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“I’ve definitely evolved as a person”

Talking to Professor Tim Wilson on retiring as Vice-Chancellor



Announcing the winner of our first ever Alumnus of the Year award

Diamond Opportunity

Celebrate our 60th anniversary with the Diamond Scholarship Fund


Is Big Brother still watching Sree Dasari?

Florence AND THE Ball Brit Award winners Florence and the Machine headline that landmark year-end tradition... the Summer Ball


summer 2010 ISSUE 7


Keeping You In Tune

14 8 04 Letters Be it via Facebook or quill and ink, we always love to hear from you 06 News From a new VC to success in the Green League 2010 08 Interview with the Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Wilson talks responsibility, retirement and rugby 13 Global Futures Celebrating the latest International Chapters to be launched 14 COVER STORY Futures reports from the biggest SU Summer Ball yet 18 Alumnus of the Year 2010 Who is the winner of our first ever award? 20 Graduate Futures Where each graduating year is heading post-gown

Whether you’re a singer, dancer, juggler, comedian or rock star in the making, we’re looking for the very best talent Hertfordshire has to offer. Open to individuals from ages 5-105.


£sh1Pr0iz0e 0 plus

Ca professional career building guidance

2nd PRIZE Sponsored by Studio Asia and Chilli Raj £250 Cash and £250 professional career building guidance

3rd PRIZE £100 Galleria Gift Voucher and a pair of gig tickets to any O2 Academy gig in the UK

Sponsored by Studio Asia one year recording contract!

Are you Hertfordshire’s next superstar? REGISTER NOW AT FORUMHERTFORDSHIRE.CO.UK/TALENT or CALL 01707 285000

23 Sree Dasari Our own eviction interview with the ex-Big Brother housemate 27 Facebook Friends we asked you to post a memory... and you obliged

Special thanks to: Professor Tim Wilson, Dr Denise Ball, Izzy Hussain, Rebecca Hobbs, Amisha Karia, Sarah Larkham, Richard Maclean, Nigel Gates, Anne-Marie Bell, Nicki Combarro, Alexandre Balay, Dorothy Conduah, Ekta Shah, Lindsay Tuke, Angela Thomas, Kate Bellingham, Sree Dasari, Naomi Hecker, Tonia Harvey, Rubina Menghrani, Alexander Bracq, Nana Musa, all of our Facebook friends and... Alison Coles


Available Audition Dates: 24th July / 31st July / 7th August / 14th August / 21st August

22 Diamond Scholarship Fund How you can help us mark the University’s sixtieth birthday in 2012

Editor: Steve Corbett Art Editor: Dani Corbett Editorial Assistant: David Ameh Proofing: Dawn Howton

Cover image: Dan Hubbert



Contact us: Development and Alumni Office, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB Telephone: +44 (0)1707 281145 Switchboard: +44 (0)1707 284000 Email: Website:

30 Enterprise and Business Bringing a WWII beacon back onto de Hav 32 UH Press The Black Death in Herts 34 Profiles Where are they now? 35 UHArts and Galleries Highlights in the upcoming Autumn Programme


Steve Corbett Head of Alumni Relations

Satpal Kaur Bassan Journalism Graduate

Liz Mortimer Communications Officer, Graduate Futures

Jane Housham Manager, UH Press

Jo Wearne Head of Development



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

The thing about being the Editor of Futures is that it never, ever gets boring. futures

Issue after issue, a few months before publication, I sit down with È colleagues representing the length and breath of the University, and The R Word... we start throwing ideas around. Fantastic projects and events people are involved in, interesting and inspiring alums they have met, new international chapters that are being launched, mind-melting research From taking place, success stories that are happening… It’s a creative to cornucopia born from an exhaustless wealth of activity that we want e and The Faculty for Creativ showcases Cultural Industriestalent to share with you. Oh, and there’s coffee. Lots of coffee. Then, I come its 2009 graduate Interview away with my sketch-cum-notepad brimming with scrappily scrawled with a vanguard suggestions, and – finally accepting the fact that alas, each edition isn’t Strictly Hormonal 150 pages long – start to whittle the raw material down. The aim? To Tech the Halls pack as much rich stuff as we possibly can into a balanced yet diverse issue that informs, imparts, talks, tickles and quirks in all the usual ways… to hopefully give each and every one of you something to relate to, remember through, marvel at, or simply just enjoy.


awards’, Shortlisted for the Heist Year’ ‘Alumni Publication of the


Why your University is a powerful tool in a recession

Hidden Spaces

Celebrating campus life beyond the prospectus

fresher fashionista

Announcing the coming season’s Arts and Galleries programme

futuresÈ WINTER 2010

RESEARCH How alumnus

Alistair Spalding has transformed Sadler’s Wells

Sex, psychology and the way we dance

The planning of a Hatfield Tech Christmas Review

Because ultimately – wasn’t that what university was all about?


I’m not much into motivational stuff – but you guys seriously brighten up my day! Keep up the fantastic work!!! Manu Misra (via Facebook in response to a daily posting)


Thank you very much for the copy of e-Futures which I have read with delight this morning. I am thrilled at the enormity of the information being transmitted to all alumni of the University. I am very thankful for the regular link you are making – which brings back good memories and keeps me informed about all the developments that have taken place since leaving Hatfield at graduation some 37 years ago. I am a proud parent because my two eldest boys are also alumni of the University having graduated in 2002 in Engineering Management and

at the University’s new Centre for Sustainable Communities

A clutch of campus curiosities you may not have heard...

RISE OF THE SILVER VENUE... The community talent show that launched an iconic building

Editor (Head of Alumni Relations)

Excellent work!! Thanks for the time and effort that you ‘guys’ spend on putting this together – greatly appreciated by all, even though you may not hear from us!! Peter Lines (on the last Futures)


Sustainable futures A look


Steve Corbett

I graduated from the University of Hertfordshire in 1996 successfully gaining a BSc Honours degree in Medical Electronics. Since then I’ve really enjoyed reading the alumni magazines. I was amazed in November while on holiday in Kuala Lumpur coming across a University Recruitment Show at the KL Convention Centre. I couldn’t resist calling in and having a chat with staff on the University of Hertfordshire stand. It’s certainly a small world! Thanks again for a great magazine. Claire Verlander

THE MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE Shortlisted for the ‘Alumni Publicatio Heist awards’, n of the Year’

Aerospace Systems Engineering (First Class Honours) respectively. Olusola A. Kayode Thank you for your invitation for me to attend the Donor Thank You event on 29 April. I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I was very much engaged in stimulating conversations with the very welcoming and impressive academics and students who were showcasing their wonderful talents. It had been almost twenty years since I was last at Hatfield and I could not think of a better way to re-acquaint myself, by sharing in the celebration of the University’s ongoing successes. You can count on my continued support and I look forward to being asked to attend further events in the future. Keep up the great work! Gary Nemorin

Together we’ll help you

s and out

Make it happen with the IET and the University of Hertfordshire

The University of Hertfordshire is an Enhanced Academic Partner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Together we are working closely to help our alumni community make the most of every available career opportunity.

Becoming professionally registered as either a Chartered Engineer (CEng) or an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) is an important career milestone for any engineer or technologist. Get professional recognition today – visit for more information and how to apply. The Institution of Engineering and Technology (the IET) is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No. 211014) and Scotland (No. SC038698), Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, SG1 2AY, United Kingdom.

futuresÈ SUMMER 2010

futuresÈ NEWS

A snapshot of news bites from around your University this summer...

Success in the Green League 2010 The University was recently awarded third place in the People and Planet’s Green League table 2010. The People and Planet’s Green League is a unique table, ranking 133 UK universities by environmental performance in the UK educational sector. The University missed first place position by 6.5 points to Plymouth University who scored a total of 51.0 (out of 70 possible points). The University has been recognised as finding new creative ways to go green despite funding cuts and achieved the highest mark in Comprehensive Environmental Auditing. Professor Andrew Starr Director of the Centre for Sustainable Communities quoted, ‘We are proud to have moved up the (P&P) Green League after dedicated initiatives to improve environmental awareness and carbon management. Our environment and estates team have worked in partnership with student and staff representatives to increase knowledge and participation through campaigns and activities including high-level strategic goals, our Environment Week, and multi-media marketing. Continual improvement of environmental performance is a key aspect of the University’s sustainability strategy.’ 06

Download University of Hertfordshire media content on iTunes U

The University has developed a pilot site on iTunes U that it intends to launch in September. The site is designed to showcase material and give a flavour of the learning experience at Hertfordshire. The University of Hertfordshire on the iTunes U site will give you the opportunity to download material (for example a keynote lecture) to watch, listen to or read at your convenience. As a former student this is a great way to keep in touch with what your University is doing - or follow up on things you became interested in when you studied here. Watch out for news of the launch!

