Monthly Archives: October 2021

Kent People: Meet our very own Jacquie of All Trades 

Jacquie Edwards is PA to the Director of Sport, but better known to many as performer Ginger Bennett. During Black History Month, she tells us how stories of being and growing up in the UK during lockdown helped create this alter ego. 

‘I joined the University in 2001 as a temp in the Estates Department. Jill Andrew’s Friday afternoon tray bakes were amazing and I think I knew from the first bite I would be working here until they shoehorned me out!

‘I’ve always had an affliction or a gift, whichever way you look at it. If I say I’m going to do something out loud, I will generally do it. Sometimes I will fail spectacularly but I will always see it through.  

‘In the past, this has led to some marvellous opportunities: I was a canoeing Instructor (who couldn’t swim that well); a karaoke hostess (with chronic nerves); PA to the Head of Exhibitions and Displays at the National Maritime Museum (with no keyboard skills whatsoever); and managed to hoist the Women’s Rugby World Cup (even though I really don’t like mud and dirt). 

‘I think a lot of working mothers know how that adventurous, pioneering spirit can so easily be diluted once you have children. It happened to me and, three children later, I was more prone to muttering under my breath than boldly proclaiming my next bonkers venture.  

Becoming, Being and Belonging 

‘Enter global pandemic and the lockdown. I’d always thought I came from a very close family but those Zoom calls take to you to another level! Those talking heads revealed family stories I’d never heard – stories about my parents’ arrival to the UK and their feelings of being and belonging. When I shared these stories with friends, I found the stories of their parents’ arrivals meshed with their own feelings and stories. Unconsciously, I had started to build an account of Becoming, Being and Belonging for 1st Generation Immigrants to the UK and their 2nd Generation children.  

‘Somewhere around month six or seven, I became very low – Long Covid, lockdown, three children, home-schooling and menopause all played a part. I have a lovely friend who saw through my thin smiling veneer – we talked, sometimes daily, and I read her the stories and poems I had written around the theme. She told me they were funny and important and, before long, I said out loud “I think I can write a play about this” so I did. It may have helped that friend is an award-winning jazz pianist but, regardless, I’ve done it.  It’s out there. 

The England Women’s Rugby World Cup-winning team, 1994. Jacquie is in the front row with her arm around the flag.

Songs from My Soul 

Songs from My Soul is an amalgamation of tales told to me by friends and family about being and growing up in the UK. I think it cuts across race too as I hope it tells the age-old story of mothers fighting for their children the best they know how and then letting them go.  

‘The stories are distilled into the life of Aretha a mother who, now retired, sees the path travelled very differently from her daughter, Bernadette.  

‘Those Zoom calls were a real awakening and I now have a few more job titles to add to my dodgy CV: Playwright, Producer, Actress.’ 

Listen and find out more 

Jacquie performs regularly across Kent as Ginger Bennett with her funk and Soul Band Project F and the KD Dance Orchestra 

Songs from My Soul will be performed at the Tower Theatre, Folkestone, on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October from 20.00. Tickets, priced £12, are available on the Tower Theatre webpages 

Songs from My Soul is a year-long Arts Council funded project and will examine, Becoming, Belonging and Being as part of a performance of new works next year. The Songs from My Soul team would love to hear your stories and write your song. Get in touch via this Songs from my Soul link 

You can also listen to original songs for the Songs from my Soul project on YouTube. 

Group of students on campus

This Saturday’s UG Open Day – More helpers needed

From Simone Davies, Director of MORA

We’re holding an Open Day for potential UG students this Saturday (23 October) and we need your help! The Open Day takes place from 10.00 – 14.00 on our Canterbury campus and we need extra staff volunteers to meet and greet visitors and to be available on information points.

Please help us by encouraging colleagues across your team to help on the day. MORA will be able to cover overtime to those on grade 6 and below. Anyone able to volunteer should get in touch asap with the Schools Liaison team. They will need to be at Grimond Building from 08.45 on Saturday for a pre-event briefing. Further information on the Open Day is available on our Visit Kent webpages.

