KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 1 Lancaster Alumni Magazine 2023 Lancaster Transformed My Life Rachel Mann tells of the deep gratitude she owes to her student days Leading a World Class University Professor Andy Schofield and his ambitions for LU
2 | STEPS 2023 I’m pleased to pay tribute to the wonderful work of the Student Union and our brilliant students, who over recent years have had to face so much adversity. A true team effort and something we are all proud of. You may be wondering why this introduction has fallen to me and not, as is the norm, the ViceChancellor. Fear not, for Andy Schofield features later, in an article that reflects on his first three years at Lancaster, since his arrival amid the first Covid lockdown. It is a period of our history that has brought out the very best of our University, and Andy has led from the front throughout. Mention of Covid is a reminder that a common theme of these introductions over recent years has been the various crises facing us, both nationally and internationally. Recent history seems to have delivered a repeat performance of the challenges witnessed a century ago – war, pandemic, economic downturn, political schism; each contributing to cost-of-living pressures. And casting a pall over all is the growing climate emergency. While seeking to address the other challenges, institutions like Lancaster are working harder every day to counter this existential threat, both in terms of our research outputs, but also in the ways we live and work. Thus, it was encouraging that in a newly created QS ranking of sustainable universities, Lancaster was placed 26th in the world. Keeping with this theme of sustainable living, we are also playing an important role in plans to create a northern offshoot of the wonderful Eden Project, in Morecambe - a potential game changer for our near neighbours and for our whole region. While Lancaster continues to contribute to solving the world’s problems, we shouldn’t lose sight of the University’s impact on individual lives. In two articles, Nick Hope (Psychology, 2005, Grizedale) and Rachel Mann (MA Philosophy, 1993, BA Philosophy, 1991, Cartmel) look back on the positive impact of their time here. I’m sure many of you will have similar memories, and these will often be focused on collegiate life. In a whirlwind tour we look at some of our recent college developments and highlights. Elsewhere in this edition, you will find news of another of Lancaster’s key research themes, Ageing. Mentioning this leads to a reminder that Lancaster turns sixty next year. We will be looking to celebrate this anniversary with alumni across the globe, so do keep an eye on our website for news of events and activities. And, as always, please do stay well, stay safe, and stay in touch. Nick Fragel Director of Philanthropy, Alumni and Supporter Engagement Welcome Contents I am delighted to welcome you to the latest edition of Steps with news of a famous win in Roses. For the first time since 1985, Lancaster achieved victory in the fair city of York. Putting this triumph – by the huge margin of 74 points – in context, most alumni who’ve graduated since 2007 weren’t even born when we last won an away fixture, in what has become the biggest inter-varsity competition in Europe. 06 07 Alumni in Print The Big Day 04 Lancaster University Transformed My Life 08 Leading a World Class University
KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 3 Additional contributors: Rachel Pugh and Alex Mounsey. Cover photo: Mike Mann Designed and produced by: www.fusiondesign.co.uk The articles printed here, to the best of our knowledge, were correct at the time of going to press. We cannot guarantee that all articles submitted have been printed and we reserve the right to edit material where necessary. Furthermore, the views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Lancaster University or the Editor. Steps is available to view online at www.lancaster. ac.uk/alumni as a PDF. If you require this magazine in another format, please contact Philanthropy, Alumni and Supporter Engagement. Do you need help to clarify your career goals and aspirations? For recent graduates, the transition from university life to the world of work is a daunting experience. It can be challenging to navigate the job market, prepare for interviews, and identify career paths that align with your skills and aspirations. That’s where Lancaster University’s new Graduate Careers Coach can help. We offer remote or face-to-face support, with e-queries and video call appointments available through CareersConnect. A Careers Coach can help you clarify your career goals and aspirations, providing advice and support as you take the first steps in your professional journey. The coach can also provide you with valuable advice on the job search process including CV and cover letter writing, interview preparation and networking. You can also obtain support with the emotional and psychological challenges that often come with the job search process. Accessing support from the Graduate Careers Coach is an investment in yourself and your future. Whether you’re just starting your job search or looking to make a career change, we can provide you with the support and guidance you need to succeed. Online appointments are bookable via https://careersconnect.lancasteruniversity.uk/ 10 18 14 22 16 24 Centre for Ageing Research I Found my Confidence at Lancaster Alumni Profiles In Memoriam Alumni: Friends for Life Supporting our Students 20 Keeping up with the Colleges 12 University News
