Ruth Hunt (English, 1998) was made a crossbench life peer in Theresa May’s parting honours list in September 2019.

Behind Closed Doors: Through the Eyes of a Child won the RTS Yorkshire Centre Award for Professional Excellence Factual Production in June 2019. The Production Team at True Vision Yorkshire, includes Anna Hall (English 1987).

In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Life of Pliny by Daisy Dunn (Classics, 2005) published in paperback in June 2019.

Bettany Hughes (Ancient and Modern History, 1985), was made an OBE for services to history in June 2019.

The Conviction of Cora Burns, the debut novel by Carolyn Kirby (nee Milner, History, 1983) was published in March 2019 by No Exit Press the UK and Dzanc Books in North America.

Our alumna and Honorary Fellow, Professor Margaret MacMillan (Social Studies, 1966), was appointmented as Academic Trustee of the Imperial War Museum. Professor MacMillan was appointed by the Prime Minister, and will hold this prestigious post for four years from 2019.


Anna Hall (English, 1987), had her work recognised at the Royal Television Society (RTS) Yorkshire Awards. Anna was an Executive Producer for 'Catching a Killer: The Search for Natalie Hemming', produced by True Vision Yorkshire, which won the Award for Professional Excellence: Factual Production and the Documentary Series Award at the awards ceremony on 6 July 2018. Catching a Killer: The Search for Natalie Hemming, was also nominated for a Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards Winners 2018 for best Factual Series. Anna Hall was among the 2018 British Academy Television Craft Awards nominees for Best Director: Factual for Catching a Killer. She is the only women to be nominated for this award for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018).

Honorary Fellow, Val McDermid (English, 1972) was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Bath Spa University, in recognition of her significant contribution to literature and crime fiction. Dr McDermid was presented with her Honorary Doctorate by Bath Spa's Vice-Chancellor on Thursday 28 June 2018, after which she gave a lecture at the University's fifth 'Captivating Criminality' conference at The Pounds Art Centre in Corsham.

Anna Appleby (Music, 2011) was one of the composers working with Ensemble Klang, one of Holland's most influential contemporary music groups, and leading contemporary choreographers and dancers on Motion and Meaning, which presented new works by the composers. This project was a collaboration between Dance Scholarship Oxford (DANSOX) and the Liveness, Hybridity & Noise Series.

Nadifa Mohamed (Modern History and Politics, 2000) was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018. In June 2018, Nadifa was awarded an Arts and Literary Arts Fellowship by the Rockefeller Foundation. She joins the faculty at Royal Holloway, University of London from September 2018, to teach creative writing.

Hannah Rothschild (History, 1981), was awarded a CBE for services to the Arts and charity in the Birthday Honours 2018.

Professor Laura Mulvey (History, 1960), a professor of film at Birkbeck College, was awarded an honorary degree by Yale University.

The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull (History, 1974) became the 57th Bishop of Bristol after being appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. Formerly Dean of York Minster, she is the first woman to take on this role in the city of Bristol. Revd Faull was consecrated bishop at a service at St Paul's Cathedral on 3 July 2018.

'Three Girls' (BBC Studios / Studio Lambert / BBC One), for which Philippa Lowthorpe (Classics, 1980) was the director and Nicole Taylor (Law, 1997) was the screen writer, won the Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards Winners in 2018 for best mini-series. 'Three Girls' also won three awards at the 2018 British Academy Television Craft Awards. Philippa Lowthorpe won the Best Director: Fiction award, and Nicole Taylor received the award for Best Writer: Drama. A third award, in the Editing: Fiction category, went to Úna Ní Dhonghaíle. 'Three Girls' also won Best Mini-Series at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards 2018.

Recent English graduate and actress and writer, Charlie Covell, adapted Charles S Forman’s series of graphic novels for the screen. The result was 'The End of the F***ing World' (Clerkenwell Film / All 4), which won best Drama Series at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards 2018. It was also nominated for the BAFTA for best Drama Series.

Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Bettany Hughes (Ancient and Modern History, 1985), was shortlisted for the 2018 Runciman Award.

'Tales of Two Londons: Stories from a Fractured City', edited by Claire Armistead (English, 1977) was published by OR Books. 'Tales of Two Londons' comprises a rich collection of fiction, reportage and poetry to capture the schisms defining the contemporary city. Nicolette Jones (English, 1978) and Helen Simpson (English, 1976) are among the contributors. All contributors gave their work for free and proceeds go to English PEN.

Anecdotal Evidence by Wendy Cope OBE (History, 1963) published on 1 March 2018 by Faber & Faber. Anecdotal Evidence is Wendy Cope's first collection of new poetry since 2011's acclaimed Family Values.

The Century Girls: The Final Word from the Women Who’ve Lived the Past Hundred Years of British History by Tessa Dunlop (Modern History, 1993) was published by Simon & Schuster.

Victoria Hislop (English, 1978) and Val McDermid (English, 1972) featured in the Guardian's Bestselling Books of 2017: The top 100, for 'Cartes Postales from Greece' and 'Out of Bounds', respectively.


Progress 1000: London's most influencial people 2017 was published in October 2017 and included Meg Hillier (PPE 1987),  Bettany Hughes (Ancient and Modern History, 1985), Zanny Minton Beddoes (PPE 1986), and Hannah Rothschild (History, 1981).

Zeinab Badawi (PPE, 1978) received an award at the MVISA (Movie Video and Screen Awards) ceremony on 28 October 2017 for outstanding contribution to media.

Bettany Hughes and former Director of Production at Atlantic Ruth Fuller-Sessions (1986) have, with their colleagues Nigel Gardner and Peter Guildford, set up a TV company Sandstone Global in October 2017, which will help to “write women back into history” and counter the “super-sexualised” portrayal of heroines of the past.

In 'Eight Days that Made Rome', Bettany Hughes tells the story of Rome and its empire through eight pivotal days that changed the course of its history. The series starts on Channel 5 on Friday 27 October 2017.

'The End of the ****ing World' has been adapted to the screen by Charlie Covell (English, 2003 – 2006). This black comedy/drama tells the story teen outsiders James and Alyssa who are on a road trip to find her father. The show premiered on 24 October 2017 on Channel 4.

Dr Ann Thwaite (English, 1952) was a consultant on the film 'Goodbye Christopher Robin', directed by Simon Curtis and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Simon Vaughan. In 1990, Dr Thwaite's book, 'A.A. Milne: His Life' won the Whitbread Prize for best biography of the year. On 21 September 2017, a version of the book by Pan Macmillan published as 'Goodbye Christopher Robin', coinciding with with the release of the film of the same name. The film went on general release on 29 September 2017.

The American Lawyer has selected Regina Pisa (PPE, 1977) for its top honour, the 2017 Law Firm Distinguished Leader, as part of its Lifetime Achievement Awards. The award is presented annually to a law firm leader for exemplary stewardship of their firm.

Our alumna and the Observer's art critic Laura Cumming was announced as one of the winners of the James Tait Black Prize at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 14 August 2017. She won the Prize for The Vanishing Man, which explores the story of Victorian bookseller John Snare, who believed he had found a lost painting by Velázquez.

Nicola Dandridge (Classics, 1978) became the first chief executive of England's Office for Students on 1 September 2017.

Zeinab Badawi presented 'The History of Africa', an eight-part series that was broadcasted on BBC World News from July 2017.

Dame Fiona Caldicott DBE, our alumna (Physiology, 1960) and former Principal of Somerville College, received a Lifetime Achievement award at the First Women awards on 29 June 2017.

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.