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  • 18 July 2019 15:59 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The AMOSSHE annual general meeting earlier this month featured an announcement of the results of the AMOSSHE Executive Committee elections.

    Every year six roles become available on the AMOSSHE Executive Committee, and members have the opportunity to nominate themselves to join the team. This year there was no competition for the available Vice Chair roles, so these appointments didn't require a membership vote. But six members nominated themselves for the four available Executive Member roles, which meant that the final candidates were chosen by a membership ballot.

    The elected members, who will serve for the 2019 to 2021 term of office, are as follows:

    • Helen McNeely (Queen’s University Belfast) takes the role of Vice Chair (Operations).
    • Nic Streatfield (York St John University) continues in his role as Vice Chair (Professional Development).

    The four Executive Members, elected following a membership ballot, are:

    • Angela Gardiner (University of Hull)
    • Simon Lee (Teesside University)
    • Jill Stevenson (University of Stirling)
    • Chris Warrington (University of Leeds)

    Also, Helen McNeely was elected as an Executive Member last year but will now move to the Vice Chair (Operations) role for the next two years. This means that an Executive Member role will be available for one year. This will be taken by Lesley O’Keeffe (Brunel University London).

    Congratulations and welcome to all our new Executive members! They will begin their term of office from 1 August 2019.

    The Executive team also gave their thanks to the outgoing Vice Chair (Operations) Nicole Redman (University of East London), and acknowledged her huge contribution to the work of AMOSSHE.

    Nomination statements

    Here are the nomination statements from everyone who takes a role on the AMOSSHE Executive this year. These are personal statements about their intentions and why they're right for the roles.

    Helen McNeely (Vice Chair Operations)

    Helen McNeely (Head of Student Affairs, Queen’s University Belfast) takes the role of AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Operations). Here’s Helen’s nomination statement:

    I have been on the AMOSSHE Executive Committee for the last five years and am currently mid-way through my current term. I am therefore not due for re-election until next year, but as the role of Vice Chair (Operations) has become available I am standing for that post.

    Having been involved with the AMOSSHE Executive Committee for the last five years, and in particular worked with the National Office on a number of continuing professional development (CPD) events, I have a good understanding of the organisation. My priorities in the role are to continue to support and further develop the capacity of the National Office to support the ambitions of the organisation. We are a diverse group of professionals working in an increasingly important part of the sector - AMOSSHE has ambitions to influence policy as well as equip our members in the many and varied roles we have. However, these ambitions can only be realised if we have a good underpinning support structure - namely our governance structure and the National Office. The Vice Chair (Operations) plays an important role in this relationship, therefore in this role I would like to both play my part in shaping the ambitions as well as helping deliver them alongside the other Executive members and the National Office team.

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    Nic Streatfield (Vice Chair Professional Development)

    Nic Streatfield (Head of Student Services, York St John University) takes the role of AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Professional Development). Here’s Nic’s nomination statement:

    I am Head of Student Services at York St John University and manage a wide range of student support teams. I have been a volunteer on the AMOSSHE Executive Committee for four years now, spending the last two as AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Professional Development) where I have helped to expand the number and range of AMOSSHE continuing professional development (CPD) events. Working with our amazing AMOSSHE National Office staff and consulting with AMOSSHE colleagues from across the four nations I have worked hard to ensure high quality CPD events that reflect the current range of issues members are facing. Aside from strategic oversight of AMOSSHE CPD I have, amongst other things, worked on the AMOSSHE benchmarking survey, website development, mentored AMOSSHE Insight projects, helped develop the Resilience Toolkit and have represented AMOSSHE at national and international events. I also co-wrote the Advance HE Getting to Grips with Safeguarding guide for university governors published in 2018.

    I am a Cognitive Analytical Therapist and worked in university counselling and wellbeing services for over ten years at the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield, York, Leeds and Royal Holloway before becoming Head of Student Services in 2013. I was a trustee for Mental Wealth UK and was on the board that negotiated the merger with another student-led charity to form what is now Student Minds. I have a written a chapter for the forthcoming Sage publication Student Mental Health and Wellbeing in HE: A practical guide for universities, which is due out later this year.

    Outside of work I am a FA qualified coach and manage my daughters' football team. I have also run three marathons, which required a lot of perseverance and were tiring, sometimes painful and certainly challenging, but ultimately were very rewarding [insert your own joke about similarity to Student Services here].

