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Summer 2012

noteworthy University of Bedfordshire Alumni Magazine £3.95/¤5 where sold

Giving hope

Lynsey Johnston on running a youth charity and re-connecting with ‘her Uni’

Opportunities to get involved

Keeping in touch with fellow graduates

/06 Welcome OVER the past eight years it has been my privilege to contribute to the growing success of our University. I retire this summer and am proud to have played a part in so many of the exciting changes that have benefited students and staff alike and increased accessibility to higher education. I will take my experiences at our University with me as I move on to future challenges. I am just as certain your University experience stays with you and that we will always be a part of the Bedfordshire community. We have always been proud of the achievements of our alumni who have found themselves at the cutting edge of industry and involved in the most exciting projects all over the world. Wherever they go, their achievements further the reputation of our University and add to its strength. My parting message to you is to take the University of Bedfordshire forward with you as you advance in your careers and stay connected with each other, just as I shall in all my future endeavours.

Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive

Newsnotes – a new VC Bill Rammell takes charge in the autumn

FROM THE EDITOR... Welcome to your new look Alumni Magazine! We’re proud to reveal our new look with a fresh layout and style that we’re certain you’ll love as much as we do.

Summer 2012 © Copyright University of Bedfordshire and reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written approval from the University’s Alumni Office.

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In this issue of noteworthy we showcase our Alumni office and ways you can get involved



Regular features /04

Up front




Inspiring others



“Helping youngsters turn their lives around gives me the biggest thrill” Lynsey Johnston ‘re-engages’ with the University

“Everyone will win” Ian Nancollas wants volunteers for the new Alumni Board


Bulletin board


Moving on up...


Supporting future generations

THIS issue is all about connectivity. A strong network is key to a successful future, and in this issue we’re helping you to re-connect with your fellow alumni by turning the spotlight on some of the Bedfordshire graduates who have made a mark in their field. We catch up with Lynsey Johnston at Luton Churches Education Trust about what it’s like being at the heart of an important local charity, and bid a fond farewell to Vice Chancellor, Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL. So read on, be inspired to keep in touch and get involved. IAN NANCOLLAS

Alumni Relations Manager

Join us on: Reconnect with your friends, support future generations of Bedfordshire Alumni

Catch up with latest Alumni News and Events at: alumni@ Noteworthy

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Up front with

CASA SHARIF 04 / Noteworthy

Casa Sharif is a Bedfordshire alumnus who has made his mark as a highly successful management consultant after graduating with BSc (Hons) Computing and Management Science in 1993. Casa talks to Noteworthy about his experience at the University and how he has been involved since leaving.

Tell us a bit about your time at University – why did you choose Bedfordshire and what was your course like? I chose Bedfordshire for the completely unique course it offered that blended computing with management science. The lecturers were incredibly knowledgeable, supportive and constantly accessible, even out of hours. They brought their substantial industry experience into their teaching, something I really benefited from. Do you have any favourite memories from Bedfordshire? Definitely the first year of my course – learning the beautiful Italian language and subsequently travelling to Piacenza in Italy to work for the RDB Group, a world-renowned Italian construction company. This was part of the course and proved invaluable in every sense; I learnt things during that time which I still use today. What has been your career path since leaving the University? I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the industry’s most prestigious management consultancies, including Accenture, Deloitte, Capgemini and Ernst & Young, as well as eight years working for The Oracle Corporation both in Reading and at their head office in Redwood Shores in California, USA. Tell us about your job today... I provide large organisations with objective advice, expertise and specialist skills with the aim of creating value, maximising growth or improving business performance. I identify an organisation’s options and provide additional resources and implement solutions. We operate across a wide variety of services such as business strategy, marketing, financial and management controls, human resources, information technology, e-business and operations, and supply-chain management.

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What is your greatest career achievement? Attaining the UK’s first Change Management certification with distinction, and representing my employer in advising foreign governments in implementing strategic Information Systems (IS) policy. What is the best thing about your job?

Recently I attended Open Days to share my experiences and expertise with potential students

Every day and every client presents a different challenge – whether it’s identifying issues, formulating and implementing solutions, managing projects or leading a team. What is your most important life achievement? That has to be a lovely family; my wife Aamna and three beautiful children, Haroon (11), Aadam (7) and Hiba (3) who have all been so supportive. Have you stayed in touch with other alumni? Recently I attended Open Days to share my experiences and expertise with potential students. It felt good to be able to give some time, to pass on advice that could be vital for their future careers. I live in Harrow but I was happy to come over for a few hours to help applicants understand how their studies can relate to the world beyond University. I think everyone can do more to help present students and get prospective students to come here. It’s great fun too! Finally, if you could find the time to fit another course in now, what would it be? I would love to do an Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Bedfordshire’s School of Management.

Read more profiles on the University of Bedfordshire alumni site: alumni@ Noteworthy

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Our new Vice Chancellor Former Government Higher Education Minister of State, Bill Rammell is to become the new Vice Chancellor of the University. He will be taking over from current VC Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL in August.

