The Alumni Magazine for the University of Hertfordshire
Brand New XUH
A new brand. A new magazine. A new era for your Alma Mater
Hogwarts Alumnus Hon Doc Mike Newell on directing, Harry Potter, and his forthcoming film
Flying With Giants Aeronautical alumnus Frank Ogilvie reflects on college life, deHavilland and the ‘Superjumbo’
A Trip Down College Lane We unearth an archive of campus photos over half a century old…
Watch the Skies…
The Bayfordbury campus Celebrates the big (wet!) 40
Heard it Through the Grape Vine… UH researches the best wines and the best jokes in the world (Seriously).
If undelivered, please return to Development & Alumni Office University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield AL10 9AB
Letters If you have something to say about this first edition of your new magazine, a recent event you came to, or about anything relating to the time you spent here in Hatfield, then we would love to know about it. Let us share your memories and news of your reunions, weddings, business ventures etc with your fellow alumni, and help us to keep you connected. We want to hear all about the Futures you were building while you were here… and so do all your old friends and colleagues.
An Introduction to the Future From Alison Coles A new name, new look, new format… A new magazine. Welcome to Futures; the new name for XUH, and a new voice for your alumni magazine. Thank you to everyone who responded to our request for feedback. Most of you did not think XUH represented alumni from all the Colleges and Polytechnic that preceded UH, and some of our Chinese alumni even mentioned the connotations of death attached to the letter X. So going forward we have, Futures... Futures is also one of the first UH publications to showcase the University’s new logo and brand (what better audience to choose?), and so we have some great new features for you. In this issue we’ve included a new letters page for your feedback… we report on Bayfordbury’s (very wet!) 40th birthday party… we’ll be testing your memories with some snapshot images from the past… sharing some of your successes in our new youH profile pages… and looking at how you can benefit from getting involved with the UH Scholarship programme. We also catch up with Honorary Doctorate and Hollywood director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Four Weddings and a Funeral…) about his career, his current film project and what he thought of ‘Order of the Phoenix’… So why the new look? The University of Hertfordshire is changing. Evolving. Retaining all of its core values whilst becoming even more innovative and far-reaching into business and the community – and you, our former students are playing a large part in this change. 2 / futures / introduction
Many of you are not so much ‘ex-UH’ as still very much involved, and we want even more of you to be at the heart of what we’re doing. I recently returned from a round trip meeting new graduates and more senior alumni in Malaysia and Thailand. It was wonderful to receive such a warm welcome, and to hear stories as to why international students choose to study at UH and how their careers have taken off since. In our next issue, we will tell you more of the new plans we are putting in place to give you access to ongoing support in your careers, and how you can utilise this amazing alumni network (of over 130,000 worldwide), and get back in touch with all your old classmates. I hope you enjoy the future of your magazine.
Futures Letter of Choice… Thank you for your recent copy of the U of H Alumni Magazine – having read it, I was moved to tell you this story. My name is David Elms and I spent two and half years at Hatfield Polytechnic between 1982 and 1986. Unfortunately, due to various circumstances, I didn’t complete my Combined Studies degree but I think it’s fair to say my time in Hatfield had a profound effect on my life. Although I was studying at the main campus in Hatfield, I lived in halls for a period over at the then Balls Park campus in Hertford. During that time I met and fell in love with a German exchange student called Pia Gerhard, who spent six months on the Business Studies course. During those six months we were very close but, after Pia returned to Germany, we sadly couldn’t find a way to be together. That is until Christmas 2006 when we got back in touch. For the last eight years I’ve been working in London for (and last six years as Chief Executive of) IFA Promotion Ltd - the body responsible for promoting independent financial advice in the UK. However, for the last 12 months I’ve also been living near Frankfurt in Germany. I commute backwards and forwards each week, working three days in London and two days a week remotely from Germany. Did my time at Hatfield help with what I’m currently doing? Yes - because regardless of whether I finished my degree or not, I associated with people who helped teach me about aspiration and I cherish that lesson to this day. I’m now fortunate enough to be heading up a high profile consumer promotional campaign which over the last twelve months helped over 600,000 people to find a local independent financial adviser, and over the same period generated over 5,000 pieces of positive consumer media coverage. And the end of the story? After finding out that after 21 years we were still very much the love of each other’s lives, Pia and I are finally getting married in July this year. Thank you, Hatfield Polytechnic - and Balls Park in particular (now sadly gone) will always hold an affectionate position in our hearts. David Elms
Alison Coles Head of Development and Alumni P.S. To reduce our “carbon footprint” further (we are ranked #3 among UK universities), all alumni outside the UK will receive an electronic copy of Futures. Please visit the alumni website to make sure we have your current email address. Indeed if anyone would prefer an electronic copy, please log in to https://alumni.herts.ac.uk to check your record and see all the latest news.
Fantastic story, David – and many congratulations to both you and Pia. Thanks also for following up with the pictorial “evidence”! As an epilogue for readers; David and Pia were subsequently married on Friday 13 July 2007, in Wetzlar, Germany. Certainly not an unlucky day for some…
Please send all letters to the Development & Alumni team at University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst I enjoy reading of the University’s successful students and of new developments, what I really want to hear about is the students with whom I shared my days at Hatfield. To that end, would it not be possible to have some kind of forum in which alumni members could keep in touch? With the best will in the world, in a world of very busy lives, it can become impossible to keep up with everyone you would like, but you would still like to hear how your fellow students have fared. Hilary Laurie Hilary, we hear you, and we are in fact developing an exclusive Alumni Community Website where you can log on, create a profile for yourself, and search for all those you knew during your time here! You can also use this site to find out about all-things-alumni happening here at UH, and much more… The site is brand new, and is up and running, but we are currently still developing the search facility – but please come and take a look, at https://alumni.herts.ac.uk .We will report more fully on the site in our spring ‘08 issue…
Many thanks for organising (the Bayfordbury @ 40) event and congratulations to all who were involved in running it. It meant a lot to those of us with past connections with the Bayfordbury Campus to be able to revisit it and run into people we knew once again. You had an excellent programme, including the competitions, the barbecue, the chance to see the Pinetum, Observatory and Planetarium, the Cake and the presence of our former Director, Sir Norman Lindop. With the help of your marquee and good timing, we managed to dodge the raindrops altogether. My wife and I and all our friends had a great time. Special mention for Jenny Harman, who hosted the Treasure Trail, which I'm happy to say I won! Tony and Rene Gardner I’m glad you and Rene had as much fun as we did, Tony – in spite of the weather! Thanks to everyone who braved the elements in June, and a further special mention to our alumni events guru, Frances Elliott for pulling it all together. Go to page 16 for more on the day (including the ‘human-40’ photo!...).
