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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association April 2016 View in browser

Spring has officially sprung on campus and the Easter break is upon us. While there may be fewer students around, there is still plenty going on at the University. The next month sees the anniversary of Concrete, the arrival of a new Anthony Gormley installation on campus, and the return of both the BANFF and the Green Film Festivals.

In this month’s Ziggurat enewsletter we celebrate alumni successes and achievements; creative student fundraising with the Jailbreak challenge; an update on a successful alumni call campaign; and of course news and events from around the University.

Featured Stories
Antony Gormley

Antony Gormley installation comes to campus

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at UEA has a major new addition to the parkland campus. On Saturday 22 April a series of three sculptures by internationally acclaimed artist Antony Gormley will be unveiled.

This project is part of an ambitious strategy to develop a renowned sculpture park at the University, administrated and curated by the Sainsbury Centre. The 3x ANOTHER TIME installation builds on an existing sculpture trail which includes works by Henry Moore, Ian Tyson, Liliane Lijn and John Hoskin in the grounds of the Sainsbury Centre and the University campus.

The three life-sized cast iron sculptures were selected from Gormley’s ongoing series Another Time, which has been presented in locations across the globe. The artist selected where each sculpture will be placed around campus after being attracted to the important architecture of the original University buildings designed by Sir Denys Lasdun, including the Ziggurats.

Read More  
Concrete founding members

Concrete25: book your tickets!

On Friday 28 April Concrete will be celebrating its 25th birthday with a reception at UEA's Sainsbury Centre. Tickets are on sale through the Student Union, and there is an event page on Facebook where you can get more event details and updates.

If you have memories to share and want to be featured in the 25th anniversary issue get in touch with Megan Baynes, current Editor-in-Chief, by emailing

Read More and book  
Gig archive

UEA Gig History – never a dull moment

UEA’s gig history project continues to prompt the searching of lofts and discovery of treasure. Fantastic images of an eccentric duo called Gee Mr Tracy prompted vigorous discussion about the electronic music scene in early 80s Norwich. The photos, including the image above, will form part of a special focus on local Norwich bands in June.

A rather wonderful by-product of the project has been the discovery of previously unseen photographs of literary figures such as Kurt Vonnegut and Susan Sontag visiting campus. Former student and staff member Dominic Russell-Price rediscovered his negatives while searching for images from gigs he’d attended and will be bringing them to the campus archive for safe-keeping.

This month’s guest bloggers have both written for the student newspaper Concrete, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this month. Current student Tony Allen shares his enthusiasm for music then and now, while Luke Turner, Associate Editor for The Quietus, warns about meeting your heroes and gives an interesting anecdote about Morrissey and a burger van. 

The Gig List is still a work in progress. 1963-1979 have been given a dust and polish by the Union’s Gavin Hudson, which coincides nicely with new photos of Fairport Convention in the Photo Booth, and much excitement in the office as Dave Gilmour ‘liked’ a photo tweeted of a UEA Pink Floyd gig poster from 1968. Never a dull moment indeed.

Digital strategy

Have your say about UEA’s digital future

UEA is in the process of developing a new digital strategy and wants alumni, staff and students to contribute their ideas about the digital future of the University.

This is your chance to put forward how you think UEA should embrace different digital technologies, services and capabilities to improve your experience and the UEA community as a whole.

The digital strategy will focus on teaching requirements, research requirements, professional services requirements and the student experience.

Please email your suggestions to

News in Brief
Sodium citrate spray could temporarily restore sense of smell

A substance commonly used to treat bladder issues could temporarily treat people who have lost their sense of smell, according to research published in the journal Clinical Otolaryngology.

Researchers develop a new way to study key biological processes

A team of scientists at UEA has developed a novel way to obtain previously inaccessible insight into the functions of a group of essential proteins.

New website to support professionals involved in adoption cases

A new website has been launched to support social care professionals working with families involved in adoption. The resource draws on extensive research by Prof Beth Neil (SWK).

More Stories
Doctors for a decade

Calling all 2007 MED graduates!

Norwich Medical School are holding a dinner on Saturday 15 July to mark the ten year anniversary of the graduation of their founding cohort.

Read More and book  
Baileys' Prize

Alumnae feature on Baileys’ Prize shortlist

Congratulations to alumnae Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ and Naomi Alderman, both of whom have been shortlisted for the Baileys' Women's Prize for fiction 2017.

Naomi Alderman is shortlisted for The Power, and is the author of three previous novels: Disobedience, The Lessons and The Liars’ Gospel. She has won the Orange Award for New Writers and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. She presents Science Stories on BBC Radio 4, she is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and she is the co-creator and lead writer of the bestselling smartphone audio adventure app and book Zombies, Run! 