4 | STEPS 2023 She’d fallen in love with Lancaster on sight at an open day. “The level of welcome from the Philosophy Department blew my mind,” she reminisces. “I have never forgotten that sense of ‘we are absolutely delighted that you are here’ and that mattered so much more to me at the time than anything else.” For her, philosophy was about ‘winning arguments and being clever’, which she had done successfully at school and continued to do at Lancaster. “I thought it would arm me against my vulnerability against the world,” she says. “I discovered that I was good at it and I have taken those analytical skills into the rest of my life and that capacity not to be tricked by what looks like a good argument.” Rachel’s life appeared to be that of a typical bright male undergrad – academically able, playing in a psychedelic prog rock band called ‘Out to Lunch’, drinking in the Cartmel bar, guitarist in student musicals such as Godspell and Little Shop Of Horrors (with future Game of Thrones star Ralph Ineson). She even took part in drama productions that gained her an invitation to join the National Youth Theatre, which she had to turn down to go and teach in Jamaica for a year. Before transitioning, she even briefly married a female fellow student following a whirlwind final-year relationship, in a bid to block out the growing confusion about her own gender identity. The decision to return to Lancaster to do a Master’s in Philosophy gave her the safety to take a giant step. She remembers: ‘I had not transitioned and was in complete terror and denial - so much so that I couldn’t even articulate any element of my sexuality or gender identity. I felt as if I was constantly trying to maintain this mask of masculinity.” But in an environment where she shone academically and felt valued by the staff and fellow students, she felt confident enough to make the life-changing decision to begin transitioning in 1993. Over more than two years she received treatment in London to make the change, began a PhD and stayed on at Lancaster as a teaching fellow in the Philosophy Department. Even from her current perspective as a high-profile speaker on religious, philosophical and trans matters as well as an author, poet and now recently appointed Archdeacon of Bolton and Salford, Rachel finds it difficult to view this extreme time of turmoil with clarity, but she has no hesitation in acknowledging the deep debt of gratitude she feels she owes Lancaster. “My experience of transition - which was absolutely necessary and absolutely right - was at the same time intensely difficult,” she recalls. “I could not have transitioned in the way I did, with a sense of completeness and wholeness, if I had not done it in a place where I felt safe and held.” Rachel speaks of her undergraduate years with happiness. This was the late eighties and the skinny youth with dreadlocks from Worcestershire she was then, was after fun and to prove herself in every way, including how well she could handle ‘this guy thing’. She had, from the age of five, felt uncomfortable about being seen as a boy. University Transformed My Life RACHEL MANN | MA PHILOSOPHY, 1993, BA PHILOSOPHY, 1991, CARTMEL To call The Rev’d Canon Dr Rachel Mann’s time at university transformational, would be an understatement. Not only did she arrive presenting as male and leave having transitioned to become a woman, but she also turned her back on atheism to discover her unexpected vocation as an Anglican priest.
KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 5 She talks with admiration at the stability the department provided as her appearance gradually changed and her colleagues accepted her new name and adapted to the need to treat her differently: “ I was held and valued and able to get on do things that I loved and teach people and learn from wonderful seminar students. That’s why I stayed there for so long.” Studying philosophy, she says, allowed her to discover that she was in fact a theologian, but nothing prepared her for the next dramatic life change - her conversion in 1996 from self-styled “God hater” to Christian, with a calling to be ordained as a priest. “I wasn’t just an atheist – I was a Dawkins-style atheist - religion was ‘evil’,” she recalls. “But sometimes those who protest loudest are the most likely to become converts.” Her time at Lancaster had come to an end. She moved to Manchester in 1997 until 2003 to test her vocation for the ordained ministry. She was one of the first two trans people recommended for training to the ministry and the bishops had to work out how to incorporate them, and whether it was even right for a ‘post op trans’ person to be ordained. She did her training for the ministry in Birmingham from 20035 and joined the Manchester Diocese in 2005, until recently as the Rector of Burnage. In June 2023 she took up the role of Archdeacon of Bolton and Salford. In parallel with her work, she has written a number of books (including her autobiography ‘Dazzling Darkness’ and her first novel ‘Gospel of Eve’) numerous chapters and papers and a well-received collection of poetry. She is also a regular broadcaster and media commentator. The higher profile of trans issues is a good thing in her opinion, but she takes a relaxed view of the use of specific pronouns and of the trans loo debate. She thinks that universities need to take a leading role on gender and trans issues, as part of supporting students to learn and develop, whatever their needs. ‘My instinct is that the support of trans students should be the same as for people in wider society,” she explains. “We should respect people when they choose to reveal something so personally important about themselves and offer them the adaptations and support to thrive in a university setting or community.” @RMannWriter Image: KT Photography
