The Institute is an exciting venture co-led by an Academic Director - Professor Michael Scott, and a Professional Services Director - Andrew Todd. 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.
WIE Team (Left to Right: Josh Oakes, Andrew Todd, Rachel Edwards, Helen Wheatley, Michael Scott, Beth Russell, James Brown) Naomi Kay and Kerry Baker not photographed.
Meet the Institute of Engagement Team
Michael Scott – Director of the Institute
Michael is the Academic Director of the Institute and 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.
Andrew Todd – Director of the Institute
Andrew is the Professional Services Director of the Institute as part of his role as Director for Regional Engagement. He leads the University’s local growth, civic and community activities in the West Midlands. His role includes strengthening partnerships across the West Midlands and ensuring the University is embedded in its region. It also includes engaging in the development of local economic and community strategies so the University can contribute fully to the local economic, social and cultural growth.
Andrew has nearly 20 years’ experience working between universities, business and the public sector and his career includes secondments to Advantage West Midlands and the West Midlands Combined Authority focused on bringing the strengths of regional universities to support the West Midlands.
Rachel Edwards – Associate Academic 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.
Kerry Baker – Associate Director of the Institute
Kerry is a manufacturing engineer and sociologist and has spent the majority of her career working with academics, researchers, students, employers, teachers and young people to share knowledge and enthuse others about the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Throughout her career she has designed and delivered a variety of public engagement and school events, developed and conducted training to support others and designed and manufactured specific kit to support each of these endeavours.
Kerry enjoys finding links and common ground to work successfully in partnership with others and likes to bring innovation and creativity to everything she does, channelling her enthusiasm into supporting her team, colleagues and local communities to have access to a wide range of opportunities to explore, wonder and enjoy.
Helen Wheatley – Regional Cultural Relationships Lead
From 2020-2022, Helen assumed the role of Director of Warwick Institute for Engagement’s City of Culture Programme and the Resonate Festival. As of September 2022 she will be overseeing our Regional Cultural Relationships, strengthening our work in the communities and overseeing our Regional Fellows. Helen 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. As of September 2022, Helen will be overseeing our Regional Cultural Relationships, strengthening our work in the communities and overseeing our Regional Fellows.
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.
Josh Oakes – Administrator
Josh is an experienced administrator with a background in business governance, project management and people development. He is passionate about people and creating inclusive teams. He enjoys enabling productivity through streamlined systems that ensure we can focus on what matters.
Josh joined the University in March 2020, just before the first lockdown. Starting within the HR team at WMG, he joined WIE in November of 2021 and provides the backbone to our activities, underpinning them with the financial, HR and administrative support required.
Beth Russell - Graduate Management Trainee
Beth is a Graduate Management Trainee on Warwick’s three-year Project Management Graduate Scheme. She began her first eight-month placement, in the Institute of Engagement, in October 2021 and is primarily focused on the organisation of the Resonate three-day campus festival in April 2022. When Beth leaves the WIE team in May 2022, she will continue her connection in her role as a Fellow.