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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association June 2019 View in browser
Tatlin's Tower
UEA in the news

UEA declares climate emergency 

UEA joins forces with organisations around the world in declaring a climate and biodiversity emergency.

As one of the world’s pre-eminent environmental research institutions, UEA has had a big hand in building global awareness and understanding of the changing climate.

Our Climatic Research Unit is responsible for the global temperature record, which first brought global warming to the world’s attention, while researchers at the Tyndall Centre help publish the annual Global Carbon Budget, the update for policy-makers on fossil fuel emissions.

Last month UEA signed up to the NUS Divest Invest commitment, promising divestment from all fossil fuel companies. This enshrines a decision the University made in November 2017.

Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson said: “We believe that universities have a responsibility to effect societal change, based on science and evidence, and have agreed to become a signatory in the expectation it will support Vice-Chancellors at other universities to also take this action.”

Read more  
Birthday honours for University staff and alumni

Birthday honours for University staff and alumni 

A number of graduates and UEA staff recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Among them alumnus and nurse Mark Le Sage, who received a BEM for voluntary service to the community and the rehabilitation of offenders, and UEA and Royal Society Research Professor of Climate Change Science Corinne Le Quere (above), who received a CBE.

Other recipients include alumni Margaret Berry, Dr Jane Osbourn, Georgina Edwards and Dr Maryanne Mariyaselvam; UEA honorary professor and John Innes Centre scientist Professor Michael Bevan FRS; and honorary graduate Griffith Rhys Jones. 

Beijing UEA alumni

UEA's £1bn contribution to economy

An independent report commissioned by UEA finds that the University gives the UK economy a £1.04bn boost.

The report – ‘Connecting People + Places' – launched at an event at Norwich Castle on 6 June. It highlights some of the ways UEA and its students impact Norwich, Norfolk, the UK and beyond. From directly employing 5,100 people to the £224m students spend on living and entertainment.

News in Brief
Save lives at Tesco this summer 

UEA researchers are developing a new test designed to diagnose aggressive prostate cancer. Tesco shoppers across Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire will be able to support it over the summer months by voting for the project each time they shop. The test - known as the Tiger Test - will receive up to £25,000. You can also support this vital work by making a donation on our Make a Gift page.  

A cup of blueberries a day could help keep cardiovascular disease at bay

UEA-led research recently discovered that eating 150g of blueberries a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 15 per cent for those in at-risk groups. The team investigated the effects of eating blueberries in overweight and obese people with Metabolic Syndrome, which significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Could a Mediterranean-style diet reduce risk of dementia?

Also in the healthy-eating pipeline is a new study by UEA researchers to see whether eating a Mediterranean-style diet and being more active could improve brain function and reduce dementia risk. If you're keen on taking part, check your eligibility by completing an online questionnaire.

Alumni events
UEA Court

Countdown to Global Gathering 2019

Plans are underway for this year's Global Gathering.

Last year saw 56 events take place across the globe, and 2019 events are already scheduled in Karachi, Kathmandu, London, LA and Lagos, among other places.

Global Gathering alumni events take place each September and come in all shapes and sizes, from drinks and dinners to theme park visits and community work.

If you’re interested in hosting your own event, or want to find out more, email Global Alumni Officer Rose Kemmy on

View photos from last year's events  
Today programme at the Sainsbury Centre

Taipei alumni get together 

Thirteen UEA graduates got together in Taipei in early June to share their stories, discuss ways to grow their country network and get set for Global Gathering 2019.

They also organised a presentation for prospective UEA students and their families, preparing them for the ins and outs of life on the other side of the globe. Financing, study skills, networking tips and information on clubs and societies were all on the agenda – as well as a video created by student ambassador Jung-sen Wang.

Holding your own event? Email Rose Kemmy or tweet us to find us how we can help. 

News from our network
Beijing UEA alumni

Gurinder Chadha’s latest drama hits the small screen

Excitement mounts for the release of Gurinder Chadha’s latest creation.

Beecham House, which starts on ITV on 23 June, is set in late-18th century Delhi and depicts the fortunes of the residents of a mansion owned by a former East Indian Company trader now disenchanted with his previous employer.

Gurinder is an International Development graduate who went on to a successful career as a director and screenwriter. Her works include Bend It Like Beckham and Viceroy's House.

Speaking about the new series, Gurinder said that portraying Indians’ lives on TV as equally important as white lives is “a flipping radical thing”.

Wainwright Prize

Grads longlisted for Wainwright Prize

Luke Turner and Mark Cocker have made the longlist for the prestigious Wainwright Book Prize, which celebrates the best of UK nature and travel writing.

Luke studied English literature at UEA, graduating in 2000. His memoir, Out of the Woods, is about nature, sexuality and identity. Mark – another English graduate – is nominated for Our Place, which asks if it’s now too late to save Britain’s wildlife. UEA holds his archive.

Professor Amanda Howe voted in as GPs’ next president

Professor Amanda Howe voted in as GPs’ next president

Professor Amanda Howe has been elected as the next President of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

Amanda is past-president of the World Organisation of Family Doctors and Professor of Primary Care at UEA. She will serve a two-year term at the RCGP from November 2019.