Many thanks your help with this.

Simone Davies | Director of MORA

Christmas shoebox appeal

Christmas shoebox appeal wrapping and filling session

Would you like to get involved in our Christmas shoebox appeal to help vulnerable communities across Eastern Europe?

Our Careers and Employability Services (CES) will be hosting a wrapping and filling session Monday 15 November 13.00-15.00. Get involved!

This event is part of Volunteering Week (15-19 November). See the shoebox appeal poster to learn about what items we’re looking for and how you can help.

If you would like to get involved but cannot make the volunteering session, please contact careehelp@kent.ac.uk to register your interest and let us know how many boxes you will be making. Please then bring these to the CES reception no later than Friday 19 November.

Careers in accounting, banking, finance and fintech

Careers in Accounting, Banking, Finance and Fintech Week, 1-5 November

Join us for the Careers and Employability Service’s Careers in Accounting, Banking, Finance and Fintech Week, 1-5 November 2021.

Starting on 1 November, the Careers and Employability Service will be hosting its first online Careers in Accounting, Banking, Finance and Fintech Week. This week-long programme is open to all students interested in finding out more about working in these sectors.

Throughout the week, we will be joined by a range of Kent alumni and employers, including Santander, Investment20/20, and Moore Kingston Smith. Events will include: workshops on networking and selection tests; insight talks from employers; presentations on how to succeed in landing graduate roles and internships; and an alumni panel discussion of equality and diversity within these industries.

All events will be virtual and hosted on either MS Teams or Zoom.

You can also earn 10 Employability Points by attending each event, which can be redeemed later in the year for exclusive rewards.

To see the full schedule of events, please visit our website. You can book your place for each event now on TARGETconnect.

Postgraduate students on campus

Help promote our next Postgraduate events on 17 November

This Autumn, we’ll be hosting postgraduate open events on Wednesday 17 November with two ways to attend, designed to make the events as accessible to as many potential postgrad students as possible.

12.00 – 14.00 – Virtual event

17.00 – 19.00 – In-person event

Our virtual events have been really successful, especially for overseas enquirers and this November we’re delighted to also be able to invite prospective students to come to the Canterbury campus to meet academics as well as support staff and students.

The November events will be of special interest to potential PhD students looking to the meet January funding deadlines, January start Master’s students and final year UG students researching the next steps for their careers.

The scholarships team will be there to advise on Research Council funding applications as well as Tomorrow’s World and alumni discounts available to Kent graduates.

To make 2022 postgraduate recruitment as successful as possible it would be great if colleagues could promote the events to current Kent undergraduates, through professional networks, among family and friends and on their social channels.

For further information about the event and to find out how to register, please visit the Postgraduate Events webpage.

Jim Everett

Dr Jim Everett announced as 2021 Levehulme Prize winner

Congratulations to Dr Jim Everett, Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology, who is among the winners of this year’s 2021 Philip Leverhulme Prizes.

The annual prizes recognise the achievement of ‘exceptional researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future careers are exceptionally promising’. 30 prizes are awarded annually, each worth £100,000 to be spent on further research.

Jim has been awarded the prestigious prize for his work ‘on experimental social psychology; moral psychology; experimental philosophy.’ His recognition by the Leverhulme Trust is an honour given to only a handful of the UK’s psychologists in each three-year cycle, and follows several other awards from the international research community, including a Rising Star award by the International Association for Psychological Science, the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Early Career award from the European Association for Social Psychology.

Jim said: ‘To see my name amongst such impressive awardees in psychology from this year and previous years is a very strange feeling. As always, thank you so much everyone who has supported me. I say this every time I get an award, but nothing I have done, or will ever do, will be mine alone and I remain deeply indebted to my family, mentors and colleagues.’

