University of Essex

30 September 2016

Volunteering gets a revamp

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 10:49 am

vteam posterUntil now, students had to carry around and complete a paper passport to log their volunteering efforts with the Students’ Union vTeam.

Being paper, these were often damaged, lost, or forgotten; and students then had no record of their activities. Paper has now become electronic thanks to the Catalyst Project funding an additional volunteering module for the vTeam’s MSL system, enabling the vTeam to now:

  • Offer an easy online way for students to record their volunteering, skills, and training
  • Align with the Big Essex Award skills, providing consistency for our students across different schemes
  • Encourage students who’ve completed the necessary volunteering hours to apply for the Big Essex Award, also giving them recognition on their Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
  • Have more time to dedicate to setting up new and exciting projects for our students
  • Increase our volunteering efforts within our local communities
  • Provide students with a record of their skills achieved through volunteering and increasing their employability
  • Be able to accurately know how many hours and opportunities students are participating in
  • Include other student volunteering such as Society & Club volunteering, peer mentoring, Nightline, external volunteering and lots more

Volunteering is an important part of the student experience, and the vTeam are the go-to team for anything related to student volunteering.

Need some volunteers? Contact the vTeam.  Need some help promoting your opportunity? Contact the vTeam. Got some ideas? Contact the vTeam.

Anya Visegorodceva – Volunteering Manager E: aviseg@essex.ac.ukT: 01206 863211

www.essex.su/volunteering/

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29 September 2016

Elizabeth wins gold double at the British Masters National Championships

Filed under: Latest news, People pages, Sport — Communications Office @ 3:11 pm

 

Dr Elizabeth WEelbourn with Jay Collison

Dr Elizabeth Welbourn with Jay Collison

Lab technician, Dr Elizabeth Welbourn, has won gold medals in the 200m and 400m races at the British Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships for women over 55.

Elizabeth, who works with Professor Chris Cooper’s team on a ground-breaking research which aims to create a long-lasting artificial blood substitute, will now compete in the 400m at the World Masters Games in New Zealand in spring 2017.

Leading up to the event, Elizabeth was given specialist training from former Masters student Jay Collison, who is now head of the strength and conditioning academy at Southend United Football Club.

“I was hoping to win gold so was really glad to have achieved my goal,” explained Elizabeth. “Thanks to Jay’s support I have improved my strength and am running faster than I was five years ago.”

Jay added: “Elizabeth has worked really hard to improve her strength and truly deserves her success. I wish her well for New Zealand next year.”

Elizabeth, who is a member of Ipswich Harriers, started running in her early 40s thanks to her daughters who were also involved in sport. After a few years of middle-distance running she started training for sprinting.

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Millions flock to The Forum

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 10:07 am

Visitors to the iconic Forum Southend-on-Sea have topped 1.75 million since the public library and academic centre opened three years ago.

The building, a unique partnership between Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, the University of Essex and South Essex College was developed after all three pooled resources to jointly provide the country’s first wholly integrated public, university and college library designed for the internet age – totally wifi enabled and with scores of available ICT, along with state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities.

The venue is a magnet for members of the public and students and more than one million items have been borrowed over the three years with other visitors attending exhibitions and events.

The outdoor Big Screen has also proved a winner for the town.  More than 2,000 people enjoyed this summer’s free sci-fi season and artists and filmmakers from around the world are clamouring to have their work featured on the screen.

Since The Forum opened there have been more than 70,000 logins in the University’s high-tech  Learning Hub and South Essex College students have borrowed more than 40,000 books.

Campus Manager Zoe Manning said: “All the partners are immensely proud of The Forum’s success.  Feedback from students is extremely positive and we have installed extra computers to meet demand.”

Cllr Ann Holland, Executive Cllr for Culture, says: “All of the partners are immensely proud of The Forum’s resounding success.  As well as being an attractive asset for the town and the student community, it has drawn visitors from around the world, keen to understand how this successful project works.

