A small part of the large Technical team within the Faculty of Business and Creative Industries: Neil, Sam, Sarah, Charlotte, Matthew, Greg, Will, Chris
Charlotte: "We are a team of Technical Instructors and Officers who have specialisms in Theatre and Drama, Music, Fashion, 3D model and set building, TV, Film and Radio, 2D digital design & Visual effects, Photography and Music. We work closely with the academic teams to keep courses up to date and ensuring students get the practical training needed to work in the creative industries."
Simon: "Our team teach and support students in learning a wide range of software and equipment, as well as how to use the variety of technical spaces in the building such as Media and Theatre spaces as well as Music, Fashion and Photography studios. We also have a wood workshop so students can build models, props and sets for their film, TV and Drama projects, and we lend our technical expertise to support events in the Theatre as well as on location."
typical day for our technical instructors mainly involves planning and teaching
groups of students how to use a range of equipment, software and spaces needed
to give students the skills needed to produce their work, and set them up for
the real world. The officers mainly work on the equipment loans desk, handing
out and taking back borrowed equipment, checking it’s all present and
maintaining equipment where necessary.
"We spend a great deal of time ensuring studios and workshops are tidy and maintaining the equipment in these spaces, so they are in safe working order. We also have to ensure the equipment we have and techniques we teach are up to date and enjoy researching the latest advances the areas they support. We also support events at Cardiff Campus, working with external companies who hire our spaces or working the lights and sound in the Theatre for the event itself. We also help courses by constructing bespoke structures to display work at graduation shows. We’re a practical bunch who are always willing to help staff and students, and can turn our hand to most things!"
Charles: "It sounds like a cheesy thing to say, but enabling students to produce work has always been the very best part of the job; in one case for an MA Animation student, this was key to her getting her first professional animation job in games."
Gawain: "We're on the front line so we get to witness student progression, from first to third year. Teaching hands-on with a group of students is still the best part of the job.
Matthew: Seeing the end product of a student’s project. Supplying them with the equipment and providing little tips and tricks, becomes so rewarding when you see their projects, especially final media projects and graduate films. It’s also lovely to see/hear when students get job opportunities from the skills and knowledge they’ve learnt from our team."
Human Resources Business Partners
Julie, Ceri, Rebecca, Alison, Sally, Antonia and James
Antonia: "We provide professional HR support and advice to the various teams, departments and faculties across the University, as well as to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and The College Merthyr Tydfil. Some of us also lead on specific people initiatives, such as employee recruitment, engagement, learning and development, health and wellbeing etc."
Julie: "We work with people at all levels across the business to look at ways we can continually improve USW and make it a great place to work. We work with managers to keep asking the question “How can we do things better?” and then helping to get that done."
Ceri: "There’s no such thing as a typical day in HR, which means the role brings variety and challenge."
Alison: "The best part of the job is making a difference – whether this is to an individual, team, or the University strategy. Managers often come to us with ‘problems’ or when things are complex and they are unsure of the best way forward. It’s good to be able to provide solutions and coach managers to resolutions that work for them and their teams."
Julie: "We can't always talk about the positive things we do because of individuals’ privacy: behind the scenes we do a lot of constructive and supportive work and, due to confidentiality, we’d never spread that wider. But we can be proud knowing we’ve supported colleagues going through all kinds of challenging situations."
Rebecca: "Over the past two years we’ve had the opportunity to be key drivers in endorsing and encouraging working more flexibly. We believe it’s really important to adopt more flexible working practices as it underpins a culture based upon trust, autonomy, and inclusivity. We also believe the University’s approach to hybrid working for many roles will also be a crucial factor in attracting and retaining talent."
Julie: "We support a lot of very difficult and sensitive conversations. And however long you've worked in the job, that still isn't always easy. We are human too!"
James: "Juggling the diversity of the role; being able to dedicate enough time to everything we do is a real challenge but one that provides a lot of job satisfaction too."
Professor Fiona Brookman
Professor Fiona Brookman about the second edition of her book ‘Understanding Homicide’
“I am generally motivated simply by a thirst for knowledge. My ultimate aim is to help to develop strategies that will improve homicide investigation practice and detection rates for these most serious lethal crimes.
