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Ziggurat - The e-Newsletter of the UEA Alumni Association May 2019 View in browser
Ziggurats in the sunshine
Featured Stories

Investigating the link between Alzheimer's and sleep

Does Alzheimer's cause sleep problems, or could sleep problems be an early predictor of the disease? UEA's new sleep and brain research unit aims to investigate this big question.

The research team, led by Dr Alpar Lazar (School of Health Sciences), celebrated the inauguration of the unit with a Sleep, Aging and Brain Health Symposium on Wednesday 1 May. Attendees heard from world-leading researchers from UEA and further afield who are breaking boundaries with their research on brain health and dementia. Science presenter Dr Michael Mosley also visited the lab to find out more.

The team at UEA hope that treating sleep disturbances early on could help slow down the progression of the disease, particularly as there are no other treatments available that do this.

The first study to take place in the unit will investigate whether healthy people who are at increased genetic risk of developing Alzheimer's could be more vulnerable to sleep loss, and how their body clocks are affected.

Read more  
Beijing UEA alumni

Thinking Without Borders: Words

UEA was founded on the principle of 'Do Different', to explore what can be achieved by bringing together brilliant minds from a diverse range of disciplines. Watch the latest video celebrating our interdisciplinary research to see how UEA continues to write the future.

From recording climate change and inspiring Nobel Prize-winning authors to reviewing child safeguarding cases, transforming human rights law, and writing guidelines to improve the health of millions, words hold the power to make a global impact.

Watch now  
Piers Harrison-Reid

'We become tattooed with ziggurats'

We love this video made by VisitNorwich to celebrate the city of Norwich.

The poem What is a Norwich? is written by alumnus and Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital A&E nurse Piers Harrison-Reid, and of course UEA gets a mention.

VisitNorwich are also holding a story competition to collect the tales of the people who make Norwich what it is. To enter, send them your memories or moments made in Norwich: your favourite places, characters, or things-not-to-miss. The five best stories chosen by their panel will win a specially selected Norwich-themed prize.

Watch the video  
News in Brief
UEA scientists solve 600 year-old bone disease mystery

Researchers have helped solve the 600 year-old mystery of an ancient form of the bone disorder, Paget's disease.

Additional routine ultrasounds benefit mothers and babies and could be cost-saving

Offering universal late pregnancy ultrasounds at 36 weeks could eliminate undiagnosed breech presentation of babies and lower the rate of emergency caesarean sections – according to research involving UEA.

Improving understanding of variability and climate change: a new UEA project

A major new project involving UEA has been announced, which aims to more accurately estimate how the global climate has changed over the industrial era, as well as shedding more light on the causes of natural climate variations.

More Stories
UEA Court

Your invite to UEA Court

The annual meeting of Court is an opportunity for friends, partners and UEA supporters to learn more about University activities of current interest.

We will be celebrating UEA's contribution to the Norwich Science Festival, with Festival patron and UEA Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Public Engagement, Ben Garrod and UEA and Earlham Institute PhD student Camilla Ryan.

We'll also hear about UEA's culture of inclusivity as a University of Sanctuary, with Prof Joanna Drugan from the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies and Dr Ulrike Theuerkauf from the School of International Development.

There will also be updates on other University business from UEA Chancellor Karen Jones CBE, Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson and Treasurer Mark Williams.

All are welcome – attendance is free and no invitation is necessary, but registration is essential.

Register here  
Today programme at the Sainsbury Centre

UEA welcomes BBC's Today programme to campus

UEA's flagship creative writing programme, student support, and leafcutter ants and antibiotics were just some of the discussion topics broadcast live from the Sainsbury Centre on campus on Thursday 2 May.

You can listen to the programme online until the end of May and hear from staff, students and graduates.

Listen back  
Guests at UEA Scholarship Reception

Making a difference – celebrating scholars and donors

Donors and scholars came together to celebrate education, opportunity and generosity at the University's Scholarship Reception on Friday 3 May. This year, UEA donors have given over £700,000 and brought 67 new scholars to UEA.

