Students Staff

Inspirational Essex women

Dr Liz Bailey

Dr Liz Bailey

Secondary school teacher

Liz Bailey completed her BA, MA and PhD in Literature at Essex. Being a graduate teaching assistant during her studies fuelled her interest in a career in education.

In 2009, Liz began a teacher training scheme at Clacton County High School, and was subject leader for English by the end of her first year as a qualified teacher. In 2012, she joined the school’s senior management team, and was named Outstanding New Teacher of the Year at the National Teaching Awards.

Liz was named Essex Alumna of the Year in 2013.

“She was a superbly committed and enthusiastic student … a lively, friendly, funny, and at times splendidly irreverent member of the University community."
Dr Owen Robinson, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Liz herself says the secret of her success is “being willing to invest time in developing relationships with pupils and really understanding what they need to do to be successful. It’s not about fancy tricks or putting on a show – it’s about making all pupils feel like they can succeed in their lessons.”

Dr Shirin Chaudhury

Dr Shirin Chaudhury

Politician and human rights lawyer

Essex alumna Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury has received international recognition for advocating the elimination of violence against women and mainstreaming women's empowerment and employment in her native Bangladesh.

Herself a scholarship student at Essex, she has first-hand experience of the incredible role education can play. Shirin is a lawyer and expert in constitutional law and human rights. She was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to study a PhD at Essex, in Constitutional Law and Human Rights (2000).

She is the Speaker of Jatiyo Sangshad (Bangladesh Parliament) the supreme legislative body of Bangladesh. She is the first woman, and youngest person, to ever hold this position, breaking down previously held gender barriers.

In 2015, with fellow Essex Alumnus and Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, she opened a conference of Commonwealth parliamentarians looking at the practical and social understanding of rights and freedoms today.

Dr Clara Sandoval

Dr Clara Sandoval

Human rights lawyer

Many parts of the world have experienced large-scale abuse of human rights. Coming to terms with this difficult legacy by ensuring accountability, justice and reconciliation, is a human challenge. Human rights lawyer and lecturer, Dr Clara Sandoval plays a central role in helping people and communities across the world achieve just this.

Clara's academic career in law and human rights was fuelled by a childhood exposed to conflict in her home country of Colombia.

Today her work on transitional justice focuses on how we can better support those who have suffered human rights violations. Dr Sandoval and Lorna McGregor, both from Essex's Human Rights Centre, fought to secure justice for Leopoldo Gracia Lucero who was forced into exile after being tortured and arbitrarily detained under the Pinochet regime.

Through her work in the Essex Transitional Justice Network, organisations like REDRESS, and in human rights litigation, Clara continues as a champion for human rights and transitional justice.

Professor Maria Fasli

Professor Maria Fasli

Computer scientist

Modern technologies are constantly changing and reshaping the way we interact with each other. The speed at which individuals, businesses, organisations and governments are generating data is increasing at an unprecedented rate, and making sense of that data has never been more important.

Professor Maria Fasli is at the very forefront of tackling the technical challenges of doing this. She leads a team of experts from a diverse range of academic disciplines to uncover what big data means in today's world. From computer science to maths, biological science, economics and human rights, Maria's team looks at how data can give insight into broader societal issues.

Professor Pam Cox

Professor Pam Cox

Social historian

Social historian Professor Pam Cox introduced millions of people to the intricacies of life for Edwardian and Victorian servants and 'shopgirls' through her books and BBC TV programmes. Pam was inspired to investigate the area because her great-grandparents had both been in service.

Today, Pam continues her campaign for women's rights in the workplace. In her 2014 TEDx talk, which marked the 40th anniversary of the 1974 Women's Charter, she called for a new one to be drawn up for women. She went on to help organise a conference that further developed the argument in favour of a new Women's Charter and spurred people on to take action.

Today, she is working with Fuel Theatre on their Phenomenal People project, a global live and digital event that celebrates inspiring women.