It is with great sadness and regret that the University has learned of the death of Professor Melanie Jasper, Head of the College of Human and Health Sciences.
Professor Jasper’s field was nursing, and her particular interest was how nurses can improve their skills through professional development and by reflecting on their work. An outstanding researcher and teacher, she had been with us at Swansea since 2007.
In recent years she had been head of the College of Human and Health Sciences, which is the biggest College on campus in terms of numbers of students. The College draws together the disciplines of health, nursing, midwifery, social care, social policy and psychology and is the largest provider of health care education in Wales.
Professor Jasper was educated at the University of Manchester. Before joining the team at Swansea, she held academic positions at the Universities of Portsmouth and Canterbury, and was also seconded to work with the Welsh Government Chief Nursing Officer.
Addressing last year’s graduates Professor Jasper said:
“My colleagues and I work year on year to ensure that we deliver teaching that is both research-led and practice-driven. We take great pride in knowing the contribution our students will make to society, whether local, national or international.”
Her own contribution - to nursing, to the education of her students, to the College, and to Swansea University - was underlined by her colleagues in their tributes.
Swansea University Vice Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies said:
“Melanie was an outstanding leader. She brought to her University management role the high levels of professionalism she had learned in her nursing career.
She also brought with her from nursing a compassionate, caring approach to others and this was always evident in her dealings with colleagues and students.
We are all devastated that her life has been cut short by a cruel illness.”
Professor Ceri Phillips from the College of Human and Health Sciences said:
"Melanie was an inspirational leader, supportive colleague and caring friend. She will be sorely missed by her colleagues within the College and University, while messages of condolence from colleagues further afield bear testimony to the esteem and regard in which she was held.
She was a passionate advocate and promoter of the College and her profession and we will certainly miss her enthusiasm and motivation. The award of the Nursing Times Nurse Education Provider of the Year last week is a fitting testimony to Melanie’s leadership and one which the College will strive to build upon as a lasting legacy to her leadership of the College.
On a personal note I regret that I cannot thank her for the support and encouragement she provided in developing my career – which I suspect applies to many colleagues at this sad time.
The tragedy of her being taken so suddenly and at a relatively young age causes us to reflect on the fragility of life and the need for us all to strive to make a difference in the things that we do – and which Melanie did in such abundance."
Funeral arrangements: The funeral service will be held at 1.30pm on Monday 19 May 2014 at Llanelli Crematorium, Penprys Road, Dafen, Llanelli SA14 8BX.
Family flowers only. Donations if desired to either Ty Olwen Hospice, British Red Cross, or St John Ambulance Wales, c/o Inkin and Deans Funeral Directors, 2 Kilby Court, Loughor, Swansea SA4 6RQ. Tel 01792 897710.
A memorial service will also be held in due course.
- Wednesday 14 May 2014 14.50 GMT
- Wednesday 14 May 2014 14.34 GMT
- Public Relations Office