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

One of the great things about UEA is the impact that the University, our students, staff and alumni have beyond the campus. This month’s Ziggurat has some great examples of the different ways this impact is felt, from the award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize to the School of Environmental Sciences; to a charity set up by an alumnus based in Norwich that works with NGOs around the world; to the impact that donations to the recent call campaign can make.

In the past month we have launched UEA Stories, a blog where alumni can share their career stories and really inspire students and fellow graduates. If you want to take part please get in touch.

Featured Stories
Queens Award

UEA receives third Queen’s Anniversary Prize

Representatives of UEA were at Buckingham Palace last month to receive the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education from Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The award was made to the School of Environmental Sciences in its 50th anniversary year. Since its foundation, the School has become one of the largest and most fully-developed interdisciplinary institutions of its kind in Europe, with research and teaching addressing climate, ocean and atmospheric interactions; the governance of resources and sustainability; the geosciences; and natural hazards.

The presentation was followed by a reception in the Picture Gallery, where postgraduate students from the School were able to speak to His Royal Highness, informing him of their research into ozone formation at the ground surface, jelly fish population dynamics, and riparian zone aquatic ecology. “It was a very memorable occasion for us all and a fitting tribute to the achievements of the School in the 50 years of its teaching and research,” said Head of School, Prof Kevin Hiscock.

Accompanying the postgraduate students and the Head of School to collect the award were UEA's Chancellor, Karen Jones, Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Prof Corinne Le Quéré and Chair of Council, Joe Greenwell.

London Lecture April 2018

2018 UEA London Lectures

What can be done to save the bees? This is the question that Dr Lynn Dicks from UEA’s School of Biological Sciences will discuss in the third of this year's London Lectures.

Everyone knows that bees are in trouble, and with governments all over the world signing up to protect pollinators, there couldn’t be a better time to define strategic actions. In her talk, Dr Dicks will examine the scientific understanding of pollinator decline and set out a plan for supporting pollinators globally.

In the first London Lecture of the year, back in February, Dr Michael Grey from UEA’s School of Health Sciences explained what happens to the brain during and after concussion, and how research findings are being implemented in sport. Listen online to find out when it’s safe to ‘return to play’ and to hear about 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.

UEA’s London Lectures are an annual series of talks highlighting the impactful research taking place at the University, presented in London. They are free and open to all, but booking is essential.

UEA stories blog

UEA Stories blog

Ever wondered what connects bringing new life safely into the world, Antarctic algae research, Batman, and humanitarian work in Myanmar? 

A new blog – UEA Stories – aims to tell you! We are proud to bring you a new platform, celebrating the success and diversity of the alumni community, and delving into what life after studying with us really means.

Posts will be published every week, covering different and varying disciplines, career paths, and topics. To get involved and share your story, please email us at

News in Brief
UEA Sportspark excellence recognised with national award

The UEA Sportspark has become one of only three university sports centres in the country to be recognised for its excellent sport and recreational facilities in a national award.

Supportive colleagues could be key to health and fairness at work

The attitudes and behaviours of colleagues towards people returning to work from sick leave can have a big impact on whether or not a worker feels they are fairly treated by their organisation.

UEA business apprenticeship welcomes senior NHS staff

The University has launched a new business apprenticeship for senior leaders from local organisations, with 22 members of staff from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH).

More Stories

DEV alumni making a difference

maNGOma (Mutual Assistance for NGOs for Mutual Advantage) is a new and unique international development charity based in Norwich, set up by recent DEV graduate Kieran McElhinney.

The charity fundraises for community development projects which support sustainable change in the Global South, and projects that have been created by small grassroots NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in those communities. They are currently working with NGOs in Kenya, Ghana, Cambodia and Cameroon on projects concerned with education, social welfare, and vocational training for women and young people.

Many of the challenges faced by small NGOs are similar the world over, even though the context in each country will be different. So, in addition to fundraising, the charity is creating a network to encourage the sharing of experience and innovation, particularly in the project fields of adult and child education, disability, vocational skills development, environment and enterprise.

Chaired by Kieran, and with a Board of Trustees comprising a mix of DEV alumni (Silvia Harvey, Sophie Willis, James Packham, Louise Richmond) and business, educational and fundraising professionals, the abilities and enthusiasm of UEA students past and present who volunteer have been key to the charity’s success. Volunteers receive mentoring support and training, which not only benefits the charity and partner NGOs, but also improves individual job and career prospects.

Read more and get involved  
Women's alumni network

Alumnae launching network for women

A group of alumnae are setting up a new Women’s Alumni Network that will provide mentoring, networking and peer support, and they are looking for committee members.

If you graduated in the last 10 years and are based in or around London they’d love to hear from you. They’re looking for driven and dedicated women from a variety of backgrounds and with diverse experiences to kick-start this new initiative.

Those interested must be willing to commit to four meetings a year, and be able to support remotely when needed. If you are keen to help, please get in touch with Kate at with a little information about yourself, your skills and experience, and why you want to get on board.

Please get in touch by Tuesday 27 March. The first meeting will take place in May.

