Students Staff

21 December 2018

8500 is the magic number

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 11:22 am

IT Services Southend is launching a new priority  number  – 8500 – to report lecture room AV/IT faults. Matt Softly, IT Manager Southend and Loughton,  explains how it will work.

IT Southend  has  been exploring a number of improvements that can help us all increase the reliability of lecture rooms, reducing the potential negative impact on teaching time and student experience.

As a result, in time for the new term, we are launching a new direct line on 8500 to triage and prioritise lecture room AV/IT faults over and above all other calls.

This will be supported by new technology that allows members of our team to have requests pushed to them wherever they are on our Campus. Between 8.45am and 5pm this number will ring continuously until it is answered. All members of IT Services Southend staff are expected to answer as a priority.

Other measures that are being introduced include

  • We have installed a lecture room AV/IT status monitor in our Info Point office, so the team can proactively monitor the lecture room AV/IT throughout the day and can more easily see that a device is not functioning as expected – even before teaching is scheduled.
  • We receive a ListenAgain status report in the early hours of the morning identifying potential issues.
  • We also run a full diagnostics test in all teaching rooms before the start of each term, so we can be sure all rooms are operating as we would expect.

How you can help

To maximise the time that we have available to troubleshoot lecture room AV/IT faults should they arise and minimise disruption to teaching, we would encourage teaching staff to arrive at lecture rooms 10 minutes before the lesson start time.

You can use this time to check that the lecture room AV/IT starts up/logs on as expected, reporting any issues on 8500 as quickly as possible means that we can get to you and resolve the problem before it impacts on teaching time and student experience.

Best practice for teaching staff would be to test all aspects of the AV/IT that you’ll be using before the teaching session begins, including audio and any additional technology such as laptop/voting handsets. If a fault is discovered during teaching, but you’re able to work around it, please remember to report this to us on 8500 after the lesson so that we can ensure that the AV/IT is working for the next teaching event.

To prevent interruption to future teaching events, and to help reduce the University’s carbon footprint, please ensure that the lecture room AV is shut down, using the lectern touch-panel, and   that you have logged off of the lecture room PC, but left it on. A large number of interruptions to the start of teaching events are caused by the AV being left on, or the PC having been switched off from the previous event.


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11 December 2018

New research posts at East 15: Dr Christina Kapadocha

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 4:49 pm

New research centred posts have been created at the East 15 Acting School, as part of a team led by Director of Research and Head of Creative Producing Professor Rosie Klich.

Rosie said: “Our new research staff champion both practice-as-research and more traditional research methods. Key areas of research in the school currently include vocal training and movement training for actors and immersive, participatory and feminist performance. As our East 15 research team develops we are keen to continue building relationships with departments across the university and work with industry partners to produce interdisciplinary, public-facing projects that promote socially engaged, conceptually challenging, and highly experimental arts research.

Here we meet Dr Christina Kapadocha, Lecturer in Theatre and Movement, East 15 Acting School at the Loughton Campus.

Dr Christina Kapadocha

What does your role involve?

My current role develops upon my activities as a member of the Movement and Research Departments at East 15 Acting School.

As a member of the Movement  department my teaching focuses on somatic movement for actors by integrating my experience as an actress (Dip. GNT Drama School, MA East 15), somatic movement educator (Dip. IBMT/BMC®, RSME) and researcher (PhD). Through this role, I also teach Animal Study (towards character study and devising), facilitate the shaping of students’ original monologues and processes of embodiment in performances.

As a member of the Research department I shape my current practice-research projects within the school’s emerging research community. My present research concentrates on the application, modification and impact of somatically-inspired practices into theatre-performing environments and beyond. I am also in the supervisory panel for a PhD on drama teaching and actor training in HE within the university’s Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies department.

What did you do before?

I am a London-based actress, educator/director and researcher. I started my career in theatre as a stage actress in Greece, including productions at the National Theatre of Greece and the Athens Festival.  In 2010 I received a full-time scholarship from the Greek State Scholarship Foundation (IKY) to advance my theatre studies in the UK. I completed my postgraduate degree in acting at East 15 Acting School (MA Acting International) and a Practice-as-Research PhD on actor-training pedagogies at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (additionally supported by Elsie Fogerty Research Degree Studentship).