“I have spent most of my career to date exploring why people commit violent crimes and responses to violence, including how the police (alongside forensic scientists and prosecutors) investigate homicide and how it can be prevented.
“The first edition drew upon research from my PhD, most notably interviews with murderers and the analysis of police murder files. It was developed with my undergraduate students in mind not long after I finished my PhD in 2000. I had designed and started to teach ‘Understanding Homicide’ here and there was no academic book that covered the broad range of topics that I wanted to include in that module. This book benefits from all the data collection and research that I have been involved with since writing the first. This includes my shift in focus from research exclusively on homicide offenders, to research on how the police, forensic scientists, and others, investigate homicide and how it is adjudicated at court. It has also been substantially revised in terms of theory and research to take account of new ideas that have emerged about the causes of (lethal) violence and techniques to tackle it.
“My job has taken me to various parts of Europe to present research findings at international and national conferences, including Tubingen, Leiden, Oslo, Stockholm, and various parts of the US (including San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans) and, finally, to Brisbane in Australia where I was invited to give a key-note presentation on homicide investigation.
“I have also spent time as a Visiting Professor at American University in Washington DC, where I also spent many months, on separate visits, gathering data on homicide investigation. That research involved me shadowing homicide detectives at work and involved some very memorable bits of fieldwork including darting around the woods at about four in the morning with a detective and a blood hound searching for a homicide suspect, attending a post-mortem in Baltimore, and sitting face to face with an undercover informant as he provided information about a (potential) homicide suspects movements.
“But the favourite part of my job is undertaking research, sharing the findings and new knowledge with my students and other academics, and supervising PhD students.
“In my spare time, I walk, eat out, do a little bit of Pilates, go to music events, and spend time out on scooters and at scooter rallies. I have a small frame Vespa that I ride from time to time, in the summer mainly!"
Professor Florence Ayisi
Professor Florence Ayisi, an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose films have been screened nationally and internationally at film festivals and on TV.
“I teach on the MA Film (Documentary) and BA (Hons) Film, as well as doing my own research around diverse aspects of film theory, history and documentary film practice.
“I was studying for my PhD at Leicester University, and was shocked by the negative stereotypes of Africa that I saw on British TV. Between 1986 and 1989, most media coverage seemed to be about the negative aspects of Africa – disease, corruption, famine – but I knew there was another reality that wasn’t shown. That’s when I decided to use my experience of how the media can help shine a spotlight on people, stories and communities that UK audiences didn’t know about. I wanted to focus on the positive narratives about Africa.
“After the atrocities of 9/11, I went to the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival where I met Kim Longinotto, a British documentary film maker who is well known for making films that highlight the plight of female victims of oppression or discrimination. We chatted about possibilities of collaborating on projects in Cameroon. Three years later we were commissioned by Channel 4 to make the film Sisters in Law, which was about female lawyers, in a small town, in the Cameroon judicial system. It was a privilege to go back to the town where I grew up to focus on the female lawyers who worked at the magistrates’ court. Before we started filming, I went to see the Minister of Justice and Keeper of the Seals. He was really pleased with the fact that he had female lawyers working at the highest level in the judicial system and that we wanted to highlight the role that women play in the judiciary. Sisters in Law has been screened in over 200 film festivals and on Television world-wide, it has won over 30 prestigious international film awards and was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination (Oscars) in 2006.
“In 2006, I travelled to Zanzibar to make a documentary about a female Muslim football team, called Zanzibar Soccer Queens. It tells the story of a community of strong-willed women, determined to better their lives and define new identities through playing football. The women’s show of resilience as a collective enables them to resist societal obstacles and insults to empower themselves. I then made another film there in 2007 called Our World in Zanzibar, about Western women who have migrated to Africa. The film unveils their personal stories through workshops, candid discussions, in-depth interviews and staged performances. It explores why they have travelled to Africa and left their comfortable lifestyles in the USA, Netherlands, Spain and the UK behind.
