University of Sheffield professor honoured by King

5th July 2023

A University of Sheffield professor has been appointed MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours.

  • University of Sheffield professor has been awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours
  • Professor Lauren Rea, from the University’s School of Languages and Cultures, has been honoured in recognition of her services to education in Latin America and the UK
  • Professor Rea’s research is at the forefront of promoting gender equality in Latin American schools by celebrating women who helped shaped the region
  • A University of Sheffield alumnus - Andy Haldane, former Bank of England chief economist - has also been honoured for his services to the economy and public policy

A University of Sheffield professor has been appointed MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Professor Lauren Rea, from the University of Sheffield’s School of Languages and Cultures, has been honoured in recognition of her services to education in Latin America and the UK.

Professor Rea co-directs the Great Latin American Women project - a transmedia education initiative that is promoting gender equality in Latin American schools by celebrating women who helped shape the region.

In collaboration with Euhen Matarozzo, Director of Billiken - the world’s longest running children’s magazine based in Argentina - the project offers resources to primary school teachers to help them teach gender equality through the lives of inspirational women. 

The women featured - such as Colombian Independence heroine Policarpa Salavarrieta and Prudencia Ayala, a pioneering campaigner for women’s rights in El Salvador - are raising awareness of the roles that historical women have played in the formation of Latin American societies. 

Women such as Argentine virologist Andrea Gamarnik and Guatemalan activist and rapper Rebeca Lane, are showcasing the diversity of contemporary women’s leadership across different fields, and promoting positive female role models for both boys and girls.

The stories of this diverse group of leading women are told in short animated films. Their lives and achievements form the basis of education resources that can be used in primary school classrooms for teaching across the curriculum. 

Professor Rea and the team have made these resources freely available to help inspire young Spanish speakers in Latin America and throughout the world. 

The initiative has gathered international recognition, including in the global media content industry, with the project’s series of animated films selected as a finalist at the prestigious MipCom DiversifyTV awards

In addition to the Great Latin American Women project, Professor Rea is also leading a project from the British Academy to investigate the consequences of the pandemic on access to education, the attainment gap, and family economies in five diverse regions of Argentina. Professor Rea is working with academics and Indigenous teachers to co-produce educational resources that incorporate intercultural perspectives into the teaching of patriotic anniversaries.

In the UK, Professor Rea is a trustee of the children's literacy charity Grimm & Co, based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The charity supports under-resourced children and young people aged 0 to 18 with their confidence and skills around creativity and writing

At the University of Sheffield, Lauren is a Professor of Latin American Studies, Director of Research and Innovation for the School of Languages and Cultures and is on the leadership team of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development - an international centre of excellence that is using research to tackle global development challenges. 

On her appointment as MBE, Professor Rea said:

“I have the great privilege of working with inspiring groups and individuals from across the Latin American region and it’s wonderful to see our efforts recognised in this way. I am grateful for the support of the AHRC and British Academy who have funded my research and, of course, for the help and encouragement of my colleagues, friends and family.”

A University of Sheffield alumnus has also been honoured in the King’s Birthday Honours. 

Andy Haldane, former Bank of England chief economist and head of the Royal Society of Arts, has been awarded a CBE for his services to the economy and public policy.

Earlier this year, Andy was appointed chair of the industrial board at University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The AMRC works with manufacturing companies of all sizes, from SMEs to global giants of industry, to help businesses improve productivity and save time, money and energy. The purpose of the industrial board is to advise on the topics for the AMRC’s research and development roadmap, ensuring that its work focuses on the right challenges and opportunities for industry. 

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