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Honorary degrees awarded by Roehampton

An expert in Muslim law, an eminent professor of American culture, and a man who has dedicated his life to protecting endangered species have been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Roehampton.

Posted: 25 July 2014

image for news story Honorary degrees awarded by Roehampton
Mona Siddiqui receives her honorary doctorate from the University's Pro-Chancellor Jacqueline Wilson
The awards to Professor Janet Beer, Professor Mona Siddiqui and Ian Redmond are in recognition of invaluable contributions to their fields of expertise and their roles in wider society.

Professor Mona Siddiqui OBE joined the University of Edinburgh in 2011 and is the first Muslim professor in Islamic and Interreligious Studies, and her research is primarily in the field of Islamic jurisprudence. She has published heavily, including on how to read the Qu’ran, and has held visiting professor posts in a number of countries. In March she took the post of Humanitas professorship in Women’s Rights at the University of Cambridge. She is a regular media commentator, and chairs the BBC’s religious advisory committee. Professor Siddiqui received an honorary doctorate of letters award.

Professor Janet Beer, the current Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, has previously held a chair in equal opportunities at Roehampton, and was an acting head of department in the mid to late 1990s. Her research focuses on late 19th and early 20th century American literature and culture and contemporary Canadian women’s writing. Her most recent work was a study of the author Edith Wharton. She is currently chair of the Higher Education Public Information Steering Group, which oversees the National Student Survey. In addition, she is Vice-President of Universities UK and a board member of UCAS. Professor Beer received an honorary doctorate of letters award.

Ian Redmond OBE is a wildlife biologist and conservationist known for his work with elephants and great apes, which he has carried out for more than 35 years. His work shifted from research to conservation in 1978, after poachers killed Digit, a famous gorilla, whom he regarded as a friend, in order to sell body parts. This marked a turning point in his life, and since then he has worked on more than 100 documentaries, news reports and films, raising awareness of the issues. Working with NGOs like the Born Free Foundation and the Gorilla Organisation, he rallies support for endangered species and their habitats. Mr Redmond receives an honorary doctorate of science award.

A spokesman for the University of Roehampton said: “Mona Siddiqui, Janet Beer and Ian Redmond represent the best of the attributes we instill in our students: commitment to excellence in their fields, passion for their subject and love for the world around them. The University is proud to be associated with them and to recognise the contribution each has made. I hope this year’s graduates, and future students will be inspired by their examples to become leaders in their own fields over time.”

Honorary doctorates are awarded by the University after significant research and reviewing of individual’s contributions. Professor Siddiqui, Professor Beer and Mr Redmond are all active in fields which the University has a high profile through its own research. Human rights, literature and culture, and life sciences are among the most respected courses and modules which the University teaches at both undergraduate and post graduate level.

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