New Professors and Readers announced at Newman University

14/09/2020 by Charlotte Hughes

With a focus on Arts, Humanities and Sports academic staff at Newman University, we are pleased to announce the confirmation of new titles of Readers and Professors for a number of staff.

Dr Persephone Sextou becomes Professor in Applied Theatre for Health and Wellbeing, whilst Dr Tony Myers becomes Professor in Quantitative Methods.

Three new Readers are confirmed as Dr Louise Hickman, Reader in Philosophy and Religion, Dr Adam Benkwitz as Reader in the Sociology of Sport and Health, and Dr Chris Langley as Reader in Early Modern History.

Dr Persephone Sextou: Professor in Applied Theatre for Health and Wellbeing

Persephone Sextou

Professor Persephone Sextou is a leading expert in applied theatre for health and wellbeing and the director of the Community & Applied Drama Laboratory (CADLab) at Newman University Birmingham. She is Adjunct Research Fellow at Griffith University Australia and chief-investigator of an innovative project combining the arts with VR technology in children’s palliative care in Queensland and Victoria. She is widely published, cited, funded and featured in the media. Her aim continues to be the improvement of people’s lives through bedside performance, object theatre and puppetry, storytelling, film and VR technology by using mixed methodologies in arts-based research in health and wellbeing contexts and environments.

View more about CADLab.
View Persephone’s staff profile.

Professor Tony Myers: Professor in Quantitative Methods

Tony Myers

Dr Tony Myers of Newman University, Birmingham, has been appointed as Professor in Quantitative Methods. Tony, the chair of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES), Sport, Exercise and Health Analytics Special Interest Group, is a sought-after expert on Bayesian data analysis and is involved with a number of national and international collaborations and funded projects. He is also a world authority on judging Muay Thai, his research influencing judging practice in the sport internationally.

View Tony’s staff profile.

Dr Louise Hickman: Reader in Philosophy and Religion

Louise Hickman

Louise is Reader in Philosophy and Religion, and programme lead for taught post-graduate Theology provision. She studied for her first two degrees at the University of Exeter and completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge. She has published on various aspects of the history of philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and science and religion. From 2011-2018, she was editor of Reviews in Science and Religion.

Louise is a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion and a Senior Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy. She is also a trustee of the Trussell Trust.

Louise researches the history of philosophy, focusing particularly on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British philosophy. Much of her work is centred on Platonism and dissenting traditions of thought. She is keen to bring this interest in history into conversation with the philosophy of religion and with science and religion. This forms the basis of her recent research into an ethico-political re-conception of the philosophy of religion.

Louise welcomes enquiries from prospective research students in the following areas: Philosophy of Religion, Philosophical Theology, and Eighteenth-Century Rational Dissenting thought.

View Louise’s staff profile.

Dr Adam Benkwitz: Reader in the Sociology of Sport and Health

Adam Benewitz

Dr Adam Benkwitz is Head of Sport and Health and Social Care at Newman University. He is also a Reader in the Sociology of Sport and Health and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

In 2019 Adam won a national ‘Advance HE Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE)’, along with colleagues and students for their work on mentoring and learning analytics. He currently works on a range of research projects with partners including Rethink Mental Illness, Sport England, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT, where he is Chair of the Recovery Committee), Aston Villa Football Club Foundation, Birmingham MIND, Birmingham and Solihull Recovery College (for which he is Chair of the Advisory Group), Sport Birmingham, West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham County FA, as well as colleagues at numerous other HEIs.

Adam has had several successful funding awards, including £424,457 from Comic Relief’s ‘Ahead of the Game’ fund; £34,579 from BSMHFT; £30,000 from Rethink Mental Illness and Sport England; and £10,000 from MIND as part of their mental health and sport regional hub networks. He leads the ‘Mental Health through Sport’ partnership (see MentalHealththroughSport.com).

He acts as an External Examiner at Edge Hill University, acts as a reviewer of grants for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and Advance HE, as well as being a member of Birmingham City Council’s ‘Mentally Healthy City’ Forum.

He currently supervises three PhD students, and he has been involved in numerous staff/student projects relating to student engagement, mentoring and enhancing the student experience via learner analytics.

View Adam’s staff profile.

Dr Chris R. Langley: Reader in Early Modern History

Christopher Langley

Chris is Reader in Early Modern History. His research focuses on the religious and social history of early modern Britain and Ireland, with a particular focus on Scotland. His work revolves around questions of how people lived with religion and religious institutions, through warfare, disease and the ups and downs of early modern life.

He is the author of Worship, Civil War and Community, 1638-1660 and Cultures of Care: Domestic Welfare, Discipline and the Church of Scotland, c. 1600-1689, and the editor of The National Covenant in Scotland, 1638-1689. Chris is the Co-Director of the NEH and Strathmartine Trust funded project Mapping the Scottish Reformation, an open-data digital humanities collaboration.

View Chris’ staff profile.