November 2013 The University of Manchester
Peer Support Newsletter Autumn Edition Pee
Welcome! Hello and welcome to a brand new year of Peer Support activity here at the University of Manchester, whether you’re a new face or a familiar one!
Inside this issue:
There are lots of exciting things planned for the year ahead and we’ve already had a fantastic Welcome Week and a great start to Semester 1, showcased in the following pages. Have a look and see if you can spot your scheme!
Holly Jones, Sabbatical Intern For Life Sciences at the Start of Year Fair Stall
Quote of the Month:
Strategy of the Week
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much ” — Helen Keller
Meet Your Sabbaticals
Essay Advice & Study Tips
Scheme Activities Tales From Week
Social Media The Month’s Best Tweet: ‘First ‘real’ day as an @SaP_UofM student coordinator today … #excited’
We have Twitter, Facebook and tumblr accounts where we regularly advertise good practice, communicate with leaders and promote our schemes. If you think something went really well throughout the year, let us know all about it! twitter.com/SaP_UofM facebook.com/StudentsAsPartners
Caitlin Mitchell, FLS Student Coordinator
PASS Strategies Of The Week Strategies of the Week has begun! Strategies of the Week are different strategies that have been picked specifically to aid your session planning for certain points in the year. Each week, Students As Partners will pick 5 to 6 cards that are relevant to the time period (early semester, mid-semester, late semester, etc.) and cover all disciplines. Try and use as many as you can each week and don’t forget to let your Coordinators and Sabbatical Intern know of any sessions that went particularly well.
Week 8 Strategies Double Time Line K.W.L Assess the Session Venn Diagram Visuals See if you can use at least one of these strategies in your sessions in Week 8.
Introducing your new Sabbatical Interns! Sabbatical Intern for Engineering and Physical Sciences Hello! I’m Tasha. My time as a PASS leader led me to become more involved with my discipline and peers and in my final year, I was a PASS Coordinator for my scheme. I found myself really falling in love with Peer Support – wanting to be a part of everything I could! This then led to me wanting the role of Sabbatical Intern, as it would mean my further involvement with the programme. This year I want to further my understanding of how different schemes run in different ways. I also want to be able to make an impact on how the schemes communicate with First Years, Staff and other individuals. Contact—firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabbatical Intern for Engineering and Physical Sciences Hello, I’m Abby. I really enjoyed my time taking part in PASS sessions and as a PASS Leader and believe it enhanced my student experience. My role as a Sabbatical will allow me to have a more active and involved role in Peer Support which will help in the creation of an enjoyable university experience for other students. I would like to encourage the exchange of ideas and good practice between various Peer Support schemes, and motivate students to develop existing PASS schemes to an even higher standard. Contact—email@example.com
Sabbatical Intern for Medical and Human Sciences Hi! I’m Leonnie. I was a PASS leader in my second year and a Student Coordinator in my final year for FLS, so I have a lot of experience in peer support. I’ve had a great time in peer support, I’ve learned a lot and I have had the opportunity to engage with many different students and staff. This year I really hope to support and develop all of the peer support schemes in the Faculty of MHS. I hope to build a peer support community within the Faculty and strengthen links between staff, students and the Students as Partners programme. Contact—firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabbatical Intern for Humanities Hi, I’m Becky. I was a Peer Mentoring Student Coordinator in my final year and I learnt so much in just one year. I really enjoyed engaging with everything the Students as Partners Programme has to offer and found something that I was really passionate about. I became a Sabbatical Intern to take on more of a support based role and to help others get as much from the programme as I did. This year I really hope to help others facilitate their schemes & to have a role in the on-going development of Students as Partners. I’m really keen to raise awareness of all the additional opportunities offered by us so that students get the most out of their time in the Programme. Contact—email@example.com Sabbatical Intern for Humanities Hello everyone! I am Emma and last year I graduated in Religions and Theology. I was a PASS leader for three years and I attended internal and external PASS conferences and the PwC Personal Development training course, as well as student consultations. I became a Sabbatical Intern because engaging in peer support completely transformed my time at University and I would like to support that positive transformation for other students. This year, I hope to encourage more schemes to collaborate and engage with other schemes in the University to share their great ideas. I also want to see more students