News

2024 community champions announced

Celebrating fifteen new community champions and five finalists from across UK tertiary education and research.

Jisc’s community champions programme shines a light on individuals and teams that go above and beyond to bring their communities together on topics including assistive technology, artificial intelligence, libraries, digital transformation, research and more.

The programme, launched in 2020, now consists of sixty champions nominated across five key categories: community advocate, community tech guru, community unsung hero, community pioneer and whole community.

The 2024 nominations celebrate outstanding contributions from across the tertiary education and research sectors. This includes developing and distributing innovative resources, designing and implementing new digital curricula, empowering learners with new technology and helping learners to grow and adapt.

Jisc’s 2024 community champions

  • Carolyn Fearn, Sheffield Hallam University
  • Constance Henry, Gower College Swansea
  • Dr Estelle King, Nottingham Trent University
  • Dr Isobel Bowditch, University College London
  • Dr John Bustard, Ulster University
  • Gary Steele, Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Hannah Crago, University of Essex
  • Jacinta Jolly, NPTC Group
  • John Fairgrieve, Cardiff, and Vale College
  • Kirsty Ingleson, Kirklees College
  • Libby Wilkins, The Oaks Specialist College
  • Paul Napleton, University of East Anglia
  • Phil Whitehead, DN Colleges Group
  • Piers Wilkinson, Diversity and Ability
  • Puiyin Wong, Lancaster University

Jisc’s 2024 community finalists

  • Conrad Taylor, City of Wolverhampton
  • Laura Hoare, NPTC Group of Colleges
  • Liam Green-Hughes, University of Kent
  • Lilian Joy, University of York
  • Rik Weightman, Edinburgh College

The 2024 champions have been invited to join previous winners and community members at Jisc’s flagship digital teaching, learning and research event, Digifest 2024, where they will receive a VIP experience.

The dedicated community hub at this year’s event is open to anyone that would like to learn more about the many Jisc communities of practice. Attendees can expect workshops, community meet-ups and a drop-in session for those attending Digifest for the first time to help them navigate the event and meet likeminded peers.

The finalists (nominees that made it through to the last round of judging) will receive a written commendation for their outstanding community efforts.

Natasha Veenendaal, head of community engagement at Jisc, said:

“We are delighted that this year’s winners are a near even split from further education and higher education, with each nation across the UK represented.

“Learning about the fantastic work that happens across education and research communities is one of the best parts of my job.

“We have had yet another year of exceptional nominations, with the champions and finalists truly standing out as beacons for their communities. From sharing knowledge, steering community activity, helping others adapt to innovative technologies and solving problems – they do it all.

“Being able to shine a light on their achievements and connect at Digifest is always an honour.”

Digifest 2024 is a CPD-accredited event. Attendees can contribute their learning time towards individual continuing professional development goals. Jisc members and customers receive two free in-person tickets per organisation. Register today and join us in Birmingham on 12-13 March.