Amongst the speakers at the ceremony were donors Louise Doughty – UEA alumna, novelist and Apple Tree Yard author (donor of Crowdfunded BAME Writers' Scholarship in Creative Writing) – and poetry publisher and philanthropist Kate Birch (donor of the Ink, Sweat & Tears and Birch Family Scholarships).

Thelma Makukula is an Adult Nursing student and a recipient of the Difference Undergraduate Scholarship. She came to the UK from Zambia and is a single mother with a young son.

Thelma said: "When I got offered a place on BSc Adult Nursing I knew my benefits would stop – but I wasn't going to give up my university place without a fight. My fight was won when I got an email to say I had been awarded the Difference Undergraduate Scholarship.

"Life at university has been stress-free thanks to the scholarship and my time on the course so far has been life-changing, knowing that UEA are preparing me to be a useful person who can contribute to society."

Scholarships at UEA can be funded for any subject, with bespoke scholarships costing from £5,000 per year. Donors also support the University's Difference Scholarships with monthly donations and gifts of all sizes.

If you would like to support scholarships at UEA, email or make a donation here.

Discover more about scholarships  
Colney parkrun

parkrun: healthy activity for all

Did you know that UEA hosts a parkrun event each week? Launching as Colney Lane parkrun on 5 December 2017, it now averages 220-250 runners every Saturday.

Recently, a few UEA alumni have come along to participate and we would love to see more of you! If you'd like to walk, run, jog or volunteer at Colney Lane parkrun all you need to do is register online, print off your barcode and bring it with you. You can book room only accommodation on campus if needed.

More information can be found on the Colney Lane parkrun website or on their Facebook page.

Find out more  
UEA alumni in Beijing

Vice-Chancellor meets alumni in China

Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson hosted an alumni dinner in Beijing to celebrate the University's commitment to educating students from around the world.

Over 100 participants, including alumni and academics from both UEA and partner Chinese universities, attended the event held on Saturday 6 April.

Prof David Richardson was joined at the high table by Prof Yongguan Zhu (Director for Education and Internationalisation of Institute of Urban Environment at China Academy of Sciences), Prof Dabo Guan (Professor in Climate Change Economics in UEA's School of International Development) and Mr William Gee (UEA alumnus and partner at PwC China), as well as UEA and INTO staff.

As part of the event, Prof Richardson spoke about the latest developments at UEA and about engagement with Chinese students and Chinese partners. Prof Zhu, who received a UEA honorary degree in 2017, shared his insight on how to build up a sustainable alumni network and contribute to the UEA community in China.

Derby Day 2019

A seventh winning year for the UEA Derby Day teams

UEA hosted Derby Day against the University of Essex on Wednesday 1 May, with over 35 sports competing. The final score was 24.5 to 5.5, with UEA victorious for the seventh year in a row.

The day started at Colney Lane with Men's Rugby and Men's Football battling it out against their rivals. Both games were extremely close with Men's Rugby claiming a fantastic 22-18 victory, but Men's Football losing narrowly 1-0.

UEA went on to record multiple clean sweep victories from sports across numerous disciplines and genders, including Archery, Athletics, Dance – Contemporary and Ballet, Swimming and Volleyball.

A highlight of the day came from the Lacrosse teams. The men's team beat Essex in overtime 12-10, recording their first ever Derby Day victory, joining the successful women's team (15-4) to claim their Derby Day medals.

UEA Sport would like to thank all competitors and spectators for creating an amazing atmosphere throughout the day, which was an outstanding showcase of high-quality university sport.

Read the live blog  
UEA Talent Celebration Awards 2019

UEA's got talent!

On Tuesday 7 May, UEA students, employers, mentors and staff packed out the Sainsbury Centre for the first ever UEA Talent Celebration Awards.

