University of Leicester to honour gold medal-winning Paralympic athlete and science campaigner

Posted by pt91 at Jan 25, 2013 10:55 AM |
Danielle Brown and Diana Garnham to receive Honorary Degrees on 25 January 2013

Photographs of honorands available from pt91@le.ac.uk

The University of Leicester is to bestow honorary degrees to two highly achieving graduates at its January degree congregations.

Gold medal-winning Paralympic athlete Danielle Brown and current Chief Executive of the Science Council Diana Garnham will receive Honorary Degrees from the University of Leicester on Friday 25th January 2013 at De Montfort Hall.

Danielle Brown is a world-leading archer in both Paralympic and able-bodied competition and studied for a degree in Law at the University of Leicester whilst competing internationally.

She took up archery in 2003 when she says her disability made her give up all the other sports she had previously participated in. She took up the compound bow and made her international debut at the 2006 IPC (International Paralympic Committee) European Championships.

She has represented Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and the London 2012 Paralympic Games, taking home a gold medal in both. In 2010 she won a team gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she was the first disabled competitor to represent England in an able bodied discipline. She holds ten Paralympic world records and has been awarded a MBE for services to sport in the New Years Honours for 2013.

Danielle Brown will receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws at 3pm on Friday 25 January 2013 at De Montfort Hall, Leicester.

She said, “During my time at university, I was very grateful for the support I received. I took quite a bit of time away from my course to go to international events, which my tutors were more than happy to support, and I deferred my degree for a year so I could train full time for the Beijing Paralympics. The University also helped pay for my travel expenses in my third year so I could afford to travel to the Lilleshall National Sports Centre three times a week to train.

“I was also thrilled to receive an award from the University of Leicester in 2012, for Outstanding Alumni Achievement which was a great honour considering the calibre of graduates from the University.

“Being awarded an honorary degree has been a fantastic end to a truly incredible year. It is a privilege to have my achievements recognised in such a manner. Whilst I was studying at the University of Leicester I won my first World Championships and the gold medal at the Beijing Paralympics, the start to my current and continuing success in archery. It would not have been possible to have achieved any of my accomplishments without the support I have received, and to have them recognised by the University I attended is a great honour.”

Diana Garnham was appointed Chief Executive of the Science Council, a membership organisation that brings together learned societies and professional bodies across science and its applications, in 2006.

She graduated from the University of Leicester with a degree in Politics in 1977, where she was President of the Politics Society, Assistant Treasurer of the Students’ Union and a member of the Students’ Union Executive. An MA in War Studies followed at King's College London and an unfinished PhD at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.

She joined the Council on Christian Approaches to Defence and Disarmament as Administrative Secretary in 1983 before moving to the Association of Medical Research Charities in 1987, becoming Chief Executive in 1991.

Diana Garnham will receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws at 11am on Friday 25th January 2013 at De Montfort Hall, Leicester.

She said, “I am very honoured to be receiving an honorary degree from the University of Leicester. 

“I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of my time at the University of Leicester.  I am most grateful for the quality of teaching and the supportive environment that Leicester offered.  I was taught how to think and learn about a complex range of issues but also encouraged to take up opportunities to develop other skills by being active in student societies and in the student union.  It taught me to deal with complexity and change – and as a consequence I have spent my entire working life in complex environments – which has been challenging but hugely rewarding.  It sounds like a cliché, but I am where I am because of that valuable opportunity and experience that Leicester gave me.

“Higher education is a valuable asset for individuals and for the UK as a whole – we should do more to ensure that those who can have the opportunity to take this path and to make the most of it and as a graduate of the university I hope I can share my experience and encourage others to take up careers in the not-for-profit sectors.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess said: “We are delighted that the University is able to award Honorary Degrees to two candidates who are well known and respected in their fields, both of whom have long-standing connections with Leicester.  It is important for us to award Honorary Degrees to recipients who are at the top of their field and these candidates are no exception.  I am sure that the students receiving their degrees at the ceremonies will be delighted to see what other Leicester graduates have achieved.”