“Meanwhile, Zanzibar Soccer Queens had made a big impact on the lives of the female footballers and on society, changing attitudes to the point where the government allowed girls to play soccer in school as part of their physical education.
“It was then that I realised the power of film and the impact it can have on people’s lives and in society. It has been shown at several international festivals and this consolidated my belief that people want to see another side of Africa, not just stories of victimhood.
“In 2018, I made a documentary film called Marie Madeleine, A Female Chief, about a woman who was enthroned as chief in Nkol Ngock I, a small village on the outskirts of Yaoundé, the capital city of Cameroon. The film captures an unusual occurrence in Africa, where the position of traditional ruler or chief is customarily handed down from father to son; presenting a rare glimpse into a community undergoing change. This film has also been screened widely widely and well-received at international festivals.
“One of the films I’m most proud of is The Bronze Men of Cameroon, was released in 2020. It presents an intimate portrait of bronze artisans in the Western Region of Cameroon, and highlights important aspects of cultural identity and heritage, and the threats to traditional practices of bronze casting. It has been shown at more than 26 film festivals and has won some prestigious awards. I’m delighted and feel privileged that the bronze craftsmen proudly allowed me to document their work and lived experiences.
“Since the pandemic, I’ve worked on my first UK project, which was following an initiative by the Mental Health Foundation to recruit and train refugee and asylum seekers to be peer leaders; to lead groups themselves, aiming to stimulate conversations that use English and other languages to increase emotional literacy, empathy and cultural understanding.
“In early 2021, I was part of a research consortium, Co-POWeR made up of female professors from nine UK universities who were successful in a £2.5million UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant to explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the wellbeing and resilience of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic families and communities (BAMEFC).
“Being in Wales for so many years, I’ve realised that there is so much we need to shine a light on. There’s a huge multicultural community here. Wales is a nation of diverse cultures and they are all living well together. I like to focus on the positives in society, and multiculturalism and cross-cultural exchanges are important aspects of Wales to celebrate, to highlight a strong sense of community, connections and commonality, despite differences in ethnicities. Diverse cultures enrich societies, so I’d like to explore this more in my future work, and Wales offers a unique context for this.”
Dr Tom Owens
From student to Lecturer in Biomedical Science, Dr Tom Owens has walked the whole USW journey.
“I joined USW in 2013 studying for my BSc Sports and Exercise Science. I then returned to USW to study for the PhD, researching, brain function in rugby players following repeated concussions. I completed my PhD viva in November 2021 and was given the award in February 2022 but it was a really busy time in the academic year, so it passed without much fuss. Graduation will be the time to celebrate.
“I am a keen mountain biker. I noticed that myself and my friends would get knocks to the head and had symptoms of concussion, but we didn’t really understand what they were. Concussion is controversial in mainstream sports, like football and rugby. I thought, if mainstream sports have a problem, then we aren’t miles away from the other sports. What is this injury and what does it mean for the future of sport?
“It has been challenging to juggle it all – the teaching, planning, research, writing etc. It is difficult by nature. Like with most PhD students, there can be days of extreme pressure. I am fortunate that my teams in the Neurovascular Research Laboratory and the academic teams in sport and chiropractic have been really supportive.
“Towards the end of my first year of the PhD, I started as an Hourly Paid Lecturer, teaching on sports modules. In 2020, I started as a full time lecturer in Biomedical Science across various sport and chiropractic modules. One of the highlights is definitely the teaching. Conducting cutting-edge research at the same time has meant that as we have discovered new and exciting information, I have been able to share it with the students.
“I won Research Student of the Year at the 2019 USW Impact Awards for my research with professional rugby players. I was nominated for Best Lecturer at the 2022 Student Choice Awards, which was an honour.
“I like the academic life. I have a good balance at USW where we can teach and conduct research. I want to continue with my research and see where that takes me.”
Neil Gibson and Natalie Kendrick-Doyle
Neil Gibson, Communications and Media Partner in the Public Relations and Communications department, and Natalie Kendrick-Doyle, First Campus Officer for Adults and Vulnerable groups, are both members of the Whitchurch Walking Football Club in Cardiff
“Walking football is exactly what is says: playing football, but you can only walk. There’s no contact, you can only tackle from in front of the opposition player (no sliding in), the ball can’t go above head height."
