Multiple honours for Catz Alumni

Honours list

Multiple honours for Catz Alumni

Six members of the St Catherine’s community have been recognised in the 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

Alison Baum (1989, Biology), CEO and founder of the charity Best Beginnings, has been awarded for services towards tackling child health inequalities. Alison started the charity ten years ago following the birth of her two sons, both of whom had significant health problems. Since then she has devoted herself to radically improving the health of young children across the UK, and her efforts have been rewarded with an OBE. Commenting on her award she said, “so many people work tirelessly to make a difference and very few of us are lucky enough to have our work recognised in the New Year’s Honours. To start our tenth anniversary celebrations with this Honour is simply the best beginning to 2017 that I could possibly have imagined!”

“I’m proud to be able to shine a bright light on the work of the charity I founded ten years ago and to encourage many more people to join the Best Beginnings’ family and help us give every child in the UK the best start in life.”


Barrister and author Emma Chamberlain (1979, Modern History) was also awarded with an OBE for her services towards helping develop government tax policy.  Having worked for many years in the field of tax she was honoured and overwhelmed to receive the award. “Tax practitioners are often given a bad press so it was good to have some positive news”, commented Emma. “I am very committed to improving the formulation of tax policy and encouraging informed public tax debate on all tax issues. However, there are many other unsung workers in the tax and legal professions who work incredibly hard to improve tax policy and the legislation in each Finance Bill. The Chartered Institute of Taxation’s Low Income Tax reform Group, for example, has done sterling work in ensuring better information and support on taxes and benefits for low income and vulnerable families.”


Paul Rowsell (1970, Chemistry), Deputy Director for Democracy at the Department for Communities and Local Government, was awarded a CBE for his services towards local government. Paul has worked at the department, in one form or another, for nearly 40 years. Reflecting on his CBE, Paul said, “I am very honoured to receive this award for services to local government. Councils can do so much for communities everywhere – promoting growth, delivering services, shaping local places. This honour recognises not just my commitment and work, but that and the tireless commitment of the many teams I have worked with over nearly four decades in DCLG, and its predecessors.”


There was an OBE too for Dr Kay Emck (1983, English), founder of Fine Cell Work, a charity which trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework and enables them to leave prison with the skills and means to earn money. Her honour recognises her services towards the rehabilitation of offenders.

Also recognised in this year’s list was Olympic rower and gold medallist Andy Triggs-Hodge (2004, Geography and the Environment). Andy was part of the men’s eights crew at last year’s Summer Games in Rio, where he won his third gold medal. He is now the holder of an OBE.

And finally former Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor, Sir Richard Eyre, has been made a Companion of Honour for his services towards the theatre. Sir Richard’s visiting professorship at St Catherine’s lasted from 1997-98.

Professor Roger Ainsworth, Master of St Catz, was pleased to see the achievements of so many Catz Alumni being recognised this year. “People leave St Catherine’s and go on to do remarkable things in their careers and personal lives”, commented Roger. “It is always a joy to hear their stories, and to see so many Catz names on this list is wonderful. It is testament to their hard work and determination. I have sent my congratulations on behalf of the College to all of them.”