Monthly Archives: November 2013

Inspirational alumni in the spotlight

Inspirational alumni took centre stage at the School of Politics and International Relations alumni conference during Employability Week.

BS3R4823 The event featured a host of the School’s alumni, who returned to campus to speak to current students about their experiences at Kent and how they have progressed since graduation. The event was dubbed ‘Inspirational Alumni’ as the successes of this group of graduates and the stories that they shared during the conference will act as an inspiration to students currently studying within the School.

Many thanks to all of the alumni who took part on the day and gave up their time to make a difference to current students at Kent. They include:

Will Scobie – Mayor (Labour)

Matthew Partridge – Organiser, NASUWT

Tom Vandenkendelarae – Chairman JONGCD&V

Sully Hanif – THALES Group

Rebecca Sangster Kelly – Consultant, Chaucer Consulting

Paul Steinheuer – International Programmes Officer, Peace Direct

Sirii de Oilviera – Executive Assistant, Christian Aid

Neva Sadikoglu – Secretary General for the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, Committee of the Regions

Ghoncheh Tazmini – Political Analyst

Bryan Cragg – Graduate, MA International Conflict Analysis

Carl Adams – Big Local representative for Big Lottery Fund

Tom Spare – Representation and Democracy Coordinator Hertfordshire Students’ Union

Grant Blowers – Director, N-Gage

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If you would like to help a current student or a fellow alumnus by offering mentoring or work experience, please check our alumni careers network page for more information.

Happy Thanksgiving to our US friends!

Happy Thanksgiving to all alumni and friends of the University of Kent living in the United States. All at Kent send best wishes for a fun and enjoyable holiday surrounded by family and friends. We’ll also be holding a special Thanksgiving dinner on campus for our US students, so don’t worry they won’t be missing out!

Don’t forget, if you’re based in the US we have a dedicated alumni group just for you. You can find out more about the University of Kent in America here.

David Horsey cartoon

Image courtesy of University of Kent alumnus and political cartoonist David Horsey.

Charlotte Green

Alumna Charlotte Green receives honorary degree

BBC Radio broadcaster and English & American Literature alumna Charlotte Green received an honorary degree at the University of Kent’s November congregations.

Charlotte became the first female announcer to read the classified football results on BBC Radio Five Live in September 2013. Having read English and American Literature at Kent and been an active member of the student radio society, she joined the BBC after graduating. In 1985, Charlotte became a Radio 4 newsreader for programmes such as Today and The World at One. In 2009, she won the Roberts Radio Special Award for Excellence in Broadcasting and in 2013 the Broadcasting Press Guild’s Radio Broadcaster of the Year Award.

She received an honorary Doctorate in recognition of her contribution to radio broadcasting, at a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral on Friday 22 November. Listen out for Charlotte’s dulcet tones in our upcoming 50th anniversary film, which will be hosted on our dedicated website. To read more about our 2013 Honorary Graduates please click here.

Applications now open for Student Projects Fund

We are now inviting applications for funding from the Student Projects Fund, which is supported by alumni giving through the Kent Opportunity Fund.

Students at the BBC

The Student Projects Fund supports individual students, departments, faculties, schools or student groups by supporting projects and activities at Kent that give students opportunities to develop their skills, confidence and career prospects. Established in 2012, the Fund has already supported a variety of projects including volunteering opportunities in the local community, career advice and support for students with autism, and vacation studentships in the NHS.

One of the projects that it supported during 2013 is a mentoring scheme run by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts to enhance opportunities for young women. You can find out more about the scheme here.

The projects that we choose to support this year will help to bring an immediate and long-term benefit to students at Kent, showing how alumni giving can really make a difference to the lives of our students. Check this blog or our Kent Opportunity Fund web pages for updates on the projects that are taking place with your support during the year.

Student Projects Fund: Supporting Women in Engineering

A mentoring scheme run by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts and supported by the Student Projects Fund is enhancing opportunities for young women.

