Durham Women Making a Difference
Not only does Clarissa's line of work make her the perfect, and thoroughly deserving, nominee for International Women's Day, but she is also constant champion for doing what is right, making the individual voice heard, and nurturing in her role as mentor. She has helped me to seamlessly navigate the complexities of transition from student to staff member, and often gives me some of the best advice and motivational anecdotes I've ever had!
Helen has gone out of her way to provide support for more junior female colleagues, both inside and outside of her department. She is an excellent mentor, and she truly cares about doing what is right, not what is most expedient, even when it means sacrificing her own time. She is someone that I can go to for help and support about pretty much anything.
Jenny Taylor, Rachel Murphy and Ashleigh Adey
The wonder Economic Development team that is Jenny, Rachel and Ashleigh have provided immeasurable support to the ERDF project. They provide an open door and are always approachable to being a sounding board and a fresh pair of eyes to “look something over really quickly” before it is implemented. They are quick to respond with informed advice to questions asked of them and work in a proactive manner to ensure the active development and successful completion of the projects they support. They are a credit in their roles and work in such a professional, accessible and collaborative manner.
Sue has made an enormous contribution to raising aspirations of many women from mothers to CS undergraduates. Sue developed #techmums courses to take the mystery out of technology for women and how women can learn to use technology to help them at work and to keep their children safe online. One of her most inspiring contributions is in saving Bletchley Park (home to WW2 code breaking) where she received funding for the Women of Station X project which highlighted the largely forgotten contribution that women made there during WW2. From crowdfunding she raised enough to save BP as a national historic site and from this work she published a book on how she had the determination to do this. Sue is now making an impact on staff and students in Computer Science and is raising the profile of Computer Science to encourage more females to take up the subject.
Lauren is an inspiration, She is confident in what she does and professional in how she carries it out. She is hardworking, friendly and motivational. She is a strong person both individually and in team situations. Her drive is admirable and she always makes time for anyone who needs her support or guidance. She is a valued asset to the team and defiantly worthy of the "inspiring individuals" nomination.
Mahek is an undergraduate Natural Sciences student who set up a charity called Code Camp when she was just 16, which has now helped to teach over 70,000 students in India how to code. The charity has so far provided computer coding lessons to more than 1,800 schools in Gujarat state, and in recognition for the huge impact of her work she was named one of the Prime Minister's Points of Light in 2018 and has also recently received E-Skills Initiative of the Year at the Women in IT Awards. Mahek is currently working to expand the activities of her charity and also to support STEM outreach activity at Durham University, particularly in relation to the Women in Tech initiatives in Computer Science.
Louise started the Blood Donation Society just under two years ago and she has been President since then. She has worked tirelessly to make the society a success and it really has been. They have a range of great fundraising events that they host, they hold blood donation days and they raise awareness of the importance of blood donation. Louise puts her heart and soul in to the society and she has given up a lot of time to make it the successful society it is today. She needs to be recognised for her fantastic leadership and organisation skills and for being an approachable and friendly president within the exec committee. Well done Louise and thank you!
Claire has made a significant difference to staff, apprentices and colleagues across the University over the years. Claire is very caring, modest and professional, always trying to help individuals reach their full potential and build their confidence. There are several occasions where Claire has gone above and beyond of what is expected of her to help and support individuals in the University, and treats everyone she works alongside with respect, empathy and integrity. Claire has helped and supported Individuals for over 15 years at the University on various training courses, in a mentoring capacity and championing apprentices. Claire is an inspirational woman and thoroughly deserves the recognition of this award, and this is an ideal opportunity for the University, staff and colleagues to thank her for all the excellent work and effort that she has given and continues to deliver.
Mona is an inspiration and role model to not only female students seeking to enter academia but also more broadly all female students with focused career ambitions, as she encourages them to aim high and also provides her own example. Her research focusing on the political roots and consequences of women’s suffrage also underlines the importance of women in politics, and emphasises the need to better understand such often-neglected questions in women’s history and politics. She always seeks to subtly make students aware of the unconscious gender (or any other) biases we all hold, both through some of our tutorial topics, and through some of her comments in general discussions we have on tutorials. For these reasons I think she is a great inspiration to female students studying politics at Durham.
