Faculty of Business meet the team

Professor Dilshad Sheikh, CBME, CMgr CCMI

I have over 20 years of experience in the Higher Education sector gained from multiple roles – these have ranged from teaching in the classroom right through to senior management positions.

I currently hold a dual strategic leadership position as Dean of the Faculty of Business at Arden University and I’m very proud to have been appointed as Arden’s first ever Dean, giving me the exciting opportunity to build a Faculty from scratch. I am also the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Arden University. 

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, and the youngest of seven children, I have enjoyed a successful career in industry prior to making the jump into academia. Realising this was where I could enact genuine change, I moved across as a result of my desire to help students from widening participation backgrounds achieve their goals and support their communities. I was featured in the publication “We are the City” named as an inspirational woman, have made an appearance on BBC Radio 4 discussing digital technology in Higher Education and have also been a finalist for two consecutive years in the grand prix category of the Education Investor Awards shortlisted as Business Woman of the year (2022) and Business Woman to Watch (2021). Similarly, I was named in the Business Women in Education’s inaugural Women to Watch list in 2022.

I was the winner of the most prestigious CMI Volunteer of the Year Award 2022 having been the former regional chair for the West Midlands and Northwest regions. I am an inspirational speaker and have a keen interest in the equity, diversity and inclusivity of organisations and have delivered several keynote presentations both locally and nationally as well as published several articles advocating the benefits of diverse and inclusive management and leadership teams. I continue to engage with audiences across a variety of sectors with the ambition to encourage and inspire more females, especially from ethnic minority backgrounds, attaining senior leadership roles. 
#EbraceEquity “Opportunities for Everyone”

Professor Dilshad Sheikh, CBME, CMgr CCMI
Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) & Dean of the Faculty of Business
Dr Serkan Ceylan, PhD, MBA, CMgr MCMI, PRINCE2, AgileFrame, AgilePM, PGCertLTHE

Dr Serkan Ceylan joint us from the University of Southampton, first, as our Head of School of Supply Chain, Logistics and Project Management before he was promoted as the first Associate Dean within Arden University. Serkan now holds the title of Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business. Serkan is playing a key role in the field of project management (PM), he delivered short courses to practitioners as a certified trainer for several PM qualifications incl. PRINCE2 and AgilePM and has been a programme director for the MSc PM.

Serkan was born in Germany (Hamburg) and lived in the UK between 2006-2022. He worked in the private sector (Investments) and at several Universities including a University College, Post-1992 University and a Russel Group University.  

Dr Serkan Ceylan currently leads and collaborates on several high-profile national and international research grants which reflects his focus and research interests. He has secured over £1,000,00,000 worth of research and enterprise grants (including HEIF, KTP, ECIF) as well as securing PhD Scholarships from EPSRC and ESRC. He is a published author of the book: AgileFrame® Understanding multifaceted project approaches for successful project management.

Serkan has visiting Professorships/Lectureships in Germany, Spain, Finland and France and has undertaken external examiner duties for Universities such as Lancaster University and University of Bedfordshire reaching FdSC, BSc, Executive MBAs and general MBAs programmes.

Dr Serkan Ceylan, PhD, MBA, CMgr MCMI, PRINCE2, AgileFrame, AgilePM, PGCertLTHE
Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business
Dr Nick Wylie

I have over 15 years experience working in Higher Education in a range of academic leadership and management posts. I was appointed Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business at Arden University in May 2023 where I have a range of responsibilities focused on growing the Faculty and enhancing student experience. Prior to this role I was Head of School at Coventry University and I also held posts at Oxford Brookes and University of West of England. I have a PhD from Warwick Business School and I have published academic papers in the area of Human Resource Management and Management Consultancy. I am an Academic Member of the CIPD and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Dr Nick Wylie
Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business
Stephanie West, SFHEA CMgr MCMI CMBE

Stephanie West joined Arden University in November 2020 as Head of the School of Health and Care Management. In addition to her wealth of healthcare industry experience, career as an optician, and PhD study in contact lens material chemistry, Stephanie has held a number of senior academic and leadership positions in health, social care, and applied science faculties at a variety of universities around the UK.

Stephanie holds senior fellowship with Advance HE (SFHEA), Chartered Manager status with CMI and is a Certified Management and Business Educator (CMBE) with the Chartered Association of Business Schools. She is a trained Mental Health First Aider and holds an international PG Certificate in Education from the University of Sheffield.

Stephanie provides leadership to the School of Health and Care Management, ensuring that it delivers high quality academic provision and student satisfaction across all programmes, which has grown to include undergraduate and postgraduate blended, distance, and apprenticeship learning.