As part of my PhD and my parallel professional development as somatic movement educator, I critically investigated the development of my own new somatically-inspired actor-training pedagogy, introduced as Somatic Acting Process® (SAP®). Through this process, I started teaching my original practice and related subjects in major London-based drama schools and independent contexts. Prior to my full-time appointment at East 15, I have also taught in other conservatoires such as RCSSD, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and Rose Bruford College. My latest theatre and performance experience focuses on various research-based projects and collaborations.

Are you working on any particular projects?

I am presently working on two main projects:

  • Somatic Voices in Performance Research and Beyond (2020), a volume that I edit and write and will be published by Routledge Voice Studies Series. The project, for which I have been awarded a PVC-Research Strategic Fund, introduces the new fields of Somatic Voice Studies and Somatic Voice Analysis. Combining written discussions with practical material, the development of a new international network and knowledge exchange activities, Somatic Voices advance current perspectives on voice through somatically-informed praxical methodologies.
  • Reflections on the 1st international ‘Somatic in Theatre and Performance Research Gathering’ that I organised and took place in Corfu, Greece (23-26 August 2018). The reflexive outcomes explore the integration between written and visual material towards the dissemination of the project. Emergent critical themes include a. revisions on experiencing communities through somatic attention b. new modes of documenting practice-research process and their significance.

What are you looking forward to most in your research role?

What I am most looking forward to in my new role, is to further challenge traditional divisions between formal research methodologies and theatre practices within both my teaching and research. As an artist, researcher and educator with an ongoing conservatoire experience, I wish to advocate the significance of how conservatoire-originated practices can advance current research methodologies and inform urgent discussions within and beyond performance environments. I do believe that dynamic interrelations between theatre practices and other disciplines, practices and theories, diverse experiences and reflection, can open up further opportunities for the students at East 15 as critically-aware artists, creators and practitioners.

What do you think of the atmosphere at East 15?

As an East 15 graduate myself and member of staff since 2014, I deeply appreciate the sense of community at school. This is a community that nourishes not isolated individuals but unique actor-creators who know well that acting and directing, in any form and context, are innately group processes.

Read about fellow researcher Dr Tara McAllister-Viel and Professor Rosie Klich.

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Tribute to Emeritus Professor Ray Meddis

Filed under: Latest news — Communications Office @ 11:17 am
Professor Ray Meddis

Professor Ray Meddis

Ray Meddis, Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Essex, passed away unexpectedly on 25 November in Wivenhoe.

Ray will be remembered as a lovely person, pioneering researcher, an excellent teacher and an inspirational mentor and scholar.

Ray was born 23 July, 1944 in Sunderland. He studied Psychology at the University of London and then became a lecturer in Psychology at Bedford College, University of London. He was Director of the Speech and Hearing Laboratory for ten years at Loughborough University. In 1996, he joined the Department of Psychology at Essex and became Emeritus Professor after his retirement in 2011.

Ray’s unusually wide research interests spanned from the nature and purpose of sleep to understanding and modelling normal and impaired auditory perception. His computational model of the auditory system remains highly influential in the field and informed the development of a variety of biologically inspired applications such as automatic speech recognition systems and hearing aids. His early work on statistics allowed many generations of psychology students to experience the pleasure of calculating ANOVA-statistics with pen and paper, using the ‘Meddis method’.

Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Ray will agree that he relished in challenging mainstream, established ideas. His remarkable ability to represent complex ideas in an elegant, simple manner meant that his students were regularly introduced to concepts and debates at the forefront of their field.

Ray was an outstanding host and a gentleman in manners. He was a keen traveller, sailor and gourmand. He regularly travelled around Europe, often by car, visiting different research labs and took great pleasure in inspiring and mentoring young researchers within the auditory research community.

Ray was a passionate campaigner for the right to high-quality services for people with learning disabilities. Ray and his wife Valerie were founding members of the Glebe House Project, a Loughborough-based charity which provides support to adults and children with learning disabilities through a wide range of services. The charity was founded in 1983 and Ray remained a trustee until recent years.

