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futures

winter 2011

The magazine for Alumni and friends of the university of hertfordshire

Talking heads

The latest research into communicating with babies and the power of incantations

Biting drama The new MA module that’s raising the stakes

View from the top Looking at the world through the eyes of Jeffry Lim


EXCEPTIONAL

SKILLS REWARDING

ENHANCE

EXCLUSIVE

POTENTIAL ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIP EXCLUSIVE

INVESTING

LEADING THE HERTFORDSHIRE MBA KNOWLEDGE BUSINESS SCHOOL

You’ve given us your time, now we want to give you something back We are offering a limited number of ‘MBA Alumni Scholarships’ that are worth 60% off the tuition fees for the Hertfordshire MBA. Regarded as one of the leading management qualifications, the MBA is designed to give you the knowledge and skills needed to enhance your career and fulfil your management potential.

Find out more at www.go.herts.ac.uk/mba


winter 2011 issue 8

Contents

10 6 04 Letters Your comments and a letter from the new VC 06 News From awards and events to Balls Park and Strictly Come Dancing! 10 Honorary Awards Find out who the University honoured this year in its November ceremonies 14 Research Some of the latest findings from our top researchers 17 Electric cars The University’s role in the green revolution 18 Football in Herts How ‘the beautiful game’ started in Hertfordshire 22 Pulse Fiction Vampires on the curriculum 24 FAME A look at the newest magazine being produced by students and graduates

Cover image: Jeffry Lim A boy looking out at Yokohama Tower, Japan, 2008

futures Editor: Louise Burns Art Editor: Dani Corbett Editorial Assistant: Gergana Koeva Proofing: Dawn Howton

25 Hidden Heroes Behind the scenes at the University

Special thanks to: Kate Yiannacou, Ed Layt, Paul Upson, Steve Corbett, Angela Thomas, David Ameh, Jeffry Lim, Deji Osobukola, Professor Owen Davies, Dr Sam George, Julie Trindade, Rubina Menghrani, Henna Pindoria, Dr Adrian Harvey, Dr Keith Bevis, Ronald Usher, Felicity Tropman, Jayne Maisey, Diane Wearne, Jak Kimsey, Sarah Staines, Kelvin Ward, Anne-Marie Bell, Dr Elizabeth Kirk, Jo Wearne, Amisha Karia and all of our Twitter and Facebook friends...

30 Graduate Futures Top tips for getting your dream role

Contact us: Development and Alumni Office, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB Telephone: +44 (0)1707 281145 Switchboard: +44 (0)1707 284000 Email: alumni@herts.ac.uk Website: https://alumni.herts.ac.uk

28 COVER STORY Stunning shots from photographer alumnus Jeffry Lim

32 UH Press The history of the pantomime! 34 Profiles Where are they now? 35 UHArts and Galleries Spring programme events and exhibitions

futures regular contributors…

Siobhan Madaras Journalism Graduate

Jo-Anne Rowney Journalism Graduate

Liz Mortimer Communications Officer, Graduate Futures

Jane Housham Manager, UH Press

Jo Wearne Head of Development

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futures

LETTERs We’d love to hear your feedback on Futures or anything to do with your time here… Please email us at: alumni@herts.ac.uk, or write to: Development and Alumni Office, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB

New Year, new semester, new graduates.... new memories. Now that we’ve properly started the new decade it’s time to begin looking forward at the huge changes that beckon on the horizon. Not least what on earth the next ten years are going to be called – the ‘teenies’? The ‘nicies’? The ‘second great depression’? Ok, hopefully not that last one. But although the future does look uncertain for universities and, well, everyone really, it’s comforting to know that while everything changes, sometimes it’s for the better. If 2011 lives up to expectation we’ll have more fascinating research coming out of the University, a new law School opening in the summer, a year of celebrating our new title of the Times Higher Education’s the diamond scholarship fund ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’, a new Vice-Chancellor at the helm and a whole heap of exciting possibilities. Phew! Hopefully this engage & inspire issue will give you a snapshot into these, as well as all of the other interesting things going on in Hatfield. Not least our new Diamond Scholarship Fund which has been set up to help our students – and in support of this all of our advertising revenue will now go into this fund and help our future students. And remember, we’re always keen to hear what you’re up to – so much so, that we’ve created a news form on page 9. So now you’ve got no excuse for not letting us know what you’re up to. Enjoy! KM592_AlumniSchola

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Our scholarship programme is gradu ating...

In order to meet the changing requireme nts and needs of students entering higher education, to coincide with its diamond jubilee year the University of Hertfordshire is setting up the Diamond Scholarsh ip Fund.

Building on the enormous success we have seen since the launch of our externally funded scheme in 2004, this new fund will give us greater flexibility in being able to offer scholarships to students of excellence who really need your support.

Students will be able to apply directly to the fund for a scholarsh ip, or for support in engaging in communi ty projects, whether in Hertfordshire, the UK or overseas. We want to ensure that everyone's contribution creates opportunities for future generation s of entrepreneurs, business leaders, health professionals, artists, lawyers, social workers, engineers and scientists.

Louise Burns Editor

For more information please contact Louise pages on the alumni Burns on l.burns@ herts.ac.uk or visit website https://alumni the 'Giving Back' .herts.ac.uk

futures in our mailbox this issue… The alumni of the University of Hertfordshire have a critical role to play in its future development and prosperity. It is through you that the University’s reputation flourishes and grows, nationally and internationally. We want you to know that your relationship with the University doesn’t end once you receive your degree or postgraduate qualification – we delight in hearing news about your personal and professional development and welcome the opportunity for you to engage with us, whether through mentoring and supporting our current students, or working with our academic staff.  If you have a story to tell us about your own success, or that of another alumnus, or if you simply want to retain contact with your University, please let us know. I look forward to meeting and working with you in the future. Professor Quintin McKellar CBE Vice-Chancellor

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Graduation week on Facebook Graduates, Graduates everywhere! Kicking off with day 2 of UK Ceremony week in St Albans!..... Good times..... The University of Hertfordshire Alumni Association I missed mine last year due to a burst appendix.... so excited for finally attending my ceremony tomorrow!! :) Monica Mousavi-Saeedi Congratulations to all Graduates. Especially to all Malaysian Graduates! Don’t forget to join UHAAM once you are back to Malaysia and continue to be part of UH... Ziyad Maricar Congratulations to all graduates...Especially to all my African brothers and sisters who are convocating today @ University of Hertfordshire Yomi Akintola Congratulations to all the qualified Radiographers. I wish them all the best in their profession. Especially Roopa. Will c u next week at Northwick Park Hospital Adesola Orenuga Congratulations to all of them......It is one of the most exciting times and a dream of every student......Have a good one everyone. Hafiz Afridi Haven’t things moved on since 1990! I sat in a side room above the North Refectory as there wasn’t enough space in main hall - we saw everything on a little screen, till it was our turn!! We did have beer hidden under our cloaks though!! Laura Youell


jo wearne

What do you care about? Is it... Inspiring bright, young people to be our future leaders, carers and creators Creating opportunities for students who otherwise would not be able to afford a University education through offering scholarships Enabling pioneering researchers to push forward their ideas and find solutions to society’s problems – like our leading work into the use of robots to communicate with autistic children Ensuring that premature babies, elderly people and those suffering from disease are given the best possible care and treatment – by ensuring that our nurses, midwives and paramedics are trained using the most up to date equipment Encouraging students to get involved and make a positive impact on our communities – whether it’s an art project in an inner-city school or volunteer teaching in Africa You can help us to make these a reality by giving to your University To find out more about how you can support these projects please contact Jo Wearne at j.r.wearne@ herts.ac.uk

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futures

NEWS

A snapshot of news bites from around your University this winter... MBA Associates’ Dinner

In December the Business School welcomed back a number of successful MBA alumni, as well as business partners and current staff and MBA students, to celebrate the inaugural MBA Associates’ Dinner. The black-tie evening allowed MBA alumni to catch up with former friends and colleagues and network with local business contacts over dinner, as well as hear from keynote speakers Professor Greg W Marshall and former England Rugby captain Steve Borthwick. The evening was a great success and we look forward to hosting a similar event this year for more of our MBA alumni. If you are an MBA alumnus, please get in touch to find out more by emailing business.school@ herts.ac.uk

Success at Careers and Alumni Conference 2010 The School of Humanities had their third Careers and Alumni Conference on 1st December. The organiser, Mimi Tessier, was particularly pleased that over 300 students attended a keynote speech by Vicki Hearn, an alumna from the University, who spoke about how her work experience secured her a job with Save the Children.  This was followed by seven workshops run by alumni and professionals in teaching, working as a freelancer, media, publishing, the heritage sector, postgraduate study and Graduate Futures.

