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Role Models Behind the scenes at

Madame Tussauds

Be your own boss Advice for setting up your own business

More than bricks and mortar An update on the 2020 campus vision

Trouble sleeping? Professor Richard Wiseman’s 10 top tips to help you sleep better


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Contents 05


Welcome 04 Making an impact

News 05 What’s been happening in and around the University over the past year

Top university research news


Top sleep tips


Waxing lyrical


A day in the life


Changing lives


Careers, Employment & Enterprise


Campus updates


Breakthroughs from the University’s top researchers A checklist for a better night’s sleep Behind the scenes at Madame Tussauds Following Abdulkadir Abkey after graduation How your donations help


Mind your own business

The changing University landscape

Research 24 Novel psychoactive substances – ‘legal highs’


UH Press


Sports news


Bringing down the house The latest from the AU and Hertfordshire Sports Village


e-futures 30 A review of some of the most popular e-futures news stories from the past year

Past reunions


Alumni year book


What’s happened and forthcoming events Find out what your fellow graduates have been up to since leaving Hertfordshire

Editor: Louise Barnes Editorial Assistants: Suman Bassi and John Murphy Design: Magpie

Contact us: Alumni Relations Office, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB

Switchboard: +44 (0)1707 284000

Twitter: @HertsAlumni


LinkedIn: ‘University of Hertfordshire Alumni Association’ group

Telephone: +44 (0)1707 281145

Facebook: /hertsalumni


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Welcome Making an impact There are times in your life when you have the opportunity to stop and consider the different paths that you’ve taken, which have led you to where you are now.

And all of this makes your time at university a unique experience, which has contributed to you becoming the person you are today.

It might be that you’ve just graduated and are thinking about where to go next, or perhaps you’re starting a new job or are setting up a business. It could be more personal, and you’ve just got married, had a baby, or are reconnecting with old friends.

Hopefully this edition of Futures will help to bring back some of those memories. You’ll see that campus is changing and expanding to meet the needs of future generations of students (page 22) and you can find out about what some of your fellow alumni have done since leaving (pages 11, 16 and 32). You can also find out more about how alumni donations are helping students to make the most of their time here (page 17) and how you can get involved.

As I’ve been thinking about this, it’s made me realise the impact that university has beyond the degree. Whether you studied full or part-time, at undergraduate or postgraduate level, being a student offers a break from reality, from the 9-5 and the humdrum. It is a chance to test out new ideas and arguments, expand your ideas and knowledge and have your thinking challenged.

So, enjoy! Remember, that we’re always here to help you meet up with your old friends and if you want to come back and visit the locations where your memories were made, let us know!

Louise Barnes Editor

Steve Corbett,

John Murphy,

Head of Development, Alumni and Events

Alumni Relations Co-ordinator

Responsible for overall strategic implementation and a huge fan of Marvel Comics.

Manages all communications and day-to-day activities...and a sporting fanatic.

Louise Barnes,

Suman Bassi,

Alumni Relations Officer (on maternity leave - returning January 2015)

Alumni Relations Assistant

Alumni relations team expert and a bit of a chocoholic.

Assists in the day-to-day running of Alumni Relations, social media guru and fitness freak.

If you’d like to get in touch, contact the A-Team on:

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News Artistic approaches The winner of this year’s Alumni Association prize at the Eastern Approaches open exhibition was Vanessa Stone, for her piece ‘The Rabbit and the Golden Room’.

New PhD scholarship funded by successful alumnus

Judge Steve Corbett, Head of Development, Alumni and Events, said: “There was stiff competition in this category this year, as many of the artists were Herts graduates, but we were instantly taken with the vibrant texture of Vanessa’s work. The playful use of perspective really draws the eye in, and the meticulously cut shapes and patterns give the piece a bold and intriguing dream-like quality”. The piece is part of a series of works with creatures and objects within rooms and spaces. Vanessa fell in love with the light-hearted whimsy of making a piece about a bunny in a glowing room, based upon her son’s rabbit, Mars. Vanessa’s original specialism was in textiles but she turned to cut paper as a medium that achieved a boldness and clarity of line and shape. She has exhibited widely in the UK, including at Byard Art in Cambridge. You can see more of Vanessa’s work at:

Successful businessman, Dato’ Azmil Khalid, has generously pledged a donation of £90,000 over three years to fund a PhD scholarship in engineering. Preference for the scholarship will be given to a well-qualified Malaysian graduate in an appropriate engineering or science discipline to undertake a PhD project in our Centre for Engineering Research.

This is an exciting opportunity for a talented individual to advance their career and expand the research capabilities at the University. Dato’ Azmil Khalid will join the University’s de Havilland Circle which acknowledges our most generous individual benefactors. For more information about this scholarship please contact Steve Corbett, Head of Development, Alumni and Events, on

A flare for hair In business news, the University’s entrepreneurial competition, ‘flare 2013’, had five winners, four of whom were alumni. Alumna Klerissa McDonald, who graduated with a BSc(Hons) Management Science Studies with Spanish in 2010, won the title of ‘Best Business’ and a prize of £5,000 for her company ‘Curly By Nature’, a hair-care brand that creates natural products for people with genetically curly hair. Three alumni each won £2,000 towards their businesses: Beverly Banahene for her company ‘Bev’s Cookie Desserts’, Peter Kelleher for his social enterprise

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Klerissa McDonald

idea ‘smarterthinking’ (see page 21) and Ivaylo Danev for winning the ‘Imagine an App Challenge’, with his company ‘Wintailor’.


Driving E-Car hire At the beginning of 2014, the University became the first higher education institute to launch an entirely electric pay-per-use car club. The University’s Environment and Sustainability team partnered with Source East, the region’s electric vehicle recharging network, and E-Car Club, the UK’s first entirely electric pay-per-use car club, to run the scheme. It offers three electric cars to hire by the hour from either the University’s College Lane or de Havilland Campus, via a membership programme. Membership is available to all students over the age of 19, staff and the local community. The aim is to provide a more environmentally-friendly travel alternative, which removes the cost of owning and running a car.

Dr Diana Hodgins MBE

Alumnus of the Year

University of Hertfordshire E-Car Club launch

Dr Diana Hodgins MBE was announced as Alumnus of the Year 2014 at the Vice–Chancellor’s Award ceremony in June.

Diana’s outstanding work was recognised nationally in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2000 when she was awarded an MBE ‘for services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the East of England’.

Sponsored by British Aerospace (BAe), where she spent her industrial placements, Diana undertook a four-year sandwich course in Mechanical Engineering at Hatfield Polytechnic graduating with a BSc(Hons) in 1982.

In 2002 she won the prestigious ‘Woman Inventor of the Year Award for Industry’ and was chosen as one of the Ambassadors for the Department of Trade and Industry’s Small Business Service.

Since then she has spent her career in industry in a variety of companies which led her to set up her own company, European Technology for Business (ETB), where she is the Managing Director with twenty-seven patents to her name.

Diana Hodgins’ career is not only an inspiration and a rolemodel for our current students but for any woman thinking of entering the science or engineering professions, and we were delighted to make her our Alumnus of the Year 2014.

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Honorary Doctorates and Alumni

Timothy Parfitt

Helen Lederer

In November 2013, twenty individuals were awarded Honorary Degrees and Fellowships for their outstanding contribution to academic disciplines, charity, professions or public service. Notable alumna Helen Lederer, one of Britain’s most popular comedians, was recognised for her professional achievements and continuous involvement with the University. Seven other alumni also received recognition including: Dato’ Azmil Khalid, President

and CEO of the Alloy MTD Group (a multi-national Malaysian-owned company), Dr Brian Pearce, Deputy Director of the School of Pharmacy at London University, John Harvey, poet, novelist, dramatist and broadcaster, Sir Stuart Matthews, who was congratulated for his contribution to the Aviation industry, Jonathan Symonds CBE, Chief Financial Officer at Novartis UK, Timothy Parfitt, Managing Director of Netcel and, and Stewart Carmichael, Managing Director

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and Chief Technology Officer of J.P. Morgan’s Asia Pacific arm. Alongside them David Clarke, Paul Welsh MBE, Faye White, Paul Gershlick, Viscount Simon, Peter Waghorn, Stelio Stefanou OBE DL, Dr Sam Moorhead, former University of Hertfordshire Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Tim Wilson DL, Terry Neville, Margaret Wade, and Nikki King OBE were all recognised for their positive relationship with the University.