6 | STEPS 2023 1 M ary Mosope Adeyemi Accounting and Finance, 2007, Cartmel Visible Strengths 2 Margot Douaihy PhD Creative Writing, 2019 Scorched Grace 3 Peter MacKenzie History, 1978, Furness The Needful 4. Vivien Sieber Biological Sciences, 1975, Furness Kino and Kinder 5 Jim Edwards Sociology, 1991, Cartmel Say Thank You for Everything 6 D r Nicholas Morgan PhD History, 1986, BA History, 1976, Bowland Everything You Need To Know About Whisky (but were too afraid to ask) 7 Walker Zupp MA & BA English Language and Creative Writing, 2018, 2017, Cartmel Nakadai 8 D r David Pierce English, 1970, Lonsdale Yeats Revisited 9 Stewart Collins History and English, 1967, Lonsdale Social Workers and Compassion 10 L eslie M. Shore MBA, 1993 The Ocean Coal Company and ‘The Barry’ 11 Alan Smith Geography, 1992, Lonsdale How Charts Work 12 Sally Corrie Archaeology, 1982, Lonsdale Holden Gate 13 Ross Parker Operations Management & Computer Science, 2001, Pendle Screens That Eat Children 14 Victoria Bennett MA Creative Writing, 2002 All My Wild Mothers 15 Tony Abramson Economics, 1970, County Gold Coins of Anglo-Saxon England 16 Menesh Patel MSc Operational Research, 2002 Brain Meets Mother Me & Her Little Mini-Me’s 17 Jenny Garrett MA Management Learning and Leadership, 2009 Equality Vs Equity 18 John Darlington Archaeology and Geography, 1984, Bowland Amongst The Ruins 19 N guyên Phan Quê´ Mai MA Creative Writing, 2014 Dust Child 20 Gail Kirkpatrick MA Creative Writing, 2012, Sleepers and Ties Alumni in Print 9 10 11 12 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 13 14 15 16 4 17 18 19 20 ~
KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 7 1 8 15 2 9 16 3 10 17 4 11 18 5 12 19 6 13 20 7 14 21 The Big Day 1 David Townsend (PhD Chemistry, 2017) married Barbora Mala (PhD Chemistry 2022, MSc Chemistry, 2017 Furness) 2 Amanda Dibbo (Natural Sciences, 2013, Cartmel) married Ben Shaw (BBA, 2014, Fylde) 3 David Taylor (Business Studies, 2009, Cartmel) married Francesca Cripps (French and Spanish, 2012, Cartmel) 4 Sophie Morris (Advertising and Marketing, 2017, Lonsdale) married Indios Sapara (Economics, 2015, County) 5 Jack Davidson (Business Studies, 2011, Fylde) married Emma Wood (Advertising and Marketing, 2012, County) 6 Jenifer Parkin (BBA, 2012, Lonsdale) married Jake Aspinall (Biomedical Science, 2013, Lonsdale) 7 Greg Galloway (MEng Mechanical Engineering, 2014, County) married Sophie Black (English Language, 2013, County) 8 Deanna Woosey (Economics and Maths, 2017, Furness) married Jay Tserkezie (Maths, 2017, Furness) 9 Boby Potter (Accounting and Finance, 2012, Fylde) married Laura Jones (Psychology, 2012, Fylde) 10 Lauren Hartshorn (English Literature and History, 2015, Furness) married Matt Woodcock (Earth Science with Geography, 2015, Furness) 11 Matthew Webb (History and Politics, 2017, Cartmel) married Jennifer Foden (Psychology, 2017, Cartmel) 12 Hannah Peissel (Geography, 2015 County) married Mike Baxter (Maths, 2015, County) 13 Jonathan Lewis (Nuclear Engineering, 2016, County) married Shannon Turner (Law, 2014, Furness) 14 Lucy Darwen (BBA, 2015, Grizedale) married Josh Littlemore (PPE, 2013, Grizedale) 15 Ollie Barnard (Marketing, 2015, Furness) married Shona Tate (Psychology, 2015, Furness) 16 Elise Robinson (MSci Natural Sciences, 2019, Furness) married Thomas Martin (MSc Environmental Science, 2019, BSc Ecology and Conservation, 2018, Furness) 17 Peter Williams (MSc Statistics 2014, BSc Stats, 2013, Pendle) married Rebecca Hardman (History, 2013, Furness) 18 Joanna Birch (English Language and Sociolinguistics, 2012, Fylde) married Michael Gladstone (Maths, 2014, Grizedale) 19 Maxwell Brown (BBA, 2020, Lonsdale) married Tarah Milbank (MSc Advanced Marketing Management, 2018, Lonsdale) 20 Laura Dempster (English Literature, 2014, County) married George Turner (Criminology, 2014, County) 21 Michael Thomas (MSc Data Science, 2017) married Hwan Heui Lee (MSc Data Science, 2017) Congratulations to our alumni couples
8 | STEPS 2023 Leading a World Class University In his career as a theoretical physicist, Andy Schofield has always had very precise goals, and as Vice-Chancellor his aim is just as clear - to increase Lancaster University’s ‘footprint’ at home and internationally - to turn it into a globally significant presence for teaching, research and engagement on the world university stage. Since taking up his post in May 2020 at the height of the Covid pandemic - after more than 20 years at Birmingham University, latterly as Pro Vice-Chancellor - Andy has overseen Lancaster’s £19m commitment to becoming the UK’s go-to research and teaching institution in cyber security. It has launched three new undergraduate degrees specifically focusing on cyber security, and this will create almost 60 jobs. This capitalises on the Government’s £5bn 10-year investment in establishing Cyber Force in Samlesbury, Lancashire. Over the next few months, he is also excited about Lancaster’s plans to increase its international ‘footprint’ to include Indonesia as well as the overseas campuses it already has in Malaysia, China, Germany and Ghana. “We’re a fantastic world class university and my vision is for us to be even better and to be known to be even better,” states the VC enthusiastically. “We’re a hidden gem from the point of view of the wonderful research that is going on here, and particularly around the quality of the student experience. I will have succeeded when everyone else knows that too.” His own student years were spent at Cambridge - where he completed both his undergraduate degree in Physics and his PhD - before specialising in non-Fermi liquids, quantum criticality and high-temperature superconductivity. Perhaps taking up his post as VC in Lancaster in May 2020, at the height of the lockdown, accounts for the strong commitment he feels towards it. For a year he worked in the building completely alone.
KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 9 Over those months he cycled in to the University from his temporary accommodation and communicated with his team online, making significant and expensive decisions with people he had never met, via a screen. He also got to know most corners of the University and every cupboard and filing cabinet in his own department. He laughs as he recalls jumping at a shadow of a person falling on his computer screen, the first time a member of the team came up to his floor: “It was a very strange world,” he says. Lancaster’s reputation for low and hightemperature physics meant that Andy was well acquainted with some of its leading physicists. When the opportunity to apply for the post of VC came up, he was attracted by its reputation for research and teaching. A big draw for him was the fact that he is the University’s Chief Academic and is expected to continue to publish his research. This was not the case at Birmingham, where publishing had been written out of his contract. Since his arrival he has taught a few lectures, he has published papers contributing to REF 2021 and is carrying out a small amount of research, including recent work on novel superconductors, with colleagues from Oxford. He describes his own university years as ‘transformative’ and therefore wants Lancaster to do the same for every one of its students. His father was an engineer and his mother a physiotherapist, who both prized education and supported him when he won a part scholarship to Whitgift School in South Croydon, but he said: “It took me my three years at university to have the confidence to be myself. The reason I’m in the university sector is because of the transformation that it made for me.” “It was so powerful and so influential, not just in giving me a research career and friends, but also in becoming an adult.” Married with three children, Andy is a lover of swimming, running and hill walking. He makes no attempt to hide his enthusiasm for Lancaster’s campus situation on the edge of the Lake District and recounts how much it contributes to family life: “I love that combination of a really high-quality academic environment, but in a landscape that is so beautiful and accessible, with walks on your doorstep. Whether you like the sea or the hills, it’s all there.” Professor Andy Schofield Vice-Chancellor Lancaster University Andy Schofield celebrates the 2023 Roses Win - ©LUSU
10 | STEPS 2023 Centre for Ageing Research These explorations into the frontiers of ageing are among dozens to have emerged from Lancaster University’s Centre for Ageing Research, whose main focus is on working out how to keep us as healthy as possible before we begin to show signs of cognitive and physical wear and tear, so that the period we spend in poorer health in later life is as short as possible. The eye tracking has been done by Professor Trevor Crawford, whose work with a local NHS trust shows that a particular test causes people with Alzheimer’s to make 10 times more mistakes than control patients. Professor Susan Broughton’s research using the fruit fly to examine a ‘mini lifespan’ indicates that insulin/IGF-like signalling pathways may be important in brain ageing. They are part of an intricate network of cross-university teams involving every faculty – health and medicine, science and technology, arts and social sciences and the business school - to look not only at every aspect of ageing, but also what interventions are both possible and useful to older people and those who may support or care for them. One example of the research based in the Centre for Ageing Research, widely known as C4AR, is an interdisciplinary network focusing on a condition known as “Cognitive Frailty” in which people have begun to experience some decline in their thinking and concentration skills, but do not have dementia, and this is happening at the same time as physical function changes such as slowed walking speed (commonly described as frailty). This network is one of 11 ‘hubs’ across the UK funded by the UK Research Institute to encourage interdisciplinary research on ageing. The UK Centre for Ageing Better’s 2022 report The State Of Ageing showed that depending on where you live, there are differences of 10 years in life expectancy, and more than 17 years in reaching the point of disabling illness. The need to solve unanswered questions is great. Director for the Centre for Ageing Research Professor Carol Holland believes that this focus on investigating ‘cognitive frailty’ is a crucial part of the jigsaw, which they are starting to piece together. Eye-tracking tasks may soon act as early predictors of Alzheimer’s, and studying fruit flies is yielding secrets of how human beings may be able to stay healthy for as long as possible as they age. Psychology TMS Lab Eye Tracking Research
KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 11 Says Professor Holland: “We are living in times when we can feel a bit more hopeful about dementia. Intervening with cognitive frailty is hopeful - but we need to understand the mechanisms.” What they have already identified is that the link between being physically frail and the mild cognitive impairment is mediated by factors such as depression and cognitive reserve (the protection provided not just by education, but also by occupations and hobbies that make people use their brains in a complex manner) as well as how active people are physically. As these are modifiable, researchers in the field are optimistic that they may be able to find ways of reducing eventual dementia, including its most common form, Alzheimer’s, but also improve outcomes for those with cognitive frailty, maybe even reversing some of the decline. So far, Lancaster’s main work on Cognitive Frailty has consisted of a large-scale literature review, but the centre is also bidding for funding to look at these links between physical frailty and cognitive impairment. They wish to explore a range of interventions, especially in terms of acceptability from the perspectives of older people themselves. Clues on improving the prospects for ageing well are gathering pace. Other work linked to the Centre for Ageing Research is that by Lancaster’s Dr Helen Nuttall, examining how ageing and age-related hearing loss affect the brain and how we communicate, and what can be done to improve communication for older adults. There is also work with charities in Lancaster and Liverpool on the way music and dance can help people living with dementia and their carers. Other projects are looking at the use of virtual reality for people who can no longer go out. International collaborations between the Centre for Ageing Research and Spanish scientists during Covid revealed that frailty among older people increased during the pandemic, but that it was worse in Spain where their government banned outside exercise. Many more questions are being addressed at Lancaster, which will be relevant to every single one of us. Says Professor Holland: “After all, we all get old and we’re realising that there are things that we should all be doing earlier in life that will increase our chance of ageing well.” For further details visit www.ukanet.org.uk/cfin www.lancaster.ac.uk/health- and-medicine/research/c4ar Singing intervention (Lyrics and Lunch)
