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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association January 2018 View in browser
January 2018

Our alumni community has a tremendous impact on the University. Your experiences will have helped shape the University during your time as a student, and your memories of life on campus will add to the reputation of the University whenever you share them with others. No matter where in the world you are, you are an ambassador for UEA.

From mentoring a student, to speaking at a careers event, or simply filling out our alumni case study, there are plenty of ways you can get involved with life on campus. The Working With Words event is a fantastic example of the impact that can be made, as alumni come back to campus and speak on industry panels, giving real world insight into careers in publishing, journalism, communications, and other creative industries, plus practical advice on getting that first role and how to make the most of an internship. Each year there are new alumni participants, many of whom attended the event themselves as students and now want to share the opportunities that they had with our current students.

There are so many other ways that alumni are making a difference to the student experience - the autumn’s call campaign was the most successful yet, as alumni pledged their time, as well as offering financial support.

You can get news and updates from us by following @UEAGrads on Twitter.

Featured Stories
New Years Honours

New Year’s Honours for UEA alumni and staff

Five alumni and one staff member have been recognised with awards in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Sir Alan Tuckett (EAS 66) has received a Knighthood for services to education, particularly adult learning.

Dr Kim Taylor (EDU 96), headteacher at Spring Common Academy, has received an OBE for services to education.

Mr Andrew Dobson (SOC 70) has received the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour for services to the community in the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda.

Mr Timothy Lovett (BIO 66) has received an MBE for his services to the beekeeping industry; Professor Gerard Parr (Head of School, Computing) has received an MBE for services to developing telecoms infrastructure in Northern Ireland; Mr Andrew Watson (EAS 90), leader of the Geese Theatre Company, received an MBE for services to the arts in the criminal justice system.

Concussion in sport

UEA London Lectures 

The series will begin on Thursday 1 February with Dr Michael Grey's research into concussion in sport.

Recent high-profile incidences of concussion in professional sport have highlighted the need for greater awareness of the issue, and for better assessment tools that can be applied at all levels of sport to assist this difficult diagnosis. In this lecture, Dr Michael Grey will discuss the mechanisms and pathophysiology of concussion, and address issues associated with the ‘return to play’ decision. His talk will also highlight some of the work being done in the UEA Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, including the development of new virtual reality tests to aid pitchside decision-making. 

You can watch a short clip of Dr Grey introducing the lecture here.

Keep in touch

Keep in touch

Communicating with our alumni is incredibly important to us.

To make sure you always receive the latest news, invitations and updates on all of our benefits and services, please update your contact information.

News in Brief
How singing your heart out could make you happier

Singing in groups could make you happier, according to new research from the University.

Proceed to checkout? Not on your mobile, say researchers

Shoppers hoping to bag a bargain in the post-Christmas sales are much less likely to go through with their purchases if they are using phones and tablets to buy goods online.

Experts call for WHO to rethink 'unacceptable' plans

In a letter published online in The Lancet, experts on ageing from UEA and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) say the draft The World Health Organization (WHO) 13th General Programme of Work accused of “washing its hands of older people” in its proposed priorities for future work, and makes no reference to older people or to conditions associated with later life, such as dementia.

More Stories
2017 review of the year

2017 in review

From ground-breaking cancer research and the Queen’s visit, to Graduation Week and TEF Gold, take a look at the University’s review of the year 2017.

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Global Opportunities

Global Opportunities Week

UEA CareerCentral is running the successful Global Opportunities week again this year, from 12 – 16 February.

If you are a UK national living in Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe or South East Asia the team would be delighted for you to take part in the week via Skype. They are also keen to hear from Japanese and Chinese nationals who would be willing to share their experiences in their own language to students from Japan and China respectively.

You would simply be asked to join the discussion via Skype for 15 minutes to talk about your career story since leaving UEA and be prepared to answer some questions from students.

If you are interested in being involved, then please email Lisa-Rose at

Rebecca Stott

UEA professor wins Costa Biography Award

Prof Rebecca Stott has won the 2017 Costa Biography Award for her book, In the Days of Rain: a Daughter, a Father, a Cult.