Kirsty is the most hard-working person I have ever met and I feel she deserves to be recognised for this. She is undergoing personal issues but is still working as much as she can so that the SU can function with very little difference. Kirsty is attending meetings with the University, with students, with other SU staff and is still contributing great ideas and being as helpful as always. I think everyone who has met with Kirsty over these difficult months would say how brave she is being and what a fantastic job she is continuing to do in her role.
Trudi is an incredibly inspiring academic. She is enthusiastic about her subject, which makes her lectures a joy to attend. The effort she puts into her teaching materials makes them a breeze to learn from. She is never afraid to teach controversial or difficult topics, creating a safe space for all her students. She is an amazingly supportive individual both in academic and personal circumstances. I feel that without Trudi, I would not have been able to progress in my degree at Durham.
Sarah's dedication to her research and students is unwavering. She is an incredible lecturer who makes complicated topics easy to understand. Her passion for her work is infectious and the way she communicates this to her students is fantastic. When she sets herself a feedback deadline she will make sure to stick to it, even if it means sacrificing her own time to achieve it - a real testament to her commitment to her students.
During her time she has helped so many people. She is not only astounding at her job but also has a heart of gold. She would always go above and beyond. Sarah is compationate and cares about her colleagues on a personal level, always finding time to check that individuals within the team are happy at work and personally. She is always enthusiastic about ideas, be it from bake sales to help with external competitions. Such a supporting person should be recognised and celebrated. She has inspired many in their careers and has shown how to help others and that compassion is important in the work place.
Susan is an inspiring leader of people. Although extremely busy in her post, she always takes time to communicate with colleagues and support staff in a way that makes us all feel included; Susan continuously promotes a strong sense of community. She is fiercely intelligent, warm, kind, compassionate, empathic and a real pleasure to work with and for. She is a shining example not only to women, but to all colleagues that achievement and responsibility should always be balanced with warmth, humour and an open ear.
Over the past year Rui has transformed into a strong, positive, supportive, confident, energetic and incredible young woman. She has excelled at rugby from beginner to 2nd Team Durham Women's in under a year. Her goal in life is to become a social worker to help abused and neglected children. She currently volunteers with the NSPCC in Newcastle and is already building skills to follow her vocation to make a real impact on people's lives. She has never ending compassion to help people and has raised awareness for mental health via her blog documenting her own personal experience with mental health issues. She has incredible self strength and her determination and drive is infectious. You couldn't meet a more loving, caring, or inspiring individual and it's incredible to see how far she has come in one year.
In the context of this university, Rachel is tasked with taking on a world that continues to unfairly disadvantage multiple groups of people, including women. Leading a small team for such a mammoth task is no easy job, but she does so with humour, enthusiasm and a good dose of pragmatism. Her personal life and prior work experiences inform her current work, but never overwhelm it, as she seeks to understand life in others' shoes in order to enact meaningful change. Many of the positive changes we see around us have started with Rachel and her EDI team. Change, particularly positive change, is always slower to arrive than we'd all like, but she tirelessly keeps us moving forward even when faced with what may seem like insurmountable barriers. Our university needs this sort of determined dedication. As a woman, a mother and a colleague, Rachel is a positive role model - and a positive force of good!
As Prishanti herself insists, she "absolutely didn't travel thousands of miles to fade into the background". A leading figure in HeforShe Durham, an active participant in absolutely any gender-related activities in the North East (and beyond), and an advocate for world literature, she is an absolute inspiration to us all at Collingwood and the University at large.
Emma Patterson is a compassionate caring individual. As an Arabic and French student, she utilises her language and personal skills to make a difference. In her time at Durham, she has been to Calais helping with the Refugee Community Kitchen and continues to use her skills to help others. As a Campaigns Officer for Durham for Refugees, she is currently putting together a cookbook with recipes from the Syrian families she has met in Durham and accompanying the families on occasions where there could be language related difficulties to make communication easier. Making real connections and celebrating the amazing people she meets as well as being a ray of sunshine in what can be a gloomy Durham makes her inspiring.
Harriet is amazing. As a PhD student she is motivated to help improve the learning experience of people with autism, drawing from her personal experiences. She is motivated to explain what it is like to be autistic to others Harriet is an active member of the DU community, working to help integrate overseas students into her College, championing the needs and position of autistic students, and assisting in a variety of areas across her department including supporting others to go on international trips. As is always the case, I have learnt much from Harriet, and she has opened my eyes to what it is like to be autistic. She has done this with honesty, motivation and humour, and this I have found truly inspiring.