futures / your view / 3
News A new look for University of Hertfordshire You will have noticed that your alumni magazine looks different and has a new name. This redesign of the alumni magazine and use of the new logo is one of the first visible aspects of the University’s new brand. This re branding is a logical extension of the new strategic direction for the University. UH is now one of the UK’s leading business-facing universities and has a strategy to build and expand on this position.For UH being business facing is about pioneering a new model of a university focused on serving the needs of business and students, both in the UK and internationally. From equipping world class graduates with the right mix of academic and practical skills, to providing support and innovative solutions to businesses, UH focuses on empowering its clients to meet the demands of the regional, national and global skills economies. This means all our courses have been developed with advice from business and the professions – so they teach the right skills and principles relevant in a fast changing environment. It means that our researchers are working on cutting edge solutions to real life problems and that we encourage and support all staff and students to have an entrepreneurial attitude. As an example of this approach we are proud to have the largest number of externally funded scholarships, sponsored by organisations including TMobile, Clydesdale Bank and Hertfordshire Police; all the Harry Potter films have included our graduates in the productions and we run a graduate consulting unit to bring a variety of staff, students, and alumni together to form a bespoke team for solve business problems. It’s an exciting time! For more information contact us at email@example.com
UH Angels We are starting a new project, our very own version of ‘Dragons Den’. UH Angels will act as a bridge between alumni investors and entrepreneurs to help develop strong products or ideas. The entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas to the UH Angel requesting a capital sum in exchange for a percentage of the company. There is no target age group for either those pitching ideas or the UH Angels, it will be open to all alumni. This is an innovation in the sector as there are no other alumni offices in the UK
You may have noticed that UH has some very active alumni associations around Wall Hall and Balls Park and in Malaysia and China, with new associations starting in Thailand and with Aerospace Engineers (watch this space!), but that a void exists for an umbrella Alumni Association to bring everything together and represent you at the highest levels in the University.
running such a competition.Elliott Cushnie, the student placement coordinating the project, said: UH Angels has been designed to support and promote our alumni’s entrepreneurial skills and support their chosen careers, ideas, passion and dreams. If you are interested in the project, contact Elliott Cushnie on 01707 282807 or email E.1.Cushnie@herts.ac.uk for more information.
We are delighted to announce that one of our best-known Alumni, Kate Bellingham, has agreed to be President of the new UH Alumni Association. Karin Hale, who has tirelessly assisted us in a totally unofficial capacity for several years, will continue as Vice-President.
Every great learning experience involves an even greater teacher. Many of us leave university with the memory of at least one particular individual whose drive, passion and knowledge for their discipline helped, if not solely defined the paths our lives took after graduation. Each issue, we ask you to send us those memories – stories of the people who inspired you the most…
Define Inspiration My favourite lecturer during the course of several nursing post grad studies was definitely Maggie Davidson who taught the ENB998 nurses teaching and assessing course. I studied this around 1999 and later she taught me "research methods" or something similar. What I particularly liked about Maggie was that she valued each student as an individual and allowed us the opportunities to express ourselves in our own special way. I felt she understood me as a person and not just as a nurse. When I was doing the course, I was always me, not just another nurse, not just another student and I felt valued for who I was and the contributions I made. I would say that I never found Maggie’s teaching boring, it was always stimulating. I felt Maggie was grounded in the real world and had not forgotten what it was like to be a nurse. The other thing I remember was Maggie always responded promptly to emails and requests for help, she was very supportive with our assignment - you could ask her anything without feeling stupid. I think Maggie was a very credible nurse lecturer. Julie Thomas
Favourite lecturer? Well, mine would have to be Professor John Crawley who retired at the end of my first year. He initiated a love of ethology which remains with me to this day and the relevance of which I saw daily in my professional work. He was uncompromising but if you showed a spark of interest in the subject (which was mandatory in the first year), he nurtured this and attempted to help you understand the relevance of the topic to life in general. My copy of 'Social Evolution' by Trivers - a book to which I was introduced by Prof. Crawley - is still being borrowed by others even though they are not psychologists. The other person who sticks very much in my mind is Dr Beryl Starr who encouraged me to see the link between my pre-existing medical knowledge and developmental cognitive and biological psychology. This knowledge was very useful when undertaking prisoner assessments and case formulation and facilitated being able to pin down some areas of arrested cognitive development for treatment. Hatfield gave me the opportunity to undertake my third and most enjoyable career (having previously trained as a nurse and worked as a Marketing Director in the pharmaceutical industry) and I am eternally grateful for the education I received there. Hilary Laurie
Kate Bellingham will be no stranger to many of you. Four years presenting “Tomorrow’s World” made her face familiar to millions. Then she went on to present her own weekly show on Radio 5 Live, “The Big
achievements, but we would need a few more pages in Future s … .
Futures would love to hear any stories you have of those individuals that made the most impact on your studies and careers. Even if it was just last year, if you have memories of your lecturers that you would like to share, please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome, Kate, and thank you Karin for all your past advice and help.
The authors of all stories featured in the magazine will receive a UH hooded sweatshirt, or a fleece jacket, so please do remember to send your full postal address also. Many thanks to Hilary and Julie for the stories featured in this issue.
Bang” on Children’s ITV and other programmes for the Open University, BBC Schools and Channel 5. We could go on listing Kate’s
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futures / memories and lecturers / 5
What is this and what is happening to the lady in the picture? Answer: We don’t know! - but would love to find out if you can help solve the mystery?!
Did they strike oil? Answer: Well we don’t think so, but would very much like to know what all the machinery is for? – answers on a postcard please! (or via email, obviously!...)
An oversized hamster run for genetically modified giant rodents?! Answer: We jest of course! It is in fact the first ever wind tunnel, designed and built by W Allan Fox during his forty years lecturing here… but when was it constructed? – can you help? Picture kindly sent to us by Gillian Taylor (formerly Fox)
Was this the start of a degree in construction techniques? Answer: No. It was the laying of the foundation brick of J block hostel, February 1961
Name the people in the photo, and what was the event? Answer: From the right – W. Alan Fox, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Principle of the college (can you recall his name?) on the occasion of the official opening of the Technical College. Picture kindly sent to us by Gillian Taylor (formerly Fox)
Do You Remember this? With over half a century of memories under its belt, since the days of Hatfield Technical College, the University of Hertfordshire has seen many interesting eras and events, and captured many great snapshot images across its campuses. Here in the Alumni Office, we recently came across a forgotten archive of fantastic photographs from UH yesteryear, and needless to say, many of them contain a wealth of mystery! Each issue, we would like to share some of these with you, telling you what we do know about them – and hopefully in return, you may be able to lift the shroud off some of the more cryptic areas for us also?! So blow the dust off, and enjoy…
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Which year was this picture taken? Where was the old library located? Answer: Behind the Main Reception in the area which is now Computer Science Labs
Answer: Our guess is somewhere in the 50's, but can you give us any more accurate information?
Area 53??… Did the Martians land here? Answer: If anyone can help us, what is this and when was this complex display created?
Are you here? Who are all of these, and when was this picture taken? Answer: We have quite a lot of the people, but not all. The pic was taken in 1953 and the group is the deHavilland Aerospace Training School. Please let us know if you recognise anybody so that we can complete the “inventory”. Picture kindly sent to us by Joan and Duncan Woolard.