taking pride in their schemes and the hard work that they have put into them to make them a success. Contact—firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabbatical Intern for Life Sciences I’m Holly and I’ll be working to support Life Sciences PASS, Optometry PASS and Industrial Experience Placement Mentoring this year. I really enjoyed my time as a PASS Leader and I have a real enthusiasm for peer support! I want to continue developing the Faculties’ schemes to give students the best experience possible. Through my other roles I was inspired to think of new ideas, some of which I’m really keen to implement! I also really love Manchester! I’m really excited to be able to develop the placement mentoring scheme, something that I believe can really build confidence for Mentees as well as aiding the transition back to study for returning placement students. I’m also hoping the brand new international placement mentoring scheme will get off to a great start! Contact—email@example.com
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Finally, The End Of PASS Training! Thank you to everyone who was involved in the 2013 batch of PASS training, we couldn’t have done it without you! It was a huge success, with over 800 Leaders receiving all 11 hours of training, as well as free biscuits and soft drinks! Students had the opportunity to network with each other, as well as sharing ideas and experiences. Some really creative ideas came out of the training this year, and we hope our Leaders will continue to develop their ideas throughout the year. Here’s to a fantastic year in PASS!
PASS training is over ... for now. Training will start again towards the end of the year, so look out for recruitment emails.
Motivation & Networking SCM The first Student Coordinator meeting of the year kicked off this October with Student Coordinators from both PASS and Peer Mentoring schemes taking part in activities relating to Motivation and Networking. Coordinators were asked to brainstorm ideas to improve both PASS Leader and first year students’ motivation for PASS. Interesting ideas included having more socials and implementing a “biscuit fund” whereby each student donates 10-20 pence per session for a pack of biscuits, making the student feel like they have contributed to the session and therefore make them more likely to attend PASS. The Student Coordinators then got into the mood for event planning with a game of “musical networking chairs”, featuring classic songs such as “The Fast Food Song”, “Friday ” (by Rebecca
Black), “Shout”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You” and “The Eye of the Tiger”. Once everyone was sufficiently distributed around the room, Coordinators were asked to plan an event using only people they knew. For example, in order to hold an event in a pub, you would have to know somebody that worked in a pub. We had many interesting ideas for events come up, such as an island wedding and a trip to Disney land! We very much enjoyed running the meeting and hope that Student Coordinators found it a useful and enjoyable experience. The next Student Coordinator Meeting will take place in Week 10. Make sure you check your emails for more details about this event.
Student Coordinator Debrief Training On 25th and 26th September, Student Coordinators had the opportunity to attend debrief training, provided by Justin Kennedy, the Teaching and Learning Advisor (Peer Support). Student Coordinators from across all four Faculties were able to network with each other and share their experiences of debriefs, both positive and negative. The students came up with loads of creative ideas to use in the sessions. One student described how useful the session was, ‘It was a great opportunity to meet other Student Coordinators and see what their ideas were.’ Page 4
If you have any ideas for your debriefs, get in contact with you Staff Coordinators, Student Coordinators or your Sabbatical Intern.
‘Your Skills, Your Future!’ Peer Mentor Training Students as Partners ran the first ever additional training session for Peer Mentors at the beginning of October. ‘Your Skills, Your Future!’ was a huge success thanks to the Peer Mentors who took some time out to attend. Students from schemes across the University had the opportunity to develop their presentation skills as well as networking with each other. The activities included ‘Elevator Pitches’, where students had to sell themselves for a minute to one of their peers, and presentation karaoke where students had to talk for as long as they could about an unseen topic. The session was great fun and the feedback was excellent, with a few students asking for the session to be run again! ‘The session was fantastic in helping us to identify and highlight our own experiences and skills and being able to talk about them. It's never easy speaking about yourself, and although I would say I am quite a confident person, I struggled with it. Through exercises such as practicing 'The Elevator Pitch,' Justin made me and my fellow Peer Mentors realise
quite how easy it was to pin-point our unique skills and selling points and talk about them.’ Montague Warner, Student Coordinator for Management and Leisure Peer Mentor Scheme.
