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Celebrating Chichester's pioneers on International Women's Day 2019

Bishop Otter College (now University of Chichester) in 1839


THE University of Chichester has been championing the role of women in society since it first opened its doors as a training college in 1839.

Now, 180-years later, those principles remain a fundamental part of the University and its community - as it bids to develop a new generation of female leaders who are forging a gender-balanced world.

To mark International Women's Day 2019, some of the University's pioneering academics, heroines, and inspirational leaders have explained what inspires them and how they are making a difference to society.


Professor Jane Longmore, University Vice-Chancellor

Professor Jane Longmore: Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chichester

"I’m inspired by the staff and students of this University who embody the values of higher education, through the joyfulness and creativity of learning and living within an academic community. If we transform lives through our teaching and research, we help to make our world a better place."

Find out more about Jane's leadership of the University of Chichester here.


Professor Catherine Harper University Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Professor Catherine Harper: Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chichester

"I'm enormously proud to work at a University championing equality, recognising ability and authenticity, opening up life chances, and supporting high-quality, high-relevance research. I’m inspired everyday by our institutional ethos: it shines a bright light for women in education – in our future-focused STEM disciplines, and in their essential creative and cultural counterparts."

For more about Catherine and her role in championing women in higher education click here.


Kish Bhatti-Sinclair, Reader in Social Policy and Social Work

Dr Kish Bhatti-Sinclair: Reader in Social Policy and Social Work

"I am inspired by social work students who arrive with an active interest in social justice and fair treatment. During their studies they learn that such principles must be underpinned by theories, models, and research evidence. Their development as researchers is demonstrated in their final year dissertations where they use information, data, and methodological approaches to benefit social work policy and practice."

Find out more about Kish's acclaimed work on social justice across social work here.


Edel Quin, Programme Leader for Dance Science

Edel Quin: Programme Leader for Dance Science

"As Programme Leader for the world’s first BSc/MSci in Dance Science my days shift between dancing in the studio, to analysing movements in the lab, to lecturing on theories behind how these movements occur, to researching ways to advance and enhance dance practice, in various forms. Dance Science combines the analytical and systematic questioning of science, with the expressive and embodied practice of dance. Sharing my passion for this area of research and application with bright, young, Dance Science specialists of the future - who wouldn’t be inspired by such a prospect?!"

To find out more about Edel click here. There's more about the trailblazing dance science programme she leads here.


Bernie Pamplin, Contracts Administrator from the University's Estate Management team

Bernadette Pamplin: Contracts Administrator from the University's Estates team

“At Chichester I’ve studied a BA, an MA, and now I work here too. Being a part of this community and these amazing people, really brings out the best in me. There is an atmosphere of mutual respect which has given me the opportunity to gain confidence. This, with the academic element, is simply magic and I’m growing into the person that I want to be. I’m very proud to be part of this institution."

Bernadette is a published author whose website 'Under the Ginfluence' highlights the industry's finest distillers.


Dr Shirley Chubb, Reader in Interdisciplinary Art

Dr Shirley Chubb: Reader in Interdisciplinary Art

"Working across disciplines to find common territories of thinking and practice is such a rewarding experience. By broadening the reach, impact, and communicative potential of the visual arts, I develop fascinating and exciting collaborations with academics and participants involved in the sciences."

For more about Shirley's exploration into interdisciplinary and collaborative practice click here.


Dr Antonina Pereira Reader in Psychology

Dr Antonina Pereira: Reader in Psychology

"Degenerative brain disorders, such as Alzheimer´s disease, gravely hinder one of the most treasured capacities of the human being: autonomy. For me, tackling this challenge by designing diagnostic measures that facilitate early and potentially more effective therapeutic and preventative strategies is an incredibly rewarding and inspirational opportunity."

Find out more about Antonina and research into degenerative brain disorders here.


Dr Vanessa Cutler, Senior Lecturer in Product Design

Dr Vanessa Cutler: Programme Leader in Product Design

"Being able to develop work that intersects art and industrial technology keeps me motivated. My enjoyment is the dialogue between design and industrial collaboration. That engagement of analogue and digital processing continually challenges my approach to materials and enables my research to extend my knowledge."

