Jisc announces 2023 community champions

Fifteen champions and seven finalists have been chosen across UK education and research communities.

Jisc’s community champion awards celebrate the extraordinary individuals going above and beyond in further and higher education, and research.  

Established in 2020, the awards bring together inspirational groups that provide a lifeline to help people and institutions adapt and learn. Since then, 44 people have been named a Jisc community champion.  

This year’s champions and finalists gave up their time and worked tirelessly to support their cause. Whether they are a community's unsung hero, the technical whizz, the advocate, or pioneer, they have gone above and beyond. 

The champions will receive a VIP experience at Digifest 2023, with travel, accommodation and celebratory evening meal included. 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: 

“Celebrating the community champions is the highlight of my year. Many of our champions do not realise how much they are appreciated, and being able to share that news is a privilege.  

“The champions, finalists, and nominees promote shared learning, collaborative problem solving, and a sense of togetherness; the value of which should not be underestimated. 

“We have been amazed with the quality of nominations for 2023 and would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to submit.” 

Jisc’s 2023 community champions

  • Alison Harvey, Cardiff University  
  • Chris Banks, Imperial College London 
  • Chris Price, Swansea University 
  • Erika Neck, The College, Merthyr Tydfil 
  • Dr Flavio Azevedo, University of Cambridge  
  • Geena Vabulas, Karten Network and/ Policy Connect  
  • Jo Fletcher-Saxon, Ashton Sixth Form College 
  • Joy McLean, West College Scotland  
  • Kelly Edwards, Harlow College  
  • Lisa Charkiewicz, South Essex College of Further and Higher Education  
  • Niamh Tumelty, The University of Cambridge  
  • Rachel Öner, Öner Consultancy an advocate for the NATECLA community  
  • Seima Mahmood, Bradford College  
  • Susan Robbins, University of Sussex  
  • Valerie McCutcheon, University of Glasgow  

Jisc’s community champion finalists

  • Alina Tasadaq, Leeds Trinity University 
  • Monika Worthington, Bradford College 
  • Sarah Waddington, Socially Mobile (CIC and PR Leadership School) 
  • Kerry Heathcote, College of West Anglia 
  • Jonathan Selvage, Chelmsford College 
  • Dominik Lukes, University of Oxford 
  • Stacy Vipas, Askham Bryan College

Find out more

For more information about communities at Jisc, and to meet our champions (past and present) register for Digifest and visit us at the dedicated communities area. Attendance at Digifest counts towards the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation.