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Honorary Doctorates for art charity director, design non-profit president and Sony academic development programme head

Three individuals have been rewarded for their contributions in the fields of the arts, design and media with Honorary Doctorates by Norwich University of the Arts (NUA).

Caroline Douglas, Director of the Conteporary Art Society, Laura Jordan Bambach, President of D&AD, and Dr Maria Stukoff, Head of Academic Development at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, receiveed their honours at the University’s 2014 graduation ceremonies in St Andrews Hall, Norwich on Tuesday. Over 500 undergraduate and postgraduate students donned gowns and mortarboards to collect their degree certificates from the University’s Chancellor, the actor John Hurt CBE, in ceremonies taking place throughout the day.

Previous recipients of Honorary Doctorates from NUA include fashion industry doyenne Anne Tyrrell MBE, celebrated pop artist Colin Self, Film London Chief Executive Adrian Wootton and Oscar-winning Harry Potter Production Designer Stuart Craig OBE.

Dr Caroline Douglas, Director of the Conteporary Art Society

Honorary Doctor at the NUA Graduation Ceremonies 2014

Dr Caroline Douglas at the NUA Graduation Ceremonies 2014

With over 20 years of experience in contemporary art, Caroline Douglas has made a significant impact in documenting the development of contemporary art collection. As the newly appointed Director of the Contemporary Art Society, Caroline works to bring private philanthropy to the support of cherished public collections in a time of significant cuts to arts funding. Prior to that appointment, Caroline served for eight years as head of the Arts Council Collection where she was responsible for securing key acquisitions by important artists, such as Jeremy Deller, Gary Hume, Wolfgang Tillmans and Grayson Perry, developing new partnerships, including with the National Trust and Christie’s, and providing advocacy and support for emerging talent.

Neil Powell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) at NUA, says: “Caroline is a leader of international significance in the field of national collections and her work as Head of the Arts Council Collections, where she was responsible for the acquisition for the nation of an extraordinary diversity of works, has set a new standard for heads of collections nationally, and beyond these shores. Caroline was generous in enabling our students to curate an exhibition of Arts Council Work here in our University Gallery and worked with our MA students to facilitate this, a relationship and partnership between the Arts Council Collections and NUA that continues to grow and flourish.”

Dr Laura Jordan Bambach, President of D&AD

Honorary Doctor at the NUA Graduation Ceremonies 2014

Dr Laura Jordan Bambach at the NUA Graduation Ceremonies 2014

A Creative Partner at digital agency Mr President, Laura Jordan Bambach has worked at a senior level at a number of creative companies including I-D Media London, LBi and Dare. Laura is recognised for her commitment to social responsibility and in 2007 she co-founded SheSays, an organisation that educates, promotes and inspires women to take up digital creative careers. Since 2013 Laura has served as President of D&AD, a non-profit organisation which celebrates the finest work in design and advertising and runs the annual New Blood competition for students.

Professor Hilary Carlisle, Dean of Arts and Design at NUA, says: “Laura was described by The Guardian Newspaper earlier this year as ‘a digital female icon’ and is the current president of D&AD – undoubtedly most important organisation for Graphic Design and Art Direction in the UK. Often described as one of the key female digital practitioners of her generation, Laura is passionate about championing and encouraging women in design, creatively embracing digital technologies and engaging in design with a conscience.”

Dr Maria Stukoff, Head of Academic Development at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe

Honorary Doctor at the NUA Graduation Ceremonies 2014

Dr Maria Stukoff at the NUA Graduation Ceremonies 2014

In her role as Head of Academic Development at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Dr Maria Stukoff leads the company’s academic development programme PlayStation®First. The programme’s provision of licences for universities and academic groups is unique in the level of access it offers to full PlayStation software and development hardware for teaching purposes. Dr Stukoff’s work in collaboration with games industry agencies has been instrumental in developing skill investment funds and attracting new talent to the industry – she sits on the Computer Games Skills Council at Creative Skillset, represents PlayStation on the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment’s Next Gen industry advisory board and is an active member of the BAFTA Women Advisory Board.

Keith Bartlett, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Quality) and Dean of Media at NUA, says: “Maria is the driving force behind Sony’s global PlayStation academic development programme. She is walking, talking vindication of our passionate belief, in the Faculty of Media, that the games industry is an important destination for talented and highly creative graduates, and that game development and design is a credible and rigorous field of study in its own right, concerned with both entertainment and social development.”

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