More about Vanessa's specialist work using waterjet technology to cut delicate materials is available here.


Dr Clare Parfitt, Reader in Popular Dance

Dr Clare Parfitt: Reader in Popular Dance

"By tracing history through the bodies of people who dance, I can uncover voices not included in other kinds of history. When people dance, they make their pasts and their imagined futures manifest in the present moment."

For more about Clare and her work in popular dance including the cancan click here.


Katie Akerman, Director of Quality and Standards

Katie Akerman, Director of Quality and Standards

“As the University’s first Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and as a contributor to the QAA Quality Code advisory groups, I feel privileged to put policy into practice in supporting key aspects of learning and teaching at a University placing the student experience front and centre of all it does.”

For more about Katie’s work at Chichester as a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy here. Her role for the Quality Assurance Agency on its UK quality code is available here.


Professor Fiona Price Professor of English Literature

Professor Fiona Price: Professor of English Literature

"My books have been inspired by the achievements of women of the past - women who wrote great literature that is still relevant today. Through my research, I communicate how women like Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen and Charlotte Smith challenged the assumptions that shaped their society. I explore how Romantic women writers re-imagined the British nation. Bringing their sometimes forgotten voices back to life is a delight."

For more about Fiona's work with the south coast 18th-century and romantic research group click here.


Professor Janet McCray Professor of Social Care and Workforce Development

Professor Janet McCray: Professor of Social Care and Workforce Development

"Undertaking research that can offer people at work in health and social care organisations new ways of looking at their role and how they practice is important.  For me the key to making a difference is via collaborative research partnerships where new knowledge can be shared, created, and implemented for the benefit of others."

There's more about Janet's expertise in leadership and workforce development here.


Lucy Piggott Women and Sport Research Fellow

Dr Lucy Piggott: Women and Sport Research Fellow

"My inspiration as a research academic with a focus on women and sport is the ability to make a contribution to developing greater understanding of social issues in sport and inform real world change to make sport a fairer and more inclusive space for all."

For more about how Lucy is blazing a trail to help women in leadership roles in sport click here.


Dr Esther Burkitt Reader in Developmental Psychology

Dr Esther Burkitt: Reader in Developmental Psychology

"I’m inspired by finding ways to understand how children and young adults can explain and show how they feel about often complex emotions. It's amazing to scientifically discover ways of facilitating communication about emotional experiences and to see how this can improve wellbeing."

Find out more about Esther's work into children's emotional development here.


Professor Laura Ritchie, Professor of Learning and Teaching

Professor Laura Ritchie: Professor of Learning and Teaching

"I’m inspired by connecting with people: through learning and teaching, creating new sounds and understanding, and by going places physically, mentally, and musically."

There's more about Laura's research examining innovative ways to unlock student potential here.


Dr Naomi Foyle Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Dr Naomi Foyle: Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

"At this time of climate emergency, my poetry and science fiction are inspired by all the hard-working visionaries, all over the planet, who are rising up to demand and build a better world: one ruled by wisdom, compassion and respect for each other and to our beautiful planet."

Click here for more about Naomi's critically-acclaimed sci-fi series and Palestinian poetry anthology.


Dr Rosana Pacella, Head of Research

Dr Rosana Pacella: Head of Research

"Knowing that my research is making a difference in people’s lives is extremely rewarding. Knowledge gained from our multidisciplinary research will assist the implementation of guideline-based optimal care for chronic wounds which may result in timely healing, reduce recurrence and infection, save costs for patients and the healthcare system and improve quality of life for patients. My aim is to generate new scientific knowledge and provide an evidence base enabling policymakers to make better public health decisions about allocating funds and prioritizing interventions for the benefit of children and families, communities, professions and governments."

Find out more about Rosana’s work into health economics in wound management here. For more about Rosana's recent international study of child maltreatment investigating prevalence, health outcomes, and burden of disease click here.


Find out more

For more about International Women's Day 2019 go to To find about the University of Chichester's 180-year heritage of championing women go to