Author Archives: Alumni Relations

SMFA Fine Art Alumna Nadia Perrotta Artist in Residence Exhibition in Kent

Since September 2016, SMFA alumna Nadia Perrotta (BA, 2015,  and MA Fine Art, 2017) has been artist in residence at The Rabbit on The Moon Nursery in Sittingbourne, and there will be an exhibition showing the works the children created with her throughout the past year.

Because I am: A children’s journey across self recognition and discovery of the world around them through the arts takes place on Saturday 23rd June, 12-3pm at Kemsley Community Centre, The Square, Ridham Ave, Kemsley, Sittingbourne.

Nadia is a film maker, visual artist, art writer and event organiser who works mostly with time based, installations, digital work, creative writing and performances. An experienced curator and art director, she was Project Leader for Wetlands Medway.

More info about Nadia here:

SMFA Fine Art alumni create art intervention for Whitstable Biennale

SMFA alumni Nadia Perrotta (BA Fine Art, 2015, and MA Fine Art, 2017) and Fiona Townend  (MA Fine Art, 2017) together created an art intervention involving photography and creative writing for Whitstable Biennale. The project, called Cuttlefish Bones, ran from 2-10 June, and was an artistic and poetic treasure trail winding through the streets of Whitstable suitable for adults and children alike, a fusion of poetic text, domestic mini tales and photographs of the unnoticed.

More info

Work by SMFA Fine Art alumna Nadia Perrotta selected by UNESCO for Human Rights Contemporary Art Exhibition

A moving image installation about art and children called Because I am, written and directed by SMFA alumni Nadia Perrotta (BA, 2015, and MA Fine Art, 2017) and featuring Lalita Bailey, (BA Fine Art 2017) and the children of Squirrel Lodge and The Rabbit on the Moon nurseries, has been selected for a major UNESCO event in Italy about art and education.

Presented by Associazione Internazionale Arti Plastiche Italia, Spazio-Tempo Arte and Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti, Human Rights? #EDU 2018 is an International Exhibition of Contemporary Art from 23 June – 23 September at the Fondazione Opera Campana dei Caduti, Rovereto, Trento, Italy which features 161 artists from 37 countries defending the human right to education.

The event asks the artists to represent and tell, with their own artistic language, a personal vision of the problem of the right to education representing a story, a concept, a complaint, or showing a future perspective as message of hope or as a concrete proposal on the opportunities to be pursued to achieve this fundamental goal for the construction of a fair and right society.

More about the event here:

Nadia’s film Because I Am was created during her artist residency since September 2016, at The Rabbit on The Moon Nursery in Sittingbourne, and there will be an exhibition – Because I am: A children’s journey across self recognition and discovery of the world around them through the arts  – on Saturday 23rd June, 12-3pm at Kemsley Community Centre, The Square, Ridham Ave, Kemsley, Sittingbourne showing the works the children created with her throughout the past year.

See Nadia’s film here: [3]

Nadia is a film maker and visual artist with experience in exhibiting and organizing events, art writing and curating.  She works mostly with time based, installations, digital work, creative writing and performances. An experienced curator and art director, she was Project Leader for Wetlands Medway. More info about Nadia here


Kent Beauty Queen Competing in International Pageant

Former Miss Africa GB Miss Sarah Jegede from Kent, will be representing Kent at the UK Power Pageant finals on Sunday the 24th of June 2018.

The Model who is a foreign language teacher and also a graduate from the University of Kent is using her platform to raise funds for The Christie Charitable Fund, leading experts in cancer education, research and care. The Christie is dedicated to supporting cancer patients and their families and have put many fantastic facilities in place, one of which is a mobile chemotherapy unit. 

‘I am grateful for the enormous support I have received and I hope to make Kent and all those that have supported me throughout my journey proud’ says the beauty queen. 

 The UK Power Pageant crowns seven winners to represent England, Scotland, and Wales at Miss Intercontinental, Miss Grand International which will be held in Myanmar, and one winner to represent the United Kingdom at Miss International which will be held in Tokyo this year. 


Kent in LA 2018 – events round-up

In April 2018, the University of Kent hosted its second ever alumni reunion weekend in LA. It was preceded by a pub night in San Francisco. See all the photos from the weekend on Flickr

Events included a panel discussion on the future of a global education at the New West Charter School. This was followed by an alumni and friends pub night in Santa Monica. We also visited a couple of our students who were on exchange at UCLA.

On the Saturday, alumni gathered for a morning hike in the Malibu Mountains before meeting at the SLS Beverly Hills for the main event: Gavin Esler In Conversation with David Horsey. This was followed by a drinks reception at which the 2018 North America Innovation in Academia Awards were presented. The evening concluded with a special UKA-Fulbright Gala Dinner.

On the Sunday, alumni relaxed at the King’s Harbor Yacht Club, or attended a tour of the Broad art gallery.

Thank you to everyone who helped organise or lead events, and who everyone joined us for a fantastic weekend of fun, catching up and networking!

Kent Gives Back in London!

