Development & Alumni Relations Office 


03 January 2019

Five members of Queen’s University Belfast staff – including former Acting President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor James McElnay – received recognition for their work in education in the 2019 New Year’s Honours.

Overseen by the Cabinet Office Honours and Appointments Secretariat, honours are awarded on merit, for exceptional achievement or service.

From the University’s School of Pharmacy, Professor McElnay was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for his services to higher education and pharmacy.

A Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, his research interests in clinical pharmacy focus on pharmaceutical care, paediatric therapy, medication adherence and medicines management in patients receiving polypharmacy.

Professor McElnay served as Acting President and Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s following the sudden death of Professor Patrick Johnston and before the appointment of Professor Ian Greer.

Professor David Noel Livingstone – Professor of Geography and Intellectual History, at Queen's – was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), for services to Scholarship in Geography, to the History of Science and to Intellectual History.

Born in Northern Ireland, and educated at Banbridge Academy and at Queen's, where he earned a BA and a PhD, David Livingstone became a Research Officer and Lecturer at Queen’s following graduation, before becoming Reader and then Professor.

He holds a number of visiting professorships including at the University of British Columbia in Canada and the University of Notre Dame in the US.

Also receiving a CBE is Professor John Christopher McCrudden FBA for services to Human Rights Law. Christopher McCrudden is Professor of Human Rights and Equality Law at Queen’s and William W Cook Global Law Professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

A Fellow of the British Academy and a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor McCrudden holds a first class law degree from Queen’s, an LLM from Yale, two doctorates from Oxford University (a DPhil and a DCL), and an honorary LLD from Queen’s.

Renee (Sarah) Starbuck, a long-serving employee of the University who won the 'Cleaning Operative of the Year' in the Education category at the regional awards of The British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) in Belfast City Hall in November, is awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her work at Queen's over the last quarter of a century.

A cleaner in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen's Renee received the recognition for services to Higher Education.

Speaking to this week’s Sunday Life Renee, who will receive her award from the Lord Lieutenant of Belfast on April 1, initially assumed that she was the subject of an April Fools prank.

"That's what we thought when we read the letter," she said. "It's hard to take in, I'm just an ordinary body, and I’m nobody special. You work hard and hope for the best."

Residential Life Manager in Queen’s Accommodation, Gwen Katherine Smyth is also appointed a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM), for services to education.

Gwen manages a team that runs day-to-day accommodation for thousands of Queen’s students – managing budgets, providing pastoral care, and ensuring a high standard for all.

In all, almost 100 people from Northern Ireland were honoured in the New Year Honours list for 2019. Awards will be presented later in the year.

The honours system recognises those doing extraordinary things to support local communities across the UK and relies on nominations put forward by members of the public. Honours are published twice a year – at New Year and in mid-June on the Queen's official birthday.

General enquiries to Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office; tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.

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