The event, run by CareerCentral, was designed to recognise and showcase excellence in student and business engagement. Prof Sarah Barrow, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Humanities hosted the ceremony and, along with the judging panel, presented students and organisations with the following awards:

  • Outstanding Student Employee: Jacqueline Phung (MSc Economics and International Relations)
  • Outstanding Student Volunteer: Chrystal Claxton (BA Psychology)
  • Most Supportive Employer: Tech Marionette
  • Most Supportive Voluntary Organisation: Norfolk Community Law Service

Ben Sampson, Talent Celebration Awards judge and Head of Employability at Voluntary Norfolk, had this advice for students: "Worry less about not knowing what you want to do... It's more about doing something that interests you and all the rest will fall into place."

Women's Prize for Fiction 2019

Alumna makes Women's Prize for Fiction 2019 shortlist

Alumna Diana Evans' third novel Ordinary People has been shortlisted for the prestigious prize, with the winner to be announced on Wednesday 5 June.

You can download a Reading Group Guide for Ordinary People and all the other shortlisted novels from the Women's Prize website.

Read More  
Nurturing Bright Futures

Nurturing Bright Futures

This free, CPD certified, two-day residential conference for teachers and advisers takes place at UEA and Norwich University of the Arts on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 June.

The event is designed for education professionals who work with sixth form students as they apply for and progress to higher education. Highlights include sessions on learning to embrace change with poet, performer and UEA alumnus Mark Grist; supporting student wellbeing; an interactive Q&A panel with HE experts; and a range of breakout sessions looking at creativity, the medicine interview process, studying abroad, barriers to education and UCAS.

Delegates are invited to a networking dinner at UEA, and to stay overnight on campus on Thursday 6 June. Both are offered free of charge.

Book now  
People playing American football

Alumni return to campus for sports weekend

The May bank holiday weekend saw the first UEA Sport Alumni Weekend, a highlight of which was the 23rd annual UEA Pirates vs Old Boys game. It was hard fought, but ultimately the Old Boys won 22-9 to remain undefeated.

Prior to the game, a minute's silence was held in memory of former UEA Pirate Luke Goodere who passed away last month, and to commemorate the upcoming 10th anniversary of the passing of former Head Coach Martin 'Dousty' Doust.

Highlights from the game included two touchdown passes from Mark Rivett (ENV 2012) to wide receivers Tom Sheppard (ENV 2014) and Kushal Upadhyaya (PPL 2018). Andy Hurley (LAW 2014) got the final touchdown on an interception return. Tim Barber (NBS 2009) was Old Boys team captain for the game as he has decided to retire from playing (for now at least).

This was also the last game as head coach for Nathan Evans (AMS 2009) who has stepped down after four years at the helm. Nathan has been a part of the UEA Pirates since 2004, firstly as a player and then as a coach.

What's On at UEA

What's on at UEA this summer

The latest edition of What's On at UEA is out now and online here with details of festivals, competitions, film screenings and workshops offered by UEA Schools and academics across the summer months – many of which are free of charge.

Look out for hard copies of the guide in art venues, libraries and retail outlets in Suffolk and Norfolk, including Norwich city centre.

Visit our online listings for the most up-to-date information, and follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook for news about the latest additions to our calendar.

Read What's On  
Students talking

Enhance your career with a postgraduate degree

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

With a reputation for world-leading research, dedicated teaching that challenges you to reach your full potential and supportive funding – including an exclusive alumni tuition fee-reduction scholarship – there are some excellent opportunities to take your learning further with UEA.

Find out more about our postgraduate degrees, our scholarship options and information about the postgraduate student loan. Courses start in September/October.

Have a question? Contact UEA's Admissions Team on or 01603 591515.

Read More  
Water and war

Watch now: UEA London Lecture on water and war

The video recording of this month's UEA London Lecture on water and conflict is now available to watch online.

In his lecture, Prof Mark Zeitoun explored how water can be robbed of its nourishing essence when used to exclude and preclude in the Congo, lubricate ethnic cleansing in the West Bank, drown villages in Sudan, or clear the killing fields in Lebanon and Iraq. He also discussed how the people who resist this theft could provide the vital inspiration we need to face the future.