Head of School, Professor Robbie Sutton said: ‘We have always had an outstanding international reputation for research in social psychology, which in recent years has only grown stronger with the recruitment of  supremely talented and energetic researchers who are publishing in the world’s leading journals, winning millions of pounds in research funding, and training the next generation of researchers with the skills and enthusiasm to address the UK’s, and the world’s, most urgent challenges.’

Read more about the awards on the Leverhulme Trust website.

ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) e-learning training module

The University takes the safety of our students, staff and visitors very seriously. Following the ACT (Action Counters Terrorism) Strategic and Operational training sessions with front line managers, supervisors and senior staff, the University has been provided with an ACT e-learning module that is now available for staff to complete.

Devised by counter terrorism officers and security experts, the ACT Awareness eLearning package provides nationally recognised guidance on how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident. This guidance is not only useful while you are on campus, but is also relevant when going about your daily lives. It has been proven to save lives both in domestic (eg the London Bridge attack) and overseas (eg Tunisia beach attack) terror incidents.

To complete the module please select this link: Course: Action Counters Terrorism (ACT)(kent.ac.uk). The module should take around 45 minutes to complete. It is broken down into a number of sections that you can return to and resume if you can’t complete in the whole module one sitting.

The training module refers to the ACT URIM app, which is available to download on your mobile device from the Google Play or Apple app stores. Click or tap on the suitable link to download the app and follow the log in details below:

ACT URIM for Apple

ACT URIM for Android

Generic log-in: UOKENT@urim.app

Generic Password: Urim123$

Please do see if you can find the time to complete this module – it may just save your life or those of your family, friends or colleagues.

Mark Ellis | Director of University Operations

Coronavirus

Update on timing of salary awards

From Martin Atkinson, Director of HR and Organisational Development

This is to confirm that all deferred salary awards associated with 2020 academic promotions and salary award processes will be paid in the October pay run.

Standard progression ‘automatic’ increments, including academic advancements, and any transition arrangements from the Reward Strategy deferred by 12 months due to the pay freeze will also be paid in October along with 2021 academic promotions and advancements.

Given the volume of work involved in processing these payments, all awards associated with the 2021 salary award processes will be paid in November and backdated to 1 October.

We aim to send all letters detailing the outcome of 2021 salary awards processes to staff by Thursday 11 November.

Martin

Martin Atkinson | Director of HR and Organisational Development

New training module developed for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office 

A new online training module for civil servants around the world has been developed by international law expert Dr Luis Eslava for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The module on ‘Green Cities and Infrastructure’ explores contemporary debates about sustainable development in low income and G20 countries.

Dr Eslava said: ‘The topics covered in the module highlight the role of urban and local development in conversations about the future of the global environment. The module shows how effective and progressive actions at the local level should recognise the impact of past development policies on current urban arraignments, and how meaningful local engagement with communities, in both “developed” and “developing” countries, are an essential step towards global environmental justice.’

The module was commissioned by the FCDO for their Trade Policy and Negotiations Faculty (TPNF) as part of their extensive program for government officials specialising in trade policy across Whitehall and globally.

Dr Eslava said: ‘It was a great privilege, both professionally and academically, to be able to contribute to the training of current and future FCDO officials posted across the world and who are directly dealing with crucial questions about domestic and international development and global trade policies.’

Dr Eslava was supported in the development of the ‘Green Cities and Infrastructure’ module by Kent Law School alumnus George Hill. George graduated from Kent with a First Class Honours degree in European Legal Studies in 2019 and is currently completing an LLM by Research at the European Institute in Florence. George co-authored a chapter on ‘Cities, Post-Coloniality and International Law’ with Dr Eslava for the Research Handbook on International Law and Cities (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021).

Dr Eslava is a Reader in International Law at Kent Law School with teaching responsibilities that span across Law and International Development, Public International Law and International Human Rights Law.

He is an active member of The IEL Collective, the network Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) and is currently writing a book on the changing nature of global poverty, Broken Worlds: New Poverty, Law and Youth Violence. He is also co-editing The Oxford Handbook of International Law and Development (OUP, forthcoming 2022).