Celebrate Our Staff – May 2022

Join us as we celebrate our colleagues’ achievements across the University from the past few weeks.

Louise Banahene MBE has been recognised for her leadership

Louise Banahene June 2019

Featured this month:

‘Richly deserved recognition’ for access and student success work

Louise Banahene MBE, Director of Educational Engagement, has been awarded Principal Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) for her leadership and contribution to learning and teaching in higher education.

Louise becomes the fifth colleague at Leeds to achieve Principal Fellowship in recognition of her work leading the University’s Access and Student Success Strategy, which includes outreach, contextual admissions and changes to structures and processes to close gaps in continuation and degree-awarding gaps.

Louise said: “I’m delighted to have been awarded Principal Fellowship, which recognises a demonstration of impact at a strategic level, a commitment to academic practice and leadership in teaching and learning. 

“It was a valuable process of reflection and review, and I’m very grateful for the advice and support I received along the way.”

Professor Paul Taylor, Dean: Student Education (Experience), said: “I’m delighted to hear that Louise has achieved Principal Fellow status. It’s richly deserved recognition.

“I have personally seen and been inspired by the transformational impact Louise has had on inclusion and engagement at Leeds, now badged under our Access and Student Success Strategy, which was designed and led by Louise.”

The work of Louise and her teams helps to minimise the barriers to access and student success experienced by many who are under-represented or disadvantaged. Louise received recognition for this commitment when in 2018 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to higher education.

Principal Fellowship is awarded by Advance HE to those who demonstrate sustained and effective strategic leadership in academic practice and academic development as a key contribution to high-quality student learning.   

If you’re interested in undertaking an application, find out more about applying for Principal Fellowship on the OD&PL student education development website or read more about Louise’s experience of becoming a Principal Fellow.

Honorary fellowship for Civil Engineering professor

Cath Noakes addresses the audience at the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) 2022 annual general meeting.Professor Cath Noakes has been honoured by the CIBSE

Professor Cath Noakes – a leading expert in ventilation and the transmission of airborne infection – has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

The accolade was announced as part of the organisation’s 2022 annual general meeting, held at the Royal Society London.

She was recognised for her contribution to research on indoor air quality and the transmission and control of airborne infection.

Professor Noakes said: “I was surprised and very honoured to have been nominated for this award. 

“The pandemic has significantly raised awareness of the importance of good indoor air quality, and I hope that I can continue to work collaboratively with CIBSE and many others to improve our indoor environments.” 

The CIBSE Natural Ventilation Special Interest Group proposed Professor Noakes for the Honorary Fellowship. Her citation noted her lifetime’s work around ventilation, and her role on the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). It also highlighted the impact of her media work in raising public knowledge of the importance of good indoor environments during the pandemic.  

Much of Professor Noakes’ work has gone on to inform CIBSE and Government guidance. Specifically, Professor Noakes supported CIBSE in producing guidance on ventilation for COVID-19 and she has contributed to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on ventilation for control of the virus.

Professor Noakes’ knowledge of ventilation and infection transmission led her to becoming one of the Government’s key scientific advisers on COVID-19. She received an OBE in September 2020 in recognition of her work.

Read the full story

Recognition for academic integrity

A self-portrait close up of Dr Lorna Waddington.The ENAI honoured Dr Lorna Waddington's activism around academic integrity 

Dr Lorna Waddington has received an award for outstanding activism from the European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI).

The award recognises her work both at Leeds and in the wider academic community, including with the UK Government, on issues of academic integrity.

She said: “I’m honoured to receive this recognition from ENAI. 

“It represents the work achieved so far thanks to the support from my Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) Fellowship with Caroline Campbell. It also demonstrates the University of Leeds’ continuing commitment to academic integrity.” 

Dr Waddington, a Lecturer in International History and the School of History’s Assessment and Academic Integrity Lead, was nominated by colleagues and selected for the accolade by a panel of experts.

The ENAI’s other awards noted the achievements of researchers and students around the world, including the efforts of the Ukrainian National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance for its work to fight corruption and cheating, while also maintaining academic standards in the face of adversity.

Honorary doctorate for excellence in medical education

A portrait image of Professor Trudie Roberts sat at the front of a lecture theatre.Professor Trudie Roberts received the honour in March

Trudie Roberts, Professor Emeritus of Medical Education, has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Helsinki in Finland. 

After joining Leeds in 2000, Professor Roberts was appointed Director of the Leeds Institute of Medical Education (LIME) in 2009. She led the institute for ten years, placing it onto an international stage through advancement of medical educational approaches.

Professor Roberts said: “I feel very honoured to receive this award but I feel it reflects the culmination of all that the LIME has achieved rather than just my own contribution.

“During my 21 years at the University, I had the privilege to work with outstanding colleagues and students, who have dedicated themselves to contributing to exceptional patient care, and I’m very proud that Leeds is internationally recognised for excellence in the field of medical education.”