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7 Alumni, 7 Days, 7 Memories and Dreams With international alumni relations stretching out farther and wider than ever before, the UH family tree just keeps on growing across the oceans. This issue, we look at the latest country to blossom a social and professional support network for Herts graduates, as we branch out to our fellow alumni in Thailand. Pirada Vatanapanichkit and Ratchadaporn Pichaisriswad
Known for centuries by outsiders as ‘Siam’, the predominantly Buddhist Kingdom of Thailand is a beautiful and cultural Mecca for backpackers and tourists alike… and is also currently home to over 200 UH alumni. Needless to say, when our very own Alison Coles was presented with the opportunity to fly out to Southeast Asia to visit them in July of this year, no amount of arm-twisting was necessary. In collaboration with global education consultant, Mentor International, a UH alumni event was organized for 12th July, at the Novotel Siam Square Hotel, Bangkok. The event was named ‘7 Alumni, 7 Days, 7 Memories and Dreams’, and was comprised of 7 specially invited alumni, who each gave a talk sharing their experiences of studying in Hertfordshire, as well as their career dreams and aspirations for the future. Each guest speaker also gave their own words of advice to Thai students about to follow in their footsteps by embarking on UH courses in the 2007-08 academic year. The 7 guest speakers were: Mr Watcharin Kedsawapitak – a lawyer at Blumenthal Richter & Sumet, Ms Kanokwan Vajeesatayanuruk – event marketer for Elca (Thailand) Ltd., Ms Pirada Vatanapanichkit – Wealth Management Executive at KGI Securities (Thailand) Plc., Mr Sinad Mak-Arunkamol – Management Trainee at Unilever Thai Holdings Limited, Ms Kanokon Phongpissutinun – Senior Business Development Manager for Barter Trade (Thailand), Ms Salila Srikanthawong – Media Planner for FCB Thailand, and Ms Kamonnate Rojratanawalee – owner of a garment manufacturing company. Also speaking as guests of honour at the party, were Alison herself – who gave a presentation on recent successes and future plans for the University - and John Kelly, the Director
of Mentor International who jointly hosted the “Alumni Party” with UH. As a thank you gift, Alison also presented mementos to the guests to commemorate the occasion. The event was an enormous success. A warming number of international alumni and students attended, enjoying both the food and the company, and the idea of encouraging individuals to meet, network, share stories of their time here in Hatfield, and hopefully make firm contacts for years to come was definitely realised. Alison chatted to as many people as possible, commenting: “Although it was my first time in Thailand, there was no need to be apprehensive as everyone was extremely friendly and listening to their stories made me proud of how well our alumni are doing in their careers. By far the most amusing memories I heard were of seeing snow for the first time ever and, you know, we really should have rice cookers in all our accommodation!” So, from all in the Development & Alumni team here in the UK, we wish great success and longevity to an active Alumni Association in Thailand, and look forward to seeing you again, soon.
His Not So Dark Materials Following the tail-smoke of the Nimbus 2000, the next fantasy series to be adapted for the big screen will continue the trend of UH links set by the Harry Potter films…this time by starring one of our very own alumni, Michael Antoniou. Wizards, Hobbits, Lions, Witches and Wa rd robes… it’s no secret that many of the Hollywood success stories of the last few years, capturing the hearts of millions all across the globe (and age spectrum), have been born from the pages of fantastical literature. And with her students having worked on Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and every Harry Potter movie to date, one particular offspring of your Alma Mater is about to get even closer to the magic. On the 7th December this year, The Golden Compass - the first of the critically acclaimed fantasy novels from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy - will appear on the silver screen… and with it, class of 1997, University of Hertfordshire alumnus, Michael Antoniou. The film will see Michael playing the character of Kerim Costa, and follows the fantasy adventure of a 12 year old girl as she attempts to find a kidnapped friend in a world riddled with witches, wizards and all manner of magical beings. “This is probably the best thing I’ve done so far in my acting career,” he told Futures, “My role in the film is very physically orientated so I had quite a bit of training including learning to do archery. It was a brilliant experience!” Having graduated with a degree in Performing Arts ten years ago, a part in this film is the big break Michael has been chasing. The current trend for the genre and notable success of the books (this one known as Northern Lights in the UK, but released as The Golden Compass in America) signals a sure-fire hit just before Christmas – and will see Michael share credits with the likes of Nicole Kidman, and the latest Bond, Daniel Craig. The down-toearth professionalism of his co-stars helped him to not feel intimidated however: “When you’re doing films there is no stardom there. No-one has an attitude like ‘I’m a big A-lister’ – you just all come together and work as a team and chat together”. “All my scenes were with Claire Higgins of Hellraiser fame and Jim Carter, a very accomplished television and stage actor who has appeared in such films as Brassed Off and Bright Young Things. Experience is just pouring out of the two of them, watching them act the training I’ve had just clicks and falls into place. I learnt so much working with them and really hope this film will lead to many more opportunities for me when I can put these skills into practice. Gradually the roles are getting bigger and bigger!” Being a graduate of Performing Arts however, acting isn’t Michael’s only passion. He also finds time away from pursuing a film career to dedicate to his other creative outlet – music. After years of playing on the London Circuit with his band ‘Fourth Inversion’, Michael has now set up a studio in his house in Luton where he has recorded a 14 track “pop/funk/dance” album as a solo artist, calling himself ‘Ammonite’. Vying for the attention of record producers is notoriously difficult, and so like anyone trying to make it big in the industry these days, Michael has turned to the internet to build up his own fan base: “This is where ‘MySpace’ comes in. I already have over 11,000 friends on my site where you can listen to four complete tracks and link through to Amazon to buy the CD Album if you like what you hear!” In terms of his acting career however, 7 December could mark a big break for this UH alumnus, and only time – save a little wizardry and witchcraft - will tell if these dark materials will lead to a brighter future for Michael Antoniou. To listen to Ammonite’s album visit: www.myspace.com/ammonitemusic or www.ammonitemusic.com
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futures / Alumni Interview / 9
AlumniProfiles Have you - just like millions of other alumni around the globe – lost contact with some of the best friends you will ever make in your life? Or wonder what so many of those you shared your time with here in and around Hatfield are doing now? Then read on. Because you might just find one of them here…
Name: Adrian Hull Year graduated: 2005 Course studied: Information Systems Current employer: Highways Agency, Bedford About me
Name: Thomas Lipscomb Year graduated: 1998 Course studied: HND Business Studies (Distinction) Current employer: T-Mobile About me
I’ve been competing in motorsport since a very early age and this passion has continued since I graduated from UH. I have been keeping an eye on the UH Racing team, they are indeed doing very well. I wanted to join the team myself while I was there but ironically with all the racing I was already doing, it was hard to find any free time. At the moment, as well as racing in a small local kart championship for a bit of fun, I've entered a scholarship programme in partnership with the Spyker Formula One team. One lucky entrant will get the chance to test a Formula 1 car in front of the team. I’ve been racing in various saloons, Caterhams, Ginettas and Formula Ford. As well as being ambitious on the track however, I have always been very ambitious in my career also.
What is customer loyalty? What does the business need to do to deliver things in the shortest amount of time? I’ve always been interested and intrigued by the technology stuff, but I’ve also liked being at the commercial heart of the business. And that’s the great thing about product marketing and T-Mobile in general – you get to move around and try different things. One of the things I’ve learned is that it’s important to ask great questions. People who ask great questions get a better understanding of the project they are working on and they help other people who are afraid to ask questions. Once you join a company, make yourself known, and make sure that people above you know who you are and what you’re good at. That’s what I did. I’ve been here six years now and I’ve been promoted four times.