Described by the judges as “a vivid and truly unforgettable family story of life in a cult”, the book is a shocking, deeply personal family memoir. The first-hand account recalls Prof Stott’s experience of growing up in, and breaking away from, a fundamentalist Christian cult in Brighton in the 1970s.

A novelist, non-fiction writer and broadcaster, Prof Stott is professor of literature and creative writing in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. In the Days of Rain was published by 4th Estate last year.

One of the five winners will be chosen as the Costa Book of the Year on Tuesday 30 January.

Read More  

Share your opinion – take the alumni survey

If you haven’t already, there are only a few weeks left to take part in our alumni survey.

We only do this full survey once every five years. Your responses will shape what we do over the coming years, so let us know what you think.

All answers will be anonymous and kept in the strictest confidence. The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Thank you to everyone who has already taken part.

Spring Literary Festival

Spring Literary Festival

This year’s festival opens on Valentine's Day with UEA honorary graduate Stephen Fry, whose latest book Mythos retells the Greek myths for a contemporary audience. 

Other speakers include UNESCO City of Literature Professor, Caryl Phillips, who will be in conversation with Margaret Drabble; Jon McGregor, described by The New Yorker as a novelist of 'visionary power'; Madeline Miller, who won the Orange Prize for Song of Achilles, and Jesmyn Ward, whose latest book Sing, Unburied, Sing won the National Book Award, America's premier literary prize.

The festival will close by welcoming back two graduates of the UEA MA in Creative Writing who have gone on to great acclaim: Christie Watson, whose personal account of her experience as a nurse, The Language of Kindness, is set to be one of the most talked about books of the year; and the final event will mark the publication of Emma Healey's Whistle in the Dark, the follow-up to her best-selling debut, Elizabeth is Missing.

What's On

The new issue of What’s On is now online

Look through the Spring edition of What’s On online or visit the UEA events diary to find out more about upcoming events.

The guide includes details of more than 150 UEA events including music, films, drama, public lectures, and the line-up for the 25th anniversary of the Spring Literary Festival.

Make sure to follow @UEAEvents on Twitter for news about the latest additions to the calendar, or like their new Facebook page for updates.

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Student caller

UEA alumni call campaign

This year’s spring call campaign will soon be underway.

Current students will be phoning alumni to bring you up-to-date with student life today and to hear all about life after UEA from you. They may even ask for some advice for their future. Whether it’s talking about your time as a student, what you have gone on to do, or even a catch up about favourite academics, they are looking forward to speaking with you soon.

As part of the Difference Campaign, this telethon is raising support for UEA Enterprise Fund, Postgraduate Scholarships and Prostate Cancer Research, and calling will take place on weekday evenings and weekend afternoons during February and March. If you do not wish to be called, please notify the Development Office on 01603 591005.

Read More  
Inaugural lectures

Money, mindfulness or MBAs? Making work less stressful for NHS staff

Job stress is endemic in health care work, and the NHS is no exception.

In her inaugural lecture on Tuesday 30 January, Prof Kristy Sanderson from the School of Health Sciences will explore the possible causes of job stress in the NHS and what might be done about the problem. Is it a matter of more money and more training, or is a more fundamental re-imagining of the way we work required? How can we strengthen systems and support workforces to promote good mental health? And how can we better prepare the next generation of health care workers?

You don't have to be an expert to enjoy this free lecture, which will be followed by a drinks reception with the opportunity to meet Prof Sanderson and talk with her about her research.

If you can't make it to the lecture, you can tune in on the night for a live stream of the event on our website, or watch it afterwards on YouTube.

Read More  

Return to Practice Nurses

Did you know that UEA runs a course twice a year, in March and September, for nurses who would like to return to the NMC register?

Nurses have the opportunity to regain practice hours, refresh or learn skills and re-experience the nursing environment, supported by a mentor. The School of Health Sciences has now added a General Practice nursing option to the range of Return to Practice offers, which also includes Adult, Children’s, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health options.

