Honorary graduates announced by Staffordshire University

"Many of the people nominated for honorary degrees this year have played a leading role in talking up our City and our region and inspiring young people about their futures and what they can achieve through developing their knowledge and skills. Our graduating Class of 2018, many of which come are from our region, are testimony to the transformative power of higher education and we look forward to sharing their stories of achievement with our honorary graduates and honoured guests."

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Liz Barnes

Friday 1st June

Ambassadors for the arts, industry, health and education will receive Staffordshire University's highest honour at its summer graduation ceremonies.

Actress and playwright Deborah McAndrew, former Stoke Central MP Dr Tristram Hunt and musician and video pioneer Kevin Godley will each be receiving the honorary award of Doctor of Arts during the ceremonies to celebrate the achievements of Staffordshire University's Class of 2018.

Gareth Higgins MBE, Managing Director of engineering firm KMF, and Sinead Butters MBE, Chief Executive of Aspire Housing will also be recognised with honorary degrees for their role in promoting opportunities for young people in North Staffordshire. Completing the honorary line-up this year are Professor Sian Griffith OBE and Kate Davies OBE who are recognised for their contribution to public health and tackling health and social inequalities.

Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Liz Barnes said: "These are all inspirational people and we look forward to welcoming them to be part of our Connected University community. Many of the people nominated for honorary degrees this year have played a leading role in talking up our City and our region and inspiring young people about their futures and what they can achieve through developing their knowledge and skills."

"Our graduating Class of 2018, many of which come are from our region, are testimony to the transformative power of higher education and we look forward to sharing their stories of achievement with our honorary graduates and honoured guests."

More than 2,400 graduates are to be congratulated on their achievements by Professor Liz Barnes and Chancellor of Staffordshire University, the Lord Stafford, during the week of ceremonies to be held at Trentham Gardens from July 10th – 13th.
The University will be hosting Autumn Awards ceremonies at Stoke Minster in November.

Order of ceremonies:
Tuesday July 10, 2.30pm: Prof Sian Griffiths OBE, Doctor of the University
Professor Siân Griffiths OBE is Chair of the Centre for Health and Development (CHAD) which is an innovative partnership between Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire University to help address health and social inequalities and improve the health and wellbeing of our local population through high quality research. She is also Emeritus Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), a Visiting Professor at Imperial College, London, interim Deputy Chair of Public Health England, Chair of the PHE Global Health Committee, Trustee of the Royal Society of Public Health and Deputy Chair of Gambleaware, an independent charity tasked to fund research, education and treatment services to help minimise gambling-related harm in Great Britain. She is recognised for her contribution to public health.

Wednesday July 11, 10.30am: Kate Davies OBE, Doctor of the University
Kate Davies OBE is NHS England’s National Director of Health and Justice, Armed Forces and Sexual Assault Referral Centres. Kate is Director of Commissioning for healthcare services in England for armed forces personnel and their families, veterans’ mental health and prosthetics; sexual assault referral centres (SARCs); healthcare services in prisons, immigration removal centres and secure children’s homes and training centres; and the development of the national liaison and diversion programme and street triage. She has also supported Staffordshire University on the development of the national quality standards for sexual assault referral services and health care in police custody.

Wednesday July 12, 2.30pm: Sinead Butters MBE, Doctor of the University
Sinéad Butters MBE is the Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, which incorporates PM Training and Realise charity. Sinéad has been with Aspire Housing for over 18 years. Under her leadership, the business has grown and broadened, acquiring Staffordshire’s largest apprenticeship provider, PM Training. PM Training works with local businesses preparing young people for work, supporting adults into employment and creating practical apprenticeships. Each year they support around 2,500 individuals and create over 250 apprenticeships for 16 to 18 year olds. With gift aid from PM Training, donations from local people and business, Realise provides essential support to help people in Staffordshire progress in their education and gain employment.

Thursday July 12, 10.30am: Gareth Higgins MBE, Doctor of Science
Gareth Higgins MBE is the Group Managing Director of KMF, the Staffordshire-based leading supplier of precision sheet metal fabrication and engineering solutions. As head of the company, Gareth has invested heavily in educating staff and creating a first-class apprenticeship service to help recruit and train skilled employees. KMF has been working closely with Staffordshire University to provide a pathway to a Bachelor of Engineering degree, with the first two successful apprentices graduating in 2017 and many more currently studying. KMF’s education programme is a cornerstone of their success and Gareth is keen to grow the company’s partnership with Staffordshire University. Gareth is recognised for raising the profile of engineering in North Staffordshire and his investment in the training and motivation of young people through initiatives like KMF Young Engineer of the Year.

Thursday July 12, 2.30pm: Deborah McAndrew, Doctor of Arts
Deborah McAndrew is co-founder and Creative Director at Stoke-on-Trent based Claybody Theatre Company and a former guest lecturer at Staffordshire University. She is also Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University. An accomplished actor and playwright, she began her acting career on the cobbles of Coronation Street.  She was a regular guest lecturer at Staffordshire University between 2010 and 2016. She has also written and delivered education packs and workshops, working with children and young people in outreach and community projects in Stoke-on-Trent and in schools with Creative Partnerships. Claybody Theatre Company was founded by Deborah in Autumn 2013. Claybody Theatre’s most recent production was “Dirty Laundry”, a domestic thriller about a young woman caring for her dying father in 1950s Stoke-on-Trent, performed in Spode Works in October 2017.

Dr Tristram Hunt, Doctor of Arts
Dr Tristram Hunt is the Director of the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London, former MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central and served as Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Tristram is a champion of Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramics industry, having played a vital role in saving the Wedgwood collection of 80,000 works of art, ceramics, manuscripts, letters and photographs, following the collapse of Waterford Wedgwood in 2009. The V&A is now the legal guardian of the collection, which continues to be displayed at the Wedgwood Museum. During his time as an MP, between 2010 and 2017, Tristram was closely involved in encouraging the development of skills and education. He worked on the Maths Education Partnership, raising the quality of maths teaching in the city, and the Fired Up Programme, which encouraged the return of ceramics skills and training. He continues to be involved in the Stoke Literary Festival, which has taken place at the Emma Bridgewater Factory since 2014.

Friday July 13, 10.30am: Kevin Godley, Doctor of Arts
Kevin Godley is a musician and drummer best known musically for being a founder member of 10cc and Godley & Crème. He is also a respected music video director who has worked with U2, The Police, Snow Patrol and Elbow. Kevin is a graduate of graphic design from Stoke-on-Trent Regional College of Art, one of three colleges that merged in 1971 to form North Staffordshire Polytechnic, now Staffordshire University! His pioneering and innovative approach to video ensured he became sought after director, working with dozens of bands on more than 100 music videos. Most recently, Kevin’s creative interests have diverged into writing a screenplay, recording a solo album of collaborations called “Muscle Memory” and directing an audio-visual movie called “Hog Fever” featuring Terence Stamp.

Contact

Maria Scrivens
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t: +44 (0)1782 294375
m: 07766 520339
e: m.c.scrivens@staffs.ac.uk