Personal Chair achievement for College of Human and Health Sciences academic staff

Four members of academic staff from Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences have been promoted to personal chair.

Dr Deborah Fitzsimmons, Dr John Gammon, Andrea Tales and Jane Thomas all receive the title, which is one of the highest academic distinctions a University can confer upon its staff.

With over 17 years’ experience as a health services researcher, Dr Deborah Fitzsimmons is the Swansea Centre for Health Economics’ Academic Director.  Deborah also contributes to the delivery of teaching across a range of undergraduate and master’s programmes within the College, leading the BSc and MSc modules in Health Economics. She continues to pursue her continued interest in cancer care by co-developing one of the first MSc Cancer Rehabilitation Modules in the UK. 

Dr John Gammon is also Deputy Head of College with specific responsibility for managing strategic developments in relation to engagement, innovation and collaboration with key stakeholders.  A nurse by background, his is research and teaching relates to Healthcare Management, Governance, HR and Infection Prevention and Control.  He has significant experience in higher education and considerable experience in working to influence and develop healthcare education and health policy with national and international health governments, and working with international healthcare companies advising on medical devices and associated healthcare products. 

Having worked in the Clinical Sciences and Psychology Departments at Bristol University for several years as a Research and Senior Research Fellow Andrea Tales joined Swansea University in November 2012.  Based in the Psychology Department she runs a collaborative research programme examining visual and attention-related function in Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, mild cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive decline compared to cognitively healthy ageing.  Much of this research has been funded by the 'BRACE-Alzheimer's Research' Charity.  Andrea is also involved in lecturing on ageing and dementia and plays an active role in the Department of Psychology’s employability strategy.

Jane Thomas is Deputy Head of College – Teaching, Learning and Professional Practice.  With a range of professional health service experience she has already had a varied and successful career in higher education having been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2012 and a Higher Education Academy Principal Teaching Fellowship.  Jane was the Superintendent of Assessment for Swansea University until 2012 when she was appointed as Director of the Swansea Academy for Learning & Teaching (SALT).  She sustains an active teaching role and is programme director for the MSc Public Health and Health Promotion.

Head of College, Professor Ceri Phillips said: “The process of securing a personal chair is particularly rigorous and applications are subject to scrutiny and review from experts in the relevant academic areas.  We, as a College, look forward to the contributions that these members of staff will make as we move forward.”