Students Staff

People pages

16 June 2017

Advancement team scoop two prestigious awards

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 10:18 am
an image of the cover of Essex Effect magazine

Our award winning alumni magazine

Our Advancement team have scooped two prestigious awards – one for their Click crowd funding platform and another for their new look alumni magazine Essex Effect.

  • The alumni magazine was recognised with a Silver Award in the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards. The magazine is published annually and read by over 50,000 alumni worldwide. It received the award for improvement in magazine publishing and is the only UK publication represented in the Awards. The judges praised it’s creative design and compelling content and said it reflected the unique character of the University.
  • Click was awarded the Gold prize in the Challenge Grant & Matching Gift program category. Not only was Essex the only UK university recognised in this category, but Click was the only crowdfunding program worldwide to receive any prize at the CASE Circle of Excellence awards. Click was awarded the Gold prize in recognition of its hugely successful matchfunding program for student fundraising. Click uses money raised from alumni and friends of the University to match the fundraising endeavours of students, £1 for £1. The scheme has helped 118 student groups raise a total of £161,000 towards a wide range of student experience projects, encompassing arts, sports, societies, volunteering, internships and student entrepreneurship.
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1 June 2017

One Essex – meet our design winners

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 3:51 pm

Our county-wide One Essex inclusivity campaign kicked off with the Students’ Union Hate Wall event. The event was a great chance for us to show off the branding of our campaign. The unique look and feel of the brand is all thanks to our fantastic One Essex competition winners, whose combined design ideas can now be seen as the brand for the campaign.

Here we hear from each of our winners about why the One Essex campaign and inclusivity is important to them.




  • What is inclusion to you?

Inclusion is when everyone is coming together. All is equal in a united front. Everyone is in peace and love. When there is no war, no drama

  • Why is inclusion important?

Inclusion is important because when everyone comes together, there is no hatred, there is no crime.

It upsets me that down the line when we have children, I don’t want them to have to live in an environment where no one gets along just because of their age, sex and everything like that. I want them to see that everyone is equal.

  • Can you give us examples of where inclusion has made a real difference?

I think because I have been in the University for almost a year and I haven’t been to a university before and I work here, as far as I can see around here, it seems that this University is a very united place where everyone gets along. People really come together here as one.

  • Do you think inclusion is under threat at the moment and if so, how can we best combat it?

I think it is slightly because how the UK is coming out of EU and how things are changing. It’s affecting many people and Europeans themselves are also unsure of what is going to happen so I think at the moment yes it is.

And hopefully we can do something about it because it looks as though there are things that are coming into place to sort this issue. But I know of a lot of projects to sort things out. This University really does resemble togetherness. I feel we need to aim in making others feel like they are at home. To not feel like they are an outsider.

This is why this University is good – no discrimination towards educational background especially when I have never been to a university to study before and I was worried.

But I felt welcomed here.

  • Where would like to see inclusion in 5 years’ time?

I would like to see (not just in university) where people are allowed to go to any country and feel like they are at home and are welcomed. I want to see policies in place stating that discrimination is not right, gender discrimination is not right. Everyone is equal. It’s hard to imagine how we can do it.




  • What is inclusion to you?

Making sure we involve everybody in the community regardless of their background and the most important is to consider where that person is now and how they can contribute to the community. Be that in university or town, or the country as a whole. The most important thing is involving everybody.

  • Why is inclusion important?

It is important that we don’t exclude anybody or miss their needs so they can get the most out of where there are.

But including everybody, we can ensure that their voices are heard and different needs are met so that we can create a university, a country that works for everybody and not just for one group of people.

  • Can you give any examples of where inclusion has made a real difference?

I think it’s this University – I have been here for just three months and it’s already quite apparent here that everybody has a voice. And everybody can have their voice heard and I think that does contribute to a wide international community that can be listened to and where people understand one another. This University is a very good example of inclusion. Being English and living in an international community is brilliant – it gives opportunity to embrace experiences and cultures that I otherwise wouldn’t have come across. Food for example, out on the squares with the markets, the international food is probably one of the things that I wouldn’t have had the chance to try if it weren’t because the University being so inclusive. I wouldn’t have the chance to meet different people as well.

  • Do you think inclusion is under threat at the moment and if so, how can we best combat it?

