A British museum curator who has been away from the UK for nearly a decade is returning home to take charge of the University of East Anglia's Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Paul Greenhalgh is currently director and president of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design in Washington DC, and before that served as president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada. He said he wanted to "return home and get involved" with the art sector in the country. Dr Greenhalgh trained as a painter before transferring his skills beyond the canvas to become an art historian and then head of research at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He said he had spent his life "pretty much between the museum sector and the university sector". Dr Greenhalgh also observed that his training as a painter had given him an appreciation of "physical proximity to art", and that becoming a curator enhanced that. "You get to know paintings and sculptures and ceramics, not just to look at, but as physical objects with weight and surface and stuff." Dr Greenhalgh said he was passionate about interdisciplinary work and was looking forward to the opportunity to "engage centrally with art". He admitted that it would be an "interesting" decade in terms of funding and material resources, but added: "Over the years in America I became known as someone who repairs and fixes institutions, but in the Sainsbury Centre there's nothing to fix."
Qingwei Ma, reader in hydraulic engineering at City University London, has been awarded a Chang Jiang Scholarship by the Ministry of Education of China. Dr Ma came to the UK in 1992 and started a PhD at University College London in 1994. He joined City in 2002, and was promoted to a senior lecturer position in 2004 and then appointed reader in 2007. The Chang Jiang Scholarship was established in 1998 by China's Ministry of Education and the Li Ka Shing Foundation - a Chinese charitable organisation that supports education and healthcare activities through grants and sponsorships, with the aim of developing Chinese research institutions through the engagement of Chang Jiang scholars. Dr Ma said he appreciated the prospects that the scholarship, to be based at Harbin Engineering University, would give him. "Only a small number of Chinese universities have a chance to host this professorship - around 100, so it's very prestigious," he said. "I will use this opportunity to extend my collaboration with Chinese researchers in my area."
A Strathclyde scholar, who became interested in entrepreneurship after growing up experiencing the travails of a small family business, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach at Florida State University. Jason Cope, a senior lecturer in the University of Strathclyde's Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, explained that his PhD thesis on how small business owners dealt with crises came from his own family experience. "We almost lost our house and had to go and live in a caravan, so I've lived it first-hand," he said. After completing his PhD at Lancaster University, he was offered a lectureship there and stayed for five years before going on a two-year sabbatical "travelling the world and learning how to ride a motorbike". When he returned, he spent another year at Lancaster before transferring to Strathclyde. Dr Cope said his year as a Fulbright scholar was entirely thanks to Jim Dever, a professor of entrepreneurship at Florida State University. The two met when Professor Dever was completing a PhD at Strathclyde, and Dr Cope said the two "hit it off", so much so that Professor Dever wrote Dr Cope's Fulbright submission on his behalf. Dr Cope said he was "enormously excited" to be going to Florida. He also said that he may one day become an entrepreneur himself. "Maybe one day I will start my own business," he said. "I want to see whether I'd be any good at it; I might be bloody awful."
King's College London
King's College London has appointed Anthony Pereira professor of Brazilian studies and director of the King's Brazil Institute. The institute was founded in 2008 and aims to promote an understanding of Brazil and to develop the profile of Brazilian studies at university level in the UK. Professor Pereira studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Sussex before moving to Harvard University to complete his master's and doctorate. He has held positions at The New School university, Tufts University and Tulane University in the US, as well as the University of East Anglia. He has also previously worked as a visiting professor at Harvard. Although his research interests cover democracy, human rights, military rule, civil-military relations and violence, it is Brazil and the cone of South America that interest him most. "Brazil and the world face critical challenges in the years ahead and we hope to be able to help people make more informed analyses of those challenges in a critical and engaged way," he said.
Wallace Murdoch has been appointed associate dean (international) of the School of Art and Design at Coventry University. Mr Murdoch is currently director of international recruitment and collaboration for the College of Art, Design and the Built Environment at Nottingham Trent University.
John Spence, deputy lieutenant of Essex, has joined the board of governors at Anglia Ruskin University.
Nick Jennings, professor in the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, has been elected Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence.
Chris Low, of the School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, has been appointed ambassador for the Higher Education Funding Council for England-UnLtd Social Enterprise awards.
Christopher Thorogood, of the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences, has been awarded the 2010 Irene Manton Prize by The Linnean Society of London for his thesis on parasitic plants.
The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama has appointed Meyrick Alexander, principal bassoon in the Philharmonia Orchestra, head of woodwind, and Vivien Care, who is currently playing Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music in London's West End, musical theatre course leader.