Ray is survived by his wife Valerie, son William and sister Vera. His son Christopher passed away only two years ago.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, 20 December. For more details about the service, please contact the Department of Psychology ( The family suggests memorial contributions can be made to the charity Action on Hearing Loss via a Ray Meddis Tribute page where you can also leave a tribute to Ray.

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7 December 2018

Professional Services Sections Christmas Closures 2018

Filed under: Latest news — ckeitch @ 11:10 am

Please note the times that the following Professional Services sections will close for their staff Christmas lunch or annual conference:

Strategic Planning and Change Section :Friday 7 December from midday.

Vice-Chancellor’s Office :Tuesday 11 December from 12.30pm.

Academic Section:

  • Tuesday 11 December from 12pm.
  • Wednesday 19 December from 12pm.
  • Student Information team closed 19 December from 12pm.

EMS Helpdesk: Wednesday 12 Dec from 12.30pm.

REO: Thursday 13 December from midday.

Human Resources:Friday 14 December from 12.30pm.


  • Friday 14 December from midday.
  • This will involve all services that come under Finance, including Procurement, Income and Payments.

Accommodation Essex

  • Friday 14 Dec from 12.30pm.
  • Please contact the Student Information Team or Information Centre for front line accommodation queries during this closure.

Southend Campus: Friday 14 December from 1.30pm

Campus Services (Finance and  Marketing): Friday 14 December from 12.30pm.

Albert Sloman Library:

  • Monday 17 December 2018 from 2pm.
  • The Library will still be open, but will be staffed by Reassurance Staff.

Print Essex and Copy Centre: Wednesday 19 Dec from 1pm.

 SU: Wednesday 19 December 2018 – All day.

CER: Wednesday 19 December – Full day Annual Conference with Christmas meal.

IT Services:

  • Thursday 20 December from 12.30pm
  • The section across our Colchester, Loughton and Southend campuses will be closed, but IT Helpdesk ( emails will be monitored.

The Day Nursery, Essex Sport and Essex Food will be open as normal.

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6 December 2018

Meet our new Football Development Officer

Filed under: Latest news — Heather Leathley @ 2:49 pm

Essex Sport has recruited its first full time Football Development Officer, Sarah Dooley.  She explains her new role.

How excited are you about your new role?

Sarah Dooley

I’m very excited to be here. At a time where both the men’s and women’s National Teams are having continued success on the world stage, it is critical to harness that interest across the grassroots game too. The University, with its recent investment in the Sports Arena, has shown its commitment to sport and physical activity and it is fantastic to be at the forefront of futsal development as well as more traditional football activity. Having been involved in the women’s game from a young age, I can see how far it has developed but also am delighted to be part of delivering and achieving even more!

What does your role involve?

Our vision is to transform the lives of students, staff and the local community through football, by

  • enriching personal development,
  • facilitating the achievement of individual potential
  • providing accessible and flexible opportunities for everyone

With this in mind, I’ll be working with both local and national partners and stakeholders to increase appropriate opportunities to play, coach, referee, spectate or support the game.

As our funding is primarily being supported from the Women and Girls game, the aspiration is to focus heavily on increasing opportunities for females to help the FA reach its ambitious target of doubling participation by 2020 as part of their Gameplan for Growth strategy.

What are your aspirations for football and futsal at Essex?

In an ideal world, it would be for every student, staff and member of the local community to have the opportunity to take part in football or futsal activity at the University or within the local area.

This could take the form of playing, coaching, refereeing and spectating as well as other leadership and development opportunities. I am looking to use football and futsal as catalysts to producing work ready graduates and to place the University of Essex as a market leader for football opportunities and development.

What is the difference between football and futsal?

Good question! They are completely different games but do complement each other exceptionally well in terms of individual and team development.

Football was developed in England originally with very limited rules and almost a mob mentality which developed over time with the creation of the Football Association (The FA).