Alumni of tomorrow visit for Open Day Saturday 12 June saw over 3,000 prospective new students and visitors descend on campus in the space of seven hours... and representatives from your Alumni Association were there to greet them. Fellow alum and Development and Alumni Assistant David Ameh manned our Alumni Association stand for the day, talking to students and parents about the lifelong support network we have, as well as giving out copies of Futures and our brochure on what it means to be an alumnus. He was accompanied on the stand during the extremely busy day by volunteer alums Steve Phipps and Diane MacLean; both of whom hold seats on the Alumni Association Advisory Board. Steve currently works as the University’s Data Centre Manager and Diane is an internationally renowned sculptor and environmental artist (who’s large stainless steel creation ‘The Mountain’ sits on the lawn on College Lane). “It was crazy!” David commented - on the constant buzz that emanated through the de Havilland campus where the stand was situated - “It was so good to be able to meet and talk to so many prospective new students – I just remember that feeling... it was so exciting yet daunting at the same time. It just felt good that as alumni, we were able to be first-hand ambassadors for the University.”

A new Vice-Chancellor for the University Professor Quintin McKellar has been appointed as the University’s new Vice-Chancellor. He will take up his role from 4 January 2011. Professor Tim Wilson will retire in December 2010 after seven successful years. For the last six years, Professor McKellar has been the Principal of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), the first and largest veterinary school in the UK, and is the only veterinary school that has a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Professor McKellar is also the Chairman of the London Bioscience Innovation Centre - a subsidiary company of the RVC which is home to thirty spin-out and start-up companies. Prior to his current role, Professor McKellar was the director of the Moredun Research Institute after holding the post of Professor of Veterinary Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow. Professor McKellar lives in Hertfordshire and is married with four children. He is a keen sporting enthusiast with a passion for rowing. He competed in the 1986 Commonwealth Games and more recently is an enthusiastic member of the Broxbourne masters team. His other interests are in animal pharmacology and parasitology. In welcoming the new ViceChancellor, Chair of the University’s Board of Governors Mrs Jo Connell said: ‘I am delighted that Professor McKellar will be joining us. He will be an excellent and inspiring new ViceChancellor who will build on the University’s reputation as innovative and enterprising and ensure that it continues to be seen as an exemplar in the sector.’

University of Hertfordshire Researcher develops the future of disposing of the deceased

It may sound like the stuff of Hollywood Sci-Fi, but Dr David Naseby, a research leader in Microbiology at the University and his team have researched and developed the environmental Cryomation device. The device means that a range of cleaner and greener ways to dispose of the deceased will soon be made available. Cryomation freezes the body to -195 degree Celsius through the use of liquid nitrogen. The frozen body is turned into powder and then a vacuum is used to dry and sterilize the remains. Dr David Naseby and his team have received media coverage from both the new scientist and The Hindu for their research developments. Such research involved a prototype of this device being used on a pig’s carcass. A full-size prototype Cryomator is being built for trials later this year on human corpses. 07


“There’s never a time when you’re not the Vice-Chancellor” After nineteen years at the University of Hertfordshire, in December, Professor Wilson* will retire from his post as Vice-Chancellor. He has seen what can arguably be described as the most eventful and exciting period since the institution opened in 1952 – and in candid, reflective conversation, talks to Steve Corbett about what it’s really meant to be ‘The VC’...


rofessor Tim Wilson is a proud man. And so he should be. Having played an instrumental part in each of the University’s major developments over the course of the last two decades – steering very much from the helm for the best part of the latter – he has moulded the firm but malleable foundations laid out on College Lane into a unique and powerful force to be reckoned with. To use one of his own favoured phrases; a “true exemplar in the university sector.” In 1992, when the country’s Polytechnic Colleges were collectively thrust into a University system engraved into a long history of tradition and reputation, the new kids on the block had a lot to live up to. Simply attaining universitystatus did not instantly stand these colleges shoulder-to-shoulder with Russell Group institutions – many of which more than comfortable with a head start of a few centuries to have built their universally renowned empires. These were long shadows being cast – but instead of walking aimlessly into them, Professor Wilson sought a different route for the University of Hertfordshire… one that would literally pave a bright new path through the sector. When I meet up with the Vice-


Chancellor on 2 June this year – six months before he is due to pass the baton and retire – as well as a personal look back over his own time here, it’s the retrospective view of this bold journey along the roadless-travelled that interests me. The legacy his tenure will always be accredited with. Having been appointed ViceChancellor of the University in September 2003, I ask him if he had felt sufficiently prepared for his new role. “Oh yes.” he answers without hesitation, “I’d been here a long time – and most of the problems we had then, I’d caused!” So there weren’t any moments of ‘what on earth have I let myself in for?!’ “Not at all. I’d prepared for it for a very long time. I had a vision, and I’d articulated that vision in early 2002… thoughts from several years had crystalised into what needed to be done”. At that point, Professor Wilson had been working with his predecessor, Professor Neil Buxton (“a heavyweight academic”) for twelve years, so had been on board since the Hatfield Polytechnic days. “It was a time for reflection and mature consideration. More often than not, quick decisions are not the right ones – you need time to balance the options. Over the years

Main Professor Tim Wilson during a Graduation Ceremony at the Church and Abbey of St Alban

I learned those lessons.” Aptly, Professor Wilson took up the appointment in the very same month of 2003 that the new £120 million de Havilland Campus first opened its doors. Having worked on the project from conception, it clearly signified a new era for the University – a physical, corporeal statement that was very much in line with his progressive vision. “It was the reason I stayed here.” He states, “It was my baby. One of our biggest issues at the time was that the institution lacked a modern identity. How many people get to do that? – construct one of the biggest new campuses the country had seen in thirty years? It was a personal challenge and a professional challenge. I had great pride when it opened.” It was while ‘de Hav’ was being constructed that all forms of his vision were beginning to take shape. As well as the build, the soon-to-be-VC was looking beyond the traditional approach of UK institutions to form a new idea of what sort of university Hertfordshire wanted to be. He brought a lot back from travelling across America – hugely inspired by the wide range of specialisation their higher education system employs. “In the States they are massively diverse – they have




different universities for different things. That’s when the ‘Business Facing’ model was born.” Building upon the University’s long heritage of nurturing and encouraging employability – creating graduates that didn’t just have traditionally recognised letters on their CV, but the real, tangible skills that would enable them to launch themselves into the modern-day workplace – it was this focus on industry that Professor Wilson saw as a new arena for post-’92 universities. An arena not only to compete in, but to trail-blaze and champion – providing a different choice for today’s schoolleavers. He remembers epitomising his idea to the Board of Governors in one sentence; “I want this University to be a university others want to emulate.” For someone who doesn’t believe in league tables as a true measure of success, seeing his institution become the first ‘new’ university to boldly crash past some of the traditional ‘red bricks’ into the top fifty in the country (in the Times Higher Education supplement) can’t have been that bitter a pill to swallow. A fantastic achievement by any account. When I ask what the most challenging aspect of his job is, the first response is a very practical 10


one. “Diary management. It sounds trivial but it really isn’t. It’s all about managing my time in the right way – getting my priorities right in the time that I have available. It’s also about managing relationships; adjusting your management style and your personal style depending on who you are talking to. Whether I’m addressing my Board, meeting students, meeting politicians etc.” As he continues, he begins to think less of the day-to-day difficulties, and more about the personal challenges. “It’s self-inflicted, but managing expectations is also a huge challenge… always encouraging aspiration from staff or students who might not recognise that they have huge potential ability or talent.” He also cites the importance of continually expanding his own social comfort zone. “You can’t evolve as a person without deliberately putting yourself into uncomfortable space. I’m a big believer in that.” So does he feel a personal responsibility for the students themselves? “I feel a massive responsibility for the students. When we have situations where students have gone awry, I always think ‘what could we have done?’ I’m probably too involved and care too much in that respect – but

Top left “I love graduation. This is a real ‘people business’”. Above The £120 million de Havilland Campus: “It was my baby”. Top right Professor Wilson: “I’ve definitely evolved as a person”.