    My colleagues would describe me as creative and imaginative in providing solutions to problems, calm and tactful in dealing with complex issues, and as a respected, reliable and consistent team player. I have a collaborative leadership style and encourage staff to talk things through to engage their teams and create a shared ownership of solutions. I have completed the Leadership Foundation's Future Professional Directors course and I am also a professional coach working on the Yorkshire Accord programme. I have approached my current Vice Chair (Professional Development) role with the same curious, collective approach by listening to members to ensure that excellent, stimulating and relevant CPD events are delivered. I will work to continue to offer great value CPD events covering the multitude of issues Student Services staff face, being mindful of emerging challenges and of the importance of putting on CPD events that focus on the less "popular" issues, which nonetheless impact upon our students. I will also expand the developmental aspect of AMOSSHE CPD in line with our strategy to equip members with the professional skills, knowledge and networks to influence change and enhance student success.

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    Angela Gardiner (Executive Member)

    Angela Gardiner (Director of Student Services, University of Hull) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Angela’s nomination statement:

    I have worked within higher education for over 24 years across three distinct areas: clinical practice, as a senior academic and head of department, and currently within professional services. Each area has enabled me to develop a diverse range of knowledge, skills and experience as a result. I bring a unique set of skills, knowledge and experience that can make a positive contribution to AMOSSHE and the future profile of Student Services within the sector.

    As Director of Student Services at the University of Hull I have responsibility for a range of areas and activities, including registry, careers and employability, student support, student information systems, central student hub, and student engagement and transition - all of which have a direct link to a number of key agenda areas within the sector. A key focus for the sector is the student experience, and the work of AMOSSHE can ensure that the significance of Student Services in contributing to this agenda is recognised, and I am keen to support this important area of AMOSSHE activity.

    I am committed to enhancing the opportunities and outcomes of under-represented and disadvantaged groups and individuals, and I feel the work of Student Service areas can make a significant contribution to this. The AMOSSHE network of organisations can provide an excellent conduit to drive this agenda and contribute to delivering the ambitious targets of the Office for Students, at the same time highlighting the value of Student Services within the sector.

    Collaboration, collegiality and partnership working have always been at the centre of my work, and the opportunity to engage with this on a national basis is exciting, as well as crucial in the drive for service enhancement and excellence, which is of paramount importance in light of the current challenges the sector faces.

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    Simon Lee (Executive Member)

    Simon Lee (Deputy Director - Student and Library Services, Teesside University) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Simon's nomination statement:

    I am currently a member of the AMOSSHE Executive Committee, having been appointed in 2018, and I would relish the chance to continue to work alongside my colleagues to support the development and recognition of the great work of Student Services.

    In my short time on the Executive I have embraced both the challenges and opportunities that being part of the committee offers. I have ensured I attend all committee meetings and hope I have contributed to the development of AMOSSHE and our profession. Examples include:

    • I was joint-lead for the Winter Conference in Cardiff, "Data-driven, technology-enabled services for students", and was part of the panel leading our approach to this year's AMOSSHE Insight awards.
    • On behalf of the Executive Committee I will be representing AMOSSHE at: NASMA conference - leading sessions on boundaries and resilience; a Universities UK roundtable on student initiations; and I will chair a national conference on student safeguarding.
    • Working closely with my Executive colleagues, I have supported the development of the new AMOSSHE strategy, and am taking the lead on its evaluation framework to provide further evidence of the impact of Student Services. I hope to be able to continue this by being re-elected to Executive.

    My day job is Deputy Director - Student and Library Services at Teesside University, where I lead a range of key student support functions including: Finance and Welfare support, International Advice, Counselling, Sport, and our multi-faith Chaplaincy. I enjoy tackling the more challenging issues facing Student Services, having researched the management of multi-faith spaces for AMOSSHE, and I am the newly-appointed Chair of the North East Regional Prevent Group.

    If elected to remain on the Executive Committee I will continue to dedicate myself to the work of AMOSSHE and our commitments to providing effective support, research and professional development for our members.

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    Lesley O'Keeffe (Executive Member)

    Lesley O'Keeffe (Deputy Director Academic and Student Services, Brunel University London) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Lesley’s nomination statement:

    Having held various roles in Student Services for seven years, and higher education more widely for 18 years, I've followed the work of AMOSSHE closely. It has provided me with examples of best practice, new ideas and networking opportunities, which I've used to improve the student experience at Brunel. I would now like to be part of the team that provides this professional support to other Student Services colleagues throughout the sector, and be part of shaping higher education for the better.

