A scholar who has gone from PhD student to professor at the University of Bristol has been appointed director of the Cabot Institute at the university. Paul Bates will take charge of the multidisciplinary research institute focusing on all aspects of global environmental change. He said that his broad aim for his tenure was to "bring together the social scientists, scientists, engineers and lawyers at Bristol more closely than we have to date". Professor Bates is a hydrologist; looking back, he said, he had been one almost from before he knew what the word meant. "There was a river at the bottom of my garden and I was continually playing in it. I've taken that with me into my academic career." Professor Bates studied for his undergraduate degree at the University of Southampton before moving to Bristol. He said it was the "intellectual challenge" that initially attracted him to the institution. When asked about his continued allegiance to the university, he joked: "Bristol has been very good at promoting me when I've asked to be promoted."
University of Sydney
A 34-year-old mathematician has been awarded the inaugural Christopher Heyde Medal from the Australian Academy of Science. Anthony Henderson, senior lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sydney, won the medal, which comes with a A$10,000 (£6,250) prize, for his research in pure mathematics. The Christopher Heyde Medal recognises outstanding early career mathematicians under the age of 40 who are residents in Australia. Dr Henderson said the accolade was unexpected: "I was quite surprised, since I'm only 34 and I thought it would go to someone closer to the age limit," he said. "Since most researchers in my area are either overseas or here in Sydney, I don't often get a sense of how my work is viewed by the Australian mathematical community as a whole, so this recognition is very gratifying." Dr Henderson received his undergraduate degree from Sydney and studied for his doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He returned to Sydney in 2001, and held posts as a postdoctoral research Fellow and lecturer before taking up his current role in 2009.
Bangor University has appointed Wyn Thomas to the post of pro vice-chancellor with responsibility for Welsh medium and civic engagement. Currently senior lecturer in music at the institution, Mr Thomas studied at Bangor as an undergraduate and has worked at the university since 1979. He said he was happy to be taking on his new role at a time when more provision was being made for Welsh speakers in education. "I'm a native Welsh speaker," he said. "I was brought up in a Welsh-speaking home and my primary and secondary education was through the medium of Welsh. When I came to university, there was very little provision for Welsh speakers, but since that time things have developed considerably." Mr Thomas' research is in the area of traditional Welsh music, but he is also known for his work in knowledge transfer, specifically in enabling local small to medium-sized businesses access to expertise at the School of Music. Notably, he set up the first partnership scheme in Britain linking a commercial company with an arts department. His main role in the new post will be to develop and lead strategies for furthering the Welsh language, bilingualism and Welsh-medium study. He will also work to expand the university's relationship with external organisations and the community. Mr Thomas said his hopes for the role ranged from the day-to-day to the long-term. "Getting through the day is one great achievement," he said. "But seriously, I'd hope to develop our own expertise in a range of different subjects so that we are able to offer provision in a variety of areas through the medium of Welsh in order to increase the number of Welsh-speaking students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels."
State University of New York, New Paltz
An Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist has been named the 10th James H. Ottaway Sr professor of journalism at the State University of New York at New Paltz. John Larson is a former correspondent for PBS and NBC News. He specialised in investigative reporting as West Coast correspondent for Dateline NBC, NBC Nightly News and The Today Show. He has also contributed to scholarly studies of journalism, co-authoring the 2008 textbook Television Field Production and Reporting. Professor Larson left NBC in 2009 to work as an international correspondent for PBS. He also launched his own production company and trained in digital journalism. "Broadcast journalists bring our own special tools to our craft, but the business of finding and telling powerful stories cuts across all platforms," Professor Larson said. It was an "exciting time" to be in journalism, he said, and he was pleased to accept his new role. "I am looking forward to helping the journalists at New Paltz learn how to tell powerful stories in a variety of ways."
Alison Metcalfe will join the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King's College London as associate dean for research and professor of healthcare research. She joins from the University of Birmingham.
Author Colm Tóibín has been appointed professor of creative writing at the University of Manchester. Professor Toibin will take up the post when Martin Amis leaves his position as professor of creative writing at the university in July.
Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, professor of law and theory at the University of Westminster, has been named Law Teacher of the Year by the UK Centre for Legal Education.
Srinivasan Madhusudan, clinical associate professor and consultant in medical oncology at the University of Nottingham, has been awarded the Goulstonian Lectureship for 2011 by the Royal College of Physicians.
The Higher Education Authority in Ireland has appointed John Hennessy, chairman of telecommunications company LM Ericsson Holdings Ltd, as non-executive chairman.
Ken Russell, associate dean of corporate programmes at Aberdeen Business School, has been appointed Robert Gordon University's academic council representative to the board of governors.
Glasgow Caledonian University has made some new appointments. John Wilson, currently head of the Salford Business School, has been named executive dean and pro vice-chancellor of the School of Business, Law and Social Sciences. Veronica James, currently director of postgraduate studies at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy at the University of Nottingham, will become executive dean and pro vice-chancellor of the School of Health and Life Sciences.
To send submissions - with pictures - to the People section email: firstname.lastname@example.org