Join us at our next Kent Gives Back project in London! Kent Gives Back is a community outreach project which unites students and alumni by encouraging them to take part in a local community project such as volunteering at a homeless shelter or a food bank or helping tend to a garden (and much more). Last year we branched out to our US chapters to give them the opportunity to take part in the project and this May we are asking all our alumni groups around the world to get involved in various locations.

Walk the Walk is the UK’s largest grant-making breast cancer charity that is dedicated to not only raising money and awareness for vital breast cancer causes, but to also encourage women and men to become more aware of their own potential for fitness and wellbeing. They organise the famous MoonWalk overnight power walking challenges and are immensely proud to have raised over £122m, which has been granted to research into breast cancer and to improve the lives of people living with cancer now. We are looking for dedicated, amazing volunteers to join us at The MoonWalk London on the evening of 12 May at Clapham Common.

We are hoping to join the Saturday Evening Crew, a busy period when the Walkers & Volunteers arrive. Start times vary depending on the role, but no earlier than 17.00 and finishing at midnight. The 24 available roles include Baggage, Kitchen and Water Crew. Volunteers will be required to make their own travel arrangements for the evening.

If you are interested in volunteering as part of the Kent Crew on Saturday evening please use this registration link and this password: KENTUNI (case sensitive) to join the Kent crew on the night! Once you have signed up please email Naomi to confirm your spot.

Meet the Regional Manager of International Recruitment, Partnerships and Development for North America – Kimberly Tritton.

Profile: Kimberly Tritton

After working within the International Recruitment office at the University of Kent for several years, travelling to over 15 countries, managing our recruitment activities in over 10 countries including the US and Canada, meeting with numerous students, parents, school counsellors, partner colleges and universities and last but not least our alumni, I recognised, appreciated and wanted to bring all of these groups together to inform, direct and connect Kent students past, present and future.

Together with senior management in the International Recruitment, Partnership and Development offices and the Vice Chancellor and Pro Vice Chancellors office, we envisioned and development a new role which would bring all three arms of the university together along with our academic departments, enrolment services, with the support and funding from the executive group.

The New Role would see the University of Kent base a member of its Recruitment, Partnership and Development offices in the US, our first overseas member of staff. With this role we would be able to visit far more cities, states, provinces and regions in the US and Canada and engage further with students, schools, alumni and partner universities and employers in the US and Canada. The three departments would be able to share knowledge, funding and networks.

In February 2017, I moved over to the US and in the next year I spent 6 months travelling across the US and 8 weeks in Canada travelling back to the UK for the remainder of the year to update, inform and explore new areas and activities.

I was able to meet in person with far more of our prospective students than ever before, including hosting a range of application workshops, networking evenings, welcome dinners, and skype with those in cities we weren’t able to visit. Attended over 40 high school, college and university fairs. Hosted a range of alumni events, as well as taking part in events organised by our alumni chapters such as the Kent Gives Back events in Washington DC and Chicago and met one on one with our alumni across the US and Canada. I was also privileged to attend and present at a number of conference on Further and Higher education, student mobility and global education.

In the first year of the role we saw an increase of just over 26% in student registrations from the US and more than 30% in applications from both the US and Canada. Already this year we can see significant increases in the number of undergraduate application from the US and an increase in the number of offers and acceptances from Canada.

Over the spring and summer we will be attending 35 exhibitions, higher education conferences, and school and college fairs and networking events in the US and Canada compared to 24 the year before, including the East Coast, West Coast, Mid-West, Pacific North West, and the Southern states. So far this year we have been able to spend more time with schools across New England, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Illinois and will be visiting New Orleans, Charleston, Kansas, Denver, Birmingham for the first time this year.

We would like to invite you all to follow our travels and if you are in any of the cities we are visiting to come along to the events and reconnect and assist us by sharing your memories of Kent. Click the link to see where we will be.

We will be exploring the transfer and short term study markets through discussions with two and four year colleges, high school summer programmes and through the expansion of our postgraduate and undergraduate summer school provisions at Kent.

We will be looking at new and increasing hubs of alumni activity including seeking and appointing Alumni Ambassadors across the US both within and additionally to our existing alumni chapters and seeking new and distinctive way to engage with, build on and celebrate our alumni networks.

Given the success of the use of Skype appointments with applicants in the last year, we will also look to expand our engagement with Alumni through skype and also to connecting our current and prospective students with our Alumni Ambassadors through Skype.

We will also be employing the assistance of our current North American student body by matching a number of the new incoming students with existing and outgoing students.

We will continue working with high school and two year colleges across the US in the expansion and development of Kent’s recognition of the diverse education offering in the US. We will be looking to update our US schools database and would welcome any assistance from our Alumni.

In Canada we are working with CAST, the Chinese Artist Society of Toronto on a visit and performances by Kent Music as well as expanding our engagement with Alumni through our newest chapter.

We are also exploring and expanding our activity in the recruitment for professionally accredited programmes guiding and assisting Kent School of Architecture and Kent School of Pharmacy in seeking recognition, formal accreditation pathways and building industry networks and contacts.

We welcome any of your thoughts, ideas, networks or links in order to further spread the word about the University of Kent but also are happy to help you in any way we can, so feel free to contact us at:

Development Office
The Registry
University of Kent
Kent CT2 7NZ
E: [1]
E: [2]
T: 01227 824346




Meet the KEW-NET star mentor!

