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Queen's Birthday Honours: MBE for Stansted Airport College and Harlow College principal Karen Spencer

The principal of Stansted Airport College, Karen Spencer, was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

The honour is in recognition of the contribution by Karen, a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics, to education and aviation. She is also principal of Harlow College.

Karen said: "I am extremely proud to accept this honour on behalf of Harlow College and Stansted Airport College.

Karen Spencer (42655171)
Karen Spencer (42655171)

"It's a real testament to the further education sector and all of the students, staff and governors I work with.

"It is also a great personal honour, not only for me but for the town of Harlow and for Uttlesford, where Stansted Airport is based. This recognises the exciting and very innovative journey we are on to benefit our communities."

Karen is also chairwoman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) general aviation STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs and skills working group.

She said: "I am also incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported me throughout my career, including friends, colleagues, employers, community representatives and my family.

"They have helped me build a new college at Stansted Airport and supported my work with the APPG for STEM aviation jobs and skills, as well as allowing me to contribute to policy development particularly in the field of maths education.

"I have an amazing team and I am delighted to share this amazing recognition with them. I am really proud to be their principal."

The airport college opened in 2018 on a one-acre site at Stansted gifted by owner Manchester Airports Group.

It was financed by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, Essex County Council, Uttlesford District Council and Harlow College.

It is hoped that Karen will be able to accept her award next year after this autumn's ceremony at St James' Palace was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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