The lecture was preceded by a screening of the film Merowe Dam: A Shattered Dream, which features research that Prof Mark Zeitoun coordinated, and is the result of the efforts of Dr Nada Ali from UEA's Norwich Law School, Dr Mohammed Jalal and Prof Asim al Moghraby. You can watch the film online here.

Watch the lecture online  
Ziggurats at dusk

Introduce someone to UEA at our 2019 Open Days

Do you know someone thinking about applying to university?

Whether they're just starting to consider A level choices or they've already started the UCAS application process, why not take the opportunity to come back to UEA to show them around and give them an insight in to campus life? It's a great opportunity to indulge in a little wander down memory lane while potentially inspiring a student of the future.

The next open days will take place on Saturday 22 June (Medicine only) and Saturday 6 July (all other subjects).

Book here  
UEA Stories quote

UEA Stories blog

On the UEA stories blog, Daryl shares his story of joining UEA as a postgraduate student to study for an MA in Film, Television and Creative Practice.

Read all about Daryl's journey after graduating last year to working as a scheduling manager for a UK TV network. "The modules on my course helped with my understanding of the broadcast management chain and how to operate within the chain whilst launching a TV channel."

Read More  
The Doll Factory

In conversation with MA Creative Writing graduate Elizabeth Macneal

UEA Literary Festival Director and convenor of the MA in Prose Fiction, Dr Philip Langeskov, will be in conversation with Elizabeth Macneal about her debut novel, the much-feted The Doll Factory today, Wednesday 15 May at 7pm, at Waterstones, Castle Street, Norwich.

Elizabeth is a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing and she began working on the novel for her dissertation while at UEA in 2017. It's an extraordinary novel, set in London around the time of the Great Exhibition, featuring dolls, Pre-Raphaelites, a collector of macabre curiosities and a very endearing wombat.

'Stunningly confident,' says Ian Rankin; 'a gorgeously evocative tale of love, art and obsession,' says Paula Hawkins.

Tickets available  
Connecting. Sharing. Empowering.

UEA Alumni Women's Network

The UEA Alumni Women's Network met for a speed networking event on Tuesday 30 April.

The event, hosted graciously (and with nachos!) by Jamie's Tudor Street, was structured around several group tables, each with a theme designed around career challenges. From Work/Life Balance to Career Path, each table had a host, a set of six questions, and a surprisingly not-long-enough time limit of ten minutes to discuss them all as a group.

The network is currently unfunded and all its founding members are based in London. They aim to spread the network more widely as soon as possible, and in the meantime, encourage alumnae to get in touch so they can connect them locally with their peers.

Find out more  
What's On

J.R. Jones Memorial Lecture 2019: War and international relations in the modern age

Wednesday 15 May, 6pm
Julian Study Centre lecture theatre, UEA

The 2019 J.R. Jones Lecture will be given by Prof Margaret Macmillan, C.H.

A leading expert on history and international relations, Margaret MacMillan is a Professor of History at the University of Toronto and emeritus Professor of International History and the former Warden of St Antony's College at the University of Oxford.

The event will begin with a free drinks reception in the Julian Study Centre foyer.

Creative Now - Creative Changes

Tuesday 28 May, 6.30 - 8pm (doors 6.15pm)
Town Close auditorium, Norwich Castle

Technology has made significant changes to creative practices, but does new tech help or hinder creativity? Has technology democratised access and communication/storytelling?

Speakers include:

In conversation: Bieke Depoorter and Agata: photographer and subject

Thursday 6 June, 6 - 7.30pm
The Sainsbury Centre, UEA

After a chance meeting in Paris in November 2017, Magnum photographer Bieke Depoorter and Agata have developed a long-standing collaborative practice as photographer and subject. Join them for this lively evening event as they reflect on working together to create the photographs on display in The Body Observed.


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

David Woodall (HIS02)

Arthur Muller (EUR93)

Vanessa Lacey (EAS67)

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