Name: Sheila Robertson Year graduated: 1997 Course studied: MSc Occupational Psychology Current employer: SMR Associates Ltd. About me
Name: Rik Kirby Year graduated: 1994 Course studied: MEng Electronics Digital Systems Current employer: Renkus-Heinz Inc.
I am an experienced HR professional, Occupational Psychologist and trained Lawyer. My experience has been in a range of organisations and prior to University of Herts I worked for various public and private sector organisations.These included The Sports Council, Abbey National Plc, and Ashridge Management College. My philosophy about life is that there are many things to try and variety is important. I like to challenge the edge and seek to build up a comprehensive set of skills and knowledge. I always wanted to underpin my working with academic training as I valued the way it makes you see the world differently. I seek to share this learning from work and academic means with organisations who are interested in changing the way they do things. I believe that individuals only use a small portion of their potential during their working life and surfacing this adds significant value to organisations. Helping others to see that life is exciting and testing boundaries of your abilities can only help you to grow as a person.
About me Owing to my experience as a sound engineer, and my formal training as an electronics engineer, I am conversant with electronics projects both inside and outside the box. This has been a particular advantage when involved in both new R&D projects, and in the maintenance and development of existing products. I have a commitment to personal service. At the end of the day, people buy from those they trust, and those that make the purchase easiest.
Name: Bob Carter Year graduated: 1998 Course studied: MBA Current employer: Raytheon, Tucson, Az., USA
Name: Kate Morris Year graduated: 1992 Course studied: Diploma in Management Studies Current employer: Self Employed…and currently Mayor of St Albans
After Graduation I moved to the USA to work for Raytheon in Business Development. I recently became a Black Belt in Six Sigma and lead Raytheons corporate-wide efforts on Six Sigma for Innovation. I have become a leading voice on Six Sigma for Innovation and Growth and have written and published a book called “In2theStratosphere” (sub title Enabling “Out of this World” Performance).
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I have had a very diverse and long career, with Hatfield Poly employment and training somewhere in the middle. I was a university librarian in California and New Zealand as well as librarian to the Instititute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales before working for HERTIS, and a linguist before that. But the most interesting bit, both to me and others, is probably the self starting bit of working for myself and the community for which my management training at Balls Park gave considerable support.
futures / alumni profiles / 11
So while I eat my slice of humble pie, let’s rewind a little. Michael Cormac Newell began his professional career as a director at the age of 23. Heavily involved in the theatre growing up (“My parents were devoted amateurs”), he had always planned to direct for the stage; “Film was an abstract perception on a screen. At that time there were no film schools, and studios were difficult to get into without an ‘in’, which was usually through family. Theatre was the way forward.”
Love in the Time of Cinema B o rn in St Albans, March 28th, 1942… presented with an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts by UH in 2005… worked with the likes of Al Pacino, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie… we talk to Hollywood director, Hon Doc, and of course Hogwarts alumni… Mike Newell.
Having read English Literature (“every now and then”) at Cambridge, Mike spent much of his time there involved in drama, and maintains that his academic experience was hugely helpful in his career. He has always spent a great deal of time reading new material; connecting with stories, characters and locations on the page, and in particular, his time spent reading plays helped him to develop a great understanding of dialogue, which has been enormously valuable.
It wasn’t until after he graduated however, that Mike discovered life through a lens. He attended a three year training course at Granada Television – not an idea he was particularly enamoured with at the time (“TV was sucking people in at a great rate”), and he still planned to go back into the theatre – but it was here that he learned to love the camera, and the way it could portray stories at a more personal level. Having been used to directing with the permanently wide open aspect of the stage, he could now focus on more subtle elements of a story by placing a camera wherever he wanted. “It was always about juggling the frame”. From here, Mike worked on TV plays for both the BBC and ITV, until in 1977 his television feature The Man in the Iron Mask was granted a theatrical release, launching his career into film. Continued overleaf
It’s a sweltering hot afternoon in early August. There haven’t been many so far this summer, but this particular Futures reporter has just spent all m o rning in the full sun, overseeing a photo shoot for this very magazine, with nothing but a latte and a banana for sustenance. It’s a hard life, I hear you cry… well, to be honest, it does feel like it’s been a long and tiring day already – setting up the frame and looking for that shot over and over while the light is just right… But then, upon returning to my air-conditioned office, I proceed to chat at length to a man who has recently re t u rned from helming an entire film crew in Columbia, for his latest film, Love in the Time of Cholera; a screen adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. “Columbia is seven degrees off the equator, so it’s really, really hot! We were right near the salt marshes, which were full of mosquitoes… the temperature was in the nineties, and the humidity was in the hundreds.” Suddenly, my day so far had been a breeze.
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So, shamefully fast-forwarding back to today, through three extremely successful decades of film-making (pausing along the way to note such works as 1994’s brilliant Four Weddings and a Funeral with Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, 1997’s Donnie Brasco, starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, 1999’s charming comedy Pushing Tin, starring John Cusack, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett and Billy Bob Thornton, 2003’s Mona Lisa Smile, featuring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal, and in 2005, the fourth installment of a littleknown yarn about a bespectacled young boy with a magic wand and a scar on his forehead…), Futures asks Mike what it felt like being a part of the Harry Potter
phenomenon? “It felt like being chased by a freight train!” Having directed the Goblet of Fire - indelibly etching his name into the future history of popular culture forever – Mike explains that it was nothing like any of the previous experiences he had in his career as a director; “They are colossal films, with a colossal audience and a colossal budget! And there is big pressure to get it right.” As he was passed the baton by the third film’s director, Mexican film-maker Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Cuaron’s words of advice were; “Look out… it’s going to chew you up!” Exactly the advice Mike himself passed on to David Yates when handing him the reins before tackling Order of the Phoenix. “Two and a quarter years,” he recounts, “two hundred days of shooting – it just goes on and on. It reaches a point when you think, are you going to manage to survive through it?” Being very much an actors’ director, Mike recalls that one of the biggest challenges he faced was “protecting the human element” of the story, against the “juggernaut aspect” of ‘more dragons!’ and ‘more elves!’ – the “dragon factor” as he calls it.
But despite its challenges, he is extremely glad to have worked on such an incredible production, and still has “tremendous affection for everyone involved”. And when I ask if he enjoyed Yates’ Order of the Phoenix? - for which he attended the premier with his family earlier this year – the Hogwarts alumni replies with a resounding “Yes! Very much” (despite over-hearing a colossus of a man shouting over him to his companions on the way out; “Well, there’s no doubt about it – that was much better than the last one!”…) Not that Mike could compare the two himself, even if he wanted to, as he makes a point of never watching his own films again once they’re ‘in the can’, to avoid only looking at what he might have done differently.
...1994’s brilliant Four Weddings and a Funeral with Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, 1997’s Donnie Brasco, starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, 1999’s charming comedy Pushing Tin, starring John Cusack, Angelina Jolie, Cate Blanchett and Billy Bob Thornton, 2003’s Mona Lisa Smile, featuring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Maggie Gyllenhaal...