Did you know.... that the University’s new research blog is now live. For more information, please visit their website. Entrepreneurial University of the Year

The University has won the prestigious Times Higher Education ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ award. The award, sponsored by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship, was presented by their Chief Executive, Ian Robertson at an awards ceremony in Grosvenor House Hotel, London.  The University topped five other institutions to win the title on 25th November.  The other shortlisted institutions were Imperial College London, Brunel University, Teesside University, University of Plymouth, and University of Central Lancashire. The 2010 Entrepreneurial University of the Year award, now in its sixth year, aims to recognise the ground-breaking work undertaken by UK higher education institutions to embed entrepreneurial activity in their organisations. For further information please visit the news and events page on the UH website. 06


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winter 2011

Oh, Mr Darcy! Balls Park, which housed University of Hertfordshire business and social science students from 1979 to 2003, is about to be given a new lease of life, with the mansion and stable blocks currently undergoing a complete refurbishment into a range of luxury apartments. During the redevelopment some interesting facts about the historic Grade I Listed Jacobean mansion in Hertford have come to light. It is believed that Jane Austin visited Balls Park whilst writing Pride and Prejudice and that following her visit it became the inspiration behind Netherfield House. Netherfield is one of the most important locations in the novel, as the residence for ‘£4,000 a year’ Mr Bingley and the place where Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett share their first dance together at Mr Bingley’s ball. Ian Dieffenthaller, the conservation architect working for City & Country Group, the company managing the redevelopment, believes that Balls Park played an important role in Hertfordshire society in the 18th century. “Whilst Balls Park is obviously a very important architectural site, it is particularly interesting to note the

connection with Jane Austen. At the time, this part of Hertfordshire was an extremely wealthy area and a desirable location for those from London looking to build their country seats; Balls Park exemplifies the wealth at that time. “The cream of English society was to be found frequently gracing the opulent public rooms at Balls Court, and it is even possible that the famous Netherfield Ball in Pride and Prejudice was inspired by a similar ball at Balls Park that Jane Austen would have attended herself.” The estate itself is no stranger to fame and has been used as a location for a number of films, including The Young Victoria and The Golden Compass, as well as a range of television series, such as Bleak House and Foyle’s War. Most recently, it is thought to have been used as a location for the upcoming film Bel Ami, starring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman and Christina Ricci, which is due for release later in 2011.

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Lecturer boogies onto Strictly programme Dr Peter Lovatt, who is otherwise known as ‘Dr Dance’, recently appeared on BBC Two’s sister programme to Strictly Come Dancing, ‘It Takes Two’. He appeared on the show to discuss the psychology of dance, including dancing, hormones and why we love (or hate) to dance. The programme also featured a dance routine that was taught to members of staff to help demonstrate aspects of his research. Dr Lovatt, said: “This was really great fun to do, and a marvellous experience for staff at the University to be involved with. There really is more to the psychology of dance than people think and viewers can tune in to learn more about it.”

The Alumni Bookcase A Regency romance As alumna June Noble has vividly portrayed in her first novel, The Lime Walk, despite the economic downturn and student riots, we’re still a lot better off now compared to the turbulent times that followed the Battle of Waterloo. June, who graduated with a BA Honours degree in Humanities, has immersed herself in Regency life with this ‘Norfolk romance’. Focusing on the Challiss family in 1815, she details their struggle to maintain the doomed Uppham estate despite the threat from ambitious exguardsman Thomas Roberts, as well as angry, disillusioned bread-rioters, the unemployed and the endless returning servicemen. The Lime Walk was released on 15th December 2010 and is available to buy from Amazon and Troubador publishing for £8.99.

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University graduates recognised as ‘Future Leaders’

Four University graduates were invited by Lord Adebowale to the House of Lords on 6th September to celebrate the launch of the ‘Future Leaders 2010/2011’ publication. This publication showcases 100 of the most outstanding black students in the UK. In order to qualify, students needed to display at least a 2.1 in an academic qualification with outstanding extracurricular activities. Tobi Alli-Usman, BA (Hons) Business and Digital Media, Jide Johnson, BA (Hons) 3D Animation, Nathan Ghann, BA (Hons) Economics and Marketing and Stephane Alexandre, BA (Hons) Screen Culture were all featured in the publication. Nathan Ghann was selected in the top ten out of over 160 applicants across the UK.

Did you meet your future partner whilst studying here? With the royal wedding looming, we are looking at how Hertfordshire has played Cupid to its alumni community. All stories and photos are welcome for the summer edition! Please email alumni@herts.ac.uk or complete the news feedback form on page 9.

New gallery location in St Albans

As part of a long-term partnership with the University, a new gallery has opened in the Museum of St Albans on Hatfield Road. This new space, called UH Galleries at the Museum of St Albans, will take over from the Margaret Harvey Gallery which has been based in the Law School since 1994. This fantastic new space ensures that there is a town centre visual arts venue which can provide a wide-ranging programme of national and international art exhibitions. The new gallery was formally opened on Saturday 11th December when it hosted the Hertfordshire Open Exhibition 2010 awards ceremony. For more information about upcoming exhibitions please visit www.go.herts.ac.uk/uhgalleries

New Years Honours The current and outgoing Vice-Chancellors have both been honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. Professor Quintin McKellar received a CBE and the outgoing Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Wilson was awarded a Knighthood. Professor McKellar received his CBE for his services to science as Principal of The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) of the University of London, a position which he held for six years. It was the top English veterinary school in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise and more than doubled its research income (£13.1 million in 2009/10) during Professor McKellar’s tenure. Professor Wilson has been honoured for his services to higher education and business.


futures

winter 2011

University of Hertfordshire Alumni Association News Update Form Contact details

If you have recently moved or altered your contact details, please let us know so that we can continue to send you Futures and eFutures: Address:

Email: Telephone/mobile number: Alumni number: In order to be as sustainable as possible, we can mail alumni jointly if they share an address. If this applies to you, please let us know: I live with

so please only send us one copy of Futures.

Futures submission – your news

We would love to hear your news – whether you’ve got a new job, got married, had a baby, moved to a new country, published a book or are just doing something interesting! Please fill in the box below and either email or post it to us at the addresses below. Once we’ve received your information, this will be put into either the ‘news’ or ‘where are they now’ sections of future editions, so that all your fellow alums can find out your news, since leaving Hertfordshire.

Get involved!

We’d love to help you get involved with the University of Hertfordshire – if you are interested in any of the below, let us know and we can send you more information on.... Receiving a free Alumni Association membership card Working with students through talks, workshops, seminars, careers fairs or mentoring Acting as an alumni ambassador overseas Contributing articles to Futures or eFutures Donating to the Diamond Scholarship Fund (see page 20) Providing work experience for Hertfordshire students or graduates Leaving a legacy to the University of Hertfordshire

Please return your news form to alumni@herts.ac.uk or post it to: Futures magazine, Development and Alumni Office, University of Hertfordshire, FREEPOST BBT 141, College Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9BR. Please note that only UK residents can use the FREEPOST address. Information on the University’s database is held under the provision of the Data Protection Act. It will be held exclusively for promoting closer links between the University and its graduates.

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Roll of honour

Every year, as students receive recognition for their undergraduate degrees, the University also honours those who have made an outstanding contribution to either academic disciplines, charity, the professions or public service.