Top university research news

According to research presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference, children can be led to remember incorrect information through misleading gestures from adults. Herts researchers have been named as finalists in an international research and innovation award after developing the first portable, real-time airborne asbestos detector to provide a low-cost warning device to tradespeople. Karen Pine, Professor of Developmental Psychology and author of Flex: Do Something Different, has found that making small positive changes can trick the brain

into shifting gear. Recent studies also suggest that self-acceptance could be key to a happier life, a habit that many people don’t practise enough. Hertfordshire researchers have received a £10,000 grant from Santander Universities UK to support research collaboration in Brazil. An international team of astronomers, including two researchers at the University, have found that a nearby star known as Gliese 667C has three super-Earths lying in its habitable zone, where water could exist.

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It is estimated that there are one million cases every year of foodborne illness, resulting in 200,000 hospital admissions, 500 deaths and costing an estimated £1.9 billion. This was reported by researchers at the University who have produced a report on behalf of the Food Standards Agency (FSA). According to new studies, depressed people have a more accurate perception of time, as they focus more of their attention on time and less on external influences. Leading research has found the Mediterranean diet to be most effective in preventing Alzheimer’s and other similar diseases.


Professor Wiseman’s checklist to a better night’s sleep

According to Professor Richard Wiseman’s research, 59% of adults in Britain, that’s over 28 million people, are sleep deprived getting in just seven or less hours of sleep each night. According to Richard, one of the main causes of sleep deprivation is the use of a smart phone, computer or tablet two hours before going to bed.

Reach for a banana: Eat a banana before you head to bed. They’re rich in carbohydrates, and these help relax your body and brain. Reverse psychology: Actively trying to stay awake actually makes you feel tired, so try keeping your eyes open and focus on not falling asleep.

However, it’s not all bad news; Richard has composed ten top tips to help us get the sleep we all deserve:

Wear socks: If you have bad circulation, your feet will get cold and cause sleeplessness. To avoid the problem, wear a pair of warm socks to bed.

Banish the blues: Avoid using computers, smartphones or tablets in the two hours before you head to bed. The blue light stimulates your brain and prevents you feeling sleepy.

Avoid the lure of the nightcap: Although a small amount of alcohol puts you to sleep quicker, it also gives you a more disturbed night and disrupts dreaming.

The list: Make a list of all of the things that you have to do the next day or the things that are playing on your mind. This helps prevent you lying in bed thinking about these issues.

 he power of association: Ensure that the same piece T of soporific music is quietly playing each time you fall asleep. Over time you’ll come to associate the music with sleep, and so listening to it will help you to nod off.

Tire your brain: If you are struggling to sleep, make your brain tired by thinking of an animal for each letter of the alphabet (‘A’ is for ‘Ant’, ‘B’ is for ‘Bear’).  ove your bed: You have evolved to feel safe when M you can spot danger early and have time to run away, and so will feel most relaxed when your bed faces the door and is furthest from it.

Do a jigsaw: If you lie awake for more than twenty minutes, get up and do something non-stimulating for a few minutes, such as working on a jigsaw. Good luck!

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The Feature

Waxing Lyrical Behind the scenes at Madame Tussauds

Maddie working on the Queen

Picture the scene. You are in a room surrounded by members of the Royal Family, Kate Winslet, Barack Obama and One Direction. Sounds like one of those ‘ideal dinner party’ scenarios doesn’t it? Well, for two University of Hertfordshire alumni, hanging out with royals, politicians and A-list celebrities is just another day at the office…literally. Having both completed Creative Arts degrees in Model Design, Maddie Lowe and Tom Jacobs have found themselves working in the heart of

Madame Tussauds, one of the world’s most renowned visitor attractions. Since graduating in 2012, Maddie and Tom have formed an integral part of the 15-strong maintenance team based in the flagship London attraction, Maddie as a mould shop assistant and Tom as a freelancer in the colouring department. A typical working day for the pair begins at 07.30, two hours before the doors open to the general public. Armed with paint palettes, hairbrushes and various tools, the maintenance team (which also

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consists of hair and wardrobe specialists) takes to the floor for the ‘walkthrough’, a thorough sweep of the entire attraction to inspect each of the 300 wax figures, fix any imperfections and repair any damage that they may have received the day before. “Different departments focus on different areas of damage so, for example, Mould Shop will fix broken fingers or noses, and Colouring will work on scratches,” Tom explains before adding, “The figure that usually needs the most maintenance is Justin Bieber!”


Maddie fixing Spiderman

Whilst excitable guests cosy up to George Clooney, the remainder of Maddie and Tom’s day is spent behind the scenes sculpting, casting, moulding and painting. Quite often figures will be taken off display so that the maintenance team can update their look: “I worked on the Spiderman figure recently which was something I have wanted to

I worked on the Spiderman figure recently, there was a great sense of accomplishment getting the figure back into the attraction looking great.

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work on for a while. I completely stripped it back, re-fitted and fixed two broken fingers, then re-painted and outlined the figure, basically giving it a complete overhaul. The whole process was very therapeutic; there was a great sense of accomplishment getting the figure back into the attraction looking great,” explains Maddie.


After completing a recent project for Madame Tussauds’ darker arm, the Chamber of Horrors, Tom felt a similar sense of achievement: “I recently painted a series of five severed heads to represent the French Revolution including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. They were the first heads I’d ever painted and I was able to be really experimental with them given their gory situation. The whole project was a great experience for me in terms of creativity and learning about an iconic movement.” In total there are 14 Madame Tussauds attractions worldwide with two more opening each year. Amazingly, the wax figures for all of these attractions are produced at the Merlin Entertainment Studios in West London and carefully freighted by road, air or sea to their respective new homes. An individual wax figure costs a cool £150,000 to produce and takes a team of approximately 20 people between four and six months to complete. The sheer volume of work that goes into each production is explained by Maddie: “The first thing that happens is a sitting with the person so that detailed measurements and lots of photographs can be taken. If we are working on an historic personality or someone can’t attend a sitting, the figure is built up using past images, paintings and sculptures, and by analysing video footage. During this initial sitting, costume will also be decided. If a figure is renowned for a certain outfit, the original piece or a replica created by the designer will be donated, otherwise we will copy it in-house. “The sculpting process takes five weeks with one sculptor working on the head and one on the body. Detailed layers of clay are moulded on top of a metal armature so that the exact stance of the figure can be achieved before separate plaster-cast moulds are built around the head and body. A beeswax mix is then poured into the head mould

Tom working on Wolverine

Taking Beyonce’s facial measurements

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Each wax figure is completely original; it’s a complete myth that we would melt down Kylie Minogue to create Britney Spears.

