The University of Worcester’s newly appointed professor of psychology and social change said the role provided an opportunity to “enthuse and engage” people around research. “There are lots of opportunities because the infrastructure [at this university] is germinal and is perhaps not as rigid or defined as others in the sector,” Elizabeth Peel said. Professor Peel is a critical psychologist interested in looking for positive social change on behalf of vulnerable and marginalised groups. Her past and current research has focused on people with non-heterosexual sexual identities, people with chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes and dementia sufferers. “I want to continue with those strands of research and part of being a critical psychologist is challenging the discipline as well and using methods and approaches that are a little outside the mainstream,” she said. Professor Peel studied at the University of Nottingham and completed her PhD at Loughborough University. She held a postdoctoral position at the University of Edinburgh and then worked at Aston University for just under 10 years before moving to Worcester.
University College Dublin has appointed Andrew Deeks to be its new president. Professor Deeks, currently pro vice-chancellor of science at Durham University, will take up the post in January, replacing Hugh Brady, whose 10-year tenure at UCD finishes in December. He said that he was “very much looking forward” to leading Ireland’s largest university. “UCD plays a unique role in Irish society and economy, and, under the stewardship of Dr Hugh Brady, has made impressive inroads into becoming a truly international university,” he said. Professor Deeks is an internationally experienced academic who has worked in Australia and China as well as the UK. Before Durham, he was head of the School of Civil and Resource Engineering at the University of Western Australia. He was also a Hai Tian scholar at the Dalian University of Technology, China and a guest professor at China Central South University, Changsha, and developed collaborative programmes with these universities. He said his global work would help inform his presidency. “I will bring ideas and approaches learned from my experiences in the UK and Australia and blend these with the ambition and energy I see among the high-calibre people at UCD,” he said. Professor Deeks is currently chair of the UK Deans of Science. He studied at Western Australia for his undergraduate and doctoral degrees, working briefly in industry in between.
The University of Bath’s School of Management has named Christos Pitelis to a chair in sustainable global business. He comes to Bath from the Centre for International Business and Management (CIBAM) at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, where he has been director. “Professor Pitelis is an excellent scholar whose leadership of CIBAM for nearly two decades has enabled an ongoing dialogue between senior business leaders and academics about the critical issues facing business and society today,” said Veronica Hope-Hailey, dean and head of the Bath school. Professor Pitelis said he would take up his new position with “anticipation and excitement” , and he would be moving CIBAM to Bath “after 18 years of continuous and successful operations at Cambridge”. His research interests include theory of the firm and business strategy; industry organisation; international business and emerging economies. He studied at the Panteion University in Athens for his undergraduate degree before taking an MA and a PhD at the University of Warwick. He has worked at the universities of Warwick, Nottingham, St Andrews and Athens and served as an adviser to the Greek minister of industry and the Ministry of Development.
A clinical and health psychologist has accepted a research chair at the University of Manchester. Belinda Borrelli’s main research focus is in motivating health behaviour change – including treatments to help smokers give up. She is currently professor of psychiatry and director of the programme in nicotine and tobacco research at Brown University’s medical school and the Miriam Hospital in the US. Professor Borrelli will work with the School of Psychological Sciences at Manchester as a visiting professor. She has made significant contributions to the field of health psychology including developing and testing treatments to motivate smoking cessation, and to encourage patients with chronic diseases to take medication and follow medical plans. At Manchester, she will give lectures and work with researchers on a part-time basis. She said she was looking forward to working with colleagues who are doing “cutting-edge, state of the art research and teaching” in the field of psychology. Rachel Calam, head of the School of Psychological Sciences at Manchester, said that Professor Borrelli’s research is “exciting and important”, with the potential for discoveries that could be “very significant in improving the health of the nation”.
A Welsh institution has bestowed fellowships on two alumni. Ian Jones, chief executive of S4C – the only Welsh-language television channel in the world – and Emyr Roberts, chief executive of Natural Resources Wales, have been honoured as fellows of Aberystwyth University. Mr Jones studied economics at Aberystwyth while Dr Roberts completed his PhD at the institution.
Mark Caulfield, director of the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary, University of London, has been named chief scientist of Genomics England – the company launched by the government to drive forward the introduction of high-tech DNA mapping. Professor Caulfield, whose new role is a secondment, said: “This offers the NHS the real prospect of transforming our application of genomics to aid diagnosis and treatment of rare inherited disorders, common cancers and infectious disease.”
An award-winning poet and scriptwriter has been appointed professor of creative writing at the University of Roehampton. David Harsent, who has published 10 collections of poetry, joins Roehampton in August. He has previously worked at Bath Spa University where he held a similar post. His recent collection, Night, was Poetry Book Society Choice for spring 2011 and won the Griffin International Poetry Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Forward Prize (Best Collection), the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Costa Poetry Prize.
York St John University has made two senior appointments in its business school. Jenny Naish has been made dean of the school, while Noel Dennis will join as associate dean. Dr Naish is currently assistant dean (learning, teaching and quality) at Teesside University’s business school while Mr Dennis holds a similar position in the Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Both will take up their posts in September.
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