Jill Robinson has joined Bucks New University and West London Mental Health NHS Trust in a joint appointment as professor of mental health nursing, wellbeing and recovery. Professor Robinson said she had first become interested in the subject of mental health nursing while studying for her A levels. "I went to do voluntary work at a local mental health institution and really got captured by it," she said. "I changed my career plans on the basis of that experience." She trained as a mental health nurse and went on to study for a degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics. Professor Robinson pursued her interests further when she undertook a PhD at the Centre for Applied Research in Education at the University of East Anglia, joining the faculty when she had completed her doctorate. She subsequently moved to the Faculty of Health at UEA, where she led teaching and learning for the School of Nursing and Midwifery. As her career progressed, she held the posts of associate dean for teaching and learning, interim head of the school and co-director of the Education in Health Research Institute. Over the past year and a half, she has been a governor for the Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and also worked in clinical practice. Professor Robinson said she was looking forward to being able to combine practice and research in her new role. "The opportunity to work across both higher education and a mental health trust is rare for nurses. I think clinical academic careers are really important to make sure that the kind of education provision and the research that we do in universities is current and responsive to the needs of the NHS," she said.
A sports scientist has described his new role at Stillman College, a liberal-arts college in Alabama, as the "icing on the cake" of his career. Brad Cliff, currently assistant professor of health and physical education at the college, has been appointed to a chair in the health and physical education department.
Professor Cliff grew up in Tennessee and studied for his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees at Middle Tennessee State University.
He began teaching while studying for his master's and worked as a graduate teaching assistant until the completion of his PhD. He then joined the health and physical education department at Lambuth University in a teaching role that he said opened his eyes to the opportunities available to him in academia. "I already knew that I loved to teach, but being chair of the department introduced me to so many new roles," he said. "I really enjoyed designing curricula and advising students." After three years, Professor Cliff took up his current role at Stillman, where he said he felt instantly at home. "I remember when I travelled here for an interview, by the end of the day I felt like I was among old friends," he said.
Salford Business School
Amanda Broderick credits the "entrepreneurial spirit" of her family for starting her on the career path that has led to her new role as dean of Salford Business School. Currently professor of marketing and deputy dean of Durham Business School, Professor Broderick said her early interest was in psychology, and that she had "wanted to put a practical bent on that". She began her career at De Montfort University as a lecturer before moving to Aston Business School, where she held a variety of roles including senior lecturer in marketing and director for e-business research. Prior to taking up her current role at Durham, she was chair in advertising and marketing at Coventry University Business School. She said of her career: "I have moved between pre- and post-92 institutions because what has been important to me is the ability to effect change and be involved in that transformation, making a difference to the people I work with and to customers, clients, students and the wider community we serve."
Michigan State University
The American Association of Equine Practitioners has honoured an academic at Michigan State University for his contribution to the care of retired racehorses. John Stick, large-animal chief-of-staff at Michigan State's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, has been named an honoured practitioner for his work with the Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses, also known as Canter. Professor Stick gained his undergraduate degree from Capital University in Columbus and obtained his doctorate from Ohio State University in 1974. After graduation, he completed a large-animal internship at Purdue University, did surgical training at Cornell University and joined the faculty at Michigan State in 1977, becoming a professor in 1998. He said that his career was set at the age of 12 when a neighbour who owned a horse farm gave him his first job mucking out stalls. On his work with Canter, he said: "I felt I owed something to the racehorses that made my career. There was no doubt that this was something I wanted to do."
The Royal Geographical Society has announced its medals and awards for 2011. David Livingstone, professor of geography, Queen's University Belfast, has been awarded the Founder's Medal for the encouragement and promotion of historical geography. Sylvia Earle, explorer in residence, National Geographic Society, has been awarded the Patron's Medal for the encouragement, development and promotion of ocean science and exploration. John Lowe, professor of geography and quaternary science, Royal Holloway, University of London, has been awarded the Victoria Medal for research in quaternary science. Lewis Owen, head of the department of geology, University of Cincinnati, has been awarded the Busk Medal for field research in palaeoenvironmental history and geomorphology in tectonically active areas. Stuart Elden, professor of geography, Durham University, has been presented with the Murchison Award for publications in political geography. Edmund Penning-Rowsell, visiting research associate in geography, University of Oxford, has been honoured with the Back Award for research contributing to national and international flood policy. Martin Wooster, professor of earth observation science, King's College London, has been presented with the Cuthbert Peek Award for innovation in applying earth observation science to monitor fires in the landscape. Peter Hopkins, senior lecturer in social geography, Newcastle University, has been honoured with the Gill Memorial Award for contributions to geographies of youth, religion and race. David Bassens, researcher at the social and economic geography research group, Ghent University, has been awarded the Area Prize for the best article in Area, the RGS journal, by a new researcher.
Simon Pollard, professor of environmental risk management at Cranfield University, is to be head of the institution's new environmental science and technology department.