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Bath Spa University’s monthly magazine

Seeing Sound

Costa Book Award



Trip to Iraq


Spotlight on... Steve McMillan, MA Heritage Management

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Front cover: Graduation - Ben Langdon Photography ff

My student experience... Jemima Owen, MA Creative Writing, written by Tilly Karabina

Nathan Filer wins 2013 Costa First Novel Book Award



Cullum family make generous donation





Update from the Vice-Chancellor

4 Newton Park campus development update 10

Institute for Education


Trip to Iraq


Cullum family make generous donation


Fundraising for WaterAid


Spotlight on… Steve McMillan, MA Heritage Management


Talking point… Men to the left, women to the right


My student experience…Jemima Owen, MA Creative Writing, written by Tilly Karabina


Nathan Filer wins 2013 Costa First Novel Book Award


Seeing Sound


Community Open Lecture Week

25 Student work placement at Cleveland Pools



SPACE magazine is published every month and is aimed at staff and students of Bath Spa University. SPACE welcomes contributions from all members of the Bath Spa community. Want to get involved? Contact Jane Wakefield – Editor Jane Wakefield

Features Writer Rob Breckon

Design and Layout Lorna Leigh Harrington

Contributors Tilly Karabina Rachel Edwards

Front cover Cao Fei

Photography: David Bailey Ben Jones


26 Music graduate strikes a chord on the X-Factor

Photography – Enterprise and Local Partnerships: Conor Purcell Leo Element Isaac Allen Emily Ceurvorst (All BA (Hons) Creative Media Practice.


Alumni news


International update


Cao Fei installation at Sion Hill

34 Reviews


Bath Spa leads UK trials of 3D freehand drawing software


Enterprise and Local Partnerships update


Adding some Christmas sparkle to the Victoria Art Gallery


What’s on


Staff News


Professor Christina Slade, Vice-Chancellor


Update from the Vice-Chancellor Welcome to the first issue of SPACE in 2014 and also to the new academic term. I have

recently returned to the University from a break in Australia. En-route I attended the Global Citizenship Curriculum in Higher Education symposium in Hong Kong. This is an ESRC funded project led by Dr Jodi Anderson from the School of Education. On my return to the UK I took time to meet with potential partners for our new Global Academy of Liberal Arts network. As always it is pleasing to see stories of Bath Spa staff and students involved in academic and community projects. This issue includes stories about student placements at Cleveland Pools, UK trials of 3D freehand drawing software and one student designing the Victoria Art Gallery’s Christmas tree. Bath Spa alumni are hitting the headlines again this month. Nathan Filer, Creative Writing alumnus, won the 2013 Costa First Novel Book Award. As we go to press we await news of whether he has gone on to win the overall Costa Book of the Year. The alumni team welcome news and updates on our past students and if you have something to share you can contact them at Finally, the National Student Survey opened on Monday 27 January and runs through to the end of April. At Bath Spa University we genuinely care about the student experience. We want all students to fulfil their academic potential, to be well prepared for their future career and to have a really enjoyable time as part of the Bath Spa community. Student feedback is a very important part of this process. By listening to students we can make sure that we continue to do things well, and that we improve aspects where necessary - both for current and future students.



Newton park campus d Commons The building has now been handed over on-time to Bath Spa from contractors Skanska. The

interior fit-out and landscaping works will continue with Skanska and the building is scheduled to be open for use by 14 April. The Official Opening of the building will take place at a special event on 5 June to which all are invited. To implement the various staff moves into Commons and other buildings at Newton Park, Project Decant has been launched. Rachel Heywood joined Bath Spa in December and will be working as Project Manager for the moves working alongside Rob Armstrong-Haworth with support from Lizzie Watts. Throughout the coming months a draft schedule of moves will be developed and made available to both managers and staff. Regular updates will also be made via email and a dedicated page on The Hub. If you have any questions about the moves, please get in touch with Rachel via decant@



development update Residential development Contractors Miller continued to make good progress despite the weather in December

and January. The external envelopes are progressing well with roof cladding and window installations completed on some blocks and the external wall cladding started this month. In recent months the Miller site team has been working with Writhlington School once a week with a Year 10 Special Educational Needs class giving lessons on how to apply maths and English to construction. Miller graduates working on site also gave a lecture to geography and business students about environmental and sustainability issues in construction and how this relates to the construction at Newton Park. You can follow progress of both developments via the webcams which are available here If you have any questions or queries about any of the developments, please email the team:



Institute for Education September will mark the start of a new era for teacher training at Bath Spa when staff and students move to the new Institute for Education at Hartham Park near Corsham, Wiltshire.

All postgraduate teacher education including PGCEs for new teachers and Masters’ degrees for existing teachers will be delivered and developed in purpose-built, specialist surroundings. The Institute will expand upon the University’s existing presence in Wiltshire through the Corsham Court campus, which already provides highly-regarded postgraduate provision and will also provide a space for school colleagues’ INSET days, meetings and CPD training and conferences. Christine Eden, former Dean of the School of Education spoke of the significance of this new dedicated teacher training facility: “The Institute will be a powerful and visible presence for teacher education locally, nationally and internationally. It will be a place where Bath Spa Teacher Researchers, the colleagues we work with in schools, professionals working in areas relevant to education and Bath Spa staff come together in a community of research and practice, all committed to offering education of the highest standard that meets the needs of all pupils.” More information about the new Institute for Education is available here

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Erbil. Mosque


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The University was recently invited to join the

Iraq Flag over the Citade

Iraq Britain Business Council and UK Trade & Investment (IBBC) on a mission to Iraq. This was set to be the first trade mission where representatives from higher education were in attendance. Rob Armstrong-Haworth, Executive Officer to the ViceChancellor attended on behalf of Bath Spa, and described his trip:

“Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri Al Malki, was the special guest on the first day of the IBBC’s six-day UK trade mission to Iraq. Mr Al Maliki officially opened the event, which was held at Baghdad’s regions and Foreign & Commonwealth Office staff from the embassy. It was also a great opportunity Al Rasheed Hotel.” to begin networking with other members of the The first few days of the mission were spent mission, both within HE and other sectors. The inside the international zone of Baghdad, the area HE group also met with representatives from the considered to be the safest. Many of the international Prime Minister’s office to discuss the scholarship embassies are based within the zone, including the programme, with £100 million, to fund Iraqi students British Embassy. The area is heavily guarded and undertaking postgraduate qualifications in the UK, we had to pass through 15 or so checkpoints from USA and Australia. The Ministry of Education also the airport to our hotel. There is little traffic inside spend £100 million on funding scholarships. the zone yet it takes a long time to get anywhere due to the checks. The lack of traffic is a little eerie yet at the same time intriguing. I didn’t feel a sense of danger yet hearing car bombs in the distance reminded you of the unrest in the city.

