Students Staff

23 March 2018

Staff pennies add up to award winning scheme

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 12:02 pm
A piggy bank

Penny Pig

Our Donate your Pennies scheme has gone from strength to strength, and has now been recognised with an award for its success. Since the scheme launched in July 2016, 663 staff have signed up to donate their pennies, contributing a combined £292 a month towards student scholarships – a total of nearly £4,000!

Your support has won us a Silver Award for staff participation from the company that provides our Donate your Pennies software. Essex was one of only 8 UK organisations to win a silver award, and 2nd among all UK universities for highest percentage of staff sign-ups. A truly fantastic result, and an amazing total to help Essex students.

To celebrate this milestone, and to say a heartfelt thank you, this week we have been handing out special presents to those staff that have been part of the scheme for 12 months or more. Penny Pig is a desktop piggy bank, perfect for storing odd coins until the need for emergency caffeine arises! Penny will be arriving at the desks of 280 Essex staff over the coming days, so look out who in your office has got their hands on their very own Penny – and you can follow Penny’s adventures by following the #thislittlepiggywentto hashtag on Twitter. Who knows where Penny will turn up?

If you’d like to join the scheme, help our students and maybe one day get a Penny Pig of your own, all you need to do is fill in a short form.


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A new vision for wellbeing

Filed under: Latest news, Student experience — Communications, CER @ 11:52 am

Angela Jones is our head of student support. Here she tells us about the new vision for our wellbeing services.

What sort of changes are going on in the wellbeing team/service?

Our team is made up of dedicated staff committed to student wellbeing.  We are always reflecting on our services and thinking about how we can make them better for our students. We’ve recognised that changes in society and growth in student numbers mean we need to develop our services. National (and international) research has identified new ways of supporting and promoting wellbeing and we want to be able to implement these innovations. We are therefore reconfiguring our offer – while we will continue to provide or support the services we offer at present, we are proposing to expand into new areas. We want to work proactively with the Students’ Union, Occupational Health and other internal and external partners to support prevention and help our students thrive and get the most out of their time at Essex. Our new vision is, as part of the Healthy University Sub-strategy (HUSS), to create a healthy and inclusive community in which every student has the tools to enable them to succeed.

Will the team remain the same?

We are creating new roles so there may well be some new faces but we expect most of the team to remain the same.

Are these physical moves/changes?

No. Our service will continue to be provided in Southend, Loughton and Colchester and accessed via the Student Hub is each of these locations.

How will the changes impact on staff/students?

The whole reason behind the changes is to respond to student need and demand. Feedback via the SU change week and more recent Wellbeing events has identified a clear desire for more interventions, a wider range of support and more counselling. Feedback from students with individual needs has identified as need to make our community more inclusive. Responding to this feedback, our proposed restructure will increase significantly the volume of counselling we can offer as well as create roles dedicated to launching new activities and working with academic colleagues in departments to improve inclusivity and support students.

Is there a period where we will be directed somewhere else for support?

For the majority of students no. Services will continue as normal. Some students who have DSA funded individual support may start to receive that support from someone new from next year, but we will work closely with them to support them through any change.

How will this impact support that students receive? What sort of new options for support are being introduced?

  • Availability for student counselling at Colchester Campus will increase by 30%
  • By increasing appointments with a wellbeing assessor, we will reduce the waiting time for students to be seen
  • An online chat facility for students will be set up in conjunction with the Charlie Watkins Foundation and Mind to support professional services.
  • More one to one and groups will be available – tell us what you think would be most useful to prioritise

Why is wellbeing so important?

Physical and mental health is important for all of us. We all experience periods of feeling great, and times when we are below par. In order to thrive and get the most out of life, we need to take care of our health. That is why we are proposing to tackle the issue of wellbeing in a holistic and proactive way- we don’t want to wait until someone is unwell to act.  As part of the broader agenda of being a Heathy University, epitomised by our new HUSS, we want to help our students be well, stay well and get well. We can then play a part in making sure every member of our community is given the tools to achieve their full potential.