THE former Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Plymouth, Bill was previously MP for Harlow for 13 years, during which time he was Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education and Minister of State at the Foreign Office and for the Armed Forces. He is now looking forward to his new role at Bedfordshire: “I am delighted to be joining Bedfordshire at such an exciting time for both the University and the higher education sector,” he said. “The University excels at widening participation, transforming lives and communities. I look forward to building on its success.” Chairman of the Board of Governors, Alan Cook, said: “The Governors were very impressed with Bill’s experience and expertise and, in particular, his commitment to improving further the staff and student experience at Bedfordshire.”

The new VC – Bill Rammell

VC to direct Fair Access The Vice Chancellor Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL, has been confirmed as the next Director of Fair Access to Higher Education – head of the Government’s Office for Fair Access (OFFA).

“I AM delighted” Professor Ebdon said: “I have always been passionate about access and opportunity and believe strongly that your background should make no difference to your ability to get into or succeed at university.” Alan Cook, Chair of the University Board of Governors said: “Les has made an immense contribution to the University and also to higher education at local, regional, national and international levels. He has played a key role in promoting the interests of many thousands of students and graduates whose lives have been transformed by their higher education experiences.”

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Vice Chancellor Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL

The Noteworthy team wishes Professor Ebdon all the best in his new role within OFFA as the next Director

of Fair Access to Higher Education.

brief New postgraduate centre WORK on the new £20m Postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development Centre in Luton is gathering speed on the site at Vicarage Street, with the project on track to open in 2013. The Centre will be a one-stop shop for postgraduate learning and will equip students with essential employability skills for the marketplace. The project promises to bring another point of architectural interest to both the University and to Luton. The new five-storey building will integrate the latest IT and AV equipment, include two “Harvard style” lecture theatres, a range of

study spaces and quiet study areas, a café and student lounge. The University is expanding its postgraduate and part-time opportunities and the new building will be both flexible to meet our changing needs and help to develop a sense of community amongst students studying in different ways. It will provide a range of environments through design of form and texture, to suit the differing requirements of learners. To find out more about the Postgraduate and Continuing Professional Development Centre:

University expansion to Milton Keynes AN exciting new partnership between the University of Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Council is laying foundations for a brand new university. Doors to University College Milton Keynes will open for September 2012. The new University college is eventually expected to offer courses at all levels. +44 (0)1582 489 270

Milton Keynes councillors have already labelled it as a significant step in higher education for the area. The new Centre is expected to grow rapidly over the years and aims to launch a state-ofthe-art Faculty of Engineering and Technology in 2013.

Help at Open Days Potential students can learn a lot about the university experience and how it will benefit their lives from talking to alumni. Why not help out at an Open Day, which take place throughout the year? Contact the Alumni office for more information.

Opening doors through internships A brilliant scheme offering internships to international students is aiding interns with a CV boost, and local businesses and communities with much needed support. The International Internship programme has proved interesting and useful for students involved, and has allowed a valuable insight into working in the UK.

Open days: alumni@

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It’s a family thing... ...says Abiye Tob Ogu, about the £2,000 scholarship dedicated to his grandfather and uncle.

“IT’S not about me putting something back into the University,” says Abiye Tob Ogu talking to Noteworthy in the Costa coffee shop in Park Square, “but about my family being able to contribute by helping new students with their studies at Bedfordshire.” Abiye graduated in Business and Law in 2010 and is currently preparing work for a PhD on how to improve logistics in his native Nigeria. While studying he benefited from financial support from both his family and the University so the idea came to him to introduce a scholarship for Bedfordshire students. His grandfather had studied in Watford and his uncle in Scotland, but he felt a strong connection with Luton so when his family agreed to create the scholarship he brought a £1,000 a year grant here. “I enjoyed the teaching style here,” he says, “and when I was working on my PhD proposal I came back here to talk to my tutors and lecturers and they were very encouraging, they gave me the boost I needed to get my ideas together. Three days after talking to them I’d pulled it together ready to submit. They were very helpful. “When I was studying I needed some help and got money to help my studies. I believe that my family are in a position to put something back into the University to help someone who finds they need a little extra support. It might be to get a new laptop, to help with other expenses or just get through a hard time. We also wanted to honour my grandfather

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and uncle, to whom I owe so much. The scholarship is not restricted, anyone from across the world can apply for it, I thought that was important too. “I think this is an area of giving that others could develop. This funding comes from my family, not me, and honours my relatives. I think, and hope, there are other families who will want to do the same thing in the future. My family could be pioneers!” The University thinks so too and is match funding the donation with £1,000 to make a total of £2,000. The Elemele and Israel O. Tobiah Ogu Scholarships are available for immediate application. If you would like to follow Abiye’s lead then contact Greg White in the Development Office:

brief University strengthens links in Beijing THE 14-year relationship between the China Agriculture University (CAU) in Beijing and the University has been strengthened by a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions. Deputy Vice Chancellor (External Relations) Professor Ashraf Jawaid and Harry Wang, Director of the International Office from the University, visited China to grace the

occasion and meet representatives from CAU. Professor Jawaid signed the memorandum with Professor Wang from CAU. He said: “We’re delighted to sign this memorandum to cement and strengthen our relationship with the China Agriculture University – our collaboration is a long-standing one and it is good to reinforce our links with such a reputable institution.”