Following our stay in Baghdad we travelled north to the Kurdistan Region and the city of Erbil. The city could have been another world, long gone were the armoured vehicles and checkpoints. We were free to move around and could have quite easy caught the bus from the airport to the hotel.

While in Baghdad I had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the University of Baghdad, the British Council, Governors of neighbouring During the visit we met with representatives from

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the Iraqi government, regional governors and vice-chancellors/presidents of various universities. We also had the opportunity to meet with staff at the local branch of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the British Council. Some of the discussions while in Erbil will now be followed up by colleagues in the International Relations Office. In Erbil we were fortunate enough to be able to make visits to sites in and around the city. The citadel in Erbil is thousands of years old and is currently undergoing a major restoration project, coordinated by UNESCO and the regional government. We also had time to go into the souk and partake in a bit of haggling! The outcome of the visit is that we continue to discuss opportunities for linking with some of the universities. In the not too distant future we hope to welcome postgraduate (taught and research) students from Iraq to Bath Spa.�


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Cullum family make generous donation graduate (within one year) from any music course at Bath Spa. The first applications were submitted and awards made in January 2014. Applicants were encouraged to submit proposals showing how the funding would help them develop enterprise and employability skills by working in the music industry. John Cullum was a member of the assessment panel that reviewed the applications.

A new Award for current students and recent

graduates of the Department of Music has been made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Cullum family. The Bath Spa University Cullum Family Award aims to support students and new graduates by helping them explore and better understand the music industry and the various career pathways available to them.

Commenting on providing this award, John Cullum said: “Our family is blessed with two talented musicians through whom we have understood the many challenges of earning a living within the exciting music industry.

“The main focus of this Award is to help students develop a better understanding of this industry and The Cullum family which includes jazz-pop singer develop their personal employability skills in the and songwriter Jamie Cullum and his older wide, but competitive range of opportunities that brother, producer and songwriter Ben, chose to exist within the music world.” support Bath Spa mainly because parents John and Yvonne, who sing with the CitySound Choir, Head of Department of Music, Charles Wiffen said: have been particularly impressed with the quality “This is a truly generous and imaginative award. of student performances they have attended and by The Cullum family are known internationally and the strategic vision this University has in promoting have a special understanding of music and the music and the performing arts. music industry. We are honoured that they have The Cullum Family Award is available to current students or new graduates of the Department of Music. Applicants must be either a current undergraduate third year music student, a current student on a Masters’ course in music or a new 14 14

shown such an interest in student work here at Bath Spa University. The Award will facilitate projects for students and graduates of the Department of Music and will enhance the employability of our students.”


Fundraising for WaterAid The annual Ecumenical Chaplains’ Soup lunch initiative raised over £4,000 in 2013. A total donation of £4,127.38 was presented to the charity WaterAid on 28 November. £2,063 was raised by the Ecumenical Chaplains’ Soup Lunch and a cheque was presented by first year student Quin Gomes. This funding was matched by the University and a cheque for a similar amount was presented by Vice-Chancellor Professor Christina Slade. The Soup Lunch initiative has been running since 2001 and offers students and staff a chance to replace their usual lunch with a quick lunch of a cup of homemade soup, bread and cheese and have a chat with the Ecumenical Chaplains at Bath Spa. It takes place in the Students’ Union every Thursday during term time and aims to remind people how lucky we are to be able to drink clean, unpolluted water from a tap and think of those people in the world who are not so fortunate. The money raised by the Soup Lunch initiative has been matched by the University every year since 2006 and has raised an impressive £16,814 in that time. This money has allowed WaterAid to help over 1,120 people with water and sanitation. The Soup Lunch is also a good way for students to have contact time each week with Father Bill, OSM and the Anglican chaplain Jan Knott as well as the Students’ Union. Father Bill, OSM, Catholic Chaplain at Bath Spa University said: “This weekly event is a wonderful support to a marvellous charity and at the same time is a chance for the Ecumenical Chaplains to be available to all students. A special word of thanks goes to the catering and Students’ Union staff at the University as well as everyone who bought a soup lunch.” WaterAid is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that aims to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. The WaterAid Big Pipe Project running this winter will help transform over 130,000 lives in Ethiopia by providing clean water and safe sanitation. More information is available at: http://www.


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spotlight ON... Steve McMillan, MA Heritage Management Steve arrived at Bath Spa in 2010 and has no “During my work experience as part of my intention of ending his journey here any time soon. Steve has been a student here at Bath Spa for four years and is currently studying full-time for his Masters in Heritage Management. Having completed a BA (Hons) History and Heritage, Steve felt progressing onto a Masters whilst staying at Bath Spa seemed an obvious choice.

spotlight on...

Steve said: “Like many of my colleagues, I started out at Bath Spa studying for a foundation degree with the intention of obtaining a job in the heritage sector following graduation. However, it became apparent how hands-on the course was so I ended up staying on and converting my foundation degree into a BA (Hons) History and Heritage. “I really enjoyed my undergraduate degree and was set on focussing my education on heritage which pointed me in the direction of the MA Heritage Management course. The links our tutors Kristin Doern and Alison Hems have with the Heritage sector are amazing and it effectively helped me get the job I have now.

Foundation degree, I spent some time working with a curator at Beckford Tower who also works at No1 Royal Crescent. I really enjoyed my time at Beckford Tower and when I was given the chance to do a second placement I couldn’t turn it down. I continued my volunteering and then an opening arose at the Royal Crescent which I succeeded in securing. “It can be quite hard in terms of time management, but the understanding and real life experience I am gaining from working in such an iconic heritage building such as No 1 Royal Crescent has helped me greatly with my Masters studies.” As an undergraduate student, Steve was part of a group of humanities students who teamed up with graphic design students to create an interactive App for visitors to No 1 Royal Crescent.

