Vice-Chancellor’s Medal 2017 — winners announced

July 12th, 2017

Recipients of the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal 2017 — an accolade recognising exceptional achievements by staff or students — have been announced.

The medal is awarded based on the following criteria:

  • Exceptional achievement in any arena
  • Outstanding contribution to advancing equality, diversity and inclusion in University life
  • Notable endeavour which has made a difference to the University
  • A substantive contribution which has enhanced the reputation of the University of Nottingham
  • Activity which has had a noticeably positive impact for students, staff or the local community
  • An individual achievement or sustained achievement over a period of time

The full list of recipients is:

Vice-Chancellor’s Medal 2017 – Presented at UNNC at the beginning of July


  • Hellen He, Deputy Director and Acting Director of UNNC Estates: Hellen has made many significant contributions which are beyond UNNC Senior Management expectations. Hellen demonstrated extraordinary passion and energy in setting new infrastructure development.  She led interior designs and manged projects into reality through state of the art IT technology integration and high quality, multi-function furniture application for four new buildings. Her efforts have made significant transformations of the University infrastructure and environment with great feedbacks from all users, with the Vice-Chancellor quoting “This has set the standard for the University of Nottingham”.  Hellen challenged herself for the best value through value engineering, competitive bidding and striving to any possible cost savings opportunities.  The Hub build is an example of this. Hellen achieved savings of 60% in the furniture fabrication, 80% in LED lighting selection and 50% in PTFE fabric shading.
  • Dr May Tan-Mullins,  Director of the UNNC’s Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies and Dean of the Graduate School: Since 2004 Dr Tan-Mullins has authorised 65 works, including 2 co-authored books, 1 co-edited book, 20 journal articles, 2 special issues, 10 book chapters and 26 policy briefs.  She has been awarded 15 research grants, 9 as Principal Investigator, totalling approximately £2million, all this has been achieved as a social scientist working in China, in a field and a location where grant amounts are smaller and harder to attain. Dr Tan-Mullins came to UNNC as an Assistant Professor and worked her way up to full Professor within 6 years.  She is the first female colleague to have been promoted to full Professor within the UNNC system.
  • Dr Mary Ainslie (received medal for her work whilst at UNMC). Since the student theatre began in 2013, Mary has been at the heart of developments as writer, director, performer, producer and collaborator.  Mary first appeared as Titania in the 2014 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and then followed this by producing, directing and writing (partly through workshops and improvisation). This was followed in 2015 by Kampung Chekhov which was the first show to exploit the potential of the new Drama Studio in the Tuanku Zara Teaching Centre. Mary’s influence as a mentor and supporter for so many at UNMC has been critically important to building the foundations and momentum of Performing Arts at UNMC.

Vice-Chancellor’s Medal 2017 – Presented at Nottingham on Thursday 6 July


  • Dr Max Biddulph, Associate Professor, School of Education & Chair of LGBTQ Staff Network: For his tireless work and dedication as Chair of the LGBTQ Staff Network providing a supportive space, both online and in person for staff who identify as LGBTQ and raising awareness.
  • Ian Chetwynd, Groundsworker, Estates: For using his own interest in wildlife photography to raise money for the Impact Campaign by Initiating the Campus Wildlife Calendar and capturing threatened and endangered species across each campus.
  • Jo Dunn, Senior Corporate Events Manager, CARO: For her work over the past 13 years playing a leading role in planning, organising and delivering high profile events, such as “On Location”, Winter and Summer Graduations and Ron Haylock’s memorial.
  • Dr Miroslava Johanesova, Academic and Disability Support Worker, Student Services: For providing exceptional mentoring and study assist support to both home and International disabled students, and being crucial to the academic and personal progression of these students at the greatest risk of not completing, and whose health and well-being can be at risk.
  • Dr Tamsin Majerus, Assistant Professor, Life Sciences: For her major contribution to academic life through her work on Athena SWAN, enabling schools to secure awards essential for research funding and evidence of ‘ways in which equality and diversity issues are managed at both an institutional and departmental level’ as required by RCUK.
  • Professor Rita Tewari, Head of Malaria Laboratory, School of Life Sciences: For her major contribution to the understanding of the parasite that produces malaria and subsequently pioneered the development of transgenic plasmodium strains. As a result she has 2 patents.
  • Professor Colin Thorne, Professor of Physical Geography: For his outstanding contributions to the study of rivers that have substantively moved forward river science and helped shape national and international policy on river and flood management.