RCGP Chief Operating Officer and College Returning Officer Dr Valerie Vaughan-Dick said: "Amanda brings a wealth of experience of the College, academic primary care and frontline general practice. We very much look forward to working with her."

TV star announces UEA scholarship

TV star announces UEA scholarship

BBC Sports presenter Jake Humphrey has set up a scholarship for a media studies undergraduate at UEA. The £18,500 bursary will support a student from a low-income background. 

"The reason I am where I am today is because someone believed in me," said Jake, who was awarded an honorary doctorate by UEA in 2012.

Jake's production company Whisper Films will also offer two work placements and a contract of up to a year.

Molly makes theatre prize shortlist

Molly makes theatre prize shortlist

Scriptwriter, poet, performer – and UEA grad – Molly Naylor was shortlisted for the New Writing South Best New Play Award 2019 for her new show, Lights! Planets! People!

The play, written and directed by Molly, and performed by Karen Hill, is an "intimate and exhilarating story about communication, both interpersonal and intergalactic." It was one of 11 shortlisted plays from 68 entries.

Kitchen Chemistry on tour

Kitchen Chemistry on tour

Dr Stephen Ashworth, a Reader in Chemistry at UEA, recently took his Kitchen Chemistry show to Bangkok, Hong Kong, and the UCAS International Teachers Conference in Glasgow.

Originally developed with Scifest Africa, South Africa’s national science festival, Dr Ashworth’s engaging demonstrations are designed to inspire school pupils – many from disadvantaged backgrounds – right across the globe.

Read More  
New mentorship for film, TV and media students

New mentorship for film, TV and media students

UEA alumnus Adrian Wootton is giving Film, TV and Media students a start in the film and TV industries, with a new mentoring prize.

The Adrian Wootton Mentoring Prize is available for up to four students going into their final year this September.

Adrian, who graduated from UEA in the 80s, went on to work with the British Film Institute and is now chief executive of Film London. He attributes his own success to the people who have “helped, guided and supported” him throughout his career.

Students will get face-to-face tutoring sessions and mentoring support from Adrian giving them valuable insight into an industry that’s notoriously hard to break into.

Postgrad wins Harvard scholarship

Postgrad wins Harvard scholarship

Gabriel Flynn, a postgraduate student in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, has been awarded the prestigious Kennedy Scholarship to study at Harvard University.

The academic award, given by the Kennedy Memorial Trust, is awarded each year to ten British students to study at Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Share your story

Share your story 

Since it launched in February 2018, graduates from throughout the University’s history have shared their stories on the UEA Stories blog.

Meriel, a history of art and architecture graduate, recently told us about the creativity required for her role in TV and why the UEA mantra – ‘Do different’ – helped set her up for life.

Want to share your story? Then we’d love to hear from you. Simply contact us or send us a message on Twitter.

News from our network
Portrait of W. G. Sebald at Sainsbury Centre © Basso CannarsaOpaleLeemage Bridgeman Images

Two exhibitions explore the work of WG Sebald

Far away – but from where? at The Sainsbury Centre, 11 May to 18 August 2019
Lines of sight at Norwich Castle, 10 May to 5 January 2020

The work of the German author and former UEA professor WG Sebald is being explored by two landmark exhibitions to mark the 75th anniversary of his birth.

Sebald was a lecturer at UEA from 1970 and founding director of the British Centre for Literary Translation and he is widely recognised for his “extraordinary contribution to world literature” and his distinctive prose style, which mixed fact and fiction, words and imagery.

It’s these aspects of his work that are explored in both Norwich exhibitions, which present curiosities, artworks, archive material and Sebald’s photographs, some for the first time.

Manga at the British Museum

Manga at the British Museum

Thursday 20 June, 6pm
Weston Room, Norwich Cathedral

This talk gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Manga マンガ exhibition currently on display in the Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery at the British Museum and curated by Nicole Rousmaniere, Director of the Sainsbury Institute and Professor of Japanese Art and Culture here at UEA.

Manga, which translates as ‘Pictures run riot’, is a visual form of narrative storytelling. Its roots are international, but the form we know today developed in Japan from the late 19th and 20th century and has fans across the globe.

Watch an interview with the curator  
Royal Norfolk Show

UEA at the Royal Norfolk Show

Wednesday 26 and Thursday 27 June

The Royal Norfolk Show returns this summer, and UEA is exhibiting in a number of different areas across the Norfolk Showground.

The main UEA marquee on Presidents Avenue will include exhibits from the University and a number of talks and panel discussions. Topics will include agri-tech, wellbeing, sport, and forthcoming exhibitions at The Sainsbury Centre.

UEA will also be at the Agri-Tech East Innovation Hub (Stand 264, Avenue 9) talking about funding opportunities for agricultural businesses, including Ceres, EIRA, InvestEast, and the Low Carbon Innovation Fund. Meanwhile schoolchildren and families will be treated to a number of UEA activities organised by the Norwich Science Festival.

Buy tickets  

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

Binyavanga Wainaina (LIT03). Read his obituary, published in the Guardian

David Cubitt (CES94)

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