Futsal however, was developed on the streets of Uruguay and is a faced paced, skilful version of the game. Players such as Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Zinedine Zidane credit their football success to playing futsal as kids as the game allowed them to improve close control and try skills they wouldn’t dare to in football!

In terms of playing, Futsal is played on a smaller, hard court pitch where football is primarily played on grass or artificial turf pitches. The futsal court is much smaller and the game is played with a smaller, heavier ball with less bounce than a traditional football. A futsal game is split into 2 halves, each of 20 minutes with a stopping clock and football 2 halves of 45 minutes with a running clock. The futsal goal is taller than it is wide whereas a football goal is wider than it is tall.
Futsal will provide players more touches on the ball as the game is in a smaller, confined space but offers tactical and technical player development which is transferable to football.

So, everyone should try both and our Active Sessions offer the opportunity to do just that!

How will you be involving Essex students?

I’m currently working on developing a Student Football Management Team who will represent their peers to drive football and futsal in the appropriate direction. Alongside this, I’m developing Coaching and Refereeing Hubs which will bring together likeminded students who wish to progress on either pathway. The Management Team will have a representative from the coaching and refereeing hubs, as well as BUCS Presidents, so the whole football and futsal picture at the University is represented.
Once this is all set up and running, we will deploy Hub coaches and referees into relevant internal and external opportunities, both as volunteers and into paid opportunities.

How long have you been playing football?

I hung up my playing boots a number of years ago to move into coaching and development having played for Ipswich Town Ladies (in what was the 2nd tier of women’s football in England), Arsenal Ladies Academy (in the same cohort as Alex Scott) and in a summer league for Boston Renegades in America. I also represented the University of Chichester throughout my undergraduate degree.

Have you worked in football before?

Yes, for over 10 years. I started on a part time basis for Ipswich Town Community Trust before moving to work full time at a club in America. I spent just over 4 years working as Club Registrar, Head Coach and Assistant Director of the department overseeing development and playing opportunities for all Under 13-20 ‘s. When I moved back to England, I coached part time for Suffolk FA before moving to the University of Suffolk. As Sport Projects Manager, I applied to BUCS & The FA to deliver the Community Hubs Model at Tier 3. With this support, and by working with Students, I doubled men’s participation and developed 2 competitive women’s teams from scratch (1 football and 1 futsal) plus adding a social futsal session for all.

Are there plans to expand your team?

We currently have Yvan Godby working part time as Football Activator; his role primarily focuses around the development and sustainability of opportunities for male students as well as exploring appropriate offers for and within the local community. In the very near future, we will be recruiting a female Football Activator who will be tasked with driving female participation in football through alternative playing opportunities as well as recruiting new coaches, referees and administrators to the game. Additional to this, through the Student Football Management Team, there will be volunteer coordinator roles available too.

If you would like more information, please contact Sarah Dooley, Football Development Officer on who will be more than happy to help or signpost you to the right opportunity.



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4 December 2018

Payments Supervisor Beverley retires after 43 years at Essex

Filed under: Latest news — Communications Office @ 6:43 pm
Beverley Smith

Beverley Smith

Beverley Smith has retired after 43 years in the Finance Section at Essex.

Back when the Payments Office was on the first floor of Wivenhoe House in 1975, Beverley joined the section as a clerical assistant, where she remembers using manual typewriters for cheques and ticking off bank statements, as well as walking down to the main campus when she needed to deliver documents.

“When I first came here, everything was manual,” she remembered. “We had telephones but we didn’t have any emails, we didn’t have any computers on our desks. If we needed to see somebody in the squares we used to walk down from Wivenhoe House. It was all very different.”

During the 43 years working here, Beverley had to adapt to four different finance systems, saw the university change and even met the Queen when she visited the University in 1985. Although many things have transformed across the years, she said the University had remained the same lovely environment and the new buildings “haven’t spoiled the beautiful grounds”, but given even more space for the students and staff numbers to grow alongside the University.

Looking back on her career at Essex she advised anyone who had just started working here to make the most of it.

“I have really enjoyed my time here and worked with some lovely people,” she added. “I wish the University and my friends and colleagues all the very best for the future.”

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