Author of Stay With Me, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀, was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. She was a 2012 OMI Fellow at Ledig House, New York and a 2015 Hedgebrook writer in residence. She works as Fiction Editor for Saraba Magazine and her stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on Wednesday 7 June.

Read More  
Nepal arrival

Alumnus reaches Nepal to complete epic challenge

Alumnus Henry Dunham and his friend Sam Crimp have just completed the expedition of a lifetime, walking from the UK to Nepal to raise £11,000 for the Annie’s Challenge charity. They set out last May and reached their destination in Kathmandu on 27 March.

Henry and his family set up Annie’s Challenge in 2015 after his sister Annie was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. She died a year ago, in March 2016, leaving behind two young children. 

Henry and Sam’s epic challenge began on 30 May 2016 when they left Harwich, and they walked over 6,000 miles until finally reaching Nepal.

“It’s been a crazy, painful and long year - a lot more tricky than either one of us thought it would be but hopefully the money we’ve raised and continue to raise will be of some help,” said Henry. “We’ve gone through a really mixed bag of events, from being trapped in the Romanian mountains during a thunderstorm and seeking refuge in a shepherd's hut, to being arrested by the Turkish police for sleeping overlooking a power station. But people have constantly surprised us with their kindness and it was these moments that rekindled our resolve to finish.

Henry and Sam won’t have any time to rest once they return to England. “We have to go back to the gym straight away as we’ve both been entered by a local team to run a 10km for Annie's Challenge within a month of our return! After that, we plan to write a book about our adventures, before planning our next harebrained idea.”

Read More  
Dr Vera Sherdian

Alumna awarded Hungarian Order of Merit

On Tuesday 14 March, alumna Dr Vera Sheridan was presented with the Hungarian Order of Merit – Knights Cross by His Excellency Ambassador Pálffy. The ceremony took place at the Hungarian Embassy in Dublin.

Dr Sheridan (pictured above, with her husband Ian, daughter Aisling and son Neil), lives in Dublin and works in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies at Dublin City University. 

The Order of Merit is awarded by the President of Hungary and the Knights Cross is the civilian award. Dr Sheridan’s award was given in the context of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution when she was a refugee, and recognises her contribution to Irish-Hungarian research and scholarship with and her active support of university students with their studies; for research, doctoral supervision, teaching and mentoring.

“I cannot thank my lecturers in UEA enough for the support they gave to a rather 'lost' and confused young undergraduate who was still trying to make some sense of what had happened and working hard to become British” said Dr Sheridan. “My identity was validated by the interest of lecturers such as George Hyde who had taught himself Hungarian, but there were so many others. In addition, my tutor Dr Roger Fowler was so very kind and helpful including making a call to the Home Office on my behalf. Such actions and interests were wonderful.”

Jon Mitchell

Alumnus find success in Japan

After graduating from UEA in 1997 Jon Mitchell moved to Japan, working as a journalist focusing on US-Japan military issues, with a focus on human rights violations on Okinawa.

In 2012, a TV documentary based upon his research was winner of one of Japan's top TV awards and in 2015 he was awarded the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan's Lifetime Achievement Award.

More recently he worked as a consultant for a documentary made by John Pilger, and Jon is currently the only foreign journalist writing for Okinawa Times.

Alumni call campaign success

Students and alumni continue the success of the annual Alumni Call Campaign

The spring phase of alumni call campaign has been incredibly successful, exceeding the team’s ambitious aims and raising over £130,000. 

Student callers have been enjoying conversations with more than 2,000 alumni from across all subjects and generations, and an unprecedented number of you made a generous contribution as a result.

Thank you to every single one of you for taking the time to share your news, and for your generosity towards the University’s The Difference Scholarships, Prostate Cancer Research and, of course, The Alumni Fund. 

Donate and find our more  
London Lecture April 2017

London Lecture focuses on the challenges of dementia

The number of people living with dementia is set to triple over the next 30 years. Dementia is a truly global health issue, affecting 46.8 million people worldwide.

In the next in our series of London Lectures, Prof Michael Hornberger from the Norwich Medical School will talk about the cutting edge research currently being undertaken at UEA into prevention, diagnosis and possible cures for dementia. He will also talk about what can be done to reduce your risk of developing the condition.

Please join us for an interactive live stream of the lecture on our Facebook page. The live stream will start at 6.30pm on Thursday 27 April, with the opportunity to ask questions after the talk via Facebook comments.


Choir of a thousand to perform at this year's Royal Norfolk Show

This year, ‘celebrating the arts’ will be one of the themes at the Royal Norfolk Show. The centrepiece of this theme will be Showstoppers, the culmination of a county-wide community choir project. 

