University awards honorary degrees

Honorary Awards Roehampton’s Graduation Ceremonies are a fitting conclusion to the hard work of our students over the course of their studies and they also provide the perfect opportunity for the University to recognise excellence in areas that reflect its mission through the conferment of honorary degrees.

Posted: 27 July 2012

image for news story University awards honorary degrees
Honorary Awards Roehampton’s Graduation Ceremonies are a fitting conclusion to the hard work of our students.

The University of Roehampton awarded honorary degrees to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Simon Baron-Cohen, Amerdeep Somal, Jean Bartunek, Mark Price, and Baroness Jo Valentine at its Graduation Ceremony this week 2010.

Celebrating the graduation of more than 2,000 the University students, Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul O’Prey said he was pleased to be able to honour national figures who are eminent in fields of activity that closely relate to the University’s values or areas of expertise.

Honorary Awards Roehampton’s Graduation Ceremonies are a fitting conclusion to the hard work of our students over the course of their studies and they also provide the perfect opportunity for the University to recognise excellence in areas that reflect its mission through the conferment of honorary degrees.

Robin Knox-Johnston CBE, RD
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston joined the Merchant Navy in 1957 and gained his Master’s Certificate in 1965. In 1968 he was one of nine who set out to become the first person to ever sail solo and non-stop around the world. He won by default as no one else finished! Subsequently he has raced all over the world, and won the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest circumnavigation under sail in 1994. In 2007 he became the oldest person to complete a solo race around the world at the young age of 68. He has been the UK’s Yachtsman of the Year an unprecedented 4 times, and was the first International Sailing Federation Sailor of the Year. For 9 years he was President of the Sail Training association, a youth development agency, and raised 11 million pounds for two new brigs. He has served as a Trustee of the National maritime Museum, recent on the Cutty Sark Trust, and was a member of the Sports Lottery panel and the English Sports Council. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation for his practical experiments in renaissance navigation.

Simon Baron-Cohen
Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) in Cambridge. He holds degrees in Human Sciences from New College, Oxford, a PhD in Psychology from UCL, and an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry. He held lectureships in both of these departments in London before moving to Cambridge in 1994. He is author of Mindblindness (1995), The Essential Difference (2003), Prenatal Testosterone in Mind (2005) and Zero Degrees of Empathy (2011). He has edited a number of scholarly anthologies, and has also written books for parents and teachers. He is author of the DVDs Mind Reading and The Transporters, to help children with autism learn emotion recognition. Both were nominated for BAFTA awards. Society, and received the 2006 Presidents’ Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge from the BPS. For 2009-11 he was Vice President of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR). He is Patron of several disability charities. He is a Fellow of the BPS and the British Academy, and co-editor in chief of the journal Molecular Autism. He is Chair of the NICE Guideline Development Group for autism.

Jean Bartunek RSCJ
Jean M. Bartunek RSCJ is the Robert A and Evelyn J Ferris Chair and Professor of Management and Organization at Boston College, where she has taught since 1977. Her Bachelor’s degree in
Psychology and Sociology is from Maryville University (St Louis), where she has served on the Board of Trustees since 2003. Her PhD in Social and Organizational Psychology is from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a past president and fellow of the Academy of Management. In 2009 she won the Academy of Management’s Career Distinguished Service Award. She is listed in Who’s who in America and Who’s who in the Management Sciences and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma. Between 2008–2010 she was a visiting international fellow of the Advanced Institute for Management Research in the UK. Jean has published more than 125 journal articles and book chapters, as well as five books.

Baroness Valentine
Baroness Valentine joined London First in 1997 as Managing Director, becoming Chief Executive in 2003. Her role centres on representing to national and local government the most pressing issues affecting London’s leading businesses. Prior to London First, Jo Valentine worked in corporate finance and planning at Barings and BOC Group. She established and ran ‘The Blackburn Partnership’ a public-private regeneration partnership in 1988 and the Central London Partnership (CLP) in 1995. She was a National Lottery Commissioner from 2000 to 2005. She became a Crossbench Peer in October 2005 and contributes frequently to debates, mainly on economic and competitiveness issues. She sits on the House of Lords Committee which provides prelegislative scrutiny of European infrastructure proposals. Baroness Valentine is a Non-Executive Director of TP70 2008(ii) VCT plc, a Non-Executive Director of Peabody, and an Honorary Fellow of St Hugh’s College Oxford.

Mark Price
Business was in Mark Price’s blood right from the beginning as his father was a greengrocer and, later, a successful wholesaler. Mark’s early years growing up in Cheshire had a profound effect on him and he has written extensively about his childhood memories and particularly of the “warm, loving family picnics” that inspired his attitude towards good, wholesome food as an important part of life. His first degree was in Archaeology and Ancient History from Lancaster University – a subject he remains passionate about to this day. He joined the John Lewis Partnership in 1982 as a graduate trainee and rose to become Managing Director of John Lewis High Wycombe and then John Lewis Cheadle. After serving on the Waitrose Management Board as Director of Selling and Marketing, he took up the role of Partnership Development Director (responsible for strategy amongst other things) before returning to Waitrose in April 2007 as Managing Director. Under his leadership, Waitrose has grown to a business turning over more than £5bn a year with 50,000 Partners – as all employees of the co-owned business are known. In January 2011 Mark became Chairman of Business in the Community, a post he holds for three years. He is also Chairman of the Prince’s Countryside Fund and a non-executive director for Channel 4. Mark lives with his wife and daughters in Dorset. He is passionate about sport.

Amerdeep Somal
Amerdeep Somal is a lawyer who has received several awards for her work in tackling domestic violence, including one for the Attorney General for confronting the particular challenges affecting Asian communities in dealing with domestic violence and for her commitment to diversity. She started her career in private practice as a criminal defence advocate and became a prosecution advocate at the Crown Prosecution Service. She is a former Chair of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal. Currently, Amerdeep is a Commissioner of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and a Judge of the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Tribunal. In May 2011, Amerdeep was awarded the Asian Woman of Achievement Award.

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