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Professor Dame Sue Black


As a teenager…
I was quiet and I was studious.  I never liked to be noticed and I found very early on that my best chance to carve out my own life was a) to have a boyfriend who was bigger than anyone else’s and b) focus on my schoolwork and get good grades in my exams.  I had a few close friends but I was introverted and didn’t like noisy parties, the politics of teenagers and I couldn’t abide how cruel they could be to one another.
After school…
I went to Aberdeen University because I got a government grant.  It allowed me to live away from home and learn how to stand on my own two feet.  I discovered the subject of human anatomy and by 19 years of age found myself in the dissecting room studying a human cadaver.  I loved it.  There was so much learning to be done and so much attention to detail.  I then started to apply my research to forensic investigations.
Now I’m…
Now I am a Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology and Lancaster University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor for Engagement.  I have a BSc, a PhD and 6 other honorary degrees.  I was awarded an OBE by her Majesty the Queen after the war crimes investigations in Kosovo and then she honoured me again with a DBE (Dame).  But I am most proud of being a Mum to three beautiful daughters and a Grandmother to two little charmers.

Read here why Dame Sue will remain Escape2Make Patron despite relocating to Oxford.

5 bits of advice to my teenage self…

  • Don't try to be something you are not
  • The only thing more important than being kind, is being honest
  • Don't measure yourself against others
  • Treat your friends as if they are your family and vice versa
  • Work harder than anyone else

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