Lena is an inspiring educator, a great colleague and a very insightful researcher. I have had the opportunity to see her teach, present and discuss different themes regarding conflict interventions and post-conflict processes which have definitely impacted my own work at Durham. She is very dedicated professional, particularly with how she interacts and supports student learning at the University. She is a very approachable individual who is always willing to share her knowledge with others.
Hugely inspiring colleague. She has won the Law Teacher of the Year Award - voted for by students - three years in a row plus the University's Excellence in Teaching & Learning Award. She has launched a new EDI initiative in Law with extra WP Open Days opening our doors to students from underrepresented areas, coordinated staff visits to nearly 40 schools across all parts of the UK in underrepresented areas and new EDI website with staff and student stories from underrepresented backgrounds about why they chose to study or work at Durham Law School. A real champion of inclusivity and inspiring teacher.
Anne has made a concerted effort in her teaching to expose myself and other students to often obscured voices within African history. Her work has included showing videos and music demonstrating African history from an African perspective, purposefully mentioning those who have been often hidden in the study of history such as women, and teaching my fellow students and me to question our role in studying African history. To me, she represents the future of history academia.
Kate is President and founder of the Durham Women in Politics Society, helping to host a number of events to connect women at Durham with an interest in politics and to increase their confidence to take part in political activity. As Co-Chair of the Durham University Labour Club, one of the largest student groups on campus, Kate has championed the inclusion of women members of the club, through the Women of Labour group and an autonomous womens’ campaign. As a Students’ Union Trustee and a delegate to the 2019 National Union of Students Conference, Kate has been a leading figure in Durham student politics and a role model for women student leaders in Durham.
In addition to making life better for members of Van Mildert, Vicky should be recognised and commended for her work on sexual misconduct and violence and to raise awareness of issues trans students face when in college. In addition to her day-to-day work as Vice-Principal, Vicky works to ensure the University's policies and training on sexual misconduct exceed sector norms. In ever shrinking resources, this can be a challenge. Her organising trans awareness training for all levels of college staff (and all colleges) will go far in making Durham a more inclusive university.
Susan Frenk, the Principal of St. Aidan's College, is extremely approachable, amazing listener and gives time to everyone. Most importantly she has an inclusive approach which does not make assumptions about people, based on little evidence. She is open and welcoming, looks at the positives of every individual that she deals with, no matter from what culture, race, gender, sexuality, religion or economic class. When all other doors appear to be shut, Susan's door is open. A big thank you for being a wonderful inspiration for all of us. You are truly an inspirational woman.
Sam Johnson- Audini
As President of the Durham LGBT+ Association, Sam has worked incredibly hard to to improve the representation of LGBT+ students on campus and to stregnthen Durham's LGBT+ community. This year, the Association have held regular social events, including Karaoke nights and the Student Union's first ever LGBT+ club night. They are also developing plans for the first ever LGBT+ Fashion show this year. Sam has also been an active leader in Durham students politics, helping to lead campaigns on campus as Internal Campaigns Officer for the Durham University Labour Club. This year they are also serving as one of student trustees on the Durham SU Board and will be attending NUS National Conference as one of Durham's team of elected delegates.
Iz is the current President and former Vice-President of the Durham Jewish Society. The Society received national recognition for their work, winning the award for Jewish Society of the year at the 2018 Union of Jewish Students Awards. As President of the Society, Iz has worked hard to develop a vibrant and supportive community for Jewish students studying in Durham, holding a range of events including weeklu Friday night dinners, and important educational events around the commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day.
Meg is currently serving as the Welfare & Liberation Officer of Durham Students' Union, having previously been an active member of Collingwood JCR and Welfare Officer within college. In her role this year, Meg has worked incredibly hard to further the wellbeing of students across the University, working to enhance the network of peer supporters at the University, as well as striving to improve student safety in Durham and working with the SU's Associations to improve the representation of underrepresented groups within the student body. Across all their roles Meg has worked selflessly to improve the student experience of others and has been a fantastic role model for all students in Durham.
Clare is a highly intelligent, compassionate, and selfless individual who is known throughout the university for her quiet professionalism and for the outstanding support that she offers colleagues within her own faculty and in the departments within the Faculty of Arts & Humanities. When I first met her in person (I already had known for a long time of her stellar reputation), I had recently returned to work after a period of leave due to ill-health and I was worried that my reputation had been tarnished in some way because of my illness. Working closely with Clare on a regrading application helped in restoring my confidence. Her kindness, wisdom, and measured approach to the task reassured me that everything would be fine now I was back. Moreover, her extensive institutional knowledge and professional acumen ensured that my application was successful. I am so grateful to Clare for all her hard work and her support. She is a tremendous asset to this university and we are very lucky indeed to have her as a colleague.