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Honorary Awards

At the ceremonies held in the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban in November 2010, sixteen individuals were awarded Honorary Awards and Fellowships in acknowledgment of their work. Their achievements are certainly diverse and demonstrate the dedication, talent and skill that exist within the region. Those honoured this year were: 1 Mrs Barbara Follett, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the region and to local and national politics. 2 Mr Stuart McKay, MBE, a writer and historian in recognition of outstanding contribution to the study of aviation history and work on the de Havilland Aircraft Company. 3 Mr David Piper, former Director of Learning Technology at the University of Hertfordshire for his contribution to many pioneering developments and projects including the University’s Voyager library system and student portal, StudyNet. 4 Mr Chris Corbould, recognised for his unquestionable talent, career success and for his inspiration to young people looking to work in the special effects industry. 5 Mr Paul Turner, for his contribution to health education and establishing the University as a local, regional and international centre of excellence for

research, learning and teaching for health and social care professionals. 6 Dr Peter Carter, OBE, for his outstanding contribution to national healthcare and in recognition of his support of the University’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and 7 Social Work. 7 Dr Malcolm Skingle, CBE, Director of Academic Liaison in the worldwide business development department of pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline. Recognised for his outstanding contribution to the pharmaceutical industry and some of the most productive partnerships to emerge from the UK pharmaceutical industry in recent times. 11

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Honorary Awards

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8 Mr Mike Norris, Chief Executive Officer of Computacenter plc, recognised for his contribution to the computer services industry and the regional community. 9 Mr Stephen Joseph, OBE, a well-known commentator and a leading campaigner on transport and environmental issues. In recognition of his personal commitment to sustainable communities and of his professional work in continually refreshing and raising the national debate about public transport provision.

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10 Mr Terry Green, Chief Executive of the clothing and homes divisions at Tesco in recognition of his successful retail career and for his support for the University in giving our students opportunities for workplace experience. 11 Mr Roger Lewis, a leading Autobiographer, Journalist and Literary Critic, in recognition for his work in informing and entertaining readers for nearly thirty years. 12 Mr Richard Lambert, former Editor of the Financial Times and current Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, in recognition of his dedicated work in forging closer partnerships between the business and academic worlds, and as a leading advocate for UK business. 13 Lord Thomas McNally, a highly-regarded and influential British politician, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to political life in the UK and to the local community. 14 Mr Stuart Kenny, one of the country’s leading regeneration experts is recognised for his contribution to the county’s cultural, social and economic prosperity. 15 Mrs Kitty Hart-Moxon, OBE, a Holocaust survivor, for her commitment to education on the consequences of ‘discrimination and bullying’ working closely with the Holocaust Educational Trust.

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16 Mrs Michelle Mone, OBE, MJM International Ltd, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the development of entrepreneurship in the fashion industry and for her tremendous achievements as a businesswoman. fďż˝


Spell s

jo-anne rowney

and signs

Think of language, and you think of chatting between friends, or lengthy lexicons being taught to eager English students. From Makaton signs to written spells and incantations, the University of Hertfordshire’s latest language research may challenge our perceptions, but as research fellows explained to Jo-Anne Rowney they are no less fascinating when it comes to the power of the word – written or (un)spoken. When I was younger I remember my mother insistently trying to get me to talk, repeating words incessantly in a weird competition against my father to get me to say ‘Mum’ before ‘Dad’. In this case she lost the battle, but perhaps she would have fared better if she’d used baby sign language. Dr Elizabeth Kirk and a team of researchers (led by Dr Karen J Pine at the University of Hertfordshire) have been researching the effect sign language has on babies’ communication and language development by studying a series of gestures that could help increase babies’ vocabulary and language skills earlier on. Baby sign language is a growing business in the UK and the US. Whether it’s videos, books, or classes, plenty of companies have tried to teach sign language to families, claiming their product - by working on early communication - has a positive effect on later communication. The work by University of Hertfordshire researchers tested these products, pushing them to prove their worth, while also trying to create a sign

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Economic deprivation played a role

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in how effective sign language was

language scheme for families from disadvantaged backgrounds, giving mothers and babies a chance to improve their language. The research, funded by Economic and Social Research Council, stemmed from Kirk’s interest into gestures and how they help school children to think, speak and learn; “I was already interested in how children acquire language and how their communication skills develop. I was curious as to what effect the gestures had. There are so many products teaching parents sign language for their child, claiming they can

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increase vocabulary and help babies speak earlier. I wanted to test this.” Kirk spent three years evaluating a commercial product that - using a DVD - aimed to teach parents sign language to use with their baby before it could talk. She and a team of researchers looked at IQ, development, if the baby spoke earlier when using sign language and whether their vocabulary increased as the product claimed it would. In her initial longitudinal study Kirk checked the baby’s process after eight months, and so on, up until twenty months, with routine assessments of their language. The study found that in the long term the children developed at the same rate as those who didn’t use commercial products, but as it was a middle class sample Kirk decided to expand her study and look at children from a lower education status background. Since then she has spent two years teaching low income mothers how to use sign language with their child. “Spending time interacting with your baby, and making the most of your hands when you speak as well as your voice, is the best thing that a mum can do to help her baby’s language to flourish,” Kirk says. After deciding economic deprivation played a role in how effective sign language was, Kirk decided that the sessions would be best aimed at lower income families. Sign language is not the sole ingredient to the sessions with mothers and their babies, nursery rhymes are also used, while increasing the signs each session. “We’ve already started running mother and baby sessions Monday and Wednesday in Children’s centres in Hertfordshire.” says Kirk. “With the help of Hertfordshire county council and Herts NHS we’ve begun working with Sure start centres.” Kirk holds informal sessions, called SmallTalk, at these centres. During the sessions Kirk and a speech therapist teach


Photography: Istockphoto

futures mothers to use Makaton gestures, a type of sign language formed of basic gestures that represent actions, like ‘more’, ‘food’, ‘drink’. Makaton is a simpler form of sign language that uses signs as well as some speech and picture cards. While it was initially developed in the UK in the 1970s to help disabled children and those who could not communicate that well, Elizabeth encourages the parents to use them with their babies with some fruitful results. Kirk is now taking forward the research, having created classes for mothers and babies to learn the signs. The classes are run in three Sure Start centres in Hertfordshire so far, but Kirk hopes more will take on the programme; she added: “The classes are aimed at low-income families, as these showed the most improvement and we hope to regularly teach these free classes. We hope we can roll more sessions out throughout 2011 to more Sure Start centres and continue to monitor the babies’ progress.” Jumping back in time, and switching from the spoken language to the written word we move on from the present day to ancient books, full of incantations, spells and ghostly tales. Grimories: A History of Magic Books, a book of magical knowledge, recently released by Professor Owen Davies, Research Fellow and History Lecturer at the University, covers an eye-watering amount of material covering ancient Babylonia, clay tablets and the ever popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ‘Grimoire’ means a book that contains incantations, spells from the supernatural realm. Davies claims that the need to retain these Grimories led to people writing them down, and therefore led to the development of written language as we know it. His argument throughout the book is a bold one, that if we are “to understand the spread of relgion, the development of early science, the cultural influence of the printed word, the growth of literacy, and the social impact of slavery and colonialism” we must understand Grimoires. Pop culture propagates the idea that magic is a primitive backward art, its influence dispelled by science and our rational discoveries. If you ask someone these days if a spell could influence the weather they’d probably think you were mad, but for Davies these beliefs are not crazy rants but a window into history. It was surprising to find out that religion and magic were so closely linked in their written form. Davies explained: “The history of literature has always been embedded in magic, and by looking back and studying literature we can see how the need to write down spells and incantations prompted the need for writing.” The rich history of ghost folklore and spooky stories has always been of great interest to me. Speaking to Professor Davies I’m reminded of Harry Potter, with the students’ heavy dusty books that held secret spells and chants. While the University of Hertfordshire isn’t

research

Hogwarts, Davies’ research studies these old texts just as studiously as Harry Potter. However, you’re more likely to find him pondering the history, importance and power of magical books than waving a wand; more specifically, he’s studying the written development as well as supernatural content of the old texts. “If you put yourself in the mind-set of the time, the written word was a magical knowledge; it was another kind of mystic skill. Writing was a magical act” says Professor Davies. “Even the colonised people believed

