Monthly Archives: May 2020

Dr. Laura Bailey

Dr. Laura Bailey appears on the ‘Voice of Islam’ radio show

Dr Laura Bailey, Lecturer in the Department of English Language and Linguistics, recently appeared on the Voice of Islam radio show to discuss the evolution of language.

Laura considered the recent statement by Elon Musk that language may well disappear in the next five years as an effect of technology.

“This is not something that we have the technology to achieve based on what we have now,” Laura stressed, “However, it is a thought experiment worth thinking about. Technology could help those who have disadvantages. However, we don’t want to reach the point where we’re reading each other’s thoughts.”

When asked on how technology could affect the way we communicate and talk, Laura responded: “I dare say it would, but whether it would be for better or worse, I don’t know. As linguists, we wouldn’t say any form of communication is better or worse.”

Listen to the full episode on Soundcloud (Laura’s segment begins at 37:57).

mental health spelt out with tile letters

Mental Health Awareness Week- reading ideas

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 has been kindness. Throughout the week you might have seen us sharing some kindness in the form of book recommendations on our social media. We focused on titles that have been good for our Mental Health during lockdown and we hope that if you read any of them, they’ll have the same positive effects for you too.

Here’s a compilation video of all the recommendations from Templeman Library staff and your Kent Union officers. Do you spot any familiar faces?

Scroll down for a list of the titles mentioned. Let us know in the comments if you’ve read any of these, or if you’re thinking of adding any of them to your collection.

Christine Davis, Templeman Library Learning Environment Assistant
Game of Thrones audio-books by George R.R. Martin
The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen by Emma Hatcher

Omolade Adedapo , Kent Union VP Welfare
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Sue Grimer, Templeman Library Assistant (Social Sciences)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Sasha Langeveldt, Kent Union President
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuvul Noah Harari

Veronica Lawrence, Templeman Library Head of Front Line Services
The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Sarah Field, Templeman Library Sciences Librarian
Wintering: How I learned to flourish when life became frozen, by Katherine May

Theresa Thurston, Templeman Library Law Librarian
Lean in 15 by Joe Wicks


Staff in Registry

JSNCC – nominations for non-union representative

The Joint Staff Negotiating and Consultation Committee (JSNCC) is the main forum for consultation between the University and its staff on matters of mutual interest.

Staff membership of the JSNCC comprises representatives of each of the trade unions and four representatives of non-union staff: two from the professional services and research support staff in grades 1 to 6; and two from the academic, research and professional services staff in grades 7 and above.

One of the current representatives, Denise Twomey, will be leaving the University, and so nominations are now invited for one position to represent staff grade 7 and above. Staff members working within grade 7 and above are encouraged to apply.

Nominations can be made by responding to the nomination email which was sent to eligible staff on Tuesday 26 May 2020.  All nominations must be proposed and seconded by two other staff members and nominees must confirm that they agree to be nominated. The deadline for completed nomination forms is 17.00 on Tuesday 9 June 2020.

Why join the JSNCC?
Acting as a staff representative is interesting and rewarding. It provides the opportunity to discuss and comment on University plans and policies, to meet a wide range of new people and to gain valuable personal development. Training and support will be provided to the successful candidates.

Find out more about the JSNCC and the nomination and election processes on the JSNCC website or by contacting HR via


three book stack

What to do with your library books (Templeman)

While the Templeman Library remains closed due to COVID-19, we want to share advice with you for what to do with your library books, depending on your situation.

Returning to Kent in September

If you’re coming back to Kent next academic year, we recommend you hold onto your books. You won’t have to return them until at least 31 July. We’ll review arrangements over the summer and will be in touch with more information and advice.

If you’re finishing your undergraduate degree, have a confirmed postgraduate place at Kent for September and would prefer to keep your books for now, please contact us.

Books left in campus accommodation

If you have left books in your Canterbury campus accommodation, please email with your details and the room address and we’ll arrange to retrieve them.

Final year student or not returning in September

If you’re a final year student or want to return your books now for another reason, you have several options:

  1. If you live on the Canterbury campus, live locally, or have arranged to collect your belongings from campus, please use the book drop at the Library Road Entrance or return them to any accommodation reception.
  2. Posting books: depending on weight and volume, you could consider breaking up a large parcel into smaller ones. Courier services (like Parcel Monkey or Hermes) might be cheaper than Royal Mail and pick up the parcel from you. Whatever method you use, please make sure you get a receipt.
    Our postal address is: Templeman Library, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NU
  3. If you’re unable to return your books by any of these methods, please get in touch with us and we’ll work out a solution with you.

Contact us

Please contact us if you need any help or advice around returning books or any other library or IT query. We know these are difficult times, and our staff are here to help and support you:

Logo for University of Kent Graduate School Prizes 2020

Winners of the 2020 Graduate School Prizes

We are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Graduate School Prizes. Visit the Graduate School for what the winners and nominators had to say.

Postgraduate Researchers

Laura Thomas-Walters, School of Anthropology and Conservation, with particular recognition for their contribution towards public engagement

Boniface Otieno Oyugi, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, with particular recognition for their contribution to publications and grants

Simon Cooksey, School of Computing, with particular recognition for their contribution towards impact

Gianna Maria Eick, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, with particular recognition for their contribution towards external collaboration

Alice Helliwell, School of Arts, with particular recognition for their contribution towards cohort building.