    I would bring experience of change management, strategic and operational expertise, and an ability to connect and communicate with stakeholders in the sector.

    Over the past few years I have worked to improve the Student Services provision within Brunel by changing the structure of the support available, ensuring services are more resilient to the changing regulatory and student expectations and demands. These changes have enabled Brunel to be more agile in responding to our students' needs, and to provide a more holistic service. Alongside this I have written, launched and been audited externally on our Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Students, which puts student wellbeing at the centre of everything we do.

    Across the sector I have worked on sharing Brunel's response to the Changing the Culture guidelines, as well as running external conferences to share best practice around student welcome activities.

    I am passionate about external engagement, as I think that we will best develop as a sector if we share what works, and what doesn't! Being a member of the AMOSSHE Executive feels like a natural next step for me, to be able to help shape the future of student support in UK higher education.

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    Jill Stevenson (Executive Member)

    Jill Stevenson (Head of Student Support Services / Dean of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, University of Stirling) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Jill’s nomination statement:

    I have been serving on the AMOSSHE Executive for two years, and would love the opportunity to serve a further term. I believe that I have contributed significantly to AMOSSHE, and that I have so much more to give, which will, I hope, benefit all of our members, Student Services, and our students.

    I have recently been appointed as Dean of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at the University of Stirling, which I believe will provide me with a stronger platform to promote the value of all Student Services in delivering a world class student experience.

    During my first term as an AMOSSHE Executive Member, I have:

    • Led the re-write of the five-year AMOSSHE strategy (now out for consultation).
    • Co-led the 2018 Winter Conference "Building Belonging".
    • Co-led the 2019 National Conference in Birmingham.
    • Represented members nationally / internationally on topics including gender-based / sexual violence, mental health and wellbeing, and student experience, including sharing our Resilience Toolkit with European partners and publishing a report for the sector on developments in Australia and New Zealand.
    • Ensured that the perspectives of home nations institutions are considered in all aspects of planning and delivery of AMOSSHE activities - this has resulted in more Scottish speakers and examples of good practice being showcased at events.
    • Represented Scottish universities on Scottish Government working groups on Mental Health and Wellbeing, and Equally Safe (GBV), and lobbied for increased investment in Student Services to support this work.

    If re-elected, I will continue to proactively, enthusiastically and professionally represent our members to lobby for increased recognition of the impact of Student Services on the student experience and student success. I am also keen for the Executive to increasingly involve our members in our influencing and developmental work, ensuring that we maximise the talent and experience that exists across our membership.

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    Chris Warrington (Executive Member)

    Chris Warrington (Head of Student Support, The University of Leeds) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Chris’s nomination statement:

    I'm fully committed to the importance of AMOSSHE and passionate about the role it plays in supporting colleagues as they address the pressures and challenges facing Student Services and higher education. Having served with the current Executive and National Office teams for the last two years I think we've made great progress and are ready to continue the development of AMOSSHE towards new goals and with even greater impact in the sector.

    I am Head of Student Support at the University of Leeds and, like many AMOSSHE members, have responsibility for the disability, mental health and wellbeing services along with international student support. Alongside leading the teams delivering these services, my role involves enabling the wider university community to engage with the ways in which students are supported to achieve their aims and ambitions to be successful after university, whatever they choose to do.

    I am standing again for re-election to the AMOSSHE Executive as I would like the opportunity to continue with the important work I've undertaken over the last two years, which has included:

    • Working with the wider Executive to promote the voice of Student Services professionals, to influence policy-making and ensure that our important work is represented.
    • Working as part of a team to design and deliver relevant and engaging continuing professional development events for colleagues, including the National Conference.
    • Promoting the importance of regional networks and meetings to provide accessible opportunities for a wide range of colleagues to engage and network.

    I'd really value your support for my appointment to the Executive, and would love the opportunity to continue to do so for the next two years.

  • 01 April 2019 09:34 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AMOSSHE National Conference 2019Join AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation for the flagship event of the Student Services year! The AMOSSHE National Conference 2019 is the UK’s foremost opportunity for Student Services leaders in higher education to share expertise and good practice, develop strategy and skills, and build professional networks.

    Building communities and strengthening collaboration are key themes for the conference, with a focus on evidence-based practice.