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and a resin and fibreglass mix poured into the mould of the body. When the materials have cooled, the moulds are removed to reveal the final head and body underneath. “Each wax figure is completely original; it’s a complete myth that we would melt down Kylie Minogue to create Britney Spears. If figures are ever retired from display, they are kept in our archive – there are hundreds of figures up there.” After the heads have been through the detailed process of hair insertion, the colouring department takes over, covering the head and body in layers of oil based paints to imitate the appearance of skin. “We build up in thin layers usually starting with a purple/red blood layer which is then toned back with a mint green/yellow,” explains Tom. “Everyone’s colouring is different so the colours I will add are dependent on the person’s skin tone; lots of greens and oranges were used for Rafa Nadal, purples and oranges for Martin Luther King Jr. and pale yellows and pinks for Kate Winslet. Ironically, colouring and painting was always the last thing on my mind in terms of my career, but being at the University and my time at Madame Tussauds has exposed me to different areas and given me the chance to really develop, particularly in this sophisticated skill.” “I feel exactly the same,” Maddie adds. “I did a make-up and prosthetic college course so I’d worked with something slightly different but university made me very open-minded to other options. I don’t know where the future will take me but Madame Tussauds is a great place to work. The best thing about the job is that no day is the same; one day I can be painting Spiderman and the next day I can show up at work and find a random finger on my desk – I like that.” Siobhan Madaras

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A day in the life Life through a lawyer’s eyes It’s sometimes only after you graduate that you gain perspective and become aware of the struggles that others have gone through in order to get to graduation day. One such story is that of alumnus Abdulkadir Abkey (LLB, 2001 and LLM, 2002) who came to the UK as a Somalian refugee. The fact that he was able to graduate from the University eight years later, with an LLB(Hons) degree, shows the human spirit’s ability to succeed, even in the most difficult of circumstances.

The next logical step in Abkey’s journey would have been to apply for a training contract and begin practising as a lawyer. However, his qualifications were not recognised in Québec, which meant that he had to embark once again studying another LLB in civil law, but he had to do so in French – a language he didn’t speak.

The on-going civil war in Somalia, which broke out in 1990, led Abkey and his six siblings to seek refuge in the UK. They arrived in 1993 and settled in London. Abkey went on to pursue his studies at college, gaining a GNVQ in Business and Finance, and in 1998 he enrolled at the University of Hertfordshire, having decided to study Law. For Abkey, it was very tough in the beginning. “I didn’t ever think I was going to make it to the end of my studies. I could speak four languages already. Somalian, Arabic, a little Italian and Amharic (an Ethiopian language) – the latter of which I was forced to learn after the conflict in Somalia. But of course, I had to learn English upon arriving in the UK. It was tough but worthwhile as all these battles have led to other great stories. For example, during my studies at university, I met my wife, the mother of my beloved children. At the end of our studies, we decided to build a life for ourselves in French speaking Québec. So I moved to Canada shortly after completing my LL.M thesis.”

Abdulkadir Abkey

To date, Abkey speaks six different languages and stresses the importance of having variety. “I never thought how six languages would help me in my career, but as a lawyer, it’s given me the confidence to increase my global understanding in business and other issues, not to mention the fact that it is also incredibly useful for travelling.” In 2006, he landed a training contract with a big law firm in Canada, Ogilvy Renault, (since merged with Norton Rose). He then went on to advise various Québec provincial government ministers such as the Justice Minister, the Minister of Sustainable Development and Environment and Parks, as well as serving on the staff of the Deputy-Premier of the Province and the Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports as a senior policy and legal advisor. Abkey went on to work for a large Canadian law firm and an EU

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firm in Canada with offices in Paris and Asia. He now works for a respectable law firm in the area of corporate and international commercial law. Abkey has honed his skills of writing commercial contracts and other corporate documents, preparing the appropriate documents for transactions such as financing, mergers and acquisitions as well as providing legal advice on several commercial and administrative issues. “In coming back to the private sector, I knew I had a particular advantage because I have knowledge in both the public and the private sectors. I have begun working on my European, African and Middle East business relationships to grow my practice in light of the CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, recently signed between Canada and the EU”, says Abkey. It’s very clear that Abkey now feels settled and has found both his personal and professional place in the world. His journey is remarkable, but what is really striking is his reason for choosing to become a lawyer – his uncle. His uncle was tragically killed in the Civil War but had always wanted to become a lawyer one day. His passion for learning deeply affected Abkey, who made a promise to fulfil his uncle’s dreams. But ask Abkey, and his ambitions are much more straightforward. “I really want to give back and make a difference to people’s lives. It’s so important to set a good example to the next generation. I really believe in the importance of education and sharing knowledge, as it was studying law at university that really gave me the confidence that I could succeed.” Suman Bassi

Changing lives How your donations help Donations make an enormous difference to life at the University. Our ground-breaking research into the use of robots to improve the communication skills of autistic children has only been possible thanks to the support of our donors. Meanwhile, thousands of students and aspiring entrepreneurs have been able to make their dreams a reality thanks to scholarships and awards. Through the Diamond Fund, students have been able to set up new societies, attend overseas sports competitions, volunteer their support in schools in Africa and set up projects to encourage children in care to gain a higher education. Without the support of our alumni community, we simply couldn’t have achieved all of this.

“I am very pleased that the Diamond Fund recognises the strategic importance of RoboCup as an activity to promote education and the visibility of the University’s School of Computer Science robotic activity. The Diamond Fund Award will allow us to expand and improve the already existing RoboCup activities and equipment.”

“We were able to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival thanks to a Diamond Fund Award. It was a fantastic experience for all the students involved and will provide a platform for future projects. I can’t thank alumni donors enough for the opportunity they gave us.” J ack Evans, BA(Hons) Philosophy with Humanities – Drama Society, November 2013.

Daniel Polani, Researcher and Reader in Artificial Life - RoboCup Project, May 2014.

Here are some of their stories. “Thank you for my Diamond Fund Award. My internship in China is an amazing opportunity and will create a life-changing experience that will undoubtedly improve my international business knowledge and make me stand out in a highly competitive job market.” Patricia Drgonova, BSc(Hons) Law and Journalism with Media Cultures – Legal Internship in China, May 2014.

“I am very pleased to receive a Diamond Fund Award. It will support further training and ongoing costs of the Parkinson’s Research Project. Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Diamond Fund.” Jane Say, Pre-Registration Nursing Lead, Health & Social Work – Research Project, May 2014.

Patricia is the first University of Hertfordshire student to apply for, and obtain, an internship within a law firm in China. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for her and for the School of Law as a whole, paving the way for future Law students to broaden their horizons.

Patricia Drgonova in China

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“The Diamond Fund award has given me the opportunity to play women’s ice hockey at the highest standard available in this country and I hope it will be available to others in the future.” Jennifer Bolton, BSc(Hons) Mathematics – World Student Winter Games, November 2013.


Brand new playground built at a local school and orphanage in Uganda Books and bookcases provided to Mbovane Primary School

“Through working with the charity Borien Educational Foundation for Southern Africa (BEFSA) and Oxford University Press I was able to stock four schools with libraries in Africa. Mbovane School is the fourth school which we chose to give the books to. The school’s Principal, Mazizi Mguqulwa, said how enthusiastic the children and parents were. One little boy is so keen that he apparently takes out a book every single day. This definitely makes it all worthwhile.” Verity Stuart-Thompson, BA(Hons) Business and Event Management – supporting child literacy in Africa, June 2013.

One happy pupil who takes a book out every day

Creating playgrounds in South Africa East African Playgrounds is a charity that believes that education and children’s access to play activities is fundamental in aiding potential. All children should have the right to access areas of play, to help them grow, develop and learn. Last year, University of Hertfordshire student Aleida Borges travelled to Uganda to join a playground building team. With the help of funding from the University’s Diamond Fund, made possible through alumni donations, Aleida travelled to Uganda to help build a brand new playground at a local school and orphanage.

“The East African Playground Project was truly amazing. It was wonderful to see how happy the children were to have us there and how grateful they felt to have the support of British university students. The new playground has changed their lives. I would never have had this opportunity if it hadn’t been for the Diamond Fund. Thank you so much.” Aleida won ‘Student Volunteer of the Year’ in 2013, an award that recognises the vast amount of volunteering projects carried out by an individual student. Aleida was praised on her reliability, motivation and her outstanding contribution to all volunteering projects. Aleida Borges, BA(Hons) Law with French, East African Playground Project, June 2013.

Alumni have the power to make a lasting difference to their University. If you would like to be part of something outstanding – something that will have an impact on generations to come – then join us by investing in the University. Together we can create opportunity, enable life-changing research and support our students to become the carers, creators and innovators of the future. You can be assured that every penny of your donation will go directly towards the fundraising project area you choose to support and that you are making a real and tangible contribution today and far into the future. For more information please contact the Development Team on +44 (0) 1707 284478 or by email

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Donation Form

Please complete and return this form to: Development, Alumni and Events Office, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB.