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22 March 2018

Celebrating Excellence

Filed under: Latest news, Sport — Heather Leathley @ 4:24 pm
Services Awards 64 weekly

The winners

Congratulations to all the winners at the first Estates and Campus Services Staff Excellence awards held in the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall this week attended by about 200 members of staff who celebrated in style. Chris Oldham, Director of Estates and Campus Services said: “It was a great opportunity to say thank you to everyone who puts their heart and soul into making sure Essex runs smoothly throughout each and every year.”

The Essex Professional Award – recognises an individual who displays outstanding positivity and professionalism at all times.

Winner: Elisa Aylott, Event Essex


Hannah Langwith, Print Essex

Jan Long, EMS Helpdesk

Mark Smith, Event Essex

The Going the Extra Mile Award – recognises an individual who consistently goes beyond the call of duty.

Winner: Imelda Wyatt, Domestic Services


Ceri Gibbins, Essex Food

Louise Ratnage, Event Essex

John Wakeman, Accommodation Essex

The Team Award – recognises a team that provides the highest level of performance

Winner: Event Essex


Accommodation Essex

Domestic Services

Patrol Officers

The Newcomer Award – recognises an individual employed in their first year and already adding considerable value

Winner: Adam Endean, EMS Helpdesk


Nikaela Charman, Essex Food

Roisin O’Hara, UECS Marketing and Communications

Jack Watkins, Estates Electrical

The Projects Award – recognises a team who have delivered a project that has significantly enhanced their service

Winner: Sustainability and Grounds


Essex Sport

UECS Marketing and Communications

Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery

The Customer Service Award – recognises an individual that delivers outstanding customer service

Winner: Ann Little, Essex Food


Hannah Langwith, Print Essex

Jan Long, EMS Helpdesk

Imelda Wyatt, Domestic Services

The Unsung Hero Award – recognises an individual that is always generous in what they give for the greater good of the team.

Winner: Allan Godfrey, Domestic Services


Graham Kerridge, Sustainability and Grounds

Judy Murray, Essex Food

John Wakeman, Accommodation Essex

The Longstanding Service Award presented to an individual who has made a longstanding and exceptional contribution to the University.


Donna Forsyth, Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery


Wendy Connelly, Essex Sport

Angie Flynn, Accommodation Essex

Pauline Gawler, Accommodation Essex

The Registrar’s Award

Karl Ravenhill, Sustainability and Grounds

The Tony Rich Memorial Award for Outstanding Performance

Tracy Hyam, Essex Sport

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21 March 2018

Meet our User Support and Training team

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 6:01 pm

In what we hope will be the first of a few ‘meet the teams’ from UK Data Archive, we spoke to User Support and Training about how they help researchers around the world to make breakthroughs in social science.

Our User Support Team

Our User Support Team

What does the UK Data Archive do?

It’s the UK’s largest collection of digital research data in the social sciences and humanities. We acquire and curate the data, and provide access for researchers who want to understand how we live – here and across the world – from birth through education, employment, our social lives and on to old age.

We’re the lead organisation in the UK Data Service, which includes data experts at other institutions across the country, and trains and supports researchers to make the best use of the collection.

Who’s who in User Training and Support?

There are six of us all together – Hersh Mann is our User Support and Training Manager, and Beate Lichtwardt, Simon Parker, James Scott, Deborah Wiltshire and Christine Woods, are all Senior User Support and Training Officers.

…and what do you do?

We help researchers use our data, especially when they’re using data which are sensitive (Secure Lab data), because they contain information which can identify individuals and households. We train people in how to use the Secure Lab data, and do what’s known as statistical disclosure control when they’ve finished, to make sure no-one can be identified when they publish their work.

We give presentations and run workshops around the country on data services, and we work with other international research data centres to improve our services. We train academics, students, librarians and other social science researchers. We also work with others in the Archive to make access to data easier and faster.

How much data is there at the Archive?