Postgraduate Administrator

Emily Rae, Paris Centre Administrator


Postgraduate Supervisor

Professor Murray Smith, Professor of Film Studies, School of Arts

Dr Tamar Jeffers McDonald, Head of School of Arts


Postgraduate Teacher

Eva Sigurdardottir, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

The Graduate School was delighted to receive a high number of exceptional nominations for this year’s Graduate School Prizes competition. The Graduate School recognises the significant contribution made to the University of Kent by Postgraduate Researchers, Postgraduate Teachers and academic and professional services staff across the University. We would like to thank everyone for their excellent work in support of postgraduate education and research at Kent.

A laptop, with a notebook, glasses and cup of tea.

More Care First webinars for you to attend!

As we’re all very much still dealing with the impacts of Covid-19, Care First have still got some webinars for you for next week.

Please find the schedule below.

 Employees can register their interest in attending a webinar and receive reminders of when it is due. If they miss a webinar, a recorded version will be available using the same link 1+ hour after the webinar has finished.

Tuesday 26 May 2020 – ‘Woebot: Your friendly AI emotional assistant’

Guest Speakers: James Murray & Sarah Pajarito from Woebot introduce
Time: 16.00 – 16.45 . To register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Wednesday 27 May 2020 – ‘New Routines after Lockdown’

Time: 12.00 – 12.30. To register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Thursday 28 May 2020 – ‘Resilience, what is it? How do we build it?’

Time: 11.00 – 11.30. To register please click on this Go to webinar link.

Friday 29 May 2020 – ‘Coping with the pressure to be productive during Lockdown’

Time: 11.00 -11.30. To register please click on this Go to webinar link.

TalkToMe-Sitting Figure Landscape

Will Wollen vocal contribution to London sculpture trail

An award-winning sculpture featuring a spoken contribution from Will Wollen, Senior Lecturer in Drama, is currently being installed at Cody Dock in London, where will form part of The Line, a London sculpture trail.

As visitors approach the breathing wooden sculptures made by Steuart Padwick, a sensor is triggered, and the figures voice poignant and uplifting words. These conversations start to crack the ‘burden’ to release a glowing light. The series progresses from a standing figure, carrying the burden on its shoulders, to a figure resting against its burden, highlighting that while the burden may not be overtly visible it is often not far away. These words were written and recorded by notable poets, writers, actors and mental health ambassadors.

The installation has been recognised with two Impact Awards from the International Safety and Mates in Minds Awards.

You can hear Will and the other voices by clicking on these recordings. 

guy playing guitar in university bedroom

Launch of virtual buddy scheme

The Virtual Buddy Scheme is a peer to peer non-academic support scheme coordinated by Kent Union that helps students through university life.

During the current pandemic it provides a welcomed opportunity for students to connect and look out for each other, wherever you are at the moment. You’ll be matched based on your indicated preferences; whether that’s what you are currently studying, your interests and hobbies or how you are currently keeping busy.

Find a buddy

If you’re feeling a little disconnected, you might benefit from finding a buddy. You will be matched based on your preferences and what you might need right now, whether that’s someone to chat to about how you’re feeling or someone to play online games with. Kent Union will organise various virtual events where you can meet with other students; we encourage our buddy partnerships to meet at least once a week, but there is nothing stopping you meeting virtually every day.

Become a buddy volunteer

We feel that it’s more meaningful for students to be matched with someone who knows what it’s like to be a student at Kent and can identify with other students’ experiences. Being a buddy volunteer can be a great opportunity to give something back and support others. Kent Union match you based on your preferences with someone who they think you’ll be able to support- you might end up becoming friends for life!

Find out more on the Kent Union buddy webpage. If you have any questions please e-mail

closeup of person using laptop

Careers and Employability Service launch new online events

Careers & Employability Service have created a new series of online workshops and events to help students to plan for life after graduation. This is in addition to their ongoing 1-2-1 support sessions. The aim is to give students the support they need to prepare for life after University.

Online Live Q&A

Wednesday 20 May at 14:00

There is an online Q and A sessions with careers staff to answer questions and deal with your concerns regarding job opportunities, virtual volunteering and preparing for virtual job interviews.

You can register at

There are also a number of Webinars to assist you with gaining employment, working as a virtual volunteer and how to enhance your public persona.

Employability sessions

Tuesday 26 May

11:00 – Virtual volunteering

Wednesday 27 May

10.00 – Finding experience in uncertain times

Thursday 28 May

11:00 – Tier 2 jobs simplified by Student Circus

14:00 – Succeeding in applications

15:00 – CV evaluation activity

16:00 Kent Alumni Drop-in – Finance, Fintech, Law and Actuarial Science

Friday 29 May

NBA Careers & The Sports Industry

12:00 – Get into Teaching, Department for Education

You can register at

Lecturer in the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies

Patty Baker awarded grant for work on Ancient Roman gardens

Patty Baker, Lecturer in the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies, has been awarded a Public Engagement Grant from the Institute of Classical Studies, her second this year, to work with the Trust for Thanet Archaeology to recreate an Ancient Roman garden.

The project involves University of Kent students and members of the Trust. Once the garden is created it will be used as a resource to teach the general public about ancient gardening techniques, plants, and sustainable gardening practices. The project is directly related to Patty’s research that explores Roman gardens as healthful spaces, for which she is completing a monograph.

For more details on the Trust for Thanet Archaeology and the work they do please visit their website.