Outreach volunteering

Could you inspire young people?

UEA’s Outreach team work with young people who traditionally wouldn’t consider higher education, running programmes in-school and on campus to help raise aspirations and break down barriers to social mobility.

Each year the team run residential summer schools for young people in years 9, 10 and 11. These events give students a taste of university life through interactive taster sessions, a tour of the campus, clubs and societies sessions, along with the opportunity to stay in UEA halls of residence overnight.

The team are looking for local alumni to help inspire these young people to aim high and realise that university can be an achievable goal. This would involve delivering a short presentation to students and their parents, focusing on your journey from school to your current role, how you found your university experience and any advice you have for young people considering HE in the future. And if inspriring the next generation isn’t motivation enough, you will receive a £20 Amazon voucher for taking part.

The summer schools run from the end of July and throughout August. If you are interested in getting involved, email with a brief account of your route from school to your current position, and the dates you are available to take part. 

Read More  
Call campaign

Alumni Call Campaign success

The spring phase of the alumni call campaign has been wonderfully successful, exceeding the team’s ambitious aims and raising over £52,000.

Student callers have been enjoying conversations with more than 1,000 alumni from across all subjects and generations, and an incredible number of you made a generous contribution or volunteered your time.

Thank you to every single one of you for taking the time to share your news, and for your generosity towards the University’s Prostate Cancer Research, Postgraduate Scholarships, UEA Enterprise and Where Need is Great funds.


Alumni feature in Norfolk and Norwich Festival line-up

This year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival line-up has been announced and there are plenty of UEA connections throughout the programme.

Alumni and poets Tim Clare and Mark Grist’s show Voted Out (pictured above) uses state-of-the-art voting technology to put power into the hands of you, the audience. Choose the direction of the show, reward the poet that panders to your whims and even decide what you want your poems to be about.

A collective of the most exciting voices in poetry from UEA’s Creative Writing MA will present a collaborative performance in memory of fellow student Rebecca McManus on Friday 25 May.

On Saturday 26 May, professor of disability research Tom Shakespeare will be joined by poets Owen Lowery and Jackie Hagan to discuss the challenges they face and what society must do to break down these barriers.

Read More  
Inaugural lecture series

To be or not to be? That is the question

Shakespeare’s Hamlet addresses life, death and the nature of existence. Prof Ian Charles is also interested in these big questions, particularly in relation to microbes and their interaction with us.

One of the greatest challenges in medicine today results from the observation that bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to all classes of treatment, and consequently we are facing the end of the antibiotic era. This talk will show how genomic information can give insights into the factors impacting microbial life and death, and how this information can be ‘translated’ into new therapeutics.

Prof Charles is director of the Quadram Institute, which is due to open the doors to its new, state-of-the-art food and health research and endoscopy centre on the Norwich Research Park later this year. The facility will be at the forefront of a new interface between food science, gut biology and health, developing solutions to worldwide challenges in food-related disease and human health.

Read More  

UEA Choir Concert: Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle

UEA Choir warmly invites you to join them for a large-scale performance of Rossini’s magnificent Petite Messe Solennelle, on Saturday 28 April at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich.

One of his final completed works, Rossini wrote the Petite Messe Solennelle more than thirty years after his last opera. The music is deeply personal and wonderfully intimate, a composer drawing on all the compositional faculties that made him so popular decades before. His unequalled skill for melody writing can be seen in its exquisite arias, duets and trios, and his keen sense of dramatic pace is exhibited to the full in the riveting large-scale choruses.

UEA Choir will be joined in their performance by award-winning soloists Jenny Stafford (soprano), Clare Presland (mezzo-soprano), Adam Temple-Smith (tenor) and Dan D’Souza (bass), pianists Peter Foggitt and George Inscoe, and harmoniumist William Falconer.

Read More  

Caught on camera: Amazonian crop raiders

Papped snaffling in the jungle, a striking set of photos reveal the secret lives of Amazonian crop-raiding animals.

A new UEA study identifies the Amazon’s ‘worst offending’ crop destroyers - and highlights the problems that they cause for rural communities. The research team spent a year working with 47 Amazonian communities in the Juruá region of Amazonas, Brazil.

The team set up 132 motion-activated camera traps and took over 61,000 photos that reveal 11 crop-raiding animals. Collared peccaries, red brocket deer, paca and agoutis are identified as the most damaging.

Read More  

Scholarship applications now open

UEA has a number of donor-funded scholarships open to students in many different areas of study, and applications are now open for all of them.

There will be ten Difference Scholarships for 2018/19 (five for undergraduate students and five for postgraduate students) funded by the University’s generous community of alumni donors and friends, as well as many scholarships financed by philanthropists.

Donor-funded scholarships are available in many subjects, and the roster of scholarships available is growing every year.

Read More  

Event celebrates career of former UEA professor

Last month, Prof Dr Volker Berghahn retired from teaching at Columbia University, an occasion that was marked with an afternoon conference celebrating his lifetime achievements.