Lending a hand to Olympians

THE Olympic Games Makers is an army of 70,000 volunteers who will ensure the Olympic and Paralympic games run smoothly. The University was one of only a small group of UK universities invited to provide specialist volunteers for the Olympics, enabling the University to access the unique London 2012 Games Maker logo. The real prize will come when the Games begin and the Games Makers from Bedfordshire will get to watch from the heart of the action. +44 (0)1582 489 270

A team of staff and student Games Makers from the University recently played an important role in a handball test event in preparation for the Games. Six countries competed against each other for five days, and the University group was on hand to give their support. The team undertook a variety of tasks at the event which drew large crowds and VIPs, including the Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson MP. alumni@

Postgraduate scholarships available Finished your degree and would like to continue your studies? We can help. Postgraduate scholarships, worth £4,500, are available for all full-time UK and EU Master’s students who selffund their course. Those eligible are UK/EU students studying a fulltime postgraduate Master’s (not MBA and PGCE), or any other postgraduate course, where full cost or pro rata fees of £9,000 are charged. This does not apply if courses are bought on a unit by unit basis. See our website for details:

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creative arts, technology and science The frontline fight against cyberstalking

PROFESSOR Carsten Maple was chosen to speak as part of a specialist panel at a Home Office conference on how to fight cyberstalking, held in Manchester. Professor Maple who is Co-Director of the University’s National Centre for Cyberstalking Research (NCCR) spoke on the existing levels of cyberstalking, its impact and how to dispel myths on the subject. The NCCR was established at the University to address the need for research and analysis of the increased threat to individuals and society of cyberstalking. To find out more on the NCCR visit:

Battery-less power creates a buzz INTERNATIONAL websites and blogs have been a-buzz with discussion about the University’s new power-harvesting technology. Researchers have developed a new technique – believed to be a world first – for powering electronic devices. The team claims it could eventually eliminate the need for conventional batteries. Professor Ben Allen and a team in the Centre for Wireless Research (CWR), including David Jazani and Dr Tahima Ajmal, have created a system to use medium-wave, radio wave frequencies to replace batteries in small, everyday gadgets like clocks or remote controls. The University has now filed a patent application to secure exclusive rights to the technique. Professor Allen said that as radio waves have energy – like light,

Professor Allen with David Jazani and Dr Tahima Ajmal

sound or wind waves – then in theory these waves could be used to create power. He said: “The emerging area of power harvesting technology promises to reduce our reliance on conventional batteries.” Ben Allen: You can learn more about computing research at:

Chris flies higher after Red Bull animation win ANIMATION graduate Chris Butcher won the stop motion category at the prestigious Red Bull Canimation competition in December with a piece entitled ‘Inspiration From Emptiness’. Chris’s work will be screened as part of an ‘Ad Break Takeover Documentary’ on Channel 4. It also featured as part of the British Animation Awards (BAA) Public Choice Tour which stopped off at the University in February. Chris firmly believes that the University’s animation course helped him develop the skills to succeed: “During the course you get to hone your skills and to develop a style. The course also brings a desire to impress and to outshine others.” Course leader Mark Collington said: “Chris surpassed himself yet again

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with another cracking piece of stop motion animation. “All our animation students – stop motion, 2D and 3D – have excellent professional awareness and are helping to build an enterprising alumni community.” You can view Chris’s winning entry on the Red Bull Canimation website

education, sport and tourism

Olympics anti-doping science event LOCAL pupils donned white coats and goggles to run anti-doping tests similar to those that will be used during the London 2012 Olympics, during a Scientists in Sport Day held at the University’s Bedford campus in March. The youngsters rubbed shoulders with Olympic and Paralympic athletes during the day. Double Olympic high jumper Geoff Parsons and Goldmedallist Paralympic swimmer Graham Edmunds were on hand to talk about the dangers of drugs in sport and the demands faced by elite athletes. The pupils took part in practical sessions, including spot testing and core muscle strengthening at the University’s state-of-the-art sports science labs. Director of Sport, Professor Brewer, who is also a Board member of UK Anti-Doping, said: “The University

was delighted to host this event at our facilities in Bedford, which has a long heritage of educational work in sport and sports science. “The pupils had a really fantastic day and there was a great buzz around the place. It was good to be able to show them our sport science labs and for them to get stuck into anti-doping science.”