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Pop culture propagates the idea that magic is a primitive backward art

that the Bible was an occult power for white people. They thought that they kept bits of the Bible back to keep them as ignorant subjects.” Davies traces these magical, human and social developments along with their twists and turns throughout history, looking at different religions and their growth - using literature. His research goes beyond the normal focus on religious institutions and organised churches, saying “the supernatural is much broader than religion in the normal sense; I like to explore that in my work.” Fiction may spark our interest in the magical but Davies’ book proves that often fact is stranger than fiction. The Renaissance saw a revival in magic, creating a demand for books showing the runic farting spell, the use of candles made from the fat of a hanged man and manuals for creating rain, seducing women or making enemies mute. Davies also tells me Grimories have led to the creation of new religions. He takes me back to the 1820s, where a farmer called Joseph Smith was using talismans to search for buried treasure in New York. He was reported to have found two gold plates. The characters on them were translated to what we now call the Book of Mormon, and with this Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Magic’s growth into new religion isn’t restricted to our past either. Davies is currently researching an introduction to paganism and how it developed. With druids and paganism making the headlines last year with the Winter Solstice celebrations, Davies’ research touches on the current trends of today, while examining the past to discover why paganism developed. “We believe we are in a rational age where things are reasoned, and everything has a rational point, but many people still believe in ghosts and new religions crop up every day” says Davies. With Grimories: The History of Book, Davies aims to show that the world today isn’t quite how it seems – I’d say with this intriguing research he succeeds. f�

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Plug-inmotoring for the East of England

by Dr Keith Bevis

With climate change an ever present issue, the University is driving forward with sustainability to influence the future of motoring...

Photography: Istockphoto

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lectric Cars may be relatively new to the motoring landscape, but you can expect to see more and more of them here in the East of England. In December against stiff competition from other regions and cities, the East of England’s “EValu8” project – to install a major network of electric charging points across the region – won £3 million of funding through the Government’s “Plugged in Places” initiative. Here at the University, Dr Keith Bevis and Professor Andrew Starr had been working closely with colleagues in the Regional Development Agency and with consultants from Future Transport Systems to develop an integrated and sustainable project that would be about more than recharging points. The team achieved further funding from the region and from the European Regional Development Fund, so that with the matching contributions from partners across the East of England, EValu8 is now a £7 million project set to install a network of 1,200 smart recharging points and to work with small and large companies to develop the new products and services

to fulfill the needs of plug-in motorists. Keith Bevis, a UH alumnus and now the managing director of EValu8 Transport Innovation Ltd – the company set up by the University of Hertfordshire to lead delivery of EValu8 – said: “EValu8 has enormous support and commitment from over 100 public and private sector organisations, including all eleven of the East of England’s local transport authorities and big industry names including General Motors, Ford, Lotus, Ricardo, BT, UK Power Networks, BAE Systems, London Stansted Airport, Ecotricity, BRE, Millbrook Proving Ground and Visteon. With our own strengths as a leading Entrepreneurial University and our expertise in travel planning and EV technology we are keen to capitalise on this support - a great opportunity to innovate with these organisations and a host of smaller companies in the East of England to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the region and reduce our long term oil dependency and carbon footprint.” Contact EValu8 at info@evalu8-ti.org.uk f�

Below left Dr Keith Bevis with Dr Tim Nicklin of Ford and Emma Carpenter of EEDA at January’s EValu8 Steering Group. Below The Allied Vehicles Peugeot EV van at an EValu8 event

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The

beautiful game:

early football in Hertfordshire By Dr Adrian Harvey

H

istorically, a print of football being played in Barnet market place that appeared in the 1750s was the first mention of the game in Hertfordshire. Shortly afterwards, football appears to have become popular in Hitchin and in 1772 a rather wild match occurred between the residents of Hitchin and Gosmore. At one stage the ball was in a river and after much struggling the contest was concluded when the victorious side put it in the porch of a local church. Until 1819, when the land upon which the game was played was sold, football was particularly popular with the pupils of the Free School in Hitchin, some claiming that it was an ‘old tradition’ that had lasted over fifty years. After this, football seems to have come to an end in Hertfordshire, the sole reference to the game appearing in a letter from 1815, where mention is made of it being played at Bushey Park. Given Hertfordshire’s proximity to the rich and populous London area, it is surprising that there is not more mention of football being played there in the first half of the nineteenth-century, for elsewhere in Britain, particularly in the North and Midlands, many teams appeared, based upon local villages, occupations, schools and such like. Indeed, on occasions, notably 18

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at Surrey in 1849, football clubs were created based upon other organisations, such as the local cricket teams. Somehow, however, there was nothing in Hertfordshire. One possible reason might be the lack of a suitable playing area. As we have seen, this was the case at Hitchin and in 1824 the boys at the newly formed Aldenham School suffered the same problem. As it was, in 1863 the Football Association was formed and this seems to have helped solidify interest in football in Hertfordshire. For whatever reason, the authorities appear to have become more sympathetic towards the game and it is noticeable that more schools in the area, for instance Bishop Stortford, began to provide fields upon which their pupils could play. A

xxCheshunt

became the first team in

the area who used the rugby code

’’

significant example of this was Aldenham School, which created their own football team in 1866 just a year after they had purchased two playing fields from Lord Rendlesham. Additionally, the increasing attention that the game was receiving in the London area prompted contact


futures

Photography: Istockphoto

Above Children playing football in the late Victorian/ early Edwardian period.

between teams based upon schools in Hertfordshire with major figures in the game. A notable example of this occurred in 1867 when a team based upon former pupils from Bishop Stortford Grammar School took on The Wanderers, a team made up of significant former public schoolboys, which included CW Alcock, a man who is sometimes referred to as the father of British sport because of his multi-faceted involvement in a variety of activities, notably football and cricket, as both player and administrator. This involvement of football’s elite with the sport in Hertfordshire found its first significant expression in 1865 when Hertfordshire Rangers were created. In large measure they were made up of former students from Cambridge University and they played at Wood’s Field near Watford railway station. The club enjoyed acute social connections and this meant that they played matches, generally twelve a-side, against teams of old public schoolboys, fixtures occurring against sides representing the institutions including Eton, Harrow and Westminster schools. They also conducted matches against other major teams, such as No Names and CCC (whose members were old boys from various public schools). Despite this exclusive pedigree and their connections with the social elite, Hertfordshire Rangers were slow to join the FA and while they made some impact on football’s progress eventually ran out of suitable players, disbanding in 1882. From the perspective of the historian, given the area’s long involvement in football, it is no surprise that the first national involvement of a football team from Hertfordshire stemmed from Hitchin, the place where the game had proved so popular one hundred years earlier. Hitchin School’s team was founded in 1865 and two years later were recorded playing against a side from Hatfield. The Hitchin side evolved into Hitchin Football Club and in 1868 joined the FA. At the time the FA consisted of thirty clubs, two of which stemmed from Hertfordshire. The identity of these come as some surprise for they did not include Hertfordshire Rangers, who despite the elite nature of its membership did not join the FA until some years later. Instead the members were Tollebridge Park FC and Hitchin. The author must confess that he has been unable to uncover anything about the former body, except for the fact that they were members of the FA from 1868 until 1871, by which time they appear to have disbanded. By contrast, Hitchin enjoyed a vigorous life, reaching the second round of the newly created FA Cup in 1871-2, before being eliminated by the eventual runner’s up, The Royal Engineers.

football in herts

Hitchin were a semi professional club until 1911, when they disbanded. In 1869 two further clubs appeared in Hertfordshire: Cheshunt, who were founded in December 1869 and became the first team in the area who used the rugby code (joining the newly created Rugby Football Union in 1870 and leaving as the last members in 1874) and the soccer playing St Alban’s Pilgrims (who joined the FA in 1873). The future of football in Hertfordshire did not lie with any of these clubs, but rather with two that appeared in the 1880s, Barnet and Watford. Barnet were founded

