Vice-Chancellor's leaving reception - celebrating achievement
Colleagues from across the University gathered together this afternoon for a reception in Keele Hall Ballroom to mark and celebrate Professor Nick Foskett's contribution to the University. Professor Foskett will be retiring from the University at the end of August.
And to the mark the occasion of his retirement a portrait of the Vice-Chancellor, by Alistair Adams, commissioned by the University, was unveiled. Professor Foskett was also presented with gifts, which included two original prints from Matthew Rice's book, 'The Lost City of Stoke-on-Trent'.
The Chancellor, Jonathon Porritt, said Professor Foskett had contributed massively to the University over the last five years, overseeing improvements in student accommodation, to Union Square, showing a commitment to student satisfaction and sustainability and a great result in the REF. The Pro-Chancellor, Ralph Findlay, paid tribute to Professor Foskett's work and wished him good luck in his future retirement.
The Vice-Chancellor said: "I have been proud to lead the University through a period of considerable change and development. During this time we have made significant advances in all areas. We are well established as a leading research-led university, and both the quality of our education and of our research is widely recognised. We are financially sound and our market position is strong and continuously improving. Even more importantly we are a university that is proud of its distinction and distinctiveness and which has confidence in its own future. We have all played a part in these achievements and in Trevor McMillan the University is in good hands for the next stage."
Some of his high spots, he said, included coming No 1 in the National Student Survey, the opening of Union Square, the opening of the Sustainability Hub, the REF result and the first screening of 'Marvellous', which resulted in him having an appearance in a BAFTA Award winning drama - probably the first Vice-Chancellor ever to do so.
Keele academic drafts abortion legislation for Ireland
As part of the legal experts group commissioned by Labour Women (Ireland), Dr Sorcha Uí Chonnachtaigh, School of Law, has developed draft abortion legislation for Ireland.
Ireland is the last remaining country in Western Europe with a ban on abortion (except in cases of a risk to the woman's life).The draft legislation and an accompanying explanatory paper can be read in the open access journal, Feminists @ Law.
Here are the links in full:
Draft legislation, General Scheme of Access to Abortion Bill 2015: http://journals.kent.ac.uk/index.php/feministsatlaw/article/view/174; Explanatory paper, Abortion Law Reform in Ireland: A Model for Change: http://journals.kent.ac.uk/index.php/feministsatlaw/article/view/173]
Prestigious Society of British Neurological Surgeons medical elective bursary
Daniel Weinberg, a final year medical student having completed his intercalated MPhil at Keele with Professor Divya Chari, has been awarded a prestigious competitive medical elective bursary from the Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS) for his work at the Brain Tumour Stem Cell laboratory at Johns Hopkins Hospital, USA.
Daniel undertook pioneering research utilising mesenchymal stem cells and nanoparticle-mediated gene therapy to treat glioblastomas, continuing to enhance his research interests following his intercalated project on magnetic nanoparticles and stem cells. Daniel also received a Santander Travel Bursary from the university.
He said: "I am highly grateful to the SBNS and Santander for their generosity in facilitating me to undertake this fantastic opportunity". Daniel will soon be commencing work as an Academic Foundation Doctor at Salford Royal Hospital, during which time he will undertake research in stroke and brain injury.
Staff from across Keele attended the 13th Annual Teaching Symposium last week.
The theme was flexible learning and included a keynote presentation entitled 'Digital Scholarship' from Professor Martin Weller, an International Council for Open and Distance Education Chair, pictured with Dr Jackie Potter and Georgina Spencer, Learning and Professional Development Centre.
This was followed by presentations from Keele staff showcasing their own innovations in this area. Delegates commented how much they enjoyed the relaxed, friendly atmosphere and the opportunity to share ideas with colleagues from across the university.
Making Research Count conference at Keele
More than 150 social work practitioners and other professionals attended a day conference held at Keele Hall, organised by Making Research Count (Keele, Kings College London & York universities) and Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust.
The conference, entitled "Improving outcomes for children, young people, adults and their families", was led by two Principal Social Workers, Lee Pardy-McLaughlin and Andrew Errington.
The event was designed to launch Making Research Count a national federation comprising 10 universities in England, which has as a major aim to promote the application of research to professional practice in social work.