So, no stranger by now to the pressures of adapting a much-loved book for the big screen, what attracted him to the project he is now completing; Love in the Time of Cholera? “I read the novel, and loved it. It’s so human. The characters are more real and rounded than any characters I’ve ever read. It was the humane heroism of a young man who simply refuses to stop loving someone, 50 years after it is relevant in his life”. Mike’s firm grounding in the theatre has helped him to earn a reputation for working very closely with his actors, and delivering great performances from them, and you can tell just from talking to him for the first time that he has an e x t remely personable manner which makes communication both easy and enjoyable. “We tried to get the homely feeling Marquez portrayed as his home town. It’s very dramatic, very vivid, very highly coloured – exactly as it is in his book.” To capture the “intense vividness” of Columbia, many locals were employed to add that element of realism, and famous Columbian singer Shakira was also brought on board to sing traditional costania (or ‘coastal’) music. “The people are dramatically outgoing or introverted - even the paint on the walls and the noises all around are dramatic, as are the extremities of poverty and wealth.” Having just completed post production, Love in the Time of Cholera will be released in cinemas later on this year, after which time - having worked on four large films consecutively - its director will be taking a welldeserved break from behind the camera for a while. And so, with not only directing, but also executive producer credits for films such as Traffic and High Fidelity to his name, Mike deems the film industry to be in a pretty good place at the moment. Although he does admit that it is a much harder industry to get into now compared to when he was starting out (“Guys like me just walked in”). He does maintain however, that one of the strengths of today’s industry is that there are a lot of talented writers out there at the moment, generating some great scripts – which is still a vitally important element of film. “It’s all about what’s on the page”. When I began my interview with Mike, I professed that I wanted to chat through some specific areas of his life and career in no particular order, so that I might go away and find a nice narrative for the story - to which he wistfully replied; “Ah, yes… a nice narrative. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?” Only us muggles, Mike. Only us muggles.
14 / futures / hon. doc. interview
futures / hon. doc. interview / 15
As Bayfordbury - the UH centre for astronomy and natural sciences – celebrated its 40th birthday this year, the stars were to align for a gathering of past generations, good food, drink, music and conversation. A true day of ‘fun in the yellow G2 dwarf*’ – what could possibly go wrong?... Well, despite taking place on the 16th June on the beautiful open grounds of the Bayfordbury campus, the good ol’ reliable British summertime delivered torrential rain and earth-rumbling thunderstorms all day… but it didn’t spoil the mood one little bit. After a slow beginning (when we feared the lure of a warm, dry sitting room may have been too inviting for many of our guests!..), slowly and surely our intrepid scientists appeared – representing 4 decades, and culminating in over 150 alumni and staff. The large marquee erected for the day provided ample cover from the elements, and Food Hertfordshire provided ample sustenance through a BBQ, Pimms and a galaxy of strawberries and cream. And the weather didn’t stop the entertainment either; there were shows in the Planetarium, a face painter for the alumni offspring, a mix of musical performances by the pupils of Sir John Lawes School and acoustic folk-act Cinnamon Circus, and Sir Norman Lindop, Lady Joanna Staughton and Dr Bill Boardman cut the huge celebration cake. The odd brief sunny spell also still allowed for a treasure hunt, tours of the Clinton Baker Pinetum, and towards the end of the afternoon everybody joined together for the 40-shaped photo opportunity – a testament to the celebratory spirit of all who attended at the tail end of a very soggy day. * For those of us without a Bayfordbury-born degree in astrophysics; this is the official astronomical categorisation of our Sun!
Cosmic Life Begins at 40 16 / futures / reunion review
futures / reunion review / 17
Jolly Good Research Fellows Guffawing, drinking wine and sitting in front of a screen for three days solid. Now does that sound like academic research to you?... Well, if you ask UH’s very own Professor Richard Wiseman, or Dr Richard Hoffman, the answer will undoubtedly be a resounding ‘yes’. Though perhaps not when done all at the same time?... While combined, these three actions may seem to harken back to familiar student days for some of us (and you know who you are…), individually, they have been the subjects of some serious and fascinating studies undertaken by research fellows here at UH who may have taught many of you. And the aim? To look a little closer into some of the things we humans do regularly, but rarely give much thought to. Having said that, it’s been common knowledge for many years now, that drinking moderate amounts of red wine on a regular basis can bring with it certain, documented medicinal properties… Heck, in France they even give it to their kids at most mealtimes. But until now, Dr Hoffman says that no-one has ever systematically measured this across different types of red wine before, with a view to perhaps reporting back which ones are better for you than others. Which is exactly what he and his Erasmus student Conny Johansson have been doing. It has been well documented that the natural antioxidant resveratrol – found in the skin of red grapes – is one of the key components in red wine thought to be beneficial for our health. Not only is it known to help protect against such illnesses as cancer and heart disease, it also helps fight off many others, including neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, and other forms of dementia. Recently, reseveratrol has even been found to extend lifespan, and so many people enjoy knocking back a glass or two quite regularly – happy in the knowledge that not only is it better for them than, say, white wine, or indeed pretty much any other form of alcohol, but it’s actually doing them some good! But with countless types of red wine being made and sold all across the globe, this is a very broad assumption. As Dr Hoffman explains: “as a result, they assume that all red wines are the same, but this is certainly not the case, as the levels of resveratrol vary”.
18 / futures / UH research
futures / UH research / 19
And so, by using new state-of-the-art High Performance Liquid Chromatography (known in scientific circles merely as ‘HPLC’…) and Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (or the infinitely more pronounceable ‘LCMS’), Hoffman and Johansson have been able to separate and collect the different compounds found in wine to measure the respective levels of resveratrol in particular bottles of ‘vin rouge’. And this study has caught the eye of the media as well, putting UH research in the spotlight yet again; via BBC breakfast, lunchtime and early evening news programmes, local radio station Mercury FM, and articles written for The Times, The Scotsman, The Welwyn and Hatfield Times, and Innovations Report. The ultimate aim of the study is to find the bottle of red wine that will do you the most good, with the wider agenda of persuading wine makers, suppliers and retailers to put information about how healthy the wine is on their bottles. “The long-term aim is for people to go along to the supermarket and to be able to know at a glance the levels of resveratrol contained in the wines they are choosing”. Cheers, guys!
Dr Richard Hoffman and Conny Johansson
For those of you who are more familiar with classic 80’s sci-fi action movies - no, this had nothing whatsoever to do with A rnold Schwarzeneger or large spherical computer chips up nostrils etc
So, that’s the drinking underway… but where does the ‘guffawing’ and sitting in front of a screen for days on end come into all this? Well, few articles on research at UH fail to mention work being undertaken by Professor Richard Wiseman, and these two very human acts are just two of the everyday occurrences documented in his new book, ‘Quirkology’, which looks at the psychology behind some of the basic things we do… In this case, laugh, and absorb visual information. In May of this year, Professor Wiseman subjected two volunteer, psychology research assistants to three days in front of a screen, whilst 10,000 images flashed before their eyes – each one for four seconds at a time. And it was all part of his ‘Total Recall’ experiment. For those of you who are more familiar with classic 80’s sci-fi action movies – no, this had nothing whatsoever to do with Arnold Schwarzeneger or large spherical computer chips up nostrils etc - but was the practical methodology of a public experiment to help find out exactly what the memory is capable of when bombarded with images. Placed in a custom-made glass laboratory, built inside Piccadilly’s Waterstone’s bookstore, twenty nine year old Jenny Mirani, and thirty year old Sarah Woods were streamed this series of images from 11am in the morning until 5pm at night, across the space of three days. After this, they were asked to point out how many of the images they recognised.
