Category Archives: Awards

Staff from Kent Hospitality holding their TUCO award infront of the University of Kent sign

Success at TUCO Awards for Kent Hospitality

Congratulations are in order for the catering team at Kent Hospitality as they were awarded the prestigious ‘Member of the Year’ Award at the 2019 TUCO (The University Caterers’ Organisation) Annual Conference earlier this month, held at the University of York.

The award recognises the institution that has made the most significant contribution to the work of TUCO with Kent praised for their support of framework agreements, attendance at events, training courses, tender working parties and other activities. The other two shortlisted Institutions were the University of Manchester and the University of St Andrews.

Head of Trading, Keith Williams said on the win: ‘Our team are delighted to have won this award reflecting the efforts put in to bring a quality service to Kent. We have played an active role in TUCO over the last few decades, recognising it as the perfect platform to benchmark against competitors, train and develop our team and benefit from leading market research and trend data by remaining up to date on industry standards and contributing to the work of TUCO. To have this recognised is a great honour.’

TUCO is the leading professional membership body for in-house caterers operating in the higher, further education and public sector. They are committed to advancing the learning and development of catering and hospitality teams, and work to provide quality standards, advice and information to those working in in-house catering.

Disability Confident Employer logo

We are a disability confident employer

Learning & Organisational Development are pleased to announce that the University has achieved Level 2 of the Disability Confident Grading Scheme and we are now accredited with ‘Disability Confident Employer’.

Through Disability Confident, we will work to ensure that disabled people and those with long-term health conditions have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and realise their aspirations. Recognition of this scheme will help us to recruit and retain the widest possible pool of talent and help develop our valuable skills and experience.

As a Level 2 Disability Confident Employer, we have committed to all elements of Level 1 and also commit to:

  • getting the right people for our business
  • keeping and developing our people

Disability Confident Employers are recognised as going the extra mile to make sure disabled people get a fair chance.

The certification is valid for two years and we can now display the Disability Confident Employer badge on University stationery, correspondence and websites.

Please review where and how you can use this badge within your own processes.

Over the next two years, we will continue to review the criteria for the Level 2 certification ‘Disability Confident Employer’ to improve services and the experience for all employees. We will also review the next level of the Disability confident scheme ‘Disability Confident Leader’ and understand requirements to move forward.

The Cracks

MA Film with Practice student shortlisted for five film festivals

Catriona Blackburn, currently studying on the MA in Film with Practice, has had her short film The Cracks selected for submission to five film festivals: One-Reeler Short Film Competition, the WRPN Women’s International Film Festival, Lisbon Film Rendezvous, Lift-Off Global Network Sessions, and KinoDUEL International Film Festival. In addition, Catriona’s film has been selected as a semi-finalist at Lisbon Film Rendezvous and for the Award of Excellence at One-Reeler Short Film Festival.

The Cracks follows the emotional journey of Anna (Katherine Hall) as she copes with a violation; of her body, of her trust, and of her mind. As the cracks begin to show, only her little love, Tio, can save her from total self-destruction.

Catriona’s time at Kent started in 2011, first studying a BSc (Hons) in Anthropology, for which she received first-class honours. After a year of working with academics within the university and beyond as a visual anthropologist, Catriona came back to Kent to study for an MA in Film with Practice in the School of Arts.

Catriona says: ‘It was an incredible learning experience, our lecturers always discussed with a level and respect and humility that meant our opinions felt recognised and relevant. I have always felt that Kent offered me a freedom to speak my mind and explore my creativity. I felt I had found my niche in Visual Anthropology after my undergraduate studies, but with the support of the School of Arts, in particular my supervisor for the final production Richard Misek, and technician Daniel Haywood, I see many more opportunities for myself in the future. Completing this course has given me confidence in my abilities not only as an independent film maker but as a producer and distributor. I cannot quite believe how much positive feedback my first fiction film has received, and before it has even been graded!’

What’s next for Catriona? ‘I plan to complete my current projects this coming year; ‘Ableism in Academia’, ‘Embodied Reflection’ with Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, and ‘Exploring Embodied Academic Identity through creative research methods’. Moving forward I hope to have the opportunity to produce films and documentaries, find funding for an experimental short using puppetry to speak about bereavement. I also have plans to make a feature documentary, showcasing the lack of support for new mothers and the onus on the mother’s responsibility within pregnancy and through to new motherhood, by following a group of pregnant women from different socio-economic backgrounds through into new motherhood’.