Steve explained: “We were tasked with creating a formative and educational iPad App that could be used by visitors to No 1 and help them learn about the historical items in the Cabinet of Curiosities “I actually don’t just have one job; I’m responsible housed in the building. for a couple of things. I am weekend administrator at Beckford Tower, weekend duty manager at No1 Royal Crescent and I also work a couple of days a week in the Bath Preservation Trust offices helping out with finance and other admin-related tasks.”



“It was brilliant for us as a group and especially the history and heritage students because the App is the first of its type. Also, it’s at the cutting edge of interpretation which is one of the big things we look at in heritage. It is important to appreciate how visitors are seeing and experiencing what is in front of them and this project was very much focussed on providing the audience with a new and modern way to interpret heritage.” Despite juggling a hectic schedule, Steve has managed to decide the next phase of his Bath Spa journey. “I hope to do a PhD in Heritage once I have finished my Masters. I am very grateful for the opportunities the University has given me and the support to continue my education to the next level has been fantastic. A part of the reason I am considering doing a PhD is that I enjoy being at Bath Spa so much. As a mature student the support and advice I have received from my tutors has been second to none and I can’t thank them enough for that.” SPACE JANUARY 2014 SPACE NOVEMBER 2013


talking point Men to the left, women to the right When it first opened its doors to trainee

and women were seated separately.

teachers in the 1940s Newton Park College admitted only women. Men were offered places

The guidance was developed by UUK in

in the late 1950s. This aspect of our history at

consultation with a range of organisations

Bath Spa is not uncommon and many higher

including the Department for Business,

education institutions will have a similar story

Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Home Office,

to tell. However, what now seems like an

HEFCE, the NUS, Equality Challenge Unit,

outdated and old-fashioned concept of gender

the Police and four UK universities. However,

segregation has recently hit the headlines

the reaction to it was perhaps not what UUK

following guidance from Universities UK (UUK)


talking point

suggesting segregation by gender should be permitted in universities today in some

Very quickly various people, including students


and staff in universities and those outside of HE, voiced strong objections to the guidance

The UUK guidance specifically referred to

with many arguing it promoted discrimination.

external speakers visiting universities and

To date, over 9,000 people have signed a

what protocols should be observed. It builds

petition condemning it, a protest was staged

on guidance issued in 2011 about freedom of

outside UUK headquarters in London in

speech on campus and follows events involving

December and the story was discussed, argued

an Islamic speaker at University College

and analysed in Students’ Unions across the

London and Leicester University where men




In the media and political furore that followed the guidance being published commentators were quick to attack UUK’s stance as draconian and even illegal. The row culminated when the Prime Minister David Cameron said he believed separating men and women in audiences for some guest speakers was “unacceptable.”

UUK defended its position saying that it does not advocate or tolerate enforced gender segregation and that the issue being addressed by the guidance was one of voluntary segregation of an audience at some events.

Chief Executive Nicola Dandridge also said on BBC Radio 4 that gender segregation is not “completely alien” in our society, citing single sex schools and colleges. Indeed, some colleges at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge remain single sex.

However, UUK underestimated the reaction this guidance would induce and have now withdrawn it while they work with lawyers to clarify the legal stance. Detractors celebrated this withdrawal as a victory for equality and free speech, but the argument is likely to rumble on. Universities have clear regulations and policies to govern them, but in some situations, as evident by the decisions taken by University College London and Leicester University, these principles do not always lead to a ‘correct’ outcome.

Higher Education in the UK is world leading and open to all. This is the message we send out to our prospective students and why there are so many more people studying in our universities today. Most campuses are a vibrant mix of sex, race, age and gender and the student experience is greatly enhanced because of it.

Here at Bath Spa we have a greater ratio of women to men, perhaps in-keeping with our history, but ensure all students are treated equally. We can be proud of our heritage and the legacy of equality it established for our students today.



my student experience... Jemima Owen, MA Creative Writing, written by Tilly Karabina

my student experience

Jemima had a long student experience here at Bath Spa. She completed a Creative Writing BA (Hons) degree in 2012 before going on to study the MA equivalent, graduating from that in 2013. After an early interest in writing fiction, she knew university was the path for her. “I wrote a novel, if you could call it that, at 15 years old and sent it off to an agent, who rightly rejected it. After that, I knew I wanted to get professional training as a writer and actually get published. I heard that the Creative Writing course at Bath Spa was one of the best and as I loved the campus, I decided that course was for me.


“I’ve always been a bit of an ‘outdoorsy’ person and to see a lake and a field full of cows on a university campus was like a dream come true.” Even the modest city of Bath was at first daunting to Jemima, who is from Bromsgrove, a small town near Worcestershire. However, she didn’t take much convincing, “When I saw Bath had two Starbucks, I knew I’d love it.” Jemima came to Bath Spa after completing her A Levels in English Literature, English Language and Psychology. Although she pursued her interest in writing at university, she is still very interested in Psychology, “I read Psychologies magazine and other similar books, and it features in my writing, as I always ask myself what the psychology is behind my characters behaviour.”