12 | STEPS 2023 The nine colleges are, on one hand, a steady fixture of life at Lancaster and have been, in some cases for almost 60 years. Whenever you graduated, there will be an element of college life that you can reminisce over with fellow alumni. Yet, on the other hand, they are a constantly evolving reflection of student life today. We hear how colleges are making changes to keep up with the times while continuing to celebrate their history. Refreshing changes If you’ve visited campus recently, you might have spotted some bright new college spaces. Grizedale’s common room has been transformed thanks to Fine Art students Charley Burt and Lauren Ferguson who have painted a mural which pays homage to the college’s namesake forest. In November 2022, Pendle bands gained a space to practise and perform. Staff and students have donated musical equipment and the room is proving to be a hit in drawing bands to Pendle Live, the college’s monthly live music event. Furness is now no longer the University’s smallest college. Sixty new student rooms in seven flats now occupy space above the college facilities. With between 7 and 11 students in each, the flats are bigger than the older Furness accommodation with a spacious kitchen, dining and lounge area. And, having updated its common and music rooms, Cartmel now has to refurbish its dining area and invest in a new cinema room. Coping with the cost of living Everyone’s feeling the pinch right now, students included, and all nine colleges and the University are finding ways to help them with the cost of living. From Fylde to Graduate College, there are pop-up events in college bars, cafés and restaurants where students can grab a free hot meal. There is also particular help for students in financial difficulty, including a new fund to support students that need it and community cupboards offering free food and hygiene products – an initiative that started in Furness and has now been adopted by all colleges. Celebrating your memories With several big birthdays on the horizon, college teams are keen to receive your stories and photos of university life. Elder twin colleges, Bowland and Lonsdale will be 60 next year and the college teams are seeking your images from any decade. Grizedale, on the other hand, will turn 50 in 2025 and former Principal, Andrew Okey, would like to receive alumni stories, particularly if you were on the JCR Executive during Keeping up with the colleges Fylde well-being event with alpacas Furness celebrations The newly-refurbished Pendle music room
the early 80s or in the 2000s. Pendle is also gearing up for its 50th anniversary and is beginning to plan celebrations and reunions. Other colleges also welcome your memories, for example at Cartmel, where a staff team is writing a history of the college and village of the same name. And, a drab noticeboard at the tunnel entrance to County quad, is crying out for a revamp and your photographs will help to create a brighter welcome. You can share your images and stories with the colleges via their alumni Facebook pages. Supporting student health and well-being Events and activities across campus are supporting students with their health and well-being. Fylde’s mental health day saw 500 students from all colleges enjoy performances, food, yoga, a petting zoo and alpacas, and provided information about support available to students that need it. And, campus is now more welcoming all year round, as the colleges are holding a range of events for students that stay during the holidays. Events include trips to Windermere, craft activities, free food and film nights. Once an alumnus/ alumna… Campus is always open to alumni wishing to revisit and reminisce. On a recent visit, County alumni Edward and Amy Barr (2005) were delighted to find their names on the ‘County College Thank You tree’ which celebrates College donors. Each college receives funding through the Lancaster University Opportunity Fund to enhance the lives of students during their time at Lancaster. Discover how you can support your college through a donation to the Lancaster University Opportunity Fund, visit www.lancaster.ac.uk/giving/ opportunity-fund And, a team of Grizedale footballing alumni have recently taken part in the annual Jacques Browne Memorial Game. The match is held in memory of football B Team captain Jacques who sadly passed away shortly after graduating in 2014. His friends now return to campus each year to play the current football A team, with the alumni team playing in black. Stay in touch Whether you want to revisit campus, send in your images, or donate to one of our fundraising campaigns you can find all the information you need online on the alumni section of the Lancaster University website, visit www.lancaster.ac.uk/alumni Edward and Amy Barr (County, 2005) Jacques Browne alumni squad Grizedale fine art students Charley Burt (L) and Lauren Ferguson (R)
14 | STEPS 2023 Kelsey Robb is a creator manager at TikTok and has already had a job at Google, so has established herself on the cutting edge of tech, but she never misses the opportunity to learn. As Creator Partnerships Manager at TikTok she supports teams looking at activity on and off the entertainment platform trying to spot and encourage trends and creative individuals, which she admits means spending an “exorbitant” amount of time online and in app. She also works with other companies and individuals to help showcase their talent on the platform. “It’s fun and challenging, but incredibly exciting,” enthuses Kelsey. “You never really know what will happen. You can think that you have your week planned out and then suddenly, a huge trend emerges or something unexpected pops up in the zeitgeist of the world. Suddenly it’s all systems go - you’re rejigging this and changing that.” She describes a recent trend in which mothers dressed in the same fashions as their daughters, which she loved: “It was so lovely to see how excited the women got about it. You could see it opened their eyes as to what they could wear and how they could dress. I love when people see new ways to express themselves.” enthusiasm for sharing his subject complete with humour and relevant anecdotes. The group marketing project required in her final year provided invaluable experience of marketing consultancy which she used when developing marketing strategies in the first three years of her work life. Even though the hiking group tours company project was not her area of interest, she had opportunities to speak to directly to its founders. She says: “In the end I really enjoyed it. To take the principles and apply it to something you are not interested in turned out to be a better exercise in learning.” She attributes a large part of her early success to Vicky Metcalfe, whose ‘Marketing Me’ course ensured she understood the need to