Author Archives: Alice Allwright

Professor Richard Jones - Head of School of Computing

Farewell to Professor Richard Jones

Richard Jones, Head of School of Computing and Professor of Computer Systems retires today after 35 years at the University of Kent. He joined Kent as a member of staff in 1985 after doing a Master’s programme, with a project supervised by Simon Thompson, who also retires today.

Dick has had a distinguished academic career with his research mainly focusing on dynamic memory management and has published the definitive books on garbage collection. His teaching has mainly been around the area of programming languages and systems.

Dick has received external recognition for his work and was made a Distinguished Scientist of the ACM in 2006, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Glasgow in July 2005. He received IBM Faculty Awards in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and was elected to AITO, Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets, in 2014.

In 2017 Dick was appointed as Head of the School of Computing and he has led the School through times of great change with purpose and integrity. He said: ‘I had hoped to be retiring under different circumstances, but I’d like to thank you all for the support you have given me.  We are undoubtedly facing difficult times, both as a university and as a country. However, I retire in the knowledge that we have a fantastic School with talented, hard working and convivial colleagues in every role. I wish you all the very best for the future.’

We wish Dick well with his retirement and the extra time he has to spend on his outside interests of cycling, sailing and grandchildren. We hope to give him a better send off when we are allowed to meet in person again.

A iPhone 11 with the Facebook homescreen on it's screen next to an opened grey lantop with a balck keyboard.

Digital Accessibility Conference online

Due to current circumstances we are updating our 2nd Digital Accessibility Conference and inviting you to attend virtually wherever you are.

Last year, two of the Kent Connects partner organisations, University of Kent & Kent County Council, hosted the first Kent Digital Accessibility Conference to inform Public Sector organisations about digital accessibility and inclusion and the impact of the regulations.

Join us for the next virtual version Kent Digital Accessibility conference in June – there will be 2 morning sessions and 2 afternoon sessions each day for three days;

When:

Tuesday 9 June

Wednesday 10 June

Thursday 11 June.

Times:

10.00 – 11.00

11.30 – 12.30

14.00 – 15.00

15.30 – 16.30

With three months left before the regulations deadline, we have even more expert speakers and workshops to help you prepare, including the UK government, big name suppliers, NHS experts and a European perspective showing how other countries are handling new regulations. We will also have a brand new reveal on the work we are doing towards Kent’s accessible student experience, and a host of engaging practical workshops to help attendees grow the specialist skills required to deliver accessible services.

Please register your interest in attending virtually – full details of speakers and a meeting link will be confirmed to booked attendees nearer the time.

Book your free place now on the Eventbrite website

Everyone is welcome, please do share with colleagues in your networks who might find this of interest.

For any queries, please email AccessibilityEvents@kent.ac.uk 

creme egg brownie cake

Top 10 chocolate recipes – in time for Easter!

With Easter just around the corner, and with many of us at home thinking of ways to entertain ourselves, what better way than to put our baking skills to the test?

While Easter eggs are a traditional confectionery treat for this time of year, we’ve selected mouth-watering recipes for you to indulge in chocolate in 10 delicious ways…

1. Chocolate hazelnut ice cream cheesecake

chocolate-hazelnut-ice-cream-cheesecake

Using only four ingredients this delectable dessert is easy and simple to make. Take a look at BBC Good Food for the recipe.

2. Double-layer custard and chocolate mousse

chocolate mousse

Creamy custard and dark chocolate provide a great combination for this recipe from Delicious Magazine.

3. Delia’s Chocolate bread and butter pudding

Delia Smith -chocolate-bread-and-butter-pudding

From a woman who knows a thing or two about desserts, this Delia Smith recipe is wonderful both hot and cold!

4. Chocolate and marshmallow mini egg traybake

chocolate and marshmallow mini egg traybake

This Easter-inspired treat from Delicious Magazine  is a great one for sharing – that’s if you want to!

5. Vegan chocolate truffles

vegan chocolate truffles

Rich and luxurious, this dessert from Loving it Vegan is perfect for all occasions…

6. Easy chocolate chip cookies

Easy-chocolate-chip-cookies

A great one to try with kids, this easy recipe from Good to know can be baked in under 30 minutes…

7. Chocolate, pear and hazelnut frangipane tart

hocolate and pear frangipane tart

With fruit and nut complimenting the chocolate in this Food Magazine recipe, there’s triple the tastiness!

8. Chocolate fudge brownies

classic chocolate brownies

These classic, yet tasty treats are perfect for enjoying with a nice cup of tea! Recipe from Food and Wine.

9. Chocolate tiramisu

Chocolate-Tiramisu

Made with layers of mascarpone, chocolate ganache and ladyfingers dipped in hot chocolate this Pretty Simple Sweet recipe is perfect for chocolate-lovers!

