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February 2012 | issue 06 In this edition of City News read about our latest research, exciting new developments and learn how changes to our academic staff profile will help City achieve its Vision. We also have details about our upcoming relocation activities, the Careers service’s support for academics and much more.

CIT Y NEWS


NEWS IN BRIEF Scholarships evening The Development and Alumni Relations Office recently hosted its fourth Annual Scholarships and Prizes Awards Evening, recognising students of outstanding ability. City was supported by institutions, charitable foundations, Livery Companies and individual donors.

Putting cooking skills on the health agenda

Academic in residence Professor Martin Caraher has been awarded a fellowship as academic in residence at Deakin University in Australia. He will work with its Food Policy Unit and the World Health Organisation Collaboration Centre to analyse regional developments in the state of Victoria and Australian government food policy interventions.

About City News

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This year will be one of accommodation changes for many Schools and Professional Services through the Northampton Square Education Projects. A large component is the fit-out and occupation of premises at Myddelton Street (pictured). Other significant developments include: • April: The Law Library temporarily relocates to The Pool (College Building) and construction begins on a new entrance and reception area to the Social Sciences building.

Susan Nash joins CHUL Professor Nash, Dean of the City Law School, has been elected to the Executive of the Committee of Heads of University Law Schools (CHUL). Her three-year tenure representing pre-1992 universities began on 1 February.

2012 relocation changes

• May: A series of office relocations begins with Property and Facilities moving into Myddelton Street, followed by Information Services, Human Resources and Finance. • June-July: Divisions in the School of Health Sciences begin relocating to Myddelton Street and West Smithfield. • August: Work begins on new offices for The City Law School in the Innovation Centre. • December: The City Law School moves to its new home, joined by the Law Library.

Academics from City’s Centre for Food Policy are calling for more Government support for cooking skills initiatives, based on findings from their study of the ‘Can Cook’ social enterprise in Liverpool.

Benefits of the works in and around Northampton Square include more collaboration opportunities for staff and better connectivity between student-facing services and learning spaces.

‘Can Cook’ encompasses a range of activities aimed at improving cooking skills including cooking classes for adults and school pupils and a regional secondary school competition.

Project teams are working on these projects and affected staff will be supported through the changes. We will have more details in a forthcoming edition of City News.

The Centre for Food Policy study showed that benefits arising from participation in Can Cook included: increases in vegetable and fruit consumption; better knowledge about healthy eating and cooking techniques; confidence in handling and preparing food; and exposure to new food and tastes.

City News is produced for University staff each month by Marketing and Communications.

Professor Martin Caraher, from the Centre for Food Policy, said: "One of the key influences on decisions related to food choice and subsequent health status is that when people are less exposed to situations where they can gain or learn cooking skills – they become isolated from food.

If you have any feedback on the magazine or suggestions for content in future issues, please email: christopher.leonard.1@city.ac.uk

“With cooking classes in schools declining, this research shows that there is a need for the Government to ensure that cooking skills are still on the agenda and delivered in multiple settings.”


NEWS IN BRIEF Committee success

New City Pro-Chancellor

Professor Kevin Jones has been elected to the UK Computing Research Committee, a panel of academic and industry luminaries assembled by The Institution of Engineering and Technology and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

Council held a dinner in the Great Hall in January to bid farewell to outgoing Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council The Hon Apurv Bagri. He is succeeded by our new Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council, Rob Woodward. Mr Bagri (pictured right) stepped down having served the normal nineyear appointment term for Council members.

New journalism head

Mr Woodward (pictured left) has been a member of Council since 2006 and Deputy Pro-Chancellor since 2009. He is currently CEO of the Scottish Television (STV) Group and has previously held senior roles in UBS, Deloitte and Channel 4. He is a Council member of the National Youth Theatre and a trustee of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts.

