Author Archives: George Williams

Kent launches new alumni association in France

The University is delighted to announce the establishment of a new alumni association in France. The group was launched as part of the annual Paris reception in March and the committee was selected at its inaugural meeting in April.

Alumni groups bring together former students and staff of the University who are located in a specific region or have a shared special interest. They support Kent staff, students and activities in their area such as recruitment, partnership development and fundraising. Groups are run by a committee of alumni volunteers who direct activities and liaise with the University on behalf of their members.

The University currently has alumni associations in France, Greece, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nigeria and the United States.

The University of Kent France Alumni Association’s committee members are:

Juliette King (Politics, Rutherford 2005) – Chair
Jane Verwijs (Law, Eliot 1981) – Secretary
Sophie Bory (Politics, Keynes 2005) – Events Officer
Mathilde Guenegan (Journalism, Medway 2013) – Communications Officer
Theo Thieffry (Politics, Rutherford 2007) – External Outreach Officer
Valerie Gratzer (Politics, Rutherford 1981) – General Officer
Kim Randazzo (SECL, Eliot 1987) – General Officer
Sally Miller (History, Rutherford 1965) – General Officer

Find out more about our alumni groups on the alumni website.

Kent Union’s Campus to Campus Cycle Challenge

Kent Union’s sports clubs and societies are a vital part of Kent students’ university experience, helping them maintain their mental and physical health, allowing them to make friends for life and providing them with invaluable life and career skills.

Our Access to Activities Fund provides support to students who wish to participate, but are unable to financially. It helps to pay membership fees, purchase essential equipment and contribute toward competitions, amongst other things:

“Horse riding has been an immense passion for me since I was young, but with the cost of going to university I was resigned to giving it up for a very long time. With the Access to Activities Fund I’ve been able to pay the Equestrian Society fee as well as some lessons. I’m overjoyed!”
Foundation Year Physics student

Unfortunately, the demand from students is higher than we are able to cater for at the moment; this year the fund was oversubscribed by over £15,000.

In light of this, we have set ourselves the ambitious target of raising £10,000 for the Fund for next academic year, by cycling between 4 University of Kent campuses in 4 days; From Thursday 8 June until Sunday 11 June, we will cycle from Medway to Canterbury, then Brussels, and finally on to Paris, covering nearly 100 miles per day –  that’s 380 miles in total!

To support the challenge, on 8 June the Rowing club will row 28.3 miles along the Medway river and the Cycling Club will cycle along from Medway to Dover; and from 7 June until 11 June the Athletics Club will run 350 miles from Canterbury to Paris!

Please support our challenge to help ensure no student misses out on an amazing experience at Kent.

Visit our campaign page to donate directly.

Visiting professorship for Vito Zagarrio

Dr Alex Marlow-Mann, Lecturer in Italian from the Department of Modern Languages, has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship to permit Professor Vito Zagarrio (University of Rome 3) to spend the Spring Term of the next academic year at the University of Kent.

Professor Zagarrio is one of Italy’s leading film scholars who has published over a dozen mongraphs, three dozen edited collections and several hundred essays. His areas of expertise concern contemporary Italian cinema, classical and contemporary American cinema, the relationship between film and history, and the practice of film direction. He is also one of the few Italian academics to sustain a parallel career as an accomplished filmmaker. He has directed three theatrically distributed feature films, nine medium length and television features and over thirty documentaries and compilation films, many related to the cinema.

His visit will be hosted across the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) and the School of Arts by the Centre for Film and Media Research, and he will be presenting several lectures and screenings of his films as well as contributing guest lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate courses and visiting other UK universities.

For more details of Leverhulme Visiting Professorships, please see the webpage here:


Do you need assistance in identifying, articulating, analysing and assessing a risk?

  • Does your team/School/Department have its own risk register?
  • Do you feel there is an opportunity left undiscovered?
  • Do you want to demonstrate better-informed decisions about opportunities and be able to constructively address patterns of risk?
  • Have you considered becoming a risk champion for your team/school/department?

The University Risk and Compliance Team are offering risk management awareness sessions these are available via a 1-1 meeting, group workshop or through one of us attending your team meetings. One thing for sure is we can help strengthen best practice and support you in delivering good risk management. Awareness sessions can be tailored for your areas.

Engaging in risk management ensures we remain robust and effective in both identifying and managing key risks across the University which may prevent us from achieving our strategic aims and priorities.

The University may be impacted by changes in higher education and in the economy but by continuing to raise awareness, embed good practices we ensure we;

Maintain good risk management, control and governance
Provide VFM
Ensure the management and quality assurance of data

For further information – you can email us at, alternatively visit our web page which can be found under Staff Finance section or telephone 01227 816481.

Exploring gender, sexuality and the sensory

On Friday 18 May there was lively debate when 70 participants attended the Gender, Sexuality and the Sensory symposium hosted by the Gender, Sexuality and Culture and the Visual and Sensory research clusters with Feminist Theory journal.

With the turn to affect, the rise of various new materialisms and increasing interest in the non- or more-than representational approaches, scholars across the humanities and social sciences have increasingly explored the significance of affect, atmosphere, mood, and the sensory to the contemporary workings of social life and relations.

