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Petra Rogers

Petra Rogers, MA

Mrs Petra Rogers, Student Support Officer in the School of Healthcare, died on 3 November 2011 following a brave fight with cancer.  This tribute is from Petra’s friends and colleagues in the School of Healthcare.

Petra Rogers was born in Klatovy in the Czech Republic on 23 May 1970. She studied at the Charles University in Prague where she gained her masters degree.  Petra was a gifted linguist speaking six languages (Czech, English, French, German, Russian and Vietnamese), three of them fluently.  Following her graduation, Petra and her husband, Richard, travelled and worked throughout the Far East, Europe and Australasia.

On returning to the UK Petra settled in Leeds, where she had married Richard at Emmanuel Church, now the Emmanuel Centre, and began work as a translator.  She first came to the University as a “temp” in 1998 to assist with administration of the School’s award ceremonies.  This was a role to which her attention to detail and organisational skills were particularly suited and one which she continued to undertake for a number of years, following her appointment as a permanent member of staff. Throughout her time at the School Petra undertook a number of student focused roles mainly related to examinations and special circumstances, where her compassion and sensitivity were particularly appreciated by everyone with whom she came into contact.

Following the births of Miša in 2002 and Toni in 2004, Petra returned to work in the School on a part-time basis but also took the opportunity to lecture in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies in her native language.  Petra was a popular and skilled tutor, enabling students to quickly grasp the complexities of the Czech language and to gain a broad understanding of the Czech culture.

Petra also started working for the School of Languages at Leeds Metropolitan University in September 2003, teaching Czech in the Part-Time Language Programme.  She was highly regarded by colleagues and students there for her professionalism and cheerfulness. During the early part of 2010 Petra trained as an interpreter for the Police Service and was looking forward to this new role.

Petra was diagnosed with cancer in October 2010, but typically focused on various ways to try to beat her illness and return to work and normality. During the implementation of the Support Staff Restructure in the School of Healthcare in November 2010, Petra applied for the role of Student Support Officer and was delighted to be appointed. She frequently stated her pleasure at the prospect of returning to the School and addressing the challenges of her new job!

Petra was a popular and much respected colleague and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She was the School’s unofficial guide to all things Czech and usually helped anyone planning to visit the Czech Republic with leaflets, anecdotes and information to maximise their experience, and in return demanded feedback to ensure her information was up to date! Petra particularly loved Christmas and would supply the School with home-made Czech cookies and other culinary delights. She had a generous spirit and loved to plan ahead to provide thoughtful gifts to family and friends; she will be missed by The Book People and Avon, both of whom will see a dramatic decrease in their revenues!  She was a charming friend and colleague who possessed a great sense of humour and an enormous capacity to enjoy life. She is survived by her husband, Richard, her beloved children, Miša and Toni, and her mother Jindra; our thoughts are with them all.