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Foundation Fellows

Foundation Fellows are key to driving the work of the Institute forward over their two year terms as Fellows. We're very excited to see the direction they take us in.

Faculty of Science, Engineering and Medicine

Faculty of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts

Cross Faculty

Professional Services

Faculty of Science, Engineering & Medicine

Alex Baker (Chemistry – PhD student)
Photograph of Alex Baker

I'm passionate about engagement because I get to share incredible stories about the universe. These stories have the power to inform, challenge and change the way we live our lives as human beings.

Engagement provides an opportunity to grapple with research in new ways and in new forums with the public. I've been very fortunate to have these opportunities at Pint of Science, the Warwick Christmas Lectures and various summer schools, as well as in our group’s lab encouraging students to look to engage communities beyond their field. 

Ally Caldecote (Physics)

I've worked in the physics department at the University for 11 years. Previously a secondary school physics teacher giving advice to sixth form students applying to university, I promote science in general and physics in particular through varied and creative channels such as the Warwick Christmas Lectures, public science fairs and visits to schools. I'm enthusiastic to share the work of my colleagues with the public and demystify the research that happens here.

Amanda Bishop (WP Co-ordinator)Photograph of Amanda

I've been lucky to work in the field of Widening Participation for the last 15 years and have taken part in and organised numerous events and training sessions, attended by many types of audiences from young people, supporters and community groups. Two recent projects include the British Science Festival Schools Day and supporting as an Area Manager for the British Science Festival Family Day. I was inspired to set up my own Science Faculty Family Day in March 2020 for International Women in Science day. Named 'Slice of Science', it saw 45 local year 9 young women come onto campus and learn about science subjects they wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to. Slice of Science culminated in over 500 visitors attending and engaging in interactive workshops, three packed out lectures and hands on experiments for all the family! In another professional role, whilst working for Voluntary Action Coventry, I created and led on a Coventry wide campaign to increase volunteering to young people who were unemployed and at risk. I created a ‘voice’ group, a marketing campaign that went viral, as well as culminating in a city centre flashmob! In my non work capacity I have also been involved with Imagineers and was involved in the Godiva Awakes Choir, which was one of the most exciting things I have ever collaborated on.

Anne-Marie Broomhall (Physics)

I'm an astrophysicist who studies the Sun and other stars. As our closest star, the Sun is vital for all life on Earth but it is also an object of great mysticism and beauty. In my public engagement activities I aim to convince people how amazing and scientifically interesting the Sun is, but also to demonstrate how much of the science associated with the Sun and stars can be related to scientific experiences we can have on Earth. I do this using a number of interactive tools, including our solar telescopes, which give people the opportunity of safely observing a real star, our star, up close and personally.

Cansu Kuey (Life Sciences/Medical school – PhD student)

Along with being a final year PhD student in Royle Lab at Warwick's Medical School, I'm a passionate advocate and believer of art and science collaborations. Most recently, I founded LabCut, the inaugural science film workshop in UK along with two fellow PhD students. We organised a 3-day hands-on film workshop bringing scientists and artists together to produce 5 short science films, showcasing some of the research on human health carried out at the University. We've also created a stop-motion film together with the attendees of the British Science Festival 2019, which can be found here.

Chloe Agg (Engineering)

I love engineering, and more importantly, using engineering to make the world a better place. I teach mechanical engineering design in the School of Engineering, bringing together local community, schools, industry and charities with our students to solve real world problems and hosting a public design showcase at the end of the year. I run student research projects on engagement, visiting schools and the British Science Festival in the quest to show engineering’s positive powers. Before teaching I worked as an engineer in the construction industry, ran a graduate scheme and have been a STEM ambassador for nearly two decades.

Claire Rocks (Computer Science)

I’m an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science where I teach Mobile Robotics and Visualisation. I’m also a WIHEA Fellow. My first post-doc was managing the EPSRC-funded project Walking with Robots, which was awarded the Rooke Award for the Public Promotion of Engineering by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2010. Working with over eight robotics research labs in the UK, the project engaged over 80,000 people with events such as Robotic Visions; a nationwide programme of five conferences that fostered two-way discussion between young people and robotics researchers; a parliamentary seminar on the future of robotics; and the first UK festival of robotics.I’ve previously managed FameLab, an international competition to identify, train and mentor researchers and aspiring science communicators wishing to engage public audiences with their work. I’m responsible for Outreach in the Department and is Co-Investigator on Play Code Share - a project that brings together Computer Science and the Arts to teach computing in a creative and playful way. My interest in this area has led to undertaking an MSc in Computational Arts.