We hold over 7,300 data collections at the moment, including major surveys and Census data, and that figure is increasing all the time, so the team has to be very knowledgeable. We have backgrounds in political science, demography, criminology, education, and sociology, and we have to be up to date with statistical methods.

What do you do outside work?

Deborah: I’m a weightlifter/CrossFitter in my spare time and have taken part in competitions across the UK.

Beate: Occasionally I run a half marathon (e.g. around Mersea Island). I used to enjoy distance swimming across lakes in Germany.

Simon: I once had a sword fight with a Paralympian.

James: I play in a hardcore punk band that plays all over the UK and recently completed our second tour of mainland Europe in support of our third album. I also sing in an Anglo-Swedish band and DJ soul and reggae from time to time.

How did people with such different backgrounds get into this line of work?

Deborah: By accident! I took a break from teaching at another university, and saw this advertised.

Hersh: My background and interests pointed to a career in data. I did all my undergraduate and postgraduate training in Government here at Essex and dealing with quantitative data sources is an essential part of that.

James: After my Sociology PhD at Essex, I was in the right place at the right time and had the skills required. It’s quite a niche field so people tend to fall into it.

Beate: I have a lot of international experience producing and analysing large-scale surveys, and in user support services. My research, professional and personal background were right to start this job while still working on my research.

Simon: My fiancée saw the role advertised and pointed out that the requirements were so esoteric that hardly anyone else would be qualified. It combines data, supporting, and teaching all of which I enjoy.

What’s your one top tip for working at the University?

Beate: Come and discover what the UK Data Archive can offer for your research and/or teaching.

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19 March 2018

Volunteer and help mark the end of Essex County Hospital

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 4:59 pm
Essex County Hospital

Essex County Hospital

This summer, Essex County Hospital on Lexden Road is closing its doors after 200 years.

History staff and students have been working with the local NHS Trust to mark the end of this important Colchester institution, as part of the Department’s longstanding commitment to engage local organisations and communities through both education and research. But we need your help.

We’re planning a Heritage Open Day for early July so that local people and former staff and patients can tour the buildings and contribute their own memories to our growing, shared history of the hospital, from the nurses home, built in 1897, right through to the present day.

So far, we’ve created a blog and set up a Twitter feed  to share information about the history of the hospital.  We’ve also digitised historical photographs chronicling the history of the site, but there’s a lot more to do to create a lasting legacy of the hospital for our community.

There are lots of different ways to help from recording oral histories and running ‘history roadshow’ stalls to creating displays and helping with publicity.

We only have one chance to capture the histories and memories of Essex County Hospital before the site is turned over to developers, so please contact Dr Alix Green to find out more.

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16 March 2018

Five easy ways to get your students to complete their student survey

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 12:08 pm

We know everyone is really busy, that’s why we’ve put together these five easy ideas to help you promote NSS and UKES to your UG students before the Easter vacation.

  1. Easily email all your UG students with our new template: Use our email template to contact all your UG students as soon as you can.
  1. Avoid confusion with our survey gateway: Make sure you always send students to our survey gateway page.  This will ensure that all of our students are directed to the right survey for them. If any of your students have any problems accessing a survey they can email and we’ll make sure they get the help they need.
  1. Talk to the students in your department: Please speak to UG students about the surveys, and encourage them to tell us what they think of their time at Essex.  Why not visit your common room or other departmental facilities and ask them to visit the survey gateway page?  Don’t forget we have a range of NSS and UKES resources on our OneDrive.
  1. Use an in-department incentives: Our School of Philosophy and Art History have been offering all students who are eligible for the NSS the chance to win one of ten £5 vouchers. All students have to do is complete their survey and email a screen grab of the acknowledgement screen for a chance to win. We’ve created everything you need to use this idea in your own department.  some steps and a template email for you to use in your own department.
  1. Plan a social event: Some departments are organising social events, inviting students to complete the and offering them some free food at the same time. This is a great way to encourage students to complete their survey and to make sure you reach your departmental target.
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13 March 2018

Meet the cast at the Clifftown Theatre

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 5:00 pm

With performances all year round, the team at the Clifftown Theatre, home of the East 15 Acting School in Southend, is permanently on the go.