Professor Suzanne Franks has joined the Department of Journalism as Head of Undergraduate Journalism. Previously a producer of BBC factual programmes, she was most recently Director of Research in the Centre for Journalism at the University of Kent.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Curran said: "I am delighted that Rob Woodward has agreed to become Pro-Chancellor and Chair of City’s Council. He has been an excellent Deputy Pro-Chancellor and is an enthusiastic supporter of the academic direction we are now taking.”

Student survey season You may have seen publicity for our survey season encompassing City’s ‘Your Voice’ student surveys, the National Student Survey and the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey. Academic staff have been asked to remind students to participate in these important surveys, whose findings will help to identify what is going well or not so well and, in turn, help the University to improve the student experience. Surveys are accessible online at: www.city.ac.uk/surveys2012

Professor Maurice Jaswon

January graduations City returned to the Guildhall for its January graduation ceremonies, after a brief hiatus at the Barbican last summer. City’s prestigious Honorary Graduands were Ronald Sandler CBE, in recognition of his contribution to financial services; Lord Currie of Marylebone, founding Chairman of Ofcom and formerly Dean of Cass Business School; and the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman David Wootton.

Professor Maurice Jaswon, Head of Mathematics at City for more than 20 years, died in November aged 89. Professor Jaswon developed the boundary element method which helped improve aircraft safety, mobile phone reception and noise reduction in cars. He retired from City in 1987.

BBC drama advisor Amanda Hutcherson, Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences Early Years Division, was advisor to the recent BBC drama series Call the Midwife.

Rob Gratton, graduating with a Masters in Air Safety Management, gave one of the student graduation speeches and touched on how, despite his 21 years’ experience as an air traffic controller in the Royal Air Force he developed a great deal both professionally and personally during his studies at City. Rob is currently involved in establishing airspace restrictions for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

www.city.ac.uk/staff 3


NEWS IN BRIEF Modular courses for IT Senior IT professionals who already hold an accredited MBA can now take modules from City’s Master of Information Leadership to help them meet the challenges of their roles and develop an understanding of emerging areas.

Tailored careers support

Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Curran last month officially opened the new Graduate Library Centre (City News January 2012). The Centre comprises 67 spaces for doctorate and taught postgraduate students to meet needs identified by students.

How Schools Do Policy Last month, Sociology Lecturer Dr Annette Braun launched her new book, How Schools Do Policy – Policy Enactments in the Secondary School, co-written with Professor Stephen Ball (Institute of Education) and Professor Meg Maguire (King’s College London). Based on a qualitative study of secondary schools, it analyses how schools and teachers enact policy.

Music students on BBC Rhythms of the City, a City-based Samba group led by Visiting Lecturer Barak Schmool, recorded music for the BBC show Zingzillas broadcast earlier this month. The group includes past and current City students as musicians and dancers.

Rush wins F1 prize Professor Sanowar Khan presented Rush – a team from Robert May’s School in Hampshire – with the top prize at the London and South East Regional Final of F1 in Schools (www.f1inschools.co.uk), held in City’s Great Hall this month.

Máire Lanigan, University Librarian, said: “This new Centre is the latest development in our ongoing work to improve our services to students, and in particular it will provide additional facilities for the doctoral students being recruited under Phase One of our Strategic Plan.”

Careers Consultants from the Career and Skills Development Service (CSDS) offer comprehensive support to Schools and students throughout the academic year.

Life support training

Each School has its own Careers Consultant who can provide tailored support to academics and help design modules on careers education and employability. Marlon Gray, Senior Careers Consultant, said: “We help make students aware of the right opportunities for them and how to promote themselves in a competitive graduate market.” The Careers Consultants are: • Marlon Gray – The City Law School (pictured left) • Jennifer Steven – Schools of Arts and Social Sciences (pictured centre) • Laura Hooke – Cass Business School (pictured right) • David Gilchrist – Schools of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences and Informatics (not pictured) • Kulvinder Birring - School of Health Sciences (not pictured) Academics already using Careers Consultants appreciate the support. Sarah Gale, Lecturer at The City Law School, said: “Working with the Careers Service has always been a pleasure. Each year they produce an interesting and varied programme of events for students.” Dr Andy Denis, Senior Lecturer in Economics, agreed: "Students really appreciate the fantastic support they receive."