Gabrielle gave our first lecture in theology and made us all laugh by showing a photograph of herself with a fake white beard. Whilst it was a bit cheesy she explained that in studying early Christian theology we might get the idea that only men can do theology but actually it's for anyone - including women. Because she did this early on I've been able to think about how it's possible for me, as a young woman, to be a theologian. She's really inspiring and always has time for my questions, and always answer emails! Gabrielle tells us that women can do theology. We don't get lots of female professors and so when we do it's important to be a brilliant teacher and gets us really engaged in her lectures. She's also kind which matters
Phoebe is the current President of the Durham International Students' Association. This year, she has worked hard to make the Association is more active, ensuring that Durham's growing international student community are effectively represented. The Association have held a range of social events to being international students across Durham together and have done crucial work highlighting the challenges facing international students studying at Durham.
Laura Hepworth is a third year student who has been an amazing student to have around the Department. She has been a brilliant voice for her fellow students, culminating in her becoming President of the Applied Social Sciences student society. At open days she speaks with so much passion about her time in the Department of Sociology and her experience of doing a Laidlaw fellowship. She has been and continues to be a fantastic ambassador for the Department and we know she is destined for great things in life!
Michelle delivers a wide selection of courses on Diversity & Equality - her courses are always interactive and informative - her delivery style is upbeat and positive and although she is delivering strategically important and sometimes sensitive information she always seeks to ensure its geared to the audience to ensure maximum effect. Michelle is always readily available for help and advice and is very approachable. I think that Michelle is an exceptional trainer and her passion for E&D is makes her perfect for this role.
Colleges are very complex operations made up off 100’s of small operational pieces that need to fit together to create a whole picture like a jigsaw ! Using this as an example Glenda Reed is the outside edges that allow the other pieces to fit seamlessly, she skilfully juggles the ones that don’t quite fit to make sure there is space for them and her mission is to make sure everyone is happy. Glenda is very kind and caring person both in and out of work, students and staff seek her out as she always has time for everyone and we often hear her favourite saying - she/he is “someone’s canny bairn ! “ For the last 3 years Glenda has provided Christmas Day lunch at her local community centre for those less fortunate and she has always invited any Collingwood students who might not be able to make it home and would otherwise be alone. It is a pleasure to work with Glenda on a daily basis.
I would like to nominate Lydia, she has only worked in HE for 2yrs and is new to her current role in the department. She is a fantastic colleague to work with, has worked extremely hard in improving some of our processes and is very accurate with her role within those processes. She handles student module allocation and registration with accuracy and ease and has fantastic customer service facing skills when dealing with student enquires.
Lynn goes out of her way to support the researchers and students in the Durham Energy Institute network, going far beyond her core administrator responsibilities. She also works tirelessly in the community supporting the Durham Miners Association and a range of Community Groups and activities in Spennymoor. She was one of the founding members of the Durham Women’s Banner Group which aims to support and celebrate all women in their roles within trade unions, politics and communities and promote equality, fairness, recognition and camaraderie. It was the first all-female group to be recognised as an official banner group by the Durham Miners’ Association. Lynn coordinated the Durham University contribution to the group's patchwork banner representing women from across the region which was marched in the Miners Gala in 2018. 2 patchwork panels were created by women from Durham Energy Institute representing Women in Energy and Women in Education in relation to Durham University.
Sara is one of those amazing individuals who is able to balance work, family life, and an array of interesting hobbies into a seamless whole. She is a dedicated teacher of logic and philosophy who inspires her students to challenge themselves and get the most out of their education. She is a writer of speculative fiction whose stories bring enjoyment in addition to truly making the reader think. Her love of onomastics has led her to freely provide one of the best resources in the field. Her approach to motherhood includes discussing logic and philosophy with her (now seven year old) daughter as they walk to school together before she continues down the hill to her own office. She is as comfortable in her modern every-day clothes as she is in a full medieval gown with a crown on her head, and her network of medieval re-enactment friends is as extensive and as international as her academic networks. She is regularly invited as a key-note speaker to conferences, and her social media presence through blogs and twitter etc. shows her to be level-headed, kind, compassionate, and a very good representative both for her University, and her gender.