I wouldn’t say that it is under threat at this moment in time, but I would say that the future is definitely uncertain after the political developments of last year. Brexit for example – the discussions can be quite dangerous as it doesn’t seem to include everybody and we are already seeing signs of that. The best thing we can do is to continue to ensure that our voices are heard and ensure situations like Brexit do work for everybody and do work for the whole community. I would say there is definitely a danger going forward but it’s also an opportunity to make sure that everybody’s voice can be heard and it can work for everybody.

  •  Where would like to see inclusion in 5 years’ time?

Hopefully we can get to a point where we won’t need to discuss it anymore because it’s a given thing and it’s something that occurs naturally and it’s already happening everywhere. That is the ideal where everybody can have their voice heard.



Yasmin Abdullah

  • What is inclusion to you?

Inclusion is a feeling of solidarity. While we may come from different countries, practice different cultures and live different lifestyles, we are all human beings and relate to one another in a host of ways – be it through our kind actions or emotions. We should exercise compassion always and strive to recognise humanity in any shape or form. Inclusion in the University of Essex should strive to include each and every Essex student to ensure that their voice is heard and their needs met.

  •  Why is inclusion important?

Inclusivity is crucial to build a tight-knit, supportive and loving community. A feeling of solidarity and one-for-all is proven to help motivate young people to strive for excellence and build strong ties between them and their community. We are only as strong as our weakest link; and if we exclude anyone, we will fall as a collective society. Not only that – inclusion makes all the difference in making Essex feel like just another institution of education, or a place to call home.

  • Can you give any examples of where inclusion has made a real difference?

Being a part of the International Students’ Association of the University of Essex (ISA) has definitely made me see that inclusion is a great factor in getting people to open up and share their own views and opinions. The ISA strives to create a space where internationals not only feel comfortable in their own skin, but motivated to share their culture and traditions with other Essex students. The International Concert and Cultural Gala are success stories that amplify the voices of International students and gives them a platform to thrive.

Moreover, I believe the Students’ Unions has done an excellent job in providing opportunities and events for all Essex students regardless of whether they are a Home, EU or International student. We are all encouraged to promote the causes we believe in and easily have access to contribute to the local community by the act of volunteering, which creates a feeling of inclusivity and solidarity that goes beyond the gates of university.

  • Do you think inclusion is under threat at the moment and if so, how can we best combat it?

As a student, I wouldn’t consider it under threat, but I do believe that political uncertainty brought on by the Brexit vote does create a cause for concern. More regulations for foreigners will reduce the number of international students who attend British universities, which offsets their aim and derails UK’s efforts of being an educational global hub.

The best the University could do is to strongly present themselves as a supportive and inclusive institution for international and EU students regardless of the political uncertainty that enshrouds us, be it through reassurance or show of solidarity. The Vice-Chancellor has done an excellent job in welcoming internationals in years past through his close involvement in the ISA’s activities. We are one of the most international Universities in the world, and it rests in our hands to continue being that way.

  • Where would like to see inclusion in 5 years’ time?

Personally, I hope to see the University and the UK embracing strength in diversity and encourage a world without borders. Talented students of any nationality should be welcomed anywhere across the world without having to fear political turbulence and its consequences on their future. We should encourage cross-country education in order to build a more open and welcoming generation.

The One Essex campaign is looking for more people to come  forward and share their story of why inclusivity is important to them. If you have a story to tell, get in touch with our team and be part of our campaign to spread inclusivity, diversity and respect. Contact Benita Ganeva;

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Meet our new SRES School Manager – Sarah Mumford

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

Sarah Mumford has been appointed as School Manager for our new School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences (SRES). Here she tells us more about herself and about her exciting new role. 

  • Have you worked at the University before? If so where and for how long?
Sarah Mumford is School Manager for our new School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Science.

Sarah Mumford is School Manager for our new School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences.

Yes, I started working at the University in 2009 in Essex Business School until 2014. I then went to the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) followed by my last role before this one in Philosophy & Art History. So I have worked in different faculties in departments of varying sizes. All of these have been student facing roles in which I have had a number of different responsibilities, from overseeing coursework and attendance monitoring processes to managing the student facing offices, and arranging Welcome Week and Applicant Days, among other events. I am looking forward to taking this experience into my new role.

  • Have you now started your new role?

I have now started in my new role as SRES School Manager, although the School does not officially open until 1 August.

  • What interested you in the role of SRES school manager?