Students at the session work on their tower while developing their skills
‘Dynamics Of Group Work’ AOT Session The first AOT session in October was a great start to what is set to be an amazing year in PASS. Arthur Garforth, a senior lecturer in Chemical Engineering, delivered a session on ‘The Dynamics Of Group Work’ which was a huge success. One student particularly benefitted from attending the session. ‘It was a nerve-racking decision to become a PASS Leader, but I soon realized that PASS is not just about facilitating groups of lower year students. There is a lot of additional on-going training, especially after the first session. I had the opportunity to attend a two hour class about “Group Dynamics”. In this session, we acquired knowledge about individual’s personalities in a group. Part of this training looked at techniques on how to recognize the different personalities in a group and how to bring them together as a team in order to make the most of their abilities. This session not only helped me in my PASS sessions, but in my student life as well; after the session I felt that I understood myself better as a group Page 5
member. Now I feel more confident about my role in a team both as a Leader and as group member.’ Vasileios Tso, a PASS Leader for Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Some of the posters that students made in the session to highlight the four different personality types.
First Essay + General Study Advice Your first essay deadline is looming, you’ve done a bit of research (if you count opening your textbook then immediately turning to Facebook) and your house has never been cleaner, but now it’s time to put it all together and write it. Don’t panic! These helpful tips can save you some stress and sleepless nights.
Conclusion: a paragraph that sums up the argument and offers a closing reflection on the essay question. The conclusion should not incorporate any new information, but should summarise the information already presented. If the essay is not an argument, you may want to include where the research or issue is going in the future.
1. Put the deadline into your calendar so you can physically see how much time you have left to complete it, which can increase your motivation and productivity. Don’t start your essay with only a few days until the deadline, as this is unlikely to be your best work.
Reference List: a list of all the works cited in the body of the essay that conforms to the guidelines you have been given. Make sure your references are consistent throughout your essay.
2. Make sure you have a copy of the rules relating to your essay, e.g. the word/page limit, the style of referencing you need to use, formatting rules, so you don’t lose marks for not following them. 3. Find a comfortable space to work in. You may need to experiment to find your ideal working space. 4. Make a plan of the key points you want to cover in your essay. This will help to keep you on track and stop you from digressing from the point. 5. Keep your research in one place and label it. This will help when you come to actually write the essay as you will be able to find your sources easily. 6. Get down to it! Force yourself to spend 10 minutes on your essay and stop. Starting an essay can be the most challenging task, but giving yourself a time limit can help you to overcome the challenge. You may find that once your 10 minutes is up, you want to keep going. 7. If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to ask your Academic Advisor, Personal Tutor or Course Coordinator for help. 8. Most academic essays include four parts: Introduction: a paragraph or two that introduces the topic and outlines your argument. Main Body: a series of paragraphs that develop the argument of the essay with topic sentences, explanations and examples. (Topic, Explanation, Example).
9. Read your essay aloud (using your voice!). This will help you to find awkward sentence structures and spelling and grammar mistakes that you could miss if you just skim over it. 10. Avoid using colloquial language, such as clichés, contractions or abbreviations. If you use professional abbreviations (e.g. names of institutes, diseases etc.) make sure you have explained what the letters stand for before abbreviating. Other Useful Study Tips (for all you keen beans out there!). These tips have all been tried and tested for your studying pleasure: Use visual flow charts for processes to make the stages clear to you. For example make a flow chart about the stages of a nerve impulse. Use pictures in your flow charts along with text to reinforce the stages or concepts you’re trying to learn. Use your time between lectures well! Do a bit of reading when you have a gap and you’ll look back later in the term and realise how much work you’ve gotten done. Create Cue Cards and carry them with you. You could put terminology on one side of the card and a description on the other side and then test yourself. Leave revision notes or cue cards where you will see them every day! For example by your computer or in the kitchen. Got any more useful tips? Email them to your Sabbatical Intern (details on pages 2-3).
Calling all Student Coordinators, PASS Leaders and Peer Mentors!
Students as Partners are currently working on an exciting new project to create a central resource hub, that will be accessible to all Peer Support schemes across the whole University. The idea of the hub is to bring together general resources from different schemes to allow others to use them in their PASS Sessions, Peer Mentor Meetings, events or debriefs for Student Coordinators.
