The University of Stirling is to recognise three inspirational figures from the worlds of sport and sustainability, at its winter graduation ceremonies next week.
Scottish champion hill runner, Dr Angela Mudge, sustainability advocate, Dr Mathis Wackernagel and sports scientist, Dr Malcolm Fairweather are to be awarded honorary doctorates for the outstanding contribution and positive impact each has made in their respective fields.
The honorary graduands will become Doctors of the University, alongside 1,772 students graduating from the University’s five faculties on Thursday and Friday (24 and 25 November).
Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “Graduation is a special date in the University calendar and I look forward to welcoming to campus our graduands, and their families and friends, to celebrate this momentous occasion.
“Alongside the achievements of our graduands, we are proud to recognise Mathis Wackernagel, for his significant work in promoting sustainability, Malcolm Fairweather, for his pivotal role in improving the performance of Scotland’s athletes, and Angela Mudge, a former Stirling student who has enjoyed phenomenal success in mountain racing.
“They are fantastic role models for our students and are recognised for outstanding contributions in their respective fields.”
Dr Mathis Wackernagel
Dr Mathis Wackernagel is recognised for his outstanding contribution to advancing the global conservation around human carrying capacity, ecological economics and environmental policy.
Dr Mathis Wackernagel is co-founder and President of Global Footprint Network, an international non-profit think tank that focuses on bringing about a sustainable human economy in which all can thrive within the means of our planet.
While embarking upon a PhD in community and regional planning at the University of British Columbia in the early 1990s, he co-created the Ecological Footprint, the only metric that measures how much nature we have and how much nature we use. The Footprint helps countries improve their resource security and their residents’ wellbeing, local leaders can optimise public project investments, and individuals can track their impact on the planet.
In 2003, Mathis co-founded the Global Footprint Network with the goal to make ecological limits central to decision-making across the world. The Network has since engaged with more than 50 nations, 30 cities, and 70 global partners to deliver scientific insights for policy and investment decisions. The think tank’s Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources each year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year.
Dr Angela Mudge
Dr Angela Mudge is recognised for her outstanding contribution to sport.
Dr Angela Mudge is a Scottish, British and World Champion in hill and mountain running. Despite coming late to mountain racing, and a physical disability in childhood, she rapidly excelled, winning multiple titles in domestic and international competition, as well as breaking countless course records.
She has won the Scottish Hill Running Championships four times (1997, 1998, 2006 and 2013), the British Fell Running Championship five times (1997–2000, 2008), and holds the women’s record on an extensive list of Scottish courses.
On the international stage, amongst others, Angela won the Women’s World Mountain Running Trophy in 2000, the World Masters Mountain Running Championship in 2005 and 2010, and the Buff Skyrunner World Series in 2006 and 2007. She won the World Mountain Running Trophy’s Women’s Team Championship in 2003, whilst also finishing second in the individual championships. In 2007, she finished first in the Everest Marathon.
Angela continues to be an active hill runner whilst working as a sports and remedial massage therapist. She is also the event lead for hill and mountain running at Scottish Athletics and is Off Track Event Administrator for British Athletics.
Dr Malcolm Fairweather
Dr Malcolm Fairweather is recognised for his outstanding contribution to Sports Science research.
Dr Malcolm Fairweather is one of Scotland’s leading sports scientists and, for the last 21 years, has worked for sportscotland, the national agency for sport, where he is currently Head of Performance Solutions.
A former PE and science teacher, he completed a PhD scholarship in Motor Behaviour at Louisiana State University, where he coached many world class athletes in track and field.
In 1996, Malcolm took up one of the UK’s first appointments in skill acquisition at Moray House, University of Edinburgh and, since then, has pioneered the professional recognition and status of applied skill acquisition delivery in the UK. He was the British Association of Sports and Exercise Sciences first High-Performance Accredited Skill Acquisition practitioner, assessor and chartered scientist.
His sports coaching career expanded to rugby, helping Scottish international and British Lions players improve their performance by developing their speed, perception, and decision-making skills.
In 2001, Malcolm joined the Scottish Institute of Sport – now sportscotland – as their first employed sports scientist and, over the last two decades, has played a vital role in increasing the number of scientists, operating across various disciplines, at sportscotland.