‘Employability Days’ are winners

Making an impact in Malawi

MANY students have now taken part in the faculty’s Employability Days, designed to help Tourism and Leisure students and employers to network and make career transition easier. The days are packed with workshops and presentations on subjects including preparation for work placements, writing the perfect CV and career options for graduates. You can download from our Careers website a guide to writing a winning CV. The careers and employment service has further information about student recruitment opportunities at: +44 (0)1582 489 270

TEACHERS and students from the University are in the second part of a three-year project to pass on teaching skills in English, Maths, Science, PE and Life Skills to primary teachers in Malawi as part of a £59,000 grant from the British Council. Former Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean, Professor Kate Jacques, who is co-ordinating the project said: “Malawi is a poor country and there is the constant threat of disease and children orphaned through HIV.” In 2011 EST staff ran a ten-day training and development programme for 120 primary teachers – many of whom have over 200 pupils in their classes.

Watford win 1st Ebdon Cup

WATFORD FC’s Female Academy won the University’s first even Ebdon Cup in May. The football tournament pitches female academy players against each other, shows them our Bedford campus and facilities and gives them the chance to talk to students and lecturers about courses and how to further their education. The Watford Hornets took on two Chelsea sides, Barnet and Tottenham and their victories against three teams were enough to win the Golden Girls the Ebdon Cup, giving them a very successful first season in the BCS Elite league.

alumni@ Noteworthy

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health and social science Top nurse launches new centre

DAME Christine Beasley, Chief Nursing Officer for England, has opened a brand new nursing Clinical Simulation Skills Centre at the University’s Butterfield campus. Believed to be the most comprehensive simulation training unit in England, the centre provides a hands-on way of learning for healthcare students and cost around £500,000. Students and practitioners will be able to use the stateof-the-art centre to develop their patient interaction skills as well as clinical procedures. The equipment includes lifelike dummies which can interact with the students to make the experience as realistic as possible.

Grants to help social workers deal with substance misuse SOCIAL Work researchers at the University have been awarded grants worth over £100,000 to continue their research to help social workers combat substance misuse. Dr Sarah Galvani and colleagues from the Tilda Goldberg Centre for Social Work and Social Care have succeeded in attracting funds from Alcohol Research UK, the British Association of Social Workers (via Comic Relief), and an alcohol, drugs and gambling charity. Dr Galvani said: “In the current financial climate, it’s really positive that we have had so much success

with this funding. It shows what an important issue this is and how social workers need to be supported when working with people with alcohol and other drug problems.” Dr Galvani hopes the research will highlight the need for links between research, education and practice. “For social work students our research should inform what they are being taught. We need to ensure strong links between research, education and front line social work practice.” To follow this study go to:

‘Crying at work’ survey presented CRYING at work is something many people dread and is frequently stigmatised. Now University of Bedfordshire expert Professor Gail Kinman is one of the first to conduct systematic research into the reasons why women cry at work, how they feel about it and the impact it has on their career prospects. Professor Kinman presented her findings to thousands of occupational,

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human resource and healthcare professionals at the Health and Wellbeing at Work conference, held in Birmingham’s NEC in March. Her presentation explained the type of situations and feelings that cause tearfulness at work, the way women cope with their own crying episodes and those of colleagues, as well as their attitudes towards crying at work in general.

business school

BlueSky ‘speed dating’ for PR students RECENTLY, BA Public Relations students in the University’s Business School got a sneak peek into the real world when BlueSky PR, who are based in Redbourn, near St Albans, visited the University’s Luton campus for a ‘speed dating’ event. Students were invited to put questions to PR professionals. The questions ranged from what working in PR involves on a daily basis to what PR agencies are looking for in a prospective PR professional. Course leader and event organiser Neville Hunt said: “This is a great way for our PR students to showcase themselves to PR professionals and remove some of the fears of interviews.

“For BlueSky it was also a talentspotting opportunity.” Why not consider having your company or organisation offer a similar speed dating or taster event at the University? Or you could share your skills as a guest lecturer or as a leader of a workshop. Contact the Alumni Office for more ideas.

Business School gets top marks

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JOHN Sentinella, a long-standing member of the University’s staff and alumnus, has been appointed Chair of Governors at the Institute of Sales and Marketing (ISMM). John is Business Development Manager at the Knowledge Hub, based at the Putteridge Bury campus. To find out more on the Knowledge Hub visit: knowledgehub/ development

Lawyer’s Employability Day

Business Pod use has doubled

OUR Business School’s innovative teaching and facilities have been praised in a new report by university think-tank million+. ‘Teaching that Matters’ argues that transforming learning is vital to deliver employability, stimulate economic growth and tackle unemployment. It highlights how the teaching revolution under way in modern universities is led by facilities such as our Business Pods. Some 2000 business students have used these since 2007 and they are

Sales and marketing guru chairs institute

integral to business-related courses such as accounting, marketing, human resources and public relations. Key to this is having alumni return to give guest lectures or run workshops for students or to offer real work placements and internships. Having students bring the latest ideas into their companies and directly involving students in real business environments benefits all. For more on how business can get involved contact our Alumni office.

OVER 80 law students gained insights to the legal profession at a recent Employability Day event. The event, hosted by the School of Law, featured many guest presenters. If you’d like to take place in any of our future Employability Days contact the Alumni office.