Mary Brooks has had success in multiple careers, including most recently as the creator and Director of Durham’s Masters in International Heritage. She trained as a textile conservator, a field often dominated by “women who like to sew,” and has brought scientific rigor to that field. Her publications are stellar and she has earned tremendous respect in the field. She has held a number of roles in museums, curating several important exhibitions including the “Stop the Rot” exhibit at York Castle Museum, which was a seminal moment for the conservation field and highlighted the importance of engaging the public with the preservation of cultural heritage. It has been the model for a number of other exhibits. Mary serves on a number of national and international committees and teaches on many of the Archaeology Department’s cultural heritage focused MAs (including the Museums and Conservation ones) as well as running her own. Mary is an inspiration, as well as a warm and supportive colleague who always has time for mentoring students and fellow staff members. She uses her vast network of connections to give her students a holistic view of the heritage field and champions them like a lioness.
Significant improvements have been made to the Department of Earth Sciences EDI culture, formally through Athena Swan and informally through raising awareness of issues which have gone unnoticed in the past but which affect staff, PGR and undergraduates on a daily basis. I am nominating Liz for this award because I believe that she has been a critical catalyst for change, and a tireless worker to ensure that changes are implemented. She has stood up in personally difficult circumstances to ensure that EDI, in its many forms, is centrally on the department’s agenda. Liz was an undergraduate in the department and is now finishing her PhD, and understands the asymmetric power structures associated with staff-student relationships. She has spoken out generally, and especially on behalf of the student body, to ensure that the voices of female and overseas students are heard and has hugely raised our awareness of the needs and day-to-day concerns of our diverse community. She has been a tireless organiser of cultural events such as international pot-luck lunches and has been a great friend and personal supporter of our PGR body, acting as a conduit for their concerns to academic staff, PSS and HoD. Liz, for helping us change, thanks!
Her research is truly interdisciplinary and innovative. She leads one of our Research Groups in Archaeology, and has drawn in PhDs, PDRAs and staff, creating much needed energy around material culture, visual evidence and iconography. Since joining Durham, she has proved herself collegial and committed. She has given an exceptional amount of time to students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She has also led a campaign for greater recognition and support for student mental health issues and led on our staff-student collaborative ‘Time to Talk’ afternoon in the department. She carries a real concern for students and this translates into excellent and dedicated teaching and pastoral care. She has engaged broadly with the University, representing the Department with the Centre for Visual Arts and Cultures and engaging with our close neighbours in Classics. More important than all of these achievements, however, is that Cathie Draycott’s door is always open. She is a listener and a problem-solver. She is there for students at all levels and for staff. In this way, she is a leader for the modern times, exemplifying a collegial approach to academic life, a student-centred approach to teaching, and research excellence.
I would like to nominate Meera Shah as an inspiring individual on International Women's Day. Meera is now in the third year her PhD research studies in the department of chemistry and consistently stands out as an inspirational role model especially for her volunteering activities in chemistry outreach. Meera has been one of the most active members the chemistry department’s outreach team and throughout the three years of her PhD studies in the department she has gone out of her way to share her enthusiasm for chemistry with young people in the region. Since its inception, Meera has taken a leading role in organising and delivering outreach training and activities to scout and guide groups in the north-east. This is something that she does in her own time. Her work in these activities has given inspiration to an enormous number of local children an opportunity to experience science in action that they would otherwise have missed out on.
Valeria is this year's president of St Aidan's International Society. She spends a lot of time and effort planning events and campaigns that help international students feel more welcome in college and meet other international students, but also gives them a platform to share their culture with other students. One of the events was hosted in collaboration with a mental health charity, other event allowed students to learn more about the Indian and Chinese cultures (which are highly represented in college, but often, members of these groups tend to keep to themselves, so it was really great to get them involved more!). Overall, she's really involved in college, for example with welfare and the shop and is very passionate about everything she does and her enthusiasm spreads to the rest of the team members.