Under the leadership of the Norfolk Music Hub in partnership with The Wharf Academy and Young Norfolk Arts Trust, a choir of a thousand will be assembled from all parts of Norfolk, bringing together school choirs and community choirs.

Showstoppers will perform a specially commissioned piece of music composed by Cheryl Frances-Hoad, one of the UK’s leading contemporary composers. The piece will have strong connections to Norfolk and its rural landscape with a text written exclusively for the Show by local librettist and UEA alumna Molly Naylor. The choirmaster will be Mark De Lisser (BBC's The Voice UK, The Choir).

Showstoppers will provide a unique opportunity for one thousand singers of all ages to come together for an unforgettable experience. 

UEA Psychology alumni

Psychology alumni

Would you like the opportunity to catch up with Neil Cooper or Kamena Henshaw about how you are getting on in life post-graduation? Want to hear about the latest developments in the School of Psychology, or simply the chance to catch up with old friends and course mates? 

The School of Psychology at UEA has recently launched a Meetup group for current and former psychology students so that graduates can stay part of the family once they have moved on into the wider-world.

The broad aim is to organise events to provide enjoyable opportunities for socialising and networking among undergraduate and postgraduate students, academic staff and alumni now working in the community (locally and worldwide). The first event is planned for Saturday 27 May at the UEA Student Union. 

READ MORE and register your interest  


The Jailbreak challenge took place last month with the winning team, Team Lost, making it as far as Dubai!

The annual event, organised by the campus radio station Livewire1350, challenges teams to get as far away from Norwich as possible in 48 hours, without spending any money. For 2017 they have been raising funds for Teenage Cancer Trust with a target of £10,000. The current total stands at just over £9,400.

Collectively, participants travelled over 11,700 miles with the winning team, comprised of Jenny Worden and Freddie Whipp, getting 5,415km away from The Square, where the event launched on Friday 24 March.

Fiona Lettice

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation announced

The University has appointed Prof Fiona Lettice as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation).

She had previously held the role on an interim basis, in addition to her position as Professor of Innovation Management at Norwich Business School.

Film archive competition

Chance for amateur film-makers to show off their skills

If you’re a keen amateur film-maker, you’ve the chance to demonstrate your skills and win £250 in this year’s East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) Mash-up competition.

The competition is open to novice and experienced film-makers of all ages. Using the theme ‘Today’s the day!’ entrants have until Friday 1 September to combine their own footage with material from the archive, in a film of between one and five minutes long.

Photon pairs

Research challenges understanding of quantum theory

UEA scientists have discovered a new mechanism involved in the creation of paired light particles, which could have significant impact on the study of quantum physics.

Researchers at the University have shown that when photons – the fundamental particles of light – are created in pairs, they can emerge from different, rather than the same, location.

The ground-breaking research could have significant implications for quantum physics, the theoretical basis of modern physics. Until now, the general assumption was that such photon pairs necessarily originate from single points in space.

Quantum entanglement - when particles are linked so closely that what affects one directly affects the other - is widely used in labs in numerous processes from quantum cryptography to quantum teleportation.

History Open Evening

If you are interested in history but haven’t studied for a while then the part-time History Bridge Course is for you. 

This 12-week evening course has been designed to ‘bridge’ the gap for those looking to progress on to an undergraduate degree in History, but who have had a break from their studies. To find out more information, visit the Open Evening on Tuesday 25 April from 6-8pm.

Green Film Festival

UK Green Film Festival return to UEA

Following a highly successful inaugural year, UEA will again be hosting the UK Green Film Festival in 2017. Four films will be screened in The Enterprise Centre, one of the greenest buildings in the UK, over three days in May as part of the national event.

The Festival will open on Wednesday 3 May with a screening of documentary film Bugs preceded by a free, optional insect taster session with Dr Christine Cornea. Peruvian docudrama Daughter of the Lake follows on Friday 5 May, with an introduction by Dr Eylem Atakav.

Events on Saturday 6 May will kick off with a family-friendly workshop on short films and storyboarding, followed by a screening of the popular Studio Ghibli film Ponyo. The Festival continues into the evening with a panel discussion on environmental advocacy in film and media, and finishes with a screening of persuasive eco-documentary The Age of Consequences introduced by Dr Rupert Read.

The Enterprise Centre’s Mustard Café will be open throughout the Festival, serving some interesting cocktails alongside their usual offerings of local and sustainable food and drink. All Festival activities are free but booking is recommended. For more information, please visit and follow the UEA Green Film Festival on Twitter @UKGreenFilmsUEA.

Sainsbury Centre

Sainsbury Centre launches new Exhibition Circle

It’s almost 40 years since the Foster-designed Sainsbury Centre was built, changing the campus landscape and bringing internationally renowned exhibitions and world art to East Anglia.

