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BERA Announces the 2023 Academic Citizen of the Year

BERA is delighted to announce Dr Victoria Showunmi as the inaugural recipient of BERA’s Academic Citizen of the Year award. This new award was created to honour a member of the wider academic community who has gone above and beyond in supporting colleagues and contributing to the wider discipline. It recognises those who go beyond their own institution, supporting and encouraging colleagues, contributing to the wider academic community through learned societies and other groupings and engaging in wider public communities.

Nominated by BERA members and judged by the Engagement Committee, Dr Showunmi epitomises what this award celebrates. She has and continues to serve the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) and the Gender and Education Association in a number of roles as well as serving as an associate editor for the International Journal of Leadership in Education, and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality & Diversity.

Beyond the academy, she has regularly worked with schools, local authorities and the voluntary sector to promote representation and leadership amongst underrepresented groups and raise awareness and understanding of issues round racial and sexual inequality.

This builds upon Dr Showunmi’s leadership and support of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at the UCL Institute of Education. The judges were particularly struck by the testimony to Dr Showunmi’s commitment to supporting the career progression of diverse staff within UCL, including staff applying for professorial appointments empowering them to benefit from networks across UCL and beyond. Here she has also been a leading contributor to initiatives which enhance EDI, by focusing on issues of gender, race, disability, LBGTQ+, and age as well as overseeing the IOE’s strategy for the Athena Swan silver award that it is working towards.

Dr Showunmi will be presented with her award at the BERA 2023 Awards Ceremony on November 8, 2023 in London. BERA members can register to attend here