Did your scheme have a pre-arrival guide last year? It may seem early, but you should start thinking about how you will improve your guide for next year. There will be a Student Coordinator meeting about producing these guides later in the year, so check your emails regularly for more information.
Think about: Did the first years receive their pre-arrival guide?
What were the 3 things they remember and found most useful?
What was one thing you wished you had known before you started University?
We would be grateful if you could let your Sabbatical Intern know if your scheme currently has any general resources (details on page 2-3) that you would like to share with other schemes. Your scheme will be given credit for any resources you share.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Course The PricewaterhouseCoopers Personal Development and Effectiveness Course, now in its 10th year, has kicked off with another two cohorts! The course offers Student Coordinators, Peer Mentors and PASS Leaders an opportunity to improve their presentation skills, networking, team working and commercial awareness, over a series of seven afternoon sessions. During the first session, groups were pitted against each other to build the tallest tower possible out of Lego bricks. But there was a catch – it also had to be cost effective, so the teams had to take into account the price of materials and time. Despite these constraints, most teams managed to make a profit, although some were not quite as high as predicted!
Don’t worry if you didn’t manage to secure a place on the PwC course, there’s lots of Additional Ongoing Training opportunities throughout the year (story on page 5), and ongoing Mentor training (also on page 5). Make sure you keep an eye on your emails for sign up details!
“I enjoyed the first session of the PwC course very much, and thought that it expanded my team working, communication and networking skills in a very positive manner.” Haya Shamas—Chemical Engineering
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/studentsaspartners/ Page 7
The Chemistry PASS Annual Pub Quiz The Chemistry 1st Year PASS Pub Quiz has become somewhat of an annual tradition within the scheme. Offering a fun and informal environment for PASS groups and PASS Leaders to get together and socialise, the Pub Quiz always proves to be a popular event on the Chemistry PASS calendar of activity. This year, a record numbers of 1st years and their PASS Leaders, joined by Student Coordinators, trooped down to Jabez Clegg for the night. With rounds ranging from questions on Manchester to amusing General Knowledge questions and a picture round that tested their knowledge on past and present scientists, the PASS Pub Quiz proved to be an exciting event for all involved. Awarding the winning prizes, the Student Coordinators, Andy Yang and David Cummings noted how well the event had run and how everyone was now looking forward to upcoming events over the academic year. The Chemistry 1st Year PASS Pub Quiz is a wonderful example that PASS also offers a vibrant social network for students within their respective schemes.
Social events organised by PASS are a fantastic opportunity for first year students to get to know other students and PASS Leaders thereby building a strong sense of community.
Students work together to reign supreme as the chemistry quiz champions!
EEE PASS Treasure Hunt On Friday the 20th of September, the final day of fresher’s week, the Electrical & Electronic Engineering (EEE) PASS scheme held a treasure hunt around north campus. The aims of this treasure hunt were: To help the first year students to become familiar with the campus; To introduce the first year students to their tutors; To familiarise the first year students with the PASS scheme and the PASS team; And lastly, to provide a fun activity in which students were encouraged to make connections with their peers. The students were split up into their tutor groups. Each tutor group was assigned 2 PASS Leaders who were there to help with the treasure hunt, as well as answer any questions the students may have about the University. Each group was given 8 targets to locate that were situated in important rooms throughout the campus. We were able to show the first years the laboratories, lecture rooms and computer clusters that they would mainly be using for their first year, as well as places like the library and cafeteria. Page 8
Group 6 successfully reaching one of their targets, lab C18, and getting shown around in the process.
The final destination was a sit down with their personal tutor. This gave the students the opportunity to meet their tutor before the start of lectures and laboratories. Two groups were awarded a prize for completing the treasure hunt in the fastest time. All in all, the treasure hunt was a great success. Attendance was high and everybody was eager to get involved. The students, as well as the EEE PASS team had a very good experience, and we didn’t lose anyone along the way!