Kathryn is one of the most inspirational members in a department studded with greatness. Whenever students discuss their favourite lecturers, she is among the first ones to be named due to the exceptional effort she puts into seeing her students succeed. Really, she should be receiving an award every year for her handouts, her teaching style, and the care she puts into making sure no-one falls behind whether it be in teaching Ancient Greek, Hellenistic history, or Akkadian. This year however she has especially excelled in making a difference to Durham students. She did so by organising a trip to the Ashurbanipal exhibition at the British Museum in London. Something that would have been exciting on its own, but was crowned by a behind-the-scenes tour to the Arched Room. There we were able to meet Irving Finkel, probably the most famous Assyriologist alive today, and grill him with our questions. A truly unique experience that without her initiative would have never happened. We think that both her initiative and her care are inspirational and worth emulating.
She is driven to create positive ‘real world’ social change and is committed to doing research that is used to inform both policy and practice. Her career to date has been reflective of this, with work with grassroots violence against women groups informing and being informed by her academic research. She has sat on a number of governmental and non-governmental advisory committees, including as Special Advisor to the Joint Committee on Human Rights for their Inquiry into Violence against Women and Girls (2014-15) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (2012-15) and chaired Rape Crisis (England and Wales) for five years. She is often in the news as a commentator on violence against women and writes for popular as well as academic audiences. She works hard to navigate the challenging terrain of being a brilliant mum and brilliant academic, no mean feat. In the process she inspires others and ploughs a new path of possibility both setting an example and opening the door for others (often more junior than herself) to do the same. Her approach is collaborative, enthusiastic and supportive and applies to all those she works with.
Clare McGlynn is a Professor of Law, whose research focuses on the legal regulation of pornography, image-based sexual abuse (including ‘revenge porn’ and 'upskirting') and sexual violence. She is driven to create positive ‘real world’ social change and is committed to doing research that is used to inform both policy and practice. This is reflected in her career, as Clare often works closely with politicians, policy-makers and voluntary organisations and her research has played a key role in national debates and law reform campaigns. She gave evidence before the Scottish Justice Committee on proposed reforms in Scotland, as well as before the Women & Equalities Select Committee recommending urgent reform to laws on ‘upskirting’. She is an amazing mentor to junior colleagues and sets the barre for collaborative working. Clare is also committed to improving Durham University and engaging with critical issues to move them forward positively. Clare is also deeply committed to support VAWG in the third sector, this includes working closely with the Revenge Porn Helpline and as a trustee for Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland. She has also been a vocal advocate of improving criminal justice processes for victims of sexual violence - e.g. campaigning for better protections for IBSA in court (such as anonymity), refuting the use of sexual history evidence in rape trials etc.
Kristen is an inspiring and hard-working colleague who has made an outstanding contribution to the Department of Archaeology, its staff and its students. As a post-doctoral research assistant she has undertaken exemplary work as part of the EAMENA project, training archaeologists in Lebanon and Iraq in Cultural Heritage Management. She has also pursued her own research agenda, directing projects in Iran and Georgia and building an enviable publication record for an early career academic. On top of this, she finds time to teach, and is familiar to many a student, always willing to provide guidance to any lost soul that finds their way into the Informatics Lab looking for answers to computer problems, or a chat about the Ancient Near East. For most academics this would be enough, but Kristen also makes a major contribution to the vitality of her department. She was instrumental in helping to set up the first Time to Talk event, masterminds the running of the Landscapes of Complex Society Research Group with a wide range of thought-provoking seminars and handles the day-to-day running of the Informatics lab as deputy manager. She is thoughtful, witty and talented. As a department we could not live without her.
They work tirelessly to ensure that all members of the group she works with in Engineering are treated fairly and with respect. This has included acting as a local representitive listening to problems, and acting on behalf of all PSS staff on the Engineering EDI committee.
Sarah Fiona Jackson
Fiona is the Postgraduate Research Administrator across the Department of Sociology and the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, and is such a massively important and supportive figure within both of these departments. She has played a pivotal role in the completion of countless people’s PhD’s, and could be considered an additional supervisor to many Postgraduate Researchers as a result of the endless support and wisdom that she provides. She appears to have vast reserves of patience and kindness - whenever you have a question, concern or difficulty, you feel able to approach her knowing that she will do her best to give you help and guidance. Fiona has made a huge difference of the lives of so many Postgraduate Researchers, some of whom would unquestionably not have carried out their projects, survived their vivas, or gained their doctorates were it not for her support. She is always inspirationally positive and enthusiastic about people’s research, and her belief in others enables them to believe in themselves.