some of that comes from being a parent I suppose. I want the students to be treated how I would want my own children to be treated. I think if you begin there, that’s a pretty good start.” Having given many, many public addresses and industry speeches over the years – sometimes to audiences in their thousands – I’m interested to know if the VC is as comfortable as he looks up there. “Yes, up to a point! I still make mistakes though – and Angela (Martyn – the University’s Head of Advancement and Corporate Affairs) is ruthless! She always tells me when I do!” he laughs. “I always enjoyed lecturing, and rugby coaching helped!” (He was a staff coach for the English Rugby Union team after playing at national level himself). He admits to always being nervous though, even today; “If I had a heart monitor on, it would be racing every time.” And he’s a great believer in ad-libbing during his speeches too – even stepping out of his comfort zone to ad-lib during Graduation for the first time last year. “Leadership speeches that are ad-libbed are far more powerful and passionate – because you can only ad-lib if you really believe what you are saying. You can read something out and not believe it, but…”

And Professor Wilson’s passion is always clear. Which prompts me to ask; if he had to choose… education or rugby? He laughs. “Education. Every time. Rugby is a hobby now – but I still miss it.” Tim Wilson the rugby player emerged when he was five years old, and hung up his boots eleven years ago, when, as he puts it; “the game became faster and I became slower.” He admits that the fire in the belly never fades however – and anyone sitting near him when watching a Saracens game will concur that he’s still “very passionate!” about it. So what does the Tim not many people get to see do to kick-back and relax? “The thing about this job is that there’s never a time when you’re not ‘the Vice-Chancellor’” he explains. “You’re a person, but also a position – and I live in the (Hertfordshire) community, so the only time I’m anonymous is on holiday overseas. And even then I’ve been approached! I’m never ‘off-duty’ – even on a night out.” Venting his competitive spirit on the golf course however (“I still enjoy the fight!”) he says he only really relaxes with people he can trust; “I’m lucky that I have great family and friends.” Amongst his friends, he counts at least five old university mates from

‘people business’ and there’s real satisfaction in seeing how we’ve helped so many people transform their lives. All we can do is set up the mechanism to allow these great moments to happen.” And does one such moment spring to mind? “I will never forget Matthew King, a quadriplegic law student, who insisted on coming up on the stage to collect his award last year… I was nearly in tears.” So after an eventful nineteen years of guiding the University of Hertfordshire in teaching others, I’m curious to find out what the institution has taught Tim Wilson. “I’ve definitely evolved as a person; my context of compassion and understanding has grown enormously from where it was twenty years ago. I’m far more comfortable with who I am, and that brings self-confidence. The University has given me a great platform to do whatever will come next… and I will take whatever skills I have and continue to apply them for the good of people.” But as well as being proud, in

his own alma mater in Reading (one with whom he still meets up with regularly, “and I’ve been his Best Man twice!”) I ask him what he was like an undergrad student himself. “I have to say, I was not a model student! I was a traditional member of the rugby community – let’s just put it like that! It was probably a sign of the times, but I was also very politically active. In the late 1960s, we had Vietnam, apartheid – we were seeing all of the world’s injustices, so people like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela were our heroes of the day.” Following the seven years of Professor Wilson’s leadership, 4 January next year will see a new Vice-Chancellor take the University’s reins, as Professor Quintin McKellar will embark on his maiden voyage down the OVC Corridor on College Lane. Hailing from a successful six year tenure as Principal of the Hertfordshirebased Royal Veterinary College (RVC), Professor McKellar will soon begin working with the VC for the handover process during the course


My context of compassion and understanding has


grown enormously from where it was twenty years ago. of the next few months. So what advice will the Vice-Chancellor give to his successor? “I’ve known him for years” he states, “and I don’t think he needs my advice. Quintin is a professional in his own right, and he will really take the agenda forward. He’s achieved a great deal at the RVC. He’s also a genuinely nice guy.” When I ask what the greatest memories of his time here will be, he admits that there will be many – although the most touching moments he will recall will be from during the ceremonies. “I love graduation. This is a


http://www.herts. our-structure/ key-people/ professor-timwilson.cfm

the grand, continuing history of the University of Hertfordshire, Professor Tim Wilson can also look upon his years as its ViceChancellor with respective humility. “I know Professor McKellar will take the University onto a whole new level – which is the way it should be. I had a vision, and I’ve taken it as far as I can, laid down the foundations, but what would be great is if in a few years people say; ‘you know what? – Tim was good, but look what his successor has done… Quintin has really taken us a long way’. That would be cool. That would be really cool.” fÈ 11


It’s a small world

With our world-wide alumni community continuing to span further and further around the globe, your growing network can now provide support in more countries than ever before. If you haven’t checked to see if a local University of Hertfordshire community exists in your region, what are you waiting for?! (And if there isn’t one – why not start one today?!...) To enable you to get in touch with them, we asked the Founding Presidents of our three most recent International Alumni Chapters to introduce themselves... Kate Bellingham President of the University of Hertfordshire Alumni Association


President: Alexandre Balay I study at the Ecole de Management, Normandie, and I chose to do an exchange program at the University of Hertfordshire which allowed me to gain a double degree. During my exchange year I studied International Business Administration. This permitted me to both enhance my English skills and my knowledge of business. I especially appreciated the fact that Hertfordshire is a modern and dynamic university, which reflected in the daily student life. This was definitely one of the best years of my life and I would recommend it to everyone. Even though I was only in Hertfordshire for a year, I gained a whole wealth of knowledge and skills which will stay with me for a lifetime. I also grew a lot on a personal level. I made myself a whole network of new friends from all over the world and I even managed to get an English girlfriend! After graduating, I went back to Normandie to get my Master’s degree. I have already finished the first year, and am now taking a year out to do a year-long internship in Paris. I never want to forget my time at there and would love to keep in contact with everyone I’ve met. It is for this reason that I have decided to set up this chapter especially for French alumni of the University of Hertfordshire. I am ready to give back to a uni that has given me so much. You can contact me at:


President: Dorothy Conduah Have you ever been asked ‘where did you go to school?’ - only to respond and hear, ‘Oh! Is that in Connecticut?’ Wouldn’t it be nice to connect with those who actually know where the University of Hertfordshire is located? If you are like me somewhere in Middle America, it’s hard to come across those for whom Hertfordshire is near and dear to our hearts. My years at the University were not only educational, but also left me with a lifetime of memories and friends. So what better way to maintain the connections by grounding ourselves in a US chapter of alumni? What a valuable way to network amongst fellow professionals with whom we have something in common. Contact me at and let’s get networking.


President: Ekta Shah My experience at the University of Hertfordshire was fantastic and I’d definitely recommend it to everyone. I studied tourism and the course was amazing. I absolutely think we as the University’s alumni are the best marketers for studying there. And not just for tourism - but any degree. The University has helped us all in one way or the other and I think we can use our experiences to add value to the region, the economy and build our own social network. Have a forum to ponder the past, build the future - and have a laugh and enjoy ourselves! Contact me - it would be great to hear from you.


If you live in one of the following regions, get in touch with us for information about your official Chapter and join your community! BRUNEI CHINA FRANCE GREECE INDIA KENYA MALAYSIA MAURITIUS MIDDLE EAST NIGERIA SOUTH AFRICA THAILAND TRINIDAD USA VIETNAM Also... Our International Office is currently very keen to get in touch with the alumni community in Pakistan, so if you are interested in becoming the Founding President of this new Chapter (or simply joining it once it is launched), please let us know... fÈ 13



R E M SUM s a chance to a w ll a B er m m u e the S As a student her f my exams and the beginning o celebrate the end ee summer holiday, but on t fr of an assignmen descended upon the most I the 28 May 2010 of the University calendar year t anticipated even ut as an alumnus. Hosted at b not as a student, y Forum (and the re-vamped in the brand new sh e Summer Ball 2010 being hailed th ear’ I had to y e Elehouse), with th f o t en ev t e nd bes as the ‘biggest a tly what was being offered by th ac see for myself ex und… aro UHSU this time

