Honorary Starfleet Admiral among new recruits to Homerton
New Fellows, Bye-Fellows and Associate Fellows join the ranks
An induction ceremony on 13 March saw several new senior members join the Homerton community.
Dr Delphine Larrieu has been inducted as a Fellow of the College. Delphine is an Assistant Professor and a Sir Henry Dale Fellow in the Pharmacology Department at the University of Cambridge. She studies the nuclear envelope (NE), a crucial structure surrounding the cell nucleus. The importance of the NE is made clear by the catastrophic diseases caused when it is dysfunctional: including several cancers, muscular diseases, neurodegenerative syndromes and premature ageing syndromes (progeria).
Professor Wendy Robinson, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education at Lancaster University, is the first Homerton alumna to become an Associate Fellow. Wendy studied for the Bachelor of Education degree at Homerton when it was a dedicated teacher-training institution.
She went on to gain a Distinction on her MA in Education at the University of London, returning to Cambridge in 1994 to research for a PhD in History of Education, awarded in 1997. She began her academic career at the University of Warwick and then the University of Exeter, where she became Professor in the Graduate School of Education, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean in the College of Social Science and International Studies.
Amongst her many roles was chairing the University Race Equality Group, and Widening Participation Operations Board. She served on the advisory board of Brightside Trust, a UK education charity supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access higher education.
Wendy recalls Homerton as ‘truly formative for me personally, professionally and intellectually’, in ‘a College community where there was such a strong commitment to the core values of educational service’.
Dr Soraya Jones, well known within the College as the Director of Engagement & Operations of the pioneering Homerton Changemakers programme, also becomes an Associate Fellow. Soraya was the first CEO of Cambridge Wireless (CW) from 2007 to 2015, where she was successful in growing the business from a one-person company to a membership cluster of over 425 companies and 20 industry-focused Special Interest Groups Forums, making it one of the premier tech clusters in the UK. She stepped down in 2015 to pursue other ventures including becoming an entrepreneur-in-residence at St John’s Innovation Centre, Innovation Ambassador for the Bradfield Centre and setting up her own consultancy business. She sits on various Advisory boards including the UEA Innovation Advisory board and is also the InnovateUK Ambassador for Women in Innovation. Born in Malaysia, Soraya holds BSc and MSc degrees from Indiana University, USA, and a PhD in Education from the University of Cambridge.
Dr Una McCormack's appointment as an Associate Fellow of the College makes her (almost certainly) the first Honorary Starfleet Admiral to join the College. Una is a New York Times bestselling science fiction author. Her 2020 release, Star Trek: Picard novel The Last Best Hope became a USA Today bestseller.
She is also the author of numerous audio dramas based on TV shows such as Doctor Who and Blake’s 7, produced by Big Finish, and performed by actors David Warner, Louise Jameson, Sheila Reid, John Finnemore, among others. She sold her first SF short story at the age of 19 to Doctor Who Magazine and, since then, her short fiction has been anthologised by Gardner Dozois, Farah Mendlesohn, and Ian Whates.
Her academic work focuses on women’s science fiction and fantasy, particularly women writers of fanfiction/transformative works. She organised the first academic conference on multiple award-winning SF/F writer Lois McMaster Bujold, held at Anglia Ruskin University in August 2014. She has written on women’s reparative readings of JRR Tolkien, adaptations of Tolkien on radio and film, and on the uses of history in Doctor Who.
She appears regularly on radio to discuss science fiction, Star Trek, Doctor Who, and the writing life. An honorary Starfleet Admiral, Una has also had a major character in the current Star Trek franchise - Star Trek: Strange New Worlds - named after her.