Inspiring group of women honoured
The latest in a new series profiling our Women of Achievement Awards 2021 celebrants highlights outstanding accomplishments of colleagues in the field of staff support.
Ruth Buller, Jo Hynes, Professor Lisa Collins and Dr Rachael Spraggs (clockwise, from top left) are among our Women of Achievement 2021 celebrants
Amazing achievements of 28 colleagues were recognised during a special online ceremony last month.
Held for the sixth time, the awards aim to acknowledge and celebrate women who share a common commitment to excellence and have performed outstandingly in their fields, whether this be in research, student education or student experience, scholarship, international strategies, leadership of key University initiatives, or supporting vital administrative and technical activities.
The awards highlight the significant contributions and impact the recipients have made across the University and beyond.
The women receiving awards were all nominated by their peers, and are drawn from across the University, from a range of academic and professional colleagues, highlighting how excellence is being achieved throughout the institution.
Lisa Collins is a Professor of Animal Science, who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of animal welfare and epidemiology.
She spearheads major cross-university research initiatives in her roles as Academic Director of the National Pig Centre, Director of Smart Agri-Systems and as the Global Food and Environment Institute (GFEI) Director of Commercial Research and Innovation.
Professor Collins was appointed a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales last year, in recognition of international excellence in the field of agriculture, food and veterinary science, and she’s British Science Association President for Food and Agriculture 2020-21.
Professor Collins said: “I was so delighted to be nominated for this award, and to receive it alongside such an inspiring group of women who bring so much passion, joy and creativity to our work in higher education (HE).
“Working in HE, we’re never short of inspiration – exciting discoveries, future-forming innovations and life-changing learning are in our DNA. It’s so easy to forget that this progress is often due not to a lightbulb moment, but to dogged persistence; to individuals and teams going above and beyond over and over and over again.
“This past year has shown us what we can achieve when we pull together as a team. Day after day I’ve witnessed colleagues working brilliantly together and supporting those around them with kindness, compassion and energy. It has been a remarkable and humbling experience to lead a school through this time, and in receiving this award I would like to recognise the amazing efforts and achievements of the team I have around me.”
Professor Lisa Collins has made an outstanding contribution to the field of animal welfare and epidemiology
Outstanding role model
Jo Hynes is the Deputy Director of Estates and Facilities, and is responsible for the delivery of some of the University’s most vital services.
She’s an outstanding role model for women in a discipline traditionally dominated by men.
Jo said: “I’m so grateful and very humbled to have achieved this nomination alongside some fantastic colleagues – well done to everyone for all of our achievements.
“I feel very lucky to work in an organisation with such a strong network of amazing women. Here’s to a brighter future and the opportunity to support each other and our teams in the years ahead.”
Jo Hynes is an outstanding role model for women in a discipline that has been traditionally dominated by men
Removing barriers to research
Dr Rachael Spraggs has shown outstanding directorship of the School of Earth and Environment’s Institute of Applied Geosciences.
She has taken enormous steps to remove barriers to research in the institute, primarily by working with the school’s management team to highlight imbalances between teaching and research commitments of staff.
Dr Spraggs said: “I’d like to thank the University for recognising the achievements of women across the organisation, in both academic and non-academic roles.
“The award is a complete surprise and I’m honoured to have been nominated by one of my peers, so thank you to them for recognising my efforts and taking the time to do so.
“I would also like to give credit to the excellent support I have from those around me, especially my Co-Director of the Institute of Applied Geosciences, Professor Nigel Mountney, and Research Support Administrator, Samantha Haynes. The role is a challenging one and their support has been key in enabling me to tackle the underlying causes of workload imbalances in order to remove barriers to research.”
Dr Rachael Spraggs has shown outstanding directorship of the School of Earth and Environment’s Institute of Applied Geosciences
Wonderful and humbling
Ruth Buller is the Head of Human Resources for Professional Services and focuses on the provision of a proactive, effective and quality HR service to more than 4,000 University staff.
Recently, she has worked collaboratively with the directors of professional services to enable an appropriate and well-managed response to covid-19.
Ruth said: “I was both delighted and honoured to be awarded a Women of Achievement Award this year.
“It’s wonderful and humbling to be recognised alongside a group of such inspirational women, who’ve made an impact across the globe and are quite simply amazing.
“It has been a tough year for many of us and covid-19 has shown us how much we can achieve when we work together – I’m proud to be part of a fantastic HR team, which has worked tirelessly to support all of our staff this year.”
Ruth Buller has worked collaboratively with the directors of professional services to enable an appropriate and well-managed response to covid-19
Success for all
Leeds has been commended for its work to support the career development of talented women in the form of a prestigious Bronze award under the Athena SWAN Charter. The Athena SWAN Charter is designed to recognise advancement of gender equality: representation, progression and success for all. Faculties at Leeds celebrated a hat-trick of new awards across the University last year.
Further profiles of each of the Women of Achievement Awards 2021 celebrants will be published on For Staff during the coming weeks. Links to these articles will be added to the weekly eNews editions and the Equality and Inclusion Unit website, so watch this space for further information.
For those unable to attend the online Women of Achievement Awards 2021, you can access a recording of the ceremony to watch in full.Posted in: University news