When this type of experiment was undertaken back in the 70’s, results concluded that the human brain could recall around 70% of the images. UH’s Professor Richard Wiseman undertook this replication of that experiment, expecting that such incredible results would indeed be found again - suggesting that our minds are capable of absorbing far more of the images we encounter everyday than we could ever imagine. If the results were disproved, then it may just force some basic marketing and advertising strategies to be looked at from a new perspective… But first; laughter. Following in the footsteps of such great scientific minds as Freud, Plato and Aristotle – all of whom studied and documented humour in great detail – in 2001, Wiseman got the go-ahead from the BAAS (British Association for the Advancement of Science) to search for the world’s funniest joke.
jokes, involving such specific research as different reactions between the sexes and social statuses, or particular words and sounds which are deemed funnier than others. Many findings also supported Freudian theories about jokes acting as a psychological release from the pressures of repressed unhappiness in everyday life (loveless marriages, inadequate sexual performance or even death for example…). But did Richard find his Holy/hilarious Grail? Is there one almightily side-splitting joke that will always have the last laugh as long as the sun burns down on our planet? And just how many of the 10,000 images did Jenny and Sarah recall? Well, I’m afraid for the scientifically curious among you (and you know who you are…), you’ll just have to go out and buy ‘Quirkology’ to find out, won’t you?
The ultimate aim of the study is to find the bottle of red wine that will do you the most good By setting up an internet-based “LaughLab”, he invited participants to submit their favourite joke on-line, give a little demographic information about themselves, and then on a scale of 1 to 5, rate how funny they found randomly selected jokes that had been posted on the site. By the end of a year-long search, 40,000 jokes were submitted (naturally many of them were incredibly filthy!), and had been rated by more than 350,000 individuals across 70 countries - and the results of Wiseman’s LaughLab have posed many interesting findings and theories. Many of these stemmed from mini-experiments, based on particular kinds/groups of Prof Richard Wiseman
20 / futures / UH research
futures / UH research / 21
Walking the Mortar Boards Founded in 1996, the last decade has seen the University of Hertfordshire Arts Programme grow into a world class platform, for a diverse, cultural mix of music, dance, theatre, literature, comedy and the visual arts, for students, schools, the local community and beyond. As we look forward to a heady calendar of events in the coming season*, we talk to our UHArts Executive, Susie Barr about the university’s growing role in promoting and enjoying the arts in the region.
Picture the scene. Earlier this year, the typical evening tranquility of The Street on the deHavilland Campus, was rhythmically beaten into submission by the echoing sounds of Korean drums, and the entire audience of The Weston Auditorium dancing down the concourse in unison. So successful had the amazing Korean drumming group Dulsori been in their aim to fill their audience with the true, stirring spirit of the ancient festival, that the celebration continued right out of the doors of the theatre, and literally had them ‘dancing in the street’ outside. “It was amazing to see,” Susie recounts, “(Dulsori) carried on drumming as they came off the stage, and everyone just got up out of their seats and followed them out into The Street like the Pied Piper! It was definitely one of the highlights of Mayfest, the University’s annual arts and music festival, the atmosphere was incredible”. And she should know. Having taken up her post in March 2005, as the University’s Arts Executive, Susie Barr helps UH to promote more than thirty events per year, across a diverse and accessible range of art forms and venues. With the £3 million Weston Auditorium, a state-of-the-art 456 seat venue, opening in 2003, and two gallery spaces for contemporary art exhibitions, the university has become a major part of the venue network for the E a s t e rn region. It enables professional artists and companies to form around two-thirds of the seasonal programme of events, and local amateur and community groups to enjoy performing on a world class stage also. “The best part is when you have a full house, there’s always such a buzz” Susie explains, “When you come out at the end and feel that excitement that you only get from a live show”. Over the last few years, the auditorium has opened it’s curtains for showstopping performances from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Red Shift Theatre Company, Union Dance, Jongleurs Comedy, Orquesta Cache, Scamp Theatre Company, and Theatre is… to name but a few. But not only this, a big part of the UHArts programme is to promote new, exciting and challenging artists as well – finding shows which, as Susie says, are “really unique, and also unique for the venue”. For example, one such event taking place on Sunday 4 November this year, is a Children’s Concert with book illustrator, James Mayhew, who will be narrating and illustrating classic stories live on stage, whilst accompanied by the University’s own resident orchestra the Philharmonic at UH. Also, hot off a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival (and award-winning documentary for Sky TV), Thursday 4 October, will see disabled comedy act Abnormally Funny People performing their hilarious stand-up show (for the over-16’s only!).
This year, as well as it’s own events, UHArts has managed the University’s sponsorship of key community events including Hitchin’s Rhythms of the World festival, the largest free festival of world music in the UK, attended by thousands of people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. As part of this UHArts supported a performance on the main stage by a folk band called Mawkin - headed up by one of our own music composition students. They also sponsored the Kaleidoscope festival in Welwyn Garden City (which celebrates cultural diversity in the local area), and the world renowned International Organ Festival in St Albans. UHArts also ventured into the world of new writing, collaborating with UH Press (the university’s publishing house) and the school of humanities to launch the University of Hertfordshire Writing Award. Susie admits that even she was surprised to “receive entries from 36 different countries and from entrants aged between 13 and 86!” but is delighted that the competition spanned the globe. The top twenty stories have been published in an anthology Vision and is available from UH Press. UHArts is also excited to announce the University’s support for the launch of a new venture with the Hertfordshire Music Service in September, to promote the importance of singing in primary schools. And so with the seasonal programme getting bigger, louder, wider, funnier and even more colourful each year, what does the future hold for the arts here at UH? “Well it’s early days, and there are no firm plans at the moment” Susie professes, “but we are beginning to look at how we can develop the UHArts and UH Galleries programme into an all encompassing ‘arts centre’ here at the University of Hertfordshire. “Definitely worthy of a standing ovation”. *Concessionary tickets are available to alumni for all events on the UHArts programme. If you would like to receive the Calendar of Events for this coming season, please contact the UHArts Box Office on 01707 281127, email email@example.com or visit www.herts.ac.uk/uharts If you would like to purchase a copy of Vision please contact UH Press on 01707 284654 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
22 / futures / spotlight on...UH Arts
futures / spotlight on...UH Arts / 23
A New Horizon… Would you welcome support with your employment and career development? Do you work within organisations that recruit graduate potential? Could you be a potential candidate to “shine”?
