Students Staff

People pages

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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8 February 2017

New expertise to enhance the breadth of the Big Data Network capabilities at Essex

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications, CER @ 5:51 pm
Paul Jackson

Paul Jackson brings his experience to an 18 month secondment with our ADRN

A new strategic data negotiator has recently joined the Administrative Data research Network (ADRN), part of the Big Data Network at Essex.

Paul Jackson, comes on secondment from the Office for National Statistics for a period of 18 months and has invaluable experience with the ONS. He has worked with the bill for the Statistics and Registration Service Act and negotiated numerous European statistical laws. Paul spent two years as Chair of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Expert Group on international collaboration on microdata and was a member of the steering committee of Data Without Boundaries. He spent a year as the first Managing Director of The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA).

Administrative data, routinely collected by government departments and agencies, when linked together can provide an in-depth and accurate picture of society, which is an extremely valuable and mostly under used resource for social and economic research and can provide beneficial evidence for policy makers. Paul Jackson in his new role, will strengthen and increase the current links with the many different data generating government departments. He will negotiate with government officials and data controllers for data release and this will enable the ADRN to extend the opportunities for social science researchers.

The Administrative Data Research Network negotiate with government departments to enable researchers across the UK safe access to de-identified and linked administrative data to carry out research with the potential to benefit society.

If you have a research proposal that would gain by using administrative data, please contact our user services who would be pleased to help and advise you: or 01206 873435.

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6 February 2017

We are the champions

Filed under: People pages, Sport, Student experience — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 6:19 pm
Our men's and women's volleyballl squad

Our men’s and women’s volleyball squad at the Volleyball England National Student Cup finals

Our men’s volleyball team have been crowned Volleyball England National Student Cup Champions.

The competition started with teams being whittled down to the top 32 university and college men’s and women’s teams during several qualifying matches held across the country. The 32 student teams then battled it out over the weekend at the finals tournament at the University of East Anglia.

Both our men’s and women’s teams progressed through the group stage on Saturday without dropping a set, and then progressed further through the knock-out stages on Sunday with both teams reaching the final.

The women won silver after losing 2-0 in the final to last year’s runners-up Newcastle University, but the men won a thrilling final 2-1 against Bournemouth University, who have won the cup for the last three years.

Delighted Essex volleyball performance coach Alex Porter said: “I’m very proud of the athletes at the University of Essex and pleased to see all their hard work pay off.

“We set out in September with the goal of winning the double and they have pushed themselves to the limits to make this happen. We strive to improve each day and take every opportunity to develop as athletes, teams and as a programme. Final year student Toby French had an excellent performance in the final which is a testament to his three years of hard work. And fellow final year student Amelia Stamp dominated the passing unit in the women’s squad throughout the weekend, bringing a calming figure to the team.”


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26 January 2017

Your pennies changing lives

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Tags: , — Communications Office @ 11:47 am
The Advancement Team

The Advancement Team

Rounding off our series of Donate Your Pennies case studies, we spoke to members of the Advancement Team, who really do all practise what they preach by donating to the scheme  they launched.

Andrea Child (AC), Administrative Assistant, Chris Coates (CC), Communications Officer, Alison Edge (AE), Research Manager, James Martin (JM), Regular and Planned Giving Officer, and Jo Sellars (JS), Alumni Relations Officer explain why they think this initiative is worth signing up to.

What inspired you to sign up to Donate Your Pennies?

JS: “I knew I wouldn’t miss the pennies, and that the combined input from many people having this same thought could make a huge difference to a student. It was an easy decision to make.”

Why do you think supporting education is important and what impact do you hope your contribution can make?

AC: “As I send the thank you email every month on behalf of the team, seeing the figures grow month-on-month is so encouraging. What seems an insignificant amount to me collectively totals a very significant donation to the University.”

CC: “When I started working at Essex four years ago, one of the first stories I remember was about a woman who wanted to be a human rights lawyer, and thanks to a Santander scholarship, is now at the NGO she wanted to work for in Brazil, helping people who need legal representation. The success of the Women of the Future Appeal means we can help 30 people like her, and each successful graduate creates ripples out into their community.”

AE: “Education is the only antidote to some of the madness in the world at the moment, and we need to make sure that those with the potential to instil change are able to study and achieve that potential.”

JM: “A University education is a transformational experience – not just in terms of broadening your career prospects, but broadening your world view and growing you as a person. As staff at Essex, we all share a responsibility to continue to ensure the best and brightest can enjoy that transformational experience, regardless of means or background. It’s a responsibility not just to our institution, but to our society at large.”

JS: “No-one should be held back because of their financial situation. Making a contribution can help change someone’s future, which is really rewarding.”

What would you say to anyone thinking about joining the initiative?

AC: “If we all donated we’d be able to raise even more to help disadvantaged students. Education should be for everyone.”

CC: “The world never changes as fast as we want it to, but what we do today really does influence the future.”

AE: “You won’t even miss those few pennies, and you’ll be part of a huge demonstration of how much the staff at this university believes in and supports what it does.”

JM: “Take out a 50p from your pocket and think about what it can buy you. Then multiply 50p by 3,500. That’s how much money per month we can contribute together to student scholarships if all Essex staff signed up.”

Donate your pennies is a way for everyone at Essex to get involved in fundraising. Your net monthly pay is rounded down to the nearest pound, with the pennies going towards our scholarships, currently the Women of the Future Appeal – supporting talented women from across the world to study at Essex. As your maximum donation can be no more than 99p per month, our 3,000 staff at Essex can together make a big difference to our students. Sign up today.

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25 January 2017

Tributes for Professor Sir Nigel Rodley

Filed under: Latest news, People pages — Communications Office @ 3:14 pm
Professor Sir Nigel Rodley

Professor Sir Nigel Rodley

It is with great sadness that we have learnt of the death of our colleague Professor Sir Nigel Rodley.

Dr Clara Sandoval, Acting Director of the Human Rights Centre, has paid tribute: “Today is a very sad day. The Human Rights movement has lost one of its founding fathers. The School of Law and the Human Rights Centre have lost a brilliant and unpretentious colleague, an inspiring and generous human being and a wonderful mentor and friend.

“He was the living heart of the Human Rights Centre at Essex; he will always be remembered for his brilliant legal mind, for his admirable professionalism, for talking truth to power and for his integrity. It is comforting to know that his legacy will endure in the many people he taught and worked with. He was a dear friend and mentor who taught me more than I can say. We will miss him dearly.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “Professor Sir Nigel Rodley was a global champion of human rights – writing influential books on international human rights law while also undertaking incredibly important work on behalf of the United Nations. He had a huge impact on the University over the past 25 years and was absolutely central to establishing Essex as a world-leading centre for human rights. He was an inspiration to many, many students and colleagues. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”

Professor Lorna Fox O’Mahony, Executive Dean (Humanities), added:Professor Sir Nigel Rodley was a giant in his field, globally recognised as a tireless campaigner for human rights and widely respected for his intellectual leadership. He will be warmly remembered for his kindness. Colleagues and students across the University are deeply saddened by his loss.”

Sir Nigel joined Essex in 1990 as Reader in Law. From 1993 to 2001 he served as the first United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. From 2001 to October 2016 he served on the United Nations Human Rights Committee and in 1998 he was knighted for his services to human rights.

A full tribute will be published on our website in due course.

If you would like to leave your own tribute please leave your thoughts in the comment box below. Please note comments will be moderated so there may be a delay in publication.

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