Photography: Dan Hubbert



nshine, ummer: glorious su e… and ad on lem d an Pimms ordshire rtf the University of He ed ter en I As Summer Ball. I us mp ca ne La the College a th wi t was immediately me d an sic familiar buzz of mu . Walking chattering students mper bu the , es past the rid bright th wi t en nm tai ter car en rger bu sy lights, and the grea esent pr re we r be ich I remem wh s ite uis req ple vans – sta s stood outside summer ball – I wa ar ye al fin n ow at my -cry from the s undoubtedly a far r The Forum. This wa er balls. The familia at previous summ of l ful w outside marquees no s n of The Forum wa contemporary desig and enjoying chatting, laughing nts de stu d se res ll-d we ing’s music waiting for the even themselves whilst . And what gin in the auditorium entertainment to be s promising to be. entertainment it wa Girls Aloud, luding Supergrass, With past acts inc adliners at my oster (who were he Kate Nash and Ro owcased music this year’s event sh first Summer Ball),

Main and inset Florence and the Machine headline the first Ball at the Forum



from 2010 Brit Award winning act Florence and the Above The Pigeon Machine,* and number one artists Tinie Tempah and Dectectives The Pigeon Detectives. Once I had made it nearer Inset Tinie the front of the main stage, squeezing past tuxes and Tempah gowns enveloping a couple of thousand screaming students, I was awed by the performers and how The Forum naturally reminded me of world-class arenas, such as the 02 in London. As a past student I felt proud to be an alum of a University that could attract such world-class performers to its biggest, most exclusive event of the year – a view shared by fellow alum Tarquin Stephenson. Some of you may remember Tarquin as UHSU President in 2004/05 – now a Deputy Students Activities and Development Officer at the University of Essex. And as a guest coming back to enjoy the occasion, he was was duly impressed: “The Summer Ball at The Forum is bigger and better than it ever was at The Font – and it offers great new facilities – but for me the Summer Balls at The Font have history, just as this year’s at The Forum will create memories for the http://florenceand 2010 graduates.”



Whilst watching the entertainers on stage I also felt a pang of nostalgia for The Font – which proudly presented the Ball in my three years at here. The cramped, sticky-floored rooms of The Font were now replaced by a huge arena with a balcony view onto the stage – undeniably the perfect setting for the biggest and best Summer Ball in the University’s history. Leaving the arena in-between performances I was intrigued by the huge range of entertainment on offer and I courageously took part in a round of crazy golf and got a free dose of pure oxygen at the Oxygen Bar. If there was one thing that hadn’t changed over the years, it was the mass of entertainment available all night. So did the Summer Ball at The Forum live up to the hype and provide its money’s worth? Ultimately, yes, there were world-class acts in the brand new and improved facilities, plenty of entertainment both on and off stage – and above all, memories that the 2010 alums of the University of Hertfordshire will undoubtedly cherish for years to come. fÈ


University of Hertfordshire



of the year

The wait is over! In amongst the impressive array of worthy nominations, it was a tough job, but the recipient of our first Alumnus of the Year Award has been chosen. And instrumental in the launch of the annual award was fellow alumnus and Advisory Board member, Nigel Gates – so naturally, we asked Nigel to write the first official announcement for Futures... , British General Manager, Corporate Planning t and Chief iden Pres -74; Caledonian Airways 1970 er Aircraft, Fokk of n) irma Cha rly (latte Executive Officer the by up set ds) was h erlan Neth The sub-committee, whic USA (a subsidiary of Fokker Aircraft, the ider cons to rd Officer Boa sory utive Advi Exec f on Alumni Associati 1974-1994; and President and Chie nus of the Alum first y’s ersit 7. Univ -200 the for 1994 n ons datio nominati of the Flight Safety Foun its decision g of awards Year award, is pleased to announce Sir Stuart has been awarded a strin of all the et Medal, Cad Air the de inclu e following a very careful consideration Thes s. year over the subthe that nus alum Air The and . s ived Pilot nominations rece Cumberbatch Trophy (Guild of Air the award met best orary sly Hon imou rd, unan Awa ty ded deci Safe e tle committe Navigators), Sir Frank Whit le Ridd ry Emb the by d ferre (con criteria is Sir Stuart Matthews. tion Doctorate in Avia and ical naut o aero (Aer an d’Or was s aille Sir Stuart Matthew Aviation University, Florida), Grand Med eld Hatfi the at al ent Med stud tion ing Avia e neer mechanical engi Club de France), and both the Stat y of Federation). Technical College (one of the Universit and the Sukhoi Gold Medal (Russian ns) from 1953 Netherlands in the of en Que the Hertfordshire’s predecessor institutio by He was knighted ran and ded foun rt Stua eld, of one hundred to 1958. Whilst at Hatfi 1994 (for his achievement of the sale ign Fore the and Club Jazz $5 billion, the the over iety, at the Music Soc and fifty Fokker airliners, valued member of the der foun a ived in was rece He . ever r Club s orde rt uage Lang largest commercial expo i light aircraft group of students that built the Turb the Netherlands). ). Before Kathleen which first flew in 1958 (and is still flying Sir Stuart Matthews and his wife Lady ol, scho at t cade air an as The . and USA eld, arriving at Hatfi Matthews live in Arlington, Virginia, Scholarship. He g Flyin RAF Stuart an Sir rded that s awa hope was rt Stua y of Hertfordshire d the RAFVR as Universit first UH very the pt acce to sed gained his Private Pilot’s Licence, joine plea Matthews will be and ) VR(T RAF d ione miss r.” com mate alma a Cadet Pilot, was later Alumnus of the Year Award from his ets. Cad Air RAF to ng he taught glidi an illustrious After leaving Hatfield, Sir Stuart had aviation the in er care and influential fifty-three year airline in tions posi or seni industry. Sir Stuart held nal natio inter and g turin ufac man aft rd operating, aircr Alumni Association Advisory Boa : were e thes bly nota t Mos . tions nisa orga aviation

Above 1954; Stuart Matthews with a de Havilland Tiger Moth plane Left Sir Stuart Matthews in front of the statue of Geoffrey de Havilland on the College Lane campus

“Fellow alumni,

Nigel Gates


Do you know a potential Alumnus of the Year 2011? Although there can only be one eventual “winner”, the sub-committee would like to make it very clear that all the nominations it received were of excellent quality and that those whose nominations were unsuccessful this time around should certainly not be discouraged. Indeed, the sub-committee would encourage them to renominate their alumnus in another year. If you would like to nominate a deserving individual for the Alumnus of the Year Award 2011, look out for the official launch in e-Futures and on the alumni website soon... fÈ 19





What do people do with degrees?

Do you want to try something completely different? Many people begin on one career path and then consider moving into a different area or field. Graduate Futures has many resources to support and guide you through this process. A selection of the career change books we have available in the MacLaurin building are listed below. You can come and consult these resources at any time during our opening hours. Green, Graham (2008) The career change handbook: how to find out what you’re good at and enjoy – then get someone to pay you for it. How to Books

Ever wondered what all the people you studied alongside went on to do? How many people stayed local to Hertfordshire? Did many go onto further study? What salary were the people on your course earning after they graduated?

Johnstone, Judith (2006) Planning a career change. How to Books

Stein, Marky (2005) Fearless career change: the fast track to a career in a new field. McGraw-Hill


You might also want to take some inspiration from some of the autobiographies that we have available. Bannatyne, Duncan (2008) Wake up and change your life. Orion Books

ach year, every university is required to survey every student who has achieved a higher education qualification. This is called the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. It details what graduates are doing on a specific day six months after graduation.

Branson, Richard (2008) Business stripped bare: adventures of a global entrepreneur. Virgin Books Meaden, Deborah (2009) Common sense rules: what you really need to know about business.

of Hertfordshire is the biggest local employer of graduates, followed by Hertfordshire County Council. Most graduates enter larger companies (250+ employees). Participation in voluntary work has increased to 1.22% (0.73% last year). If you are looking for ideas of what people studying in your subject area have gone into, have a look at our website and search for ‘Where do our graduates go’ – or the Prospects website and search for ‘What do graduates do’.