East 15 Meet the team weekly

Clockwise from bottom left. Alison Manners, Steven Owens, Teresa Zoers-Taylor, Charlotte Windley, Carlos Moral Reis and Andrea Winngrove-Dunn

 Dr Christopher Main Head of Programs

Chris Main holds an MA in Theatre Practice and a PhD in Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre from Exeter University. He is a Certified Teacher of stage combat with the BASSC, a fight examiner for Stage Combat Germany and holds a black belt in Aikido. Crucible. Chris is in charge of overseeing the artistic running of Clifftown Theatre, including scheduling and budgeting for internal and external performances, and is manager to all Clifftown Theatre staff.

Teresa Zoers-Taylor Clifftown Theatre Manager

Teresa trained as a Theatre Director at UEA and has worked as a Director and Actor in short film and stage. Teresa has been the Clifftown Theatre Manager since October 2008. Teresa works closely with the Head of Programs to coordinate scheduling touring productions and theatre hires. She oversees the general running of the theatre building and is also the Front of House Manager in charge of the Box Office, the Foyer Bar and the Front of House staff, comprised of the Box Office Manager, Chloe Main, and sixteen East 15 student staff.

Chloe Main Box Office Manager

Chloe has been the Box Office Manager since the start of this year. She trained as an actress at Drama Studio London working in film, TV and theatre. Chloe’s role involves overseeing the management of the Box Office booking system as well as all audience bookings for productions within the theatre.

Front of House and Foyer Bar Staff

Sixteen East 15 students, each trained as ushers, Box Office clerks, and Foyer bar staff,  make up the Front of House staff. Team members stay on board until they graduate, at which point their role is opened up for other students, meaning the team changes every 12 months to allow for diversity and equal opportunity for all East 15 students in Southend. The staff are comprised of students across four Southend BA acting courses; Acting & Stage Combat, Acting & Community Theatre, Physical Theatre and World Performance.

Steven Owens Production Manager

Steve started as Senior Technician at East 15 Acting School in October 2007 being promoted to Production Manager in March 2017. Steve oversees the technical team at Clifftown Theatre, also working as the sound and lighting designer and technical operator for all East 15 productions, as well as working alongside the Theatre Manager to ensure the smooth running of all tours and hires at Clifftown. 

Carlos Moral Reis Set Designer and Master Carpenter

Carlos Moral Reis started as Set Designer and Master Carpenter at East 15 Acting School in February 2013. Carlos oversees the design and construction of all sets for East 15 productions, as well as working alongside the Production Manager to ensure the smooth running of all tours and hires at Clifftown. 

Charlotte Windley Stage Manager

Charlotte Windley trained as an actor at East 15 Acting School and has worked as an actor, agent and stage manager for many different theatre companies. Charlotte sources props and supervises all East 15 productions, assuming full responsibility of the stage, as well as working alongside the Production Manager to ensure the smooth running of all tours and hires at Clifftown. 

Alison Manners Costume Designer and Wardrobe Supervisor

Alison Manners studied fashion and went on to be Wardrobe Supervisor for many high profile theatres and also in TV at the BBC where she worked for many years. Alison designs many of the costumes for East 15 productions, and works alongside freelance costume designers and the Wardrobe Assistant to source and construct costume.

Andrea Winngrove-Dunn Wardrobe Assistant

Andrea Winngrove-Dunn has many years’ experience working for high-end tailors Jane Smith in Leigh-on-Sea. Andrea has been working as the Wardrobe Assistant since October 2011. Andrea works closely with the Wardrobe Supervisor to construct, repair, source, make alteration to and repair costumes for Clifftown Theatre productions.




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Southend start for new lecturer in tourism

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 3:53 pm

Dr Wei Liu has joined the Essex Business School as a lecturer in tourism, focussing on the principles of marketing.