Felicity Boardman (WMS)Photograph of Felicity

I'm passionate about engaging the public with research and facilitating their role as active participants in both the processes and outcomes of research. I'm particularly interested in the development of innovative and creative methods of public engagement. Previous projects have seen me collaborate with an artist and a theatre/media company to use film, sculpture, song, digital media and theatre to stimulate dialogue around my research findings on genetic screening. The outputs of these projects, I:DNA and Pandora’s Box, have been displayed in the Science Museum (London) and Millennium Point (Birmingham), amongst several other cultural venues and science festivals.

Ian Hands-Portman (Life Sciences)

People know me as the slime mould guy but there’s more to life than maze solving amoebae. I’ve run ultrasounds scans on pregnant jelly babies at the Big Bang Fair, trawled the depths of school ponds for rare and exotic viruses, stormed goblin castles with Roman siege engines and performed late night comedy routines on the mating habits of bees. I believe knowledge should be freely and openly shared and that as a university we have a duty to engage with the public.

Jerry Yu (Life Sciences – Student)Photograph of Jerry

As the current Warwick BioSoc Outreach Officer and a School of Life Sciences Ambassador, I understand the importance of generating passion for research within the local community. My current experience of engagement from organising talks to designing and teaching life sciences lessons to primary school students has been enjoyable and rewarding. Personally, I enjoy interdisciplinary collaborations as they provide the opportunity to learn new knowledge and perspectives from people coming from a wide range of backgrounds. The amount of diversity that I encounter fuels my passion to engage with others.

Ian Tuersley (WMG)

Prior to my career in academia, my background is as an aerospace apprentice-trained Chartered Engineer created a strong enthusiasm for ensuring both the application and practical relevance of his work. This led to my dedication to all aspects of engagement with a wide range of external bodies, not just to ensure that relevance but also to present the results to the widest possible audience. An example is my work with my students’ Group Project, ‘The Warwick Human-Powered Submarine’, which has involved everyone from school children to Professional Engineering Institutions in the exciting work that our students create at Warwick.

Liz Blagrove (Psychology)

Born-again Psychologist and Jill of many trades, I'm now enjoying my ‘heyday’ as an emotion scientist. I research, teach and talk to anyone about my passion for cognition, emotion, facial processing, individual differences, positive psychology and executive functions. My first love in engagement activity is talking to children about human behaviour- particularly their emotions, similarities and differences. However, writing and presenting on all these topics- and the way they interact with our everyday lives - keeps me smiling... even on bad days!

Phil Jemmett (WMG)

I'm happiest when tinkering and playing with equipment – we usually learn the most when something breaks. My Ph.D. is in biophysical chemistry and I joke that the subject name suggests no-one knew which science I did! Now I work with scientists and engineers at WMG to bring the latest technology off campus and out to the public. Before lockdown, I could be found in schools or libraries doing science shows but now I appear virtually. I believe collaboration between universities, community groups and schools leads innovation towards helping people and building the future we all want to live in.

Sophie Staniszewska (WMS)

I lead the Patient and Public Involvement and Experiences of Care Programme at Warwick Research in Nursing, Warwick Medical School. I’m Co-editor in Chief of a Springer Nature Journal, Research Involvement and Engagement. I’ve carried out a wide range of studies in patient and public involvement and patient experiences, contributing to the development of the evidence base to inform involvement and engagement practice. I’m a founding member of the Global PPI Network and I’m currently leading PPI in studies focusing on mathematical and economical modelling, gastrointestinal infections, genomics, enabling data and health data science.

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Faculty of Social Sciences

Des Hewitt (Centre for Teacher Education)

As Head of Primary and Early Years Teacher Education, I place engagement with schools at the heart of my work. Currently, chair of the University Council for the Education of Teachers (Primary and early years), I have a particular interest in supporting bilingual learners and those with special educational needs. I’ve worked on engagement projects with schools and Universities in Tanzania, Finland, Germany and India.

My publications include a focus on Innovation, Engagement and Learning and wellbeing. In addition, I’ve organised several conferences on children’s literature with leading writers such as Michael Morpurgo.

Emma Langley (Education Studies)

I'm keen to engage with those at the focus of my research and am more broadly committed to sharing academic knowledge with those within and outside the university in an inclusive and accessible way. My research explores the well-being of family members of disabled children and often involves engagement with families, charities, and practitioners to ensure that findings lead to tangible outputs and changes in practice. Recently I worked with a group of local fathers of disabled children to co-produce online video resources aimed at supporting other fathers’ well-being.

Florian Reiche (PAIS)

If I want to put somebody off talking to me, I tell them that I do statistics for a living. Unfortunately, this usually works. But trust me when I say that numbers can help us understand the world around us much better. They can provide all-important fact checks in the age of fake news, or help us answer complex question about the society we live in. My engagement work to date has involved a variety of activities such as working with school children, and producing videos to make quantitative methods accessible for a much wider audience. I am looking forward to building on this experience with WIE.