Searching for a job


At the beginning of 2010 Graduate Futures, the University of Hertfordshire’s graduate jobs and careers network completed the DLHE survey. We have one of the largest graduating populations to survey and are pleased to announce that we received a staggering 87.8% response rate. If you answered a phone call, email or postal form then you contributed to DLHE so a big thank you. From your answers, the following trends emerged: Location: Most of our graduates opted to work in the East, followed by London and the South East. Thirty graduates were working overseas in countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the Irish Republic. Sourcing vacancies: 15% surveyed reported that they had previously worked at the company they are now employed by. 10% found their vacancy by looking at the employers’ website and nearly 9% had a personal contact or used networking to find their vacancy. Remuneration: The average salary band stands at between £20,000 and £24,999. Employers: After the NHS and London Probation service, The University

The statistics presented here show a snapshot of full time, UK graduate destinations. However, not everyone is sure what they want to do post graduation and some graduates, even those in the most established careers, wish to change direction from a chosen path. Graduate Futures is here to support you with all your career planning and employability needs. We offer a lifetime service, with no charge for up to two years after graduation. If you are looking for employment at the moment, try the University’s jobs vacancy board: JobsNetPlus To find out more about Graduate Futures and our services to you, email us on or call +44 (0)1707 284791.

Beth Roberts


Course: Business Studies Graduated: 2009 Current position: Conference and Events Organiser

Where are you now? In brief, I plan the events and organise the large conferences hosted by the company I work for. My job involves arranging speaker liaison, supplier management, venue searching, catering and exhibitor co-ordination. Originally I was hired as ‘Events Co-ordinator’ but was promoted after 10 months. How did you get the job? The role was advertised on JobsNetPlus a few weeks before my final exams. I decided to apply because it was an events-based role and because I’m really organised! During my Business Studies degree at the University of Hertfordshire I did a placement year and I believe this experience helped me stand out of the crowd and secure a graduate job. In what ways do you feel your academic and social life at University of Hertfordshire have helped you get on in your career to date? I gained a real insight into the world of business through my course itself. The biggest advantage I gained was completing a placement year. I jumped at the chance. The experience helped me to develop my strengths, identify any weaknesses and highlight what I didn’t want to do as a career. It helped my work ethic in the final year and was a chance to put theory into practice. I also worked parttime as a Student Ambassador which helped me to develop my time-management skills. So where are you going? What are your future plans for you career? Although I am happy at the organisation I currently work for, looking ahead, I would like to advance in my events career. I would also like to do a qualification in Event Planning. fÈ 21



Support the future... ...give to the University’s Diamond Scholarship Fund


urses, Teachers, Artists, Paramedics, Researchers, Environmentalists, Writers, Musicians, Engineers… our students are our future and as a former student yourself, you have the opportunity to help shape their lives for the better… To celebrate the 60th birthday of the University – which was first established as Hatfield Technical College in 1952 - the Diamond Scholarship Fund has been set

up to support talented individuals who are capable of changing the world in which we live… for the better. Our aim is to raise £1m by 2012 to kick-start a fund to offer financial support to help our most committed and promising students to be the best that they can be. It’s easy to give… just fill in the form below and as a donor to the University you will be invited to special events and receive letters of thanks from the students you have helped.

 University of Hertfordshire Diamond Scholarship Fund Donation Form Ref no:

(see back page)



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


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


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.

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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

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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

“To be honest, I’d never watched the show before and I didn’t know who Davina McCall was!” After 10 years of rampantly taking over our screens and pop-culture consciousness, 2010 sees Channel 4 present it’s eleventh and final UK series of the mother of all reality TV shows. At the time of writing, it has just begun to air (‘Day 5, 10.24am...’), so 12 months after one of last year’s most memorable contestants entered the house himself, Futures asks alumnus Sree Dasari if Big Brother is still watching him...


n the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” In 1968, when Andy Warhol made his now much-quoted prediction on the all-pervading nature of fame in the decades to come, he can only have been referring to one thing. Big Brother*. Since its prodigious introduction to the annals of popular culture at the turn of the new millennium, the show (in which a generous handful of complete strangers from all walks of life are thrown together in a purpose-built house and filmed 24/7 throughout the summer, in isolation...) has spawned a multimedia-hyped, globe-spanning franchise of regional versions for the whole world to voyeuristically ogle. It made a national TV icon of presenter Davina McCall, reinvigorated an interest in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (from which the show takes its name) and arguably, has also been the single biggest 23



catalyst for the modern-day obsession with the much-loved/equally maligned beast that is ‘reality TV’. This seemingly unquenchable thirst for settling down on the sofa and drinking-in the ordinary person doing... well, ordinary things, has not only become a societal norm for millions of TV viewers the world over – but it has also served to re-define the very nature of ‘celebrity’. Within one single opening show, Big Brother contestants are duly launched into an aggressive


Even in my dreams I thought I was still being filmed...


tabloid-frenzy, the likes of which is usually reserved for more seasoned individuals. The instantaneous ‘zero to hero’ factor bestowed upon the show’s oh-so-lucky chosen ones is one of its most fascinating traits; literally placing them among the most recognisable people in the country overnight (and by first name alone!). How readily do we recall Craig? Nikki? Pete? Ziggy? Nadia? Chanelle? Or Brian? (either of them!) The term ‘famous for being famous’ has never been used more than in recent years – particularly in the wake of each ‘BB’ series, when “ex-Housemates” are routinely booked for ‘special guest appearances’ here, there and quite literally everywhere... It’s a circumstance that precious few have found themselves in, and the majority of us can only broadly speculate on. So when Sree Dasari found himself walking into the Big Brother house last summer, it was one experience the international student hadn’t exactly banked on when he came to Hertfordshire from India to study business. As a ‘BB Housemate’, he was noted early on for being one of the most outspoken and unpredictable members of the group – often causing friction in the house accidentally, simply through misjudged comments, or backfiring practical jokes. But he really caught the public/media’s attention by being the first of many housemates to fall under the hypnotic spell of Irish belle, Noirin. When Sree was evicted, his relationship with his fellow contestant was the hot topic for uncomfortable scrutiny – although at that point, noone could have predicted that Noirin’s siren-call would become the story of the series. As the subsequent weeks unfurled, she systematically entranced a whole string of male and female admirers – each professing their deep love for her in one big summer-long romantic tragedy. It was as fascinating as a car crash to watch – and Sree was retrospectively off the hook. Already well-known around campus from his ‘Super Sree’ campaign to become Student Union President – this mere sniff of localised fame was nothing compared to the attention he received when he returned from his tenure on the show. After the necessary hiatus to 24

adjust back to ‘normal life’, despite the addition of an impressively full-beard and requisite shades, Sree began to be spotted moving around the University grounds by eagle-eyed ‘BB’ fans. Even the classic disguise couldn’t prevent him featuring in an increasing number of on-the-spot photos... all hitting the internet via the mobile phones of beaming students with an arm or two around him. But any initial hesitance to accept his new found glory was short-lived – and before returning to India to work a few months later, a newly groomed Sree soon embraced his hero status on campus with aplomb. His Facebook ‘friends’ are in the thousands (even more than my teenage sister-in-law, which is impressive in its own right...), and the ‘wall’ on his profile page is still constantly awash with messages of adoration. One year later, and the continuing effects of ‘BB’ fame are as fascinating a social experiment as the programme itself. Can you ever just go back to ‘normal’ life after something like this? Knowing somebody who’s been through such a unique and intense experience, we took the opportunity to find out...

The Futures eviction interview... Q Sree – so what made you apply for Big Brother? A Well, my friend Lee (ENT’s Manager for the Forum) watched the show in the UK, and when Shilpa Shetty (Bollywood actress from India) participated in it, it was so popular in India due to the Racism allegations involving another housemate (R.I.P Jade Goody). So to find out more, I researched the UK ‘BB’ show – through YouTube clippings and by reading George Orwell’s book, 1984 etc. – and finally I found the open auditions date and where they were taking place etc. and decided to go along... Q What was the audition process like? A The audition was held on Feb 2nd 2009 at Excel Arena O2. More than 10,000 people attended just on that day. Some people from the production team were interviewing people in the queue, and they asked me quite simple questions like ‘where are you from?’, ‘How did you hear about the BB auditions?’ etc. In first round they selected only a few people – and I was not one of them and was quite upset. But then we were told that those were actually the people that were not selected! – and I was happy to get to the second stage. Then I knew it was genuine by filling in nearly 100 pages in a questionnaire, and I came back home that day. After 14 days I got a call from the production team, asking me to take part in various activities, like a face to face interview, group games and team building exercises etc. Around May 15th 2009 I got a ‘Big Pack’ from the BB team. Also I got a call from them saying that I am

going on holiday (to Cumbria, Lake District) for 20 days which is called ‘hiding’ with two producers – and they kidnapped me! It was an amazing experience actually. Finally I got a call from the Boss of BB on 2nd June 2009, who confirmed that I was one of the Housemates for the UK Big Brother – series 10.

