Inspirational Women

Zainab Mai-Bornu

Zainab joined the University in April 2021 as a lecturer in International Politics with a particular focus on the politics of Africa. She has achieved an enormous amount since then – in research-led education, in developing her world-leading research and in her citizenship role. She has made a huge difference to students by developing a module that brings African expertise into the classroom using a whole series of guest speakers, and gives our students from the African diaspora a strong sense of belonging to a learning community that is safe and inclusive. She even cooked them all a Nigerian feast!

In her role as plagiarism officer, she has taken an inspiring, supportive and positive approach that has enhanced students' learning environment. She developed a workshop for repeat plagiarism offenders, showing enormous resourcefulness and self-sufficiency as well as working collaboratively with colleagues across the University.

Her research on the role of women in Nigeria's conflicts is genuinely interdisciplinary and collaborative, and draws on a participatory methodology that amplifies the voices of poor women in the Global South. In her short time here, she has successfully applied for an ERSC IAA grant and a centenary scholarship.

Zainab is incredible. She exemplifies compassion for students, and is a role model for how to bring that care into the classroom and into teaching. She has made me think about and reflect on the best ways to offer support to others, both students and staff, and on how to manage the violence and uncertainty of the world.

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