    The conference takes place from Wednesday 3 to Friday 5 July 2019 in Birmingham, UK.

    Make the most of a broad range of insightful sessions, alongside opportunities for networking and celebrating success. Take a look at the conference programme, venue and speakers: AMOSSHE National Conference 2019.

    Book early to get the best rates! We're doing our best to make our National Conference as affordable as possible. We've frozen delegate rates since 2017, and there are discounts for AMOSSHE members and member colleagues. Plus, if you book as a residential delegate, you can secure a further early bird discount. But hurry - early bird discounts end on 15 April!

    Book your place here: booking and prices.

    This is your time to think big, reach further, and innovate in our shared mission to enhance the student experience. We hope you and your colleagues will join us!

  • 14 December 2018 11:33 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation is hosting a winter conference to explore how Student Services leaders in higher education can use data and technology effectively to enhance the student experience, retention and success.

    Data-driven, technology-enabled services for students takes place on 8 February 2019 in Cardiff.

    Through workshops and presentations led by sector leaders, this conference explores topics including:

    • Using data to develop Student Services interventions and demonstrate their impact.
    • Joining up data to create informed, strategic responses.
    • Using technology to deliver services that traditionally have been face-to-face.
    • Monitoring student progress to identify risk and implement proactive support.
    • Developing Student Services processes to respond to the implications of student data.
    • Technology for accessible learning and teaching.
    • How technology can enhance the student experience (for example induction, transitions, wellbeing).
    • Supporting students off-campus (distance learning students, degree apprenticeships, placements).

    Find out more and book your place here: Data-driven, technology-enabled services for students.

  • 22 November 2018 10:17 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AMOSSHE bulletin (opens in a new window)Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for autumn 2018: a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, and more (click image to view - PDF 2.5 MB).

    To start this academic year AMOSSHE has published two research reports, undertaken by member organisations, which explore key topics for Student Services: developing student resilience, and managing disclosures of sexual misconduct. The research was funded as part of AMOSSHE Insight, our annual programme designed to develop the evidence base for UK Student Services.

    Also in this bulletin, meet the AMOSSHE Executive Committee members who were elected this year to lead and shape our professional association. As well as new faces on the committee, get an introduction to our Chair and Vice Chair for the next two years.

    And finally, get a heads-up about our forthcoming events and conferences - and watch this space for news about even more events on the horizon!

  • 22 August 2018 11:14 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AMOSSHE bulletin (opens in a new window)Here's the AMOSSHE quarterly bulletin for summer 2018: a roundup of AMOSSHE news, events, and more (click image to view - PDF 9 MB).

    This summer AMOSSHE’s national conference took place in Liverpool, with the theme Shaping Futures. Over three days we explored future directions for Student Services in higher education: how we can enable student success by being proactive, collaborative, and far-sighted. This bulletin gives an overview of some highlights from this inspiring event, which featured sessions on hot topics such as tackling sexual violence and changing institutional culture, developing student resilience, strategies for mental health support, and residence life.

    Also in this bulletin, find out how you or your organisation can become a member of AMOSSHE for the 2018/19 academic year. Membership gives you access to the AMOSSHE network of sector leaders, as well as online resources, discounted continuing professional development events, and opportunities for research funding, international exchange visits, and more.

  • 21 August 2018 14:27 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Nicole RedmanThe AMOSSHE Executive Committee has appointed Nicole Redman (Director of Student & Academic Services, University of East London) to take the role of AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Operations) until August 2019.

    This role became vacant because Jayne Aldridge (Director for the Student Experience, University of Sussex) was elected as Vice Chair (Operations) in 2017, but this year was elected to the role of AMOSSHE Chair for the next two years. Nicole was elected as an Executive Member in 2017, and her previous role will be taken by Simon Lee (Deputy Director, Resilience, Sport and Wellbeing, Teesside University) until 31 July 2019.

    Nicole has many years’ experience in the Vice Chair (Operations) role, and will now use this year to continue current projects, including the development of AMOSSHE’s National Office team, and explore enhancements to the smooth running and management of our professional association.

    Find out more about the AMOSSHE Executive Committee.

  • 11 July 2018 17:55 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last week AMOSSHE announced the election of six members to the Executive Committee, following a membership ballot.

    Every year six roles become available on the AMOSSHE Executive Committee, and members have the opportunity to nominate themselves to join the team. This year there was no competition for the available Chair and Vice Chair roles, so these appointments didn't require a membership vote. But five members nominated themselves for the four available Executive Member roles, which meant that the final candidates were chosen by a membership ballot.