Right The big mother of all presenters: “It made a national TV icon of presenter Davina McCall”

Q How did you feel when they told you that you were going into the house? A So excited and happy. I felt proud because it was another opportunity to represent my country – as the first male Indian to have entered into the house. Moreover I felt proud as the Student Union President from the University. Like I’ve always said, my motto is: “I am not only an Indian – I want to be a citizen of the world”. Q Just how hard was it being cooped up with 15 strangers for that long? A Well, as a foreign citizen everyone was a stranger to me when I entered into the UK, and I made sure I maintained good rapport with everyone in University as you know very well. So because of this, it didn’t make it hard for me to live with 15 strangers in the BB house. Q I’m sure there are millions of people who have imagined what it might be like to walk into the house, take part in the tasks, be interviewed by Davina etc. Was the experience as you expected it to be? A To be honest, I’d never watched the show before and I didn’t know who Davina McCall was! Before I entered the house I’d only seen her in some YouTube clips of previous shows. Also, I never expected that many people will be watching. Q How aware of the cameras were you? Did you simply forget they were there after a while? A Yes, I felt very strange with that many cameras all over the house, but to be realistic we are used to living with CCTV’s everyday in our daily life and I always try to ignore them. Q Did you still feel like you were being filmed all the time for a while when you came out? A Yeah! I did feel (like I was being filmed) a lot after I was evicted from the house – and I was always thinking that I was still there with everyone. Even in my dreams I thought I was still being filmed etc. It took me about 3 months to get back to feeling like a ‘normal person’ – and now I am back in India I still sometimes dream about the BB house. Q You famously clashed with quite a few of the housemates during your time on the show! What


An historic broadcasting spectacle (the final episode of the first UK series was watched by 10 million people) it’s been the main topic of conversation at office watercoolers every summer of the last decade. MTV’s Real World is credited with being the first incarnation of this kind (which began airing to a niche, predominantly teenaudience in 1992), but since first hitting screens in the Netherlands in 1999 – then exploding world-wide a year later – Big Brother’s broad, simple, non-discriminatory appeal has been the very archetype of a TV phenomenon.





face to facebook

INTERNATIONAL SIBLINGS Clockwise from top The Australian Big Brother house... a billboard for the show in the Czech Republic... celebrating the winner on a season finale in Israel.

Due to the wonders of modern technology – the cyber revolution that over the last few years has become as commonplace in many of our daily lives as getting dressed in the morning – these days we get the chance to meet and chat to generations of our alums from all around the world every single day. So with the promise of immortalising your little square profile pics in a more traditional form of media, we asked all those of you on our official Facebook page to post something up about your time here! And this is what you said...

Q What did your family and friends think of the whole experience? A In my family only my Dad new that I was going into the house, and later on my Mum did as well. They have always given me full choice of freedom since my childhood – and moreover they do trust me a lot so, it’s an experience to them also. I treat them as my living god’s because they have given me life and social status. Regarding my friends – they were all really shocked when they watched me on the show!

do you remember as being the worst argument/ incident for you? A *Laughs* Arguments are evitable in our daily life – with friends, housemates and with family – so, it was quite obvious (it was going to happen) in the house too. Especially the ‘Garlic argument’ with Freddie… and with Marcus about him mimicking my accent… and finally with Noirin regarding the missing alcohol. Q When you came out of the house, much of the focus was obviously on your relationship with Noirin. You’re obviously not the first guy to have been disarmed by a beautiful girl – but most are not on camera 24/7 when it happens! How did you deal with the scrutiny you received afterwards? A To be frank with you guys, I totally noticed Noirin’s (real) character the day before I got evicted – because she is a manipulative person, her attitude ruined so many people in the house. I never focused on her after I left the house.

Q So one year on, has Big Brother changed you? Has it had a big effect on your life? A Yes, Big Brother changed me a lot with (people recognising) my name and fame etc. Sometimes it makes me uncomfortable, in having privacy with personal things like having a relationship, clubbing and partying etc. But of course, it has had a big effect on my life. Q What are you doing now? A At the moment, I am living in India, enjoying hot summer with 45 degree temperatures! I am working as an Assistant Professor for the Communication Skills department at my local university in India. Also, I am planning to come back to the UK again to do my research methodology course soon.

Q Are you still in contact with anyone from the house? Is there a particular housemate you’ve stayed very close to? A Yes I do still contact a lot of the other housemates – Beinazir, Lisa, Sophie, Rodrigo, Kris, Charlie, Saffia… But the people I contact most are Lisa, Charlie, Saffia, Beinazir and Rodrigo. Q Was it a surreal experience watching yourself on the show when you got home? A It wasn’t a surreal experience seeing myself on TV or Google or YouTube, because since childhood I’ve participated in many TV and school programs in India. 26



Q And finally, do you regret your decision to go on the show at all? A No I’ve never regretted my decision regarding going into the BB house. Can I just say, thanks for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be in Futures, and a message to all my Sree Fans – hope you are all doing well! I am missing you all here in India and hope to come back soon! Till then... Sree u later x x x x fÈ 27



Maxine Bromyard

It gave me a degree, a career, a husband and many memories both good and bad! Working all night in the Computer Centre - no PCs in those days! (1979) Oh and all night drinking in the cricket club.

Lisa Syne 89-92 happy days. the shock of finding myself in Pembroke Hall, noisy as hell, boiling in summer / freezing in winter! At least it was near the Fo nt

DEBBIE SAWYER Added so much more to my life than just a Degree.

Manu Misra

University was an experience - from the first day nervousness to the hurried all nighters at the LRC followed by a refectory breakfast waiting for the assignment submission desk to open! Besides academic learning, 4 years of mental and intellectual development into a person who “Seeks Knowledge Throughout Life”.

Kristine Liv ‘05-’08. Fantastic!

Js Lloyd

grad 2003 -met people I would not normally meet. Was at Wall Hall - beautiful place. BEd QTS. Now a school leader hoping to become a Headteacher in Egypt for 2011. Enjoyed my 4 year degree and teaching placements. Thanks Alumni.

John D Brownlie 1966-1969 excellent. Best university in the universe!

Susie Winter mazing time a n a d a H . 1 9 9 1 to 8 8 9 1 egree at the d t en ec d a t go en ev d an end of it.

Frances Noble 19961999, best years of my life...!! Janette Marshall 1996-1999 fabulous! Then again 2003 -2006... 28

Suandi Andy fond memories... working late in the LRC De Havilland Campus doing assignments. Playing badminton at the Sport Village, staying late in the comfort hostel, Adelham Hall....doing Sunday Marketing at the St. Albans Market. Time passes really fast... I miss those days!

Stella Butt Applied Biology 71 76 - probably patchy!!!!

Jay Mick 2006 - 2010. Wish I could do it again.

Duncan Smith 1976-1980. Ace!! Cindy Bernard An experience I will not soon forget, which produced excellent results, a university I’ll recommend to anyone ... btw I do! all nighters at CTS, my first taste of red bull ... I literally saw stars, lol. The coursework increased my interest in networking and software development.

Find us on FACEBOOK! ‘The University of Hertfordshire Alumni Association’

Rebecca Siu-Ying Liu 2003-2006. Best years of my life.

Dafni Deva Milioni Held the space for the most amazing course: Dramatherapy! That literal space doesn’t exist anymore (the old British Aerospace building that was brought down), but in our hearts, of course!

Imran Ali best time at university... was great

Darren Barsby 1991-95. Golden years!! fÈ 29


Blue-sky guidance From reuniting a WWII airplane Beacon with its spiritual home, to helping a graduate launch his entrepreneurial future, this issue we look at two examples of how the Enterprise and Business Services Team are helping both individuals and community projects soar...


Helping to guide the beacon home

Satpal Kaur Bassan reports on the University of Hertfordshire community project that’s returning the favour to one of the aviation industry’s guiding lights…


“The University has helped me progress from an initial stage of having a business idea to a phase where I am now just a few months away from running my own business.”