Read More  
Lunchtime concert

Join UEA Music Centre for their free spring Lunchtime Concerts series

UEA Music Centre invite you to take a break from work or study and join them for their free spring 2018 Lunchtime Concert series.

Concerts will take place on the first Wednesday of the month, starting on Wednesday 7 February, with a Music Award holder concert. Entrance is free and all are welcome.

Programmes will be held at 1.10pm, in the UEA Music Centre, and performers will be a mixture of student Music Centre Award holders and established professional musicians.

Read More  

Postgraduate open event

A Master’s degree can provide you with an enhanced professional skillset and experience to help you stand out in a highly competitive job market.

If you’re thinking about further study, come to the open event on Wednesday 24 January and meet with current Master’s students and academics, and get advice on the application process and funding opportunities.

Prof Gerald Parr

Inaugural lecture: The role of internet technologies by Gerard Parr MBE

To mark Prof Gerard Parr's recognition in the New Year's Honours List, here is another chance to watch his inaugural lecture, given in spring 2017.

Prof Parr explores whether the benefits of internet connectivity outweigh the potential harm done by unpoliced content and asks: should policing of the internet be left to big business? Should governments intervene, or does the responsibility lie in the hands of wider society?

What's On

UEA Live: Cults, communes and childhood

Thursday 25 January, 7pm
The Pig and Whistle, 2-8, All Saints Green, Norwich

From a fictional commune to a real-life cult, Eleanor Wasserberg and Rebecca Stott have both written about the experience of growing up living communally, albeit from very different angles. They will each read from their latest works at the first UEA Live event of the year, in partnership with Writers' Centre Norwich.

In her debut novel, Foxlowe, UEA creative writing alumna Eleanor Wasserberg tells the story of two sisters growing up as members of a utopian commune. The gothic tale explores the darker side of group mentality and was described by the Observer as ‘meticulously conceived and darkly compelling'.

Fresh from her Costa Book Awards win, Rebecca Stott will read from her latest book In The Days of Rain. The chilling memoir is an account of Stott's childhood growing up with the Exclusive Brethren, a highly secretive and separatist Christian fundamentalist cult.

Translating Harry Potter

Wednesday 31 January, 5.30 - 7pm
ARTS 2.03, UEA

The way in which a work of fiction is translated can have a real impact on how readers respond to the story. A good translation will successfully preserve the atmosphere of the original work, as well as communicating the author's writing style.

This workshop, led by Prof Janet Garton, will explore the particular challenges faced by literary translators when translating the Harry Potter books. It's widely known that in the US the 'philosopher's stone' becomes the 'sorcerer's stone', but this only skims the surface when it comes to the unusual and fantastical terms used by J K Rowling in the hugely popular series.

In one example, the French translation of 'Gryffindor' is 'Gryffondor' - meaning 'golden eagle' - whereas 'Hogwarts School' becomes 'L'École de Poudlard' or 'The School of Bacon Lice'. Discussion is also likely to feature Rowling's 'fantastic beasts' and how to translate them!

Yolanda Kakabadse – Blaikie Lecture on Politics of the Environment 2018
Environmental Agenda: Policy or Politics?

Tuesday 6 February, 6pm
The Enterprise Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA

Hosted by the School of International Development, this lecture will look at the national and global realities of the sustainability agenda. Protection of the quality of life of People, and therefore of the Environment that supports them, requires solid and long-term vision and policies. Politics however, play an important role in defining how good or visionary, or poor and short-sighted these policies are.

Sustainability is based on four “legs”: environmental, social, economic and governance. The challenge is to ensure a balance amongst them, and to be aware politics do not distort the goals. Political actors are important and necessary in driving the sustainability agenda. Juggling with needs and interests of their constituencies, national and global realities – as well as personal values – challenge their ability to leave a positive political footprint wherever they perform.

Sound, sustainable policies, need to be based on reliable information. Intuition is not enough.

Free but booking recommended.


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

Dr E.J.A. Lea

Gillian Moore, née Hotchkiss (DEV73)

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