  • Annika Bailey, School of English: For going above and beyond in her various roles at Nottingham Nightline and demonstrating an ongoing passion to ensure that the service Nightline provides is constantly evolving to meet the needs of students.
  • Laura Bealin-Kelly, School of Sociology & Social Policy: For her long term volunteering at Nottingham Nightline, including leading the publicity of the service and being instrumental in forming collaborations between Nightline and other welfare agencies.
  • Maddy Ellis, School of Mathematical Sciences: Maddy is the founder of Nottingham Night Owls, a service which provides assistance to vulnerable students by reducing the number of students walking home and recovering and returning lost property found around the city centre during nights out.
  • Mobose Fayose-Oluwatise, School of Health Sciences: For her selfless act of organising and running a free Christmas Lunch for over 100 people in the local community in a bid to combat festive loneliness, initially inviting anyone alone on Christmas Day to go along to her own house.
  • Benjamin Horrex, School of Humanities, Dept of History: For his outstanding contribution to the student and wider community in Nottingham through his volunteering and training to be a Street Pastor.
  • Zaid Janjua, Department of Civil Engineering: For his entry into and subsequent win of the 2015 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) challenge, where he won both the Judges’ Choice Award of £3000 (to spend on public engagement) and the Peoples’ Choice Award of presenting his talk at the Faraday Lecture Theatre in the Royal Institute of Great Britain, London.
  • Hazel Mann, UoN Sport: Over the last 2 years Hazel has improved the experience and facilitated netball for approximately 650 players each week.  As Chair of IMS she led a team of 20 student volunteers who provide IMS activity for over 3200 students.
  • Kamaljit Moirangthem, School of Biosciences: For his work as Senior Ambassador and also very successful PhD programme resulting in 4 published papers, 9 presentations at conferences (3 international) and the presentation of his work at the House of Commons in March 2017.
  • Adam Pratchett, School of Politics and International Relations: In his work as Vice Chair of the Welfare in Sport Campaign, focusing on educating clubs on the importance of maintaining an inclusive and open environment and supporting students who may be struggling with their mental health.
  • Eleanor Sergeant, School of Law: For her development of the Pro Bono Society resulting in it being nominated for the Law Society Awards and shortlisted in several other national competitions and her varying volunteering roles.
  • Yezhou Sha, Nottingham University Business School: Nominated for his outstanding work with the local Chinese Community while in his roles on the China Scholarship Council and as President of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.
  • Daniel Slater, School of Mathematical Sciences: For his role in being a founding member of the Futsal Club, one of the University’s most successful sport set ups. Dan’s dedication to Futsal is unquestionable having devoted countless hours over the last 6 years.
  • George Thompson, School of Politics and International Relations: For his role in founding Quids In; the UK’s first University Investment League, of which Oxford, UCL, Exeter and Nottingham are members, educating students in the art of trading and developing their confidence through opportunities to present on University Radio.


  • Electric Superbike Race Team: For their activities since 2014 in building an Electric Motorbike to race in the MotoE European Electric Bike race series, where they came first in 2015 and third in 2016, bringing fantastic publicity to the University. The team includes Jonathan BlissettMiquel Gimeno-FabraPat Wheeler and Marco Degano, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
  • Grace Smith, School of Biosciences and Chrissie Quilty, School of English: For their dedication to the UoN Equestrian Club by raising awareness for Riding for the Disabled and Disability Equality and their work on the #RampingupEquality campaign.

