It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Josie Jolley. Josie was an ESRC SeNSS funded PhD Student at the University of Sussex, working on the PhD titled Adrift: Shadow Voyages/Homeless Landscapes.
Josie was unquestionably the brightest and most talented postgraduate who has ever come through the geography department at the University of Sussex. Academically, Josie’s talents manifested in achievements way beyond her level as a PhD student in her second year of research. Her sole-authored publication with the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers is an achievement that most internationally published academic geographers have never attained. So was her editorial role in the 'Global Horizons' initiative. Josie was also the inaugural winner of the MacQuitty prize in recognition of a stunning performance at undergraduate level. These are mere symbols of what her potential was and what we have lost academically.
Through her work as a student ambassador for the Geography Department, Josie also encouraged countless A Level geographers to continue their studies at the University of Sussex, with her enthusiasm for the subject and the warm welcome she showed them at open days and other events. In the aftermath of a sudden death, we mark Josie’s life and continue to emphasise the positive effect she had on our lives and our community.
Josie’s exceptional level of intellectual engagement with her research never ceased to amaze us as her supervisors. She was always positive, hard-working, constantly humble and open to new ideas. She was wholeheartedly committed to making a difference to the way homelessness is understood both in the academy and beyond, and fearless in trying to achieve this objective. Despite the earnestness of her research project, there was a great deal of joy and laughter in our supervisory meetings. She was great company and will be greatly missed by the many people whose lives she touched in our community at the University of Sussex.
Written by Divya P. Tolia-Kelly & Simon Rycroft (PhD Supervisors) on behalf of the Department of Geography, University of Sussex.