Jemima on her graduation day. 20 20

In her first year, Jemima lived on campus in halls, with five other students. She looks back on the time fondly, and values the opportunity to have lived with other creative writers, “I made some wonderful friends. It really made a huge difference being able to talk to other writers on the course. We’d have a coffee at Starbucks and fire off story ideas at each other; it was a great part of university life!” Fresher’s Week was a fun, if not an overwhelming experience that helped ease Jemima into university life. The first week of term introduced her to creative writing workshop sessions, which were nerve wracking to begin with, but ultimately invaluable, “I’d never shared my writing with anyone before, but I found everyone to be very friendly and careful with their constructive criticisms of my work.” Like many students, Jemima struggled with the transition SPACE SPACE JANUARY NOVEMBER2014 2013

Jemima with her manuscript.

from first year to second year. The workload people’s work, and continue writing your novel was far more challenging. She took modules and all sorts of other things. The tutors are very in Feature Journalism, Life Writing, Short helpful, but it is a lot more independent than Stories and Writing for Young People. By her doing an undergraduate degree, and they treat third year, she was writing a novel alongside you as independent professionals. I learnt a her compulsory modules. This inspired her to great deal on my Masters’ and would definitely undertake a Masters’ and she chose to stay at not be where I am without it.” Bath Spa. Since completing her Masters’ degree Jemima “I suppose I already knew Bath Spa so well and has been working on her novel in preparation for because my husband was in education in Bath getting an agent and hopes to see it published I couldn’t really have gone anywhere else. But this year. She has also started work on a second even if I could, I would have stayed with Bath novel. “My dream is to be a full-time writer. Spa because I knew the tutors were brilliant and I’m aware I’ll be looking for a day job, but I’m the Masters’ was also very renowned in creative still fighting for my novels and the dream job of writing. being an author.” “It is very different from creative writing at Jemima describes Bath Spa as a “creative, undergraduate level. It’s far more intense and inspiring and ambitious” university, and still focused on the novel you’re working on. You’re attends guest lectures and campus events. expected to read a book a week, edit other SPACE JANUARY 2014 SPACE NOVEMBER 2013

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News Nathan Filer wins 2013 Costa First Novel Book Award

Nathan graduated from Bath Spa’s MA Creative Writing course in 2010 and is now a part-time lecturer at the University. The Shock of the Fall is his first novel which was published in May 2013.

The Shock of the Fall is an extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness. It is a brave and ground-breaking novel from one of the most exciting new voices in fiction. The Creative Writing course at Bath Spa has produced many successful graduates during its 20 year history. Course tutors are themselves respected writers and their links with the publishing industry are invaluable to graduates. Last year Andrew Miller, a former Lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa won both the 2012 Costa Book Best Novel Award and the overall Costa Book of the Year Award for his novel Pure. Commenting on Nathan’s fantastic achievement, Dean of the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, Professor Steve May said: “Nathan Filer represents the kind of graduate Bath Spa Creative Writing is now producing - not just promising, but achieving at the highest level of artistic endeavour. It’s great also that Nathan is now working with our undergraduates to help them to achieve their aims.” The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK book prize that is open solely to authors resident in the UK and Ireland and also, uniquely, recognises the most enjoyable books across five categories – First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children’s Book - published in the last year.

Nathan and the front cover of his book The Shock of the Fall. 22 22


Seeing Sound Calculated Movements performance

The new Visual Music Research Group in the School of Music and Performing Arts, with support from the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, presented the third biennial Seeing Sound symposium at Newton Park in November 2013.

Jean Piché and computer graphics guru Larry Cuba who, amongst other things, made the ‘attack on the death star’ sequence in Star Wars.

Commenting on the success of the event Professor Joseph Hyde, Course Director, MMus Creative Sound Seeing Sound is an informal practice-led symposium and Media Technology said: “ exploring the role of sound and music in a multimedia context and combines paper sessions, screenings “Seeing Sound 2013 was a lot bigger than previous and live performances. Around 100 people attended events. Word seems to have spread about the previous the latest event from countries across the globe two events and we were overwhelmed by the quantity including Spain, Ireland, Germany, France, the and quality of the work that was submitted this Netherlands, the US, Canada, Japan, Venezuela, time - it was quite an effort to squeeze everything Brazil and Australia. This year’s main theme was in! It was fantastic to get such an amazing group live audio visual performance. of people together from all over the world, and Attendees were treated to two performances across the two days. The first included Unfold to Centre, a dance and visual music piece choreographed by Yolande Yorke-Edgell; Behaviour, a live electroacoustic improvisation ensemble; and Hidden Fields, a multiaward winning digital dance performance which was also the headline performance of the symposium.

the event had a great atmosphere - very lively and friendly. In 2015, of course, it’ll be even better!”

Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive and plans are already underway for the fourth symposium to take place in 2015.

The second day of performances included Feeding You by Max Hattler and Matthias Kispert, Construction in Kneading by Ryo Ikeshiro, The Augmented Tonoscope by Lewis Sykes, Chromophore by Paul Prudence, Lecture and Demonstration on Musical Form by Laura Steenberge, Live Coding the Threnoscope by Thor Magnusson and Echoes by Andy Thomas. Notable guests were computer music pioneer SPACENOVEMBER JANUARY 2013 2014 SPACE

Calculated Movements 23 23

Community Open Lecture Week During the last week of November members of the public came and experienced life as a student as part of Bath Spa’s annual Open Lecture Week. Daily lectures were opened to the public on a wide range of topics including Film and Screen Studies, Sociology, English Literature, Media Communications, Heritage and many more.

Japan with a focus on marathon monks of Mt. Hiei’. Commenting on the success of the Open Lecture Week, organiser Melanie Gregory said:

“It was great to welcome different members of the community onto campus to experience a University The lectures were free and open to the public on lecture. We are very privileged at Bath Spa to have a wide subject or just wanting in finding out more such beautiful campuses and those who came to about the University itself. Newton Park were able to enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Many thanks to all the staff who Among the visitors was Councillor Neil Butters, participated and helped host a successful week Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council, of open lectures.” who, accompanied by Ms Charlotte Moore, joined students in listening to a lecture delivered by Dr Mahinda Deegalle on ‘Monastic spirituality in Councillor Neil Butters, Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council and Charlotte Moore attend a lecture by Mahinda Deegalle, Reader in Study of Religions, Philosophies and Ethics.



Cleveland Pools today

Student work placement at Cleveland Pools You may not know it exists, but hidden away on the banks of the river Avon in Bathwick sits Cleveland Pools, the UK’s only surviving Georgian lido built in 1815. Sadly the Pools closed in 1984 when public funds were directed elsewhere, but a new campaign led by the Cleveland Pools Trust is aiming to restore the baths and reclaim them for outdoor swimming.

which will undoubtedly help the Cleveland Pools campaign move forward.