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Sitting comfortably Lynsey Johnston talks to Tori Harrison about helping disadvantaged youngsters, volunteering at Open Days and how a seat on the new Alumni Board will help her charity IT’S tucked behind a small black unassuming door but every day the lives of disadvantaged youngsters are changed by the Luton Churches Education Trust (LCET). It is based right in the heart of Luton, just five minutes from our campus, and at its heart is a Bedfordshire alumna. Lynsey Johnston is Director of LCET, an organisation striving to reach out to the youth of Luton and provide them with support, guidance, a respite and space to socialise. “We respond to everything that young people want to discuss,“ Lynsey explains. “Common issues are self-harm, eating disorders, rejection, disengagement with education and abuse. The Trust holds mentoring sessions, visits schools to raise awareness and is a safe house for young people.” I asked her what was most rewarding about dealing with such distressing challenges. She smiled: “Seeing young people’s lives transformed – the community we have here is very special, working with young people is often entertaining and we have a positive young team.

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Introducing fun is essential wherever possible – we do have a laugh!” It is easy to understand why this bright, friendly, straight talking young woman is the head of the charity. That she welcomed me personally, and made us tea are testament to the highly personalised way she leads. She is the face of the organisation and is very ‘hands on’, directing other managers, deciding policies and making important business decisions. Yet she insists on making time to mentor members of the Trust personally, ensuring she connects and keeps up to speed with current issues affecting young people today. She guides me through the spacious and colourful four-storey headquarters, which also serve as a ‘drop-in’ centre for the youngsters. Lynsey herself is in her mid-twenties and her staff are young and animated, casting the entire building in a welcoming glow. She has a vibrant personality, which helps when you are a leading Director in such a vital Third Sector organisation. “I began as a Children and Care Therapeutic Worker and mentor for

A seat on the Alumni Board would allow me to help shape the University for future generations

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“The Trust holds mentoring sessions, visits schools to raise awareness and is a safe house for young people“ young people at the Trust,” she says, “but the one element holding me back was my lack of formal education with regard to dealing with young people and care. LCET recognised my positive attitude and my hard work and agreed to fund my journey through higher education. So I enrolled as a mature student at the University on the Child Adolescent Studies BA course in 2006. “The course was vitally important for my career progression” she enthused as we wandered through a well equipped games room. “It was incredibly flexible with regard to the modules I could study, allowing me to shape it around focal points in my career and the needs of the young people we encounter.” As Director she has now sent one of her staff on the same course – perhaps the highest praise one might give to her experience at the University. At the top of the building we sat on one of the hand-decorated sofas styled by the young people supported by the Trust and I quizzed her about what she was going to do next. ”My next natural step, as I see it, will be to get a 16 / Noteworthy

voice for young people at local authority level. A bigger platform in the future will ensure continued success helping others and raising awareness of the issues young people have. Our charity has a unique strength because we can speak with the voices of the young people themselves.” I asked how she would personally rise to such a challenge? “I’m thinking about going back to University and studying for a PhD (Professional Doctorate in Children and Young People’s Services).” As figurehead of LCET she realises further study will again aid her position and potential transition greatly. Lynsey has a long-running engagement with the University. As a woman devoting her career to others, perhaps it isn’t surprising that she is a frequent contributor to University events. “I am considering some free lecturing in the future,” she admitted, ”and I couldn’t tell you how many University events I’ve volunteered for – I’ve lost count! “I loved volunteering for the recent Open Days, it is definitely an event I

would return to. I’m passionate about inspiring young people and I can use the University as a vessel to reach out even further.” This process is reciprocated and Professor Les Ebdon, current VC, is also a patron of LCET. It is clear that the University remains an important and relevant part of her life. When I approached the subject of the new Alumni Board Lynsey was highly enthusiastic. ”It is definitely something I would like to do,” she said. “A seat on the Alumni Board would allow me to help shape the University for future generations as well as giving me more insight into how the Alumni Network operates throughout the year and to network with other Bedfordshire professionals. I see it as a golden opportunity to make an even greater difference.” When asked why she is so enthusiastic about reaching out to young people she simply put it: “If they gain, I gain.” On this triumphant note of confidence it was clear my time was up. Lynsey has a hectic schedule and clearly had more work to do and big future plans to make. +44 (0)1582 489 270

I loved volunteering for the recent Open Days, it is definitely an event I would return to

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Ask not what the University can do for you… Greg White (left) and Ian Nancollas (right) head up Alumni Relations within the University – their mission is to allow the network of our alumni to flourish as it never has before. 18 / Noteworthy

…but what you can do for it and our students, say Greg White, Development Manager and Ian Nancollas, Alumni Relations Manager, who want alumni to better connect with each other and with the students of today and tomorrow.

