UEA community celebrates four awards in Queen's birthday honours

9 October 2020

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From left to right: Laura McGillivray, Prof Laura Bowater, Prof Gillian Schofield, Prof Amelia Fletcher

Four pioneering female members of the University of East Anglia’s (UEA’s) community have been recognised for their lifelong work in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, with academics from the fields of social work, microbiology and business and the Chair of UEA Council all receiving awards.

Professor Gillian Schofield has received an OBE for Services to Children and Families, Prof Laura Bowater has been awarded an MBE for Services to Research and Education in Microbial Resistance, and Prof Amelia Fletcher has been recognised with a CBE for Services to the Economy. Laura McGillivray, Chair of UEA Council, received an MBE for Services to Local Government.

Prof Amelia Fletcher has been part-time Professor of Competition Policy at UEA’s Norwich Business School and the Centre for Competition Policy since 2013.

She is an internationally recognised expert on competition and consumer policy, and in particular the implications of behavioural economics and digital markets. Prior to joining UEA, Amelia was Chief Economist at the Office of Fair Trading for 12 years.

Prof Fletcher’s award for services to the economy reflects her work in a variety of public sector roles, having been a Non-Executive Director of the Financial Conduct Authority, Payment Systems Regulator and Competition and Markets Authority, and a decision-maker on enforcement decisions at gas and electricity regulator Ofgem. She is a member of the Council of the Royal Economic Society, an advisor to both the National Infrastructure Commission, and has been a member of the Economic Advisory Group on Competition Policy at the European Commission

In 2019, she was also a member of the Digital Competition Expert Panel, sometimes known as the Furman Review, commissioned by Government to consider the case for additional intervention in digital platform markets. The recommendations of the panel have been accepted by Government and a Digital Markets Taskforce has been set up to provide advice on the design and implementation of new pro-competitive digital regulation. She has a doctorate in economics from Nuffield College, University of Oxford.

Prof Gillian Schofield lectured at UEA for 30 years, becoming head of the University’s School of Social Work, before formally retiring and taking up an Emeritus Professor post at the University in August this year. Her influential teaching, research and publications have had a widespread impact, transforming the lives of children in foster care, adoption, residential care and schools both in the UK and across the world.

Prof Schofield, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, developed the Secure Base model of therapeutic caregiving alongside her colleague Dr Mary Beek in UEA’s Centre for Research on Children and Families. The model builds on attachment theory and research on children who are separated from their birth families and was the focus of what has become a leading text in the field, the ‘Attachment Handbook for Foster Care and Adoption’ (2006, second edition 2018).

The Secure Base model was recommended in the Government White Paper, Care Matters, in 2007 as a basis for training foster carers and has since been implemented in a range of local authorities and independent agencies across the UK. The model has also been implemented as a framework for foster care training and practice in countries as diverse as China, Norway, Thailand and Ukraine, and has played a particular role in developing foster care as an alternative to institutional care.

Prof Laura Bowater is a Professor of Microbiology Education and Engagement in UEA’s Norwich Medical School, whose association with Norwich Research Park goes back over 20 years.

She joined the Biological Chemistry Department in the John Innes Centre in 1999, staying there for eight years studying bacterial enzymes before moving to the University of East Anglia as a Teaching Fellow in 2007. Prof Bowater is also now Academic Director for Innovation at the University.

Prof Bowater is a renowned writer, speaker and researcher on microbial resistance. In 2016, she authored the popular ‘The Microbes Fight Back: Antibiotic Resistance’, more relevant today than ever, which looked at the history of infectious diseases before and after the discovery of antibiotics, how bacteria have begun to develop resistance to existing drugs and why there would need to be universal cooperation to tackle future global health challenges.

Last year, Prof Bowater won the Microbiology Society’s prestigious Peter Wildy Prize for her work in science communication. Another of her successful books ‘Science Communication: A Practical Guide For Scientists’, was co-written with Prof Kay Yeoman from UEA’s School of Biological Scientists and is held up as an important work in assisting communication between scientists and members of the public.

Laura McGillivray has a long association with UEA as, prior to becoming Council Chair in April this year, she was a member of the Council for almost 14 years. UEA Council is the university’s governing body and comprises community, student and staff members with the chair being a non-executive leadership role.

Laura has an MBA in public service management and extensive experience of non-executive leadership. She was Chief Executive of Norwich City Council for 14 years before standing down last year and also sits on the board of the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art which is situated on the UEA’s campus.

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson said: “I am delighted for Amelia, Laura and Gillian, who are three of our most distinguished and well respected members of UEA’s academic community and deserved recipients of these honours.

“They have each imparted their tremendous knowledge to hundreds, maybe thousands, of students on our campus over many years, and are of course revered far beyond UEA for the research they have carried out and works they have produced during their careers too. How wonderful it is to be able to say that UEA has female academics at the forefront of so many different schools of research.”

Commenting on Laura McGillivray, UEA’s Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson, said: “This is wonderful recognition for all the work Laura has done in many roles and different ways to the benefit of Norwich and Norfolk over many years. She became Chair of UEA during the most difficult year in our history and we have been fortunate to have her great depth of experience to help us navigate this unprecedented situation.”