Mark Hinton (Centre for Lifelong Learning)Picture of Mark

I'm a Community Engagement professional, with a background in community arts, community development and intercultural community bridge-building, and have good links with the third sector locally.

I ran an IATL Community Engagement module for five years, and support colleagues across the University in developing their own community-engaged modules. I've developed engagement initiatives in neighbourhoods in the region, including working with 650 people in Canley, and I contribute to anti-racist initiatives across and outside the University. I am currently working with community groups in Coventry to develop their skills in inclusive online community engagement - they have much to teach us!

Nicholas Jackson (Economics/Maths)Picture of Nicholas

I'm a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Mathematics and Economics departments, and I've been very keen on outreach and public engagement for many years. I've given talks and run workshops on maths at festivals including Pint of Science, the British Science Festival, science fiction conventions such as Eastercon and the World SF Convention, and participated in conferences including MathsJam and Talking Maths in Public. I've helped run local Code Club and Coder Dojo sessions, teaching children to program computers. I'm a member of the BrumSciComm science communication group, and am currently publicity officer for the British Science Association Mathematics Section

Rebecca Morris (Education Studies)

I’m an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Studies. Prior to completing my PhD and working in universities, I taught English in secondary schools in Birmingham. My research and teaching interests include engaging with teachers, leaders and policymakers to produce and promote the use of high-quality evidence within education. I’m also the Widening Participation Lead in my department and I’m committed to working closely with schools and colleges across the region to support young people in accessing opportunities in higher education.

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Faculty of Arts

Damien Homer (Arts WP Co-ordinator)

I work as a Widening Participation Co-ordinator for the Faculty of Arts. This strategic role supports schools and community engagement, whilst also developing collaborative approaches between academic and professional service areas. Prior this role I was a teacher for over ten years and have also held education roles in Local Government and at the Civil Service. I’ve recently completed his doctorate in the field of student voice and engagement. I’m chair of the Faculty Widening Participation Forum and a WIHEA Fellow, where I also co-chair a Learning Circle on co-creation.

James Hodkinson (SMLC)

I work in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, and specialise in Islam in modern Germany. I have a long experience of engaging with schools, both in student recruitment and also widening participation programmes. Since 2015 I’ve been working with community leaders, activists and artists from the Muslim community in the Midlands to co-deliver arts programmes that challenge media representations of Muslims, empower Muslim voices in the arts and build cross-community empathy and cohesion. I’m a board member of the Birmingham arts organization Soul City Arts and and mentor public engagement projects across the HE sector in the UK.

Kate Astbury (SMLC)

I'm Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and co-convenor of the IATL Public Engagement module. I really enjoy sharing my research through public engagement. Since 2013 I've been working with English Heritage on a project to help visitors understand better the experiences of French prisoners of war at Portchester Castle during the Napoleonic wars. I've also worked with National Trust property Waddesdon Manor on their collection of French Revolutionary prints which form the basis of a series of lessons for primary school pupils every spring as part of Warwick's Bright Stars programme.

Martha McGill (History)

I'm a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in History at Warwick. I research ideas about the supernatural from 1500 to 1800, and I'm the author of Ghosts in Enlightenment Scotland (Boydell, 2018). I'm passionate about sharing my research with wider audiences, and have organised public lectures, performances and walking tours. I'm a regular contributor to BBC Radio Scotland, having featured in various other shows and podcasts, and been published in popular magazines. I'm currently preparing an exhibition about fortune telling, a card game about witchcraft, and a shadow puppetry performance about supernatural beliefs during the Enlightenment.

Michele Aaron (Film and TV)

As an academic focused on the socio-political value of film, and individual committed to public debate, I've shared my work with a wide range of communities from Jewish Book Week (London, 2010), to Shout Queer Arts Festival (Birmingham, 2011, 2013) to End of Life organisations in the UK and internationally (2017-2019). I've introduced cinema screenings in the West Midlands, London and Tyneside, and been a guest on, and hosted, Brum radio’s 'Screen Brum' show. In 2015, I established ‘Screening Rights’, an annual international festival of social justice film, which sees me hosting and contributing to various public events.

