Postgraduate Study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary Futures Await

Featuring Dr. Neneh Rowa-Dewar

Since January 2021, Dr. Neneh Rowa-Dewar has co-directed the part-time Master of Public Health (MPH) programme together with Dr. Rose Geddes.

Neneh has previously worked on the MPH part-time and full-time programmes as the Dissertation Lead and retains this responsibility for the part-time programme alongside leading the student-led SLICC course. 

During 2020, Neneh helped almost 100 students across two programmes navigate the dissertation process in a climate where they could not come to university and the research methods had to constantly change in response to the pandemic. Neneh also provided a great deal of pastoral support for students who were stressed and isolated, worried that the project they had planned for could no longer happen. Her students completed and graduated with marks no lower than any other cohort, in thanks largely to her guidance.

CMVM Staff Recognition nomination“Student Experience” category
photo of Neneh

While Neneh’s main interest and passion is education, she has worked as a qualitative health researcher for 15 years at the University of Stirling and at the University of Edinburgh in health topics such as cancer and tobacco focusing on understanding and addressing health inequalities in these areas. Her main research focus is preventing and reducing smoking in the home and her PhD on children and young people’s views and experiences of their parents’ smoking in the home was instrumental in introducing the policy which banned smoking in cars in Scotland.

Neneh’s current Scottish Government funded-project together with Dr Rachel O’Donnell and other colleagues from the University of Stirling and Stephen McBurney, an alumni student from the MPH programme, explores how nicotine replacement therapy can be used for temporary abstinence from smoking in the home.

Since I joined the Master of Public Health team two years ago, Neneh has been simply amazing in supporting and encouraging me and colleagues to develop and further our ideas and personal development, whether that be through sharing ideas over over a coffee or a thumbs up in Teams. Neneh is always open in sharing her own experiences and has been involved in a number of inspirational projects, including the UNCOVER network, which I am proud to be part of. Providing a pathway for postgraduate students to be involved in real-life rapid reviews during the pandemic demonstrates Neneh's commitment to the development of others. Coupled with co-organising the student/staff UNCOVER conference last year no doubt cements Neneh as an inspiration not only to myself, but many more in the hub. We are lucky to have Neneh :)

CMVM Student Recognition nomination“Inspiring Others” category

Alongside health research, Neneh is involved in educational co-creation research with students and staff and is currently working on a PTAS project which develops student developmental pathways in UNCOVER. In her role as the staff-student liaison in UNCOVER, Neneh supports and strengthens the student voice and role and flattens the staff and student hierarchy, which is part of the ethos of UNCOVER.

I nominate Neneh for her work in organising student involvement in UNCOVER and making possible a new type of MPH dissertation based on three rapid reviews and a reflection of experience working in the UNCOVER team environment. She has been extremely supportive to MPH students who have been keen to contribute to the COVID response and enabled them to pursue this within their MPH.

Usher Institute Staff Recognition nomination“Outstanding contribution to the student experience” category

For the past year, Neneh has also taken on the role of Director of Quality for the Deanery. In this role, she and the Deputy Director of Quality, Sharon Levy, work with representatives from all Usher Masters programmes and Professor Nick Gilbert from the Institute of Genetics and Cancer (IGC) in the Deanery of Molecular, Genetic and Population Health Sciences (DMGPHS) Quality Committee to maintain and enhance academic standards and the student experience. Their activities currently focus on enhancing tutor feedback given to students, dissertation support provision and student wellbeing.

Neneh is an asset to the University, and we're very glad she's an integral part of Usher Institute's Postgraduate Teaching Team.