Speakers from the Universities of Kent, Leicester, Cambridge, Middlesex, Goldsmiths and UCL addressed what significance explorations of the sensory have for contemporary analysis of gender, sex and sexuality and, in turn, how contemporary gender, feminist and queer theories can, and are, contributing to intellectual, practice-based, and activist engagements with the sensory. During the breaks, attendees explored the ideas at a feminist craftivism workshop.

One of the organisers, Dr Carolyn Pedwell, said ‘We were delighted to bring together at Kent such a dynamic group of speakers and delegates from across the UK to explore the critical links between gender, sexuality and the sensory. The diverse talks were extremely stimulating, as were the many questions and comments from participants, which made for a wonderfully engaging and generative atmosphere’

Day Trip to Cambridge on Sat 3 June

There are some seats (£15) available for a day trip by coach to the beautiful historic University city of Cambridge. This takes place on Sat 3 June, leaving Canterbury campus (main bus stop near Keynes College) at 09.00 and returning back onto campus at around 18.45.

Students and staff welcome. You are free to do as you like in Cambridge, but will be given advice about walks, museums etc.

Please buy tickets in advance of the trip, which is organised annually by the University Chaplaincy, at:

Tickets are also available in person from

Half-price summer membership is back!

Take advantage of Kent Sport’s half-price one-month Gold membership this summer and experience our wide range of superb facilities. All University of Kent students (or anyone in full-time education, 16+) is entitled to the junior rate of £27* per month. One-month membership for adults is £34.50.

Soak up some rays playing on the outdoor tennis courts or build up a sweat in the air-conditioned fitness suite. Feel the wind on your face by hiring a bike from the Cycle Hub, included with your membership. Summer membership also offers unlimited access to our sports facilities including the fitness suite, squash courts, all outdoor facilities and entry to all fitness and dance classes.

To purchase your membership, visit the Sports Centre or Pavilion receptions from Thursday 1 June. Membership is available to use for one month from purchase date. See terms and conditions for more information.

*To apply for the junior rate please bring with you proof of full-time education (student card etc.).

To stay up to date with Kent Sport news, events and special offers, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter UniKentSports.

Calliope album from Sara Dacey on Radio 3

Further to Calliope, the debut solo album from Sarah Dacey (soprano) and Belinda Jones (piano), featuring new works by British composers, released on the 26th March by the School of Music and Fine Art’s Foundry Studios, two tracks were subsequently broadcast on Radio 3 on prime time Saturday morning. You can listen to what they say here, at about 2 hours 20mins in.

The album is available on Spotify and Amazon.

Singer, arranger and composer Sarah Dacey, is best known for being a member of one of the UK’s most groundbreaking groups, Juice Vocal Ensemble. She is Assistant Lecturer in Music Performance and freelance classical singer at SMFA. Since her studies at York University and the RAM (where she met Belinda), Sarah has worked at the forefront of the contemporary music scene, premiering works at the ROH and Tête à Tête Opera Festival and singing with contemporary music groups such as The Riot Ensemble. This CD is her debut solo album and features songs by some of the UK’s finest composers – Kerry Andrew, Roger Marsh, Bushra El-Turk, Cecilia McDowall, Rob Fokkens, SMFA’s Duncan MacLeod and Geoffrey Hannan.

The subject matter of the songs is eclectic, including a song from a chipmunk who’s upset about having their stash of nuts stolen, poems about fruit, an absurd nursery tale of naughty children being turned into donkeys, a japanese ghost story and the diary entries of a schizophrenia sufferer. This showcase of Sarah and Belinda’s performance partnership is a wonderful example of the breadth of 21st century vocal repertoire available that’s seldom published or recorded. For more information and contact details, please visit

The Student’s Guide to Peer Mentoring

Louise Frith and Gina May have written a new publication entitled ‘The Student’s Guide to Peer Mentoring’. It explains the vital role peer mentors play in higher education and gives lots of practical examples of how student mentors can improve their practice. The book also helps mentors to recognise and reflect on the skills that they are developing in the role.

The book is the culmination of Louise and Gina’s work on a collaborative module delivered through the Kent Study Plus programme.

You can read more about the contents of the book on the publisher’s website.

Kent alumni and students volunteer to support homeless

A team of 10 Kent alumni and students volunteered at the Catching Lives Day Centre in Canterbury on Saturday 20 May as part of a new initiative in partnership with Kent Union. Kent Gives Back enables graduates and students to work together for a local community cause and help people and projects that matter to them. It’s also a fun and rewarding way for alumni and students to share stories about their experiences at and after Kent!

Volunteers ran social activities with clients and helped centre staff to clean and organise the facilities.

Alumna Jessica Farnham (Rutherford 2002) said of the experience: ‘It was great to work with students and fellow alumni and be able to make a very small difference to a fantastic cause by interacting with the service users. I can’t wait to get involved again for future projects’.

The Development Office coordinated the event, in collaboration with Kent Union, and there are plans for future projects in the Canterbury and Medway areas.
Got a project you think Kent Gives Back could help with? Contact Volunteer Management Officer Kasia Senyszyn at