Aberystwyth University alumnus wins prestigious US award

25 March 2015

Mitch Robertson
Mitch Robertson

Mitch Robinson, an alumnus of Aberystwyth University has won the Professional Achievement Award at the US British Council’s Education UK Alumni Awards 2015.

Mitch was selected from three finalists from the United States, who graduated from UK universities in the last ten years, and are recognised for their success upon returning to the US.

The Professional Achievement Award recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their profession, and who can demonstrate the highest level of integrity and character in their career.

Mitch graduated with Master of Laws (LLM) from the Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University in 2005, and is an international law expert for the 9/11 death penalty case at Guantanamo Bay.

Mitch’s work was instrumental in obtaining ground breaking reports and precedents from the United Nations regarding due process rights and the rehabilitation of torture victims.

Upon receipt of the award, Mitch paid tribute to his alma matter: “If I do anything well, anything innovative, and anything unique to assist in the protection of the fundamental rights of a man in unjust captivity at Guantanamo – it is due to the extraordinary learning experience I had at Aberystwyth. There are two places in my life that I feel home – Mississippi and Wales. Mississippi is the home of my soulful essence, but Aberystwyth is the essence of education. I hope the award will be immensely beneficial to the University, because it is ultimately a recognition of Aberystwyth as much as myself."

In addition to his legal work, Mitch recently published the first instalments of his novel series, 22:10, an international crime novel which features a “quiet university town on the Welsh coastline” where the main character sought solitude.

Originally from Mississippi, Mitch now lives in Arlington, Virginia, after spending more than a decade living in Wales, Beijing, Geneva, Oslo and Edinburgh.

Congratulating him on his award win, Louise Jagger, Director of Development and Alumni Relations commented: “Mitch is an inspirational alumnus and we are delighted to have his professional achievements recognised at such prestigious and global levels. His tribute to Aber reflects the opinions of many alumni who credit their professional success to the combination of Aber's academic rigour and open minded teaching approach and their personal development to the vibrant and unique landscape and character of Aber and Wales.”

The British Council will support visits of the award-winners to the UK and to their universities.

Professor April McMahon explained: “We are tremendously proud of Mitch’s success. Our University has a growing community of successful alumni in all corners of the world, and it is always pleasing to hear of their individual and collective achievements as they develop their chosen careers.

“Developing our alumni relations is a priority for Aber, and we are continuing to build our networks internationally.  It has been a great pleasure to meet Mitch at alumni events in the US, and we can now look forward to welcoming Mitch back to Aber in the near future - I’m sure he will be an inspiration to all our current students.”

The Education UK Alumni awards are intended to recognise outstanding success in Entrepreneurism, Professional Achievement, and Social Impact by people who have graduated from UK higher education institutions within the last ten years. The winners of the Entrepreneurism and Social Impact awards were Chandler Robinson (University of Cambridge) and Ruthe Farmer (University of Oxford).

Dr Gretchen Dobson, chair of the US judging panel, said, "Alumni relations is about relationships. The applicants who stood out among the pack were the alumni who clearly demonstrated how their UK education prepared them for competitive and demanding careers."

The Education UK Alumni Awards were created by the British Council in September 2014 in order to develop a network of high achieving alumni who could connect not only with government and industry leaders in the UK but with one another as well. In addition to the United States, recent graduates from China and India were also recognised for their successes in their home countries.


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Louise Jagger
Director of Development and Alumni Relations
Aberystwyth University
01970 621884 / lmj23@aber.ac.uk

Arthur Dafis
Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs
Aberystwyth University
01970 621763 / 07841979452 / aid@aber.ac.uk