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I confirm I have paid or will pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities that I donate to will reclaim on my gifts for that tax year. I understand that other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify. I understand that using Gift Aid means that for every pound I give the University of Hertfordshire will reclaim 28p of tax on every £1 that I gave up to 5 April 2008 and will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that I give on or after 6 April 2008. Signature: _________________________________________________ Date: __________________________ Under the Data Protection Act (1998), UH Development, Alumni and Events Office will hold your personal information securely and in line with the University’s Policies and Regulations (UPRs) in particular UPR IM08 - Data Protection and UPR IM16 - Data Management Policy, and it will not be passed to a third party. The information provided may be used for events programmes, alumni activities, fundraising programmes and for the promotion of benefits and services which may involve an element of direct marketing. If you do not wish your information to be used in this way, please write to: Development, Alumni and Events Office, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL10 9AB. Alternatively, you can email us at:

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Careers, Employment & Enterprise

Mind your own business Ask any business owner or freelancer why they have chosen the career path they have and the reasons will be plentiful and undoubtedly varied. Some may have thrown caution to the wind and pursued their lifelong passion, others may have ended up in the situation through circumstance; whatever the reason, it would appear that more and more of us are seeking out self-employment. In February 2014, the Office of National Statistics revealed that the number of self-employed people in the UK had risen by 172,000 to reach a total of 4.37 million. Experts have now concluded that the rise in self-employment is the reason behind the recent falls in official unemployment figures. But why is being your own boss so appealing and how can you make it happen?

But running your own business isn’t just about flexible working conditions; selfemployment has since become a very viable option to those that have fallen prey to the recent economic downturn and found themselves out of work or in need of subsidising an income.

The ‘when’…

Whether or not there is an optimum time of life to start a business has become an age-old debate…if you’ll pardon the pun! At the start of the year, freelancer website PeoplePerHour reported that the number of 18-24 year olds that registered a new micro/small business on their website had increased by 97% in just 12 months. However, various research studies suggest that businesses are more likely to succeed if they are run by owners over the age of forty due to more experience and financial security.

The ‘why’…

So many people become fixated with the notion that to start a business you need to come up with a revolutionary idea, but while filling a gap in the market with a new invention is a very viable route to self-employment, it is not the only motivation to work for yourself. For many, the ultimate dream is to escape the 9-5 rat race and restore the ideal work/life balance. Having your own business can provide the freedom of choosing the hours that you work and the ability to work from home, which if you have a family, is an underrated luxury…or in some cases a necessity. Starting your own business also enables you to be your own boss and make your livelihood from something that you are passionate about.

There is, however, an emerging school of thought that believes the energy and daring nature of young business owners supersedes the experience and security of their counterparts. Ultimately, the success of a business boils down to the passion, drive and tenacity of its owner as opposed to the fact that they are a recent graduate or someone with 30 years of industry experience.

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The ‘how’…

The sheer thought of starting a business can be overwhelming, whatever your age or background. The key is to tackle each element individually and begin your journey with some rather rigorous market research. Find out everything you can about your competitors, your potential customers and work out what element of your business will give you a unique selling point. Research is the key to ensuring that there is actually a market for your product or service. As you compile your research, start putting together a business plan. This document will help you in the event that you need to apply for finances, but it will also act as a solid foundation, something that you can always refer back to and modify as your business evolves. The internet has become the best friend of the modern day business owner; it has given us the world at our fingertips and broken down many of the barriers that previously faced start-ups. You can officially register your company online, acquire new skills through online courses and expand your network of business contacts and potential customers easier than ever before through social media. One of the best gifts from the internet though is the ‘website’. Setting up a website can be a low risk route to market and an easy and affordable way to raise awareness and get your business off the ground. There is no doubt that self-employment is hard work, but it is in no way impossible. The hours can be long to start with but the more effort that you put in to your venture, the more you will get out of it. Siobhan Madaras


Peter Kelleher Founder of After devoting 30 years of his life to an exacting job in the Metropolitan Police Service, Peter Kelleher had grown used to making fast, action-orientated decisions. But when it came to life after the Force, he was unsure of what to do next. After completing a Masters Degree at the University of Hertfordshire in 2012, Peter launched his own business in 2013. An award-winning social enterprise called ‘’, Peter’s business helps individuals and organisations change effectively and successfully. “Working in the police service can be tough but nothing is quite as tricky as moving out of your comfort zone and into the unchartered territory of self-employment.” “Starting a business has led me on a journey of highs and lows and has been challenging and rewarding in equal measures. While I don’t take orders from anyone anymore, I also have to deal with the challenges of being a ‘solo-preneur’, lying awake at 3am trying to figure out what to do next and recognising that there is no-one else to blame when things don’t go according to plan.” “I have learnt that the road of the entrepreneur is not one for the faint-hearted. It is sometimes littered with failure and disappointment but there are some great times too; I have published a book and won an award. If you can keep your eye on the goal, retain your sense of humour and maintain a sense of perspective, there are worse things to do in life than to follow your dreams.”

Useful resources

There are countless organisations dedicated to ensuring that your business is a success, here are a selection:

British Chambers of Commerce Local expertise, networking and business opportunities.

Companies House Register your business with Companies House. Interesting articles, how-to guides and insights.

Gov One-stop-shop for all of your business needs including finance, legislation and company formation.

HMRC For all things tax and National Insurance related.

The Prince’s Trust Charity grants and start-up support to young business owners between 18-30.

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Campus updates

Central Park at night

Improving campus

In the last ten years, the University has built the ÂŁ120 million de Havilland Campus, cutting-edge buildings for film and media, and health and human sciences, our landmark Forum Hertfordshire and a brand new Law Court building. The next ten years will see us achieve even more as the 2020 Estates Vision continues to come to life, bringing vital additions to the de Havilland Campus and transforming the College Lane Campus on a scale not seen for fifty years. 2020 Masterplan

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What’s happened so far?

On the de Havilland Campus, the Weston Atrium has introduced facilities for informal learning, meeting and socialising both for students and staff. This includes a new first-floor study deck (known as the mezzanine), with wireless connectivity, power and vending facilities, making it a great place to meet and work, informally. The Hertfordshire Sports Village has also now been extended to offer more space for more users, increasing the range of free weights and the floor space by 400sqm.

Roberts Way birdseye view

On College Lane, main reception has been modernised with a new informal learning zone and exhibition space, and has relocated to the ground floor underneath Prince Edward Hall. Phase one of the new student accommodation is also underway and opened in September 2014. This includes the completion of bedrooms plus sports pitches, a campus gym and social spaces, as well as a new common room in Telford Court and the refurbishment of some existing rooms. By September 2016, there will be 2,511 attractive new bedrooms, made up of singles, doubles, studio flats and town houses. Additionally, work is beginning on the new Science building, which will bring all science facilities under one roof, housing laboratories, cutting-edge research technology and areas for informal learning and socialising.

Townhouse bedroom

Looking ahead

Plans for the future will continue beyond 2020, with refurbishments taking place in the School of Engineering and Technology. Remaining areas of the main building on College Lane will also be getting a major refurbishment, inside and out. A new central boulevard will be built across the campus, linking the residential and academic zones, which will be landscaped to become a primary route for students and staff. The de Havilland Campus will also be opening up space for an events plaza and amphitheatre in the future. Suman Bassi

Roberts Way under construction

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Novel Psychoactive Substances – ‘legal highs’ Often known as ‘legal highs’, novel psychoactive substances (NPS) (especially stimulant substances that re-create the effects of illegal drugs but that vary enough in their ingredients to avoid current legislation) have been shown to be as addictive and harmful as illegal substances such as cocaine or amphetamine. But despite causing significant health problems, and in some cases fatalities, NPS have had little if any scientific investigation into their constituents until the University of Hertfordshire and its collaborators spearheaded major research projects. “There are hundreds of NPS on the market, and although the EU Governments attempt to control these substances through generic legislation and other measures, ‘research chemists’ have found novel and innovative ways to change the molecular structures of some of these drugs to escape new controls”, said University of Hertfordshire researcher John Corkery, “This has earned these ‘designer drugs’ the label ‘legal highs’.”