‘‘

Hertfordshire has enjoyed some success at football

’’

in 1888 and nine years later a photograph of the team appeared on page 451 of the 20 November 1897 issue of The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. The club enjoyed a long and distinguished semi professional career that peaked in 1991 with their elevation to football league status, a position which they have generally managed to retain. Watford have been far and away the most successful team in Hertfordshire. The club was founded as Watford Rovers in 1881 and played at Cassiobury Park. Their career was patchy but from the late 1970s they enjoyed major success, peaking in 1983, when they finished second in Division One. The following year they were runners up in the FA Cup. By comparison with such amazing achievements, the years that have followed might seem somewhat disappointing but currently they are secure in the second tier of English football, an unexciting though respectable position to have. Essentially, Hertfordshire has enjoyed some success at football. From the more specific perspective of the University of Hertfordshire, organised football was certainly present in the 1860s. In 1866 Aldenham School created a team and on 9 November 1867 The Field magazine records a match being played by a team from Hatfield. Collectively, the written records show that football in the area occupied by the University of Hertfordshire reaches back almost 150 years. A print of football being played at Barnet in 1750 can be found in the John Johnson Collection Sports box 7, of The Bodleian Library, Oxford University. The British Library Newspapers, London contains a copy of The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News. The author would like to thank Molly Barton for providing him with information on football at Aldenham School and Amy Rolph of the RFU for supplying information about Cheshunt RFC. f� 19


the diamond scholarship fund

engage & inspire Our scholarship programme is graduating... In order to meet the changing requirements and needs of students entering higher education, to coincide with its diamond jubilee year the University of Hertfordshire is setting up the Diamond Scholarship Fund. Building on the enormous success we have seen since the launch of our externally funded scheme in 2004, this new fund will give us greater flexibility in being able to offer scholarships to students of excellence who really need your support. Students will be able to apply directly to the fund for a scholarship, or for support in engaging in community projects, whether in Hertfordshire, the UK or overseas. We want to ensure that everyone's contribution creates opportunities for future generations of entrepreneurs, business leaders, health professionals, artists, lawyers, social workers, engineers and scientists.

For more information please contact Louise Burns on l.burns@herts.ac.uk or visit the 'Giving Back' pages on the alumni website https://alumni.herts.ac.uk


futures

Scholarships

If you are interested in finding out more about how the fund will work, please contact Louise Burns at l.burns@ herts.ac.uk, or on 01707 281145.

If you would like to help launch the Diamond Scholarship Fund this year by making a donation, please fill out the form below.

Thank you.

University of Hertfordshire Diamond Scholarship Fund Donation Form Alumni no: (if known)

Forename:

If you Gift Aid your donation, the University of Hertfordshire will continue to receive an additional 28p for every £1 you donate.

Surname:

Please help us to increase the value of your donation at no extra cost to you, by signing the declaration below.

Address:

Donor declaration: I confirm that I am a UK tax payer and pay income/capital gains tax equivalent to the amount of tax the University will reclaim on my donations. I wish the University to treat this donation and all subsequent donations as Gift Aid donations. I will notify the University if my circumstances or name/address change.

Please send me a direct debit form so I can set up a monthly donation

Signature:

OR I would like to make a one-off donation of: £10

£25

£50

£100

£250

£1,000

Date:

my own preferred amount By cheque (payable to the University of Hertfordshire)/CAF cheque/or Mastercard/Visa/Maestro (Switch)/Delta/Solo (please indicate) Card No Expires

CVV No (3 digits on reverse)

Issue No (debit cards) Signature

Date

Please cut out this form and send in an envelope to the Freepost address below: Development and Alumni Office Marketing and Communications University of Hertfordshire Freepost BBT 141 Hatfield Hertfordshire AL10 9AB Registered Charity No: 294730

21


Fiction you can sink your teeth into Vampires seem to be everywhere at the moment – and the University of Hertfordshire is no exception. Siobhan Madaras gets her stake and garlic ready as she investigates how these creatures of the night are creeping into academia....


Photography: Istockphoto

A

decade ago, the word ‘vampire’ would almost definitely have conjured up a different image to the one it presents today. Once before, we would have imagined cold, ostracised males with big fangs and big-collared cloaks. Unable to go out in daylight they would instead spend their days snoozing in coffins ready to hunt for human blood at night…unless they were unlucky enough to suffer the fate of a stake through the heart! Today that perception seems to have bowed out in light of a new breed of the ‘undead’. Current literature, film and TV offerings have moved away from the quintessential vamp and instead present us with ones that are both male and female and although still able to hurt people, now have souls. They fall in love with humans, sparkle in the sun and have defied all folklore by walking in daylight - yes Twilight, we’re talking about you. The new Edward Cullen era of vampires has certainly breathed life into the gothic genre and together with the help of fiction and TV adaptations such as True Blood and The Vampire Diaries, propelled the world of blood-thirsty predators to a dizzying height of popularity. On the back of this interest, Dr Sam George, a Senior Lecturer in Literature and MA Programme Tutor in Humanities at the University of Hertfordshire, has launched a brand new MA module - ‘Reading the Vampire: Science, Sexuality and Alterity in Modern Culture’. The module began its first run in September for the current academic year and offers students the chance to explore the concept and representation of vampires from their eighteenth-century origins all the way to the present day evolution of veggie vampires. The module also delves into the themes of ethnicity, gender and sexuality with reference to texts by John Polidori, Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Anne Rice and of course, Stephanie Meyer. The idea for the module developed during the

siobhan madaras

time Sam spent researching and arranging the highly successful ‘Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampire and the Undead in Modern Culture’ conference that she held at the University in April 2010. The first UK vampire conference of its kind was Sam’s attempt to put British and Irish vampire fiction back on the literary map. Media interest in the research showcased at the conference led Sam to the idea of extending the subject matter of the convention: “I had the idea of offering the Master’s module as a direct follow-up from the conference after people contacted me saying that they were keen to study the vampire genre at a higher level. I thought it was crucial to have a way of extending this burst of awareness. The publication that we are developing out of the conference has been edited by myself and will be adopted as a course book for the ‘Reading the Vampire’ MA module.” Sam, who confesses to being fascinated with literary vampires and the cultural themes they represent, is confident that the resurge of interest in vampire fiction can reignite students’ interest in literature. “My students are always talking to me about Twilight and similar texts. The wealth of subject matter in vampire literature made it a perfect way to study popular literature in a rigorous way, whilst giving an academic platform to new research. The genre is known among academics for dealing with social and sexual anxieties and recently vampire fiction has turned its attentions to the subject of sexual awakenings in teenagers, becoming a metaphor for teenagers’ wider anxieties about their bodies and desires. Sam says: “The new breed of vampires are far from monstrous, they are glamorous and sexy and have an emotional side. The attraction to vampire figures provides a safe way for teens to acknowledge these desires.” Kathryn McKenna, Children’s Marketing and Publicity Executive at Simon and Schuster vocalises her agreement and believes that the popularity with vampire fiction has become less about actual vampires and more to do with useful metaphors. “When you look at it, Twilight is not a story about vampires but a story that manipulates all that vampires present and relates them back to teens in an understandable way, for example, bloodlust in many cases has now become undying love, complete infatuation and loyalty to one person. Supernatural fiction is so compelling because it touches on the topics of difference, isolation, loneliness and being misunderstood, all of which are relatable to teens and young adults growing up. These factors alone make it a very important genre in literature and one definitely worth studying.” f� 23


futures

Entrepreneurs

A taste of fame Two years ago FAME magazine was just an idea in the mind of MA Marketing graduate Deji Osobukola.... His dream was to showcase talented and entrepreneurial students in Hertfordshire. But like most students who finish university, the first thought to hit him was “Get a job!” – which he did for a couple of months. However, while he was working he kept thinking about his dream and he felt unfulfilled, so he quit his job to set up a magazine. And the scariest thing? He did it in the middle of a recession. He knew he couldn’t do it alone so he spoke to a few friends to help him achieve his dreams. They believed in the idea and gave him their support. Three issues of the magazine later and FAME is continuing to grow, with distribution points at Hatfield train station, The Galleria and other shopping outlets. Here’s a snapshot of the team that supports Deji, made up of both alumni and students, who have helped FAME grow to its current position.