Stephanie West, SFHEA CMgr MCMI CMBE
Head of the School of Health & Care Management
Melissa McLaughlin

 Melissa Mclaughlin is an experienced leader, with a strong research focus in widening participation in education and more currently in female leadership. She has a multidisciplinary background with qualifications in health, mental health, environmental science, educational leadership and occupational psychology. Melissa is one of two Deputy Heads of School for Healthcare Management at Arden University. Melissa currently focuses on our postgraduate provisions in school, this includes our Master of Public Health and MSc in Global Health Management.  

Melissa’s current research focuses are centred on employee wellbeing and improving organisational outcomes through leadership. Melissa is a strong advocate that education should be accessible for all and has undertaken various projects in higher education to improve access, student experience and support for anyone returning to education. Melissa has focused on improving engagement in subjects focusing on health, leadership and STEM. Melissa now volunteers as a mentor for emerging health professionals.

Melissa McLaughlin
Deputy Head of the School of Health and Care Management
Saikou Sanyang, SFHEA, CMgr MCMI, FRSPH

Saikou is the Deputy Head of the School of Health and Care overseeing undergraduate studies. Before this role, he led the BA (Hons) Healthcare Management Programme and the franchised Anglia Ruskin BSc Health and Social Care programme and was interim head of the School of Business and Management.


He led and directed the development of the school's MSc Global Health Management and Master's Public Health programmes as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Chartered Manager of the CMI, and APHEA (Agency for Public Health Education Accreditation) curriculum reviewer. He has worked in clinical practice, clinical research and care management. He is an external examiner for the University of Bedfordshire's MBA Hospital and Health Services Management.  

His scholarly interest includes working as lead guest editor for Springer Nature Discover Health Systems. Academic publications and research interests are in public health, knowledge-to-practice, sexual health, healthcare leadership, resource planning and student well-being. 

Saikou Sanyang, SFHEA, CMgr MCMI, FRSPH
Deputy Head of the School of Health and Care Management
Dr. Dauda Hamzat,  FHEA, FCILT, MCIPS, FCMI, CMgr, Prince2

Dr. Dauda Hamzat,  FHEA, FCILT, MCIPS, FCMI, CMgr, Prince2 recently joined Arden University  with  multi-UK universities teaching experience.  Prior to his academic career, he had 20-year post-university intercontinental  working experience in the diverse fields of supply chain: procurement, international freight & logistics, aviation management , and project management in many blue-chip firms. His industry network and  rich industrial experience  afford him to enrich his teachings with abundant real-world perspectives and application.

As a UK academic, Dr. Hamzat was a pioneer Course Leader for Aviation and Logistics Management at the Buckinghamshire New University, following earlier lecturing role at Leeds 
Beckett University. He is an external examiner / supervisor for undergraduate and post-graduate programs in his field of expertise, for some UK universities.

Dr. Dauda Hamzat, FHEA, FCILT, MCIPS, FCMI, CMgr, Prince2
Head of School (interim), School of Supply Chain, Logistics and Project Management
Dr Alison Watson

Alison started with Arden (RDI) for 18 years ago and has supported students on various management courses at all levels. She has progressed at Arden and is currently the Head of School for Leadership & Management, the largest School in the University. Alison has also taught in a number of other higher and further education institutions. Prior to this she was an operations and project manager for a number of large retailers, and therefore has much experience in the field of business and management. She is a Chartered Manager with the Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Marketer with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She gained her MBA from the University of Leicester and her PhD from Teesside University. Her research focused on the marketisation of higher education, market segmentation, student recruitment and e-learning. Her current research interests lie in online brand communities, sustainable development and responsible leadership.

Dr Alison Watson
Head of School of Leadership and Management
Dr Syed Tarek

Dr. Syed Ali Tarek is an award-winning academic with over 15 years of experience in the UK higher education sector. He is a proficient teacher, program developer, manager, and leader at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Syed possesses excellent interpersonal skills that enable him to negotiate change and steer academic departments towards consistent target achievement and improved best practices in line with OFS and PSRB requirements. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, recognising his significant contributions to teaching and learning in higher education. He is an enthusiastic public speaker who enjoys sharing world-class research with diverse audiences, including Heads of Countries, academic leaders, learned societies, and international agencies such as the UN. Dr. Tarek holds a Computer Engineering Degree and Business Administration Degree from the University of East London, an MBA from Anglia Ruskin University, an MPhil and a PhD from Liverpool John Moores University, and an MSc in Educational Assessment from the University of Oxford. Syed has received several awards and recognition for his education and sustainability contributions. He won the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) PC in 2017 and was a finalist for the WSIS Prize 2017, Switzerland. Dr. Syed was also a winner of the World Summit Awards 2017 National Contest in Bangladesh and a finalist for the RISK Award 2017 project fund from UNISDR and Munich Re Foundation in Germany. He was a runner-up for the BRAC Manthan Digital Innovation Award 2017 in India and Bangladesh. In addition, Syed has made significant contributions to society, as recognised by UEL Bangladesh Alumni Association in the UK in 2016, and he was named "the face of the research faculty" at Liverpool John Moores University in 2016. Syed has presented his research at various conferences worldwide and has been a primary reviewer of the Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) since 2014.