With such convenience of availability, legal recreational drugs are putting young people and others at high risk.

At least one NPS was reported to European authorities on average every week in both 2012 and 2013, and most of these appear online, just an easy click away. Many are also available from ‘head-shops’ in towns and cities across the country.

Often advertised as being ‘safe’ alternatives to the most common controlled illicit drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine, the concern about such products is that little is known about the ingredients and many of the products actually still

A range of ‘branded’ products bought over the Internet

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contain controlled drugs. “It is likely that the retailers themselves do not even know for certain what these legal highs are made from and the lifespan of these substances from emerging on the market to disappearing to avoid legislation is often so short that tracking what’s in them becomes a hugely demanding task.” explains John. Although they are purchased with the intent of having similar side effects as

Research | LEGAL HIGHS

Etizolam - a ‘research chemical’ related to antidepressants such as Valium

their illegal counterparts, NPS are also associated with significantly different, unpredictable side-effects, such as the increasingly popular BromoDragonfly (B-Fly); this is a powerful, three-day lasting drug, which has been associated with acute intoxications and a number of deaths. Without scientific investigation, very little is known about the ways in which they manipulate brain functions. University of Hertfordshire researchers, Professor Fabrizio Schifano, Dr Ornella Corazza and John Corkery have led the way in addressing this gap in knowledge, through the Recreational Drugs European Network (ReDNet) to identify NPS and to provide evidencebased information to risk groups, health care providers and policy makers. The team liaised with a number of networks to document, research and publicise scientific information and provide informed advice on these issues on a ‘real-time’ basis. Funded by the European Commission and led by the University of Hertfordshire, the ReDNet project, generated original data on the availability and misuse of hundreds of NPS, winning the prestigious European Health Award 2013. “The project monitored the internet on a daily basis in over thirty countries and eight different languages, using tools

such as mobile phone technology, virtual learning environments, videoclips, social networking and a large number of scientific publications.” John Corkery said. “The University has furthered this research on the availability of products by setting up a multi-disciplinary group to investigate the effects of substance misuse, most notably criminality and anti-social behaviour issues, as well as health and lifestyle problems at local, national and international levels.” he added. Professor Fabrizio Schifano, who is Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Hertfordshire, and his colleagues - together with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction - have held three international conferences on NPS, the latest being in Rome in May 2014. John Corkery, Research Co-ordinator in the Department of Pharmacy, and Professor Schifano led a report for the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths based at St George’s University of London, outlining formally investigated drug-related deaths occurring in 2012. The report contains regional breakdowns of reports by coroners in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, as well as data from the Scottish Police and details the type of drug involved in a death, whether used on its own or in combination with another substance. Both researchers

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G  raduate and PhD student, Amira Guirguis, uses a hand-held RAMAN instrument to analyse a powder

are members of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs’ NPS working group, and also advise other national and international agencies on NPS and drugs more generally. A further University of Hertfordshire paper on fatalities in the UK related to mephedrone (a former ‘legal high’ that was banned in 2010 and involved in 21 deaths in 2011) was published in March 2012 as a chapter of the open access book “Pharmacology” and has been downloaded over 6,300 times, reinforcing the significant impact of the work. By providing information that can increase the awareness of risks, health prevention initiatives, policies and treatment provision, University of Hertfordshire researchers are making a remarkable difference, which continues with a two year European Commission funded international project that started in April aimed at integrating EU monitoring and profiling of Novel Psychoactive Substances ( For further details:

For more information about the research, please email futures@her

UH Press

Bringing down the house

Globe Theatre Innenraum

When it comes to the history of England’s theatres, the drama is not just on stage. On 19 December 2013, forty minutes into a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, part of the ceiling of the Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue, London, collapsed after a heavy rainstorm. Ornate plasterwork fell from the high dome above the auditorium, bringing down lighting and part of a balcony and injuring more than eighty members of the audience, some seriously. When I heard about the collapse I had a strong sensation of coincidence: on that day I had been editing the last chapter of the University’s new theatre history book. Richard Lorenzen has written a highly detailed account of the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, a small venue that entertained audiences for much of the 19th century, just off London’s Tottenham Court Road. By 1882, new laws had been introduced to try to

lessen the risk of fire in theatres and other public buildings and to ensure their structural soundness. The safety inspector declared the Prince of Wales’s Theatre to be in a seriously unsatisfactory condition. It would have to close at once and could only re-open if major reconstruction took place, including fire exits, stone staircases and firewalls.

avoided calamity up until this point. One newspaper commented at the time, ‘we must confess to having always felt it a dangerous experiment to pass an evening in a stall here, or at the Strand, or the Royalty, or, indeed, any of the older theatres built on a “pokey” scale as regards passages and stairs.’

The building was an obvious fire hazard: it was calculated that it could take up to eight minutes for audience members in the upper tiers of the auditorium to exit (not even taking into account the likelihood of panic) there were fireplaces without guards in the dressing rooms and the roof over the theatre was a potential threat to audience safety, with a great weight of slates, tiles and glass supported by only a wooden frame.

The collapse of the Apollo’s ceiling is far from being the only such incident in recent years, although it’s the worst. In September 2013 plasterwork fell on the stage at the Aldwych Theatre during a performance of the musical Top Hat. No-one was hit but the performance had to be abandoned. In 2004, fifteen people were hurt by falling plaster at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. In fact, performances are cancelled at short notice more often than you’d think for emergency repairs.

Additionally, the space between the roof and the auditorium ceiling served as a chaotic storage area for old props. It seems a miracle that the theatre had

Many, if not most, of London’s West End theatres date from the 19th century or early 20th century. We expect them to be ornate, with grand décor

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and bags of atmosphere – the lavish interior often forms part of the special experience of a night at the theatre. But we probably don’t think about just how old our ‘heritage theatres’ are and how expensive it is to modernise them (in any case most of them are listed). The gallery level of the Apollo Theatre has now had to be closed for restoration work and, as a result, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time has had to decamp to the nearby Gielgud Theatre. According to Nick Starr, its Executive Director, with less seats now available, ‘the show no longer works economically at the Apollo’. The size of a theatre has a bearing on the plays that can be put on there. Apart from the fact that some shows are better suited to larger or smaller venues, depending on how ‘intimate’ they are, there’s also a direct link between the number of seats in the theatre and the budget that can be spent on the show. For the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, back in the 19th century, the unusually modest size of the auditorium with around 560 seats meant that the theatre was particularly prone to making a loss. If a production didn’t bring in the anticipated audiences, the shortfall could easily put the management out of business. Consequently, the number of ‘lessees’ (those who leased the theatre from the proprietor in order to put their own productions on) who tried their hand and failed was very high. When the proprietor himself, George Robins, decided to get rid of his unreliably profitable venue in 1838, one wag commented: ‘This dog hole having ruined about two hundred lessees… has at last wound up the proprietor himself, who is compelled, by the mortgagees, to sell the Property! George Robins… uses his utmost ingenuity to tempt the ‘enterprising capitalist’ to fling away his money upon this regular millstone round the neck of the muses…’ The Prince of Wales’s Theatre continued on as a venue into the last years of the 19th century, with one management after

another trying melodramas, live animals on stage, nautical drama, pantomimes and, latterly, the newly fashionable realist plays in a bid to turn a profit. But the draconian measures demanded by the inspectors in 1882 sounded its death knell and it never reopened. It was finally demolished in 1903. By sheer luck, the Prince of Wales’s Theatre had never burnt down, but many other theatres did, especially when gas lamps were used to light the stage. The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, installed the first iron safety curtain in 1794 but it wasn’t until the 1880s that these became statutory. Such curtains could divide the stage from the auditorium and allow theatregoers more time to escape, should a fire break out onstage.

