The Institute is an exciting venture co-led by Professor Michael Scott and Jane Furze. It is home to a dedicated team of professional support staff, academics, and our cohort of Fellows. We work across Warwick’s hugely talented staff and student communities, and collaborate extensively with our many wonderful external partners.
Meet the Institute of Engagement Team
Michael Scott – Director of the Institute
Michael is a Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Warwick and an Honorary Citizen of Delphi, Greece. He is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of Advance HE, and believes passionately in making the ancient world as accessible as possible, acting as Director and Trustee of Classics for All, and as President of the largest regional branch of the UK Classics Association. He regularly talks in schools around the country, writes articles for national and international newspapers and magazines, participates in BBC radio shows and podcasts, and facilitates engagement with the ancient world via a suite of social media channels. He is the author of several successful popular history books, and has written and presented over a dozen TV series about the ancient world for History Channel, National Geographic, BBC and ITV. In recognition of his engagement work, Michael was delighted to be reincarnated as a Lego Classicist figure in 2018. Michael’s commitment to, and passion for, engagement has been a key driver for the creation for the Institute.
Jane Furze – Director of the Institute
Jane has led Warwick’s Public Engagement team since 2017. Her tenure as Director of Regional Strategy and Public Engagement has seen Warwick host major events such as the British Science Festival, feed into national decision making around PE, and the creation and launch of the Warwick Institute of Engagement. Alongside her role in creating the Warwick Institute of Engagement, Jane is Director of Regional Strategy and leads the University’s marketing and communications strategy. She sits on a number of national public engagement forums including the Royal Society Public Engagement committee. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in engagement after a career spent in management and communications roles across private, public and charitable sectors. In particular, her time spent as Director and CEO for Cheltenham Festivals ignited her passion for engagement. She is a firm believer in the power of engaging young people, in ensuring engagement is inclusive and reaches all parts of our community, and in championing the importance of experts building knowledge and understanding in our communities.
Rachel Edwards – Deputy Director of the Institute
Rachel is a Reader in the Department of Physics. She is passionate about engagement with schools, and the need to reach out to children of all ages in order to show them what a scientist does, and the wide range of people who are scientists. She loves giving public lectures and has been involved in many of the Warwick Christmas lectures - any excuse to play with liquid nitrogen on stage! She also engages with school teaching bodies, helping to give new teachers different examples of where science and engineering knowledge is used in active research.
Helen Wheatley – Director of the Institute City of Culture Programme
Helen is Director of Warwick Institute for Engagement’s City of Culture Programme. She is Professor of Film and Television Studies and Deputy Chair of the Faculty of Arts, with particular responsibility for leading on research and impact for the faculty. She is also co-founder and current director of the Centre for Television Histories and co-lead of the Connecting Cultures GRP. She works collaboratively with archives and curators to engage the public with the history of British broadcasting, and has twice been awarded the university’s prizes for impact/community engagement for this work. Her most recent book, Spectacular Television: Exploring Televisual Pleasure (IB Tauris, 2016) won the BAFTSS Award for Monograph of the Year in 2017.
Emily Little – Public Engagement Manager
Emily has been involved in public engagement at the University for several years, from being Creative Producer for the 50th Anniversary Year 2015 including the ‘Festival of the Imagination’ to helping deliver the successful 2019 British Science Festival. She leads the Engagement Team in providing expertise and guidance on strategic direction, activities, training and funding to produce high quality engagement. Emily has a passion for supporting the academic community, students and professional services to engage with those outside of the University, using best practice and enthusiasm to share knowledge for the benefit of all.
Naomi Kay – Engagement Officer
Naomi is an experienced engagement professional with a background in event and project management. She has delivered a number of university festivals, including the Science Family Day held to celebrate Warwick’s hosting of the British Science Festival in 2019. She works on a range of strategic projects for the team, including leading on the creation and launch of our first student facing public engagement module through IATL. She is passionate about empowering staff and students to develop their engagement expertise, and ensuring Warwick activities are enjoyable and accessible for a wide range of people.
James Brown – Public Engagement Project Officer
James works on supporting large scale public engagement projects which stretch across the University, helping to coordinate between internal and external stakeholders, and project managing a variety of events and activities. He has experience of running national public engagement campaigns, producing educational resources for a variety of audiences, and engaging varied publics through a range of approaches including festivals, artist collaborations, blogs, online content, performances, workshops and debates. At Warwick he has worked on delivering the British Science Festival and is currently supporting preparations for Coventry City of Culture in 2021.
Caroline Oakman – PA to Jane Furze and Administrative Assistant for the Warwick Institute of Engagement
Caroline is a highly talented administrator with years of experience at Warwick. She supports the team administratively and provides PA support to the directors.