“Amongst their results are obvious things like the need for parking, and subscription costs, but less obvious requirements like providing tea and biscuits for mums attending children’s events. They discovered that children’s parties are the biggest Three history students at Bath Spa recently completed draw for the majority of open-air swimming venues, a work placement for the Cleveland Pools Trust. and this could now shift our own focus a little. Their Their remit was to research and collate information findings will now be considered for inclusion in the on other lidos throughout the country so that the Trust’s business plan.” Trust can submit the findings to the Heritage Lottery Fund in April when applying for a grant. Dr Bobby Anderson, module co-ordinator for Humanities at Work said: “These three students Robyn Hodgkiss, Georgina Baker and Sara Bird, have completed a mammoth task which has saved who are all third year History students, are pictured the already-stretched Cleveland Pools campaigners here handing over the 70-page document to Ina a huge amount of extra work.” Harris who is in charge of fund-raising. Linda Watts of the Trust was very impressed and grateful for the amount of effort they put into the document. “It became immediately clear that they have left no stone unturned in their quest for information. Having worked closely as a team, the students managed to produce a very thorough and concise factual record with related summaries, recommendations and conclusions to their findings

Robyn, Georgina and Sara handing their 70-page report to Ina Harris of Cleveland Pools Trust.



Music graduate strikes a chord on the X-Factor

Charlie Fowler Charlie Fowler, who graduated in 2011 from the BA (Hons) Commercial Music course performed as the double bass player in the X-Factor band. The ITV prime time talent show which concluded midDecember 2013, received more than 8.22 million average viewers with Charlie playing in notable performances such as finalist Luke Friend’s rendition of Every Breath You Take by The Police. Despite the X-Factor having now finished, Charlie is still very busy, currently writing music for a film entitled The Swimmer with his band Circumnavigate and performing as a live and studio session player in London. He is also working with songwriter and record producer Guy Chambers on a song for American recording artist CeeLo Green. Charlie joins a long list of successful music graduates 26

from the Commercial Music course which includes Chris Turpin, and Music graduate, Stephanie Ward who are part of the band Kill It Kid that had its music track Run used in an international Samsung Smart TV campaign as well as fingerstyle guitarist Mike Dawes who also composed and performed music for a TV advert by Wonga A video of Charlie playing on stage as contestant and finalist Luke Friend performs Every Breath You Take by The Police is available to watch here Commenting on Charlie’s ongoing success, Subject Leader: Commercial Music, Nigel Beaham-Powell, said: “Charlie was an exceptional student and a thoroughly nice guy. We are all delighted by his success, and are certain there is a lot more to come.”


cao fei installation at sion

hill A giant inflatable suckling pig,

created by acclaimed Chinese artist, Cao Fei was displayed at the Sion Hill campus for two weeks in December. One of the key artists of a new generation emerging from mainland China, the artwork, called ‘House of Treasures’ was created by Cao Fei to celebrate themes of prosperity and abundance.

The enormous installation makes itself at home

Cao Fei mixes popular aesthetics and references to Surrealism to create her work, and has seen her pieces exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery (London), MoMA (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and the Guggenheim Museum (New York). Many thanks to BA (Hons) Photography and Digital Media student, Ben Jones, for taking these photos.

A view into the pig’s belly. SPACE JANUARY 2014


The software allows the artist to draw in mid-air.

Bath Spa leads UK trials of 3D freehand drawing software and Design by Professor Leila Sujir from Concordia University, and animator David Seitz.

Towards the end of last term Bath Spa became the first British University to trial a type of 3D drawing software during a week of workshops run by the Bath School of Art and Design.

The software, called Sandde, has been developed by Janro Imaging Labs which has been working in collaboration with Concordia University faculty and graduate students in Montreal, Canada. The software enables users to actually draw freehand in mid-air. The resulting image floats in the space in front of them, while other users wearing 3D glasses can also interact with it in real time. It was originally created by IMAX co-founder Roman Kroitor. The software was trialled in the UK by Bath Spa art and design students and academics, during a week of introduction to the software that included practical instruction on how to use it, as well as discussions around the evolution of 3D art and other new approaches to visual and performative media arts. The workshops were run at the Bath School of Art

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Anthony Head, Senior Lecturer in Interactive Art and Design at Bath Spa University said: “The week of demonstrations, talks and experiments by Leila and David was a real eye-opener in terms of increasing the consciousness of the act of drawing. Engaging with Sandde has enabled people to re-evaluate how they draw, what the act of drawing means, as well as thinking about the possibilities of where this can go in the future. At Bath Spa University, we’re looking forward to developing artistic practice and research collaborations in this area, building on the art school’s history and strength in art and design research.” “As someone who has had a hand in making and marketing the tool, it’s been rewarding to see it dropped into a new environment, where students and researchers immediately begin to push it in new directions. There has been a lot of invaluable feedback here, as well as a strong instinct to uncover the depths of Sandde and even break it if possible. I mean that in a good way, as it tends to reveal what is unique to this mode of creation on a deeper level,” said animator David Seitz. Professor Sujir commented: “David and I are grateful for the invitation to visit and collaborate with staff and students at Bath School of Art and Design. It’s been really exciting to have the drawing workshops as the mode of exchange. As the week went by deep and philosophical conversations emerged about the nature of drawing in 3D as well as 2D.”


Adding some Christmas sparkle to the Victoria Art Gallery

International student Alexandra Voulpioti was

selected to design the Victoria Art Gallery’s Christmas tree. Alexandra who is in her third year of the BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design: Idea Material Object course unveiled her design at a VIP drinks reception on Wednesday 4 December 2013. The acrylic laser-cut tree was suspended from the ceiling giving it the freedom to spin around its axis and consisted of 48 individual branches made out of orange, red and purple snowflakes. Although the tree didn’t produce any light itself, it reflected light through its transparent ‘branches’ and cut edges Alexandra with her tree. which made it glow creating a colourful, warm Commenting on being selected to design the atmosphere. Christmas Tree, Alexandra said: “Taking on the Christmas Tree project for the Victoria Art Gallery Guests at the VIP drinks reception included Vicewas a great pleasure. The Gallery showed an interest Chancellor, Professor Christina Slade, Dean of Bath in laser cutting and reflections which became the School of Art and Design, Professor Anita Taylor, main focus of my design. As I am in my third year of The Right Worshipful The Mayor of Bath, Councillor study I am very busy, but I couldn’t resist taking the Malcolm Lees as well as Dr Michael Rowe, Chairman time to do this project. I love Bath and it was an of the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery and Marian honor being part of bringing the Christmas atmosphere McNeir, Trustee of the Friends of the Victoria Art to one of its main galleries.” Gallery. A close up of the laser cut ‘branches’.