Natalie: “I started playing walking football about four years ago and have absolutely fallen in love with it! I’ve always loved football, played all my life, since I could walk really. From junior level I was playing for Bury FC, who at the time were the county team, pre-dating women even being considered as professionals or there being opportunity to play for a top-tier club. A number of knee injuries and my age forced retirement in my 30s but I was still desperate to play.
“When the opportunity to try walking football came along I jumped at the chance. I was sceptical at first, thinking it might be too slow, however any preconceptions were quashed after the first session. I absolutely loved it! It gave me the chance to do what I love at a slower pace, non-contact and with like-minded people."
Neil: “I started walking football in September 2021. I’d played 11-a-side football until my mid-20s, then five-a-side until my early 30s, when I got a bad knee injury. I’ve not been particularly active since, but after lockdown I had the urge to get out and do something I enjoy. I’d often thought about walking football, so did a Google search and found a team a few miles from home. I was quite nervous going to the first session – new people, and I hadn’t kicked a ball properly for almost 20 years – but it was all great. Everyone was very welcoming, and it was really good exercise (10,000 steps).
“Walking football has a number of benefits both to physical
and mental health, and wellbeing. It offers opportunity to continue to be
active beyond your younger and more physical years in a much more
gentle way. It allows those with long-term injuries, or who are lacking in
fitness, an avenue to continue in a sport they love. It also enables people to
participate in a much more social way, supporting those with loneliness,
anxiety, or with poor mental health.”
The first USW Walking Football Tournament was held in December 2022 to coincide with the Men’s World Cup in Dubai. Eight teams of colleagues and students battled it out to be the inaugural winners of the competition. Both Neil and Natalie – who are qualified walking football referees – officiated during the event, which was won by the Student Services team.
Neil: “The Walking Football Tournament brought players from across USW
together during a fun afternoon of competition. It was a new game for many to
master, with different rules to normal football, and was played in a great
spirit. It is hoped this will become an annual event, and will continue to
highlight the teamwork and camaraderie that is evident across the University.”
Professor Martin Steggall
Professor Martin Steggall, USW’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, started his career as a nurse more than 30 years ago, and still practises today, alongside his role in the Executive team at USW.
“When I was 16, I started
working in a bank and I absolutely hated it. I had a chat, serendipitously,
with my GP. Because I have a lifelong disability, I interfaced with healthcare
professionals on a fairly regular basis. I was chatting with my GP about
careers, and he said to me, go and do something that you know about. So, I
rather flippantly said, well, I know what it's like to be in hospital because I
have consumed an awful lot of NHS resources and spent a lot of time in hospital
during my childhood, and my brother at the time was also very unwell and I used
to get involved with doing some of his clinical care. He said to me, why don't
you think about that as a career?
“I became a nursing auxiliary in an elderly mentally ill unit as they were called in those days. I loved it. My very first staff nurse job was at St Thomas's in London, on a general medical ward. I then moved into urology, and I quickly realised that what I love is surgical nursing. I'm a surgical nurse through and through, and I absolutely adored my time on the urology ward. It was brilliant, an absolutely fantastic time - a mixture of serious heavy surgery coupled with, long term urological problems needing a surgical intervention, with medical urology, etc.
“I was working with a consultant urologist Chris Fowler on a large, multi-centre research project comparing two different surgical treatments. I was then asked to work in outpatients, to see all patients and essentially assess them and then present my assessments to the consultant, and that was really interesting and relatively unusual at the time. Whilst I was doing that, from 1998 to 2001, I also did my master's degree in physiology.
“Whilst working with Chris, he became the lead in the Medical School for Medical Education, and he asked me to lead some problem-based learning groups. I started to do that alongside my clinical work. I did some teaching for City University, London and in 2002 I became a lecturer in Applied Biological Sciences, being appointed as the Head of Department a few years later. Alongside this I continued to work in the clinic, and I started my PhD. I later became the Associate Dean, Director of Undergraduate Studies in the School of Health, where I worked until December 2014, working with the leads for nursing, midwifery, radiography, optometry and speech and language therapy.