    The elected members were announced at the AMOSSHE annual general meeting on 4 July in Liverpool:

    • Jayne Aldridge (Director for the Student Experience, University of Sussex) takes the role of AMOSSHE Chair. For the last year Jayne has been seconded to this role. Her new election means that she will be AMOSSHE Chair until August 2020.
    • Fay Sherrington (Director of Student Services, Edge Hill University) takes the role of Vice Chair for another two years.

    The nominees elected to the four Executive Member roles are:

    • Rotimi Akinsete (Director of Wellbeing, University of Surrey)
    • Kirsteen Coupar (Director of Student Services, London South Bank University)
    • Helen McNeely (Head of Student Affairs, Queen's University Belfast)
    • Claire Slater (Head of Student Support, Keele University)

    These members will serve for two years from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2020.

    In addition, another Executive Member role is available for one year. This is because Jayne Aldridge was elected as Vice Chair (Operations) last year, but will now move to the Chair role for the next two years. Another member of the Executive will replace her for a year as Vice Chair (Operations), which means that an Executive Member role will be available for one year. This Executive Member role will be taken by Simon Lee (Deputy Director, Resilience, Sport and Wellbeing, Teesside University) from 1 August 2018 to 31 July 2019.

    Congratulations and welcome to all our new Executive members!

    Elected members 2018

    Some of the newly elected Executive members (left to right): Claire Slater, Simon Lee, Jayne Aldridge, Helen McNeely and Fay Sherrington.

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    Thanks to our outgoing Executive members

    Three Executive Members are leaving the committee at the end of July: Nicola Barden (Director of Student Services, University of Winchester), Mandi Barron (Head of Student Services, Bournemouth University), and Chris Shelley (Director of Student and Academic Services, University of Greenwich). Many thanks for all your hard work and contributions! 

    Nomination statements

    Here are the nomination statements from everyone who joins the AMOSSHE Executive this year. These are personal statements about their intentions and why they're right for the roles.

    Jayne Aldridge (Chair)

    Jayne Aldridge (Director for the Student Experience, University of Sussex) takes the role of AMOSSHE Chair. Here’s Jayne’s nomination statement:

    Having been on the Executive Committee on several occasions over the course of the last ten years, and a lead member for three different institutions since 2005, I know how important a strong representative body is to the daily work of Student Services professionals.

    AMOSSHE has provided me with opportunities to grow as a professional and help me improve the university experience for the students with whom I work. I am committed to ensuring that AMOSSHE continues to offer such opportunities to other Student Services professionals and remains relevant to everyone who is part of this organisation.

    As Chair, I believe I can bring a distinct set of experiences that can be of benefit to AMOSSHE in this rapidly changing landscape. My experience includes previously chairing NASMA (National Association of Student Money Advisers) for four years, working for the UK government Department for Education on student support policy development (2002 to 2005), and leading Student Services for 1994 Group, Million+ and University Alliance universities. 

    Being adept at thriving in rapidly changing and challenging policy environments, I will draw upon my understanding of higher education both within and beyond the UK, to work collaboratively with the Executive Committee to ensure that AMOSSHE continues to grow and be a stable, successful organisation with the ability to support and represent our needs during the forthcoming remodelling of higher education within the UK.

    Having had the honour of chairing AMOSSHE since December 2017, I welcome the opportunity to continue. I will continue to champion the leaders and practitioners of Student Services and encourage the further engagement of the many diverse staff whose commitment and professional expertise dismantle barriers to higher education and improve the student experience in the many and varied individual forms that it takes.

    Fully supportive of the AMOSSHE Executive values, I'm committed to ensuring that our practice reflects and upholds our principles, without exception. My priorities will be to:

    Ensure members’ views are clearly articulated and heard during this time of significant and rapid change within the UK higher education sector.

    Build upon existing partnerships and forge new strategic alliances in order to maximise the benefits for our members.

    Find creative solutions to challenging issues by championing AMOSSHE members’ continued research into all aspects of our work.

    Above all, as a membership-led organisation and I remain passionately committed to consulting with and listening to the views of members, working with the Executive and National Office, to shape AMOSSHE’s future direction and priorities in order to continue to make our organisation is relevant to the day-to-day challenges that we face.

