'A shining light' - tributes paid to University of Suffolk lecturer

Dr Antonella Castelvedere was a popular lecturer at the University of Suffolk, who died on June 1.

Dr Antonella Castelvedere was a popular lecturer at the University of Suffolk, who died on June 1. - Credit: Archant / Contributed

Tributes have been paid to Antonella Castelvedere, a much-loved and respected lecturer at the University of Suffolk, understood to be the victim in a murder investigation in Essex.

Dr Castelvedere has been named locally as the woman found in a property in Wickham Road, Colchester, on June 1.

Officers arrived to discover a woman with serious injuries and she died at the scene. An injured man was also found at the address. He was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken to hospital, and has now been charged.

Dr Castelvedere, 52, was senior lecturer in English Literature and course leader of the MA Creative and Critical Writing. Her hard work was instrumental in bringing the Master’s course to the university.  

She was an inspiration to her students, many of whom have been paying tribute to her.  

Beth Cobbold, 25, studied English at the university from 2015-2018. She said: “Antonella was a truly talented and passionate lecturer who cared for and inspired all her students.  

“I was so fortunate to be taught by her, and her positivity was infectious, helping me and many others, through their studies. She will be greatly missed.” 

Dr Castelvedere pictured centre, at the graduation ceremony at the then University Campus Suffolk in 2015

Dr Castelvedere pictured centre, at the graduation ceremony at the then University Campus Suffolk in 2015, when Ed Sheeran received his Honorary Doctorate. - Credit: James Fletcher

Hannah Marie Williams, 25, also studied English at the university from 2015-2018. 

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She said: “Antonella was the most positive and uplifting person - she never had a frown on her face and was always smiling, she instantly lifted the mood and was so dedicated to supporting all of her students, she will be missed and never forgotten.” 

Lotti Dautzenberg graduated from the university in 2018. She said: “Antonella was a shining light in every sense. She sparked my passion for gender and racial studies and inspired me to continue my studies further.  

“She truly helped me find myself and I will always be grateful. Guiding me through my bachelor's, her infinite knowledge, passion, and warmth still guides me today. I will never forget the positive influence she has had on my life, as I will miss her sorely along with anybody else who knew her.” 

Shay is also one of Antonella’s former students. They said: “Antonella was the most inspiring person. She came to every lecture with a smile on her face and was such a great support to me throughout my degree.  

“Passionate, enthusiastic and sunshine personified, Antonella will be greatly missed by so many.” 

Amy Wragg studied on the English Language & Literature course, and now works as a fundraiser at Emmaus Suffolk.  

She said: “Dr Antonella Castelvedere was an extraordinarily talented, kind and inspirational lecturer. Her lessons were always engaging and exciting, and she was very supportive of her students, even long after they had graduated.   

“I will never forget just how many references she wrote for me during the pandemic, when I was trying to find a new job. Each time I ask for her help, she would respond straight away, always with words of encouragement. Her support was a shining light for me in a very dark time.  

“She was a brilliant woman, whose lessons were always thought-provoking, and delivered with conviction and passion. I will forever be grateful that I had the luck and privilege of calling her my teacher. 

Abygail Fossett, 25, graduated with a degree in English in 2018. 

She said: “I remember being in awe of Antonella when I first met her – she was just the most fiercely intelligent person I had ever met. She could speak so many languages. I remember a class she gave about poetry written in other languages. We read about six poems in many different languages – and Antonella could speak them all. 

“I will remember Antonella as one of the friendliest, most positive people I’ve ever known. As students, we would smile to hear her laughing as she walked down the corridor.  

“She could always find something to be happy about. She will never be forgotten.” 

In a statement, the university said: “The University of Suffolk community is deeply saddened by the untimely death of Dr Antonella Castelvedere. 

“Antonella was a widely respected and well-liked member of staff at the university where she was an outstanding academic in English and Critical Writing. 

“Our thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time.”