The Georgian Theatre Richmond

From the Elizabethan period when they first started to be built in England, theatres have gone up, then been pulled or burnt down, or been closed and used for another purpose much more frequently than we imagine. When one of the earliest London theatres, known simply as ‘The Theatre’ in Shoreditch, was dismantled in 1598 (after some twenty years of use) timber from it was used to build the more famous Globe Theatre, across the river in Southwark. The Globe in turn burned down in 1613 during a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII, when wadding from a stage cannon set the thatched roof on fire.

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Incredibly there were apparently no casualties, only a man whose burning trousers had to be dowsed with a flagon of beer. Now we have a replica of the Globe, built very close to the site of the original, and since 1997 it has been giving modern audiences a taste of Shakespeare’s plays as they were staged in his own time. Replicas are great, but when I was a child I was lucky enough to have an authentic Georgian theatre as my local venue. The Georgian Theatre Royal in Richmond, Yorkshire, was built in 1788 and was part of a successful circuit, with famous actors such as Edmund Kean and William Macready treading the boards. It closed in 1842 and the building was then used variously as a corn chandler’s, a furniture store, an auction room and a waste-paper depot. By the 1960s renewed interest in old theatres led to it being restored and reopened. The theatre has the oldest set of scenery in existence. Known as the ‘Woodland Scene’, it was painted in a workshop in Royston, Hertfordshire and dates back to around 1820. Fancy there being a Hertfordshire connection! As a child I was hardly aware of how unique and precious the theatre was. It was just ‘The Georgian’ to us and we would put on shows and concerts there with school, running around the dressing rooms and backstage areas with little regard for their antique status. Yet this was, and still is, the best way to get an authentic flavour of an English theatre in the first half of the 19th century. However, if we went to see a performance there, we were never awestruck by the amazing interior, but simply complained bitterly about how uncomfortable the bench seats were. The History of the Prince of Wales’s Theatre, London, 1771-1903 by Richard L. Lorenzen is published by University of Hertfordshire Press at £25 hardback (paperback £14.99, out in November 2014). Jane Housham

Eastern Approaches 2014 Open Exhibition

First Prize: Solo exhibition with UH Galleries Additional Prizes: awarded by prestigious event sponsors Online submissions open: 19 September – 21 November 2014

Submission forms and further information at Those without internet access can contact 01707 281127

Hertfordshire Bedfordshire Cambridgeshire Essex Norfolk Suffolk

Exhibition: UH Galleries at Museum of St Albans, 6 December 2014 – 11 January 2015 Selection Panel Dawn Giles Chief Executive Officer, Bedford Creative Arts Lyndall Phelps Visual Artist Michael Wright Fine Art Programme Leader, University of Hertfordshire

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Sports news £1.2 million free weights extension for Hertfordshire Sports Village The University of Hertfordshire’s Sports Village on the de Havilland Campus has undergone a fantastic £1.2 million investment resulting in a new free weights area, performance gym and the relocation of Bodybalance Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic. Opened by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Quintin McKellar CBE, on Monday 10 February 2014, the new area has revolutionised free weight training provision at the Sports Village.

Bodybalance Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic has also relocated to the new extension as well. The new clinic, run by alumnus Nicki Combarro and Eric Clarke, is double its previous size and offers physiotherapy and sports massage appointments to alumni, students, staff and the public, six days a week. The extension has been a resounding success with the gym, Performance Hertfordshire and Bodybalance all seeing significant growth in business in the first six weeks of operation.

The 260 square metre free weights area is five-times larger than the previous space and the range of equipment has significantly improved. The new area now boasts a comprehensive range of facilities. The new extension also sees the relocation of the Performance Hertfordshire business into larger space adjacent to the new area. Performance Hertfordshire provide strength and conditioning training to elite athletes including University of Hertfordshire sports team members, sports scholars and athletes from a range of talented athlete schemes. Brand new gym facilities inside Hertfordshire Sports Village

Top sporting achievements in 2013/2014 • Men’s Football 1st, Women’s Football 1st, American Football, Golf, Netball 1st, Netball 2nd and Women’s Rugby all won their BUCS leagues. Men’s Football 1st eleven also won their knockout cup. • Danielle Carter (Physiotherapy) made her full England Women’s Senior debut in the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup Qualifier in September 2013. • David Jennison (Sports Studies) and Stuart Holland (Automotive Engineering with Motorsport) represented the Great Britain American Football Team. • Clare Drakeford (Sports Studies) was selected for Hertfordshire Mavericks Netball Senior Team. • Deji Tobais (Business with Sports Studies) won a gold medal in the 200m and Onajite Okoro (Pharmacy) won a bronze medal in the 100m Hurdles at the BUCS Outdoor Athletics Championships, May 2013. Deji was also selected for the Great Britain’s men’s relay team at the World Athletics Championships, August 2013. • Michael Pope (Sports Studies) won a gold medal in the shot put at the Disability Athletics London Games in January 2014. • Ondrej Uherka (Sports Studies and French) represented the Czech Republic in the European Squash Individual Championships, European Team Championships and World Team Championships. Ondrej is currently ranked 2nd in the Czech Republic national ranking. • Sam Sampson (Philosophy) finished in 4th place at the World Judo Federation European Championships in Italy in November 2013. • Suhrab Sayfi (Pharmacology) won a silver medal in the Taekwondo English Open Championship. • Patrick Dion-Feily (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) won a bronze medal in the Universities’ Taekwondo Open Championship.

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e-futures A review of some of the most popular e-futures news stories from the past year July 2013

September 2013

October 2013

Malaysian alumna wins Hollywood award

Illustration graduate expands portfolio with children’s book

Last surviving pre-WWII Beacon re-lit for the first time

Sound designer Axle Cheeng (BA(Hons) Sound Design Technology, 2007) won the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Verna Fields award for best sound editing by a student film. The maker for the film Head Over Heels is the first Malaysian to receive a major Hollywood prize.

Freelance illustrator Nikki Miles, who graduated from the University with BA(Hons) Illustration in 2011, has started working on her first children’s picture book for an independent publisher based in London. Nikki has exhibited her work at New Designers and produced illustrations for numerous magazines within the creative industry.

The Rt. Hon. Grant Shapps MP re-lit the Hatfield Beacon, an iconic piece of Hatfield’s aviation history, at an event held on the University’s de Havilland Campus on Thursday 26 September 2013, as part of its ten year anniversary celebrations.

November 2013

January 2014

February 2014

Alumnus becomes first black Vice-President of local organisation

Why we need to convert to Mediterranean-style diets

CBT is not an effective treatment for symptoms of schizophrenia

In sixty-five years of history, Karl Brown was the first black Vice-President of the Bristol Junior Chamber (BJC) and, as of April 2014, he also became its first black President.

Leading health experts including Dr Richard Hoffman from the University of Hertfordshire say diet, not drugs, is the way to combat dementia. They have urged people to convert to a healthier diet which includes fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil.

Health organisations around the world recommend a form of psychotherapy, known as cognitive-behavioural therapy or CBT, for patients with schizophrenia. Now, however, the most extensive study ever undertaken into its effect on the symptoms of the disorder finds little impact, according to a team of international researchers.

To read more of our e-futures news stories, please visit our website for a full listing. You can also sign up to receive the monthly e-newsletter by emailing

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Past reunions Class of 1988 HND Physical Science – Chemistry Alumni and friends met up in Nottingham in July 2013 to reminisce about the time they spent at Hatfield Polytechnic. Genealogy enthusiast Matthew Godfrey from North Yorkshire has spent the past five years searching for fellow alumni. He managed to find and gain contact with about thirty from across the UK, Germany and USA. While some of the former students had left in 1988 and found full-time jobs back home, others had stayed to complete their BSc degrees at Hatfield and some had gone to other universities and polytechnics to study different subjects. Matthew first organised and held a reunion in Hatfield in 2009 and a second in Nottingham in 2011. The group now meet up regularly and hope to meet again in 2016 to mark the 30th anniversary of first attending the Polytechnic. Matthew is also hoping to find some of the lecturers they had at the time. Anyone interested in meeting up with the group should contact the Alumni Relations team for more information.