The scheme offers opportunities for female students within the School to learn from leading industry professionals in a formal arrangement that is designed to boost their career prospects. With the support of experts in the field, the scheme helps female students to break through traditional barriers to working in male-dominated environments and develop the skills needed to kick-start their careers.

Students at the BBC

Funded by donations to the Kent Opportunity Fund, this year it is supporting Francesca Haselden and Rebecca Bull, two exceptional students who are in the final year of their Multimedia Technology and Design degrees.

Thanks to support from donors, these two promising students are receiving hands-on experience and mentoring from Kent alumna Liz Valentine-House, who graduated seven years ago and now works as a Research Scientist at the BBC. She works alongside scientists, engineers and designers to create new technology to deliver BBC programmes. Under Liz’s guidance, Francesca and Rebecca are investigating the uses of factual video content to increase interaction with the viewer. The work that they are carrying out will boost their confidence and improve their digital engineering skills, helping them to secure employment when they graduate.

The Student Projects Fund supports projects and activities at Kent that give students opportunities to develop their skills, confidence and career prospects. Established in 2012, the Fund has already supported a variety of projects including volunteering opportunities in the local community, career advice and support for students with autism, and vacation studentships in the NHS.

Help us to provide more opportunities for students at Kent. Make a donation today!

You can find out more about Liz Valentine-House and her work at the BBC, including how her ideas helped children’s television channel CBeebies connect with young viewers, here.

Kent student names 50th anniversary ale

Keith Mander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, is pictured with Damyana Stoyanova, second-year undergraduate student and winner of a competition to name the University’s 50th anniversary ale.

The ale will be specially brewed by Faversham-based company Shepherd Neame to mark Kent’s 50th year. Students and staff at the University were invited to name the beer and Damyana’s suggestion of ‘Templeman Ale’ topped a list of 80 names put forward.

Damyana, an International Business student who is originally from Bulgaria, won a £50 voucher for her effort. She said: “I chose the name Templeman Ale because the Templeman library is the heart of the University. The name had to sound like a drink, but also capture the spirit of Kent. I’m delighted to have won the competition and look forward to sampling the ale next year.”

Damyana also earned Employability Points for taking part in the competition under the University’s scheme to reward students for their extracurricular activities.

To find out more about how Kent will mark its 50th anniversary and see how you can get involved please visit our dedicated planning for 50 website.

Winter 2013 issue of Kent Alumni magazine


 Kent Alumni Winter 2013 front cover

Kent Alumni Winter 2013 front cover

Click here to read the latest issue of KENT Alumni magazine. With news and features designed exclusively for you, this is your chance to find out about the latest developments at Kent: in-depth and with a focus on alumni.

Find out more about the new Turing College development and the archaeological activities that have been taking place on site. You can also read about the Kent Law Campaign, learn more about our 50th anniversary, find out about plans to set up a new stand-up comedy archive at Kent and see how your support is changing the lives of students at Kent.

To ensure that you never miss an issue of KENT Alumni, please register for our online alumni community, or, if you are already a member, please log in to update your record online now.

The Kent Law Campaign is launched!

The University of Kent officially launched the Kent Law Campaign to the public on Wednesday 6 November at a gala evening in London.

More than 150 alumni, friends, donors, staff and students of the University attended the event at 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), in the heart of London’s financial district, which was hosted by David Nightingale, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.  In a packed and energised iconic building guests enjoyed outstanding and uninterrupted 360 degree panoramic views of London and beyond whilst supporting the important capital campaign for the Kent Law School.

The guest speakers included The Hon Charles Wigoder (major benefactor), David Nightingale (Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor), Professor Richard de Friend (Chair of the Campaign Board), Professor John Fitzpatrick (Director of the Kent Law Clinic), Sharlott Yum (current student) and Matthew Lawson (recent graduate).