Marian McNeir, Trustee of the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery, said how impressed they had been by Alexandra’s design: “There is simplicity yet also a sense of drama about her design which I know will fascinate visitors. Alexandra is a very talented student and we are delighted to have supported her and Bath Spa University.”


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Alumni News Here is a small selection of recent alumni successes. We welcome alumni stories from all Schools. If you have a story to share, contact Ruth Russell at Alumni Press and Success Jack Dean (BA Hons Creative Writing and Drama Studies 2011)

since studying performance poetry as part of his degree

course, rap storyteller Jack Dean has been making his name known across the UK, including being announced as Apples and Snakes’ ‘Poet of the Month’. Jack Dean started rapping in an atrocious punk-rap crossover band aged 15. Since then he’s calmed down a bit, got a girlfriend, and carried his love of shouting at strangers to many places, including the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, Latitude Festival, the Radio 4 National Poetry Slam and a male beauty contest in Hackney. Jack takes the hip hop medium he grew up with, goes out with it, gets it drunk and pushes it down the high street in a shopping trolley full of fireworks at 4am. Maybe. Watch Jack in action.

Catherine Webster (BSc Hons Tourism Management 2008)


Catherine is celebrating after recently winning the Theo

Paphitis Small Business Sunday award. She started her award-winning luxury camping business Secret Cloud House Holidays in 2011. As a student, Catherine attended extracurricular workshops in entrepreneurship and enterprise and was also a finalist in Bath Spa’s Business Plan Competition. Catherine said: “Giving students the confidence and skills to start their own business is so valuable and thankfully I received this support whilst studying at Bath Spa University. After struggling to find graduate work in the Staffordshire Moorlands, those skills gave me the confidence to apply for a business development grant by submitting a business plan and we received the funding requested.” 30


Stewart Foster (MA Creative Writing 2010)

Stewart was recently showcased in The Guardian’s Meet

the debut authors of 2014 feature. Stewart’s novel We Used to Be Kings is described as: “fresh and original, a sparse and moving tale that’s never showy but often dazzling”. Stewart was a pensions adviser for almost 25 years, before taking the plunge to achieve a Masters in Creative Writing at Bath Spa. “I was 43,” Stewart said, “It was classic midlife.”

Will Harvey (BA Hons Graphic Communication 2012) Eliot Wyatt (BA Hons Graphic Communication 2012) Patch Keyes (BA Hons Graphic Design 2009) Robbie Wilkinson aka Robbie Brownshoes (BA Hons Graphic Design 2007)

Little White Lies – an independent movie magazine that features writing, illustration and photography related to cinema – has commissioned four Bath Spa alumni to produce illustrations for their 50th issue. The Graphics alumni were selected along with 46 other artists to represent “some of the best artists out there now”. The artists produced new illustrations for the landmark issue celebrating the last 50 years of cinema. It’s on sale now and available to view in Sion Hill Library.

Daisy Behagg (BA Creative Writing 2010, MA Creative Writing 2012) Daisy Behagg was named winner of the prestigious Bridport Prize for Poetry 2013 for her poem The Opposite of Dave. Daisy won the £5,000 prize having come runner up in the Edwin Morgan Prize and Highly Commended in the Bridport Prize in 2012. Her work has previously been published in The Rialto, Poetry Wales, The North, Ambit, The Warwick Review, Poetry Salzburg Review and New Linear Perspectives. Judge Wendy Cope said: “The Opposite of Dave made me laugh out loud the first time I read it and smile every time I thought of it. They say that funny poems don’t win competitions. Well, this one did. But it isn’t just a funny poem. It is saying something about women and their relationships with men that many readers will find recognisable.” SPACE JANUARY 2014


INTERNATIONAL UPDATE International Staff Forums

Jeremy White, Director of International Relations, introduced the first International Staff Forum

on Tuesday 3 December 2013 which summarised the key workings of the International Relations Department over the last year. Following on from this a series of further forums have been arranged: • Mon 31 Mar, 2-3 pm, TNG17, Newton Park - International Student Experience part 1 (Pre-application) • Mon 19 May, 2-3pm, TNG17, Newton Park - International Student Experience part 2 (Post-application) • Mon 7 Jul, 2-3pm, MHG15, Newton Park - Plans for September 2014

All staff are encouraged to attend/support these sessions. Please express your interest by email to Erasmus

Fran Nix, the International Relations Officer, co-ordinates the staff and student Erasmus Mobil-


ity Programme. This is done by promoting opportunities available to staff and students and then following up applications and advising of current partnerships available for Erasmus placements. Recruitment is now active for the student Erasmus Mobility Programme for 2014/15. We currently have 27 partners and students will need to be achieving a minimum of 2:1 in their first year of study to be eligible. Students will normally go on a placement for one semester in their second year. Students will continue to pay their full tuition fees to Bath Spa University, but will also receive a small monthly grant for the duration of their placement to assist with living costs.

For more information please email; or come and see Fran in MHG16 at Newton Park.




as their international placement.

The University has a number of partnerships with Study Abroad universities outside of Europe in Australia, Japan and the USA, and we have recently signed new and The University’s new Study Abroad programme is exciting agreements with institutions in China and

aimed at incoming students from across the world. Students are able to join a variety of classes across academic Schools to gain a broad experience of We have limited places available for the exchange higher education in the UK. This year we have programme and if students are interested, they welcomed five students to the University via the should email To be Study Abroad programme. Current Study Abroad eligible students will need to be achieving a minimum partners include: of 2:1 in their first year of study and normally go on a placement for one semester in their second •Middlesex Community College, Boston, USA. year. Students should budget for extra costs such •Montana State University Billings, Montana, USA. as flights, visa and insurance. •Northern Essex Community College, Boston, USA. •Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, USA. We have been pleased to welcome 10 incoming exchange students from across the world and are preparing to welcome a further five exchange students this year from Australia, China and USA. Please keep your eye open for these students and give them a warm welcome them to the University. South America.