I was interested in the chance to create a whole new department and manage the recruitment of a new professional services team. The opportunity to merge processes from two existing departments Health and Human Sciences (HHS) and Biological Sciences (BS), and possibly create new processes, also appealed.

  • This is a brand new role in a new school starting from scratch – what will you want to tackle/work on first?

Recruitment of the new professional services team is the priority, along with the implementation of standardised processes across the degrees coming from HHS and BS, which are Sports and Exercise Science, Sports Performance & Coaching, Physiotherapy and Sports Therapy. Another priority is ensuring that students coming from these departments and new first years feel a part of the new School. We will hopefully be helped in this by a Frontrunner and Project Worker.

  • After that, what will your priorities be?

One of the next priorities will be ensuring the professional services team work well together, and with academic staff, to deliver consistently excellent customer service. Increasing student intake and establishing the School as a world-leading department in both research and education is the overall aim, and this may be facilitated by the introduction of new courses at some point.

  • Is there anything you want to do differently? In a new way?

I want to introduce more flexibility in roles and responsibilities across the professional services team to promote cross-skilling and collaborative working.

  • What should students come to you for?

The existing space and contacts are still in place in HHS and BS, however, any students transferring to SRES are welcome to come and see me with any concerns or questions about how the move might affect them going forwards.

  • And where can they find you?

I am currently sharing an office with the Biological Sciences School Manager James Norman in 3SW.4.06. By the opening of the School in August the School Office will be set up in room 5A.131 while we wait for the completion of the new Sports Centre.

  • When do you move to your new office?

The School office and academic staff offices will be located in the new Sports Centre upon its completion at some point in Spring term 2018.

  • Tell us something unusual or quirky about yourself – e.g. have you any interesting hobbies or pursuits? A passion for something unusual?

I used to be a biker and commuted to work at the University for two years before I eventually got my driving licence!


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17 May 2017

Emeritus Professor highlights films from the margins for LGBT+ TV

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications Office @ 11:32 am

Image from Tales from the MarginsProfessor Rainer Schulze has created a new film series for LGBT+ TV looking at films from around the world.

Professor Schulze said: “Tales From The Margins is a different kind of LGBTIQ film programme: it is not only showing films on LGBTIQ issues from around the world, but I am also talking with the filmmakers about their films: why they made them, the problems they faced and the impact their films had.

“The programme has a global outlook and focuses on struggles and issues which LGBTIQ communities in the western world often believe, rightly or wrongly, they have long overcome. It includes both documentaries and narrative films, short films as well as feature films, and over time it aims to cover all the six letters of L, G, B, T, I and Q.”

The first introductory series comprised films on LGBTIQ communities in a number of African countries and is now being repeated. It opened with the disturbing Ugandan feature film ‘Outed: The Painful Reality’ which, based on a true story, looks into the life of Vida, a man outed by a Ugandan tabloid as one of the “top homosexuals” in the country and as a result loses his job and his house and is hunted by the authorities.

Professor Schulze said: “The next series of Tales From The Margins will shift the focus to South Asia where LGBTIQ people are also still struggling for legal equality and social acceptance. Tales From The Margins wants to stimulate discussion, create solidarity in our global community and, hopefully, be entertaining as well.”

  • Tune in to Tales From The Margins, Mondays and Fridays at 9.00pm on LGBT+ TV, Virgin Media 159, Freeview 7 or
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10 May 2017

And the winners are…

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 2:31 pm
Julie Storey won a Windows tablet. Congratulations Julie!

Julie Storey won a Windows tablet. Congratulations Julie!

As part of our Celebrating Excellence events this week, our Finance and Procurement teams ran competitions.

And the winners are:

  • Winner of the Windows tablet was Julie Storey – the correct answer to “How many printers on campus” was 870, Julie’s answer of 857 was the nearest.
  • Winner of the STA Travel vouchers was ticket number 72 drawn by Keith Miller and the winner was Kate Beckwith.
  •  Winner of the Afternoon Tea for Two was Kai Yin Low – the correct answer to “Total value of assets insured for the UoE at 1st August 2016” was £724.5 million, Kai Yin was the nearest with £750 million.

Finance/Procurement would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who kindly donated prizes and stationary, including: Wivenhoe House Hotel, Print Essex, STA Travel, Stone Computers, Office Depot and Dell Computers.

The teams would also like to say a big thank you to Event Essex, and all those who visited our stand and entered the competitions, it is through you that this was such a great success.

Kate Beckwith won the STA travel vouchers. Congratulations Kate!