prepare herself for work early enough during her time at Lancaster. She worked on a good CV and had sought out internships, so that she had already had a job offer from Google before her exams started. This meant she could concentrate on study for which she was rewarded with a first class honours degree. Kelsey loves her work for its constant variety and the opportunities it offers to learn and discover something new. It’s something that brings her huge pleasure both professionally and personally. She never knows what is going to be around the corner. Lancaster set her up well for life after university, not only academically and socially, but also by giving her a rich network. She says: “It gave me a lifelong network of people from where I can get business advice and knowledge. That is so supportive. You have people to lean on in the daunting world outside, who have been through the exact experience you have.” Her studies at Lancaster proved their worth in her very first job for Google. She realised that two of the advertising theories she’d been taught had come up whilst consulting businesses, which boosted her confidence. Brought up in Luton, Kelsey knew Lancaster was her first choice, after visiting more than ten other campuses with her family. She’d already decided to study Marketing while at school, but it was the flexibility of the course and the emphasis on studying what interested her that convinced her. Settling in required adaptation as she felt a long way from home and found the campus considerably colder than back in Luton. As a city enthusiast, she also found it so quiet that she played a YouTube soundtrack of traffic noise in her room to help her feel more at home. The college atmosphere at Fylde however enveloped her and Kelsey found friends she could always call upon to accompany her to new events. This experience she says has made her ‘Fylde until I die’. The Freshers’ Fair was an eye opener - so many societies and the chance to try something new. She joined the Advertising Society and in the last year was President, she loved it so much. She also joined Hip Hop Society sessions which gave her moves that she still uses on the dance floor. She tried out for the rugby team, went to the Entrepreneurship Society and the Bright Futures as its Marketing Officer. Advertising lectures with Hayley Cocker were a highlight because of her ability to bring theory to life. She also relished Marketing lectures with Alan Gilchrist because of his love and Spotlight on... KELSEY ROBB MARKETING, 2018, FYLDE CREATOR PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER, TIK TOK
KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 15 Paul Marvell’s work revolves around improving the lives of dogs and cats in nine countries across the world, bringing together not only his key passions, but also the skills he has developed over his 40-year career since graduation. He loves the fact that to reach his office each morning, where he works as the Director of Global Programmes at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, he has to pass the kennels, cattery and veterinary hospital, daily reminding him of why he does the job he does. He also feels privileged to be in a job which uses the key elements of the Geography he studied at Lancaster, with the understanding of developing countries from his years with major charities. “Everything I did at Lancaster really fitted me for what I did next,” reflects Paul. “It’s incredible the connections I can now see between what I have done in my career and my studies at University. I’m not sure you realise that at the time, but all those things really connect back.” His work for the 160-year-old charity, requires him to take a strategic approach to improving animal welfare globally by working with organisations abroad and in the UK through the Battersea Academy, a world centre of excellence, and a programme of large multi-year Lancaster’s flexibility enabled him to add courses on English Literature as well as studies in Behaviour in Organisations at the Management School, alongside the geography options. A course in urban geography in developing countries proved invaluable to his future work fundraising for the British Red Cross, as he later discovered that many of the emergencies he encountered were exacerbated by increased urbanisation. At the end of his degree course, Paul considered pursuing a career as a radio journalist, but was put off by the competition. He had an interest in the retail industry so spent the first eight years after graduation working for Homebase, before moving into the charity sector with RNIB and then holding several senior fundraising posts with the British Red Cross where he did two stints. He also spent five years at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising as a Director. He joined Battersea just over five years ago and loves it. He’s always had a dog and his current pet, Logan, was rescued from Greece. Reflecting on his current career satisfaction, he is fascinated to see how much of what he is doing now has its roots in his undergraduate years at Lancaster: “It was the whole experience of being on a university campus away from home, meeting people I would not otherwise have met. It completely changed my life. University enables you to discover yourself and what you might be able to become in the future.” grants both of which he launched in 2018. This gives him opportunities to travel, including a trip to Thailand later this year to review the impact of an initiative launched last year. “I’m incredibly fortunate with the job that I have - and I always have been,” he enthuses, “but with this one, as it’s 40 years since I’ve graduated. I suppose I’m coming to the end of my career so it’s great to leave on a bit of a high doing lots of things I love. My interests in international matters, development, animals and travel are all being combined just now.” He thinks his shy teenage self, who arrived as a first year from Bromley in Kent, would be impressed that his geography degree had carried him into such a satisfying career, with an ability to continue to have an impact on the lives of others. Paul’s choice of Lancaster was based on its reputation and his love for human geography, plus the attraction of the nearby Lake District. But he was a long way from home and without any friends from school, so he said he found the first week ‘a big deal’. The big personal breakthrough was joining University Radio Bailrigg (URB as it was then known) in the first week and starting training as a DJ and presenter. Immediately he gained a group of friends as well as the opportunity to develop public speaking skills he would use in future work in the charity sector. He also developed confidence as he took on his own show and DJ’d in clubs in Lancaster. His studies absorbed him and have fed into his career. He remembers a ‘fantastic’ Professor of Human Geography, James Johnson, who oversaw his dissertation on the development of the London Docklands. PAUL MARVELL GEOGRAPHY, 1983, CARTMEL DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL PROGRAMMES, BATTERSEA DOGS AND CATS HOME