Global Citizenship

UK Home students on the Global Citizenship Award are required to carry out an international placement

and the Erasmus and Exchange programmes can be used for this purpose. If a student is on the Global Citizenship Award and they wish to enquire about exchange and Erasmus opportunities to fulfil the requirement please email international@bathspa. International students on the Global Citizenship Award will use their placement at Bath Spa University SPACE JANUARY 2014


REVIEW love on the road Released 1 December 2013 by Malinki Press Review by Rachel Edwards

Love on the Road is a book of twelve short

stories written by authors from all over the world. They each tell tales of love and its complications whilst absorbing the reader in a vast amount of cultures. With the turn of a page we are transported into different lives and worlds. The stories have been created by writers from Paris to Pakistan, South Africa and many more.



The story encompasses many of the struggles of married life and the constant desire for something new. Ray is reminded of fresh new beginnings with Karl’s earthy scent; she is the flower in his mundane middle aged life that he has been waiting for. The character Stephanie is also unhappy as she is constantly caring for her child and is rather jealous of Karl’s freedom and beauty that she longs for. The story encapsulates the fear of these two characters and the dissatisfaction they both face within their lives, and highlights the struggles they inevitably come across. Joanna Pocock has created a wonderful and inspiring world following Ray and Stephanie along their journey in which the reader is captivated until the very last word. All in all, this book is the essential temporary remedy for anyone who craves travel, adventure, excitement and stories that leave an imprint on their minds.

Joanna’s story The Road to Napanee gives us a glimpse into the lives of Ray and Stephanie, a married couple journeying through the vast and snowy roads of Canada to visit family for the Christmas vacation. On their travels they happen to pass by a young and pretty hitchhiker, who Ray immediately pulls over for and invites her into the car, much to his wife’s disapproval. He is instantly attracted to Karl who reminds him of youth, life and beauty which he had forgotten a long time ago. He has grown bored with his marriage, his responsibilities and is desperate for freedom, excitement and adventure. 34


Cover of Love on the Road. SPACE NOVEMBER 2013

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Enterprise & Local Partnerships

Enterprise & Local Partnerships

Health and social care panel

Supporting student employability

The Employer Liaison Team has facilitated

placement opportunities for students with external organisations including Unilever UK, Valentine Thomas & Partners, Somer Valley FM, Serco Group, Operation Wallacea, Kilver Court Designer Village, Ridgeway, British American Tobacco Group R&D Centre, Sirona, Somerset Solders Ltd, Miller, The National Trust, The Makery, LanguageJobSpain, Nielsen, The San Francisco Fudge Factory, Case Law Clips Education Technology, St John’s Hospital. The Bath Spa Jobshop has engaged new local employers in offering part-time and vacation work for students, and regular users of the service to come in for ‘Meet the Employer’ events or curriculum talks. These include The Bath Food Company, Action on Hearing Loss, Minuteman Press, Bath Rugby, Evercreech, Apple, Percy Community Centre, Creche Staff, The Spicery, The Abbey Hotel, Priston Mill, Advanced Studies in England, Language Study Centres. 36

Student Voicebox – what Meet the Employer has done for me… “This session has impoved my ability

to think more carefully and critically when replying to a job advert and interacting with a potential employer.” “It’s furthered my knowledge and so I feel more confident and I can go further in my research for work experience and jobs in appropriate areas and looking at places and workplaces for future plans.” “It has given me more confidence in what I’ve done so far and where I need to go next. It’s given me reassurance as to how to get into my dream career.”


Making connections and generating opportunities The autumn range of Industry Insights panels gave students insights into 11 different sectors. Many panels featured a recent Bath Spa graduate, who highlighted achievements for specific courses and provided a realistic peer role model for students to relate to. As well as eight freelancers/practitioners, speakers from the 30 organisations joined panels to tell students about their career path, industry sector, opportunities for graduates and top tips for getting into the career they aspire to. The panel then took questions from the audience and each session concluded with dedicated networking time, so that students had the opportunity for 1-2-1 advice and practicing their networking skills in a buzzing atmosphere. Industry Insights 2013 featured speakers from: Scheckter’s Organic, The Children’s Society, St John’s Hospital, Thermae Bath Spa, @ Bristol, Mumsnet, Suited & Booted CIC, Social i-Net, The Forestry Commission, Good Energy, Miller Construction,, Lovehoney Ltd, Chipside, Ecomedia Collective CIC, Handpicked Hotels Group, Rotork, Bath Rugby, Visual Arts SW, Kimpton Creative, Future PLC, The Agency Online, Dorothy House Hospice, Fun Science, The Bath Food Company, AJ & RG Barber Ltd (Maryland Farm Cheeses), Fundraising Consultants Ltd, Julian House, ReOrganics, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, The Holburne Museum.

Get in touch with the Employer Liaison Team if you’re interested in an introduction to these contacts and want to engage them with your activities. Event evaluation indicates that 96.2 per cent of students have a good /excellent experience/ outcome from these events and 98.8 per cent feel the content is useful and supportive of their skills development.

Student Voicebox – what Industry Insights has done for me… “I have a meeting with the chief executive of the Forestry Commission in January and a meeting soon with the managing director of ReOrganic – both from the networking element of the industry insights event!” “I’ll be more open and flexible when it comes to job hunting, think about the key points that have been mentioned on my placement, and apply as much as I can.” “I’ll tailor my CV and gain more relevant experience to my future career, network and include more aspects in job applications.” “It has given me extra avenues to look down in relation to my future career. I’ll start thinking now, not when I have finished my degree.”

Digital communications networking SPACE JANUARY 2014


Opportunities for students arising from Industry Insights include mock interviews, graduate-level vacancies, work experience, volunteering and dissertation support, visiting lecturers, industry mentors, graduate mentors, consultancy and research projects.