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Graduate Centre opens

St Valentine’s Day saw City launch its Heartstart programme, promoting life support training workshops for staff and students and introducing the Automated External Defibrillators being installed in six University buildings this spring. If you are interested in learning important life-saving skills, you can sign up to one of the two-hour workshops being held between March and June. Search for ‘Heartstart’ on our staff intranet to find out more.


Enterprise at City Advising local businesses

by Luke Nava

Technology and Knowledge Transfer The Technology and Knowledge Transfer team supports academics to make research commercially viable by: • Assessing the commercial potential of ideas • Finding commercial partners, holding negotiations and handling administration • Helping protect intellectual property by ensuring patent applications are filed before papers are published or research is presented.

The City Law School has launched City Enterprise Services, an initiative to help its students gain important work experience by offering free legal advice to small businesses in weekly clinics. Following a grant of £1,600 from the Higher Education Academy, advertising was distributed throughout Islington, Camden and Hackney. Student interest in participating was ‘overwhelming’ according to David Collins, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director Graduate Entry LLB. In the first four clinics held in the College Building, students assisted 29 local enterprises with advice on legal and business issues and provided input into business plans, supervised by professional solicitors, accountants and business planners. The students also benefited from lectures in small business planning and funding. The idea for the initiative was developed by David Collins with City alumnus and recently-qualified solicitor Eric Klotz. They recognised the need for helping law graduates gain practical experience and also a need for commercial legal advice for small businesses with limited funds. David Collins explains: “London has several free legal advice clinics giving students the opportunity to practise (including some operated by The City Law School), but they are focused on providing personal legal advice on issues such as housing or benefits rather than those faced by businesses.” David Collins and Eric Klotz hope to continue the project next year and will be seeking funding for advertising and to pay advisers and organisers to ensure continuity of the service.

Find out more by following links on our staff intranet homepage: Research Support > Knowledge & technology transfer

ElectraTherm royalties The Technology Transfer Office has renegotiated a licence agreement with American renewable energy company ElectraTherm. ElectraTherm, based in Nevada, manufactures the Green Machine, which uses screw expander technology developed at City’s Positive Displacement Compressors Group in the School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences. The agreement provides City with royalties for the use of its intellectual property in Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) which uses an organic, high molecular mass fluid with a low boiling point.

Electricity for profit The Green Machine uses ORC to capture waste heat created by boilers, manufacturing processes, engines and biomass, solar and geothermal resources and turns it into electricity that is fed back into the electrical power grid for profit. “If you look at the overall market for using waste heat to generate electricity, then it is in the billions of dollars,” said Dr Carol David Daniel, Head of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation in the Enterprise Office.

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Tim Longden, City’s Director of Marketing & Communications, considers the impact of planned changes to our academic staff profile and addresses colleagues’ questions raised over recent months

Developing a distinctive University: Academic excellence for business and the professions Previous issues of City News have featured City’s Vision for 2016, the recruitment of academic staff and the governance of the Strategic Plan (which will be considered by our Council in March). One question frequently asked by staff concerns City’s intended balance between research-excellent, research-active and educational academics and the related emphasis on research versus education. This is a key question striking at the heart of what distinguishes City in an increasingly crowded and competitive environment. Our challenge is to maintain our longstanding focus on business and the professions while developing our reputation for academic excellence. These activities are complementary rather than conflicting. A focus on business and the professions in the absence of a reputation for academic excellence is not a sustainable long term position. Similarly, a reputation for academic excellence without our hallmark focus on business and the professions is not a suitably compelling proposition for students and key stakeholders. City must get the balance right between the two. Together they are a potent combination with the power to propel City into the upper echelons of universities in the world by 2016, in line with our Vision. “This country’s universities are remarkably similar and so we find ourselves in competition with rather too many of them. Last year we took the decision to move City towards an attractive and less crowded part of the higher education landscape,” explains Professor Paul Curran, Vice-Chancellor (left). What then, is an appropriate balance of academic staff for City and how have we determined what it should be?