Notes to Editors: Further details are available from the University of Leicester Press Office, contact 0116 252 2415 or pressoffice@le.ac.uk.

Full biographies for the honorands follow:

Diana Garnham

Current Role - The Science Council, 32-36 Loman Street, London SE1 0EH

Role - Chief Executive (since January 2006)  and Registrar (2006 to 2011)

OTHER ROLES AND INTERESTS, CURRENT

Trustee, Sense about Science;

Deputy Chair, Board of Directors, Benevolent Society of Blues; chair, Grants and Loans Committee;

Donation Governor, Christ’s Hospital

Deputy chair, Alumni Giving Committee, Kings College London, 2011

Member, Astra Zeneca Science Education Forum, 2008

Board Member, Big Bang Fair CIC

Member, Joint Ministerial Committee on STEM

Nov 1991 – Dec 2005   Chief Executive, Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) 

The AMRC is a registered charity working to further medical research in the UK.  There are over 100 member charities (30 when I joined).  During my time at AMRC I helped to foster strong and continuing relationships between funding bodies and HE working closely with AURIL, working with university research managers and leaders across HE in the development of information resources and guidance for both sectors.

Dec 1989 - Nov 1991 Assistant secretary-general, Association of Medical Research Charities.

Mar 1987 - Dec 1989 Executive Officer, Association of Medical Research Charities. 

Dec 1983 - Mar 1987 Administrative Secretary, Council on Christian Approaches to Defence and Disarmament.   This role had responsibility for the administration of the charity as well as support for the Management Committee, undertaking research projects and preparation of publications. CCADD was membership body of 100 individuals and organisations from a wide range of differing views whose remit was to develop consensus on aspects of disarmament.  It worked closely with government, media, churches, academe and with like-minded groups worldwide.

1974 – 1977  University of Leicester.  BA in Politics (2:1)  President of Politics Society; Assistant Treasurer of Student Union (1975/76) and Honorary Treasurer and member of Student Union Executive  (1976/77).

1978 – 1979  King's College London - MA War Studies

1979 – 1982  University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.  Research Council funding research into (International Politics) - British Attitudes towards the Japanese and the conduct of the war in the Far East, 1937 – 47.  Unfinished PhD.

Schools

Lady Margaret Church of England School for Girls, Parson’s Green, London SW6, 1971-73

Christ’s Hospital, 1966-71

Danielle Brown

I started archery in 2003 when my disability made me give up all the other sports I had previously participated in. I took up the compound bow and made my international debut at the 2006 IPC (International Paralympic Committee) European Championships. At this event I also found out my A level results and whether or not I had got my university place at the University of Leicester.

My achievements to date include:

· 2007 – I won the IPC World Championships (individual gold medal and team gold medal).

· 2008 – I won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

· 2009 – I won the IPC World Championships (individual gold medal and team gold medal).

· 2010 – I won the IPC European Championships (individual gold, mixed team gold, team silver).

· 2010 – I won a team bronze medal at the Shanghai World Cup – this was my first able bodied world cup.

· 2010 – I won a team gold at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where I was the first disabled competitor to represent England in an able bodied discipline.

· 2011 – I won the IPC World Championships (individual gold, mixed team silver, team silver).

· 2012 - I won the Nimes Indoor World Cup stage (able-bodied).

· 2012 – I won the gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

· 2012 – I won the silver medal at the Tokyo World Cup Finals.

Once I finished my degree in 2010 I moved to Shropshire so I could train full time at the national training centre. The Beijing Paralympics were an incredible experience and I decided that in order to give myself the best possible chance of retaining my title at the London Games this was what I needed to do. There was a lot more pressure on me to win in London especially with all the media hype, and whilst it was not my best performance, I did manage to hold it together and come away with the Gold medal. I fully intend to train for the Rio Paralympic Games and I am in the process of setting up my own company, hoping to do motivational speaking, disability awareness training and mental coaching in sport.

I also hold ten Paralympic world records, and after my achievements at the London Paralympics I have been awarded a MBE for my services to sport.

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