‘Exceptional’ academic bids fond farewell to colleagues

One of the University’s most ‘valued and expert’ academics has paid tribute to her ‘amazing colleagues’ on the eve of her departure from Leeds.

Professor Laura Stroud has enjoyed a hugely successful career at Leeds

‘Exceptional’ academic bids fond farewell to colleagues. September 2023

Laura Stroud, who began her association with the University back in October 1998 as a Masters student, has enjoyed a stellar career at Leeds that has seen her rise to the post of Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health and Professor of Public Health and Education Innovation.

Laura will join the University of Sunderland on 2 October as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Health Sciences and Wellbeing. Ahead of her move, she was keen to acknowledge the ‘wonderful people’ who’ve supported her during her time at Leeds.

Laura said: “I started at Leeds in October 1998 as a Masters student and never really left! I have been enormously grateful for the wholly supportive environment and some amazing colleagues along the way.

“I was a ‘mature’ student, with experience of working in the voluntary and health sector, and had wanted to know and learn more about the theoretical and technical underpinning of my chosen path – Public Health. Despite living in the North East, I found Leeds to be a great landing place, with inspiring colleagues who recognised my previous experience despite – at the time – my lack of academic track record.

“So, my journey went from student, to visiting lecturer, to a part-time fixed-term teaching fellow, to lecturer, associate professor and finally professor and Deputy Dean of Faculty. 

“The School of Medicine holds an Athena Swan Gold award, but way before this carried weight, I can say without hesitation that I was supported. I have four children (who were very young at the start) and my career path has not been standard, but at every stage I have had nothing but encouragement.

“Thus I leave with mixed feelings – in gratitude for all that Leeds has given me but ready to take up the opportunity to make a difference in my home patch, not far from where I started my career in Public Health. I will, of course, stay in touch with many of the wonderful people I work with.”

Exceptional asset

Laura has undertaken various roles during her 20 years at the school, including Director of both the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences and Leeds Institute of Medical Education. She has also represented the University as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Speaking about Laura’s contribution to the University during this time, Professor Mark Kearney, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health, said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Laura for more than 10 years and she has been a very valued, expert colleague. 

“What is remarkable about her is that she is equally at home engaging with our students and working hard to support their interests as she is networking with the likes of the permanent secretary of the Department of Health and Social Care. Her skills at external liaison and representing Leeds with key external partners have proved her to be an exceptional asset to our faculty.”

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