LGBT Role Models and Allies

Our LGBT roles models and allies work at The University of Sheffield, within the local community or have Sheffield connections .....



lgbt role modelProfessor Gill Valentine: Pro-Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Social Sciences

Gill has been leading the faculty since 2012 and is the University’s senior LGBT champion. Gill’s distinguished career has seen her author and edit 15 books and her influential research has helped shape government policy and strategy. This year Gill was awarded the highly prestigious Murchison Award for publications in recognition of her outstanding work on the geography of difference, equality and diversity.


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Josh Willacy: Stonewall Client Account Manager

Josh is the University’s Stonewall Client Account Manager. He joined Stonewall in December 2014 and provides a high quality service to employers, either through Diversity Champions programme or on a consultancy basis. He supports the wider aims of Stonewall in promoting LGBT equality in the UK, and supports their events, campaigns, conferences and training programmes.


Lgbt role model

Bella Qvist: Journalist and Vlogger

Bella is a freelance journalist, vlogger, writer and video maker. Originally from Sweden, she lives in Sheffield and writes on pop culture, language, music, food, online trends, LGBT and diversity issues. She has written on bisexual issues for DIVA and The Guardian and contributes to DIVA’s HiBi tumblr. Bella revels in questioning the way sexuality is portrayed in the media and her article on labels and bisexuality was recently published in Grazia magazine. Her Youtube channel ‘Backstage with Bella’ is a hub of queer culture online.  Public speaking engagements include speaking at the London School of Economics and The University of Sheffield. She is also the Chair of E.D.E.N Film, a Sheffield based film production company campaigning for LGBT equality and visibility and has been included on the ‘Biscuit Purple’ List which celebrates people whose work has benefited the bisexual community.


lgbt role modelEddie Izzard: Stand-up comedian, actor and writer

In 2006, Eddie received an honorary doctorate in Letters from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sheffield where he completed an Accounting and Financial Management course in the early 1980s. In 2010, he was elected as the Honorary President of the University of Sheffield Students’ Union. Eddie started to freely talk about his transvestism at venues like Edinburgh Festival as early as 1992. His stance is that cross-dressing is neither part of his performance nor a sexual fetish. He identifies as "a straight transvestite or a male lesbian". He has also described himself as "a lesbian trapped in a man's body", transgender and "a complete boy plus half girl".


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Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon - Faculty of Engineering

In addition to mechanical engineering, Elena has MBA’s in Industrial Relations and Industrial Management as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. Her achievements include co-founding of the first University Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Network and founding the Ibberson Centre for Entreprise, known as Elab. Her coveted roles include the University of Sheffield’s Director of Enterprise Education and Faculty of Engineering's Director of Women in Engineering, from 2011 to 2014, when she then took on the position of Faculty Director of Communications and External Relations. Follow Elena's blog #ILookLikeAnLGBTEngineer


lgbt role modelDr Matthew Mears: University Teacher in Physics

Matt joined the department of Physics and Astronomy in 2002 as an undergraduate, stayed for a PhD in 2006, followed by a Research Fellowship and Teaching Fellowship. He was appointed as University Teacher in 2014. His research interests include Physics, education in HE, Directed motion of self-motile cells, Cellular adhesion in male factor infertility, Glass transition of thin films and Polymers at surfaces and interfaces. As well as representing LGBT staff and students within the department Matt is the LGBT rep on the Faculty of Science E&D committee and is chair of the LGBT Staff Network.


Sarah Shahid

Sarah Shahid - ELTC Clerical Assistant

Sarah joined the University in 2008 and has worked in the English Language Teaching Centre for the past 6 years. As an out and proud bisexual, Sarah was elected to represent all UNISON Bi members nationally at UNISON's LGBT conference in 2010. She is passionate about working towards eradicating Bi-phobia and Bi-Invisibility and has delivered conference workshops on these subjects. Sarah is keen to continue raising awareness of these issues and also hopes to work as a Counsellor with LGBT youth in the near future.


Jeremy clinesDr Jeremy Clines: University Anglican Chaplain

Jeremy M S Clines is Sheffield-born and is of colonial-Australian and Arab-Jewish descent. He received honours degrees in English and Education (Surrey) and Theology (Durham) and completed his ministerial training (Durham and at the Irish School of Ecumenics, Dublin) in the 1990’s.  Jeremy has a varied academic profile. He is a member of SIIBS and is involved in the following topic and project areas in relation to religion, Church and worship:
Leadership, Religion and Society and Faiths in HE Chaplaincy; • liberating theologies of all shapes and sizes; • storying, LGBT+ identities and the Church; • Christian relationships with the World Religions;
spiritual accompaniment, spiritual story-telling and Godly Play; • spiritual development and spiritual wellbeing.