Dr Syed Tarek
Deputy Head of School of Leadership & Management
Dr Hassaan Khan

Dr Hassaan Khan is the Head of the School of Digital Finance at the Faculty of Business at Arden University. Hassaan studied Accounting and Finance at University of Kent, followed by an MSc and PhD in Finance from Durham University.

Prior to joining Arden, Hassaan was Associate Dean at Global Banking School, looking after the Finance and Business Management degree courses. He was Director of Programmes at BPP University where he was responsible for degree programmes in Finance and Applied Management as well as professional courses in Accountancy and degree apprenticeships. Hassaan’s previous work experiences include Director of Centre for Financial Research at Anglia Ruskin University, Entrepreneur Scholar at Judge Business School and Teaching Assistant at Durham University. Hassaan has extensive knowledge transfer partnership experience, most notably with Allia Limited, Cambridge, where we worked as Social Investment expert in collaboration with Icubyte Cambridge Business Incubator.

In addition to his role at Arden University, Hassaan continues to work as a Consultant Financial Economist at the Bank of England. 

Hassaan is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and member of the Fintech Professionals Association, Fintech Alliance, The Royal Economic Society, ICAEW, Chartered Management Institute and the British Accounting and Finance Association.

Dr Hassaan Khan
Head of the School of Digital Finance
Dr Aaron Taylor

Dr Aaron Taylor has been involved in teaching and training for over 20 years, both in the UK and internationally. During this time, he has built up expertise in teaching and learning specifically across postgraduate HRM programmes. Prior to his role as Head of School of Human Resource Management at Arden University, Aaron was a Principal Lecturer at the University of Sunderland and a Principal Lecturer in HRM at Coventry University London. Aaron is an External Examiner for HRM programmes at the University of Suffolk and the University of Sussex. He is a CIPD academic member, a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a certified management and business educator (CMBE).

Dr Aaron Taylor
Head of the School of Human Resource Management
Gillian McCurdy

After completing a master’s degree in Tourism Management, Gillian worked for over twenty years as a senior marketing professional within several high-profile tourism, events and cultural venues in the UK including Director of Marketing and Digital at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Head of Marketing for Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, amongst others.

Then in 2016, she joined a major U.K. University as a Senior Lecturer in the Digital Marketing field where she gained management and teaching experience in Higher Education including being an advisor to U.K. and overseas universities and lecturing on undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes.

Gillian joined Arden University as Head of School for Digital Marketing and Sales in 2020 where she has been responsible for the setting up of a new school and establishment of an innovative suite of digital marketing and sales programmes.

Gillian’s main objective at Arden University is to empower our ambitious students to grow faster and fulfil their academic and professional passions.

Outside work, she enjoys travel, watching live cultural events and yoga.

Gillian McCurdy
Head of the School of Digital Marketing & Sales
Dr Lucy Atkinson, PhD, MA, BSc, FHEA, AFBALEAP

Lucy is the Director of the Institute of Foundation Studies at Arden University. Qualified with Bachelors, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy, Lucy is also an avid conference presenter, guest speaker and sharer of practice in the HE community. Lucy is an experienced senior leader of foundation year provision in a HE context working with different sizes of provision and subject-areas and previous award-winning ‘Lecturer of the Year’ at the University of Northampton in 2019. Lucy has a demonstrated history of working in higher education on different levels and provision, including English for Academic Purposes for international and home/EU students, Levels 3-7 in Psychology/Education/Marketing and has developed Foundation Year provision enabling access to university for a diverse cohort of students. Lucy has an excellent understanding of key statistics and actions for a successful university programme including progression, continuation, and module/teaching satisfaction ensuring an increase in these metrics and an improved student experience. Lucy’s understanding of the diverse student needs allows her to implement relevant interventions when needed as well as offering suitable pastoral support.

Dr Lucy Atkinson, PhD, MA, BSc, FHEA, AFBALEAP
Director of the Institute of Fountation Studies