Monthly Archives: March 2016

Alumna Amanda Thomas book competition

Following on from their ‘Working in Publishing’ Humanities for Hire event, the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL) have a copy of Amanda Thomas’ recent book Cholera: The Victorian Plague (Pen and Sword Books, 2015) to give away.

Amanda Thomas is a SECL alumna, graduating in Italian. Her diverse career has seen her work in journalism, and public relations for television companies including The Walt Disney Company and Television New Zealand. She is currently an author, historian and linguist.

Cholera: The Victorian Plague tells the story of the disease that devastated the Victorian population, and brought about major changes in sanitation. Drawing on the latest scientific research and a wealth of archival material, Amanda uses first-hand accounts, blending personal stories with an overview of the history of the disease and its devastating after-effects on British society. The book reveals that Victorian theories about the disease were often closer to the truth than we might assume.

To win a copy of the book, signed by Amanda, you will need to answer the following question: in what country is cholera thought to have originated?

The deadline for entry is Friday 8 April 2016. Please email your answer to with ‘SECL Publishing Competition’ as the title of the email or message us via Facebook or Twitter.

Approximately 120 students attended the ‘Working in Publishing’ event, which featured Amanda presenting alongside Doctor Who Magazine editorial assistant and English Language & Linguistics alumna Emily Cook, Routledge editorial director Craig Fowlie, and Publishers Association campaigns manager Seonaid Macleod, about their careers in the world of publishing. The event was chaired by Dr Jeremy Scott, Senior Lecturer in English Language & Linguistics, and was followed by a drinks reception in the Gulbenkian.

Photos from the event can be found here:

If you would like to share your story with Kent’s students and alumni, please get in touch.

Anthony Turner - winner of Vernadsky Gold Medal

Kent alumnus wins Vernadsky Gold Medal

University of Kent alumnus Anthony (Tony) Turner has been awarded the Ukraine’s highest academic distinction, the Vernadsky Gold Medal. Tony received his Master’s degree from Kent in 1977 and was awarded a Higher Doctorate (DSc) by UKC in 2001 for his exceptional contribution to biosensors. He was also a postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Biological Laboratories 1980-81.

The unanimous choice of the Scientific Award Committee is recorded in a Resolution of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine dated 3 February 2016. The Gold Medal is for his outstanding achievements in the field of bioelectronics. Presentation of the award will be during the general meeting of the Academy in April 2016.

Named after the renowned mineralogist and geochemist, Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky, founder of the Ukrainian National Academy, the Gold Medal of Vernadsky is the country’s highest academic distinction and the highest award of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. It was established by a Resolution of the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences on 9 July, 2003 for achievements of scientists and scholars in different areas of science, arts and humanities, for discoveries and inventions of significant scientific and practical value.

The first winner of the prize was the President of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Academician Boris Paton, and the winner last year was the Nobel Laurate in theoretical physics, Alexei Abrikosov. The award is bestowed to individuals for their specific achievements and/or their work as a whole.

Save the date – Kent comes to the US and Canada!

Director of Development, Alison Coles, and Alumni Engagement Officer, Kasia Senyszyn, will be travelling to the US and Canada in April and May and are looking forward to meeting alumni during their visits to Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Austin.

Full details of their itinerary are below:

Vancouver, BC

Friday 22 April 18:30, Prestons Restaurant + Lounge (1177 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6E 2P4): Drinks and networking

Seattle, WA

Monday 25 April 18:30, Brave Horse Tavern (310 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109): Drinks and networking

San Francisco, CA

Wednesday 27 April 18:30, Tavern Bar at Hotel Whitcomb (1231 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103): Drinks and networking

Los Angeles, CA

Friday 29 April 18:30, British Consul-General’s Residence: Innovation in Academia Awards –  invites and further information to follow

Saturday 30 April 16:00, Angel City Brewery (216 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012): Brewery tour followed by drinks and networking

Austin, TX

Monday 2 May 18:30, Marker 10 Bar at Hyatt Regency Austin (208 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78704): Drinks and networking

To keep up to date with the events, please join our regional Facebook groups or email

We hope to see you there!

