Category Archives: People

Nostalgia podcast with Jo Pearsall

In the latest episode of the Nostalgia podcast series, Dr Chris Deacy, Reader in Theology and Religious Studies in the Department of Religious Studies, speaks to Jo Pearsall, Deputy Secretary of Council and the Court at the University, and an alumna of the School of History.

Jo discusses how her earliest memories seem to be from photos and we learn that, despite coming from a sporty family, she isn’t sporty herself. Jo also talks about how strange it feels to work in the same university from which she graduated ten years previously; listening to the ‘Pina Colada’ song as a child; the relative merits of reading for pleasure and reading for study; why she was freaked out by ‘Witness’; whether she was a ‘Swap Shop’ or a ‘Tiswas’ person on Saturday mornings; why she was keen on studying 18th century history; the importance of degree congregations, her love of opera and Cher, what would have happened if Staffordshire County Council hadn’t given her free violin lessons up until the age of 18, and what might have happened if her dreams had been even bigger!

Alumnus Antonio Mascoli debuts film NAMRON at Flicks festival

Alumnus Antonio Mascoli, who graduated with an MA in Film with Practice in 2018, has had his film NAMRON selected to be included in the Flicks International Student Short Film Festival 2019, to be held  from 28 -29 March in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Flicks is a film festival originating from the Cultural Student Centre USVA in Groningen, which gives national and international student filmmakers the opportunity to participate by showcasing short films of up to 20 minutes in length.

NAMRON tells the story of 21-year-old Norman who is travelling to his parents’ house to tell them he’s in a same-sex relationship. But first he needs to accept the man he sees in the mirror. Sharing the journey with his boyfriend, Norman encounters different people and places, which evoke childhood memories and bring a lifelong inner turmoil back to the surface.

Speaking of the film, Antonio said: ‘NAMRON was produced as my final dissertation for the MA Film with Practice. The Master’s gave me the necessary technical and artistic confidence to make a movie about a complicated theme, about which we often think we know everything. Though, if there is still strong discrimination and prejudice nowadays, perhaps we know nothing after all.’

For more information about the Flicks Film Festival, please see the page on the Flicks Film Festival blog.

Loretta Izod, Apprenticeships

Recognition for Employee Apprenticeships Manager at Kent

The work of our Employee Apprenticeships Manager, Loretta Izod, was recognised at the recent East Kent Apprenticeship Awards.

Loretta was a finalist in the award for the East Kent Apprenticeship Champion of the Year award. The inaugural awards took place during National Apprenticeship Week (4-8 March 2019) and celebrated the success of apprenticeships for both individuals and businesses.

Apprenticeships have been subject to a number of changes in recent years, including the way they are funded. Large employers like Kent now pay a monthly Apprenticeship Levy, meaning we can offer apprenticeships for  career development to existing staff, as well as new employees.

Loretta was nominated for the award by her colleagues in the HR Learning & Organisational Development team. Over the past year, she has been working with schools and departments to promote use of the levy and taking an apprenticeship to colleagues in any occupation, regardless of age, work experience or job level.

Across the University, there are now up to 50 staff who are being supported by the levy to develop their skills and knowledge in roles from Laboratory Scientist to Digital Marketer and Chartered Manager. A further 70 staff have expressed an interest in studying for an apprenticeship.

Loretta said: ‘I am really happy to be a finalist in these awards. My job is to ensure that employees understand the benefits of apprenticeships and that Kent is able to use its levy effectively – this type of recognition of my work makes all the hard work and effort worth it. This award is a really nice recommendation, but there’s still lots of work to do.’

To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities at Kent, contact Loretta Izod by phone (ext 16568), email:, or visit the Kent Apprenticeships webpage.

Don’t forget we also offer Higher and Degree Apprenticeships – you can find out on the  CHDA webpages.

Alumna Faye Golley curates Strangelove Festival

Alumna Faye Golley, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in History and Philosophy of Artin 2016, is currently curating the Strangelove Time-based Media Festival 2019, which will feature a special symposium at the Folkestone Quarterhouse, held on Friday 22 March 2019.

Faye is Founder and Gallery Director of Casement Arts, a window gallery in Folkestone, Co-director of Threads Nomadic Gallery, which aids artist development through regular discourse and criticism outside main institutions, and is curator and project manager of the Strangelove Time-based Media Festival.

Faye explains how her involvement in the Festival came about: “In my first year of being a graduate I threw myself at as many opportunities that I came across; I volunteered at a number of arts festivals. My first proper job was as an assistant producer for Threads Nomadic Gallery, which led to me joining the team and being invited to curate a show as part of Strangelove Festival 2017.

“As a student I also did some invigilating at Studio 3. The way audiences entered and interacted with the exhibitions always fascinated me. Which way did they walk around the show? Was this the way the curator had intended them to walk? Which work did they stop at again was this all planned by the curator? I loved it when someone broke the trend, and now when I curate shows I try and think of how that person would move around the space.”