★ Deji Osobukola: Big dreamer, loves creativity and believes anything is achievable. Deji is the MD of FAME and his vision is to help students take a step closer to their dreams by giving them the much needed exposure necessary to kick-start their business. He insists that everyone at FAME must be driven by three things: fun, passion and creativity. And that these qualities can be seen in the working environment at FAME HQ. ★ Siobhan Madaras: Current editor-in-chief of FAME with a flair for words and an allergy to bad grammar! As graduate of UH, Siobhan most enjoys the creativity of FAME and the opportunity that her position allows to help past and present students get stuck into the world of writing. Journalism is a cut-throat industry and she is looking forward to using her invaluable experience at FAME to springboard her head first into the industry. ★ Justine Mitchell: The HR manager who brings the people with talent and drive to FAME! Justine’s focus is ensuring that each department is filled with independent creative individuals, to make sure that each magazine is better than the last. She ensures that people’s experience of working at FAME is a positive one and that everyone can grow through promotions and the experience of working in different sections. ★ Katie Ramsingh: The deputy editor of FAME who loves the opportunity to get her writing out there. Since joining FAME, Katie has been invited to cover loads of different events, including London Fashion Week, a range of fashion shows and has been able to interview the big names behind the brands. In her words, “I’ve met loads of great people through FAME. I would recommend that anyone interested in journalism gives writing for FAME a go!” ★ Charlotte Pereira: Highly ambitious, career focused and idealistic. She doesn’t specifically know where For more she’s going but certainly knows she’s on her way. information about Charlotte holds the two roles of office manager and FAME and its talent scout. Her prime motivator is helping unseen issues, please visit talent get noticed via selecting, interviewing and the website http:// recruiting people to be involved with FAME! f� www.fameonline. co.uk/

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futures

Hidden Heroes

Hidden Heroes In the first of a three part series looking behind the scenes at the University of Hertfordshire, we speak to some of our ‘hidden heroes’. They keep the University running and are involved in a range of areas, but how much do we really know about them....

Jayne Maisey: learning and teaching space assistant You’ve been working for the University for quite some time now. Does it ever get tedious? It does get tedious especially around exam periods. We shelve and re-shelve crazy amounts of books non-stop around this period and more books turn up from nowhere. It makes you wonder where they’ve been at other points in the year! I love this job as it has its high points like the exam periods and the low, much quieter times. It’s really balanced and we are always on top of things until exams come round and then we really shine. Would you say a lot has changed since you started working here? I would say my change is sticking to the team to make little changes that overall count to bigger changes in and around the University. We are only as strong as the link we form with each other so we believe more in a team front than an individual one. It’s all about support and I can firmly say the system has evolved as a result of a steadfast team structure. A form of this evolution is the change in job obligations. Previously we were resource assistants, now we’re also technical or equipment support for the University facilities. This would never be possible unless we stood firm as a team and helped to push it forward. How long have you been working in this role? From September 2010, I have officially been in this role for three years. What are the perks of the job? For me, I would say the freedom to roam. You are not set in one spot, we have desks but we move freely doing our jobs so there always is a chance to interact, assist, and aid someone who really needs you. Did I also mention that we have access to all the reading materials one could ever need in this life? What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the job? Walking into a group silent study room to find two students asleep on the floor with their own pillows they brought from home! I was so surprised and shocked to see them but more surprised at their genius idea. 25

>>


Ronald Usher: Uno bus driver You’ve been working for the University for quite some time now. Does it get tedious? I have been in the bus industry since I was about 20 as a conductor, crew driver and opo (one-person operated)! Sometimes you do get down but fortunately I do a job I really love – what’s not to love about meeting people and driving? I’ve never really thought about why I am a bus driver. How has your role changed since you’ve been here? Do you feel like you’ve made a difference? I have worked for UniversityBus/Uno for about thirteen years and this is my third garage with the company. I have seen two campuses close and a third will disappear soon. I also watched the building of the de Havilland campus and the new Forum. Within this time, our company has expanded from about four routes with twenty-six drivers to well over twenty, with nearly 200 drivers. I do not think I have made very much difference but I have just become Union Chairperson so I am trying to get more involved. What else does your title of ‘Bus Driver’ entail? On a student’s first day we are the face of the University, hopefully giving them directions to the right places. Although I do same duty every day they are never the same. You may get a child choking on a sweet one day; have an elderly person who is lost another day, or even getting lost yourself due to road closures. I try to bring a little humour to people’s day but at 3am in the morning I am looking to get the students home safely and sometimes they are the worse for wear. What are the perks of the job? As I drive what we affectionately call ‘The Boozy Bus’, there aren’t that many perks. Although, I consider it a perk to get students on my bus in a better frame of mind! There may be a few that ruin my evening but on the whole the students have a sense of humour! Oh.... and because I don’t go to work until the afternoon, I can get some valuable, quality time on the Xbox or PS3!

26


futures

Hidden Heroes

Felicity Tropman: student ambassador Are you enjoying working at the University? I absolutely love it! Recently a group of us have been helping tutor GCSE students, and it was lovely to pass on my personal exam tricks. The University Days are always good fun as well; you never can predict what the children will say, so sometimes you end up laughing along with them. The wonderful thing about the student ambassador programme is that you always expect the unexpected; no two shifts are the same, and there are always new and often quite interesting questions to be answered. Do you feel like you make a significant change or contribution in your role? If it wasn’t for the people working behind the scenes and planning all of these events the student ambassadors wouldn’t be able to make a difference. They work tirelessly to make sure the day runs smoothly for everyone involved, and if that happens to be an Open Day that means looking after staff and the public – that is a lot of people! I think all the student ambassadors make a difference to each shift they work – a lot of them have big commitments to University (e.g. assignments, exams and placement) but still give up their time to help out. Their knowledge base is fantastic as well – it is amazing to hear just how much the ambassadors know about the University and University life. Do you ever get called anything apart from ‘student ambassador’? Even though our title is ‘student ambassador’ but we often evolve into tutors, assistants, guides, spokespeople, even ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’ from time to time! The best name I’ve had so far is ‘Oi, you in the green’. The ambassadors aren’t just representing the University; they help visitors in as many ways as possible, be it showing them around or helping the staff in the LRC. They even visit other schools to introduce and encourage the idea of going to university. How long have you been working in this role? I have been an ambassador since the beginning of my first year, so about eighteen months so far. What are the perks of the job? There are many! Primarily the flexibility of the hours; you don’t have to do a set number of hours every

week; you just work when you can. The organisers make sure we only work if we are genuinely free; they insist that our studies come first. The working hours are nice, some days you might only be working for an hour, other days up to six. If you have a lecture you can work half a shift before or after it. The people you work with are lovely as well – the people presenting the event, the other ambassadors, the teachers, the students, the prospective students, they are all a joy to work with. Obviously you get a few characters, but you have to be kept on your toes sometimes! What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had on the job? I haven’t had any weird experiences as such, but I have been involved in some strange conversations. Many students think we live in the flats we show, and sometimes when in the LRC the University students take the ‘Ask me!’ logo on our t-shirts too seriously; unfortunately I don’t know that much about the library! f� 27


picture perfect

Top Friends sharing a slice of bread in Kashgar, China, 2008 Above Photographer Jeffry Lim Right A Tibetan Girl, China, 2007

28

Photographer alumnus Jeffry Lim describes himself as a visual storyteller – and after looking at some of his work, you can understand why. His portfolio spans 15 years, 35 countries, 10 exhibitions and an impressive 20 awards; in addition to this, he’s worked with some of the top Forbes 500 companies and several documentary companies which have produced programmes including Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channel. Jeffry’s work ranges from portrait and travel, to editorial and heavy industry. Even though it is varied in nature, his images focus on telling stories which capture the expressions, sights and emotions of a particular place. Malaysian by birth, Jeffry is now based in New York.