Sarah Richardson (History)

I’ve been passionate about engagement since the beginning of my career and actively seek opportunities to share my passion for history. I’ve been fortunate to have had many diverse experiences and hope to have many more. These include writing and presenting a documentary for BBC Radio 4, several appearances on Who Do You Think You Are?, curating an exhibition in Parliament for the centenary of women gaining the vote and commentating on the funeral of Margaret Thatcher and at the reinterment of Richard III. I work extensively with the local Coventry and Warwickshire community

Vishalakshi Roy (Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies, School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures)

Having worked as a cultural engagement professional at a regional audience development agency for seven years, I developed a thorough understanding of what real engagement means, how to work with individuals from different walks of life, build mutual dialogue and lasting relationships. While at Warwick, I have taken on the role of an ambassador for the university primarily for the creative and cultural sector and researchers working in this area across other universities and research bodies. Internally at Warwick, I regularly engage individuals across departments due to my unique position of being associated with four departments, which has also helped me develop a nuanced understanding of the engagement potential of the University.

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Cross Faculty

Andrew Fletcher (Warwick Arts Centre)

I’m Programme Manager at Warwick Arts Centre, where I curate and produce a broad range of cultural programmes for Warwick Arts Centre, the University of Warwick and Coventry UK City of Culture 2021. I’ve worked at a range of leading cultural venues over the past 14 years and have always been fascinated by the relationships between institutions and their publics. As a Foundation Fellow of the Warwick Institute of Engagement, I look forward to working with colleagues in every department of the University and with our local communities across Coventry and beyond.

Naomi de la Tour (IATL)

My scholarship and teaching – which include topics and practices of reinventing education, the imagination, and social change – are informed by my belief that we reach richer, deeper understandings when we learn in community, and my co-creation and engagement work are grounded in this ethos. I have taught in education, arts and community settings around the world, including with children growing up in difficult circumstances in the West Midlands, and I find I can learn as much from listening to the seven year olds I have taught, as when I am working with eminent colleagues. I hope to use my WIE fellowship to contribute to developing partnerships which foster mutual, reciprocal learning.

Rachael Kirwan (Innovative Manufacturing and Future Materials GRP Administrator)

My role within the Global Research Priorities facilitates and supports interdisciplinary research. I have been fortunate to explore and experience varied pathways within the university’s engagement portfolio, ranging from high profile Industry Days to Materials Week to Widening Participation activities. My engagement with these diverse communities will greatly benefit from involvement with the institute. I am excited to develop new transferable skills that will help me get to the heart of real engagement and be a part of this innovative institute.

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Professional Services

Anthony Avery (Warwick Events)

I’m Senior Production Manager at Warwick Conferences and have been designing, producing and directing live events for over twenty years. Research interests include media literacy, creativity and ‘participatory/remix culture’. In addition to my computer science background and time in higher education I’ve worked in secondary education for five years and in the UK television industry for over ten. My ongoing interest in how creativity can be integrated into events and educational systems stems from my experience in these three areas.

Debbie Smith (Warwick Enterprise)

I’m experienced in delivering various enterprise-related events, projects and programmes, including: Student Enterprise Fund and Coventry City of Culture: Social Innovation Challenge. Warwick Enterprise deliver enterprise-related initiatives (on campus and beyond) that engage and support our students and graduates with successfully developing their innovative ideas; offering: 1:1’s, workshops, programmes, and funding. Passionate about positive (social, economic and environmental) change, we support engagement activities that have real impact e.g. Ingenuity and Enactus. We believe enterprise offers exciting opportunities for our University to engage a broad audience and further it’s impact; we look forward to exploring this further.

Jo Clark (Development and Alumni)

Collaborating with different audiences to help engage them with academia appeals to me, so I’m excited about becoming a Foundation Fellow. I have 20 years of experience in audience engagement, as a local newspaper reporter, a Communications Manager for the University of Birmingham, and, since January 2020, as Senior Donor Relations Officer here at Warwick. I’m passionate about communications around student support and research, and enjoy making complex information accessible for our donor and alumni audiences. As a mum to three children and school governor, I think it’s particularly important to engage young people with research and higher education.

Mark Udall (Warwick Print)

As Design Manager at Warwick Design, I’m responsible for a team of creative individuals who collectively represent and uphold the brand values of the University. Beyond that, I’m a graphic designer of 23 years spanning private sector, publishing, agency work and higher education. Engagement is right at the core of what I live and breathe. If any work produced doesn’t reach its intended audience, or fails to convey the messaging as briefed, then we are derelict in our duties to our client base – a fundamental aspect of what it is to be graphic designers.

Nicholas Barker (Strategy Group)

After studying chemistry at university, I became a science teacher, working in state secondary schools for eleven years. In 2008, I was awarded a Royal Society of Chemistry Teacher Fellowship, came to Warwick and ran a schools outreach programme from the Chemistry Department until 2018. Now a member of the Strategy Group, I continue to work with many schools but I’m no longer based on campus. Working from a primary school serving an area of severe social deprivation, engaging with school communities continues to be the central theme of my work.

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