Honorary degrees and fellowships



We awarded a total of 9 University Fellowships and Honorary Doctorates in 2018.

University Fellowships 2018

A University Fellowship is bestowed upon persons of distinction or those who have rendered significant service to the University or to the community. Fellows join the University’s College of Fellows, which provides opportunities for the individual to support the University in ways that reflect their particular areas of expertise and experience, be that providing work placement opportunities for students, or guest lecturing, among many other ways. They serve as Ambassadors for the University, enhancing the University’s influence in the national and international communities.

In 2018, University Fellowships were bestowed upon:

Stephen Edwards

Mr Stephen Edwards is the founder of the Charity CG5, which was set up to support the involvement and progression of young and disabled people in sport. Since CG5 began, it has helped over 50 individuals under the age of 21 from the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area. Several awardees have studied at the University of Worcester, whilst also participating in their chosen sport. For the past two years Stephen has been a leading supporter and fundraiser for the University’s Charity of the year, Smileforjoel. His own Company has also been a sponsor of the Worcester Wolves Junior Academy.

Dorothy Wilson MBE

Dorothy Wilson MBE has lived and worked in Worcestershire for many years and is viewed nationally as “a significant leader in the cultural and arts industry.” In 2011, she received an MBE for services to the Arts in the New Years’ Honours lists. She recently retired as Chief Executive and Artistic Director of MAC, Birmingham, one of the most used arts centres in the country. Previously, she worked at West Midlands Arts for 14 years, including 7 years as Deputy Director. She continues to play a leading role in the arts as an experienced charity sector chair, with a demonstrable history of working in the performing arts and cultural heritage industries.

Honorary Doctorates 2018

An honorary degree is one of higher education’s most significant accolades. They are awarded on a selective basis to distinguished individuals who merit special recognition for achievement and distinction in a field or activity connected with the mission of the University.

Holders of honorary degrees provide inspiration to students, as examples of success in a variety of ways. They also enhance the University’s profile on a national and international stage.

In 2018, the University of Worcester awarded honorary doctorates to:

Jo Brand

Jo Brand is a comedian, actress and writer; she also has a background in Psychiatric nursing and is an active ambassador for ‘Saving the NHS’. Jo worked as a Psychiatric nurse for 10 years before moving into alternative comedy. She has undertaken performances on: Saturday Live, the Brain Drain, Channel 4’s Through the Cakehole and several other TV shows, including The Great British Bake Off – An Extra Slice. Jo actively supports the mental health agenda through her work as a comedian, where she utilises her experience to create awareness and raise funds for charities such as Sport Relief, the Alzheimer’s Society, and many others.

Dana Denis-Smith

Dana Denis-Smith is an entrepreneur, lawyer (ex Linklaters) and the CEO of Obelisk Legal Support, an innovative firm which offers City Lawyers the opportunity to work flexibly around family and other commitments. The firm has been widely recognised for its ground-breaking work on alternative models of working for women, and has been in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women, in both 2015 and 2016. Dana has received recognition for her contribution as a champion for women. She was named the 2015 Outstanding Innovator by the Legal Week and is one of 50 leading individuals recognised on Timewise Foundation's Power Part Time List of 50. In 2018, she was named as the Lexis Nexis Legal Personality of the Year.

Mindu Hornick

Mindu Hornick was sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1942, aged 12 years, along with her mother, sister and two brothers. There, she claimed to be older than she was and was sent to work in a munitions factory as slave labour. For the past ten years Mindu has worked to educate young people about the Holocaust. She has shared her story with students in a range of educational settings, bringing reality to the history of World War 2, and challenging students to consider their own responses to atrocities in more recent times. Her unassuming, gentle and profoundly clear testimony captivates audiences across all age-ranges and backgrounds.

Jessica Kellgren-Fozard

Jessica Kellgren-Fozard is a model, TV presenter, public speaker and writer and also has a YouTube channel, which has over 225,000 subscribers. Jessica is a strong advocate of equality for disabled people and seeks to raise awareness of the issues that they can face. In 2017, she was invited by the Fabian Society to speak on a Panel at the Labour Conference about the need to create a Policy that could lead to a fairer society for disabled people in the UK. She has also taught herself a form of Sign Language known as Sign Supported English (SSE), using books and the YouTube to help her. On her TV Show, Quintessentially Jessica, Jessica uses an interactive approach to teach others how to master British Sign Language.

Dr Laurie Leshin

Dr Laurie Leshin has been President of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (USA) since 2014 and is a world authority on space exploration. She has over twenty years’ experience as a leader and has a lifelong love of learning and exploration. Laurie was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Board for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Prior to this, she was the Deputy Director of NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, where she was responsible for oversight of NASA's future human spaceflight programmes and activities. She is the recipient of NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal and NASA’s Distinguished Public Service Medal. In 2001, the International Astronomical Union named an asteroid in recognition of her contributions to planetary science: Asteroid 4922 Leshin.

Dr Swaroop Sampat-Rawal

Dr Swaroop Sampat-Rawal is an expert communicator, with over twenty years of experience dedicated to community development and advocacy within the field of education. Swaroop aims to help children overcome adversity and become resilient. She is a member of the Governing Council for Save the Children, whose mission is to create lasting change in the lives of disadvantaged children in India. Swaroop is also an Alumna of the University, gaining her PhD in Education, which was awarded in 2006. Her doctoral thesis was on the theme of using drama to enhance life skills in children with learning disabilities.

Marieanne Spacey-Cale MBE

Marieanne Spacey-Cale MBE is a top-class domestic and international football player, a Club Manager, an International Coach and a UEFA Coach Educator. Marieanne received an MBE in 2016 for services to football in the New Years’ Honours lists. She was awarded the Football Association’s ‘Player of the Year’ and was inducted into the England Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Marieanne played 91 times for England and scored 28 goals. In 2017, she attained the prestigious UEFA Pro Licence Coaching Award, whilst also successfully completing her Master’s Degree in Sports Coaching at the University of Worcester.