Celebrate Our Staff – October 2022

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

Antony Butcher, pictured with his mother (left) and wife (right), took on an epic charity cycle challenge

Antony Butcher, who works in the Student Education service, is pictured with his mum, Teresa (left), and hugging his wife at the end of his 4,000-mile bike ride (right).

Featured this month: 

Colleague’s local football club recognised with sport award

Adel Chermiti with a football.

Adel Chermiti’s work ethic has seen Leeds Hyde Park FC excel in recent years

Local football club Leeds Hyde Park FC recently won a Leeds Sport Award for Club/Team of the year: Participation U18.

Adel Chermiti from Catering Services has been the driving force behind Leeds Hyde Park FC, founding the club in 2017 with just 10 children.

In the past few years, Adel has overseen the club expanding to incorporate more than 400 members and a wider range of age groups, alongside championing women’s and girls’ football.

The club has always put access at the core; operating in an area with socio-economic difficulties, Leeds Hyde Park never turns anyone away due to a lack of funds, and a large proportion of children are sponsored and play for free. Hyde Park also provides an environment for refugees and new arrivals to be welcomed into the local community. 

With the club existing a short distance away from the University, and embedded in an area with a strong student presence, Adel has also helped build bridges between students and the wider community through employment and volunteering opportunities.  

He said: “Leeds Hyde Park FC is at the heart of our local community. The fact that we have such a great collective of young and adult footballers, all of whom support each other week in week out, shows the beauty of sport in bringing people from diverse backgrounds together.

“With our club sitting on the University’s doorstep, I hope this award and recognition of our hard work in developing local, enthusiastic athletes creates a stronger bond between the University and grassroots sport going forwards.”

A representative of Leeds Hyde Park FC said: “Winning the Leeds Sports Award for the most inspirational football club was the result of years of hard work, with Adel at the heart of it. 

“Adel recently won the West Riding FA coach of the year award, but his impact is felt just as strongly off the pitch, possessing a tireless work ethic that has helped carry out his vision. He is our Hyde Park hero!”

Leeds academics become Freshwater Quality Champions

NERC has co-appointed Professor Pippa Chapman and Professor Joseph Holden as Freshwater Quality Champions

NERC has co-appointed Professor Pippa Chapman and Professor Joseph Holden as Freshwater Quality Champions

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has co-appointed Professor Pippa Chapman and Professor Joseph Holden – both from the School of Geography – as the new Freshwater Quality Champions for the ‘Understanding changes in quality of UK freshwaters’ programme.

This appointment will see the academics lead and co-ordinate a new four-year programme that will enhance our understanding of how pollutants enter, transform and interact within rivers, and with the ecosystems that rivers support.

Currently, they work together as leaders of the £6 million NERC Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP), which brings together academics and experts from organisations active in catchment management to find ways to use existing environmental science more effectively – including coming up with solutions to water-related problems – to deliver impact to maximise resilient growth and social benefit.

In a joint statement, the Freshwater Champions said: “We seek to build an interdisciplinary freshwater quality community that includes researchers, practitioners and policymakers, capable of delivering impactful, transformative research to understand the major sources, pathways, transformations and interactions of pollutants in freshwater ecosystems. 

“In doing so, we will facilitate new knowledge and approaches, which will help reduce pollutant loadings to river systems, improve their ecological status and ensure the UK freshwater network is more resilient to climate and land-use change and other emerging stressors.”

Professor recognised for exceptional food structure research

Professor Alan Mackie in a lab

Professor Alan Mackie is celebrating his award success

Professor Alan Mackie, Head of the School of Food Science and Nutrition, has won the Dr Isaac Heertje Distinguished Scientist Award for his contributions to food structure research.

The Food Structure and Functionality Forum established the Distinguished Scientist award in 2014 to recognise a high-level scientist from industry, government or academia who has made a significant contribution to the field of food structure and functionality.

Professor Mackie will present a seminar at the Food Structure and Functionality Symposium, taking place from 18-21 September 2023 in Cork, Ireland, in which he will outline his research achievements.

Professor Mackie, who joined the School of Food Science and Nutrition in 2016, said: “This unexpected award is from colleagues around the world working in the field of food structure. 

“The timing is very pertinent with the food system in crisis from so many directions, as a result of the energy crisis, climate change, biodiversity, non-communicable diseases etc. 

“My research on food structure, in relation to both food quality and health, has been recognised through this award. In my award presentation, I encouraged young scientists to really start to address the global challenges by putting plant-based structure back into food to make it healthier and more sustainable.”

The Distinguished Scientist Award is named after Dr Isaac Heertje, a world-leading food structure expert whose research achievements are praised as some of the highest quality in the field.

Congratulating Professor Mackie, Dr Heertje said: “I feel very honoured with your acceptance of the award carrying my name… I congratulate you with the award and wish you and your group at the University of Leeds a successful further future.”

Celebrating our PGCAP graduates

A group of people collaborate on some work on campus.