16 | STEPS 2023 University News Outstanding Library Team ‘Connect, Innovate and Include’ Sunway and Lancaster Joint Celebrations Lancaster University won University of the Year at the Educate North Awards in May 2023. The annual winner of Educate North’s University of the Year award is decided by a panel of judges and the award commends leading institutions across the North of the United Kingdom. The judges aim to recognise an institution which is performing well across a range of areas, including teaching, research, student experience, internationalisation, innovation and economic impact. On nominating Lancaster for this year’s award, the Educate North judges said: Students graduating this year from Sunway Business School, the School of Arts, of Engineering and Technology and of Medical and Life Sciences, add to over 9,900 Lancaster University and Sunway (Malaysia) joint alumni who have graduated from the dual programme since it began in 2006. Following the graduation ceremonies, colleagues from Philanthropy, Alumni and Supporter Engagement hosted a traditional British High Tea event in Kuala Lumpur for 70 alumni. The team welcomed graduates from both the Sunway-Lancaster partnership and from Lancaster University to the event, “The 2023 judging panel consider Lancaster to be an outstanding example of an institution committed to achieving the highest possible standards for its students and for the communities it serves. “It ranks high on key metrics from student satisfaction and expertise of its teaching staff as well as working hard to develop key sustainable and environmental initiatives. “Educate North strives to encourage excellence and continual improvement and in the 2023 winner of University of the Year we have a model to inspire others.” Win for Lancaster at Educate North Awards which was intended to reinvigorate Lancaster’s alumni network in Malaysia. The partnership between Lancaster and Sunway has developed significantly since the initial cohort of just 21 students; there are now over 5,600 students on joint programmes. You can find out more about this partnership on the following web page: www.lancaster.ac.uk/partners/sunway Lancaster University was awarded the Outstanding Library Team trophy at the 2022 Times Higher Education Awards. Andrew Barker, Director of Library Services & Learning Development, said; “It was an absolute honour to win the award for Outstanding Library Team at the THE Awards in London, and I’m still giddy at the news.” The Library team won the award for their aim to “connect, innovate and include”, ensuring that the wider community see the University’s library as a resource they can use. A Library Community Card allows the public to use library services for free and the Library has hosted a threeday Library Festival and the Slavery Family Trees Conference. This was part of the Lancaster Slavery Family Trees Community Project, alongside the Lancaster Black History Community Group, students, schools and volunteers. The judges highlighted the Library team’s “strategic and holistic approach” to delivering culture change. They said: “The work of the Library succeeded in its aim of deepening the connection between the campus and the local community and of demystifying the University by partnership working to both increase access and to develop collections. For alumni library access and free online journals visit www.lancaster.ac.uk/alumni
KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 17 Eden Project Morecambe Awarded £50m from Government’s Levelling Up Fund Keep up to date with University News www.lancaster.ac.uk/news University’s Forum To Make A ‘Positive Difference’ Nearly 100 individuals, businesses, community groups and a range of stakeholders came together at the recent Lancaster University Exchange to discuss how the community can work together to tackle the climate emergency. Representatives from local authorities, businesses, charities, further education colleges, the health sector and members of the public met at Lancaster Town Hall to discuss ongoing projects and potential opportunities to address sustainability issues and the climate emergency. The Exchange looked at how the local community could work together to achieve commitment to net-zero as individuals, organisations and through collaborative partnerships. It was opened by Pro-Chancellor of Lancaster University, the Rt Hon Alistair Burt and Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield, who provided an introduction and an update on the University’s successes and priorities. Professor Schofield said: “At the Lancaster University Exchange, it was great to see so many people together in one room with the common goal of wanting to make a difference. “We heard about some amazing projects including the Don’t Ditch It! campaign for students, repurposing unwanted items to give to new students and charities and a ‘Too Good To Go’ app where businesses are able to sell rather than throw food.” For further information visit www.lancaster.ac.uk/connect/ lancaster-university-exchange There are also other ways that external organisations can connect with Lancaster University, www.lancaster.ac.uk/connect for further information. The Eden Project has been awarded £50m in the second round of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to build the new Eden Project Morecambe. The bid was submitted by Lancaster City Council, one of the Eden Project’s key partners on the Morecambe attraction, and was chosen as a recipient of the largest investment possible under the fund, earmarked for large-scale cultural regeneration projects. As the lead for the partnership bid, Lancaster City Council will be the recipient of the funding and will work with partners to ensure it is allocated in accordance with Government requirements. Eden Project Morecambe is the new official name for the project, which has previously been known as Eden Project North. An expanded project delivery team will be created in preparation for the construction phase with details of the first round of recruitment to be announced soon. Around 300 high-quality green jobs will be directly created by Eden Project Morecambe, with more than 1,000 additional new jobs supported in the region. The £50m investment is half of the £100m needed to build the coastalthemed project. The funding allows the project to move into its next phase and begin the process of finalising the remaining £50m from private and philanthropic sources identified as part of the bidding process. Now that the Levelling Up Fund process has concluded, preparation for construction is due to start this year and the aim is for Eden Project Morecambe to be open to visitors by 2026. Eden Project Morecambe is being delivered by the team behind the first Eden Project in Cornwall, alongside local partners Lancaster University, Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. It is one of the key initiatives in an expansion plan that will see Eden Projects built elsewhere in the UK and around the world.