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We are aiming for a 50/50 balance of academic staff across the University with around half an even mix of educational and research-active academics and half research-excellent, undertaking world-leading and internationally excellent research (3* and 4* according to the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) definition). Currently, around a quarter of our academic staff are research-excellent academics so this is where we must focus our efforts. Our target balance will naturally vary by discipline, reflecting the diversity of City’s academic portfolio and this will in turn mean that the relative emphasis between business and the professions and excellent research will differ both across and within Schools.

How do we know the balance? How do we know the proposed balance of academic staff is appropriate for City and our aspiration to be in the top 2% of universities in the world by 2016? The balance we seek was derived from analysis and modelling on one hand and a view of what is realistic and achievable on the other. The analysis was based on our current position by reference to our 2008 Research Assessment Exercise performance and our Annual Research Quality Monitoring exercise, coupled with sector-wide modelling, to determine what is required in the REF to achieve our Vision. This was balanced against what we believe we can achieve given the limited time before the REF census date in October 2013. The REF outcome will affect our reputation, discretionary HEFCE Quality-Related (QR) funding and our future global league table performance. The analysis involved Deans and colleagues across the University identifying those disciplines where it will target investment. The outcome was reflected in the Phase One professorial recruitment which demonstrated that, while we seek a University-wide proportion of research-excellent academics, it will vary across Schools. A related question concerns the relative value placed on education as opposed to research and whether investment in research-excellent academics indicates a shift in emphasis away from education. This is an understandable conclusion but an incorrect one.


“Academic excellence is what you are striving for all the time. You want to be able to do the best possible research you can,” says Dr Sarah Stallebrass, Associate Dean Civil Engineering in the School of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences (above). “You want to be able to challenge and stretch undergraduate and postgraduate students who come to study with you. I think that’s what we’re about.”

they want for it and academic excellence is vital to the Vision that we have for City University London.”

Academic excellence is what you are striving for all the time. That’s what we are all about.

A further question has concerned opportunities for current academic staff to develop their research capacity and capabilities. We recognise that achieving our Vision will be through both recruiting new staff and developing our existing staff.

By the end of this academic year a quarter of academic staff will have been involved in the Research & Enterprise Development Programme and our Doctoral Track Scheme (see box) enables staff to read for a doctorate. It is encouraging that the majority of those currently registered on this Scheme joined City from business or the professions. For more information, see our staff intranet: https://intranet.city.ac.uk/staff/cityvision

Academic professional development The Leadership and Staff Development Unit, based within Human Resources, runs a variety of programmes for colleagues to aid their professional development.

The investment in academic staff undertaken to date is one crucial component of our Strategic Plan which also proposes significant investment in our estate, facilities and infrastructure to support education and research. Last year, Council asked for the investment in academic staff to be brought forward because of the pressing need to recruit research-excellent academics ahead of the REF. Further investment will, we anticipate, be announced following Council approval of the Plan.

The Research & Enterprise Development Programme was launched last year in response to City’s research agenda. It includes seminars, workshops, psychometrics, mentoring and coaching run in collaboration with a variety of units. Discuss your development needs with Petra Dodd, Leadership and Staff Development Consultant, or visit our intranet for more information: https://intranet.city.ac.uk/staff/staff-development

Success in the REF is important not just for our reputation and international ranking but also for our ability to attract core (QR) and project research income. This will provide further funding and ‘payback’ for our investment, further supporting a virtuous circle of improvement across all activities.

