Skip to main content Skip to navigation

The Zoe Russell Prize

The Zoe Russell Prize for Most Improved German Language Competence in Year One

Winners of the Zoe Russell Prize 

This prize was established by Zoe Russell’s parents in memory of their daughter, who was a student at Warwick from 1993 to 1997, gaining an Upper Second Class BA Honours Degree in German and Business Studies. The £200 prize is awarded to one student, or shared between two candidates who show the most improved performance in their language work in Year 1. In accordance with the wishes of Zoe Russell’s parents, the prize money is used to support some aspect of the recipient’s language learning.

Zoe RussellThe German Department owes a large debt of gratitude to Zoe’s parents, brother and sister for establishing this prize, which demonstrates the importance of hard work in improving key language skills. The Department is indebted also to Neil and Gayle Douglas, Zoe’s fellow students at Warwick from 1993 to 1997, who raised the initial sum to establish the Prize Fund through sponsorship for competing in the Nike 10 km race in Richmond Park, London, in September 2003.

Zoe was born in Berlin in December 1974. Her childhood included five years spent with her family in Austria, where she attended the Vienna International School. She completed her secondary education at Alton Convent School and Alton Sixth Form College in Hampshire. Her ‘0’ and ‘A’ level German studies included visits to East and West Germany, and Berlin. Family holidays were often spent in Germany, Austria or Switzerland.

During her degree course her year in Germany was spent at Kaiserslautern University, working for Coopers and Lybrand in Düsseldorf and for Citibank in Frankfurt. Following graduation, Zoe worked for BDO Stoy Hayward in London from 1997 to 2001 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. She kept up her German and visited Berlin on business. In August 2001 she took up an appointment as a Senior Operational Auditor at the BBC. In February 2003 Zoe died from a chronic lung disease which first developed when she was a child.

The Zoe Russell prize for the most improved performance in first-year language work is a key element in the Department's language-learning programme, and a fitting tribute to both Zoe's and the Department's commitment to the study of German language and culture. Thanks to Andrew and Marilyn Russell the prize is now established in perpetuity and will remain a source of inspiration to students facing the crucial challenge of bridging the gap between school and university.