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    Fay Sherrington (Vice Chair)

    Fay Sherrington (Director of Student Services, Edge Hill University) takes the role of Vice Chair. Here’s Fay’s nomination statement:

    Having worked in Student Services for 13 years at three very different institutions, I have developed a range of skills and experience across a number of specialist areas. I feel that I continue to have a lot to offer to the Executive and would love the opportunity to do a further term as Vice Chair.

    Being an Executive member of AMOSSHE has provided me with new experiences and skills, which have been invaluable in my roles both past and present, and in my career development. I have given a great deal of time and enthusiasm to AMOSSHE and feel I have been able to contribute to the development of our sector. I am very keen to build on the excellent progress made by the current Executive and National Office teams and to continue to support AMOSSHE in the future as a Vice Chair.

    I have made significant contributions to the work of AMOSSHE over the past six years, including co-leading the organisation of two national summer conferences, representing AMOSSHE on a number of boards and meetings, leading on continuing professional development events, and organising regional meetings. This year I have had the privilege to be involved with the research, planning, development and launch of the Resilience Toolkit, which has been a major piece of work for AMOSSHE and a fantastic resource for the sector. I aim to support the work on the next major project to help shape AMOSSHE’s strategy for developing the Student Services profession in the UK.

    My previous six years’ experience of serving on the Executive (final two in the Vice Chair role) puts me in an excellent position to provide consistency to the organisation as Vice Chair.

    My priorities in the role are underpinned by AMOSSHE’s values and strategy, and shaped by the role and tasks of the Vice Chair. A major priority will be to engage with members to understand how AMOSSHE can provide a leading role in developing the Student Services profession in the UK. Guided by the feedback from the membership this could lead to a longer term strategic project to benefit the sector. However, most importantly I will provide support and leadership to ensure that AMOSSHE can continue to deliver the consistent, high quality services, events and communications it has become renowned for.

    My leadership style is one of influencing, persuading, gaining consensus and working collaboratively. As a volunteer member of the Executive surrounded by senior colleagues I have found this style to be hugely beneficial. I have built up a good working relationship with the staff in the National Office and my colleagues on the Executive, and believe I have the qualities to be a strong Vice Chair.

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    Rotimi Akinsete

    Rotimi Akinsete (Director of Wellbeing, University of Surrey) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Rotimi’s nomination statement:

    I am currently a member of the AMOSSHE Executive Committee and am applying because I would like to continue to work alongside supportive and committed colleagues to broaden the perspective of UK Student Services operations. In my short tenure I have represented AMOSSHE at an Understanding ModernGov conference and an AMOSSHE continuing professional development workshop on equalities. I hope that I can continue to contribute constructively and creatively to the AMOSSHE cause.

    My career commenced in local authority care for looked after children, and I later moved into higher education management, where I worked in an inner city university for 13 years - initially as an advice service manager within the Students’ Union, and then later as Student Services Finance Manager, followed by a role as Student Guidance Manager in the same institution.

    After qualifying as a therapeutic counsellor I then moved into local community mental health, and returned to higher education five years later, this time in a campus-based university where I currently lead a vibrant and flourishing Wellbeing Directorate. This is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of counsellors, psychotherapists, mental health nurses, wellbeing advisors, the university chaplaincy and the university medical centre.

    In addition to my 20+ years of higher education management experience, I continue to practice as a counsellor, clinical supervisor, facilitator, trainer and advisor, and am a governor at a local secondary school. I also facilitate a number of community projects to encourage under-represented groups to enter the talking therapy professions. 

    If elected to continue my contribution, I hope to use my skills, knowledge and experience in the sector, as well as my representation on various interest groups, to assist AMOSSHE in continuing its mission of providing a progressive network of support, research and professional development to its members.

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    Kirsteen Coupar

    Kirsteen Coupar (Director of Student Services, London South Bank University) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Kirsteen’s nomination statement:

    I am currently the Director of Student Services at London South Bank University, having spent the last twelve years in Student Services in the UK and overseas. My early career focused on project and service management in the voluntary sector, working with children and adults with disabilities and mental health issues.

    My portfolio includes student administration, employability, wellbeing and disability services, student life, student enquiries, chaplaincy and retention.

    I have developed a range of skills across several specialist areas, including access and participation, inclusive practice, and student engagement and enquiry management.

    I feel I have much that I can offer to the AMOSSHE Executive and membership, currently having a strong interest in career planning for Student Services professionals, Student Services research, and innovation through entrepreneurial activity.