Lgbt role model

Stewart Campbell: Concerts Director

Stewart is Artistic Director of The University of Sheffield Concerts.  He is responsible for the programming, planning and production of the busy annual series of concerts, festivals and other creative music projects.  He also oversees the series' development, promotion, administration and financial performance. Alongside working at the University, Stewart also has a professional singing career as a tenor.


lgbt role modelJess Meacham - Student Support Tutor

Jess joined Journalism Studies in August 2014 after several years working in student support and administration for the School of Health & Related Research. As Student Support Tutor, she is the point of contact for students experiencing difficulties during their studies. Working with both academic and support staff, she ensures that the student support processes offer the best possible experience for students. Between 2008 and 2011 Jess taught in the School of English. Her research interests include gender, sexuality and queer theory, war literature and contemporary women's fiction. Jess is also a member of the staff disability and LGBT networks.


lgbt role modelDr Rosie Valerio: former Director of Human Resource Management

For 17 years, Rosie was the Director of Human Resource Management at The University of Sheffield. In this role she established the University’s reputation as an employer welcoming and celebrating diversity amongst its staff, sought to improve career prospects for women and led the University to recognition as an equal opportunity employer for LGBT colleagues. Under her leadership the HR team won the award as the best in a UK university in 2010. Now retired, she decided to use funds donated for her retirement, matched by support from the Vice-Chancellor, to develop The University of Sheffield Portrait of a Woman Prize, leading to the commissioning of a formal portrait designed to reflect the contribution of women to the University. To acknowledge her work and achievements, Rosie received an Honorary Degree in July 2015.


lgbt role modelDr Nicky Hallett:  Reader - School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Nicky joined the School of English in 2007, having worked for several years immediately before that at the University of Kent, where she co-founded, with Jan Montefiore, a Centre for Gender, Sexuality & Writing. Her research interests are broadly in those subject areas, particularly as they relate to women´s self-writing and auto/biography, from around the later fourteenth century through to the contemporary period.


lgbt role modelDr Mark Pendleton: Lecturer in Japanese Studies

Mark is a social and cultural historian who joined School of East Asia Studies in January 2012 after completing a PhD in history at the University of Melbourne. His interdisciplinary research includes drawing from history, cultural studies, memory studies, literature, geography and critical theory. His core interest is the history of 20th century Japan but his active research interests include the histories of gender and sexuality, transnational social movement histories, the politics of violence and the relationship between memory and history. Within the School of East Asian Studies, Mark is the Japanese Studies undergraduate degree tutor. He also serves on the Faculty of Social Sciences Equality and Diversity Committee and the University's Gender Equality Committee.


lgbt role models

Professor Jacqueline Marsh - Faculty of Social Sciences Director of Learning and Teaching

Jackie’s research is focussed on the role and nature of popular culture, media and new technologies in young children’s literacy practices, both in-and out-of-school contexts. Jackie’s activities include: Faculty of Social Sciences Director of Learning and Teaching, 2013; Head of the School of Education, 2009 – 2012; Co-editor, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy; Chair, UKLA/ Wiley Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Award Committee 2011-2013; Member of ESRC Peer Review College.


lgbt role modelsCouncillor Neale Gibson - Labour Councillor for Walkley

Neale is a local business man in Sheffield and is the current Labour Councillor for Walkley. He is the Director and co-owner of several business including Mowbray Accounting Ltd, Gemfish IT Ltd and Red Sea Dream Ltd. As well as working with local businesses in the South Yorkshire area to help them improve and enhance their business offerings, Neale is also Assistant to the Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, Member of GMB, Chair of Central Local Area Partnership and LGBT Champion for Sheffield and in Civil Partnership with Hussen. He is also an avid foodie and fan of Coronation Street and the Archers.


lgbt role modelMr Mark Feakins - Award Winning Photographer

Mark trained as an actor before going into theatre management and becoming first General Manager at the Young Vic Theatre, London and then Executive Producer at Sheffield Theatres where he worked alongside artistic director Sam West. A management restructure prompted a career change and in 2009 he set up his own business Marmalade Photography. His passion for creative photography has won Mark the coveted award of Best Wedding Photographer in Yorkshire in 2014, 2013 and 2012.


lgbt role modelDaniel Evans: Artistic Director at Sheffield Theatres

Daniel trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.  His work as an actor includes leading roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Theatre, Royal Court and Donmar Warehouse, as well as roles on television and film in Doctor Who and Les Misérables.  Daniel began directing in 2005 and was appointed Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres in 2009.  During his tenure, the organisation won Best Regional Theatre for an unprecedented consecutive two years.


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Jane Wright - Partner, Irwin Mitchell

A partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell in 1995, Jane is passionate about providing a legal service to clients who have sustained life changing injuries. She has been involved in a number of ground breaking cases including Sowden v Lodge and Havenhand v Geoffrey. She says ‘As a lesbian partner, I am proud to work in a firm with a strong culture of celebrating diversity. Our people are our key strength and IM provides a positive and open working environment. We have an active LGBT networking group, are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and rank as a Stonewall Top 100 Employer.’


Updated July 2016