Professor Roberts retired in December and was given the title of doctor honoris causa, the University’s highest recognition, due to her significant contribution to medical education.

Under Professor Roberts’ leadership, LIME won six international Aspire to Excellence Awards and a Stellar Aspire, recognising LIME as world-leading in medical education.

Inaugural Dean’s Awards for Research Excellence 

The winners of the inaugural Dean's Awards for Research, in the Esther Simpson lecture theatre.LUBS has been celebrating research achievements

Leeds University Business School (LUBS) held its inaugural Dean’s Awards for Research Excellence on Wednesday 27 April.

The event highlighted the work of the faculty’s research staff and promoted the excellence of a range of projects and activities.

It also set out to recognise and reward the achievements and talents of individual members of staff at different stages in their careers.

Pro Dean for Research and Innovation, Professor Mark Stuart, said the event was a chance to “celebrate the hard work of our researchers here at LUBS, who have continued their work in the face of much difficulty during the past couple of years and yet still produced the world-class research we’re renowned for.”

Professor Julia Bennell, Executive Dean for LUBS, also praised the researchers’ professionalism, dedication and talents. 

She said: “Leeds University Business School continues to go from strength to strength as one of the leading business schools in the UK. 

“And our research and teaching continue to shape the thinking and actions of business leaders around the world.”

Congratulations to all those featured at the event!

See the full list of winners and highly commended nominees

Roundtable Travel Award for green chemistry specialist

Dr Krishna Sharma, organic chemistry, green chemistry, awardSustainable organic chemical reactions will be the topic when Dr Krishna Sharma speaks in the US.

Dr Krishna Sharma (School of Chemistry) has been selected to receive the American Chemical Society (ACS), Green Chemistry Institute (GCI) Pharmaceutical Roundtable Travel Award. 

Awarded to eight researchers globally, this is an opportunity to present research work in a special sustainability session at the annual Green Chemistry and Engineering (GC&E) conference in the USA. 

It serves to foster worldwide communications in green chemistry by uniting academic and industrial green chemistry researchers from across the globe on a common platform.

Dr Sharma said: “The theme of the upcoming 26th GC&E conference is ‘Thinking in Systems: Designing for Sustainable Use’ and thus presents a unique opportunity for me to talk about my research work on the discovery of sustainable organic chemical reactions at this prestigious international platform.

“Awardees are also invited to attend a pre-conference workshop on how to assess the sustainability of our chemistry, along with a workshop on science communication, which will play a key role in my overall scientific development. 

“I will enormously benefit from its various networking sessions, which will allow me to exchange my research ideas and problems with fellow green chemistry researchers from around the world and potentially even establish fruitful collaborations.”

Current chemical processes rely heavily on the use of toxic, non-renewable, carbon-based solvents. Many of these carbon-based solvents are carcinogens, reproductive hazards and neurotoxins. 

Furthermore, the production and disposal of these carbon-based solvents releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Their extensive use poses risk to both human health and the environment. 

Dr Sharma’s research work focuses on solving these issues through the discovery of sustainable organic chemical reactions by using water as the environmentally benign reaction medium.

Prize for reverse mentoring research paper

Rachael O'Connor addresses an audience in front of a plain black background.The prize was awarded for the paper ‘Reverse mentoring between international students and staff in legal education’

Rachael O’Connor – Lecturer and Director of Student Support and Academic Personal Tutor Lead in the School of Law – won the Association of Law Teachers’ (ALT) Stan Marsh Prize for the best paper at the organisation’s annual conference. 

Funded by Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE) and ALT, Rachael’s paper is about a reverse mentoring research project with international law students and staff. 

In the study, students were encouraged to take the lead, sharing their experiences of being an international student here at Leeds and providing their mentees with information and tools that could positively influence the way they teach and interact with students in the future.

Rachael said: “I’m so pleased to have had my work recognised with this award, judged by a panel of academic peers I have a huge amount of respect for and who have taught me a lot through their work and support. 

“I also owe a big thank you to the LITE team and all of the staff and students across campus, who continue to support me with this important work, putting under-represented voices at the forefront of our University and school practices. 

“I’m really excited to see where my student-led LITE Fellowship work continues to develop and the impact it will have on campus policies and practices.”

Read more about reverse mentoring in the School of Law

Celebrating success at Be Curious

A selection of shots of children enjoying Be Curious activities on campus.Colleagues from across the institution came together to ensure a hugely successful return to campus for the University’s annual Be Curious event

More than 160 colleagues were involved in delivering engaging and exciting activities for families at Be Curious – the University’s annual research open event – held on Saturday 7 May.

From 10am to 4pm, more than 1,200 guests of all ages were welcomed onto campus to design, imagine, make, do, glue and explore, through in excess of 35 interactive stalls and activities, a hands-on Tinker Space, Maker Kits, performances, workshops, tours and more!