Keynote presentations were given by Professor Harry Ferguson, University of Nottingham, and Professor Sue White, University of Birmingham, which presented ways of improving social work with children and families - based upon research. More than eight workshops covered a diverse range of topics, including "Ten years of the Mental Capacity Act; capturing experience" and "The experiences, meanings and challenges of older women's sexualities".
Professor Steven M Shardlow, Head of the School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, said: "This is an important event which unites academic and professional communities in social work to explore together how to make best use of research and to promote the impact of research".
Connected Communities Festival at Keele: 'Health in the community' immersive workshop
More than forty participants from academia and the community took part in an interactive immersive workshop organised by the Community Animation and Social Innovation Centre (CASIC), as part of the Connected Communities Festival sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Participants worked collaboratively to explore what health meant for their communities and created models of ideal communities using artifacts and theatrical props provided by the New Vic Theatre.
Sue Moffat and her team of theatre practitioners from the New Vic Borderlines ran a number of activities prior to the event capturing stories of health in various community venues such as schools, community centres and food banks.
Parallel cultural animation activities took place in Darwin Building, where a health tent was erected, and in the KAVE (School of Pharmacy) where Luke Bracegirdle designed a virtual health environment. The latter incorporated findings co-produced with communities in previous research projects carried out by Mihaela Kelemen (KMS), Rajmil Fischman (Music) and Emma Surman (KMS).
The workshop stimulated community-academia debate as well as personal and collective reflection on the meanings health in the diverse communities of Stoke-on-Trent, providing also a fertile ground for enhancing community assets and connections with academia.
Connected Communities on tour in Canada
Professor Mihaela Kelemen (KMS/CASIC), Sue Moffat (New Vic Theatre/CASIC) and colleagues form Leicester University and Jericho Road Solutions spent a week in Canada disseminating research findings and methodologies of co-production used in four Connected Communities projects funded by the AHRC.
The field trip was part of one of the seven Legacy projects funded by the AHRC to capture and evaluate the impact of the Connected Communities Programme.
The team was hosted by Professor Tima Bansal, Executive Director of the Network for Business Sustainability at Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario. A series of talks and workshops were organised at the university and in the community. The cultural animation workshop hosted by the Pillar Non-profit Network on cross-sector collaboration attracted over forty members from the private, public and third sector.
The methodology of cultural animation resonated with the participants in a powerful way, prompting the executive director of Pillar, Michelle Baldwin to email Professor Kelemen the following message: "Your team was absolutely incredible and the feedback I am hearing is out of this world. This session was unique and stands apart from what we usually provide and it hit the mark. THANK YOU!!!".
Further research talks and cultural animation workshops on volunteering and community organising were delivered in the City of Markham, Toronto, where more than fifty participants debated the findings of the research carried out by the UK team and had a taster of cultural animation in relation to identifying and resolving issues present in their local communities.
Higher Horizons launched at Keele
Higher Horizons, a HEFCE funded outreach scheme led by Keele, was launched with an event which saw 187 year 10s from seven schools on campus.
The Higher Education Funding Council of England have ploughed £25 million into the University Outreach Sector to encourage Universities to work collaboratively with young people from local state schools.
The launch event saw sessions delivered from partner universities and colleges, including Oxford, Chester, Staffordshire, Keele, Manchester Metropolitan, Derby and Harper Adams universities and Reaseheath.
Mr McColghan from Lees Brook High School in Derby said: "Today gave my students chance to gain a mixed flavour of University life. We are looking forward to getting more involved with Higher Horizons"
Keele Colleagues who are interested in becoming involved with the scheme, that runs until December 2017, through delivery, or seek funding for existing outreach activity, can contact Higher Horizons Manager, Ant Sutcliffe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured is a pupil from Moorside High getting to grips with slime in Dr Katherine Haxton's session.
RCPsych International Congress
Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, Keele and South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust led symposium at the RCPsych International Congress.
Athula Sumathipala, Professor of Psychiatry (South Staffordshire & Shropshire NHS Foundation Trust), Carolyn Chew-Graham, Professor of General Practice Research (Keele) and Eleanor Bradley, Professor of Psychology (University of Worcester) led a symposium at the RCPsych International Congress in Birmingham on Wednesday.
The title was 'Beyond the RCT; the added value of qualitative research within health services research' and attracted a large audience in the main auditorium in the International Conference Centre.