And finally, …

10. Crème egg brownie cake

creme egg brownie cake

This scrumptious dessert from Olive Magazine is perfect to try for an Easter treat…or any time of the year!

Feel inspired? Please share your top 10 ideas with us at stories@kent.ac.uk

Man in a white t-shirt in a sitting yoga position on a mat

Mindfulness online

The University is now offering guided mindfulness sessions online to staff and students to help get through this stressful time. Staff from Student Support and Wellbeing and the Student Learning Advisory Service are working in collaboration to provide 4 sessions of mindfulness practice a week.

This will go on throughout the Easter vacation until the end of summer term. Lorraine Millard (SSW) who is leading the sessions said, “I run regular mindfulness sessions at university, so when social distancing and working from home was imposed I wanted to find a way to continue to provide support to students and colleagues.” So far, the team have hosted 3 mindfulness sessions online; in total 23 students located in 6 different countries have logged-in.

The sessions are 40 minutes long and there is a focus on dealing with anxiety and strategies for remaining focused. This is particularly important for students and staff at the university who are isolated from each other, but are having to continue to study and work. Louise Frith commented that she and her colleagues in SLAS are finding that, “at a time of heightened personal and social stress, many students are understandably worried about their ability to focus and perform well in exams, dissertations and coursework.”

The sessions are live and run using Zoom. Anyone can join at any time by following the links:

For students:

Starting from Wednesday 01 April

Starting from Friday 17 April

For staff

Starting from Thursday 02 April

Dr Paul March-Russell, lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature

Dr Paul March-Russell, lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature

Dr Paul March-Russell, lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature, has won the ‘Outstanding Reviewer Award’ from the online journal Humanities.

The ‘Humanities Editorial Board and Editorial Team’ give this award in recognition of the ‘the time and energy given by reviewers in checking manuscripts submitted to Humanities. It is due to their efforts that the high quality of the journal and quick turnaround are maintained.’

Paul says: “Peer reviewing is integral to the academic process. Without it, we can’t distinguish academic work, which we can rely on and trust, from other kinds of fake news. This is why I am honoured to be a peer reviewer and to receive this award.”

Logo for University of Kent Graduate School Prizes 2020

Nominations for Graduate School Prizes 2020

Now more than ever it is important to recognise the brilliant work that is carried out by our research community and those who work with postgraduate students at Kent. Help us celebrate this exceptional community by nominating a colleague or student for a Graduate School Prize.

These annual prizes recognises the excellence of Kent’s researchers and the outstanding work carried out by academic and administrative staff members in support of postgraduate research and education. The Graduate School Prizes will award prizes in the following categories:

  • Postgraduate Researcher
  • Postgraduate Administrator
  • School Director of Graduate Studies
  • Postgraduate Teacher
  • Research Degree Supervisor
  • Early Career Research Staff

Apply or nominate a candidate now via the Graduate School website where you will find the criteria for each prize and a nomination form.

Deadline for nominations is Wednesday 6 May at 23.59

Woman wearing activewear lying on an exercise mat with her hans on her head, in the sit up position

Kent Sport launches Stay Well at Home

Since closing Kent Sport facilities last Friday the Kent Sport Team have all been discussing ideas to keep our membership community and University partners engaged in physical activity, wellbeing, follow good habits as well as a provide a brief sense of normality with instruction or advice from a familiar Kent Sport face.

With this in mind they are launching a regular Blog and Vlog through the Kent Sport webpage and social media channels as well through our University partner webpages.  The breadth of content will provide information and guidance for different levels, abilities and age groups and try to account for the different environments you all find yourself in.

Some content may not be helpful for everyone but they will endeavor to provide a broad range utilizing the talent, expertise and personalities they have available at Kent Sport and help you stay on track.

They will also provide some useful links and signpost other services and material that may be useful.

Coming Soon

  • Home Workouts
  • Wellbeing Ideas
  • Health Tips
  • Sport @ Home
  • Kids Activities
  • Nutrition Tips
  • Music Mixes
  • Fitness Articles
  • Kent Sport News
  • Positive Links

Feedback and engagement is completely welcome and if you have ideas for content or want to keep in touch please engage on social media accordingly by using #KentSportStayWellAtHome

Be sure to like them on Facebook and follow on Instagram and Twitter @UniKentSports, enjoy and join in!

Woman placing sticking notes on a wall in front of other people sitting at a desk with their laptops

Learning and Organisational Development Delivery

Update 30th March 2020

Further to recent University communications in response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) the Learning & Organisational Development (L&OD) team will be postponing the delivery of its current training and development courses and workshops, at this stage up to and including those on Friday 1st of May.