Kate Beckwith won the STA travel vouchers. Congratulations Kate!

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27 April 2017

Meet our Subject Librarians

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — ckeitch @ 9:37 am

Our team of Subject Librarians are based at Colchester and Southend. Between them, they cover all of the schools and departments at the University. We caught up with Esther Wilkinson (EW), Sandy Macmillen (SM) Ai Gooch (AG) and Greg Bennett (GB) to find out more about the team and their work.

An image of our subject librarians.

Some of our Subject Librarians.

How many Subject Librarians are there? (EW): There are four of us based in Colchester – Ai Gooch (responsible for Business and Law), Greg Cadge (responsible for Sciences) and Sandy Macmillen (responsible for Economics, Government, Sociology and the Edge Hotel School). I’m responsible for Humanities.  Greg Bennett is based at our Southend campus and covers Health Sciences, East 15, the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies and the Education Business School in Southend.

What are the main responsibilities of your role?

(EW): In a nutshell, we liaise closely with our respective faculties/academic departments to make sure that the library meets their learning, teaching and research requirements. This includes developing and delivering information and research skills training for their students, as well as identifying relevant print and online resources for purchase. The training we deliver covers a wide range of different areas, from referencing and reference management software to advanced research skills.

We also support students on a one-to-one basis through our Book a Librarian service, which we launched last year. This service has been really popular so far. It basically means that our students can get personalised help with their literature searching and finding relevant data, which they really appreciate.

(SM): We also contribute to other areas of the library’s work, which in my case includes the special collections and archives, and helping with space issues involving shelving, books and library furniture.

How do you make sure you’re up to date with the latest research coming out of our departments?

(SM): It’s important to try and keep up to date with teaching and research in our departments and more broadly in Higher Education in the UK and overseas. There are various formal and informal channels for ensuring that this takes place.

It’s equally important that research students and academic staff are aware of what the library is doing on their behalf and for their students on an ongoing basis. I make sure I’m in regular touch with all of my students, so that they should all know who I am and what I can do for them, and that they can contact me at any time with a question.

(AG): I think communication with individual academics is a key for me to understand their current research interest. I find that departmental meetings are quite useful. I also monitor book suggestions from researchers

(EW): The students we meet during our one-to-one sessions, particularly the postgraduates, are also helpful points of contact, as their research is often related to that of academic staff.

What difference does this make for our students?

(GB): It helps the students greatly if the resources we buy for the library are up to date with current trends. Also, our teaching of students and helping them to find the key information in their subject areas is far more effective when we are aware of things at the cutting edge of our subjects.

As Subject Librarians, what are you most proud of?

(EW): Historically there has been a focus in the library on collection development, but we’ve come a long way over the past 18 months in building relationships with academic departments and other professional services to develop the information and digital skills training that we offer, thereby equipping our students to succeed in their academic studies and increasing their future employability.

We try to make our training as interesting and engaging as possible, and we make use of audience response software and even Lego! In fact, Greg Cadge has recently been shortlisted for a national information literacy award, in recognition of the work he has done in developing sessions for first year Psychology and Sociology students. Although there is still more to do I think this is definitely something we should be proud of.

(SM): I know from experience that the input of subject librarians can be critical to students’ work and I think the thing we are most proud of is when we see that this has made a big difference to the quality of students’ work.

(AG): Like Sandy, I feel proud when I see our work has positive impact on students’ and researchers’ work and beyond. We have been actively trying to incorporate innovative approaches to our teaching and I believe we made quite a difference in the period of two years.

Tell us something funny or unique about yourselves?

(GB): We are a pretty diverse team of people. Esther is a keen Scottish country dancer, Ai used to practice Kickboxing but now enjoys Zumba and I have three different passports, but unlike Jason Bourne, they all have the same name.

What is your one tip for working at the University?

(EW) Always be open to opportunities for collaboration. Also, take advantage of the beautiful campus we have here. I know that’s two tips – sorry!

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5 April 2017

Meet the Wivenhoe Park Nursery team

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 3:33 pm

Our Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery offers childcare for children aged between nine months and five years. Its team work hard to provide great childcare in our beautiful campus surroundings. Here Nursery manager Heleanna tells us more about her work and her team.

Heleanna and some of the nursery team

Some of the Wivenhoe Park Nursery team

Name Heleanna Phair.

Job title  nursery manager.