More of Catriona’s work can be viewed on her website:

More information about The Cracks can be found here.

Kent Hospitality Housekeeping staff with BACHE awards

Continued success for Kent Hospitality Housekeeping at the BACHE Awards

Once again, congratulations to the Kent Hospitality Housekeeping department for winning two awards at the British Association of Cleaning in Higher Education (BACHE) Awards on the 8 and 9 July at Keele University.

Continuing their winning streak, the team were awarded the ‘Best Practice Award 2019’ at this year’s ceremony. The award recognised new housekeeping initiatives that helped maximise staff skills. This included producing their own best practice training videos, which have been utilised across the department.

Making the event a double win, Ratna Rai won the ‘Cleaning Operative of the Year Award 2019’. Ratna, who works as a Domestic Assistant in Park Wood, was recognised for her consistently high standards of cleaning and for improving the student experience by building positive relationships with Kent students.

Gary Sayles, Executive Housekeeping Manager, Kent Hospitality said: “we are absolutely thrilled at our success at the BACHE Awards. To be recognised again by a national association for our team’s consistent hard work is fantastic, and special congratulations are also due to Ratna on winning the Cleaning Operative award. As a team we are proud to deliver a consistently high standard of service here at the University of Kent.”

The awards recognise the importance of professional cleaning activities in higher education institutions. BACHE aims to standardise training for cleaning staff, improve cleaning standards, and professionalise the delivery of cleaning and associated services on campus.

Research project on Raphael wins Oxford’s Public Engagement with Research Award

Raphael – The Drawings, a Leverhulme-funded research project, that was co-organised by Dr Ben Thomas in the Department of Art History with colleagues from the University of Oxford, won a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Public Engagement with Research in the Project category at the University of Oxford. The prize was awarded at a ceremony earlier this week, Wednesday 10 July 2019.

The two-year research project aimed to transform our understanding of how Raphael drew, employing an innovative multi-disciplinary approach to the close study of his drawings.

An exhibition at the Ashmolean, Raphael: The Drawings, embodied the essential findings and conclusions of the project’s work, bringing together 120 drawings in three strands: invention; orchestration and expression in which Raphael’s experimental approach, visual strategies and graphic language were highlighted. The exhibition attracted 67,000 visitors.

Ben was co-organiser of the project team with Professor Catherine Whistler, supported by the project research assistant Angela Maria Aceto.

The project is detailed on page 10 of the research awards brochure here. 

George Turner

Congratulations to Film student George Turner

George Turner, who is currently studying on the BA (Hons) in Film, was nominated as a semi-finalist for the Best Experimental UK Short Film in the London International Motion Pictures Awards (LIMPA) 2019.

The film follows the journey of a young photographer, asking are our passions always worth pursuing? When does enthusiasm become obsession? Is independence an asset or a hindrance?

George explained the background to the film: ‘The project was a joint effort between myself and Lee Reynolds – a friend and colleague for many years; our film collaborations began at our Sixth Form College (now known as USP). It was shot back in January 2017.

‘What is most interesting is LIMPA’s recognition of our film; I submitted the film for competition in August 2018. It was the only competition that the film was submitted to. In early May I received a notification that we had been shortlisted for Official Selection and, a week later, Semi-Finals. We were honoured to have been selected.’

Seclusion received a screening last week, 24 May 2019, at Regent’s University in London, as part of the awards festival. However you may view the film via the YouTube link here.

Partnership Award Success for the Kent and Medway Progression Federation

The Kent and Medway Progression Federation (KMPF) is a partnership between the University of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church University, the University for the Creative Arts and 40 schools in Kent and Medway. The partnership works to raise aspirations and attainment of young people disadvantaged by circumstance, who might not otherwise consider progression to higher education.

KMPF were delighted to accept the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) Award commendation in the category of Widening Access Partnership on behalf of all the partners who make up the collaboration at an awards ceremony at the Houses of Parliament this month. NEON is the professional organisation supporting those involved in widening access to higher education to affect change in their own organisations and communities. This NEON award recognises organisations that work together and support each other to effectively widen access for those who need the most help.