Vice-Chancellor’s Medal 2017 – to be presented in Malaysia in July and September


  • Dr Ching Lik Hii, Associate Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering: For being instrumental in the establishment of the UNMC IEM (Institution of Engineers, Malaysia) Student Section which was officially launched in April 2016.  Dr Hii co-founded UNMC Bluesky Team in 2016, where one of the activities, UNMC Mobile Tutors Project, was initiated to provide free tuition to refugee children that have arrived in Malaysia due to the unstable political situation in their home country.  To date the project has provided tutoring services to 5 education centres around Klang Valley which involved a total of 90 refugee children and student volunteers from UNMC.
  • Wen Li Chan, Assistant Professor of Business Law, Nottingham University Business School Malaysia: For outstanding contributions in advancing equality and diversity in her capacity as the Founding Advisor to the UNMC Gender Equality Initiative (GEI). Her work in fostering staff and student commitment has also enhanced the reputation of the University in the higher education community and Malaysian civil society.  Her efforts have enabled the University to build connections with Malaysian NGOs involved in women’s rights and gender equality, including the Women’s Aid Organisation, All Women’s Action Society, Sisters in Islam and Association of Women Lawyers.
  • Dr Faye Siew Hui Chong, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering: For her work pioneering the UNMC outreach initiative Blue Sky which was set up in 2016 and provides tutoring and teaching assistance to refugee children.  To sustain the mobile tutoring project, Dr Chong has been instrumental in actively seeking financial support to ensure the project can be performed on a regular basis over a long term.  Students who are interested in Blue Sky can find out more and sign up through email and facebook.  Blue Sky is in partnership with UNHCR-Tzu Chi Education Centre, to provide tutoring in English, Science and Mathematics for refugee children based in Ampang and Selayang areas.  To date almost 30 volunteers contribute their skills and time at these centres every Saturday.
  • Dr Hazel Melanie L Ramos, Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning – Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/Associate Professor, Division of Industrial/Organisational Psychology: For her work in establishing the Division of Organisational and Applied Psychology in 2006 and developing its BSc programme.  She serves as the Associate Dean of FASS Teaching and Learning, Head of DoAP, and Programme Director for the MSc and MPhil/PhD programmes.  Since joining UNMC Hazel’s research has produced 19 journal publications, 31 conference papers, and 2 grants.  In 2015- 2016 she also helped support students who were having extreme visa issues.


  • Arvind Jayaratnam, School of Economics: For his work as the Under-Secretary General (2014) and subsequently Secretary General (2015) of the Nascent Organisation, where he oversaw planning and execution of the Nottingham University Model United Nations (NUMUM) conference.  He also influenced the convening of the UnityMUN for Solidarity and Education, which was a one-day gathering of Malaysia’s brightest student minds who considered tangible solutions for the Arab-Israeli conflict in the country’s first ever live broadcast of an MUN-style debate.  This caught the attention of the United Nations Association of Malaysia (UNAM) who then sponsored Arvind to represent the University and country as part of Team Malaysia to the World MUN Conference 2015.
  • Nagulendran Kangayatkarusu, School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, Faculty of Science: For his PhD work on Biodiversity Governance, where the results of the first phase of his study have been presented to Malaysian policy makers and have been partially incorporated in the ‘pursuing green growth for sustainability and resilience’ chapter of the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016-2020.  Nagu also represented UNMC at the World Parks Congress in Sydney in 2014 and at the World Conservation Congress in Hawaii in 2016.  Recently he was appointed by the Prime Minister’s Department as a member to the Scientific Expert Panel (SEP) for the newly created National Disaster Management Agency which is chaired by the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
  • Ong Jin Hui: For his work in various positions over the last 3 years, including; President of UNMC Nature Club, Student Association Sustainability Officer, Earth Hour Champion Malaysia and Student Association Vice President.  In 2013 he was part of the Organising Committee of PFHS 30-Hour Famine Camp which was a global movement against hunger and poverty.  Famine participants were sponsored to give up food or something else they loved for 30 hours straight with the money raised being used to help children and communities living in poverty.
  • Ahmed Afrah Ismail, Department of Mechanical Engineering: For his work in formulating the 2025 Strategic Roadmap for the Student Association, which he is confident will be ready for implementation in the 2017/2018 academic session.  In addition he has created a framework to ensure that UNMC’s processes for internal democracy are strong with various policy level changes being made to how Student Association Elections take place.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply


Honorary degrees – call for nominations open on Thursday 7 December

Each year, the university awards a small number of honorary degrees to people who have made […]

The environment and me: take part in sustainability survey

The Sustainability Team at the university have created a short, multiple-choice survey for our staff. Complete […]