During this suspended delivery period, the L&OD team will continue to work on enhancing our online training options as well as ensuring that arrangements are put in place for rearranging postponed training and development activities. Our Session Leads are currently assessing whether there are resources we can point you towards in the absence of the face-to-face sessions.

Staff are not required to action anything at this stage; we will be working on alternative dates for activities and will communicate these to staff affected by the cancelled activity directly in due course.

We will continue to follow the University’s guidance, along with Government, NHS and Public Health England advice and provide regular updates as the situation develops.

This is a challenging time for all of us. Please look after your own health but also be aware of the health and wellbeing of others around you.

Please check the coronavirus information online.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the L&OD team: LDev@Kent.ac.uk

Three pride award booklets to the three Hospitality staff who each won an award

Fantastic news for Kent Hospitality’s March PRIDE Award Winners

Not one, but a record breaking three members of Kent Hospitality staff have won the most recent Pride Award.

Congratulations are due to Claire Whale (Housekeeping Supervisor), Heather Dyer (Domestic Assistant) and Jason Townsend (IT Systems, Development and Support Officer), who all showed a dedication to deliver fantastic service to students and fellow staff members in their nominations according to the panel.

Claire Whale’s award recognised her consistent hard work and proactive attitude in assisting with accommodation viewings and resolving problems before they develop. Claire’s nomination noted “there is never a time that you feel you are asking too much of Claire because her positive attitude and helpful demeanour is always at the forefront of any correspondence” with one specific occurrence citing that “without her assistance the viewing would not have happened successfully.”

Heather Dyers’ award recognised her generosity and kindness towards others, exemplified by one example when helping a Christ Church student in need where her “concern and kindness shown to a stranger certainly goes beyond her job role”. Part of an email sent by a friend of the student wrote: “the amazing compassion your colleague showed towards my friend is commendable and not everyone would have helped her in the way that she did. We wanted to extend our thanks to her and let her know how much we appreciate what she did.”

Finally, an extract from Jason’s nomination that summarised why he should receive the award read: “he regularly works beyond his required hours and his ever positive attitude and willingness to make time to help everyone, no matter what the task, has been widely noted and appreciated across the department […] Jason consistently surpasses expectation, gives up his personal time, and demonstrates pride for the department and the University through his actions, which are a positive example to others.”

Many congratulations to Claire, Heather and Jason on their well-deserved wins.

We are sure that during these changing times there are lots of our staff going above and beyond, so if you know of any Kent Hospitality staff member from either the Canterbury or Medway campus it is really easy to nominate them for a Pride Award. To submit a nomination just visit the Pride website.

The closing date for the next Pride Award is currently Wednesday 17 June 2020 at 12.

stay connected

How to stay connected while working remotely  

Do you miss the office camaraderie? With many of us now working from home, you may be feeling a bit lost without your colleagues near, or the chitter-chatter around you. But have no fear! With the use of Microsoft Teams, Skype or other virtual devices, there’s plenty of ways for you to stay connected. 

As well as conference calls, here’s a few suggestions on what you and your colleagues can do to stay virtually connected: 

Get set up

Making sure your PC or laptop is ready for home working is crucial for keeping in touch. Our amazing colleagues in Information Services have provided this great guide to working from home, to show you how. It also includes crucial information from other professional service colleagues on data security, redirecting you phone and looking after your health and wellbeing.

Weekly virtual coffee 

Schedule a time every week for you and your team to catchup over coffee via video conference. This can be different from your regular meetings – you can put the kettle on and chat about other things than your work, as you would normally in the office. This works for virtual lunch too!  

Share photos and videos 

A good way to bond with your colleagues is sharing (appropriate) photos or videos with them. Whether that’s your garden, your pets or even your work station, it’s a great way to create that personal touch you may have lost by working from home. Set aside a time in the day or week where you can share these photos and connect with other.

Please use #UniKentHomeWorking and share your home set up with us. Be careful with privacy though – please don’t include clues in the photos as to your location or the names of your family members. You wouldn’t want to have bank details lying around either!

Read all about staying protected, while working remotely. 

Morning status updates  

Start getting into a routine of having virtual updates with your team. A daily or weekly morning update via video conference is a great way to communicate important information and to share what work has or needs to be done. It’s also a good practice for setting people up for the day.   

Team activities 

Activities can be as simple as attending a webinar or starting a book or cooking club together. For a good sense of wellbeing, why not participate in weekly meditation or yoga as a groupIt’s a great way to stay connected, without it always being about work.    

Tell us what you think 

How are you keeping in touch with your colleagues? Share your thoughts and ideas on how to stay connected with colleagues by sending them to stories@kent.ac.uk