To celebrate this anniversary, the gallery is offering a raft of exclusive activities including artist related events, private views and tickets to supporters of its new Exhibition Circle

For an annual £500 donation, two people can visit the Sainsbury Centre special exhibitions all year for free. The donations support learning and events surrounding the exhibitions and enable exceptional loans from collections around the world. 
This initiative launches as the Sainsbury Centre builds on its extraordinary track record of blockbuster shows such as Francis Bacon & the Masters with this month’s opening of Paul Nash from Tate Britain.

Rana Begum’s first museum show Space Light Colour opens on Friday 12 May, and on Saturday 14 October The Russian Season begins, including the Royal Collection of Faberge from Sandringham and a 10m sculpture of Tatlin’s Tower.

Yanis Varoufakis

Penguin Live: Yanis Varoufakis in discussion

As finance minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis sparked public controversy when he attempted to re-negotiate his country’s relationship with the EU. But what really happened took place behind closed doors and now Varoufakis is ready to tell the full story.

Join former UEA lecturer Varoufakis at this Penguin event as he discusses his highly-anticipated memoir, Adults In The Room.

Buy tickets  
BANFF Film Festival

BANFF Film Festival comes back to campus

The world’s most prestigious mountain film festival is returning to Norwich with a brand new selection of extraordinary short films from the world’s leading adventure film makers.

Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers via the big screen, see amazing footage of adrenaline packed action sports, be transported to the world’s last great wild places and be inspired by thought-provoking pieces shot from the far flung corners of the globe.

MA second language

MA Second Language Education

The School of Education and Lifelong Learning is launching the MA Second Language Education course. This one year, full-time course, available from September 2017 is aimed at those wishing to develop critical understanding about issues in Second Language Education around the world. 

This course will help you to understand key theoretical issues and debates related to English as an International Language, policy making, planning, teaching and learning second languages and innovation, both in the international and national arenas.

Find out more  
Norwich Business School

Master the art of business with an MBA: alumni scholarships available

An MBA is the highest-level management qualification possible and an investment in yourself and your future. As UEA alumni you are eligible for a scholarship of up 50% towards an MBA at Norwich Business School. Courses start in January 2018 with both full-time and part-time study options.

The next open evening takes place on Tuesday 25 April from 6pm-8pm at Norwich Business School, and is the perfect opportunity to meet course leaders and current students, find out more about the content and structure of the programme, and ask any questions you may have.

Register your interest and find out how an MBA can progress your career and help you realise your professional ambitions.

Student survey

CMP student looking for survey participants

My name is Olivia and I am final year Business Statistics student at UEA. I am currently in the middle of writing up my project, Pension Choice at Retirement.

I would like to invite you to participate in two questionnaires that are about pensions and the Pension Wise website. Both are completely anonymous and your feedback would be greatly appreciated. They should take around 10 minutes.  

Go to the first survey: (please note this first survey is for individuals aged 40+)

Go to the second survey: (ages 21+) 

For any further information, please email me at or my supervisor, Mrs Esther Glover, Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing Sciences by email at

These studies have all been approved by the CMP ethics committee. 

Thank you
Olivia Peach

What's On

Being part of something - the importance of workplace belonging with Prof Kevin Daniels

NBS meets Norwich Cafe Conversations
Thursday 20 April, 6pm
North Cafe Bar, 7 Fye Bridge St, Norwich NR3 1LJ

How does workplace belonging come about? What are its effects on wellbeing?
Part of a series of five informal discussion events to discuss topics related to wellbeing and corporate social responsibility.

Free coffee and free entry.

Contact: or or phone 01603 591179 or 01603 593487.

Gender, sexism and misogyny in the political histories of the United States

Wednesday 26 April, 7pm
Second Air Division Memorial Library, The Forum, Norwich
Dr Rebecca Fraser

From Victoria Woodhull, the first female candidate to stand for President in 1872, to Hilary Clinton’s recent campaign of 2016, the realities for and representations of women in the political sphere in the United States have been subject to sexist ridicule, misogynistic fear, and sometimes intense loathing. This paper will consider the histories of sexism and misogyny that have troubled the political arenas of the United States since its inception and reflect on the causes and consequences of this in 21st century America.

Free, booking encouraged - email or call 01603 774747 for more information.

UEA Literary Festival Spring 2017:
Ed Balls

RESCHEDULED Wednesday 17 May, 7pm (Doors at 6.30pm)
Lecture Theatre 1, UEA

Season ticket (all seven events): £48 / £40 concession (proof of eligibility required). Individual tickets: £8 / students: £4.


In the past month the University has sadly been informed of the death of following alumni:

John Jones (BIO76)

Christopher Noble (DEV79)

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