The programmes run by the Enterprise Events team enable aspiring entrepreneurs to transform their business ideas into well constructed credible business plans. These go on to become real businesses that provide valuable services in the marketplace.

tudent, Alexander Bracq, is one such individual that has benefited from our enterprise programmes. When Alexander entered the Flare business ideas challenge, his business, Go2clubs was only an idea. He had no concrete plan of how to transform the idea into the viable business he dreamt it could be. Attending the enterprise workshops, business advisory sessions and the Flare bootcamp provided him with the knowledge and skills he needed to write a good business plan, and consequently a credible platform to approach potential sponsors and partners with. ‘I always knew that I wanted to run my own business and work for myself but like any other business in life, I came across hurdles. Attending the enterprise initiatives such as Enterprise Wednesday and Enterprise Spotlight helped me overcome these obstacles by providing me with relevant and useful workshops and information. These included ‘how to write a business plan’, ‘Finances for Business’ and listening to successful entrepreneur speakers which helped to revitalise my passion and kept me motivated in pushing forward with my business idea. These events helped me to further understand and develop my concepts of the business and what is involved in creating and running a successful business. One of the most valuable and helpful events that helped me develop my business idea into a fully viable business, was Flare. Flare acted as a driving force for me and enabled me to speed up the process of my business by accomplishing specific tasks such as completing by business plan by a set date.’ Alexander was one of the 2010 Flare finalists, his business idea Go2clubs aims to provide students with much needed night entertainment options. Backed with sponsorship from strategic partners providing Go2clubs’ clientele with attractive freebies, free and safe transportation Discover how the to venues and no entrance fee, Go2clubs is set to take Enterprise and student experience to a new level of fun. Alexander Business Services Team can help you today. received an honorary award from Julie Meyer, a Visit leading champion for entrepreneurship in Europe for businessservices, email his performance at the flare finals. Go2clubs will be or call launched in September 2010 during fresher’s week and +44 (0)1707 286406 Alexander can be contacted at for and speak to one of our further information about Go2clubs.

expert advisers.


Opposite page Alexander Bracq receiving his award from Julie Meyer Inset ‘The Beacon will be a public monument’

alking around the de Havilland Campus there are signs of the historic aerodrome that once occupied the land: the openness and even the name are reminiscent of the legacy that will always remain akin with the University of Hertfordshire. After all, the campus (which opened in 2003) was named after Geoffrey de Havilland – founder of the de Havilland Aircraft Company in Hatfield which produced the first passenger jet. As an alumus with memories of living and studying at the de Havilland Campus I was intrigued to find out more about the University’s Heritage Lottery Fund Grant which is helping raise funds to bring a piece of history back to the campus. The £37,000 grant received in 2009 is being used for the de Havilland Aerodrome Reminiscence Project which aims to preserve the history of the de Havilland campus by repairing and re-siting the last remaining pre-World War 2 beacon (those lights that helped pilots find their way back to base before the use of radars). The project also aims to raise a total of £50,000 towards the cause. So why do this now and not place the Beacon in an aviation museum for example? The Beacon will be a public monument to the contribution Hatfield and its people have given to Britain’s aviation industry - presenting a focal point for the achievements of the community. The Beacon also provides a unique opportunity for the University to give something back to the people of Hatfield. The University’s Professor Owen Davies, who is leading the project, says that “We have had a fantastic response to the project and it has already brought a lot of local people together and begun the process of giving residents, students, local businesses and former employees a shared appreciation of the heritage of the area.”

Alongside the grant, the University has managed to raise funds from the generosity of local Hatfield companies including Porsche, David Lloyd and the Galleria. So how will this money be used? The University will be launching an exhibition in conjunction with the Digswell Arts Trust which will showcase the multi-media work of local schoolchildren and students, and will focus not only on the history of the site, but its present and future. Or - if you are more the outdoors type - perhaps you would be interested in taking a walk along the forthcoming heritage trail? Either way, the diversity of planned projects will ensure the legacy of the aerodrome is securely embedded in both the University and the local community. Who knows, maybe next time you visit the de Havilland site you will have a chance to see a preWW2 beacon proudly standing in the grounds it was constructed on? If you are interested in being involved in the project or would like to contribute to the fund to bring the Beacon back home, please email or call +44 (0)1707 285887. fÈ



How Hatfield survived the Black Death and other Hertfordshire stories Welcome to the section of Futures devoted to the activities of University of Hertfordshire Press, the University’s publishing company. We publish books in a number of different subject areas. This issue’s focus is on History, including our imprint, Hertfordshire Publications, devoted to the history of Hertfordshire.


ost of us would probably have a rather romantic idea of a ‘deserted village’, imagining the medieval equivalent of a ghost town, perhaps with some tumbledown cottages and a picturesque church ruin. In some cases, such as the deserted village of Layston near Buntingford, in the north of Hertfordshire, the church has survived, but in many other instances there is very little left to see, unless there are ancient scars in the landscape visible only from the air. There are dozens of deserted villages and hamlets in Hertfordshire, as elsewhere in Great Britain, and the explanation of how they came to be abandoned is fascinating. Until relatively recently, many historians doubted the existence of all but a few deserted villages and could not agree on the reasons for their desertion. It was only after a group of respected historians, including the great W G Hoskins (author of The Making of the English Landscape), went on a field trip in 1948 to look at deserted villages in Leicestershire that the phenomenon began to gain credibility more widely. Also joining the field trip was another historian, Maurice Beresford, who 32

went on to write the seminal book on this subject, The Lost Villages of England. Beresford also pioneered the use of aerial photography which brought many more abandoned sites to light. At first deserted villages were thought to have been an exclusively medieval phenomenon, brought about by the terrible onslaught of famine and plague, but a new book published by UH Press, Deserted Villages Revisited, suggests that in

Above Illustration of the Black Death from the Toggenburg Bible (1411)

fact it is part of the normal ebb and flow of society for settlements to shrink as well as grow at all periods. Sometimes villages and hamlets also move location, as was the case with the old village of Stevenage which relocated closer to the Great North Road some time between the Saxon and Medieval periods in order to make the most of the passing trade. Stevenage also absorbed the Saxon villages of Boxbury, Wollenwick and Chells, the latter

surviving only as the name of a district in Stevenage New Town (founded in 1946). Other settlements simply withered away, finally reaching a critical point when there were no longer enough residents to keep a place going as a community: in medieval times ploughing was a shared responsibility, so if there were no longer enough people to plough the fields, that could sound the death knell for a village or hamlet and force the last few families to relocate. The closing down of the alehouse or chapel could also be the final straw. Later, a village could perish if the lord of the manor enclosed the land around it so that his sheep could graze, thus forcing the inhabitants out. From the thirteenth century onwards, Britain’s growing population was forced to cultivate marginal land and it was increasingly difficult for everyone to be adequately fed. By about 1300, many villages were struggling. Add to already difficult circumstances a sequence of terrible harvests thanks to freak weather conditions, plus devastating outbreaks of ‘murrain’ in sheep and cattle (thought to have been either anthrax or foot and mouth disease) and the stage was set for famine in the early part of the century. Large areas of land in Hertfordshire fell fallow, including the greater part of Hatfield parish. When the Black Death reached epidemic levels in 1348, death rates hit unprecedented levels. Exact figures for deaths in Hertfordshire are not known although most historians estimate that, nationally, mortality rates were around one-third of the population (a St Alban’s monk recorded that the plague had ‘halved all flesh’).

Further reading... If you’re interested in the early history of Hertfordshire, check out The Origins of Hertfordshire (due out in September 2010, £16.99, by Tom Williamson of University of East Anglia. This book looks at how the landscape of the county influenced the development of its settlements from late prehistoric times to the thirteenth century. Hertfordshire is unusual in having no single dominant city. A County of Small Towns has chapters on Hertford and Ware, St Albans, Hitchin, Watford, Ashwell, Barnet and Berkhamsted plus essays on wider aspects of Hertfordshire’s urban history, £16.99. To discover more about how Europe’s peasants coped in the wake of the plague, read Agriculture and Rural Society after the Black Death (£18.99), which includes essays on issues such as depopulation and social conflict. Detailed studies of British regions look at the use of land, the organisation of trade and the cohesion of village society, amongst other issues. UH Press has published a comprehensive history of Hertfordshire’s great parks. There are two books: Medieval Parks of Hertfordshire by Anne Rowe and Parks in Hertfordshire since 1500 by Hugh Prince. Between them, these volumes give a detailed history from the eleventh century to the present day.