There are plenty of opportunities for Alumni to share experiences, shape the University’s future, network and enrich the lives of students. A new vision with YOU at the heart Your university experience does not end with graduation, the knowledge, experience and skills you gain can help others make the most of their time at University. Aumni Relations wants to work more with former students to create a vibrant Alumni network that supports both their own career development and increases their interaction with current and prospective students. There are many and varied opportunities for you to continue your involvement by contributing time, experience and, dare we say it, money. Taking part can be as simple and fulfilling as keeping your contact details up to date and creating a case study about your successes and achievements. Greg White explains: “It’s immensely helpful having case studies showing prospective students how this University changes lives. Noteworthy runs graduates’ success stories which help students commit to improving themselves through education. Yours could tell how study let you pursue your dream career, or how a scholarship or bursary enabled you to study. Perhaps the Student Support team helped you when you needed them. Everyone has a story to tell and our marketing team will help you tell it.” Share your knowledge and experience There are plenty of University events open to students, staff and alumni which are excellent opportunities for catching up, networking and generally sharing experiences. Open Days give you the chance to tell those thinking of studying about the opportunities available and they aren’t only school leavers but mature students and those wanting to study part-time. +44 (0)1582 489 270

Ian added: “Who better to explain the benefits of university than someone who has experienced it. It only takes a couple of hours and you only have to talk about your own experiences.” He went on: “Many alumni are now experts in business, the arts and media, healthcare or science. Giving a guest lecture or running a practical workshop is another excellent way of sharing your insider knowledge and skills with students and enhancing their abilities. Offering internships and placements helps students get a taste of the real world beyond the classroom. You could even write an article for Life or Noteworthy!”

Why not tell prospective students how the University let you pursue your dream career or how a scholarship or bursary enabled you to study in the first place?

To help shape the University’s future you could become a Member of the new Alumni Board. This programmes alumni events, is a conduit for ideas to improve the student experience to senior managers and represents our alumni across the globe. As Greg puts it: “Alumni activity needs to be developed by alumni, for alumni.” Strengthen our vibrant global community Wherever you are now you can still contribute to the University’s future, as Greg White says: “Alumni from around the world can engage with us to enable the University to be even more relevant in the global community. Social media and video conferencing mean even the most farflung alumni can play an active role in changing our future and build up their own global network.” YOU make the difference If you’d like to contribute to any of the opportunities mentioned above please contact the Alumni Relations Manager, Ian Nancollas on

To find out more go to

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This is the place where you can re-connect with your fellow graduates. If you would like to post a message or a photograph email us at:

re 2001 Katherine Hyde

BA Travel & Tourism Update: Katherine is the senior Marketing Executive for Higher Education Business and Economics at Pearson Education.

2005 Charles Akpom

MBA Entrepreneurship and Business Management

Toby Friedner works for BBC local radio in Luton

Update: Charles is the co-founder of Afroterminal, an online platform for African people to chat and share news. Afroterminal is a merger of two words:“Afro”, an acronym for Africa and “Terminal”, which refers to transportation centres such as airports and bus stations.


Mahmoud Faquose

John Galbraith

Update: Mahmoud Faquose joined Majan College in January 2005 as Marketing Manager and since then he has been managing all the College’s marketing activities and processes for recruiting students. Prior to joining Majan he spent eight years as a marketing manager in a group of companies involved in manpower training.

MSc International Business and Management Update: John is employed as a Program Analyst with the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Office of Program Evaluation and Enforcement, Internal Control and Audit Division in Washington D.C. 20 / Noteworthy

MBA Business Administration

Lorraine Grant works for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation

Christopher Hart BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science

Update: Chris is a conditioner at the Northampton Saints Rugby Union Club.

Lou Atkinson

MSc Health Psychology Update: Lou has been working on important research into maternal obesity as part of a large team based in Coventry.

connect 2009

Nicholas Asgill

Chris Butcher

Update: In December 2011 Nicholas went to Sierra Leone to organise a youth peace festival at the 350,000 capacity National Stadium in Freetown.

BA (Hons) Animation Update: Chris won the open Stop Motion category of the Red Bull Canimation competition in December 2011. Chris’s work will be screened as part of an Ad Break Takeover Documentary on Channel 4 this year.

Ben Blakey

BA (Hons) Television Production

BA (Hons) Media Production

Nicholas says of the experience: “I was doing something I dreamt about during my first year at the University in 2006 and it was overwhelming.” He is currently enrolled on a Master’s that started in September 2011.

Stuart A King

Update: Ben accepted a tenmonth contract at IMG working on live sport broadcasts including: Wimbledon, The Football League Show and Snooker Masters at Wembley. He has since gained a place at Shine Productions through the Television and Young People (TVYP) scheme, and is currently working on ITV’s The Biggest Loser.

MSc Physical Activity and Well-Being



Thomas Wiggins-Wilson

Claire Stancliffe BSc (Hons)

Update: Thomas now works for Morgan Stanley and landed his position through a work placement as part of his business course at the University of Bedfordshire.

Update: Football crazy graduate Claire Stancliffe returned from Bulgaria in July where she represented Great Britain in the European Deaf Football Championships, winning a Bronze Medal.