Career Development and Graduate Employment services (CD&GE) has relocated to the MacLaurin Building in Bishop’s Square on the Hatfield Business Park. You may recall us previously being located in the Learning Resource Centre on the College Lane Campus. The MacLaurin Building, named in honour of the University’s former Chancellor Lord MacLaurin is designed to support the University’s growing relationship with businesses in the region. As the University’s business hub it is the ideal location for the CD&GE whose role is to help create a bridge between our graduates and business (including the professions).
• Providing up to date and relevant labour market information that keeps our students and staff informed • Extended vacancies databases where employers can advertise and students and alumni can find jobs • Offer a range of products and services that help staff to support our student’s employability To give you a taste of how these new services will benefit you, we have outlined a few of our plans in terms of how they may benefit you individually, and indeed how they may benefit the organisation you work in or your own business:
The location move is the first stage for the CD&GE in delivering its range of enhanced products and services to support its clients including students, staff, alumni and employers. Over the coming months, the team will be developing many new services and activities, as a part of a the UHTalent project. This is a significant part of the university’s strategy to extend its support to our students beyond the point of graduation and to make it easier for recruiters to do business with us.
• We’ll be introducing a new menu of products and services that make it easier for you to match your needs for support (workshops, online services, networking opportunities) • Piloting of a “life skills and employability” mentoring scheme – many of you have already registered an interest in this, we will be in contact again shortly. An opportunity to help as well as improve your personal development • Development of our ”jobs and careers” resources on-line for you to access in the future. So the end of University doesn’t have to mean the end of our relationship
Shine with us We will proudly be showcasing individuals’ achievements, through our “Shine” boards in our new centre and on-line. Don’t be shy, help us to help you shine! If you would like to share your story since leaving UH with us, please e-mail us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing of your achievements……..
From us to your organisation (How our plans can benefit your place of work)... • Offering an increased number of business workshops on graduate recruitment and retention to help your HR areas find and keep the right people • Annual events enabling business to business and business to university networking • Making it easier and cheaper for your organisation to recruit directly from us - database and campaigns to support employers with targeted vacancy advertising and recruitment.
We are working towards: • Networking opportunities for students to meet with employers or those who can help them start up in business • Extended career development support to alumni and inviting alumni to mentor undergraduates on life skills/employability (thank you to all who have volunteered) • Making it easier for employers to find the right people to work in their organisations • Increasing opportunities for students to gain insights to the world of work
We look forward to working with many of you in the coming months as we progress with our exciting plans. If you are interested in finding out more please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Niluka Kannangara, Information and Communications Officer, Rukia Mojid, Graduate Employment Officer 24 / futures / UH Business
From us to you (how our plans can benefit you individually)…….
Anusha Everson, Director for Graduate Employment
futures / UH Business / 25
Planes, Dames and Aeronautical-mobiles Having found both the career and the girl of his dreams here, for the man who knows too much about aeroplanes, the 60’s were not so much ‘swinging’ as ‘flying’ for Frank Ogilvie… and he says he owes it all to his time in Hatfield.
UH alumnus, Frank Ogilvie is, well – for want of a better word – very frank about the value that his education and experiences here have had on his life. “The education I got at Hatfield was the foundation for everything I’ve done. If I did it again I’d do it exactly the same!”
best way to travel. As a boy, Frank grew very used to having planes around him: “From the outset I never wanted to fly planes but I thought they were fabulous and I wanted to design them!” When his family emigrated to Canada in 1962, he decided to come to England and the facilities of Hatfield Technical College to pursue his passion. Here, he was taught mechanics by Dr Chapman (who has since had the Chapman Lounge on College Lane named after him), and also remembers a particular lecturer by the name of Dave Philpot. Frank recalls “For the sort of person I am and the way that I learn t , you didn’t do better than Hatfield.” Amongst his fellow peers, three particular alumni spring to mind; John Mounce, who managed Air New Zealand’s engineering organisation for many years, Colin Brain, who held a very senior post at the A&AEE Boscombe Down and Rod Trailer – who went on to become very senior at Boeing, and re t i red two years ago.
For the most part of his career however, Frank has been making (air)waves working for AirBus, where he now heads up a team of 61 people managing the Loads and Aeroelastics Team at Airbus UK in Filton. In layman terms to suit the more routinely grounded, he describes his work as analysing things when they go wrong on planes. “My family don’t like flying with me…” he quips, “…I know too much!” For 11 years until December 2006 Frank worked in Toulouse in France on the A380 project as Director of Aerodynamics and Deputy Head of Overall Aircraft Design No simple project, as the Airbus 380 is 30% bigger than the ubiquitous Boeing 747. These days, Frank stays in regular contact with his alma mater, meeting with academics at UH twice a year to discuss curriculum development. He says: “My advice to today’s aerospace courses would be to include a linguistic element as so much of the aerospace industry has moved out of the UK.”
Seeing the enormous changes his old college has undergone since he graduated in 1968, Frank is certain that UH still provides the same invaluable learning experience to those following his slipstream into the industry. “What is good is that it’s gone from a Technical College to a Poly to a University and that it’s still catering for the same people in aerospace – but has adapted to modern life.” Our first Aerospace Engineering Reunion will be taking place in a reception and dinner in “The Hangar” on the old Hatfield aerodrome on the evening of 16 November 2007. Please direct your enquiries and bookings for this event to S.L.Fox@herts.ac.uk .
Since graduating, Frank has carved an extremely full and varied career through the aerospace industry. He has been involved in many landmarks in the history of aviation, such as a student exchange with Sud Aviation in Toulouse in the south of France, where the first ever Concorde 001 was built, the beginnings of business travel in the sky (“The 125 Business Jet was a rip-roaring success!”), and a project in his early career looking at vertical take-off: “It was very Star Trek!”. But not all industry landmarks were deemed so positive. Seeing British Aerospace – Regional Aircraft in Hatfield close down affected Frank on a very personal level: “I have a tremendous emotional attachment to the Hatfield site” he tells Futures, speaking of his affinity with the former aerodrome.