    I am currently working in partnership with Utah State University on a research project looking at student beliefs regarding higher education and how we can use this information to improve student retention.

    The challenges my teams and I are facing are those that I believe challenge many of us:

    • To respond proactively to the current student mental health crisis.
    • To develop the way we receive disclosures of sexual violence and hate crime.
    • To provide effective services with shrinking resources.
    • To make staff feel valued and provide progression opportunities.
    • To ensure that the value of Student Services is recognised by senior leaders.

    I want to jointly explore solutions that work in the context of ongoing change in the sector, and believe that AMOSSHE has a key role in leading and coordinating conversations and best practice.

    I am passionate about the work we do and the ability we have to transform lives by supporting students to stay and succeed. I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to AMOSSHE as an Executive Member and would welcome your support.

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    Simon Lee

    Simon Lee (Deputy Director - Student and Library Services (Resilience, Sport and Wellbeing), Teesside University) takes the role of Executive Member for one year. Here's Simon's nomination statement:

    Having been heavily involved with AMOSSHE for a number of years, I am standing for Executive as I feel I can bring a unique perspective to the role. I am currently Deputy Director - Student and Library Services at Teesside University, where as part of the senior leadership team of a genuinely integrated department, I head up the university’s Resilience, Sport and Wellbeing functions. This includes leadership for a range of services, notably: information and welfare support, international advice, counselling, university sport, and our multi-faith chaplaincy. Previously I was Student Support Manager at Northumbria University, and before that Diversity Adviser at Durham University. Whilst with Durham I was also a student mentor and Secretary of the Senior Common Room at Josephine Butler College.

    Many of you will know me from my time at Northumbria University where I:

    • Developed and implemented the “When to Refer” methodology of student support, which has now been adopted by many universities across the UK.
    • Led an AMOSSHE Insight project into multi-faith spaces on campus – some will remember building models of these spaces on the final morning of the 2015 conference.
    • Represented AMOSSHE on the 2015 NASPA study visit to Colorado.
    • Spoke at a range of conferences arranged by Universities UK, AMOSSHE and others across the UK on the vital work of Student Services.

    I am really excited by the prospect of joining the Executive and feel that my current role, with its focus on building student resilience, is aligned completely with current AMOSSHE priorities, and will help me develop key initiatives such as the Resilience Toolkit. This, coupled with my experience of three very different universities, as well as an early career in local government working with civil servants and politicians, helps me bring a unique perspective and skill set to the role.

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    Helen McNeely

    Helen McNeely (Head of Student Affairs, Queen's University Belfast) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Helen's nomination statement:

    I am standing again for re-election to the AMOSSHE Executive as I would like the opportunity to continue with the work I have enjoyed doing over the last few years, which has included:

    • Work with the wider Executive to promote the voice of student support professionals to be represented at the highest level of policy making and influence.
    • Assist with the design and delivery of relevant and engaging continuing professional development events for colleagues, including the national conference.
    • Continue to advocate for those of us in devolved administrations, helping ensure that, as the sector fragments, Student Services continues to work together for the benefit of our staff and the users of our services.

    I really enjoy serving on the AMOSSHE Executive and would love the opportunity to continue to do so for the next two years, with the support of the membership.

    Top

    Claire Slater

    Claire Slater (Head of Student Support, Keele University) takes the role of Executive Member. Here's Claire’s nomination statement:

    As an experienced and committed Student Services professional, I have benefitted considerably from AMOSSHE membership, regularly attending conferences and events, networking and sharing ideas and expertise with colleagues. AMOSSHE has been essential for my professional success, and I would now like the opportunity to make a greater contribution to the outstanding work of AMOSSHE through membership of the Executive Committee.

    I have considerable experience of many aspects of Student Services, including Disability, Residence Life, Wellbeing, Discipline, Money and Welfare and International support. I have successfully lead on two HEFCE-funded projects: ‘Developing an institutional approach to addressing sexual misconduct’ and ‘Tackling hate crime and online harassment’. A key element of both projects was working in partnership with KeeleSU to introduce #NeverOK, an innovative active bystander campaign that challenges all forms of discriminatory behaviour.

    A key element of my role has been the review of our approach to supporting survivors of sexual violence, and I worked with Lime Culture to develop the Sexual Violence Liaison Officer (SVLO) role for university staff, and then introduced a team of SVLOs at Keele. My expertise in this area is recognised across the sector, and I have shared our approach with colleagues at numerous national conferences. This year we have also been nominated for a Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award for this work.

