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April 2024

Deaf Awareness Week

Celebrating Role Models in Education and Employment

mary hare

Today Mary Hare are celebrating their Role Model Dr Helen Willis

Helen Willis joined Mary Hare in Year 7 in 2007, remaining with the school until the end of 6th Form.  During her time at Mary Hare, Helen gained nine GCSEs, eight of which were A* and one A.  She then achieved three top A Level grades in Biology, Chemistry and Maths.  In addition, Helen learn the piano and music theory, reaching a Grade 5 in both.

After leaving Mary Hare, Helen went to St John’s College, Oxford to study for a BA in Physiology and Psychology.  Helen graduated from Oxford with a First Class Honours degree as well as an MSc in Neuroscience.

Helen then pursued a PhD in Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences at UCL which was funding by Action on Hearing Loss and Cochlear UK.  Helen was awarded her doctorate in October 2018.

Helen is now spending her time disseminating her PhD data by presenting at international conferences and writing articles for science journals.  Her research attempted to find a way to measure the amount of work the brain uses when listening through a cochlear implant and Helen hopes to use these research findings to help cochlear implant users to maximise the benefit they can receive from the cochlear implant technology.

Conference Society for Neuroscience

Helen was chosen as our role model firstly because she is an alumus of Mary Hare and excelled academically but also because of her research area and the benefits that this research will undoubtedly bring to the wider deaf community.