BA (Hons) Business Management (Sandwich Option)

+44 (0)1582 489 270

Update: Stuart runs a successful programme to manage weight in obese children with fellow alumna Helen Mayhew. He designed the original concept for the programme, called BeeZee Bodies, in 2005 and has received funding from NHS Bedfordshire.

Sport & Physical Education

To re connect Register at alumni Email your updates alumni@beds. Or call +44 (0)1582 489270

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email: alu R mni@be P hone:

alum notes

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wanted INTERNATIONAL alumni can make a huge difference to our recruitment drive in their home country.

As an international university we are proud to have students from over 100 countries worldwide. By joining our overseas agents at HE fairs you can bring a new dimension to our recruitment campaigns. Whether you are in Hong Kong or Hungary, Nigeria or Nepal, you can get involved. In the first instance just email

Open day

support OPEN Days in Bedford and Luton give potential students and their families the opportunity to see our facilities and discuss our courses. We have over 10 Open Days each year. Alumni have already proved an invaluable asset during previous Open Days, with their knowledgeable combination of both study and work experience. Often run on a Saturday, a few hours of alumni influence can be enough to inspire the student of tomorrow and reassure parents. Why not join the current band of Open Day Alumni Ambassadors: Edward To, Casa Sharif, Toby Friedner, Wayne McBean, Kelly Blake, Hannah Johnson, Nicholas Asgill, Martina Putnova, Sandra Hoggett, Lynsey Johnston, Emily Blake, Rebecca Pinney, Alan Thomson. THANK YOU!

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Join the board

ARE you motivated to steer alumni engagement? Do you want to use your knowledge to benefit future graduates? Do you want to improve the student experience? If so then you’ll want to know more about the Alumni Board. Conscientious professionals can bring their management skills to bear at the highest level of alumni relations. The inaugural meeting is planned for autumn 2012. Get your voice heard together with fellow alumni and the University top management team. So if you wish to join this elite group email a brief resume to

Social Networks

If you regularly use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media why not become part of the conversations on the University’s social media sites too? We use these sites to publicise all events and activities of interest to alumni. There’s a whole range of forthcoming events, Open Days, cultural and social activities, plus up-to-date news and achievements. Why not share your news and discuss how you are involved with the University? If you are attending an Open Day or making a donation why not let everyone know?

Find us on Facebook to make contact with and keep in touch with your old University friends, colleagues and teachers. You can follow us on Twitter for news and events and re-tweet events to your followers. Why not create a new University of Bedfordshire alumni trend, sharing and discovering where alumni are now? For networking try our LinkedIn page. It’s easy to sign up – why not expand your own online contacts as well as expanding ours? University of Bedfordshire – Alumni



Backpack to Briefcase: Are you an expert in your field? Could you share your knowledge or experience to a gathering of students and fellow alumni? November 2012 is alumni guest lecture month. If this is your forte and wish to lead a lecture then please contact us. Bridge 5: Do you have the passion to mentor the graduates of tomorrow? After five years you will have learnt a thing or two. Your experience could be invaluable to a fresher facing the first weeks at university, or a final year student preparing for that first job interview. This project can even work on an online basis. After 5: Why not host an alumni event where you work? Get to meet fellow alumni and network. Reunions: 2012/13 will be the 20th anniversary of our university status. Events are being planned to celebrate this landmark. But why wait to see what we do? Why not organise your own event and get all your old coursemates together? Luton and Bedford are great places to hold a reunion and the alumni office is ready to help you. Link with Ian Nancollas Alumni Relations Manager +44 (0)1582 489 270

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LinkendIn and Flickr networks Share your stories on our Facebook, Twitter,

Sue Lawton SUE is Director of Education and Innovation at We Connect Int. (WEI), a corporate led non-profit that empowers women business owners to succeed in global markets. Formerly the CEO for the Europe operation, Sue created the first UK pilot, built the Canada programme and expanded WEConnect throughout Europe. Based in the US but travelling the world, Sue is currently developing the Australasian arm of the operation. For the graduate of the MSc in Human Resource Management it is the fulfilment of a career dedicated to unlocking the business potential of clients. Looking back on her decision to study Human Resource Management she says: “I am passionate about the work I do. The University through its comprehensive Master’s course in Human Resource Management gave me both a better understanding of how to run a business effectively through the taught elements, and the opportunity to conduct an in-depth study of women returning to the workplace in the dissertation. The combination was an excellent grounding for the work I do today.”

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Christian Winterbottom CHRISTIAN graduated in 1995 with a degree in Modern English Studies. It was a gateway to travel, his subsequent career began as an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) instructor in Japan. “My English degree was my passport to travel and work around the world. Without it I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.” The next country to tackle was the United States and Christian headed to sunny Florida. He remembers: “Moving to the US was a little easier, but again, there were many challenges to overcome. Working with young children is a joy for me, so mentoring preschool teachers was highly enjoyable.” After moving to the US he started a Master’s and PhD in Early Childhood Education at Florida State University. He found his experiences in the UK and Japan helped spark a research focus working with immigrants in the US. Dr Winterbottom now works at the University of Ohio as an Assistant Professor in early and Middle Childhood Education.