The University of Kent has worked in partnership with KMPF since its inception in 2011 and has played an integral role in increasing opportunities and widening access to higher education for so many students across Kent and Medway.

Find out more about the award and the work of the partnership on KMPF’s website

Ann-Christine Kinzer wins 2019 Graduate School Prize

Ann-Christine Kinzer, PhD student in German and Comparative Literature, has been awarded the 2019 Graduate School Postgraduate Researcher Prize.

In 2018, the Graduate School introduced a series of annual prizes to recognise the excellence of its postgraduate researchers and the outstanding work carried out by academic and administrative staff members in support of postgraduate research and education. Ann is one of three prize winners in 2019 and will receive her award at a ceremony on 30 May.

Ann’s PhD thesis uses a comparative methodology to investigate the phenomenon of wandering in modern European literature. Defining wandering in Kantian terms as a kind of ‘purposiveness without purpose’ – as opposed to walking, which simply seeks to move from point a to point b – it argues that the practice arose in response to the Industrial Revolution, as writers and thinkers sought ways to resist the increasing instrumentalisation of time and space.

Over the last three years, Ann has made an exceptional contribution not only to the postgraduate culture of her discipline, but also to that of her School. She has contributed to numerous conferences and an exhibition, and has also been the leading influence behind the Skepsi group of postgraduates, selecting the topics for their conferences, organising the events themselves, and editing the subsequent proceedings. She has also been an invaluable assistant for the CHASE summer school, which ran successfully last year and is being repeated this summer. Ann’s most important contribution to our research culture, however, might well be her work on our impact case studies.

Professor Ben Hutchinson, School Director of Graduate Studies (Research) and Professor of European Literature, says: “Ann’s experience in helping to organise the event is proving invaluable as we prepare things again for this summer… She has engaged closely both with the individual case study leads (in UoA26) and with the central university REF team. Her efforts have been instrumental in improving both the quantity of the data and the quality of the narratives; one of the case studies on which she worked was even distributed across the university as a model of good practice… She is in many ways a model postgraduate student – industrious, ambitious, and resourceful – and I know that numerous colleagues could give glowing references about her contributions to their own activities”.

Art History students win Kent Arts Investment Fund

Following on from successfully organising the exhibition ‘The Female Nude: Ways of Seeing’, students from the Department of the History of Art have won a Kent Arts Investment Fund award from Kent County Council.

‘The Female Nude’ was organised as part of the module ‘Print Collecting and Curating’, and the funds will contribute to the costs of hosting a series events associated with the exhibition, including special talks with artist Iwona Abrams and art historian and writer Frances Borzello. In addition, the extra funding will allow us to make a more substantial acquisition for the Kent Print Collection.

Rebecca Hardy, one of the co-organisers of the exhibition, said: ‘We feel very excited and proud at obtaining this funding. The module has been a brilliant practical learning experience, allowing us to gain a wide range of skills and implementing them into the ‘real-world’. We feel confident in entering a career in the arts considering all that we have achieved with this exhibition, which has been the product of just less than four months’ work.’

Rebecca is currently completing her final year on the BA (Hons) in Art History.

‘The Female Nude: Ways of Seeing’ closes this Friday, and an online gallery from the exhibition may be seen here.

Lucy O’Meara

Lucy O’Meara wins Society for French Studies Research Fellowship

Dr Lucy O’Meara, Senior Lecturer in French in the Department of Modern Languages and Acting Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Humanities, has won the Society for French Studies 2019 Prize Research Fellowship.

The Fellowship is open to early and mid-career academics in all areas of French Studies, and provides funding for a period of research leave in the 2019-20 academic year.

Lucy’s project is entitled: ‘Interrogating the Encyclopaedia in European Fiction and Autobiography 1870-2020’. She describes it as “a comparative literary project examining the attitudes of French, German and British authors towards the encyclopaedic organisation of knowledge in European novels and autobiography from the 1870s to the present. I’ll be analysing mainstream and experimental fiction and a range of types of memoir. The prize entitles me to research leave from January to June 2020 and I’m really looking forward to taking up the fellowship.”