The Festival was launched at the Photographer’s Gallery in London, 23 February, before moving to the Turner Contemporary in Margate and the Fabrica in Brighton, with the festival will concluding with five days of events in Folkestone’s Creative Quarter from 20 March.

The theme of the symposium is ‘Past, Present Future: What is Time-Based Media?’ It will begin with a rough history of video art by artist and writer Chris Meigh-Andrews, who also will chair the programme, followed by presentations from Larry AchiampongManuel VasonJane EnglandKeith Piper and Lois Keidan.

Tickets for the symposium cost £8/£6 concessions. To book, please see the Folkestone Quarterhouse page here:

For all the Festival events listed by location, please see the page here:

Professor Ian Beckett shortlisted for award

Professor Ian Beckett’s monograph, A British Profession of Arms: The Politics of Command in the Late Victorian Army (published by Oklahoma University Press), has been shortlisted for the Templer Medal of the Society for Army Historical Research, awarded annually to the best book on British military history published in the previous year. The final award will be announced and presented to the winner by HRH the Duke of Kent at the National Army Museum on 9 April 2019. Professor Beckett retired from teaching at Kent in 2015 but remains an Honorary Professor in the School of History.

Tonbridge Centre short courses

The Tonbridge Centre has launched another successful programme of short courses this term. The courses are designed to be studied for personal interest or self-development, among like-minded people from all walks of life and without formal assessment.

Courses for the Spring term continue in topics as diverse as French Painting and Culture: Realism to Impressionism; Travellers in the Greek and Roman Worlds; The Music of Spain; Modern Canadian Literature; Van Dyck and the Court of Charles l; Writing for self-care​. Additionally, a free short talk presenting the survey findings from Kent research ‘Prejudice in the Age of Brexit’ is also available at the Tonbridge Centre.

See full details of the whole programme and book your place online.

Word Birds – luminaries from the world of music journalism and authorship

Immerse yourself in Word Birds, featuring a selection of luminaries from the world of music journalism and authorship. Line-up includes Punk Girl Diaries, acclaimed biographer Zoë Howe, Guardian Staff feature writer and music columnist Laura Barton, author Lucy O’Brien and author of The Guardian’s Best Music Book of the Year for her recently published memoir ‘First Time Ever’, Peggy Seeger.

Marking International Women’s Day weekend, Song Bird / Word Bird is a mini festival at Gulbenkian on Sat 9 March and designed to celebrate women in music, whether you want to explore what makes a female icon or enjoy cutting edge sounds from the musical fringes. You can book a ticket to either element, or buy a ticket that gets you into everything! Song Bird / Word Bird is a Glass Ceiling Production.

Part of #InternationalWomensDay Festival at Gulbenkian. Find out more online.

New issue of University magazine out now

The winter/spring issue of the University magazine is out now.

Features in this edition include:

  • Visiting and revisiting the Western Front 1919-1939, by Professor Mark Connelly
  • On top of the scrapheap? Youth unemployment and the link to health and wellbeing, by Dr Olena Nizalova
  • Staff profile – Lorraine Spence, Security Officer
  • Student profile – Selena Snoding, Apprentice at Pfizer
  • University and community news, and more!

Canterbury: You can currently pick up a copy from the Gulbenkian and the Sports Centre (Templeman Library coming soon).

Medway: Copies of the magazine will be available from the Deep End foyer from Friday afternoon.

Alternatively, if you’d like to be sent a copy in the internal mail, please email your name and location to Chris Wenham:

You can also take a look at the latest magazine online on the Alumni webpages.

Work has already started on the winter 2018 issue of the magazine, but if you’ve got ideas for it, please contact the Editorial Board via

Can you train your brain?

Researchers in the School of Psychology are looking for participants aged between 25 and 40 or 65 and 80 years old to take part in our exciting research testing whether ‘brain training’ really works. This project is led by Prof Heather Ferguson, and is funded by a large European Research Council grant.

The research team uses a range of questionnaires and computer tasks to find out whether cognitive and social skills can be enhanced through training, and how these training effects might change at different ages.

As a thank-you, participants receive £50 cash, a small gift, and be reimbursed for reasonable travel expenses!

To find out more please email us at

Reflective space: music and landscape photography

A special Lunchtime Concert on Friday 1 February features the meditative music of Icelandic composer, Olafur Arnalds, as the soundtrack to a slow-moving series of photographs exploring natural landscapes by Kent-based photographer and musician, Molly Hollmann.

Arranged for piano quintet, Arnalds’ beautifully evocative music will accompany a sequence of beautiful photographs exploring the countryside, cloudscapes and beaches around the country, creating a tranquil, reflective space in which to escape the demands of the everyday. Music includes the theme to the ITV series, ‘Broadchurch,’ and pieces from albums including ‘For Now I am Winter’ and ‘Living Rooms Songs.’

The music will be performed by Deputy Director of Music, Dan Harding (piano) with four student chamber musicians from the University Sinfonia. Admission is free, and the event will last forty minutes; more details can be found online.