The Doctoral Track scheme supports colleagues wishing to pursue a doctoral qualification. Participants receive help in choosing appropriate routes into doctoral study and when undertaking doctoral research (through the Research & Enterprise Development Programme). Anyone wishing to undertake a doctorate should discuss their proposed route with a Senior Tutor, or the Associate Dean for Research in their School. More information can be found on City’s website (search for ‘Doctoral Track scheme staff’).

Professor Penny Cooper, Associate Dean, The City Law School, says: “Academic excellence is going to be of vital importance. Our students have a heightened awareness of where their money is going and what

Education and research are inextricably linked but the University has not previously prioritised academic excellence and therefore invested sufficiently in it. This means we underperform in terms of research and we urgently need to address this. Moreover, our focus on academic excellence will help City to deliver high quality education by staff who are leaders in their fields, passionate about their subject, engaged in high quality research and who inspire their students.

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Highlights of recent research at City University London

Research at City Choosing our politicians Professor Jo Silvester (left), Head of City’s Organisational Psychology Research Group, has had research published in a new book on recruiting political leaders. Her chapter, Recruiting Political Leaders, designing competencybased selection for UK parliamentary candidates, appears in The Psychology of Politicians by Dr Ashley Weinberg. Professor Silvester‘s research looks into the history of political candidate selection in the UK and she continues to work with UK parliamentary parties. She recently received an invitation to run political leadership workshops for the Social Democrat Party in Iceland this summer, where she will also give a seminar for political science academics at the University of Iceland. She says: “There are clearly parallels between recruiting individuals to work in an organisation and recruiting successful politicians. There has been surprisingly little in-depth research into what competency-based criteria should be used, however. “This chapter draws on case studies of the criteria that have been used by UK parties and seeks to demonstrate what parties should focus on in order to attract and recruit the most successful political leaders.”

City Research Online Have you uploaded your research outputs to City’s research repository? City Research Online (City News, November 2011) will raise the visibility and citations of your research and help City to monitor its research outputs. Find out more at: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk

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Spotting concrete corrosion Innovative sensors have been developed at City for improving the ability to spot early warning signs of corrosion in concrete, caused by exposing steel reinforcing bars to wet conditions. The corrosion sensors are more resilient and longer lasting than current technology, thereby improving the monitoring of structures such as bridges and coastal defences and preventing maintenance closures or, in the worst cases, collapses. The breakthrough, made by Professor Tong Sun and Professor Ken Grattan at City with colleagues from Queen’s University Belfast, follows research projects funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. City has filed patents for the technology and 10 papers have been published, including in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Sensors Journal and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. Unlike similar sensors currently available, those developed by City can withstand long term placement within concrete and constantly monitor conditions, sending text or email warnings to maintenance teams if corrosion is likely. It is hoped the new sensors could prevent large-scale disruptions such as those caused by the recent closure of the Hammersmith Flyover – an arterial route into West London – due to concrete corrosion. Speaking to The Engineer, Professor Grattan (above) said: “Given the amount of infrastructure built in the 1950s and 1960s, there is the potential for many of these [problems] to crop up over the next few years. “We want to be sure that such important arteries into our cities can be monitored and then there’s some chance at least that we can take corrective action at an early stage.”


Model growth – businesses owned by their employees A report by Cass Business School Professors Joseph Lampel (below left) and Ajay Bhalla (below right), with Dr Pushkar Jha from the University of Newcastle, has been incorporated into official government policy. Their findings in Model growth: Do employee-owned businesses deliver sustainable performance? were quoted at length by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg when outlining government legislation in January. The report, commissioned by the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) and Employee-Owners Associations, found that employee-owned businesses are more resilient than conventionally structured companies: they outperform the market during a downturn, demonstrate a lower risk of business failure and have higher rates of sales growth and job creation. Professor Bhalla said: "Both Professor Lampel and I are delighted to see our work recognised at governmental level. The research we conducted points to the employee-ownership model as a robust and effective business model."