Congratulations to 11 colleagues who’ve graduated from the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP)

They’ve all taken part in the course designed to reflect and enhance their teaching practice and to deliver a pedagogical research project. As a result, they’ve also been awarded a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

The following colleagues have all graduated from our PGCAP and been awarded AHE Fellowship:

  • Dr Sadegh Azizi – School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  • Samantha Earl – Lifelong Learning Centre
  • Dr Boshuo Guo – School of Design
  • Barbara Kempf – Leeds Institute of Medical Education
  • Anja Komatar – Learning Development Team (Library)
  • Dr Farha Lakhani – School of Computing
  • Imelda Marshall – Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine
  • Dr Joao Goncalves Faria Martins – School of Mathematics
  • Rachael O’Connor – School of Law
  • Dr Sjoerd de Ridder – School of Earth and Environment
  • Dr Muhammad Kashif Shehzad – School of Civil Engineering

PGCAP Programme Leader, Victoria Taylor, said: “Once again the PGCAP team is very proud of our newest graduates from the programme. Their hard work, enthusiasm and continued dedication to student education deserves our warmest congratulations.”

The next intake for the PGCAP will be for the February 2023 cohort. The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 21 November 2022. 

Visit the PGCAP webpage for further details about the programme and how to apply

You can also register for a virtual event to find out more about the PGCAP, which runs from 12 noon to 1pm on Friday 4 November.

Outstanding African Studies Award

Professor Ray Bush delivering a speech.

Professor Raymond Bush pictured at the recent ASAUK 2022 conference

The African Studies Association in the UK (ASAUK), at its recent 2022 biennial conference, has awarded its prestigious Award for Outstanding Achievements in African Studies to Emeritus Professor Raymond C Bush, from the School of Politics and International Studies.

Through this award, ASAUK pays tribute to individuals or teams who’ve made exceptional contributions to the field of African studies. The award is intended for people who’ve contributed largely to African studies in the UK, or who have strengthened links between African studies here and in Africa itself.

It’s the second time ASAUK has honoured a Leeds academic with this award. In 2002, the same honour was bestowed on the late Lionel R Cliffe, Professor of Politics at Leeds and Professor Bush’s former supervisor, mentor and comrade.

Former ASAUK President, Professor Alfred Tunde Zack-Williams, who’s a long-time collaborator of Professor Bush, expressed his support for the award. He said: “For the past 40 years, Professor Bush has dedicated much of his time to studying the African continent, both in his extensive publications and in his lectures.

“He’s a distinguished scholar, who has made immense contributions to the study of Africa in Britain and abroad. He’s very much respected by his colleagues and students alike, not just as a brilliant political scientist, but also for his strong sense of fairness and social justice.”

Until his retirement in 2021, Ray Bush was Professor of African Studies and Development Politics in the School of Politics and International Studies at Leeds, having joined the University in 1984.

£30k raised in epic US cycle ride

Antony Butcher cycles through a mountainous landscape.

Antony Butcher reached San Francisco in July, after pedalling 4,000 miles from New York and raising more than £30,000 for the MS Society

Antony Butcher, who works in the Student Education Service at Leeds, saddled up to raise £30,000 for the MS Society in an epic charity cycle ride across the US.

He took on the challenge in honour of his mother, Teresa, who was diagnosed with MS when Antony was a teenager.

Antony said: “After five years of planning and three months of cycling, crossing the finish line felt unreal. I’m still trying to get my head around it. I’ve been overwhelmed with kindness and I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve had. 

“The best part of the trip was all the wonderful people who put me up, paid for my meals and cheered me on. I can’t find words to describe how I’m feeling today – I can barely begin to process it.”

Antony started his journey in Times Square, New York, in April. He climbed about 120,000ft (36,600 metres) during the ride, which is four times the height of Mount Everest.

Antony added: “MS is a horrible condition. It’s horrible to watch someone you love fight a battle that is unwinnable and know there’s nothing you can do to help them.

“There’s nothing I can do to help my mum, but maybe the money raised to help people living with MS, and the research into the disease, can help other people out there avoid this terrible condition.”

Donations for the MS Society can be made via Antony’s JustGiving page. 

Film wins Best Fashion Documentary

Dr Henry Greathead (left) and Professor Steve Banwart (right) were featured in the film.

Dr Henry Greathead and Professor Steve Banwart were featured in Why Wool Matters, alongside HRH The Prince of Wales, now King Charles III

Why Wool Matters has been awarded Best Fashion Documentary at the 2022 London Fashion Film Festival.

The documentary, produced for the Campaign for Wool, took the top prize at the 2022 awards, which celebrate innovation in the combined arts of film and fashion.  

Why Wool Matters showcased wool’s unique properties and the positive contribution sheep can make to the continued wellbeing of the planet. 

As well as highlighting wool’s wide range of uses, its renewable and biodegradable end-of-life attributes and its contribution to the circular economy, the documentary also explained how properly managed land for sheep can help in the fight against climate change. 

Grazing animals, particularly sheep, are good for soil health, allowing for better carbon sequestration, the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. 

Professor Steve Banwart, from the School of Earth and Environment and Director of the Global Food and Environment Institute (GFEI), featured in the film to explain the importance of cultivating good soil and how properly managed grazing animals help keep soil undisturbed. 

Dr Henry Greathead, from Leeds’ School of Biology and the GFEI, also featured, discussing how sheep production of methane is part of a natural cycle. 

London Fashion Film Festival showcases documentaries, fashion films and fashion shorts, with award entries from around the world.  

Read the full story.

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 and Engagement 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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