“I secured an honorary contract with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board in the Department of Urology in 2015. I do a clinic a week, or a couple of clinics a month, in urology, specifically erectile dysfunction, although occasionally patients escape the triaging process, and I end up dredging my memory for prostate disease etc. It has enabled me to continue doing research into various things that happen in urology. I was REF returned in 2014 and 2021, just a couple of papers in each, and I still try and weave it into my day job.
“The thing I love most about nursing is that you can kind of make micro differences without being in the spotlight. You try and make a difference to every patient, but you’re anonymous, so you don't have to be in the spotlight. Clearly, the patient knows they're being nursed, but they don't really know who I am. I'm just another nurse.
“I think the thing that holds it together for me, and the reason why I keep going back, is that it's still trying to make a difference to the person in front of you, still trying to be compassionate, empathetic, and hopefully making a positive difference in the most dignified way possible. I like working around in the background, like trying to encourage success in others, and in nursing, it allows me to quietly try and make a difference.
“I never thought I would end up as a Pro Vice-Chancellor. Never. I had an open mind when I went into nursing, recognising that it didn't necessarily lead to a particular destination.
“I remember someone saying that you don't find a career in nursing, the career finds you. And I think nursing is amazing for the incredible breadth of opportunity, the only limits really are your own imagination in some respects. But I also recognise that that is facilitated by other people as well - all our other colleagues in the NHS and other care sectors have enabled that to happen, too.
“Nurses are seen as a bit of a homogenous group, and when we talk about nursing people tend to think about ward nursing and it's obviously so much more than that. Obviously, we've got our community colleagues, mental health, learning disability, we've got outreach teams, all sorts of breadth, but it tends to be distilled into what goes on in hospital or on the wards. Sometimes the talents and the skills of my nursing colleagues are not necessarily understood clearly by the public.
“I think that caring is such a poorly understood term, and yet if you are on the receiving end of it, you know when you've had good care.”
Kristy Elias is Course Leader for BA (Hons) Forensic Accounting
“There are over a dozen of us who teach Accounting, both on the undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In terms of the forensics provision, Karen Counsell, Jonathan Evans and myself are the ‘forensic specialists’.
“Karen, Jon and I are from different backgrounds, with Karen being a Law lecturer, Jon is the number cruncher; teaching financial reporting and forensic accounting, and I am the fraud examiner – I teach students why fraud is committed and how it is investigated. We also have colleagues from other departments, such as the computer forensics team, who deliver modules.
“Our role is focused on delivering a wide range of subject areas while trying to give students practical experience of forensic accounting procedures, such as giving testimony in court and mediating divorce settlements, to forensic audit and criminal profiling. A large part of our role is supporting students – we have students from all over the world with varied backgrounds, and we need to support their academic journeys.
“There’s no such thing as a typical day! We teach, prepare for classes, mark assessments, meet with students for both academic and pastoral guidance, engage in CPD and take part in industry forums. As a course leader, my main task is to manage students’ concerns and expectations.
“The best part of the job is seeing students achieve their goals. I think, as academics, we underestimate the lack of confidence some students have. When they finally reach the last term and can see the end of the tunnel, their whole demeanour changes. I love seeing them apply for jobs and realise their potential. As a former USW student myself, the best part of the job is seeing how the course transforms students’ lives. A lot of our home students are the first in their families to go to university, and they go on to get excellent jobs which change their path in life. Being part of that makes everything worthwhile.
“For us as a team, it’s fantastic to see good National Student Satisfaction results. We are also proud of our role in helping foreign students become part of their governments’ anti-fraud provision. The MSc course has a number of students for whom corruption and fraud are playing a large part of their country’s poverty and economic issues. They are sponsored to train with us to go back and fight fraud at home.”