Catch up with Emma by contacting the Charity at: info@

Catch up with Lydia on her LinkedIn profile: Lydia Shekiluwa

Lydia Shekiluwa LYDIA is International Roaming Operations Manager for Telefónica UK. After graduating 
in 1997 with a degree in Computer Aided Design & Technology, she joined Telefónica (formerly Cellnet, BTcellnet, O2). “University provided me with significant insight into, not just the working world but the world in general. Unknowingly, I left somewhat equipped to better deal with the realities of life” Her position has given her the opportunity to represent her company at a number of global task forces, where she has been involved in creating and defining processes utilised throughout her field. Editing an industry-standard document has been one of her career highlights. Always striving to take herself and her company further, Lydia is about to commence ISEB Business Analyst training, something she hopes will benefit both herself and her organisation. “No two days are similar – I 
liaise with individuals from all over the world and my team are experts at what they do. We work hard, but we do have a lot of fun.”

+44 (0)1582 489 270

Dr Ahmed Hassan Al-Bulushi AHMED is Acting Dean of Caledonian College of Engineering (CCE), a large, private university college in Oman and, in affiliation with GCU in the UK, a market leader in the provision of highquality engineering education in the Gulf region. Since joining CCE in 2009, Dr Ahmed has been on a mission to enhance the learning and teaching experience of the student population, by creating a climate of independent learning and practical student opportunity through internship and international exchange. Based in Muscat, Oman, he plays an active role in forging academic partnerships with institutions around the world. It was studying for the MBA at the University of Bedfordshire that launched his career in academic management. Reflecting on his experience at the University of Bedfordshire, Ahmed states: “The MBA was a demanding programme led by expert faculty. The programme challenged certain preconceptions about the role of business administration in an international context and, for me, laid the foundations of a life long interest in managing higher education institutions and quality assurance.”

Emma Atkins EMMA is Director of Programmes at the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust. The Trust acts to change the lives of young people by mentoring them alongside world-class sports performers. “It’s fantastic to work in a role so relevant to my studies. The DKH Legacy Trust often works with the University and I love working with the institution that got me where I am today.” Graduating from a BSc (Hons) in Sport Science and Leisure Management, Emma went on to work with Kelly in 2008. Four successful years later, Emma continues to establish a support system for transitioning worldclass sports performers who wish to build a life after sport. Emma leads all programmes in which such performers inspire a younger generation. The office is based in London but Emma resides in Nottinghamshire, a central base to lead UK programme delivery. The role takes her far and wide in terms of international travel and into the high profile world of sport.

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Supporting future generations The University of Bedfordshire is committed to attracting the very best students regardless of their financial circumstances. Every small donation helps us to achieve this goal. With University funding cut so drastically, the donations we receive from our alumni are more crucial than ever, now and in the years to come.

Registrar’s Fund for Hardship

Coaching in the Community

A Brighter Sporting Future

The Registrar’s Fund for Hardship has been established by a personal gift from the Registrar to provide last resort support to students in trouble – through no fault of their own. University staff are busy fundraising in various ways to match the gift – can you help them reach their target?

This new scheme will send volunteer students into local schools to undertake sports coaching sessions. Funds raised will enable current students to be sent on specialised coaching courses and provide volunteers with the new skills required to inspire younger students around Bedfordshire.

The Students’ Union has started a fund for portable floodlights. The new floodlights would enable our sports teams to train into the evenings. At present the rugby and football teams have limited training time and the transportable lights would allow increased training and development.

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£1m would be raised if every alumni gave £10 to support current students. We’d like to say an enormous thank you to all those who have already made donations. Please continue to support the Annual Fund by returning the donation form opposite, to us. Your generosity will encourage everything from community engagement to a sports mascot and support future generations…

How to

Scholarships and Bursaries Fund The fund supports people for their academic potential or achievement, but who face personal challenges in the course of their studies. “No matter how tough life can be, personal success drives you forward. My education is my greatest achievement.” Laura Charnock, BA (Hons) 2:1. +44 (0)1582 489 270

Support future generations

Sport with Spirit With a new identity behind sport at the University, the Bedfordshire Bulls are going from strength to strength. The University now wishes to spearhead their sporting triumphs and rally support with the help of a new mascot. A new suite of materials will champion Bulls’ stars for years to come.

To donate, simply follow the links below or fill in the form and send in the envelope provided. support-bedfordshire

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“I loved volunteering for the Open Day, I’d definitely do it again” Lynsey Johnston – turn to page 14

Stay connected with your University... University of Bedfordshire Development and Alumni Relations Office Park Square Luton LU1 3JU Phone: +44 (0)1582 489 270 Email:

Noteworthy Summer 2012 issue  

The University of Bedfordshire Alumni magazine