New monthly REF newsletter The University Research Office has started publishing a monthly newsletter about City's preparations for the Research Excellence Framework. If you haven’t received February’s first edition earlier this month, or want to find out more, contact Jeremy Barraud, Interdisciplinary Research Development Manager.

Talking things through may help those with autism Teaching children with autism to 'talk things through in their head' may help them to solve complex day-to-day tasks and increase their chances of independent and flexible living later in life, according to research conducted at City. The study, conducted with Durham University and the University of Bristol, has been published in Development and Psychopathology. The research found that 'inner speech' is intact in children with autism, but not always used in the same way as by children developing typically. It was found that teaching and intervention strategies for children targeted at encouraging inner speech could make a difference.

Mental flexibility These strategies, including encouraging children to describe their actions out loud, have already proven useful for increasing mental flexibility among typically developing children. Those with autism spectrum disorder could for example, benefit from verbal learning of their daily school schedules rather than using a more common visual timetable. Professor Dermot Bowler, from the Department of Psychology, said: "This research highlights the importance of understanding how people on the autism spectrum often achieve high levels of task performance by deploying underlying cognitive strategies that are different from those utilised by the typical population.”

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A second-year BA Journalism student investigates high fashion retailing’s first steps into Hackney

Storm brewing in Hackney Walking along Kingsland Road, one of the main thoroughfares in Hackney, on a chilly winter’s day you will find Storm in a Teacup nestled among Turkish barbers, charity shops and stores from all corners of the world. Entering the high fashion vintage clothing store from the street is like going into a different world. Grandma’s dusty old dresses and the secondhand Gucci shoes you would expect in a charity store are replaced by exclusive, one-off satin jumpers and heels higher than Sultan Kösen, the world’s tallest man. Immediately a question springs to mind: why open a high fashion store on Kingsland Road? “The local area is developing at quite a staggering rate so we are hoping to be pioneers, raising the bar and encouraging others to do the same,” says Jo Miller, co-founder of Storm in a Teacup. “I think there are great possibilities for businesses in the east [of London]. As we are selling niche items that aren't easy to find, we hope people will be willing to make the effort to come to us.” Jars filled with home-made sweets sit alongside clothes from famous names such as Vivienne Westwood, Jean Paul Gaultier and Maison Martin Margiela, making Storm in a Teacup a new ‘it’ store on Kingsland Road. Founders Jo Miller and German model Claudia Raba, say the store is stocked with everything that makes them happy: “Sweets, clothes and impeccable styling.” The store’s interior is a slightly crazy blend of Wild West saloon, Willy Wonka fantasyland and exclusive designer boutique, topped by an oldfashioned candy store counter, making it perfect for fashionable people with a sweet tooth. Barbara Walshe, a local journalist, thinks Hackney and Kingsland Road is the perfect place for high fashion retailing: “Since I moved to Kingsland Road in 2005, there's been a real fashion revolution in the area. People like Christopher Kane [Scottish fashion designer] might disagree considering he's been based in Dalston since the early 2000s, but things were more underground back then. It [Hackney fashion] has suddenly become much more overt over the past two to three years.”

By Kamilla NyegaardLarsen

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Walshe adds: “We have the Sustainable Centre for Fashion on Southgate Road, affiliated with London College of Fashion, a smattering of independent vintage stores as well as heavy hitters like Beyond Retro.