Richie Turner is the Incubation Manager at the Startup Stiwidio on our Cardiff Campus
“I have always looked to support the fields of the arts and creative industries in Wales, even when not working directly in those sectors. My most recent appointment to Newport Live board, as Chair of Arts is allowing me to bring my work in USW together with other roles to enhance cultural activities throughout the City. I am also an advisory board member of Creative Cardiff and have been appointed by the Welsh Government as a Non-Executive Director of Creative Wales. Again, my previous and current experience in supporting creative industries startups and freelancers is hopefully helping shape future Government strategies around skills and training in these fast-growing sectors.
“Before joining Creative Wales I spent nine years on the Arts Council of Wales, again appointed by the Welsh Government, and during this time I was given the responsibility for equalities and diversity matters at board level. These issues have always been very close to my heart, having grown up at a time when mixed marriages were very rare and frowned upon by most people, and where I faced daily racist abuse for being the only person of colour in the whole of my secondary school.
“Most recently that has led to me working on two key projects around equality and diversity in the arts. My proposals for a UK-wide disability arts access card for all D/deaf and disabled people (commissioned by the four UK arts councils) have just been greenlighted by the UK Government and my research with colleagues into the reasons why D/deaf and disabled people largely do not engage in the arts and heritage services in Wales has just been published by Arts Council Wales and National Museums Wales.
“Last, but not least, I am a board member with Gentle/Radical – a Cardiff based arts collective – which has adopted a decolonising and hyperlocal model for our work with the highly diverse community of Riverside, seeking to enable radical thinking as the foundation of creative, cutting edge, visionary, and collaborative arts practice. Gentle/Radical was shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2021, run by the Tate Britain, and the competition exhibition opened as part of the UK City of Culture in Coventry. Being there to support our incredible artists made me very proud of Cardiff and Wales’ creative abilities.
“Startup companies actually generate all the net increase in jobs in our economy. Big companies are predominately focused on their profit margins and maximising shareholder value whereas entrepreneurs and startup companies are passionate about getting their new ideas to market, they want to make a difference to their customer’s life experiences and many now, of course, also want to contribute to a more sustainable and fairer society, alongside creating new jobs. But the first few years of running a business are usually the hardest times, so anything I can do to help our entrepreneurs survive and grow their businesses, and hopefully go onto employing people, is all the reward I need.”
Scheduling and Course File Team
The Scheduling and Course File team are part of Student Records, Reporting and Systems which sits within the University’s Academic Registry Department.
“There are currently 11 of us and we hail from all over the world! You’ll find us spread across all the University campuses for the most part. However, once a week we get together as a full team at one of the campus locations.
“The Scheduling team is responsible for building and refining teaching timetables for our on-campus students. We also manage the ad-hoc room bookings, which can be anything from recruitment activities, to students needing a room for a SU club through to external bookings via Conferencing. If anyone needs a space, we should be their first port of call!
“The Course file team is a new addition and is responsible for making sure Quercus is up to date with course and module structures, which is hugely important now we’re moving to personal student and staff timetables from September. Also, any queries that staff or students may have around access to courses and modules on Blackboard are managed by this team too.
“No two days are ever the same and can vary. Timetabling has been compared to completing a 3D puzzle with the picture on the box missing..…and pieces missing! The Course file team are on a huge learning curve so every day is a school day.
“The best part of the job? That’s easy, everyone without exception said, ‘the team’, which is a real testament to our camaraderie. The pressure we work under knowing that every move we make can essentially impact on a student’s experience of USW, so having a great team around you is crucial.
“In 2021 we were nominated for the University’s STARS Recognition Award for Professional Team of the Year. We were thrilled and proud to have been nominated knowing our work and service was valued.”
UK Student Recruitment Team
The UK Student Recruitment Team are part of Future Students
“The team is based in Treforest and at the Newport campus, but also works at all other campuses and sites delivering school and college events. They also work remotely, with two of the team based in the West Midlands and South West England. Most of the team’s work is peripatetic, as they visit schools and colleges on a daily basis.