Font Bar reunion

1971 Computer Science reunion

Madhatters 25th year reunion

1971 computer science reunion

Graham Frost, a 1971 Computer Science alumnus, regularly hosts reunions with thirty-one former students including Gordon Bull, one of their lecturers. They are now onto their third reunion this year and would like to search for Frank Smith to join them. If you are in contact with him or have any information, please email us on:

Celebrating 20 years of Physiotherapy

Then and now picture of the 1988 Chemistry reunion graduates

Font Bar reunion In November 2013, over 1,400 people attended the ‘Official Font Bar Reunion’ at the Forum. The event included all the original Font Bar DJs from the years 1999 – 2006 when the venue closed. Alumni Prash Suthersan, Chris Essence, DJ Guy and Lucy Matthews hosted the event and said: “It was a fantastic turn-out; lots of great memories were shared and re-lived!”

On 5 September 2013, the School of Health and Social Work held a reunion to celebrate 20 years of the BSc(Hons) physiotherapy programme at the University. Alumni had the chance to catch up with old classmates, network with other graduates from the course and meet up with some of their course tutors. Many alumni sent in their pictures for the ‘wall of memories’ along with a brief explanation of what they’ve been up to since graduating.

20 years of Physiotherapy

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Madhatters 25th year reunion

Saturday 28 June 2014 saw the 25th year reunion of the Madhatters drama society. Over 60 people attended the event which was organised by original members of the society with help from the alumni team at the University. Held in the Comet Room on the de Havilland Campus the evening was a great success as old photos, programmes and VHS videos (remember them?!) were shared. There was even time for a trip down memory lane with a tour of College Lane to see old stomping grounds and the new developments. If you were a Madhatter and would like to get in touch with the group, email

Keep an eye on all of our events throughout the year on our website: eventslisting

Alumni year book Find out what your fellow graduates have been up to since leaving Hertfordshire 1950s Jean Billman, Education Diploma, 1952: I retired over 20 years ago from paid teaching. However, I still teach a small group of ladies in various crafts which I have always been interested in. I’ll tackle all kinds of crafts e.g. paper craft, knitting, crochet, baskets, jewellery making, quilting to name but a few.

1960s Diana Baggs, Teacher Training, 1960: Studied at Wall Hall 1958 – 60. Teacher training taught for 31 years in Deal, Kent & Germany primary (mostly infants.) Still live in Deal, have three children, three grandchildren and in touch with several old Wall Hall students: Pamela May (now Potts) Maugarie Tamlin (now Hazlewood) and Patricia Reynolds (now Stewart).


David Powell, Computer Science, 1970: Retired from Corporate IT life in 2003 and started my own company, Creekwood Digital Solutions, to provide IT, web and logistics services to my clients and provide an income to fund my expensive thirsts for photographic and computing equipment. With advancing age, the consulting is winding down and I have more time for learning new technology for its own sake and enjoying the artistic side with photography. Victoria Howard, BSc(Hons) Psychology, 1974: I have wound up my occupational psychology business and have started working for the Church of England in a paid role. Very active in voluntary work including helping to set up street pastors in Penzance. Alan McInnes, BSc Applied Biology, 1975: Recently installed an innovative process to treat dairy waste by anaerobic digestion and produce bio-gas to generate electricity and heat via a CHP engine. This is a demonstration site for the UK.

Neil Barrie, BSc(Hons) Computing Science, 1970: After many fruitful working years in Norway, I retired in 2012. I am now in the process of becoming an Ålesund Guide for all the cruise ships arriving each year, 155 in 2013 & 200 already booked for 2014.

Moira Petty, BA(Hons) Applied Social Science, 1979: I am now retired and at 77 I am recovering from my career. Life is a struggle, but I have many happy memories including four years at the jolly Poly! I am quietly content and life is good.




1980s Savinder Kundi, HND in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, 1980: I attended the ceremony for an Associate of the University of Hertfordshire and gladly received an award on 8 September 2012. It was an honour to be involved as it meant a lot to me and my family. My two children are currently in University now! Thank you. Sonal Patel, BSc(Hons) Computer Science, 1983: After graduating in 1983 with a Computer Science degree, I started my career in the mobile telecommunications industry, spending the next 25 years living and working in several countries across Europe, North America, South America and Asia. During my time abroad I achieved an MBA with specialisation in Strategic Planning. On returning to the UK, I left the corporate world seeking more flexibility and family time. I am thrilled to have recently started my own business in the Health and Wellness industry. What a change! Barrie Hunt, Applied Biology, 1985: Since graduating in 1985, I’ve been lucky enough to work in the agrochemical industry. I’ve worked for a number of international businesses and today I’m a global technical manager for herbicides with the Danish multinational Cheminova A/S, a role that takes me to all corners of the earth – or at least those with farms!


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Your news | YEAR BOOK



Victoria Heath, BA(Hons) Tourism Management, 2004: After seven years commuting into London to work in fundraising and development within the Arts, I have recently joined Lucy Cavendish College to work on a large capital fundraising campaign. I’ve also made the big switch to part-time work, so I can spend time focusing on my growing international handmade crafts business,

Lisa Cogan, BA(Hons) European Business Studies, 1994: Helped to set up the Lister Neonatal Unit Families Group in 2009, a parent-led group which helps families at the Neonatal Unit at the Lister Hospital, Stevenage. I also fundraise for the unit. More information at Nigel Barton, Aerospace Engineering, 1996: Currently working on rationalising, modernising and streamlining the A400M IT infrastructure landscape. Principally removing 4X namon-based cama design infrastructure’s and centralising in one location. Taking part in upgrading the airbus-wide landscape for Windows 7 & Cama V5 R21 covering some 50 000 employees. Jessica Cunningham, BSc(Hons) Environmental Studies, 1996: Since graduating I have worked predominately in transport planning and across most sectors and across the UK. After 18 years I returned to my home town to establish a social enterprise to support young people into enterprise and employment - The Jelly Club. This has been a fantastic experience and we are already seeing the benefits for young people and seeing their aspiration expand. Hopefully some may go to University! Carol Wagstaff, BA(Hons) Fine Art, 1998: I’ve won an award for one of my paintings at the inaugural London Biennale. I have subsequently been invited to exhibit in NY, Japan, and Europe.


Joanna Ward, (nee Walls), BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy, 2003: I married Maximilian Ward (BSc(Hons) Music Technology, 2003) on 3 December 2011. We were married in a small ceremony in Rye East Sussex amongst friends and family and witnessed by two of our University friends: Ruth Penfold (BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy 2003) and Michael Aumeerally (BSc(Hons) Multimedia Studies 2004). We have given birth to a little boy Nathaniel Vernon Ward, 7 March 2013. Kelly Goldsworthy, BA Politics with Social Policy, 2001 & BA(Hons) Community Justice, 2004: After graduating I became a Trainee Probation Officer and had to complete another degree at the University of Hertfordshire (BA(Hons) Community Justice). I then became a Probation Officer and now train and assess Probation staff doing vocational qualifications and deliver training. I am also a school Governor. I married my boyfriend who I met at Fresher’s week in 1998, and we have two children.

Wayne Collins, BSc(Hons) Sports Sciences, 2005: After graduating in 2005 I had a year in recruitment, four and a half years in sales to community pharmacies and the past two years I have been a Territory Trauma Sales Consultant for the largest orthopaedic company in the world. I cover Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridge and Northampton and have won major tenders each year. The knowledge from my degree helps me to have valid and in depth discussions with orthopaedic surgeons. Jonathan Shaw, HND Computing, 2006: I became a self-published author in 2008. At the moment I am working on a film project entitled ‘Who was Body 115?’. Scott Perry, BSc(Hons) Cognitive Science, 2006: I want to express my sincere gratitude to the lecturers that I was privileged enough to learn from. I am passionate about what I studied and my whole experience at University was one that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Although I work in the software industry, the University paved the way with a great learning experience. Christopher Day, BSc(Hons) Multimedia Technology, 2007: I started up my own business in 2010, we now have a small team (four people) and the future of Daymedia is looking good! We have hired two other University graduates as well.


