News – October 2015

news-JoaoChanges in SAC
Professor João de Pina Cabral has decided to step down as Head of School and Professor Richard Griffiths has stepped up as Acting Head of School. The School would like to thank João for the hard work he has put into the School over the past three years and the major contribution he has made to the success the School has experienced during his tenure as Head of School. Although João is relinquishing his role as Head he continues in the School as Professor of Social Anthropology, where we’re sure he will continue to make a significant contribution. Many thanks João and best wishes.


Images courtesy of CNN

Alumnus announced as CNN Hero
DICE alumnus, Edwin Sabuhoro, has been named as a CNN Hero.
Edwin has worked for many years to protect endangered mountain gorillas and so we’re so pleased for Edwin that his personal sacrifice and commitment has been identified and celebrated by the wider world.  You can read some of Edwin’s story, from infiltrating poaching groups to setting up his Eco-tourism business, on the CNN website. In response to this outstanding accolade Edwin’s brother, Ian, wrote this moving tribute:

“Edwin Sabuhoro, CNN’s recognition of your work is humbling to many. To Iby’Iwacu beneficiaries and us family, it is not surprising because we know you are a hero. I remember when we were fleeing Idi Amin’s war with Tanzanian forces, many years ago. You were 4 years old, sick, malnourished and frail. Our elders doubted your survival and had only two choices for you: drop you in lake Nakivale because you were about to die anyway, or carry you on a 50kms walk from our abandoned home in Nakivale refugee camp to Kamukuzi refugee concentration center. Thank God for late Victor Ngurumbe who rescued you, UNHCR trucks that picked us up from Kaberebere town, and frankly, the free food we found in abandoned homes along the way. Here you are making a difference in people’s lives and recognized by the entire world! To children enduring immense pain and hopelessness out there, I say, there is hope. Thank you for not choosing to be defined by your dark past, but by determination and hard work. There are many more communities whose livelihoods continue to threaten wildlife, or are threatened by wildlife in Africa and all over the world. Use this opportunity to reach out to them. It is through such community-based tourism enterprises that we can ensure human and wildlife coexistence. I am proud of you brother” Dr. Ian Munanura

Award winning film
news-eda-insetIn a timely and poignant manner the musical documentary by SAC alumna Eda Elif Tibet has won the Humanitarian Gold Award, Jakarta 2015.

The World Humanitarian Awards, who work closely with the International Film Festivals, give recognition to artists who work to promote humanitarian issues and inspire others to action. The Awards Committee say, “May it be an ordinary man/female or a nation leader. We value hard works labored for peace and humanity, reaching hunger souls crying for help.”

Eda is a director, cinematographer and producer and her film, “Refugee Here I Am” won the Gold Award and her collaborator, Enzo Ikah, was also awarded the Star of Peace for his dedication to music making for the oppressed worldwide. Additionally the film has been nominated for “Best Film”.!WINNER-HUMANITARIAN-GOLD-AWARDS/c1o1o/55f1db210cf24af6ea38ca94 (note: this can only be viewed off campus).

news-laura-insetAward winning seminar leader
We’re delighted to announce that Laura Montesi has been awarded 2nd prize in the Social Sciences Seminar Leader Teaching Awards. The panel praised Laura for her active interest in teaching and her creative teaching approach. They also noted Laura’s excellent ability to motivate students and respond to their needs. Laura wins a financial prize to help towards her studies.  As a School we have a wonderful team of PhD students who lead seminars whilst undertaking their ATAP qualifications.  They are high calibre students who demonstrate great commitment and enthusiasm to support the learning of our undergraduates. So, we’re delighted to see that this quality has been recognised by the Faculty.

news-caroline-insetLecturing post
Congratulations to SAC alumna and colleague Caroline Bennett who has secured a two-year post as a lecturer in Cultural Anthropology from January 2016. Caroline is excited to be joining the team at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Caroline is a wonderful asset to our School and has been at the heart of our community for many years, having studied for her Master’s degree and PhD with us. We are always sad to see people leave but pleased that, once again, we are able to give of our best and are sure that Caroline will become a significant member of the Victoria University team.

Global fellowship awarded to SAC alumna
news-bernadette-insetDr. Bernadette Montanari is an ethnobiologist, ethnobotanist and an associate member of the Centre for Biocultural Diversity. She has worked mainly with aromatic and medicinal plants and traditional ecological knowledge with Berber communities in the High Atlas of Morocco. Her work has focused on: top-down governance guidelines, community development through social enterprise and traditional ecological knowledge. Dr. Montanari was recently awarded a Marie-Curie Sklodowska Global Fellowship (2015-2018), funded by the EU. She will explore whether women are able to gain social status and economic development through applying their traditional ecological knowledge in the context of the Green Morocco Plan. Her study is policy-relevant and aims to establish the gender dimension more prominently in government and donor policies and programmes so as to improve the working conditions of rural women in Morocco. She will spend two years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a year at the International Institute of Social Sciences in the Netherlands when returning to Europe.

Joint Herpetological Scientific Meeting
The Joint Herpetological Scientific Meeting held in Dublin on 8 September provided an opportunity for past and present herpetological students from DICE to share experiences (and imbibe some of Dublin’s renowned black stuff…). Gail Austen gave a talk on her PhD work on citizen science while Rob Ward and Nurul Zakaria presented posters on their work on grass snakes and great crested newts respectively. Richard Griffiths rounded up proceedings in his capacity as President of the British Herpetological Society, who co-hosted the meeting. The report can be found on the HSI website.


From left to right in the photo: Jim Foster (now Conservation Officer, ARC Trust), Andy Buxton, Izabela Menezes-Barata, Gail Austen, Helena Turner, Nina Cornish (now Ecologist, Jersey States), Gemma Harding (ecological consultant), Rob Ward (half a head…), Richard Griffiths, Nurul Zakaria


University success
Not only are we part of a great School but we’re also part of a successful University – which is being recognised for its research excellence and quality teaching!

  • University of The Year Award: Kent have been shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Awards 2015 (winners to be announced on 26th November
  • Placed in the top 10% of the world’s leading universities for international outlook by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
  • Ranked 23rd by the Times Higher Education – sitting us amongst the Russell Group institutions
  • Ranked 16th in the Guardian University Guide – a significant increase
  • Rated as being amongst the top 10% best universities in the world by the QS World Ranking, giving us a ranking of 17th for research intensity, in reflection of our outstanding REF 2014 results.

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