“It was interesting to come along to speak on an Industry Insights panel. I will in future definitely bear Bath Spa University in mind when it comes to work experience, internships and employment for graduates.” Jo Downes, Managing Director, ReOrganics Some Industry Insights events are directly aligned with the curriculum and academics substitute timetabled lectures with a panel closely aligned with their subject area. Staff also value the ‘horse’s mouth’ approach to employability within their curriculum and comment that students are noticeably invigorated.

Enterprise & Local Partnerships

Staff Voicebox – how Industry Insights has supported employability… “A great range of speakers offering career advice. It has woken the students up to what they have to do to get ahead in the job market.” Diana Reader, Business and management

“The format was successful. Short talks and hearing different answers to the same question was beneficial. Timing and content - wise, it fitted well with the 2nd and 3rd year curriculum. I also encouraged 1st years to attend, as they are unlikely to hear The same speakers twice in the three years that they are here.” Anthony Head, Graphic Communications “This is such a fantastic event - I have reminded and encouraged all my students - this is exactly the kind of input that students need!” Shai Akram, 3D Design Industry Insights panel sessions are filmed, providing a careers video resource. 100+ videos are now available exclusively to Bath Spa University students and staff.



Richard Longhurst of Love Honey



WHAT’S ON Bath Spa Live Pilot Thurs 6 Feb, 6:30pm, University Theatre Join emerging dance artists as they share their performance ideas in front of a live audience. The event will be chaired by a guest speaker who will create an open and interactive dialogue between performers and the audience. Pilot is a partnership project between Bath Spa University, Bath Dance and Theatre Bristol. Tickets: Free.

Indonesian Music and Dance Wed 19 Feb, 7:30pm, Michael Tippett Centre Gamelan performers from Bath and Bristol join forces to present a concert of traditional Javanese instrumental and vocal pieces. The programme also includes new pieces for Gamelan by Bath Spa University students and a performance by traditional dancer Ni Madé Pujawati. Tickets: Full price £5, Concessions £3, free for Bath Spa Live members.


BSU Orchestra, Wind Band and Chamber Choir Fri 21 Feb, 7:30pm, Michael Tippett Centre Young musicians from Bath Spa University’s Department of Music perform works including Arnold Bax’s ‘Tintagel’ and Joseph Turrin’s ‘Fandango’ for solo trumpet, trombone and percussion. Tickets: Full price £10, Concessions £8, BSU students and U16s £5, free for Bath Spa Live members.



Students in 1946


The Bath Spa Archive has been developing gradually over the past three years, and provides a

home for documents, photographs and oral histories relevant to the history of our institutional past. Bath Spa University is the result of the amalgamation of three colleges: Bath School of Art, Bath College of Domestic Science and Newton Park Teacher Training College. We therefore have a rich and varied story to tell, and beginning this month, we share with you some of our resources. To begin with, here’s a photograph (above) from the archive which features a group of women. It was taken for the local paper, then known as the ‘Bath Chronicle and Herald’. The women are some of the original 45 students at Newton Park, which formally began on 17 January 1946. The first Principal of the college, Mary Dawson, welcomed them with a speech about what they were all about to embark upon. Her notes for that speech have just been unearthed in her papers: Students. 10am. 17/1/46 1. 2.

Journey, landladies, Comfy night; & now ready for work. A new College. No traditions, no corporate life, just what we make. Watching it grow together. I feel it a unique privilege to be the first Principal. I hope they will feel it so to be the first students. Corporate body & democratic traditions.

This speech began the story of education at Newton Park, and the story we’re all involved with today. Mary Dawson and her original students faced many challenges in those early days, including post-war shortages, lack of buildings, and bureaucratic delays. But Miss Dawson’s vision eventually came to fruition. In 1950, the Chair of the Governors, Major Lock, said: “the present success of the College has been due to her single-minded devotion.” Mary Dawson’s portrait hangs once again in Main House. Do go along and have a look! Follow the BSU Archive blog at Or on Twitter @BSUArchive 42


STAFF NEWS Starters and Leavers In December and January we welcomed‌ Jonothan Allott, SITS Developer, Planning Support Josie Trippier, Library Assistant, Library and Learning Services Suzanne Wright, Administrative Assistant, Student Services Lisa Berney, Cleaner, Domestic Services Amy Lobl, Student Housing Advisor, Student Services Faye Matthews, Admissions Officer, Student Services Fiona Munn, Administration Manager, Estates Kieran Fenby-Hulse, Research Development Officer, Corsham Centre Rebecca Blake, Administrative Assistant, Student Services Mike Hannis, Research Fellow, School of Society, Enterprise and Environment Chris Low, Research Fellow, School of Society, Enterprise and Environment Roisin Ni Mhochain, Senior Lecturer in TESOL, School of Education Geoff Whitty, Research Professor, School of Education Kate Reynolds, Dean of Education, School of Education



Sian Sullivan, Professor of Environment and Culture,School of Society, Enterprise and Environment Paulo Costa, Cleaner, Domestic Services Helen Neal, Administrator, Estates Ben Goose, Student Money Advisor, Student Services Dariusz Sufczynski, Part-Time Cleaner, Domestic Services Katie Neville, Nursery Officer, Nursery Sara Cundy, Sustainability Coordinator, Estates Laura Price, Careers and Employability Manager, Enterprise and Local Partnerships Stephen Hewson, Trainee Systems Accountant, Planning Support Robin Mukherjee, Lecturer in Creative Writing, School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, Sarah Whinyates, Lecturer in Pattern Cutting, Bath School of Art and Design Zi Ren, International Relations Assistant, International Relations Julia Forrest, Quality Assurance Manager, Academic Services Samantha Walton, Lecturer in English Literature, School of Humanities and Cultural Industries

we also said farewell to‌ Catherine Foxwell, Student Support Administrator, Student Services Cara Whitehouse, Student Housing Administrator, Student Services Victoria King, Schools Liaison Officer, School of Education

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Graham Morgan, Senior Lecturer: Creative Music Technology Debbie Kearin, Student Housing Services Advisor, Student Services Lorraine Withers, Executive Assistant, Bath School of Art and Design Sandy Brain, Cleaner, Domestic Services Jennifer Laurenson, Research Publications Librarian, Library and Learning Services Nicole Powell, Cleaner, Domestic Services


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