How many members are there in your team?  46

How long have you held this position at the University?  10 months.

What are the main responsibilities of your role? Arranging staffing, developing the performance of the nursery, managing staff performance, maintain financial targets, increase occupancy.

What is the main purpose of the team? To care and educate children aged between 0-5.

Tell me something funny or unique or unusual about yourself  I literally never stop eating when I am at work.

What big projects do your team have coming up? To develop out outdoor learning space.

What projects are you all most proud of? Development of the learning environments, the rooms are now natural colour and have natural open ended resources.

How did you get into this sort of role? What other roles/organisations have you worked for? I have always worked with children since leaving school; my bossy proactive nature led me into management. I have managed other settings and my previous nursery was graded outstanding.

What is your one tip for other working at the University? Network and make the most of the things on offer at the University, it’s a great way to meet people.

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14 March 2017

Hear the LGBT+ stories from Essex

Filed under: Latest news, People pages, Student experience — Tags: — Communications Office @ 1:50 pm

LGBT-newStudents and staff from the University have written a book about their LGBT+ experiences and stories.

The book – LGBT+ Perspectives – The University of Essex Reader - was compiled and edited by Dr Ilaria Boncori, from the Essex Pathways Department. It contains stories, experiences, narratives and subjects from all different people’s lives.

This book conveys different perspectives of gender identity and sexual orientation and can help to enlighten many people who feel uneducated on this topic, as well as help those who feel unsure about whom they are.

Dr Boncori explained: “This book offers a collection of different perspectives on LGBT+ matters written by University of Essex staff and students for all of us – students, teachers, parents, friends and workers. LGBT+ Perspectives includes personal experiences, research findings and professional stories that provide further insight on how gender identity and sexual orientation permeate our private and professional lives, with the aim to foster understanding and inclusion.”

LGBT+ Perspectives – The University of Essex Reader is available from the publishers Editoriale Scientifica and will soon be available on Amazon.

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9 March 2017

Patrol officer’s charity adventure

Filed under: Campus news, Latest news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 2:25 pm
Dominic Taddei has headed off on a charity adventure on his two year career break.

Domenic Taddei has headed off on a charity adventure on his two year career break.

Patrol Officer Domenic Taddei, has just embarked on a two year career break and is travelling to Africa to do charity work and work with homeless children.

Domenic is heading to Ethiopia where he will be volunteering for a charity while living in a mud hut. He will then head down to the northern border of Kenya, working with the northern Kenyan tribes near the border of South Sudan, before heading into Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, and Rwanda.

Before heading off on his adventure, Dom said he was most looking forward to working with the pygmy tribe on his last stop in Rwanda. Dom will be there to help the tribe adjust to a changing world and look after orphaned children.

Several of the areas he is going to are very dangerous, but Dom is no stranger to that, having served in the British Army. Since leaving the army he has visited Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Ethiopian, Chernobyl in Russia, Kenya and North Korea.

We wish Dom the best of luck in his new adventure and look forward to his safe return.


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3 March 2017

A tribute to Bob Mack

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 12:02 pm

Dear colleagues,

It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of Robert (Bob) Mack, who died in February and was former Dean of our Southend Campus.

Bob joined the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering (ESE) in 1973 as a lecturer, having graduated from Imperial College and having then worked as a research engineer in the famous Marconi Research Laboratories, based in Great Baddow, Chelmsford.

His abilities soon contributed to the Department as well as broader University activities. Bob was a most positive minded, cheerful and friendly individual and he communicated brilliantly with both staff and students; a characteristic which greatly augmented his many contributions.

His teaching was always warmly received and he had an ability to bring out the very best in an individual, he has no doubt over the years inspired many thousands of engineering students.

Bob was a person who was forthcoming and would volunteer his time to new initiatives whether these were curriculum developments or additional activities such as summer schools in electronics for school teachers or organising highly successful student visit days.

He was not only an accomplished lecturer and researcher but possessed an innate gift for taking on demanding administrative roles which in later years elevated him to become Dean of the Southend Campus. This work endeared him to all who worked with him, he had a calm way of conducting meetings which although appearing casual and friendly were actually extremely rigorous coupled with fastidious attention to detail and making logical decisions.

Bob was always considered a very safe pair of hands and the University owes him a huge debt of gratitude for his work over many decades.  Bob will be dearly missed by his University friends and colleagues where especially his warm personality and endearing nature were inspirational to all who had the pleasure of working with him.

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