First alumni events in the Middle East

On 15 to 19 February a delegation from the University visited Oman and Jordan. Dr Anthony Manning, Dean for Internationalisation, visited the region along with colleagues from Development & Alumni Relations and from the University’s International Recruitment team.

The visit was an opportunity to connect with alumni in both countries, and Dr Manning hosted events in Muscat, Oman and in Amman, Jordan. The events were an opportunity to connect alumni with each other, as well as applicants, current students, parents and colleagues from partner organisations and universities. We were pleased to see our visit to Muscat featured in the Times of Oman.

The recent celebration of Kent’s 50th anniversary has led to the formulation of a new University Plan and an associated Internationalisation Strategy. A major aspect of this strategy involves international partnerships and collaborative research with institutions across the world, to ensure that internationalisation crosses the three main themes of the University Plan: research, education and engagement.

Dr Manning said, “increased engagement with the Middle East is a priority for the University’s internationalisation agenda and we were encouraged by the very warm welcome that we received from alumni and also from other colleagues with whom we hope to work more closely. Our visit presented a number of opportunities and we look forward to continuing to work with alumni and friends in the region”.

The University’s visit coincided with the launch by the British Council of new UK alumni networks in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. These networks form part of a new set of programmes that aim to step up engagement with the next generation of students in the Gulf. The British Council will be expanding their education, science, arts and entrepreneurship offering and the Gulf-UK alumni groups will form a key part of these new networks.

Aniq Ahmed

Introducing the first KEW-NET Star Mentor!

Economics alumnus Aniq Ahmed (Eliot 2008) has been commended for his ardent support of Kent students as a mentor through e-Mentoring platform KEW-NET when he was named ‘Star Mentor’ at the end of February. Aniq, who is currently working on building treasury capabilities
for a specialist lender and previously was Banking and Capital Markets Manager at global consultancy firm Deloitte, signed up to take part in June 2014, and has since offered professional advice and guidance to three students from the School of Economics, Kent Business School and the School of Physical Sciences, one of whom may be joining Deloitte for an internship this summer.

“Aniq has been a great mentor so far, helping me with applications in the banking industry and more specifically asset management” said Economics student and mentee Arjun Jain. “I can’t thank him enough for the irreplaceable time that he has given me.”

Astrophysics student Will Heaton found out about KEW-NET from the Careers and Employability Service and started looking for mentors: “I noticed Aniq worked in finance, which is what I was applying for, so I dropped him a message. He got back to me quite quickly, and helped me break down the problems I was having and narrow down the things I was applying for.” Will was pleased to hear that Aniq had been named a Star Mentor: “Aniq really helped me when I was applying for internships earlier last term. He was open to offering advice and help whenever I wanted, so I’m not surprised”.

350 alumni from across the world have signed up to KEW-NET so far, sharing advice and experience with the 500+ current students registered. All users of the system can be both a mentee and a mentor and can offer a multitude of services from CV and interview advice to work-based opportunities. As all interactions are hosted through the platform, getting in touch is simple and secure.

We caught up with Aniq, who was delighted to receive the accolade, and asked him about his experiences as a KEW-NET mentor.

What made you want to become a mentor on KEW-NET?

The system on offer is something new and refreshing which can provide invaluable interaction for both the student and mentor. Moreover, this is an innovative idea for students to gain better insight into where people from University of Kent have ended up from a career and personal experiences perspective. I was fortunate to have a great experience at the University of Kent and for me it was a very easy answer when approached to sign up to the system as a Mentor. I would’ve definitely taken up this opportunity if it was around when I was studying.

What you think of the system and the students involved?

I think it’s a great initiative from the University of Kent to be more commercial thinking and provide a conduit for existing students to understand industry. All of the individuals I have had the pleasure of communicating with have either been far along a job application process or looking for general advice. Both of which resulted in interesting discussions on developments in Asset Management and general careers in Finance.

What advice would you offer to new users? 

Although it’s useful to ask general questions, you and the mentor will probably get more out of this relationship if students come prepared with specific questions. Overall, this is a great opportunity for students to build relationships with people in industries they wish to pursue.

To find out more about KEW-NET and how to get involved, email or visit our webpages.