Wei Liu weekly

Wei is particularly interested in dark tourism, where people travel to destinations associated with death, such as concentration camps and Grenfell Tower. She recently presented her  paper ‘Chinese Tourists’ Perceived Value in Dark Tourism Consumption Experience’ at the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research conference in Amsterdam.

She said: “It transpires there are different reasons why people want to go to these destinations. Some visitors want to see the scene and be educated, others are rubbernecking and still more go to help.

“Dark tourism can also bring benefits by helping an area recover economically.”

After gaining her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2004 at Jilin University, China, Wei started her career as a project assistant to carry out a modern distance education project for rural primary and secondary schools in Hubei province, led by China’s Ministries of Finance, Education and National Development & Reform Commission.

She then was employed as an executive secretary to the chairman of China Chamber of Commerce for Petroleum Industry, ACFIC .

After she came back to academia, she received her master’s degree in Tourism Management at the University of Surrey in 2009, where she continued as a researcher and obtained her PhD in Tourism Management in 2017.

She also worked as a part-time research assistant on the project of British tourist satisfaction assessment funded by China National Tourist Office during the final stage of her PhD study.

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9 March 2018

And Marta makes two

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 12:05 pm

New Essex Business School lecturer Marta Fernandez De Arroyabe y Arranz was already familiar with the Southend Campus as her father is also an academic here.

Marta weekly

Dr Juan Fernandez De Arroyabe Fernandez is a senior lecturer in Management Science and Entrepreneurship and the two have already worked together on several pieces of research, including looking at the effect of curricular and extracurricular activities on university students’ intention and competences.

Marta has recently completed her doctorate in Management  split between CREA University of Luxembourg and UNU-Merit Maastricht University. She also has a BA in Maths and a BSc in Business Administration from Saint Louis University, Missouri.

Marta said: “I am now focussing on teaching, working with the undergraduates on business creation and growth and looking at the theories and practice of entrepreneurship with postgraduate students.

“My main topics for research are entrepreneurship, innovation, particularly looking at SMEs,  and mergers and acquisitions.”

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7 March 2018

Register your interest for our summer holiday clubs

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 5:04 pm
Children at our summer holiday club.

Children at our summer holiday club.

Do you have a sporty, crafty or nature loving child? Do you require childcare in the school holidays? Essex Sport and Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery, located at our Colchester Campus, will be hosting summer holiday camps for children aged five to fourteen. Both holiday clubs will be running from Monday 23 July with the Day Nursery holiday club finishing on Friday 24 August and Essex Sport’s CHUMs finishing Friday 31 August. They will run from 8.30am to 5.30pm every weekday.

Bookings for our summer holiday clubs will be opening shortly, in the meantime please register your interest in your chosen holiday club.

Children between the age of five and eight have the choice of whether they’d like to attend Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery holiday club or Mini CHUMS run by Essex Sport. The Day Nursery provides play based activities in our large outdoor gardens, as well as forest schools sessions and scheduled day trips around the campus and surrounding area. CHUMS provides a sportier option with team-based games, professional coaching in tennis and football, as well as arts and crafts.

Children over the age of eight can attend Junior CHUMS where the summer program will utilises the brilliant sporting facilities that our Colchester Campus has to offer, including the brand new £12m Essex Sport Arena launched by Olympic Gold Medalist MBE Max Whitlock and Chancellor of the University of Essex, John Bercow MP.

If you’d like to register your interest in Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery, please send an email to We will then send you an application form to complete which must be returned by email only. Applications can be submitted from 10am on Tuesday 3 April and will be allocated in order of receipt. Application forms cannot be handed in at the Nursery. Children can be booked in for single days or for week-long sessions. Prices for this year will remain the same as last year at £26.50 per day with an optional lunch cost of £4.50 per day if required.

If you would like to register your interest for CHUMS please get in touch with the Essex Sport team by emailing Prices will also remain the same as last year at £22.50 per day for University of Essex staff. Register your interest before 3 April to book your priority place and receive a 15% OFF voucher for your summer CHUMS booking.

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