A renowned potter has been made a patron of the National Society for Education in Art and Design. Magdalene Odundo, professor of ceramics at the University for the Creative Arts, said the appointment tallied with her interests: "I have always been interested in arts education in schools and universities, so to be associated with an organisation that is committed to ensuring the development of art on the curriculum is very important to me." She added that the arts should not be overlooked at a time when much of the public focus was on science and technology subjects. "I believe teaching art in classrooms around the country is just as important as science and maths for our society," she said. Professor Odundo studied for her undergraduate degree at the West Surrey College of Art and Design and went on to teach at the Commonwealth Institute in London before undertaking a master's degree at the Royal College of Art. She was appointed to her current role at UCA in 2001, and in 2008 was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to the arts. Professor Odundo's work in ceramics is well known and in 2010, an early work of hers was resold for more than £30,000 - a then-record price for a living British potter - at Phillips de Pury auctioneers in New York.
The first professor of public engagement in science at the University of Birmingham is no stranger to publicity, having become a familiar face as a television presenter. Alice Roberts, formerly visiting fellow in the department of archaeology and anthropology and the department of anatomy at the University of Bristol, originally studied for a medical degree at the University of Wales College of Medicine. After qualifying, she worked for the NHS for 18 months before joining Bristol as an anatomy demonstrator. Professor Roberts remained at the university, becoming a lecturer there in 1999, while studying part-time for her doctorate in palaeopathology. She progressed to become a senior teaching fellow at the Centre for Comparative and Clinical Anatomy at Bristol. Professor Roberts is well known for her TV work and is a regular co-presenter of the BBC television series Coast. She said of her new role: "This new professorship emphasises Birmingham's commitment to public engagement in science, to a dialogue between scientists and the wider public. Science is so important to our economy, to politics and education, but more than anything, I'm keen to promote science as an integral part of our culture."
LASALLE College of the Arts
One of the original London Comedy Store stand-ups has been appointed president of LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. Comic-turned-academic Steve Dixon is leaving his post as pro vice-chancellor for strategy, development and external affairs at Brunel University to take up the new role. After graduating from the University of Manchester in 1977 with a degree in drama, he went on to have a successful acting career throughout the 1970s and 1980s, landing roles on The Comic Strip, The Young Ones and Coronation Street. In 1986, he was awarded a £2.5 million grant to create an improvised film using the long-term unemployed as actors, and he subsequently went on to other film and television projects as well as working in theatre. The turning point in his career came in 1991 with a series for Granada TV about film-making; the project, in association with the University of Salford, led to the institution offering him a job as a media studies lecturer and "an increasing interest in critical and philosophical thought and research" meant he jumped at the chance. In 2005, he left Salford and joined Brunel as head of its School of Arts, tasked with using his £2.5 million budget to "big up" the department. Under his charge, the department hired a number of high-profile academics and set up nine new master's courses.
Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar
The "heart and soul" of Carnegie Mellon University's undergraduate computer science programme has been appointed associate dean for education at the institution's Qatar campus. Mark Stehlik will leave his current role as assistant dean for undergraduate education for the School of Computer Science on the Pittsburgh campus to take up the new role on a five-year contract. He will be responsible for overseeing all undergraduate programmes at the Qatar campus. Mr Stehlik graduated from Pace University in New York in 1979 with a degree in mathematics and computer science. Although he attended Carnegie Mellon as a postgraduate, midway through, in 1982, he swapped his studies for a position teaching a programming class. Since 1988, he has been assistant dean and has won both the School of Computer Science Teaching Award and the Carnegie Mellon Undergraduate Academic Advising Award. Randal E. Bryant, dean of the School of Computer Science, said: "We will surely miss him, but I am glad he will be able to work his magic with our students and faculty in Qatar."
Tania Rhodes-Taylor, head of marketing, development and communications at the Institute of Education, University of London has been appointed director of marketing and communications at Queen Mary, University of London.
Sir Bob Burgess, vice-chancellor of the University of Leicester, is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award from Midlands Business Awards.
David Gill, head of the division of humanities and professor of archaeological heritage at University Campus Suffolk, has received the 2012 SAFE Beacon Award from the organisation Saving Antiquities for Everyone.
Michael Edwards has joined the University of Wales Trinity St David as chair in Classics. Professor Edwards joins from the University of London, where he was director of the Institute of Classical Studies.
The British Academy of Management has named Jacky Holloway, senior lecturer in management at The Open University, its new chair. Marie McHugh, dean of the Ulster Business School at the University of Ulster, has been named president.
Jane Noyes, professor of nursing and health services research at Bangor University, has been appointed visiting professor in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems at University College Dublin.