We're increasingly seeing high fashion coming to this area in the form of boutiques like Storm in a Teacup.” It would seem that the perfect recipe for fashion is a litre of creativity, a pot of cultural differences and a pinch of designer input. But will Hackney residents buy it? In last year’s spending review from Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, the Borough of Hackney suffered budget cuts of 8.9 per cent. Hackney already has four wards in the bottom 10 per cent of the poorest wards in London according to a poverty indicator produced by London’s Poverty Profile. Walshe believes high fashion retailing can thrive in the area as long as Kingsland Road stays different and individual and is not taken over by mainstream fashion retailers following in its wake. She believes Kingsland Road has potential for fashion retailing due to its proximity to the trendy Hoxton and Shoreditch areas and with the Olympics looming it is Hackney’s time to show London – and the world – what it has to offer in the fashion spotlight.

Hackney – a diverse community Hackney is an immensely diverse community bringing together many different nationalities and cultures and up to 120 languages. The numbers of mosques, synagogues, churches and temples is evidence of the borough’s religious diversity. However, Hackney’s reputation tends to be brought down by its crime rates. For example, in December 2011 there were 206 instances of violent crime, 391 of anti-social behaviour and 51 of public disorder and possession of weapons.


Meet your colleagues

Name and job title

How do you overcome it?

Sandra Partington, Educational Developer and part of the Learning Development Centre (LDC) Blended Learning Team.

I try to make realistic plans for the year and attempt to leave space for thinking ahead. I am a member of the Association for Learning Technology. As part of their annual conference committee I read submissions and host sessions at the event, which gives me a head start on what my contemporaries are doing and thinking.

What do you do at City day to day? My role is to facilitate the enhancement of the University’s educational provision, working with the LDC team and staff across the University to develop new methods of learning. The LDC forms a hub connecting Schools and Professional Services, supports and promotes new practices in teaching and learning, initiates project work and recognises excellent practice. We like to connect people and get ideas flowing. I work as part of the Blended Learning Team in the LDC developing, promoting and supporting the use of new technologies to enhance learning and teaching practice, for example, the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment. Video production, e-portfolios, web conferencing, lecture capture and iTunesU all fall under our remit. We work with Schools to develop a focused and strategic learning environment. My role is varied and I like it that way. In one week I can be managing a project, delivering staff development, carrying out research and evaluation or running an event. The Media Innovation and Learning Lab (MILL) is my main responsibility. The MILL specialises in audio and video production for staff including video making and editing facilities, a TV Studio, learning spaces and rooms for attending webinars, using Skype or recording podcasts. We re-launched the MILL in November 2011 with an event including demonstrations and a mini-cinema (popcorn included). Our pop-up cinema has toured ever since, most recently appearing at the LDC Showcase on Tuesday 1 February.

What is your biggest challenge in your job? Juggling day-to-day demands in the MILL while looking ahead for new technologies and innovations for enhancing learning and planning their effective delivery. Having joined City fairly recently I still need to get to know everyone what they like, what they are interested in and what's going on in different subject areas and Schools, from the vaults of the engineering workshops in Northampton Square to the heights of the MBA floor at Bunhill Row.

Building relationships across City is one of the most important soft skills for anyone in my line of work. Although I like to solve technical problems I attend lots of meetings, committees and events to meet people and hear their needs and concerns in relation to teaching and learning.

If you didn’t do your job what would you be doing? I would be running my highly creative multimedia/education cooperative from an old warehouse in Clerkenwell. Please don’t ask about the business plan but the studio will have astroturf, beanbags and an espresso machine.

What do you do in your spare time and to relax? At the weekend I like to read the papers, drink coffee and meet friends for dinner locally in North London. I am an art school graduate so I can easily disappear into a London museum or gallery, sometimes with sketchbook in hand. Each year, I attempt to run a couple of 10k races and maybe take an active holiday to balance out the eating and drinking!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Old pals scattered around the UK and further afield in New York and Hong Kong, plus the odd celebrity for entertainment.

Favourite place in London? It has to be Soho circa 1990.

Favourite films? Clerks (I am not allowed to say Dodgeball).

Favourite book? The Secret History by Donna Tartt is a good read, The Runner’s Handbook by Bob Glover is essential life guidance and A Bigger Message (David Hockney) by Martin Gayford has iPhone and iPad drawings, so it is just lovely.