Ironically, the Black Death actually relieved some of the pressure on land and, because there were fewer of them left, labourers could command higher wages and even start to demand some rights. But the continued presence of plague into the fifteenth century caused further population decline; a spate of deserted villages date from that century. In the end, Hatfield may have been saved from complete obliteration by the fact that the land it lay on was second-rate and had not already been farmed for centuries: villages in the fertile north-east of the county had already suffered over-population and the exhaustion of the land and were much more prone to desertion. In those areas, the Black Death often finished off

Deserted Villages Revisited, edited by Christopher Dyer and Richard Jones, is out now, price £14.99.

ailing settlements but, happily for us, Hatfield survived. Deserted villages continue to exert a sense of melancholy and mystery even if the reality is often less evocative. It has become much easier to search for evidence of deserted villages since the advent of Google Earth and Google Maps: you can scour the fields for traces of vanished buildings and tracks from the comfort of your desk. Archaeological investigations of deserted villages are also especially valuable because they are free from the evidence of later periods. Why not go online now and see if you can find one no one has spotted before? For more information on all UH Press books visit fÈ 33



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... Nicki Combarro (nee Smith)

Year Graduated: 1996 Course studied: BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy Current Employer: Bodybalance Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic Ltd Area: Hertfordshire I qualified in 1996 in the first cohort of Physiotherapists from the University and have maintained professional links with the University ever since. My initial employment was with the NHS where for five years I focused on musculoskeletal physiotherapy, including outpatient clinics, orthopaedic wards, specialist burns and hand rehabilitation unit and hydrotherapy. After completing my MSc in Sports Injuries in 2002 I left the NHS and went to work for the MOD at RAF Halton for three years as a civilian physiotherapist. In 1999 Bodybalance Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic was established. With the move to the Hertfordshire Sports Village facilities in August 2003 and the more recent expansion into the Sports Performance and Development Centre, the clinic has continued to grow and offering services to the students, staff and wider community. I am also a Consultant Physiotherapist for the English Institute of Sport treating Elite International athletes within the East Region. Over the past eight years I have been fortunate enough to be part of a variety of major sporting events including the Commonwealth Games, Manchester 2002 and Melboure 2006, World University Games in South Korea 2003 and Turkey 2005 and in September I am flying out to New Delhi as part of Team England for the Commonwealth Games 2010.


Autumn 2010 Highlights

Izzy Hussain

Dan Green

Year Graduated: 2007 Course studied: BSc (Hons) Sports Studies with Business Current Employer: Holiday Comparisons/University of Hertfordshire Business School Area: Hertfordshire I was employed by the University straight after I had finished my studies, and currently work within the Business School. Using entrepreneurial skills I gained while studying, working and travelling, I am about to launch my own company Holiday Comparisons online. The business is the result of months of website development and liaison with top UK tour operators including Virgin, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Expedia and over one hundred others. Essentially this is the UK’s largest database of holidays and lets the user find any holiday with one simple search based on the customer-preferred criteria. The site is due to be launched officially at the end of July, and I am now developing a series of online short films to promote the business through viral networks.

Where are you now?

UHArts and Galleries Programme


Write in and let us know what you’ve been up to since graduation! Email your profile to: or write to us at: Development and Alumni, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB. Please remember to include a good quality photo! fÈ

Year Graduated: 2008 Course studied: MA Marketing Current Employer: Forum Hertfordshire/University of Hertfordshire Students’ Union Area: Hertfordshire My Master’s degree at the University of Hertfordshire was in marketing – somewhat daunting at the time, as I’d switched from a legal background. I like to think that a combination of some fantastic tutors, being a little cheeky (my classmates remember this fondly... I hope) and doing something that I was passionate about helped shape the direction of my career. On graduation I worked for the (University) Business School’s Graduate Consulting Unit - a pioneering consultancy unit. I subsequently went over to the Students’ Union in time for the launch of the Forum – a £38 million entertainments venue open to students and the public. If you haven’t attended an event at the Forum, the best way of describing the venue is a bit like watching an episode of Glee – you’re not sure where it came from but it’s pretty darn amazing. I primarily focus on the public side of the marketing, which ranges on a day-to-day basis from the promotions for an upcoming gig (Black Eyed Peas, Blondie, Florence and the Machine the list is pretty endless), writing out a sponsorship bid or general PR – to working with design agencies, developing links with community groups and local businesses and even jumping the A1 roundabout barrier to put up an event banner (very occasionally and with caution of course).

Image: Persepolis, Courtesy of BFI

Friday 10 September – Saturday 16 October

Friday 3 December 6.00pm

(Visual Arts) Kiss Kiss Kill Kill: The Graphic Art and Forgotten Spy Films of Cold War Europe

(Theatre) Farm Boy

Sunday 10 October 7.30pm

(Visual Arts) Open Exhibition 2010

(Music) de Havilland Philharmonic

Wednesday 13 October – Saturday 20 November (Visual Arts) Taking Time: Craft and the Slow Revolution

Tuesday 16 October 6.00pm (Film) Suspira

Saturday 30 October 7.30pm (Theatre) Crocosmia

Tuesday 2 November 7.00pm (Film) Bad Film Club: Troll 2

Sunday 7 November 3.30pm (Music) Stories from the Ballet: A Children’s Classical Concert

Sunday 21 November 1.00pm, 3.00pm (Children’s Theatre) The Butterfly Ball: A Poem on Six Legs

Tuesday 30 November 7.00pm (Film) Persepolis

Wednesday 8 – Thursday 23 December

Thursday 23 December 7.30pm (Music) Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra

New releases from UHR and Infuse UHR, the University of Hertfordshire’s professional record label, has a growing reputation for pairing fantastic composers with talented musicians to produce new and interesting recorded works. Infuse, a division of UHR, is a record label designed to infuse students into the professional music industry through working with people already in the business. Build up your collection of UHR and Infuse works with these fabulous new album releases… UH Brass Ensemble Fanfares, Fancies and Fugues (Feat. UH Graduation Music) Alison Wells and Ian Mitchell Moments and Days

Our venues

Dave Delarre – Blue Beginnings

The Weston Auditorium de Havilland Campus Hatfield Herts AL10 9EU Phone lines open: Mon to Fri 9.00am – 4.00pm Visit the Box Office: Mon to Fri 9.00am – 4.00pm (during term-time)

Available from: UH Recordings Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Hertfordshire Company Reg. No 05846643

Art and Design Gallery College Lane Campus Hatfield Herts AL10 9AB Open: Mon to Fri 9.30am – 5.30pm Sat 9.30am – 3.30pm Margaret Harvey Gallery 7 Hatfield Road St Albans Herts AL1 3RR Open: Wed to Sat 12.30pm – 5.30pm


More Arts and Galleries Events at The University of Hertfordshire Visual Arts

Kiss Kiss Kill Kill: The Graphic Art and Forgotten Spy Films of Cold War Europe Friday 10 September – Saturday 16 October 2010 Centred on the spectacular kitsch graphic design produced during the heyday the European Spy Film (1964-1968), Kiss Kiss Kill Kill curated by Richard Rhys Davies puts a collection of newly restored posters on pubic display for the first time. Gallery opening hours: Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm. Saturday, 9.30am – 3.30pm Price: FREE Venue: Art and Design Gallery


Vertigo Tuesday 8 November, 7.00pm Hitchcock’s classic tale of obsession and voyeurism is presented on a gloriously enrapturing grand scale. The nightmarish tale of spellbinding spectatorship sees retired detective Scottie (James Stewart) enraptured by a seemingly possessed lover Madeleine (Kim Novak) who,

unbeknownst to him, is part of a devious plot of lust and deception. Ticket price: £4 full price/ £3 concession Suitable For: 15+ Venue: The Weston Auditorium Box Office: 01707 281127

Children’s Theatre

The Butterfly Ball: A Poem on Six Legs Sunday 21 November Workshop: 12.00pm – 12.45pm, First Performance: 1.00pm – 2.00pm, Second Performance: 3.00pm – 4.00pm A dance-music theatre piece for children and their grown-ups about the little world in the grass. The Butterfly Ball is a heart-warming story in miniature about love, friendship, reaching for the moon and dancing leaf to leaf. Ticket price: £8 full price/ £6 children Suitable For: 4+ Venue: The Weston Auditorium

Discounts for all alumni! More information:

The Univ ersity of Hertford Arts and shire Galleries Autumn Program me 2010

If undelivered, please return to Development and Alumni Office University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, AL10 9AB, England

Image: Vertigo, Courtesy of BFI

Profile for University of Hertfordshire

futures - Summer 2010  

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

futures - Summer 2010  

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

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