Carolyn presented the results of the COINCIDE trial, a multi-centre RCT of a collaborative care intervention for people with depression and diabetes and/or heart disease. She described the value of the nested qualitative study in helping to explain the trial results. John Cox, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry from Keele, contributed to the discussion, and expressed his support to the development of mental health research and academic psychiatry at Keele.
Keele professor receives honorary fellowship
Professor Paul Eggleston has been awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Entomological Society. This award, made by the President, Officers and Council of the Society, is in recognition of his "eminent and distinguished service to Entomological Science and the Society".
Professor Eggleston has had a long association with the Royal Entomological Society, dating back to 1991 when he was Convenor of an International Symposium on 'Transgenic Insects' and Editor of the associated volume. More recently he was, for a number of years, a Member of Council and Trustee of the Society.
Since 2009, Professor Eggleston has been Editor-in-Chief of Insect Molecular Biology, which is published by the Society and ranked in the top five of Entomology journals.
Professor Eggleston said: "I am delighted to have been awarded life-long honorary membership of the Royal Entomological Society, which does so much to raise public awareness of insect science. I am grateful and honoured to have my contribution recognised in this way".
Pictured above: Professor Eggleston and a genetically modified pupa of the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, expressing a red fluorescent protein.
Invited expert at BBC internal conference
Professor Farzana Shain (School of Public Policy and Professional Practice and Centre for Social Policy) was invited as an academic expert to address a BBC internal staff conference in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
The one-day event was organised by the BBC Academy's College of Journalism and brought together BBC local radio station producers from across the regions to review and plan content in the area of religious affairs.
Following the migration of some British schoolgirls to Syria, the BBC is undertaking a documentary project, to be released later in the year, which sets out to capture the many and varied challenges faced by British Muslim teenage girls today. Farzana was invited to offer academic insight to support a discussion of the issues.
Drawing on research conducted over the last two decades with British Muslim teen girls (and boys), her presentation challenged long-standing dominant assumptions in which minority girls are defined too simply by culture, ethnicity and religion and highlighted instead, the structural and cultural factors that shape the everyday experiences of British Muslim teenagers.
Awards for Physiotherapy Practice Educators
The School of Health and Rehabilitation (SHAR) hosted its annual Liaison Day for practice educators, which offers stakeholders the opportunity to share good practice and support curriculum development.
This year SHAR was delighted to launch the practice educator awards. The award recognises practice educators who have been outstanding in their role as a mentor of physiotherapy students on practice based placements.
Educators who had been nominated by students were invited to attend the liaison day, so that their achievements could be acknowledged and Pam Smith, Head of Clinical Education, presented the certificates.
Emergency exercise at Keele
Staffordshire County emergency services held an exercise on campus on Wednesday to test out local resilience arrangements.
Based around the Lindsay Theatre, the exercise brought together a number of services, including members of the Keele security team.
The aim of the exercise was to co-ordinate major organisations to deal with issues that the County may face and then make decisions on how best to deal with the scenario faced.
Keele's David Gray and Ian Williamson facilitated the event.
David said: "This incident posed some very realistic problems for all agencies involved and valuable lessons were learned that will enhance our ability to respond to emergencies on campus."
Engaging with stakeholders about ageing with chronic pain in rural areas
Tom Kingstone (PhD candidate) with colleagues from the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences (PCHS) and the Beth Johnson Foundation hosted a workshop at Trinity Church in Leek on the challenges of ageing with chronic pain (pain of three or more months) in rural areas.
Twenty-eight people participated, including representatives from Age UK North Staffordshire, Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance, Moorlands Homelink, the Royal Voluntary Service, Staffordshire County Council, and Your Housing Group.
These were joined by members of the public, PCHS Research User Group (RUG) members, and research participants. For those who are interested, a summary report will be available on my student profile page.
Media day for college students
Media, Communications and Culture staged a media day for college students, where they ran a workshop (focused on analysing social networks).
The students also enjoyed a campus tour, then had a personal statement writing workshop (hosted by the outreach team, with help from MCCs in terms of how to make statements media-specific).
Another group of students went to the forensics department, where they took part in activities such as fingerprinting.
Corporate games come to Keele
Last weekend Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent welcomed the UK corporate games to county. Keele played host to 8 different sporting competitions making it the biggest venue at the games. Organisations from all over the country battled it out over three days to be crowned champions of their sport.
Well done to Mark Evans, pictured, who represented the University in the golf competition and was placed 39th from a field of 158 participants.