Maria is an incredibly supportive, knowledgeable and kind Research Administrator working across the Department of Sociology, the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Research and Innovation Services. She plays a hugely important role in supporting all aspects of research at the university, and there are numerous research grants that would not have been won without Maria’s help. The positivity and enthusiasm that she brings to everything she does are infectious. She is particularly supportive to early career researchers who are learning how to successfully apply for funding and carry out research projects - she is eternally reliable and you always feel that you can approach her for valuable advice and wisdom. Maria has therefore undoubtedly made a significant difference to numerous people’s academic careers, and made their lives and research projects considerably easier in the process. All of the amazing research being carried out at the university would not be possible without people like her.
Among Joanne's many initiatives, she has taken a strong action on the diversification of SGIA's reading lists and curriculum. While her efforts are ongoing, she has successfully raised this issue and initiated change in our department. Joanne's work has also allowed me to be able to situate my efforts within a broader interests of the Department, where I knew that my success in this respect was being appreciated by my Department.
Joanne has taken important steps to promote equality and diversity in SGIA and beyond. She has conducted student focus groups on EDI and worked to making improvements. She is also involved in widening participation efforts. Her own modules are excellent when it comes to educating the students on Diversity and her reading lists are diverse as are her teaching and assessment methods. In addition she has supported the student group for BME students and encouraged and supported their EDI efforts as well as engaging their paid help in analysing our curriculum. She has gone the extra mile to improve these projects and heartily deserves recognition.
Justine is an outstanding and hugely inspiring tutor who goes above and beyond the call of duty in encouraging and supporting her students and colleagues, both within the department of Classics and outside it. She is absolutely dedicated to furthering the study of Classics at every level, and she has played a significant role in supporting external educational organisations such as “Classics for All”; she is also extremely efficient at drawing attention to the Classics department’s successes in her role as Director of Communication. Elsewhere within the university, she is well known to all medieval History PhD students as an excellent Latin teacher and she has been extremely supportive and understanding with students who have not previously learned languages, helping them to boost their confidence so that they can achieve their best. Her support for students and colleagues from diverse backgrounds has been immensely important, and her teaching is innovative and effective. She offers an excellent role model for students in her combination of wit, wisdom, humour and perseverance, and she is always approachable while remaining consistently excellent at what she does. Justine is a tremendously valuable and valued colleague: we are really lucky to have her here at Durham.
Lorna goes out of her way to support and develop her team members; she sets an example to all for professionalism and inclusivity. Since her arrival at Durham University she has been the driving force behind a broad range of research initiatives and is co-convenor of the newly established Women@DU Network.
As head of University College FemSoc (Castle's society for feminism), Anna has made contributions that, while perhaps not as far-reaching than some of the other nominations, are worthy of a significant mention for their impact. She has metamorphosed the society into one that creates a space for genuine, open, intellectual dialogue. What Anna and her associates seem to offer is something refreshing and something essential for Durham I think - a growing space in which anyone can engage in open discussion, where Anna herself responds and moves the discourse with an open mind - a space without the one-dimensionality of some areas or the elitism of others. Only two days ago I attended a stall that Anna ran, asking people to discuss the recent Gillette advert, in a fascinating conversation with the people there at the time. Anna's Castle Femsoc also looks inward as well as outward, that is to say, looks at college and at Durham as institutions, and how there is always room for change.
Princess is one of the best women out there for promoting and helping other women! She is Vice President of the Durham People of Colour Assocation, and through this role she has consisently lifted up her fellow women and kept her feminism intersectional! In this role she has overseen DPOCA hosting such events as "who is the best ally for the black woman" and co-hosting the "Not on my campus" talk. She is a hard-working and caring individual, who is committed to changing the world and ending discrimination in any form. She is my hero - and it's time she is recognised as such!
Lucy is a Community Services Manager in Accommodation and Commercial Services. Within her role, Lucy has supported the relocation of Colleges and departments from Queen’s Campus to Durham City and continues to do so. Incessantly involved in the planning and delivery of the relocation, Lucy’s hard work and tireless efforts have ensured our smooth arrival in to Durham. Lucy continues to support the operations of our College and another, as well as the International Study Centre at Queen’s Campus. Lucy’s attitude and work ethic inspires all around her; always approaching challenges head on, she strives to make things happen and never simply settles for an easy option. Lucy is entirely dedicated to her role and those she supports, regularly going above and beyond and always with a smile. Lucy is kind, caring and considerate and always takes the time to help in whatever way she can. Known for her warm, friendly character, Lucy is deeply valued by staff and students alike. Lucy is quite simply, an incredible member of our team and an incredible woman.
