Congratulations to four Robinsonians who were recognised for their work in the Queen's Birthday Honours List published on Saturday12 June 2021.
Dr Arif Ahmed (Philosophy, 1996), University of Cambridge Reader in Philosophy, a Fellow of Gonville and Caius, Nicholas Sallnow-Smith College Lecturer was awarded MBE for services to education. He said, " I first heard that this was a possibility when I got a letter from the Cabinet Office about a month ago, but I didn't really believe it was going to happen until last week when the University Communications Officer got in touch." Dr Ahmed continued, "The MBE is 'For services to Education'. I've been campaigning for free speech in the University for many years. Most recently I've fought the recently-launched 'Change the Culture' initiative (now withdrawn), which tried to impose an absurd and possibly racist definition of racism and also
to encourage anonymous reporting of 'microaggressions'. Before that I was involved in a successful campaign to liberalize our Free Speech policy so as to require tolerance of all views (but respect for none), and to prevent the cancellation or shutting down of visiting speakers.
None of this would have been possible without the support and expertise of David Yates, a truly courageous and principled Head of House. I remember thinking, when I was a Ph.D. student at Robinson, how difficult it would be for the College to find a worthy successor to Lord Lewis. But it certainly did.
It's a tremendous honour for me to be recognized in this way by a country that I love, in the service of a University that I love and of the ideals of free enquiry and independence of mind."
Stephen Paul Greene (Natural Sciences Chemistry, 2001), Director of Service Operations at BT, was awarded MBE for services to British Telecom and their colleagues’ and customers’ safety during COVID-19. “I was awarded the MBE for services to colleagues and customers at BT during COVID 19, having led the response of BTs Global business to the pandemic, including ensuring we did everything possible for the safety of our people whilst maintaining the critical services we operate. It was a completely unexpected honour and reflects a huge amount of teamwork in BT during a time when connectivity has been so important to people, and its been a privilege to receive the recognition as well as surprise family and friends as I was able to tell them about it!”
Dr Katherine Henderson (1982, Medicine, SPS) was awarded an MBE for services to Emergency Medicine during Covid 19 pandemic. Dr Henderson is the President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and a consultant in Emergency Medicine at St Thomas’ Hospital. In the recent series of posts from Robinson College on the occasion of International Women’s Day Dr Henderson said, “Staff are exhausted from managing Covid-19 but we have been central to the NHS response and delivered an uninterrupted service, which makes me proud. Emergency Medicine is a speciality where you have to know when to make a decision even if you do not have all the information. No decision can sometimes put a patient in more danger than not getting it quite right.” Dr Henderson the first woman President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
Chief Constable of the Surrey Police Gavin Stephens (Management Studies, 1990) was awarded a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for his distinguished service and lasting contribution to Neighbourhood Policing in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He was nominated for his inspirational leadership and infectious enthusiasm for the job he has been doing with such dedication for 27 years, for doing the job he loves. Gavin tolld us, "From a personal perspective, one of the best moments was being able to share the news with my Mam and Dad, and my son, but it was also tinged with sadness that my late wife Sarah (Churchill 1990) was not around to celebrate with us. Sarah died in 2014 from ovarian cancer and was a huge supporter of my career in policing, and I owe her so much.’