Having studied here back in the Technical College days of the 60’s (1964-1968 to be exact), Frank remembers when the male/female ratio skewed heavily in the favour of Y-chromosomes… in the 1,200 students registered at the time, only 20 of those were female. His luck soon changed however, with the introduction of the Life Sciences courses - when “the girls arrived and the fun really began!” One such girl, studying Bio-Chemistry in the newly opened department, was Sonia Yvonne Carpenter. The girl Frank was destined to marry. Frank’s interest in aeroplanes began at an early age. Growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, Frank’s engineer father travelled a lot in his work and in such a vast country it soon became obvious that flying was the
26 / futures / Alumni Interview
futures / Alumni Interview / 27
Collegian Rhapsody How Brian May, T-Mobile, Willmott Dixon, and scores of others are making a difference, by awarding excellence through our UH Scholarship Programme. ‘The pure pursuit of knowledge is stimulating and rewarding to all mankind – I am proud to help this work to continue to flourish.’ Brian May 2007 Celebrating and awarding excellence through scholarships is really important to us and we want to encourage our most talented students to become even greater at what they do. Whether they’re studying fine art, engineering, geography or teaching, all of our scholars have the ability to make a significant contribution to society and we want to play a big part in making that happen. With over 125 externally funded scholarships up for grabs, our most talented freshers will benefit from further financial support next year. Our scholarships programme has gone from strength to strength with a number of new sponsors lending their support to the programme. New signings include the Hertfordshire Educational Foundation, Watford & North West London Business Awards and the Lord & Lady Lurgan Trust. We are now daring to say that we think we have more externally funded scholarships on offer than any other university in the UK….we’re awaiting challenges to this! So, what does it mean for our students? The programme supports students studying a huge variety of courses and those with the highest UCAS points are selected on entry to the University. All of our scholars are encouraged to develop a relationship with their sponsors from day one and we are always keen to build links between our students and the big wide world of business. Our Tesco marketing scholar, Natana Sandy, will be undertaking a work placement at their Head Office next year and is thrilled to have been selected to receive the award: ‘On the very day that I received my congratulations phone call I had been talking to my Mum about how I was going to manage financially whilst I was studying. I am from a single parent family and have one brother and thre e sisters, one of whom is at Uni. When I heard the news I was completely overwhelmed and couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I called my Mum straight away and she was so proud of me.’ 28 / futures / UH Scholarships
Joanne Wearne, Development Officer
Natana Sandy, scholarship recipient
Natana is one of a number of scholars who are now on work placements and receiving careers advice from their sponsors. Even better still, our scholars are going on to work for their sponsors. Jamie Skipworth graduated with a degree in Computer Science and joined his sponsors, Experion Intergrated Marketing (formerly ClarityBlue), on their graduate training scheme... ‘I am so surprised that my scholarship has led to this and am thankful to Experion for providing me with such a great opportunity. They have an excellent graduate scheme, which involves graduates being rotated around different departments of the company so I am learning fast and each day presents new challenges.’ Over to you….. As an individual alumnus, you’re probably sitting on the train, in your lounge, or in your office wondering…what does this mean for me and how can I make a difference? Well, many of you already are - by giving to our Alumni Fund you have collectively raised enough money to sponsor nine scholarships next year. This is a fantastic achievement and, once we’ve made the awards, we’ll keep you up to date with who your students are and how your funding has helped them.
Some of you may be working for companies who are having problems recruiting high calibre graduates (other than yourself of course!) or making themselves known to the student community. We can help them address these issues so get them to give us a call. Others of you may be swinging around in your leather Director’s chair thinking back to your Uni days and wondering how you could make a difference to someone’s life and give something back to UH? Or maybe you’re a member of one of our rapidly expanding Alumni Associations and would like to raise money as a group and support a student from your country. All of our scholars write thank you letters to their sponsors and this would be a great way for you to find out what it’s like to study at UH in 2007 and how things have changed since you left. If you’d like to find out more about the programme….contact our Development Officer, Joanne Wearne on 01707 281273 or e mail email@example.com futures / UH Scholarships / 29
October 2007 08 10 30
Inaugural Golf Day India Alumni Reception & Reunion Thailand Alumni Reunion
Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire Delhi Bangkok
Our connection with you Our alumni team is dedicated to supporting you in both business and leisure. To this end we have secured discounts and benefits available to all our alumni, including • Discounted magazine subscriptions - www.alumni-subscriptions.co.uk • An online Web Community that you can access 24-7 – https://alumni.herts.ac.uk • Up to 20% off car hire with National Car Rental
November 2007 02 16
Malaysia Alumni Reunion & INTI Graduation Aerospace Engineering Reunion & Dinner
• Up to £12 off Merlin Entertainment Group venues
Kuala Lumpur Hatfield
• Discounts on postgraduate study courses • Careers advice and mentoring programmes • Opportunities to find your old friends - at our re-unions, online or by contacting us • Support with organising reunions
December 2007 19
Alumni Xmas Party
• Free subscription to the UH Alumni magazine: Futures • Discount at selected Saracens home rugby matches
Ele House, Hatfield
With a one-off £10 payment, Alumni card holders also benefit from the following great offers:
April 2008 03 05 08
China Alumni Reception & Reunion China Alumni Reception & Reunion China Alumni Reception & Reunion
• Discounts at UHArts events
Beijing Shanghai Hong Kong
• Free entry to the University’s Learning Resource Centres • Discounts on external borrowing • Discounts at Hertfordshire Sports Village on the de Havilland Campus • Discounts at Next Generation Sports Clubs • Associate membership of the UHSU Bar Club
If you would like details of any of these events, or would like help with organising an event for your specific year-group or faculty, please contact us on 01707 284035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Who you call? Eight weeks. 2,000 alumni. £27,000. How you helped this year’s team of volunteer callers break all previous records for students in financial hardship… Who ever said that sequels can never better the originals? After all… there’s The Empire Strikes Back?… The Godfather: Part II?… maybe even perhaps Ace Ventura II: When Nature Calls?… (no, really…). But when it comes to UH calling campaigns, now there’s even more evidence to back the argument. The tenth Alumni Fund campaign exceeded all expectations, as alumni donated over £27,000 to an Alumni Scholarship Fund. Thanks to the g e n e rosity of a huge number of you the campaign will fund eight gifted individuals. This is a testament, both to the loyal support you, our exstudents, have towards your alma mater, and also to the hard work and dedication shown by our student callers.
Klerissa Johnson, Alumni Find Campaign Leader 30 / futures / campaigns and events
Lead by Klerissa Johnson - the Development & Alumni Team’s student placement - the team spent eight Strepsil-filled weeks calling almost 2000 alumni to chat with them about the campaign. And the result was far more than just a fundraising success story.
For example, 86 alumni expressed an interest in mentoring current UH students who are following in their footsteps… 40 individuals offered placements to students within their respective businesses… and just by chatting with alumni it helped us find out more about what we can do to keep you benefiting from your life-long relationship with us. Many of you asked for more information about our sports facilities, Library access, UHarts performances, and even taking your studies further by coming back; all benefits of being an Alumni Card holder. As a new team is formed to gear up in September, the bar has definitely been raised. Every donation makes a difference to those with financial barriers, deterring them from the chance of higher education. With your help, more gifted students will be able to graduate from university, regardless of their background, and I’m sure you will help to make this campaign even more of a success than the last amazing achievement. We try to contact as many of you as possible with each campaign, but if you’d like to inform us of updates to your details, or donate to the Alumni Fund, please contact our Alumni Manager, Jeremy Reid at: email@example.com Thank you to Klerissa, and to all who have donated to our Alumni Scholarships Fund.
• 5% discount on conference facilities at the Fielder Centre and deHavilland Sports & Social Club
Applications for the Alumni Card, which costs only £10 can be made at www.uhshop.co.uk For details of these benefits visit https://alumni.herts.ac.uk or contact us on +44 (0) 1707 284035 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the latest range of UH merchandising featuring the new brand go to w w w.uhshop.co.uk Development & Alumni Office University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield AL10 9AB England Telephone. +44 (0)1707 284035 Switchboard. +44 (0)1707 284000 Email. email@example.com Website. https://alumni.herts.ac.uk futures / benefits and merchandise / 31
The magazine for alumni and the friends of the University of Hertfordshire