Favourite song or music? Anything by Steely Dan.

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Dates for your diary

We, the walking wounded

Lunchtime Concert: Ikuko Inoguchi (Piano)

16:30-18:30 Wed 14 March, BG02 University Building

13:10–14:00 Fri 23 March, Performance Space

www.city.ac.uk/events

British premiere of documentary on an asylum seeker in Paris. Dr Liza Schuster, Reader in Sociology, provides English subtitles and Director Mohamad Reza Sahibdad will answer questions after the premiere.

Vice-Chancellor’s Open House

Rioting in Greece: Responding to the economic crisis 16:00-18:00 Thurs 1 March, D427 Social Sciences Building

10:00-12:00 Wed 28 March Great Hall, College Building Hosted by Professor Paul Curran, discussing the University’s progression with the Strategic Plan.

Dr Marina Prentoulis (University of East Anglia) seminar.

Random and referral hiring

World oil demand in the short and long run: A crosscountry panel analysis

17:00-18:20 Wed 14 March, D104 Social Sciences Building

17:00-18:20 Wed 7 March, D104 Social Sciences Building

Lunchtime Concert: Vasileios Rakitzis (Piano)

Professor Simon Price (Bank of England) seminar.

13:10-13:50 Fri 16 March, Performance Space

Opportunities in International Law

City Lights: Stephane Ginsburgh (Piano)

19:30-21:00 Tues 29 March, St Clement Church, King Square

18:00-21:00 Thurs 8 March, The Pool College Building

19:00-20:30 Tues 20 March, Performance Space

Expert panel discussion on international law and The City Law School's new LLM in Public International Law.

Maritime Law and Policy Postgraduate Research Conference 2012

City’s Chamber Choir, conducted by Tim Hooper, performs works by Pergolesi, Magnificat and Haydn.

The mobilisation of vulnerable groups

The Attorney General's Lecture at The City Law School

09:00-17:30 Fri 23 March, Northampton Suite

16:00-18:00 Tues 29 March, D427 Social Sciences Building

18:00-20:00 Tues 13 March, Atkin Building, Grey's Inn

Durkheim and global moral icons

Lectures and Q&A with the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, Attorney General and James Ewins, Barrister.

16:00-18:00 Thurs 22 March, D427 Social Sciences Building

Dr Milena Chimienti, Sociology Lecturer, on social movements in Europe.

Dr Rosella Nicolini (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

Social structure and economic performance in microcredit groups 17:00-18:20 Wed 28 March, D104 Social Sciences Building Nick Sabin (University of Oxford) seminar.

City University London Chamber Choir concert

Professor David Inglis (University of Aberdeen) seminar.

Staff training and development For information about staff training email: lsdu@city.ac.uk or visit: www.city.ac.uk/sd/index

Risk Assessment (Academic Staff in Schools of Arts and Social Sciences)* Friday 2 March

Risk Assessment (Academic Staff in the City Law School)* Monday 5 March

Project Management Masterclasses: Starting a Project

I did that course!

Thursday 29 March

Nicola Daniel, Course Officer in the School of Informatics, took the Effective Complaints Handling course. Nicola said:

Managing Research Projects

“It was a very useful course, enabling me to adopt skills to increase first contact resolution and to reduce both escalation rates and repeat issues.”

Project Management Masterclasses: Project Planning

*To be completed in conjunction with Cardinus online training, Effective Risk Assessment for Academic Staff, on our Intranet (under Training and Development)

Finance and Purchasing Training

Effective Complaints Handling

Disability Equality for Managers

Thursday 15 March

Wednesday 21 March

Monday 19 March

Tuesday 3 April

Friday 13 April

Recruitment & Selection: Introduction for Professional Staff Wednesday 18 – Thursday 19 April

Managing Workloads for Academics Friday 27 April


City News for staff February 2012