Students Staff

02 January 2014

Honour for service to students and University

Deanna Walker

Deanna Walker has been awarded a British Empire Medal.

Senior Education Manager Deanna Walker has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours for her services to higher education.

Deanna has provided a wide range of vital services to students and to the University of Essex for 24 years. Through her role as Senior Academic Officer, and subsequently Senior Education Manager, she supports education provision in academic departments.

Academic Registrar Stephen McAuliffe said: “Deanna is instrumental in how the University recognises student achievement, being an excellent source of knowledge and advice for academic colleagues. Her focus is one of seeking to develop the junior colleagues around her and she is meticulous in ensuring that all students are treated fairly and appropriately.

“She works extremely hard to assist students in difficulty with their studies and supports students to demonstrate academic excellence; indeed her approach is recognised by the towering pile of thank you notes from students and staff who have benefited from her work. She has developed a strong expertise in assessment practices and especially in making those practices clear and understood by students.”

Deanna said: “I have always been proud to have studied and worked at Essex, and am amazed and touched to have been put forward for this honour. In truth, I feel it should be shared with all the colleagues, past and present, with whom I have been so lucky to work in the last 24 years.  They have been incredibly dedicated, knowledgeable, inspirational, kind and also great fun.  I have learnt so much from them, and continue to do so.”

Deanna has also pursued an interest in the history of the Basildon Plotlands for many years. From personal experience and extensive detailed research she has become a well-known expert in the subject and published two books: Basildon Plotlands: The Londoners’ Rural Retreat (Phillimore, 2001) and A Portrait of Basildon Plotlands: The Enduring Spirit (Phillimore, 2010, co-author Peter Jackson).

The topic is currently an area of popular interest within the social history of Essex, evidenced by the sales of her writing and her many well-attended talks and lectures to interested clubs. She has taught in day schools for the Workers Educational Association, takes part in a number of plotland-related events as a member of the Essex Wildlife Trust at Langdon Hills, a former plotland area, and leads walking tours of the Dunton Plotlands.

Other people linked to the University who were also honoured in the New Year’s Honours included 2011 Honorary Graduate Keir Starmer QC (former Director of Public Prosecutions) who has been made Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath for services to law and criminal justice and 1996 Honorary Graduate and former Professor of Philosophy at Essex, Baroness Onora O'Neill of Bengarve, who has been made a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. 

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