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Your news | YEAR BOOK

John How, BA(Hons) Tourism Management, 2007: When I graduated in 2007, I went to Australia and worked as documentations consultant for Australian Pacific Tourism for five months who specialise in selling luxury cruise holidays. James Chettleburgh, BSc(Hons) Environmental Sciences, 2008: It’s very tough for graduates at the moment with current economic market. However, there are plenty of opportunities out there to work on internships or approaching employers as sometimes job opportunities arise when you least expect it. Through persistence, I found a job at Hertsmere Borough Council as a planning officer. I have worked at the Council for nearly five years. Through working with the Council, they sponsored my master’s degree in Town Planning. Upon reflection, I think if you have drive and determination, you will find the job you’re looking for and become successful in it. Alexander Brice, BA(Hons) International Business, 2008: In 2012 I was awarded Hiscox ‘Underwriter of the Year’ by our Chairman Robert Hiscox - I was new into insurance only three years previously. Raaj Radia, BA(Hons) Accounting and Finance, 2008: I worked as an accountant for three years. In 2011, I decided to open my own business. Now I am the MD of Twisty Tails Nursery and after overlooking the business for two years I am now looking to expand my business in the childcare industry. James Simmonds, BEng(Hons) Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, 2008: Have spent the past year as Lead Concept Engineer for a new engine design at JLR. I am now moving to McLaren Automotive as a powertrain project leader.

Fahim Chowdhury, BSc(Hons) Business and Computing, 2008 and MSc Computer Science, 2009: My passion is computer science and my career has led me to write and publish my first book. The book is available online and it is called ‘Toolkit JS’. It is a book about a coding framework which I have developed. I’m also writing a white paper about applying Quantum Physics to coding. John Scott, Foundation degree Creative Enterprise, 2009: Going to the University of Hertfordshire is a great experience and one I will never forget. It is great to still feel a part of it through the Alumni Association. Since graduation, I have gone on to study a BA(Hons) degree which I have passed. I am now continuing with my acting career with several short film projects. During my time studying, I learnt a great deal which has helped me to get where I am today. P.S. Thank you for keeping in touch, everyone involved in running the Alumni Relations team does a great job. Andrew Dias, International Business, 2009: Completed secondment in US over past twelve months. Chartered Accountant ICAEW – ACA. Engaged to University of Hertfordshire graduate, Amy Lawrence. Livon Yeow, BA(Hons) International Marketing, 2009: After leaving University, I secured a job in my chosen profession and became a Trainee Research Executive at Ipsos MORI working in the Consumer Goods/ Marketing team for two and a half years. I have since received two promotions and now work at a smaller agency within Experiential Marketing in Covent Garden. I love it! I am now considering pursuing a dream to be a professional Brazilian Zouk dancer, having taken it up as a hobby in 2011; I plan to move to Brazil in 2014 knowing that I have a solid career to fall back on. Eventually, I would love to teach dance

and use it to help people as a form of therapy. I am also studying a distancelearning course in Animal Behaviour and want to retire in the African Bush with perhaps my own eco-tourism business.

Emma Cain, BSc(Hons) Software Systems for the Arts & Media, 2009: Since graduating I have been working towards setting up my own business making and selling soft toys, costume accessories and jewellery ( This year I will be selling at two major events in London for the first time. I am also aiming to get my first book published by the end of the year.

2010s Ben Selfridge, BSc(Hons) Music Composition and Technology, 2010: My band The FreeFall, have toured Belgium three times, most recently in March 2014. Through our development consultants, we have prospective backing to go the USA. I have used the compositional skills I have learnt from the University to help my band to compose our first album. The second one is on the way.


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Your news | YEAR BOOK

Kelly Maskell, BSc(Hons) Molecular Biology and Genetics, 2010: I was very lucky to have found a job only a couple months after I graduated. Even though I did not study Pharmacy, my hard work and effort paid off and meant I got the grade Roche were looking for to give me a chance. I was unable to take a work placement during my time at University, but there are still opportunities for students who do not take them. I have been with Roche for almost three years now and I love my job and the company very much! I owe a lot to my lecturers and the University, so thank you for the opportunity to improve my life and prospects. Lawrence Hill, BSc(Hons) Paramedic Science, 2010: Getting married to the woman of my dreams, Suzy Fish, who I met while studying at Herts. We both studied Paramedic Science. Lushan Kumarapeli, MSc Computer Science, 2010: I’m glad I chose Hertfordshire as my further education. I enjoyed my stay with the University and made the most out of all valuable resources available for the students. Not only was my CV recognised, it also helped me to get where I am now. Robert Warwick, Doctor of Management, 2010: With Douglas Boad, who is also an alumnus of the University’s Doctor of Management programme, we have published a book with Palgrave MacMillan called The Social Development of Leadership and Knowledge. More information at: Marios Morris, BA(Hons) International Business, 2010: Felicia Smith and I met on de Havilland Campus on the first day of university in 2006. We were both moving into halls, Lemsford, Flat 4! We became good friends over the first year, sharing a few (but not too many) crazy nights out and

many cups of tea. Our friends always said it would happen and we always said, “Whatever. We’re just friends!” We’ve been together since 2008, and we’re still subjected to the occasional ‘I told you so’. We got married in the summer of 2014. Christopher Beckwith, MSc Research Methods in Cognitive Neuropsychology, 2011: Since completing my Masters I managed to get a job as a Research Management and Governance Assistant Facilitator and from that, progress to my current role. If I hadn’t completed my Masters I don’t think I would be in the position I am in now. Emma Ranade, BSc(Hons) Molecular Biology and Genetics, 2006 and PGCE, 2011: I have recently set up my own business called Fab Science specialising in science parties and holiday clubs for kids. I love it! It’s been really popular and I’m so pleased to get kids into science. I did a science degree at University and then my PGCE, so I owe it all to the University of Hertfordshire! Paola Mabanda Massaka, BA/ BSc(Hons) Law and Psychology 2011: I am in the process of setting up a social enterprise business which will be focusing on allowing the disadvantaged community with aspirations to have the opportunity to access the tools and paths required to reach their ultimate goal. Gareth Jordan, MSc Dermatology Treatment and Skills, 2012: In November 2012 I was nominated for the Royal College of GPs (Wales) ‘GP of the Year’ and was one of the ten finalists and a runner up. This was a patient-nominated award and I felt extremely privileged to have been nominated and invited to the Gala Award event in Cardiff.

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Dr Anne Beable, MSc Western Medical Acupuncture, 2013: I have recently had a case report about an adverse event published in the journal ‘Acupuncture and Medicine’ (BMJ Group Publishing). The online first edition has elicited a positive response from two American sources (Editor Medical Acupuncture Mary Anne Liebert journals and MDhinx Call Editorial Team).

Steven Barnett, BA(Hons) Marketing 2012: After graduation I moved to Canada, Toronto and launched a start-up called LONDON notions creative agency, an international advertising agency designed to engage brands with their audience through a level of differentiation. I employed fellow alumni who I met at the LRC during all-nighters and through my course. We’re now looking to expand within the booming economies such as China and Brazil. If you’d like to find out more about what we do, please visit our website:

For the rest of our yearbook entries, take a look at our website under the ‘Yearbook’ section. We would love to hear your news! To have it published in the next edition, please send us an email on:

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your employment prospects with postgraduate study at Hertfordshire

Profile for University of Hertfordshire

Futures - autumn 2014  

Futures - the magazine for Alumni of the University of Hertfordshire

Futures - autumn 2014  

Futures - the magazine for Alumni of the University of Hertfordshire