature!

Family Values by Wendy Cope (History, 1963) features in The Telegraph's 15 Best Poetry Books of All Time, which describes the book as 'perhaps her best collection to date'. Wendy will speak at this year's Gaudy.

Kate Dempsey (Physics, 1980): The Space Between. Kate's debut collection of poetry has been 15 years in the making, with many of the individual poems having been published internationally. The oldest poem in the collection appeared in the same issue of Poetry Ireland Review as a poem by the late Seamus Heaney.

Susan Greenfield (PPP, 1970) features in British documentary photographer Alison Baskerville's latest work Women Create Change, on display in Oxford until the end of August. Baroness Greenfield was selected for her work in neuroscience and as the first female director of the Royal Institution.

Two St Hilda's alumnae, unbeknown to one another, won awards at last month's Royal Television Society's Yorkshire Awards: Anna Hall (English, 1987), for her excellent documentary Forced Marriage Cops, and Emily Kerr (Classics, 2004), as part of the Calendar news team's work on the closure of Kellingley Colliery.

Ruth Hunt (English, 1998) appears on the BNP Paribas Pride Power List 2016, for her hard work in campaigning to further the rights of the transgender community.

Rosalind Jana (English, 2013): Notes on Being Teenage. Rosalind's debut book covers all aspects of teenhood, from the serious (mental health issues, bullying, staying safe online) to the slightly less so (dating, style, fashion, starting a blog) and everything in between.

Sue Lloyd-Roberts (History & Modern Languages, 1970): The War on Women: And the Brave Ones Who Fight Back. Published posthumously, this collection of accounts of women battling inequality will doubtless prove a fitting final work from a greatly admired and missed alumna. St Hilda's will be hosting a Sue Lloyd-Roberts Memorial Lecture on 26 April 2017; do save the date.

Val McDermid (English, 1972) will be honoured with the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award next week at Harrogate's Crime Writing Festival, joining the ranks of past recipients including Ruth Rendell, Colin Dexter and our own Honorary Fellow, the late PD James. Val also speaks here about her part in an educational experiment which ultimately led to her place at St Hilda's.

Zanny Minton Beddoes (PPE, 1986) reflects on her first year and a half as Editor of The Economist. When asked how she feels about being the first female Editor in the magazine’s 173 year history, she responds "I can’t wait for the day when it is no longer newsworthy that a woman is appointed editor of a newspaper.”

Madeleine Perham (English, 2012) directs a new production of Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke, debuting in Oxford before a month's run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Celine Rattray (Mathematics, 1993) celebrated five years of her company Maven Pictures in style, with guests including Sting, Meg Ryan and Donna Karan. Maven Pictures has won numerous awards, most recently the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for its latest production American Honey.

Hannah Rothschild (History, 1981) has won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction for her debut book The Improbability of Love, about a lost masterpiece by Antoine Watteau.

Jo Shapcott (English, 1976) was the star of Radio 3's The Verb Poetry Book Club, discussing her collection Of Mutability.

Gillian Shephard (Modern Languages, 1958) gives an interview on a variety of topics, including her own political career, the implications of Brexit, and her time at Oxford.

Sonia Sodha (PPE, 1999) discusses the idea of a universal basic income and whether it amounts to 'the right to be lazy'. You can also listen to Sonia's thoughts on this on Radio 4.


Zanny Minton Beddoes (PPE 1986), editor-in-chief of The Economist, was included in the MediaGuardian 100 2015, The Guardian's list of the 100 most powerful people in the media.

Karina Gould (MPhil International Relations, 2011) was elected for the Liberal Party in Burlington, Canada, on 19 October 2015. Facing her first election, she was described by the Liberal party as “young, articulate and very well-educated.”

Frances Leviston was shortlisted for the 2015 BBC National Short Story Award with her book Broderie Anglaise, a tale of tensions between a mother and a daughter. Frances's poetry collection, 'Disinformation', was one of six books on the final shortlist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize 2016.

Dr Chris Garrard (DPhil Music, 2014) has been been working at Greenpeace since April 2014 on the ‘Requiem for Arctic Ice’ project, commissioning and sourcing music, recruiting performers and working with a committed team of campaigners to bear witness through music.

Catherine Fall (PPE 1986) was nominated to a peerage in 2015.

Dr Helen Foley (Physiology 1955), co-founder of Guildford Adventure Play Centre, received an MBE for services to Disabled Children and their Families in Southwell, Nottinghamshire in 2015.


Professor Judith Weir CBE (Honorary Fellow), was appointed Master of the Queen's Music, the first woman ever to hold the position.