The Campaign, which began in 2011 with the aim of raising £5 million by 2015, is a fundraising project to build a new home for the Kent Law Clinic, part of the Kent Law School. The Kent Law Clinic operates as a partnership between students, academics and practicing solicitors and barristers and provides a public pro bono service for people in the local community who need free legal advice and representation but cannot afford to pay for it. At the same time it enables students to gain experience of the law by working under supervision on cases for clients of the clinic.

The University has pledged to match each donation received pound for pound and to date £3.4 million has been raised with the University seeking the remaining amount over the next two years.

Work will begin next June on the building – which will also include a new mooting chamber – with a formal opening due during the University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2015.

At the launch, David Nightingale thanked all donors and in particular The Hon Charles Wigoder and Dr Kennedy Wong for their generous support of the Campaign, their transformational gifts making this build possible.

Professor John Fitzpatrick, Director of the Kent Law Clinic, said:  ‘This exciting new building for our Law Clinic will enable us to expand significantly our pro bono service to the public, which in turn will mean that more of our students will have the opportunity to learn about law through hands-on case work experience.

‘Our new mooting room will also enable students to hone their advocacy skills in a realistic courtroom environment.’

Professor Keith Mander, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: ‘This campaign has already been very successful with alumni and current students supporting the campaign through donations and fundraising activities.

‘As well as providing a very important pro bono service to the public, the Kent Law Clinic is a very important part of our law students’ positive experience here at the University. I am sure that the University community and its friends and stakeholders will respond positively to the public launch of the fundraising campaign.’

A selection of photographs taken on the evening can be viewed online –!/media/set/?set=a.465589916893665.1073741858.251330424986283&type=1

Support the Campaign
If you would like to support the Campaign by making a donation or volunteering your time to help our students, please contact Hilary Edridge, Head of Campaigns, Development Office, The Registry, Canterbury, Kent. CT2 7NZ
T: 07702 816016, E:

Kent Law Campaign Student Group organises the University of Kent’s inaugural 5km Fun Run

On Sunday 3rd November 2013, the Kent Law Campaign Student Group held the University’s first “Race for Justice”, a 5km Fun Run on the University of Kent’s Canterbury campus. The occasion had a carnival atmosphere with various student societies cheering the runners on from the side-lines and entertaining the many spectators throughout – a special mention must go to the University of Kent’s Pirate Society for chasing the unsuspecting runners round the Kent Law Clinic building!  The event was extremely well organised with 112 runners taking part in the race, which was started by His Honour Judge Nigel Van der Bijl, and £4,373 was raised for the Campaign.  In addition to this,  the Kent Law Campaign Student Group secured sponsorship from local companies for items such as bottled water, medals, trophies, bananas and energy drinks which have been valued at over £1,000.  On the day there was a Zumba warm up, face painting, goody bags and medals for all participants and trophies for the fastest male, fastest female and best fancy dress.  We would like to congratulate the organisers of the event and thank everybody who took part.


Join us for the annual Bolt Lecture

The Centre for American Studies will host its annual ‘Bolt Lecture’ on Thursday 23 January 2014. The lecture is held in honour of Professor Christine Bolt and her husband, Ian, both of whom were enthusiastic supporters of American Studies at Kent.

Serge DurflingerThis year we are delighted to welcome Professor Serge Durflinger from the University of Ottawa who will be discussing commemoration, the First World War and popular memory in a lecture entitled Remembering the First World War the Canadian Way. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception and buffet for current students, staff and alumni. If you would like to attend, please register online for the event by Thursday 9 January 2014.

In memory of Christine Bolt’s contribution to American Studies at Kent, Ian established the Bolt scholarship at Kent in 2006. It has so far helped 12 Kent students to achieve their dreams and make a significant contribution to research in their fields. The scholarship provides £10,000 in funding for postgraduate students to carry out a sustained period of research in the United States. This year’s Bolt scholar is Aoife Fitzgerald, who is a final year PhD student. You can read more about Aoife and her work here.