“We deliver engaging and interactive university information, advice, and guidance sessions, at schools and colleges or on campus, to students who are considering applying to university, highlighting the benefits of higher education. We also encourage prospective students to attend subject-specific taster sessions to allow them to make informed decisions when choosing their HE options. We deliver widening participation activities and work with a wide-range of external organisations to ensure under-represented groups in HE receive appropriate support to access university. We attend school/college fairs and larger external fairs such as UCAS/UK University Search to represent the University and promote the courses offered at USW. Among our key stakeholders are decision-making influencers such as teachers, advisers, parents, and carers, and therefore we play a vital role in raising the profile of USW among this audience.
Ali – In this job, there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’! We can range from desk-based admin days, analysing data and looking at trends to inform new outreach and engagement plans, to driving here there and everywhere around the UK to directly engage with our target audience. It’s fast-paced and never boring.
Darren – quite often, I’m in a school or college working with students directly either in a presentation or a workshop. I like to keep things interactive and answer any questions they have there and then. The journey to the school or college is often very interesting in the South West of England; I’m getting acquainted with country roads and towns and villages I’ve never been visited before.
Kate – The best part of the job is the reward of knowing that we have helped changed lives for the better, especially for those who are disadvantaged.
Rebecca – Engaging with potential students who would never think they would ever be able to go to university, seeing them achieve and totally thrive at university has to be a top reason why I have stayed in this role for more than nine years. I particularly enjoy seeing students we have worked with in the past attend their graduation ceremonies. I feel so proud of them and am also delighted to see that three years of hard work has paid off for them.
Ali – The best part of this job is knowing that we genuinely make a difference in people’s lives. We raise aspirations and make the ‘impossible’ possible for so many people. Honestly, I’m blown away by us all every single day. The going gets tough sometimes, but this team is the picture of resilience.
Sera – The team won the Higher Education Liaison Officers’ Association Best Practice in Student Recruitment and Outreach in 2019 for an event for a HE awareness event students with Autism. In 2020, they won a USW STARS Award for Creative Team of the Year for adapting their outreach delivery methods with a week at the very start of the pandemic. I am incredibly proud of every member of the team – they’re hard-working, passionate, and committed, believe in USW and its transformational impact, and they demonstrate the core values every single day.
Gareth Davies, Senior Lecturer in Computing
“My parents constantly had The Bill, Taggart, A Touch of Frost, Miss Marple, and Hercule Poirot on TV shows when I was growing up. Combine that with my own interest of the Famous Five series, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle books on Sherlock Homes, and my love of making, breaking and fixing computers from an early age, you get the picture.
“I always liked to know and explore how things worked and what they could be made to do and what the results of those actions could be. Cyber and Digital Forensics are a natural extension of that interest and curiosity.
“I’m a Senior Lecturer and I also lead the Cybercrime and Digital Forensics (CDF) research and consultancy capabilities at USW. I specialise in Digital Forensics and Cyber Threat Intelligence. Much of my time is made up of developing cutting-edge industry-focused academic content and delivering to undergraduate and postgrad students, and supervising their academic projects which often include live industry briefs.
“I have contributed to three ISO standards in Cyber, so that graduates have the right skills to take up jobs in industry. The above scholarly activity supports the University in maintaining its rank as an Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security from the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ. It is an honour to be a member of the team which has led USW to the National UK Cyber University of the Year award for the past three years running.
“The best part of my job is job satisfaction: transferring what I know to students in a way that they can understand and use the knowledge, not just in specific technical situations, but later in their careers, facing different problems to navigate and solve generally.
“I see it as a way of transferring the enthusiasm I have for the core scientific subject and continuing development of students autonomous learning capability. I enjoy interacting directly with individual students to ensure they get the best out of the University, and helping to maximise their career prospects.
“I believe we have a large part to play as key stakeholders of the future cyber guardians of our nation, protecting ourselves and our critical cyber systems against sophisticated cybercriminals and nation-state threats.
“The Cyber team at USW is so successful and I like to believe that it is to do with our students, the relationships we forge with them, the calibre of graduates we send out to industry, our community-based work in South Wales, and the consultancy work we do in terms of Cyber.
“My students have a massive influence on me and teach me a great deal every year. I am proud to be a part of their academic journey.”