Shining a light on alumni and how you can support our students

Alumni Journeys: Creativity, Careers and Community is back!

Since launching the Alumni Journeys: Creativity, Careers and Community webinar series in 2021, we have shared 19 alumni stories over the course of 12 videos. From the Arts to Business, we have shared alumni stories from a variety of industries and received valuable words of wisdom from our webinar guests.

For the 2023/2024 academic year, we are pleased to announce our third series! We have spoken to 7 alumni from a broad range of industries offer advice and sharing their stories. From a Publishing Marketing Executive to a Speech and Language Therapist, we are excited to share some amazing alumni stories.

Starting in October 2023, we will be premiering a webinar once a month until May 2024. Each webinar contains a talk from one of our alumni and a Q&A with one of our academics. Make sure to follow our social media pages and sign up to our newsletter to know when our webinars are posted.

Let us introduce you to this year’s speakers:

Martin Roberts – BBC Senior Cameraman

Graduating in 1984 with a Film, History and TV degree, Martin has over 30 years’ experience as a Senior Cameraman for the BBC.

Starting his career in North Wales after completing his degree, Martin later worked as a film archivist for the BBC before securing his current role.

Earlier this year, Martin returned to campus for the School of Arts’ Industry Week. Martin shared his advice and led a workshop for students, which was filmed to be part of the Alumni Journeys webinar series.

Photo of Martin standing next to a camera in the rain. Martin has short, white hair and is wearing all black. He is smiling at the camera while he prepare to film a segment for BBC News.

To find out more about Martin’s career journey, check out our blog post from earlier this year and read this year’s alumni magazine.

Heather Barnfield – Senior Director, Intellectual Property Development

Heather Barnfield graduated from the College of Ripon and York St John in 1986 with a degree in Art and Geography. She currently works for Korn Ferry, a global organisational consulting firm, where she is Senior Director, Intellectual Property Development. She has over 25 years’ experience in leadership development, consultancy, talent management, and engagement.

Heather has previously worked in the newspaper industry for 13 years and held the role of Vice President, Talent, Engagement, and Mobility at Aviva Insurance (North America), based in Chicago. At Aviva she was a member of the Global Talent Task Force through which she co-designed the organization’s enterprise-wide talent management approach, working as a client of Korn Ferry.

A selfie of Heather smiling at the camera. Heather has short brown hair and is wearing a white top and small hooped earrings.

Ozzie Pullin – Director

Ozzie Pullin is a film director specialising in Music Videos, Commercials and Fashion.

Graduating in 2011 with a degree in Film & Television, Ozzie has directed music videos for artists such as Lewis Capaldi, John Newman, and Wolf Alice. Ozzie has also directed commercials for English Heritage, River Island, and Stella McCartney.

Black and white photograph of Ozzie. Ozzie has short hair, a mustache and short beard. Ozzie is wearing a cap and a dark jacket with a collar.

Find out more about Ozzie’s work by visiting Ozzie’s website or listening to his podcast Now Then Talks.

Ros Denby – Psychotherapist

Ros Denby studied at the College of Ripon and York St John, graduating in 1986 with a degree in Physical Education. Pursuing a career in teaching, Ros became a primary headteacher in 2000.

After her career in education, Ros went on to work in the foster care system as an Education Officer, eventually becoming an Education Director and finally a CEO.

In 2015, Ros returned to university, attending the University of Cumbria to complete a postgraduate degree in Person-centred Psychotherapy. In 2019 launched her own private practice, Heart to Nature, and provided one to one women only counselling. Ros is also an equine facilitated therapist and can offer a therapeutic approach alongside the horses and animals in her care.

Ros has short blonde hair and tortoiseshell glasses. Ros is leaning on her left hand and smiling at the camera. Ros wears a blue long-sleeved shirt, a watch, necklace and ring.

Jenna Houston – Publishing Marketing Executive

Jenna Houston studied English Literature at York St. John, graduating in 2018. She has gone on to forge a career in publishing, currently working as Marketing Executive for award-winning, independent publishing company Boldwood Books where she runs campaigns for commercial fiction titles ranging from romantic comedies to psychological thrillers. Never straying too far from her bookish roots as a student, you can usually find her reading all kinds of books in her spare time.

Jenna is at a work event and is smiling at the camera. Jenna has blonde hair tied up in a pony tail. She is wearing a lanyard, navy and cream floral dress and red lipstick. She is holding a pale pink notebook.

You can find out more about Jenna’s work on X or Instagram.

Find out more about Boldwood Books by visiting their website. Check out the Boldwood Sales & Marketing Internship Scheme.

Connor Crowley – Sports and Exercise Therapy

Connor Crowley graduated from York St John University in 2022 with a degree in Sport and Exercise Therapy.

Since graduating, Connor has pursued a career as a sports and exercise therapy. Connor is now a sports therapist working with clubs in England and Wales.

Connor is stood outside the Holgate dining room extension on his graduation day. Connor is wearing a cap and gown and a suit. The weather is overcast and the trees are turning orange for autumn.

Lauren Cook – Speech and Language Therapist

Lauren Cook is a Speech and Language Therapist and currently works for the NHS.

In 2017, Lauren graduated from York St John University with a degree in Creative Writing, Linguistics and English Language. After graduating from York St John, they completed a Masters degree in Speech and Language Therapy from City, University of London.

They have been a Speech and Language Therapist since 2020 and specialise in Children’s Speech and Language Therapy.

We are very excited to share with you our incredible alumni stories. We would like to thank all of our alumni who have taken part in this year’s series and the incredible advice they have offered to alumni and students.

If you wish to ask one of our speakers a question after watching a webinar, please email We will forward your questions to the relevant speaker.

We would love to hear from you! If you would like to be involved in future webinar series, please email You can also submit a snapshot highlighting what you have done since leaving York St John.

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