Clockwise from top A lady selling red onions in the market at Uzbekistan, 2008; A Kayan Girl, Northern Thailand, 2005; Old friends selling ceramic in Jaipur, India, 2007; Two sisters wearing traditional costumes in ‘Fung Wang’ Old City, China, 2008


liz mortimer

Graduating into a top job As unemployment continues to rise, going out into the jobs market can be a daunting prospect. However, despite all the doom and gloom there are a range of roles out there waiting to be snapped up; we asked Graduate Futures to give us their top tips on getting the role you want, as well as the answers to some of your most common careers questions.

N

ovember 2010 saw Graduate Futures host its first ‘Graduate Bootcamp.’ We invited summer 2010 graduates, looking for employment, into the MacLaurin Building for a day to learn about JobsNetPlus, internships, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Enterprise. Participants also benefitted from expert advice from University Careers Consultants and a recruitment agency, Matchtech. Feedback from the day was positive with one graduate commenting, “the more I looked for jobs the more I was confused and lost. However, everything (such as where to look for a job) became clearer by attending the workshop.” If you missed the event, or have found yourself in a position where you are looking for work, then here are some hints, tips and information, taken from questions we were asked on the day, to help you to get ahead. “Can candidates be successful when applying for jobs that are outside their degree subject?” Approximately 60-70% of graduate level jobs do not specify a degree subject when advertised. Many employers are happy to teach you the skills that are relevant to the job and are interested in your attitude and employability skills rather than your degree subject. For example, for a position in public relations you should have excellent communication skills and for careers in accounting you will need to demonstrate numerical and analytical skills. Knowing what employers expect from graduates will put you on the right path to matching your skills to the workplace. 30

“Where can I find further information on options with a degree in…?” Although you can apply for jobs outside of your subject area, many graduates will chose to focus on what they have studied. Researching your career path can be time consuming and even more challenging if you have no idea where to begin so, here are a few ideas to get you going: The options with your subject section on Prospects is a great starting point for highlighting jobs directly related to your degree and jobs where the degree you studied would be useful. For example, if you studied Law, then the skills you learnt on your course would lend themselves well to, amongst others, Human Resources. Find out what past University of Hertfordshire students, that studied your course, are now doing and where they are working. Our Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey results can really help you to think about your choices based on where others have been successful. “How do you pursue a career in the creative industries?” The Industry Insights section on Prospects is an


futures

graduate futures

Top tips from a Careers Consultant at Graduate Futures: Know your market – if the majority of people work freelance, it is very likely you will too. Your professional portfolio must be in the format used in your industry and you must keep working on your own projects after university to keep your ideas, passion and skills alive. Make sure your work is seen/heard by entering competitions, exhibitions etc - no one will appreciate your talents if you keep them to yourself! Be prepared to make and follow up on speculative applications as it really shows you are keen and are taking this very seriously.

Image: istockphoto.com

excellent source for gaining an overview of the sector. This website explains what it is like working in creative arts, where you can find positions and the types of jobs that you can do. Gaining work experience and having contacts in the industry will make all the difference. The Contacts and Resources page on this website and also on Delicious will direct you to sources that you could tap into for networking, information and job searching. “How do you find internships, work experience or even a job?” The simple answer is everywhere! Develop strong networks: If you are undertaking work experience of any sort you will be increasing your contacts. You can use these professional contacts and those in your personal networks to get the word out that you are looking for work. Joining sites such as LinkedIn can really help you to do this. Search the web: Looking on websites such as the Graduate Talent Pool for internships and JobsNetPlus for graduate level positions, work experience and companies looking for alumni with experience will help you to identify opportunities. Think outside the box: Being creative in your job

search is important in today’s market. This includes making speculative applications. Target Jobs have a useful guide for seeking out those hidden graduate jobs. “I graduated a while ago, can I still apply for Graduate Schemes or are they just for recent graduates?” Yes! Most employers will still consider you, especially if you can show that you have been doing something useful with your time since you left university. Think about your part-time work and the skills you have developed. If you have travelled, remember that the experiences you had and what you learnt from them are becoming increasingly attractive to employers. If you have a careers and/or employment query that you want support with then please call us on 01707 284791 or email graduate.futures@herts.ac.uk and we will be happy to talk you through how we can help. Don’t forget, for those quick questions, you can also access our e-advice service. To find out more about our services to alumni and upcoming events, please have a look on our website. f� 31


jane housham

There’s nothing like a dame Welcome to the section of Futures devoted to University of Hertfordshire Press, the University’s publisher. We publish books in a number of different subject areas, including Theatre history.

I

f you didn’t grow up in the UK, you may be wondering why December brought posters all over the country advertising such dubious delights as ‘David Van Day - the man we all love to hate!’ (he was playing Abanazer, the baddy in Aladdin), Paul Daniels in Jack and the Beanstalk and ‘International Pop Sensation Jimmy Osmond’ as Buttons in Cinderella. All these ‘stars’ and many more come out of the woodwork to tread the boards for the panto season. Can any theatre in the land beat the winning combination of Pamela Anderson as the Genie of the Lamp and Les Dennis (of Family Fortunes fame) as the Widow Twankey in Liverpool’s Aladdin? The British tradition of the Christmas pantomime really is special and has not been exported to many countries around the world, beyond a few outposts of the old 32

Empire. It’s barely known in the United States and Europe, but the blank faces it’s met with across the Channel are quite surprising as pantomime has its roots very firmly in European soil. In sixteenth-century Italy, the Commedia dell’Arte developed as a form of popular theatre. The characters were always the same: the Lovers (Harlequin and Columbine), Columbine’s disapproving father (Pantaloon) and one or two conspiring servants or other interfering characters (including Pulchinello who later evolved into Mr Punch in seaside Punch and Judy shows). Groups of travelling players toured the Commedia from place to place, improvising a repertoire of stories and adapting them to local situations. Performances usually included singing and dancing as well as corny jokes and physical gags such as fights and chases. Local scandals and news stories

Main 1832: A harlequin is amongst the characters portrayed by King William IV (1765 - 1837), Lord Brougham, Lord Gray and Lord Eldon at a royal Christmas pantomime.

would be incorporated as well as cheeky comments about regional accents or character traits. All these centuries-old elements survive in today’s pantos. Working their way through France, some of the troupes eventually made it to these shores and by the eighteenth-century Britain had evolved its own comic pantomimes which included a boiled-down version of the Commedia, known as the Harlequinade. Becoming increasingly simplified, after a further hundred years the Harlequinade had become little more than a comic chase sequence full of slapstick and silliness which was usually performed as an ‘added extra’ at the end of the pantomime. In fact, the very word ‘slapstick’ comes from this theatrical form:


Photography: Istockphoto

futures uh press

during the complicated chase scene, Harlequin would magically transform objects and parts of the set by whacking them with his wooden bat or ‘slapstick’. The bat (which also doubled as a sword) had a hinged flap which made a very loud noise when ‘slapped’, giving a great effect when used to ‘punish’ fellow actors. It also acted as a clearly audible cue to technicians in the wings who had to activate a prop or quickly change a scene. In today’s pantomimes, when a drummer in the house band hits his snare drum just as a character trips and falls, it’s a direct throwback to the original slapstick. By the 1880s, in an effort to sustain interest in pantomimes (which, after all, were fairly repetitive), theatre managers began to invite music-hall stars to make guest appearances. Add together all these elements and the pantomime of today emerges.