Shauni Sanderson, Public Engagement Officer, said: “Be Curious is a platform to celebrate and showcase just some of the fantastic research happening at the University. Staff involved worked tirelessly to inspire our many visitors, through all manner of hands-on activities. 

“The sense of engagement was evident – I lost count of how many visitors told me that they'd been there since the doors opened at 10am, and were still with us at closing time. 

“Well done to all involved, on the day and behind the scenes, for making it a fantastic, creative and engaging event!”

A member of the public who attended Be Curious with their two children, aged nine and five, said: “They absolutely loved all the different activities and they have sparked lots of conversations on related topics since we got home. The kids are disappointed they have to wait a whole year to come again!”

Staff continue to encourage the wider public to ‘be curious’ about research happening here at Leeds, through the Be Curious With Us series of exciting short videos, which are available to view online. 

Be Curious will return to campus in May 2023. The opportunity to get involved will be promoted to colleagues in the autumn.

New exhibition shows cleaning staff during the pandemic

Rosa Quintana standing in the archway leading to Clothworkers' Courtyard.Rosa Quintana’s photos are on display in a new exhibition

An exhibition of photographs by one of the University cleaning team shows her colleagues working on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Rosa Quintana’s striking images depict staff – often appearing alone – from 2020 to 2021, when many people were working from home.

Like many others, particularly in the Facilities Directorate – including those working in Estates and Facilities, Catering Services and Residential Services – the cleaning team kept the campus running, responding at short notice to changing guidelines.

Rosa is a professional photographer from Spain, who has lived in Leeds for six years. 

She said: “I wanted to show the quiet impact of the team, working in every building doing essential work. This felt particularly acute during the pandemic, but we do important work every day.

“We cover morning, afternoon and evening shifts, seven days a week, and I wanted to put on record the different types of jobs we do, particularly as they relate to the different functions of the spaces we clean.”

The cleaning team comprises more than 350 people, covering all academic buildings on the main campus. They’re essential to the smooth running of the University. 

Jill Roberts, Head of Cleaning Services, said: “I’m very proud of my hard-working team. Our work helps to enable the University to be one of the best in the country, yet we are often unseen, working away in the background. Rosa’s photographs highlight this beautifully.”

‘Unobtrusive Impact’ is in the Leeds University Union Building, next to the Refectory, until Saturday 18 June.

Let us know what you think via Twitter by using the hashtag #FDImpact

Read the full story

Going the distance

Antony Butcher on his bike in front of a field with a barn in the background.Antony Butcher has been making great progress – both on the road and with his fundraising – since we last checked in with him 

Antony Butcher – a member of the Student Education Service (SES) – is embarking on a solo bike ride from New York to San Francisco to raise mental health awareness and funds for the MS Society.  

He has now reached his initial fundraising target of £20,000 – helped along by a sizeable donation from Dame Judi Dench – and is continuing to raise money.

He has cycled more than a thousand miles and completed the first of three legs, having travelled from New York to Chicago. He has already cycled the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest – something he’ll ultimately do four times on the trip!

The next leg will take him to the base of the Rocky Mountains in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Antony said: “I’ve been overwhelmed with kindness from everyone I’ve met – from the people who’ve welcomed me into their homes as I pass through their towns, to strangers who’ve waved me over and thrust sponsorship at me as they’ve seen I’m cycling across America.”

Now, SES colleagues are getting in on the fun by teaming up for a distance challenge.

Inspired by Antony, they will be embarking on ‘The Race Across America’ in support of his journey, and will aim to collectively travel the same distance he will complete from April to July – 4,000 miles!  

The challenge starts at midnight on Wednesday 1 June and ends at midnight on Sunday 12 June. Though the challenge is in support of Antony’s cycling journey and coincides with World Bicycle Day on Friday 3 June, how they complete the distance is entirely up to the participants – be it cycling, walking, running, dancing, climbing or any other activity to get moving.

Good luck to all those taking part!  

Donations for the MS Society can be made via Antony’s JustGiving page. You can also follow his progress on social media.

Apply | Research Culture and Impact Awards

A number of blue and white fireworks going off against a night sky.There’s still time to submit your application!

Applications are open until 5pm on Wednesday 1 June for our inaugural Research Culture and Impact Awards

Prizes, funding and an invitation to a special awards ceremony are up for grabs to those colleagues who collaboratively support and enhance research culture and impact at Leeds. 

You can also read an Inside Track feature by Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, in which he explains more about the awards and shares progress on research culture and impact, as part of the University strategy.

Get in touch!

We know there are lots of great things happening to support the work of the University – and we want to hear about them!

Please follow the staff Twitter account to see the latest updates and copy in our @UniLeedsStaff handle when posting success stories, so we can share them with colleagues.

You can also contact Internal Communications directly if you or one of your colleagues would like to appear in this monthly feature. This is open to all staff – professional and academic.

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