June 9, 2011

University of Wolverhampton

Jenni Jones

A lecturer who believes it is good to talk has received a national award in recognition of her work on a mentoring scheme for West Midlands Police. Jenni Jones, a senior lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton Business School, said she was pleased and surprised to be given the British Association for Women in Policing Special Recognition Award 2011. The award was presented for a mentoring scheme for the West Midlands Association of Women in Policing, which Ms Jones designed as part of her continuing doctoral research on mentoring and learning. "One of my students, who worked for West Midlands Police, asked if I would come and give a talk to some of her colleagues about a mentoring programme they were thinking about rolling out, in which senior women help other women who want to become more senior in the force," she explained. Ms Jones has been at Wolverhampton since 2004, and before that worked in human resources roles in the private sector. She said her interest in mentoring schemes developed from the pleasure she took in seeing others develop. "It's all about the people and the power of conversation," she said. "It's good to talk, and it's amazing how simply talking, listening and encouraging others can make such a difference. It's a small investment for a huge gain."

City College of New York

Jonathan Pieslak

Research into the link between music and war has won a scholar a prestigious Fellowship. Jonathan Pieslak, associate professor of music at The City College of New York, has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on the music used for indoctrination, propaganda and recruitment in extremist cultures including al-Qaeda. "These (terrorist) groups say to people: 'You have something to fear. It threatens your identity or race, and if you don't resist they will take everything you have,'" he said. "If you can project that through music you can play on those feelings." Professor Pieslak took an undergraduate degree at Davidson College in North Carolina before studying for a postgraduate qualification and a doctorate at the University of Michigan. He said he hoped his research, which led to a 2009 book, Sound Targets: American Soldiers and Music in the Iraq War, would make people aware of how music can be used to make them more receptive to extremist messages. "Having awareness of how the music can function empowers us as listeners," he said. "It means the difference between knowing how that process works and not being aware of it as it is happening to you."

University of California, Los Angeles

Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith of the University of California, Los Angeles has been chosen as the 2011-13 staff adviser-designate to the UC Regents. Mr Smith, who is the university's chief financial and compliance officer, will represent staff at meetings of the governing body. "The next two years will be quite transformative for UC given the budget cuts being proposed," Mr Smith said. "I want to use my background in budgets and finance to serve the university. I also want to make sure that decisions are made in the best interest of staff and then be able to explain those decisions to them." Mr Smith worked in the private sector before joining the institution in 1999, originally as finance manager for the university's Communications Technology Services. He moved to his current post in 2005. He said he hoped to encourage more staff within the university system to become advocates for it, particularly in light of shrinking public funding. "We need more people out there writing letters and attending events in support of UC," Mr Smith said. "There is a dedicated core of staff who actively advocate for UC, but we need to increase those numbers."

University of Exeter

Helen Taylor

A professor of English at the University of Exeter has been honoured for her sustained commitment to the field of American studies with the award of an honorary Fellowship from the British Association for American Studies (BAAS). Helen Taylor studied for her undergraduate degree at University College London and then went to the US for her postgraduate degree, studying at Louisiana State University. She returned to the UK to take up a lectureship at the University of the West of England while studying for her doctorate, which was awarded by the University of Sussex. She remained at UWE for 18 years, becoming senior lecturer, before moving to the University of Warwick. There she held the title of senior lecturer and then reader in American literature, before moving to Exeter in 1999. The citation from the BAAS notes the significance of Professor Taylor's scholarly work in a range of areas, including the influence of her ongoing research on the literature and culture of New Orleans. Professor Taylor said she was "deeply honoured and delighted" to receive the annual award. "American studies is a very supportive community, and has always encouraged my research areas of the American South, women writers and, in recent years, transatlantic cultural studies," she said.


The Royal Society has appointed 44 new Fellows. They include: Robin Allshire, Wellcome Trust principal research Fellow, University of Edinburgh; Andrew Balmford, professor of conservation science, University of Cambridge; Jeremy Baumberg, professor of nanophotonics and director of the NanoPhotonics and Nano Doctoral Training Centres, Cambridge; Hagan Bayley, professor of chemical biology, University of Oxford; Béla Bollobás, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge and Jabie Hardin chair of excellence in combinatorics, University of Memphis; Doreen Cantrell, Wellcome Trust principal research Fellow, University of Dundee; Stanley Cowley, professor of solar-planetary physics, University of Leicester; Alan Cowman, head of the Division of Infection and Immunity at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australia; Alun Davies, distinguished research professor, Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University; Nicholas Franks, professor of biophysics and anaesthetics, Imperial College London; Ian Frazer, research leader, Epithelial Cancer Division, University of Queensland; Steven J. Gamblin, director of research, MRC National Institute for Medical Research; John Goodby, professor of materials chemistry, University of York; Alan Grafen, professor of theoretical biology, Oxford; Clare P. Grey, Geoffrey Moorhouse Gibson professor of chemistry, Cambridge; Janet Hemingway, director, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine; Ian Horrocks, professor of computer science, Oxford; Colin Humphreys, director of research, department of materials science and metallurgy, Cambridge; Alejandro Kacelnik, E.P. Abraham Fellow, Pembroke College, Oxford; Robert Kennicutt, Plumian professor of astronomy and experimental philosophy, Cambridge; Steffen Lauritzen, professor of statistics, Oxford; Dennis Lo, director, Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Ian Manners, professor of chemistry, University of Bristol; David Manolopoulos, professor of theoretical chemistry, Oxford; Gerhard Materlik, chief executive, Diamond Light Source; James McKernan, Norbert Wiener professor of mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Thomas McLeish, professor of physics and pro vice-chancellor for research, Durham University; David McMurtry, chairman and chief executive, Renishaw; Mervyn Miles, professor of physics, Bristol; David Milner, emeritus professor of cognitive neuroscience, Durham; John Morton, cognitive psychologist, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London; Sean Munro, staff scientist, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology; Werner Nahm, senior professor, School of Theoretical Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies; Kostya Novoselov, professor of physics, University of Manchester; Mark Pagel, professor of evolutionary biology, University of Reading; John Parkes, distinguished research professor and head of the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff; Fiona Powrie, Sidney Truelove professor of gastroenterology, Oxford; Mark Randolph, professor of civil engineering, University of Western Australia; Leonard Stephens, associate director, the Babraham Institute; Patrick Tam, deputy director and senior principal research Fellow, Children’s Medical Research Institute and professor of medicine, University of Sydney; Simon Tavaré, professor of cancer research, Cambridge; Angela Vincent, professor of neuroimmunology, Oxford; Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust; and Robert Watson, professor of environmental sciences, University of East Anglia.

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