18 | STEPS 2023 “The biggest thing I took away from Lancaster was confidence,” he says. “The degree is important, but everything else is equally important.” For him that means the whole package - a psychology degree that has fed his ethical approach to his sports journalism career, learning the broadcasting ropes at Bailrigg FM, competing in sports including the Roses competition, developing leadership skills through college activities and establishing a huge network of friends. The evidence of his professional success has been shown through several industry awards, such as those bestowed by the International Sports Press Association and Sports Journalists’ Association in recent years. “I could not have done what I am doing now without my time at Lancaster,” he muses, as he reviews his many current roles with sports bodies such as the International Olympic Committee, BBC Breakfast, World Aquatics, Team GB, Channel 4 and the Women’s Sports Alliance. His vocal support for Lancaster, as well as his career achievements, have also gained him a LU Alumni Award in 2022. It was the Open Day which decided the sports-mad teenager from Wigan that Lancaster was where he was going to study. Nick finds it hard to believe that his first-year self came to Lancaster lacking the confidence to pick up a ringing phone in an office, whereas the young man who left three years later was able to address crowds of hundreds, and already a dab hand at radio presenting to a virtual audience of thousands. Now a well-established freelance radio and TV sports broadcaster with 14 years at the BBC under his belt as well as 23 Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealths, Nick ascribes his transformation to the whole experience of being an undergraduate at Lancaster: How I Found My Confidence at Lancaster University NICK HOPE | PSYCHOLOGY, 2005, GRIZEDALE Award-winning sports journalist and presenter, Nick Hope tells how he went from a shy first-year student to establishing a career in broadcasting across the globe.
KEEP IN TOUCH WWW.LANCASTER.AC.UK/ALUMNI | 19 “It was wet and windy, but there was something wonderful about it and I knew that this was where I needed to be. There was a warmth about the place and I loved the collegiate system. The sports facilities were also a big attraction.” He’d tried most sports as a teenager and competed as a swimmer in Junior National Championships until a serious overtraining injury at 14 stopped his dream of being a professional. So his strengths in the pool provided him a swift entry point to student life, first on the Lancaster team and later as its captain. Almost immediately his confidence took wings. He started writing for SCAN. He threw himself into JCR activities at Grizedale, becoming a sports rep at the end of his first year. But he wanted to challenge himself further, so put himself forward for social secretary ‘at the centre of the action’: “That was one of the biggest learning points for me,” he recalls. “There was nowhere to hide. You had to deliver and under pressure - which is good training for what I do now.” In his second year, Nick started working on Bailrigg FM and soon had his own show – ‘Nick’s New Musical Lunch’. It was the taster he needed to decide journalism was the career for him. His studies excited him too. His decision to study psychology was influenced by an inspiring teacher, Howard Parkinson, in his sixth form, but also because, being adopted, he was curious about the factors that made him the person he was. He was also fascinated by gender differences, inequalities and by the experiences of minorities, prompting him to write his thesis on gender stereotypes through history. “Reading people was a key part of psychology and working out why they behaved the way they do. It’s the same in my professional life,” he explains. “With that comes a lot of responsibility. You may know how to make people speak, but then you have to think about whether it’s really what they meant to say. Even today I go back to coaches to check. I think there has to be a duty of care.” After Lancaster, he followed the example of fellow student Anthony Baxter (now a deputy editor at LBC radio) to the University of Central Lancashire, to do a Master’s in broadcast journalism. He then spent two years in London ‘sofa surfing’ with friends while acting as a ‘runner’ at the BBC - making tea but using every opportunity to learn and build contacts on programmes like Watchdog and The One Show, in order to land a job. He even borrowed a spare camera to teach himself filming and spent many of his days of sourcing and creating TV reports to gain further experience and prove his potential. After only two years his determination was rewarded with a job as a BBC sports reporter. “Giving a voice to those who would have otherwise gone unheard’ was the mission statement I created at the beginning of this journey. I’m proud to have dedicated my career to championing women’s sport and revealing stories behind athletes from diverse backgrounds, who have traditionally been overlooked by mainstream media.” The self-styled ‘athletes’ journalist’ feels privileged to hear people’s stories and is particularly proud to have revealed the story of the Syrian paralympic swimmer Ibrahim Al Hussein’s fight to reach his Paralympic dreams, after being disabled in a bomb attack. He also prides himself on the bond he established with Olympic diver Tom Daley since the athlete was 13. It allowed Daley to trust Nick enough to write several exclusives about his sexuality and the impact of his father’s death. Nick himself competes internationally with the GB Masters team as a swimmer and has become a British, European and Asia-Pacific Masters Games gold medallist. Regardless of a sport’s profile, Nick believes successful, pioneering athletes should be noticed: “So many of them should be regarded as megastars and be household names because of what they have already achieved. In many cases that is not the reality, but there are so many inspirational stories of triumph over adversity and I aim to continue ‘fighting the good fight’ for many years to come!” @NickHopeTV Nick receives his Alumni Award in 2022 Nick at the Asia-Pacific Masters Games 2023your-brochure-online.co.uk