In the modern pantomime, the routines and conventions are as comforting as Christmas pudding. There are only about seven or eight different stories which are endlessly recycled (including Cinderella – the most popular of them all – Dick Whittington, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Peter Pan – which is not strictly a pantomime but is still much loved). It’s always the same, but just a little bit different depending on the guest stars, where the theatre is and what’s been in the news recently. We love the pantomime – the terrible jokes, the booing and hissing of the moustachioed villain, the silly pantomime horse or cow, the transformation scene and the happy ending. In March 2011 UH Press is publishing a new book, The Politics of the Pantomime: Regional Identity in the Theatre, 1860–1900, by Jill A Sullivan. This is a study of provincial pantomime in the second half of the nineteenth-century which looks in detail at the way local theatres drew audiences and kept them coming back each year by satirising local figures and celebrating local successes. It’s published in conjunction with the Society for Theatre Research which supports research into theatre history (www. str.org.uk). The Drury Lane Theatre in London is often thought of as the first home of English panto as it was one of the first to stage pantomimes as we now think of them and worked hard, year on year, to create ever more lavish and inventive scenes. But, as Jill Sullivan’s book shows, pantomime thrived in the provinces where it had greater distance from the Lord Chamberlain’s censorship office and thus could often get away with risqué political satire that the London theatres had to avoid. The tradition of having the hero played by a girl is another inheritance from the Victorian stage

Further reading... UH Press co-publishes scholarly theatre history with the Society for Theatre Research, including: Lilian Baylis: A biography by Elizabeth Schafer (Shortlisted for the Theatre Book Prize 2006) Entertainment, Propaganda, Education: Regional theatre in Germany and Britain between 1918 and 1945 by Anselm Heinrich (‘a tour de force of comparative criticism and investigative theatre research’ – Modern Language Review) Off-centre stages: Fringe Theatre at the Open Space and the Round House, 1968-1983 by Jinnie Schiele

which was once thought rather risqué: it offered an opportunity for gentlemen in the audience to enjoy the sight of a young lady’s legs in closely fitting breeches, something they rarely glimpsed in the days of crinolines and floorlength dresses. It seems extraordinary that a form of slapstick comedy should have survived for centuries and still be hugely enjoyed by ordinary people of all ages. But it’s the crucial combination of reassuring sameness and inspired adaptability that has kept pantomime alive. So when you next see a panto advertised, don’t miss out. But take care not to sit in the front row in case you get squirted by a water pistol or dragged on stage for a little ritual humiliation. You know you love it really! f� For more information on all UH Press books visit www.herts. 33


futures profiles

Where are they now? Product designer? Solicitor? IT specialist? Let us know what you’ve been up to since posing for photos in your mortar board and gown... Diane Wearne

Kelvin Ward

While I was studying I became the first student in my degree class to take a full year’s work experience with the Development and Alumni Office at the University of Hertfordshire. This placement set me on my career path and when I graduated in November 2010 with a 2:1 in Philosophy and New Media Publishing, I was already working for City University as an Alumni Relations Assistant. I’m using a lot of the skills I learnt during my placement and am responsible for managing all alumni volunteers, providing administrative support for the office and acting as the first point of contact for any alumni enquiries. I’m also the assistant to the Head of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. I’ve kept my links with the University – I work occasionally as a Duty House Manager at the Weston Auditorium, and am living with a fellow graduate in Baldock and enjoying the daily commute into London!

I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 1993 with a BA Honours Degree in Social Science and C.Q.S.W. I entered the University as a mature student and immediately realised the challenge ahead - being a wife, mother and student and occasionally filling in the gaps with part-time work set the scene for a hectic but inspiring four years. On leaving university, I worked as a generic social worker at the Lister Hospital. I quickly realised my real strengths and focused on working with children, schools and families in the field of safeguarding children. After thirteen years with the local authority, I was successful in gaining a post with the St Albans Diocese as a child protection advisor to the Bishop and clergy in St Albans district. However, after almost 15 years since leaving university, I decided I needed time away from the sometimes harrowing and complex work of child protection. As a long time supporter of Oxfam, I was offered a management position in our local Oxfam shop. Although a complete diversion from social work, I find that the skills and learning experiences attained over the years are transferable to the work that I now do.

Jak Kimsey

I studied both my Art and Design foundation and my undergraduate degree in Graphic Design and Illustration at the University of Hertfordshire, which I graduated from in 2008. During my second and third years I was offered fantastic work placement opportunities both within and outside of the University, experiences which have directly led to my employment here. I am now the lead graphic designer in the School of Creative Arts’ commercial design studio, and a visiting lecturer on a number of design programmes. Having helped to set up and develop the commercial design studio, I’ve been able to work with a huge range of commercial clients, ranging from museums to oil companies to charities, which has been enjoyable, challenging and a phenomenal learning curve. My time at the University not only offered me a fantastic education, but provided me with the skills and knowledge to make the first big steps in the industry. Write in and let us know what you’ve been up to since graduation! Email Sarah Staines your profile to: alumni@herts. After doing my LPC at the University of Hertfordshire I was ac.uk or write to us at: admitted to the Roll of Solicitors. I missed studying so took a Development and Alumni, Masters Degree in e-Commerce law again at Hertfordshire. University of Hertfordshire, After spending 12 years as a Partner in commercial law firms I Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB. decided to set up my own practice, Touchstone Legal Services. I have always loved my job but I have never been happier than Please remember to include now running my own firm. a good quality photo!

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futures

arts & Galleries

What’s on Spring 2011

BOX OFFICE: Telephone: +44 (0) 1707 281127 Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10.00am-4.00pm

Small Worlds

FILM

Beyond the Brink (U) Tuesday, 15 March - 7.00pm Free Admission

Sunday, 20 March - 7.30pm £20 Full/£15 Concessions/ £6 Children

de Havilland Philharmonic The Visual Language of Herbert Matter (PG) Monday, 21 March - 7.00pm Free Admission

Premiere of new work by Elfyn Jones Sunday, 8 May – 7.30pm £20 Full/£15 Concessions/ £6 Children

Enter the Void (18) Monday, 4 April - 7.00pm £4 Full/£3 Concessions

A Town Called Panic (PG) Sunday, 10 April - 11.00am £4 Full/£3 Concessions

MUSIC

de Havilland Philharmonic Guest soloist: Yuko Uchiyama

de Havilland Philharmonic Guest soloist: John Lill CBE Sunday, 12 June – 7.30pm £20 Full/£15 Concessions/ £6 Children

DANCE

THEATRE

Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful Friday, 1 April – 7.30pm £8 Full/£6 Concessions

Bugsy Malone

www.herts.ac.uk/ artsandgalleries

VENUE:

The Weston Auditorium de Havilland Campus Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9EU

Saturday, 30 April - 2.30pm + 7.30pm Sunday, 1 May – 1.30pm + 6.00pm £12 Full/£10 Concessions

CHILDREN’S THEATRE Small Worlds

Sunday, 3 April 11.30am, 1.00pm, 2.30pm £8 Adults/£6 Children

Psychology: Danced Narrated by Dr Peter Lovatt Thursday, 26 May – 7.30pm £6 Full/£4 Concessions

Not So Grimm Fairy Tales! Sunday, 22 May – 1.00pm £8 Adults/£6 Children

Discounts for University of Hertfordshire alumni - where concessions apply!

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futures

arts & Galleries

UH Galleries Spring 2011

Exhibitions

Beyond Pattern Friday 18 February to Saturday 30 April Art and Design Gallery and Museum of St Albans Free Admission Adam King, Ambivalent Apocalypse (installation detail), 2011, mixed media. Photographer: Amy Angus.

Public Opening – Aviva Leeman Friday 20 May to Sunday 10 July Museum of St Albans Free Admission

Education

Critical Dialogue: Series 2 Weekly lecture series Tuesday 8 February to Tuesday 5 April Free – Booking Required

UH Galleries

Art and Design Gallery College Lane Campus Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB Opening times: Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm Saturday 9.30am – 3.30pm

Museum of St Albans Hatfield Road St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 3RR Opening times Monday - Saturday 10.00am - 5.00pm Sunday 2.00pm - 5.00pm

For more information:

Telephone: +44 (0) 1707 281127 Visit: www.go.herts.ac.uk/uhgalleries

Profile for University of Hertfordshire

futures - Winter 2011  

The magazine for alumni and the friends of the University of Hertfordshire

futures - Winter 2011  

The magazine for alumni and the friends of the University of Hertfordshire

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