On Tuesday 12 July, Aston’s Chancellor, Sir John Sunderland, hosted an evening reception to present the recipients of this year’s Chancellor’s Medals with their awards.
The Chancellor’s Medal is awarded annually to staff members who have made an outstanding contribution to the University. All staff were invited to submit nominations, from which the Awards & Honours Committee made the final selection.
This year’s medals were given to John Richards, Head of Business Development in the Business Partnership Unit, and to Professor Christina Schaeffner, Head of Translation Studies in the School of Languages & Social Sciences.
Aston’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Julia King attended the event, presenting John and Christina to the Chancellor for the presentation of their medals. Speaking at the event she said: “It is absolutely clear, from the support from across the University for both of this year’s Chancellor’s Medal recipients, that their respective contributions to Aston are widely recognised and appreciated.”
John Richards joined the Business Partnership Unit (BPU) in 2001 as Information and Communications Officer. He was promoted successively to Innovation Fellow and then to Head of Business Development. When a new business development team was established in the BPU in January 2008, John was appointed to head it up. He has proved himself to be an effective and popular leader, working hard to build a cohesive and high performing team.
Developing excellent relationships with academic colleagues across the Schools, John and the BPU team have been instrumental in generating significantly increased income from knowledge transfer activities such as CASE awards, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, Innovation Vouchers and consultancy. These are increasingly important to Aston, both strategically and as a source of income, and generated over £3m of awards in the first half of the current year. Recent data from the Technology Strategy Board placed Aston, with 19 active KTP projects, at 10th in the UK. This is an outstanding achievement for the team!
Christina Schaeffner joined Aston in 1992. Since the launch of academic programmes in Translation Studies five years later, she has put the University on the map as a centre of excellence in this field. Whilst Christina has demonstrated impressive talents in teaching and research, she has also made a particularly significant contribution to international academic collaboration thanks to a relentless schedule of international travel, keynote speeches, invited lectures and, most recently, grant successes. Notable achievements include her membership of a European Commission expert group set up by the Directorate General for Translation to develop the European Masters in Translation, and successfully leading Aston to qualify as an accredited EMT programme, one of very few in the UK.
Prof King said: “Christina carries a phenomenal workload. She provides a high level of individual attention and supervision to undergraduates and PhD students; she has been a champion of quality assurance and enhancement, and an indispensable member of numerous University committees; she can always be relied upon as a critical friend, and as a highly dedicated and selfless colleague, much valued by all who work with her, staff and students alike.”
Congratulations to John and Christina!
Words by Louise Russell
27 July 2011