“Located in the town centre on the site of a former multi-story car park, this thriving joint public and academic library and learning hub serves the whole community – residents of all ages, visitors and students.  Together they are all able to gain the benefits of all the enhanced and additional facilities yielded by the combined resources of the three institutions.”

The building itself has received national and regional acclaim, being commended in the 2015 Civic Trust awards, shortlisted in the ‘Buildings that Inspire’ category of the Guardian University awards and winning the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) East of England Community Benefit category.

The building was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Kent on 2nd February 2016 where a stunning statue of Her Majesty The Queen was unveiled.

 

 

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20 September 2016

Anniversary painting unveiled

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 10:36 am

Wivenhoe House has launched its latest art exhibition, celebrating 200 years since John Constable painted ‘Wivenhoe Park’.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a specially commissioned piece called Wivenhoe Water, by artist Kate Bright, who grew up in Suffolk and is now based in London, who was chosen from a field of nearly 40 professional artists to create a contemporary landscape painting of Wivenhoe Park to mark this special anniversary.

The grand unveiling. General Manager at Wivenhoe House Oliver Brown with Bryn Morris

The grand unveiling. General Manager at Wivenhoe House Oliver Brown with Bryn Morris

This stunning piece, unveiled by the University’s Registrar and Secretary Bryn Morris, will be added to the permanent collection at Wivenhoe House.

Twenty artists from across East Anglia who took part in the hotel’s open art day in June have also submitted work for the exhibition which is open to the public until December.

The collection also includes a collaborative re-creation of the original ‘Wivenhoe Park’, where 12 community groups each completed a segment of the work in their own unique style.

Oliver Brown, General Manager at Wivenhoe House, said: ”We are launching the exhibition almost 200 years to the day that Constable packed up his paints and palette having completed this early masterpiece which now hangs in pride of place at the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

“This exhibition is the culmination of an amazing year, collaborating with artists, the University of Essex, and the local community. We really appreciate everyone’s hard work and achievements and look forward to more artistic adventures in the future.”

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15 September 2016

Award-winning performance for L’Oscar hotel

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 1:36 pm

Edge Hotel School students have hit the hospitality headlines following a successful consultancy project for L’Oscar, a £40 million hotel due to open in 2017.

Vivien Schaper, Peter Jackson and Emily Kidson designed a social media strategy for this luxury venue at the request of L’Oscar general manager Michael Voight.

As reported in The Caterer,  Michael Voigt was blown away by their ideas and is now implementing their social media proposals. He explained: “What better people to give me advice on social media than that age bracket which knows most about social media?”

The students came up with five objectives to guide their strategy with the aim of driving sales and repeated engagement to create individual advocates for the brand.

During the seven week project, completed as the students worked on the final stage of their hotel management degree, they met with Michael Voigt, had a hard-hat tour of the hotel site and gave a presentation on their strategy.

Michael Voight said: “They followed the brief exactly, ”I didn’t only want to look at hotel brands,  I wanted the students to think outside the box.”

Their lecturer Glyn Adams said: “The students believed in everything they were doing.  Michael was so utterly committed to the project and believed in them because they believed in him.  Peter, Emily and Vivien have proven they can do this kind of thing to a professional standard.”

You can read the full article here

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8 September 2016

Every little helps

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications Office @ 4:19 pm

Thank you

Our Donate Your Pennies scheme has got off to a great start, with 79 colleagues from across the University signed up.

Between us, Essex staff give £42 a month to the University’s Women of The Future Scholarships Appeal – over £500 a year, simply by donating remainder pennies from our pay packets.

Regular and Planned Giving Officer James Martin said:  “Currently 2% of staff have signed up – imagine what we could achieve with 20%? Or 50%? It would add up to tens of thousands of pounds for our students, just from a few pennies each per month.”

You can sign up by completing the easy online form. You’ll never give more than 99p a month, but the impact could be huge.

If you’d like more information, or have any questions about the scheme, please feel free to contact James on jrmartin@essex.ac.uk.

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