Freddie Ryder graduated from the University of Kent with a Philosophy degree. We caught up with him recently to find out about what brought him to Kent, what he’s been up to since graduating, and why he volunteers to mentor current students.

Where were you raised?
I was born in the outskirts of London but grew up in the Kentish seaside town of Ramsgate. This is where I attended secondary school before coming to Kent.

What made you decide to study/work at Kent?
What initially attracted me to Kent was the Philosophy department by way of its excellent reputation and favourable balance between Anglo-American and Continental philosophical focuses. Once I visited on an open day I instantly fell in love with the campus itself; its verdant green spaces, stunning views overlooking Canterbury’s charming Cathedral, and, its unmistakably welcoming, tranquil and friendly feel. From that moment, I had decided I would go to Kent.

What are you doing now?
I have enjoyed what can best be described as a varied, unconventional or non-standard career. I have a fairly broad range of interests and try to incorporate all of them into my working life. Essentially, I wear many hats and have several different roles: I am a teacher, a Director of Studies, an examiner, a retail trader, an entrepreneur and a property developer. As a Director of Studies, I manage teams of teachers overseas on short-term intensive English courses as well as the in the UK. I have I have taught all over mainland Europe including in Austria, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Holland and as far afield as Azerbaijan. I have also worked as an examiner marking GCSE and A-level papers. When I’m not teaching or examining I play the stock market, manage my small property portfolio and I have various entrepreneurial interests including promoting my late grandfather, Cyril Parfitt’s, artwork and marketing it as art (greetings) cards amongst other things,

How have you volunteered for Kent?
Since encountering the Kent Experiences of Work Network (KEW-NET) I have been a volunteer mentor providing guidance, support and just general correspondence with current undergraduate and postgraduate students at the university. This has been through both face to face communication including at KEW-NET networking events as well as online via the web based platform providing both practical as well as moral support.

What made you want to volunteer your time for Kent?
My reasons for volunteering were two-fold. Firstly, I wanted to help people as I have been helped and inspired in my life. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had some inspirational teachers, lecturers and individuals in my life and so I know just how value that can be. Secondly, I had such a great time at Kent I wanted to share my experiences and give something back to an institution that has given me so much.

What advice would you give to a new graduate embarking on a career?
Graduation can seem like a daunting prospect, leaving behind the safety and familiarity of university for the unknown world of work, but it should be thought of as a time of opportunity. This is when graduates can see their hard working paying off, putting their studies into practice and starting to earn some money. That said there are many possible paths and graduates shouldn’t expect to find the right one first time. One size definitely does not fit all here. Graduates should be prepared to try your hand at lots of different things and make the most of any opportunities. If nothings seem to come your way then you need to be proactive and put yourself forward wherever possible.

They met in Marley Court…

It seems like only yesterday when I met my future amazing wife Philippa (nee Swaby K84)  in a Marley Court kitchen but the reality is that it was a long, long time ago way back in the autumn of 1987, the day after “the Great Storm”. Next week we will be celebrating 26 years of marriage.

She was a housemate of a friend of mine and I was living in Thornden Court with four other friends from my second year. Amazingly, two of these, Simon Field (R85) and Ian Dewing (R85) also went on to marry partners they met at Kent. Another friend of mine, Lawrence Gold (K85) also married a Kent graduate, Donna Glasscock (K85).

We have been living in Perth, Australia for the past 13 years and are now Australian citizens. In 2013 we made it back to Kent for a 25 year post graduation reunion with my housemates from Thornden Court. I’ve attached a few photos taken of my family at the time. Henry will be 13 next month and Bronagh 11. Bronagh’s name is partially an acknowledgement of my Irish ancestry but  the idea from the name came from a Bronagh I met during my third year at Kent. I was struck by what an amazingly lovely name she had which stuck in my mind over the years.

During our visit we also went out to the house Philippa rented over the 1985/86 academic year. As she walked up the road towards the house she recognised her original landlord and landlady who were preparing the house to rent to new students that coming academic year. You could not make that up!

Help students through the Work-Study scheme

Kent students need you!

As a former student, you might well remember how challenging it was to get those first steps on the career ladder.  In today’s competitive job market, we’re doing all that we can to give Kent students the skills they need to get ahead – and you might be able to help!

We’re looking for companies who can offer graduate-level internships to students, enhancing their skills and providing you with a hard-working and well supported student.  The scheme is matched funded, with the University contributing £1,000 to match pay from the employer for the placement.

All students taking part are provided with a series of training activities designed to make them work-ready, ensuring that they are able to meet the requirements of the companies employing them. They are mentored throughout the application and interview process, and whilst working.

Internships should comprise around 200 hours of activity and be undertaken at times to be agreed between the employer and student.  Examples of previous roles include research, marketing & social media, events organising, finance and administration positions.

Whether you have a start-up looking for some extra resource, or think this might be the perfect opportunity for your employer, you can find more information about the The Work-Study Scheme from Jen Davey or Hannah Greer in the Careers & Employability Service on 01227 816573 or email