Rachael is one of the most energetic and committed people I have ever worked with during my 20 years at Durham. Her work connects academic research not only with REF impact but with the wider community more broadly, especially the local community. Rachael's personal values mean that she seeks constantly not only to good for Durham University, but to do good. Every time I have a meeting or a project with Rachael, I feel inspired, and come away feeling lucky that I work at this institution, and in this part of the world - and I know that she has this effect on others too. In the context of IWD, I should also mention that Rachael mentors girls at her old school. DU is lucky to have her.
Teresa Rayner is the departmental secretary for the Management Department at Durham University Business School. Teresa is not our departmental secretary but she fills in the role whenever our departmental secretary is on leave. I have found Teresa to go out of her way to help us (90-95 faculty members) in the Economics/Finance group in addition to some 80 odd colleagues in the Management Group. Teresa also serves as a "big sister" to a number of other administrators who crowd around her during the lunch hour. I think we in DUBS recognize the contribution Teresa has made to the school. I nominate her for the International Women's Day Award.
Alyson Bird is the best manager! Even though she has such a busy job she always has time for her team. She is committed to our personal/professional development and takes the time to share her knowledge with us (she’s never too busy to help). On a professional level, she has acheived so much already and is committed to the HE sector and her own professional development, using her own time to work with the QAA to broaden her knowledge and keep up to date. Most of all, she is an inspirational young woman who we all look up to.
Helen is an exceptional individual, good and kind, who has demonstrated outstanding skills in the various projects she is involved with in Durham, whether it be through College, student societies, sports teams, and others.
Rebecca always goes above and beyond for her students, lecture slides and notes provided are also detailed with references to current literature. The two aspects of the module detailed below that I would like to highlight include the pre seminar tests and polling software used during lectures, I have chosen these two aspects as I have not encountered them previously being used by my lecturers within the university and I understand that they would take more work on Rebecca's part to include them within the module teaching. For the seminars, Rebecca puts together some pre seminar tests, these are useful to prepare for the seminar and also highlights any areas where more revision is necessary prior to the seminar. Rebecca also uses TurningPoint polling software during the lectures for quizzes, which help maintain concentration levels and makes the lectures more interactive. Undertaking this corporate governance module has made my last year at Durham much more enjoyable and interesting than it otherwise could have been, so this nomination is to thank Rebecca for that.
Liz Yallop and Andrea Parker
At the heart of the Departments of Engineering and Computer Science is the Coffee Bar; but, undoubtedly, there is a place in the hearts of the many staff and students who frequent the Coffee Bar for Andrea and Liz. Throughout the week, Andrea and Liz tirelessly serve refreshments and food (sometimes at very short notice for 'surprise' groups of visitors). However, it is the discussions that they facilitate - someone for staff and students to talk to - that we should recognise. Often there are more people 'behind the counter' than in front of it, as thoughts are exchanged on a wide variety of topics. Andrea and Liz play a pivotal role in maintaining the welcoming culture of the Departments and, for this, we are very grateful.
Rachel runs one of the most inspiring lecture series I have even taken part in, in my 3 years at Durham. Talking about current and very real feminist issues she spurs us all on to be better people in society. Through the module we write weekly diaries which reflect on our feminist feelings and events that have occurred in our lives each week. This means we have the power to engage more with society and with ourselves to be better feminists. She is so supportive and open in lectures and really cares about her students always going the extra mile. She is also involved in her own activism projects such as to do with fat bodies which is inspiring. I know everyone loves the module and would be so happy that Rachel is getting recognition she deserves.
Department of Sociology Administration Team
The female PSS staff team within the Department of Sociology are often the first point of contact for both student and staff queries and collectively they provide an excellent level of support and guidance. There are many and varied demands on their time and they are always willing to help. The department is enhanced by their integrity, passion and commitment and they should be recognised and celebrated this International Women's Day.
Claire puts people first - it's not just a rhetoric, she actually means it and shows it. This can make a real difference to those with whom she works. She is supportive, says thank you and understands that feeling valued can make a huge difference to the morale and quality of work of her team. She takes time to give feedback, she will listen to your opinion and admit if she didn't make the right call. She sets a brilliant example of being dedicated to her work whilst also taking the time for personal and professional development, and yet also making her family her priority.