FLS PASS Book Sale Following the successes of the book sale in previous years, the Faculty of Life Sciences PASS Student Coordinators organised a book sale in October. The event allowed higher year students to sell their books directly to first years and other FLS students. The sale proved to be very popular, with many titles selling out quickly! The Student Coordinators, Natasha, Rachael, Caitlin and Laura, did a fantastic job in organising the sale and we hope that the event will continue for many years to come. Natasha Brewer, one of the Student Coordinators for the Faculty of Life Sciences PASS scheme
commented on the advantages that running such a sale has for students. She said, ''The book sale allows first year students to not only buy their course books at discounted prices, but also gives them the opportunity to talk to PASS Leaders about exactly which books are actually useful and are a good investment''. The book sale is completely non-profit, with all money raised going back to the students who sold books. Keep up the good work!
It Really Is Rocket Science! Early in September, 1st Year Aerospace Engineers took one small step towards their promising aerospace careers with the “Make It Fly” challenge. Designed using soda bottles, string and other bits and bobs that form part of the typical student rocket making kit, the students were tasked with designing a rocket. They were awarded points based on the rocket that would fly the longest distance, while also safely transporting an egg into space and back. The Aerospace PASS Leaders proved an invaluable help to their 1st year students on the “Make It Fly” challenge. Putting their Leader training into full practice, the PASS Leaders used their sessions to effectively challenge and question the initial rocket models the students had come up with. This allowed the students to integrate their lecture material and
apply it to the design challenge to come up with improved final designs. Great work, everyone!
Seeing Purple "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." — Albert Einstein Welcome Week had us all seeing purple again as the AskMe Campaign moved into its 3rd year, which is aimed at helping students find their way around the city and University. Students involved in Peer Support were entrusted with the largest proportion of badges, maps and guides to date! On top of this, some PASS Leaders and Mentors were in charge of the Lollipops! It was great to see so many Leaders and Mentors wearing their purple badges, and Student Coordinators wearing their purple hoodies. Page 9
You couldn’t help but notice that there was a huge welcome to students to let them know that nothing they asked would be a stupid question. Well done everyone!
FLS Placement Social Many students in the Faculty of Life sciences opt to take a placement year. This means that they take one year out of studying to work on a project in an academic, industrial or professional environment. It can be difficult for these students upon their return to University, and many find that some of their friends have graduated and moved on to bigger and better things.
In order to welcome these students back to the University, the Faculty of Life Sciences and Students as Partners ran an event for returning placement students. The event was held in Kro bar, on September 23rd and was attended by 40 students, many of whom signed up to be placement mentors who mentor second year students who are applying to go on a placement in their third year. Thanks again to all those volunteering as mentors this year!
Politics & IR Peer Mentor Welcome Events The Politics & International Relations (IR) scheme is not very big, but this made the Peer Mentors and the Student Coordinators even more determined to run a successful mentoring programme for this year’s first year students. Mia Strand tells us all about their activities so far. ‘We had a welcome meeting with the students on the first day of Welcome Week to introduce ourselves and to meet as many of the new students as possible. After a short introduction about what we do and why we are here, we divided the students into groups where they got one Peer Mentor each which they will keep in contact with the whole academic year. After exchanging emails, Facebook profiles and numbers, we had some games for the students to get to know each other and their mentor better. The following Wednesday we arranged a tour around campus, where we showed the students the most important sites and buildings, and gave them some tips on the way. We also chose to bring them inside the main library to show them
the different areas to study. After the tour we brought them back to Arthur Lewis building or The Learning Commons to help them choose modules for the coming year. We remembered how difficult we found it last year, so we helped them through the whole process. In the first week of classes, we arranged a Pub Crawl in Fallowfield to show the students that part of the city and where to go. We sold tickets in advance, so that the bars would have drinks ready when we got there with the students. All together the students got 4 different drinks in 4 different bars. Almost 50 students and Peer Mentors showed up in total, and it was a huge success! To make it more fun, we also had some games during the pub crawl, and it seemed like the students really bonded with each other, which was the intention. I’d say the scheme has been very successful so far, mainly because we have met the students on many occasions and we now know our mentees pretty well. The new students are very sociable and outgoing which has made the events and experience of being a Peer Mentor a lot of fun!’ Mia Strand, Student Coordinator For Politics & International Relations Peer Mentoring.
