Nona has over 25 years’ experience in higher education as a business management lecturer, course leader and as a deputy head of faculty in London. Prior joining Solent, Nona was the Director of Student Achievement at Kingston University, London and, before that, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. During this time, Kingston rose to the top 50 in the league tables and gained a national reputation for closing the BME attainment gap.
Nona is the chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group (2012-present), a member of the UUK Advisory panel on racial harassment and a member of the Advance HE Peer Review Advisory Panel. Over the last decade Nona has worked closely with NUS, Advance HE and the Office for Students to raise the profile of learning and teaching, co-creation with students and race equality and inclusion for both staff and students. In 2017 Nona became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded an OBE for her services to diversity and higher education.
Continuing to write about race equality and the inclusive curriculum, Nona has successfully bid for projects worth more than £1.2 million to enhance student success and disseminate her practice across the sector. She received the Guardian Teaching Excellence Award in 2017 for her Inclusive Curriculum Framework (2017) and the Guardian Diversity Award (2014) for innovation and excellence in promoting diversity in academia. In 2012 she was invited to address the All Party Parliamentary Group, Higher Education where she advocated for step changes in diversity in academia.
Nona was selected to join the Teaching Excellence Framework main panel as the widening participation expert and served on the ministerial Social Mobility Advisory Group, which was convened to improve social mobility through partnership working.
Nona was the guest editor of the Compass Special Edition on BME attainment and has been a member of the peer review panel for publications for the NUS and the Leadership Foundation. Nona was invited as a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte to share her work on inclusion. Nona has worked with universities in Sweden, India and Japan.
Nona emigrated to the United Kingdom when she was five and has lived in London until she moved to Southampton in 2019 to take up her position at Solent. She has two adult children, a baby grandson and looks after Pepper, her son’s cockapoo, whenever possible.