Coventry University recognises outstanding individuals with Honorary Doctorates

Coventry University is honouring a number of amazing people whose work across a range of fields has made a huge difference to people’s lives.

This year the university is presenting Honorary Doctorates to 19 individuals who act as an inspiration to students today.

Among those to receive the honour is Elaine Yates in recognition of her community work within mental health, learning disabilities and women’s sector services over the past 30 years.

She is the CEO of Coventry Haven Women’s Aid, an organisation that has supported female survivors of abuse and their children for nearly 50 years, providing safe refuge, independent domestic violence advice and outreach and community services.

Elaine, who is receiving the Honorary Doctor of Arts, said: “This award honours and recognises the incredible work and commitment of so many women like me working in the Violence Against Women and Girls sector.

“I feel truly humbled to receive this award and want to share this recognition with all the inspirational women, colleagues, and survivors, who I have had the privilege to have been surrounded by throughout my career.

“My thanks and appreciation for the continued respect, support and ongoing collaboration between Coventry University and Coventry Haven WA.”

Also picking up the honour is Anne-Marie Imafidon, a child prodigy in computing, mathematics and language, who at the age of just 13 received a British scholarship to study mathematics at Johns Hopkins University.

Anne-Marie went on to become one of the youngest people to graduate with a master’s degree from the University of Oxford, before co-founding and becoming CEO of Stemettes, a social enterprise inspiring and promoting girls, women and non-binary people in STEM careers.

To date Stemettes has reached 60,000 young people, with a view to creating a more diverse and balanced science and technology community.

Anne-Marie said: “Some of my favourite people are from Coventry. Someone I admire hugely is Margaret Casely-Hayford, current Chancellor with whom I share an alma mater.

“And of course, Dr Nira Chamberlin, current president of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. This is a joyous occasion for me personally and professionally.”

Anne-Marie, who also hosts the Women Tech Charge podcast for the Evening Standard, is receiving the Honorary Doctor of Science.

Professor John Latham CBE, Coventry University Vice-Chancellor, said: “I would like to congratulate all those receiving Honorary Doctorates from Coventry University, their outstanding achievements in fields from science, IT and finance to music, sport and law, are an inspiration to today’s students.

“Coventry University is proud to maintain strong academic links across the world and we are a national leader in offering fantastic experiences to international students, with more than 13,000 learners from overseas choosing to study with us last year.”

This year’s honorary doctorate recipients are receiving their degrees during a series of ceremonies between 15-24th November.


The full list of this year’s honorary doctorate recipients:

Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE – Honorary Doctor of Science- In recognition of her services to young women within STEM careers.

Bruce Kent – Honorary Doctor of Letters- In recognition of his significant contribution to global peace making and the promotion of reconciliation and justice.

Dame Eileen Sills – Honorary Doctor of Science- In recognition of her significant contribution to the field of nursing and the advancement of healthcare standards.

Elaine Yates – Honorary Doctor of Arts- In recognition of her work to support vulnerable women and their children in the city of Coventry.

Frank Mills – Honorary Life Fellowship- In recognition of his exemplary contribution to the Coventry University Group and his significant contribution to economic development in the West Midlands.

George W Wagstaffe – Honorary Doctor of Arts- In recognition of his significant contributions to art and to Coventry’s post-war rebirth.

Gerald Thomas Marlow – Honorary Life Fellowship- In recognition of a career dedicated to the financial management and operation of the University.

Jane Mary Nickerson – Honorary Doctor of Science- In recognition of her significant national and local contribution to the sport of swimming.

Sir Michael Joseph Keehan – Honorary Doctor of Law- In recognition of his significant contribution to the legal community, legal education and law reform.

Michael Stuart Williams – Honorary Doctor of Business Administration- In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the public sector and third sector institutions in the Midlands.

Mohamed K Al Assam – Honorary Doctor of Arts- In recognition of his exceptional contribution to architecture in the Middle East.

Nitin Sawhney CBE – Honorary Doctor of Arts- In recognition of excellence in the arts and significant contribution to arts education.

Prita Kemal Gani – Honorary Doctor of Arts- In recognition of her contribution to public relations and communications education across ASEAN.

Priya Lakhani OBE – Honorary Doctor of Business Administration- In recognition of excellence of entrepreneurship and the application of this to help and educate others.

Dr Salim Mohammed Al Malik – Honorary Doctor of Arts- In recognition of his significant contributions towards international education, the development of peaceful international relationships in the Middle East and the elimination of poverty, illiteracy and extremism.

Professor Dr Shirley J Thompson OBE – Honorary Doctor of Arts- In recognition of outstanding contribution to the arts and arts education.

Darren Rodwell, Joanna Thomas and David Thomas have also all recently been awarded Honorary Doctorates by Coventry University at CU London.


Anne-Marie Imafidon

Elaine Yates

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About Coventry University

Coventry University is a global, modern university with a mission of Creating Better Futures. We were founded by entrepreneurs and industrialists in 1843 as the Coventry School of Design and we continue to have strong links with the public and private sector, providing job-ready graduates with the skills and creative thinking to improve their communities.

With a proud tradition of innovative teaching and learning, Coventry University has world-class campus facilities, the UK’s first standalone 5G network and a digital community of learning. Our students are part of a global network that has 50,000 learners studying Coventry University degrees in more than 40 different countries and partnerships with 150 higher education providers worldwide.

We have greatly increased our research capacity and ability with a focus on impactful research, delivered for and with partners, to address real-world challenges and support business and communities to develop and grow.

Over two centuries, we have flourished in Coventry and Coventry University Group now also delivers access to our range of high-quality services and partnerships through bases in London, Scarborough, Belgium, Poland, Egypt, Dubai, Singapore and Africa.

In recent years, we have won many awards and vastly improved our rankings in the league tables that matter to students – but what matters to us is delivering transformational change for our students, partners and communities around the world.

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