The University of Manchester Open Day On Saturday 5th October, there was a University wide open day for prospective students and their parents. Students as Partners had a fabulous time chatting with them all about the amazing PASS and Peer Mentoring schemes that we run here at The University of Manchester. We would like to offer our thanks to the Student Coordinators who gave up their time to help us out and make the day so enjoyable: Robel Negasi (Electronic and Electrical Engineering PASS), Page 10
Heba Asran (Speech and Language Therapy Peer Mentoring), Ben Feilding (Advanced Maths PASS), Rachael Lewis (Religions and Theology PASS), Ben Anderson (Advanced Maths PASS) and Mirza Nathoo (Maths PASS). If you would like the opportunity to apply for similar paid work, keep your eyes peeled. We will be advertising throughout the year in these newsletters, the Students as Partners weekly emails and other emails.
Tales From Reading Week Some students at The University of Manchester, depending on their degree programme, have no formal contact hours in week six of semester one which is instead designated as ‘Reading Week’. Have you thought about what your peer support scheme could do in preparation for Reading Week, or what you could do for your mentees or attendees on their return to Manchester in week seven? We have heard a couple of great ideas from our student coordinators and have included them below. Please feel free to adapt these ideas for your own schemes and students. Remember, sharing ideas is not plagiarism in peer support, just good practice!* *Please note that sharing ideas is plagiarism in your academic work, don’t say we didn’t warn you! Tea, Biscuits and Essays: The Reading Week Send Off by the Social Anthropology Peer Mentors Social Anthropology Peer Mentoring Student Coordinators, Hilary and Rachel, recently told us about an event that their Peer Mentors ran on the Thursday before Reading Week at Jabez Clegg. We think that was a fabulous idea and couldn’t wait to share it with you all. We’ll let the Facebook event description do the talking! “Bonjourno Anthropologists! Firstly, apologies for the radio silence...as you can imagine we've all been as swamped as alligators in the rainy season with deadlines and reading, as I'm sure you have too! I've chatted to a couple of you, and heard on the grape vine, that you may be feeling like you're lacking specific direction from tutors, and might need a hand with attacking your first essays? More likely is that you just need a bit of a cuppa, a comfy sofa, and someone to run your ideas by. So, next Thursday (before you all shoot off for reading week) we're having a tea/coffee/lunch/ biscuits thing at Jabez Clegg (same location as last time). We're going to get as many peer mentors and members of staff as we can down, just to catch up with you, maybe trouble shoot a bit with all the stuff you're bound to be a little bit weighed down by, and make sure you're feeling good heading into the break. Page 11
Even if you feel like you're cruising academically, it would be great to see all of your faces for free comfort food, and maybe you could be of help to everyone else; bouncing ideas off each other and what-not. Swing by at any point in the two hour slot, we'll be around, and then you can head off to your lecture which I believe is at two? Anything else, remember you can give any of us a shout at any time. Anthro love.”
Reading Week Extra! Reading Week Activities by the BA Econometrics Peer Mentors in Conjunction with their Academic Staff BA Econometrics Peer Mentoring Student Coordinators, Andrew, Kishan and Sumaiya, recently told us about a series of events that their Peer Mentors are running during Reading Week. They felt that Reading Week is often neglected by first year students who can frequently be found in their beds at home with a new TV series’ and a massive pile of unopened textbooks in the dining room downstairs! To combat this lack of reading during Reading Week the Peer Mentors are supporting a series of academic events run by the department’s academic staff throughout the week. They are also organising a quiz for their Mentees. This will be attended by the Peer Mentors and will involve refreshments (please note that free food and drink is a great way to increase attendance at your events or sessions, just saying…). We think that organising events during Reading Week is a great idea if you suspect that some of your Mentees/ attendees will be likely to stay in Manchester. BA Econ has a fairly high proportion of international students who will not be able to return home for the week. Considering the demographics of your Mentees in this way will lead to you being able to organise some great, targeted activities for them. Well done BA Econ! Has your scheme put on any events to combat reading week blues? Send an article with your name and scheme to your Sabbatical Intern. We love nothing better than reading about what different schemes have been up to and doing as little work as possible. (Only joking, we are so busy, but we still make time to read your articles).