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Professional Services Conference

Jack H CDean24 June 2014

The inaugural Professional Services Conference took place on Monday, 16 June. The afternoon consisted of a series of presentations and panel discussions followed by an awards ceremony for staff and teams nominated by their colleagues across the university.

Rex Knight, Vice-Provost (Operations), introduced the conference as a “celebration of work going on across the university”. Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education) said: “it’s all too easy for academic events to take precedent. This is an opportunity to say thank you to the unsung aspects of the institution.”

Empowered - Emma Todd and Alice Chilver (UCL Bartlett)

Empowered – Emma Todd and Alice Chilver (UCL Bartlett)

Over the past decade, there has been a 20% increase in staff and a 16% increase in student numbers and Knight continued “thanks to your extraordinary professionalism all would not be as it is without what you do”.

There were then presentations from Emma Todd and Alice Chilver (UCL Bartlett), co-founders of Astrea, the professional women’s network at UCL. Dr. Debbie Challis spoke about the exhibition, A Fusion of Worlds, at the Petrie Museum and funded by UCL Grand Challenges.

Finally, Bob Carey discussed the Strategic Leadership Programme and Steve Rowalt and Kate Cheney delivered their presentation on the UCL Masterplan 2011, which has overseen the current transformation of the Cruciform Hub – @ucl_crucitwit.

The Professional Services Awards consisted of five categories with nominations coming from a diverse range of staff across the university. Emma Todd, Strategic Communications Manager and Alice Chilver, Business Development Manager at the UCL Bartlett, won the ‘Empowered… confident and enabling’ award for their work in setting up Astrea. (more…)

UCL commemorates over 36,000 hours of volunteering this year

newseditor8 June 2012

Andrew Chapman, 4th year Medicine

Members of UCL FoodCycle and UCL Marrow

On the evening of the 31May, the Volunteering Services Unit (VSU) held its annual volunteering awards ceremony in the Roberts Foyer, UCL Engineering Building.

This celebratory event is now in its ninth year, and recognises all of the many student volunteers and the time they have generously given over the year. The event was certainly well attended, and we were honoured to host many distinguished guests, including Mayor of Camden Heather Johnson and Vice Provost (Education) Professor Anthony Smith.

John Braime, Volunteering Manager, began his opening address by reminding everyone just how important student volunteering is for bringing together volunteers, staff and people from the community. He passed on a massive thank you to all student volunteers for their hard work and time so kindly donated.

Torch bearers
Amy Evans gave an address, in her role as UCL Union Sabbatical Officer (Student Activities), and recited one of the nominations sent to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) for three of our students to be torch bearers in the Olympic Torch relay this summer.

She was delighted to tell us that all three would be bearing the torch over the coming months. She also noted the work done by UCL Women’s Rugby, for which they had won an award.

Crowd shot

Professor Anthony Smith commented on the dramatic increase in the number of volunteers over the past 10 years and even put it into figures, saying that 1,550 volunteers had given more than 36,000 hours this year. This was equivalent to more than nine years of work, if put in by just one person. He recounted some of the positive feedback the VSU had received from representatives in the community, also noting the skills that volunteers had developed during the course of the year.

(more…)

Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement

newseditor1 February 2012

The third annual Provost’s Awards for Public Engagement were held on 25 January. Ben Davies was there to applaud the winners.

Academia, it seems fair to say, can be a little inaccessible to those outside the loop. Accusations of academics operating with an ‘ivory tower’ mentality do seem increasingly unfair, but there is still an element of the mysterious about the whole endeavour; having studied Philosophy, one of the more mysterious subjects offered at university level, I know that a subject that fails to communicate will be seen as esoteric, perhaps even a waste of time.

This is not only a great shame when the truth is that academic research is of great relevance to the public, but is also damaging to universities themselves. More than ever, public engagement is vital to higher education.

The seriousness with which UCL treats its own public engagement, therefore, can only be a good thing. The awards ceremony was organised by the university’s Public Engagement Unit, which supports staff and students in communicating with the public in a constructive way, and whose staff were thanked by UCL President and Provost Malcolm Grant for “leading on public engagement for the institution as a whole”.

(more…)