Prof Berghahn was a lecturer at UEA in the School of European Studies (EUR) before moving to the University of Warwick, and then to Brown University in Rhode Island before being appointed the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia. One of the panels was chaired by alumnus Derek Bleyberg, a former PhD student of Prof Berghahn’s, who is now Deputy Director Emeritus, International School, Berlin.

Professor Paul Kennedy, who also taught in UEA’s School of English and American Studies (EAS) and is now the Dilworth Professor of History at Yale University, gave the keynote address, giving wonderful assessment of the ways in which Volker has changed understanding in the field of both German and global history.

You can watch this keynote address given by Prof Volker Berghahn at the Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in the United Nation, in January 2017. 

Green Film Festival

Green Film Festival @ UEA

Now in its third year, the Green Film Festival @ UEA presents its biggest programme to date.

The festival will open on Thursday 3 May with a screening of documentary film Thank You For The Rain, which shows the efforts of Kenyan farmer, Kisilu. This is followed on Friday 4 May by a screening of Dusk Chorus, a fascinating documentary film that follows the eco-acoustic composer David Monacchi in his quest to record 24-hour continuous 3D soundscapes the forests of the Amazon in Ecuador.

The festival finale on Saturday 5 May will include activities, exhibitions, workshops and tours taking place throughout the day, as well as screenings of three very different but equally compelling films. In the first film of the day, Demain, filmmakers Mélanie Laurent and Cyril Dion travel worldwide to investigate concrete solutions to environmental and social challenges. The second film of the day, Evolution of Organic, is a documentary about the story of organic agriculture, and the evening screening, Okja, is a captivating action-adventure film with a hard-hitting message directed by Bong Joon-ho, and featuring an ensemble starring cast that includes Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhaal. Between these screenings there will be ‘word forging’ workshops, tours of the 'WHOLE EARTH?' exhibit, a vegan tapas meal prepared by Mustard Café, and an interactive exhibition hosted by Sustainable UEA.

Read More  
Nursing to widwifery

Make the switch to midwifery

Did you know that UEA runs a Shortened Midwifery course for Adult Nurses with current NMC Registration?

Midwifery is a privileged and in-demand career that allows you to care for pregnant women and their families before, during and after childbirth. This accelerated 84-week degree provides rigorous training, fantastic placement opportunities and is fully approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Read More  
Norwich Business School

MBA Open Evening

Do you want to explore new ideas, develop your business skills and learn to think and communicate with greater clarity and confidence?

Norwich Business School regularly hold Open Evenings and Taster Days throughout the year, so why not put a date in your diary to find out how a full-time or part-time Executive MBA can progress your career and help you realise your professional ambitions?

The next Open Evening at the Norwich Business School will be on Tuesday 17 April, 6pm-8pm. Please register your interest by completing the online booking form.

Read More AND BOOK  
Friend finder

Friend Finder

If anyone is in touch with the following people, please ask them to contact the Alumni office at, as one of their University friends would like to get in touch.

Muhammad Baba Tukur (DEV79)         Charisse Brown (LAW85)
Alan Culligan (SYS91)                          Samantha Cutter (ART97)
Karen Davis (EAS84)                            Eleana Dimitrioud (SOC97)
John Evans (ENV96)                             David Fowle (SOC67)
Martin Hall (SOC89)                              Anne Hansen (EAS98)
Andrew Jefford (EAS80)                       Huw Johnson (CHE88)
Malcolm Mansfield (SOC72)                 Harald Muller (EUR74)
Mark Muller (EUR74)                            Carole Painter (EAS66)
Anastasia Papadopoulou (EAS97)       Balkirhsna Rajcoomar (SOC70)
Pedro Rosas-Bravo (SOC77)               Elaine Simpson (ENV98)
Sara Smith (CHE88)                             Christos Sofroniou (SYS82)
Gary Speller (BIO00)                            Louis Sasportas (CHE74)
Veronica Stokes (ENV96)                    Terence Webb (CHE68)
Chee Yeoh (LAW85)

What's On

Postponed and cancelled events

Owing to the ongoing national dispute between Universities UK (UUK) and the University and College Union (UCU), and resultant strike action by members and supporters of UCU, the following events have been postponed until further notice:

• Lovewell Blake agricultural seminar: Brexit, bees and the brown stuff
• The ‘new’ political arithmetic of poverty
• Keswick Hall Lecture: Kindness in public life

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and will make every effort to communicate further information about postponed events as it becomes available.

We recommend checking our online events diary to get the most up-to-date information about cancellations and rescheduled dates. You can also follow @UEAEvents on Twitter or like the ‘What’s On at UEA’ page on Facebook for updates.


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

Roger Bannister - Honorary graduate

Trevor Baylis - Honorary graduate

Lorna Birchley (EAS77)
An obituary for Lorna was published in The Guardian and can be found here online.

Richard Matthews (EUR65)

Sandra Proudfoot (PHY92)

Clive Sinclair (EAS66) 
An obituary for Clive can be found here on TLS online.

Last month former Registrar Michael Paulson-Ellis was included in this list, and an obituary for him is here on the UEA website.

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