    In addition to my professional experience I have continued to enhance my knowledge and expertise through continuing professional development, attending the ACUHO-I Study Tour and Conference in the USA in 2015 to explore models of Residence Life and am currently completing an MA in Student Affairs at Anglia Ruskin University.

    I am committed to making a difference in Student Services, and being part of the AMOSSHE Executive would enable me to work with colleagues to ensure students get appropriate support and services to succeed at university.

  • 10 May 2018 13:13 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Shaping FuturesAMOSSHE is excited to announce four of our keynote speakers at Shaping Futures, the AMOSSHE national conference 2018!

    Shaping Futures opens on Wednesday 4 July with an inspiring keynote address from David Grevemberg CBE (Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth Games Federation), the organisation responsible for the Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Youth Games and many other initiatives that inspire Commonwealth athletes to drive the ambition and power of all Commonwealth citizens through sport.

    David GrevembergDavid will focus on leadership perspectives, drawing upon real world examples from major projects in the world of sport and human rights that mirror the responsibilities, challenges and opportunities facing higher education providers in the pursuit of a world class student experience and student success.

    Then on day two (Thursday 5 July), three exceptional women leaders in UK higher education will join us in a unique panel discussion. Shakira Martin (President, National Union of Students), Nicola Dandridge CBE (CEO, Office for Students) and Professor Dame Janet Beer (President, Universities UK) will take the stage together to discuss how students, universities, and the independent sector regulator are shaping the future of the student experience.

    Shakira MartinShakira Martin broke the cycle of deprivation through study at Lewisham and Southwark College, and developed her voice to become the second NUS President in 95 years to have not attended a higher education institution. Shakira is committed to taking away barriers to education and giving students a voice.

    Nicola DandridgeNicola Dandridge CBE is the first Chief Executive Officer of the new Office for Students, the independent regulator of higher education in England. In 2015 Nicola was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for services to higher education.

    Janet BeerProfessor Dame Janet Beer is President of Universities UK, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, and a Trustee of the British Council. In 2018 Janet was awarded a Damehood for her services to higher education and equality and diversity.

    Shaping Futures takes place in Liverpool from 4 to 6 July 2018. As well as inspiring keynote speakers, the conference also features a rich programme of workshops and presentations. There’s a world of new ideas, good practice, and thought-provoking topics to explore, including changing the higher education culture, creating positive learning and living environments, interventions to enable student success, and levelling barriers to student achievement.

    Find out more about the Shaping Futures programme, and book your place before 23 May

  • 27 April 2018 16:04 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation, which represents Student Services leaders in higher education, welcomes the publication of the NUS (National Union of Students) report Taking the hit: student drug use and how institutions respond. This is a valuable insight into student attitudes towards drugs, and how education providers across the UK respond in terms of policy. Student well-being is a key concern for Student Services, both in terms of fostering an engaging, supportive academic culture, and helping students who encounter barriers to academic success. Therefore Student Services take drug use very seriously when this use becomes a problem for students. Student Services work together with students and statutory agencies to understand the issues and ensure that support interventions are in place. 

    AMOSSHE members have services available to support and assist students (directly or in conjunction with community / health practices) to offer both proactive and ‘safety net’ support. Signposting students to their education provider’s support services in the first instance enables Student Services professionals to take into account a range of circumstances that may impact on a student’s situation, and identify ways to help the student in a holistic manner, rather than focus on one issue alone. Many Student Services professionals work closely with external partners, charities and community organisations that specialise in support for mental health challenges and drugs and alcohol  abuse, and can make referrals for students to these services where appropriate. 

    Student Services often have responsibility for student behavioural conduct and discipline procedures, and recognise the importance of implementing these in a proportionate way, with the aim of enabling the student concerned to succeed in their studies, but also ensuring that other students are not adversely impacted by one student’s conduct.

    AMOSSHE welcomes the report recommendations that call for education providers to offer a range of appropriate support to students, particularly harm reduction advice, and signposting to external support sources. The report highlights how important it is for AMOSSHE members to ensure that students wanting to come forward and discuss the impact of drug use with Student Services feel confident to do so, and can be certain of receiving appropriate support. AMOSSHE members are often leading on, or contributing to, the review of policies and procedures (including conduct / disciplinary, fitness to study / practise) to ensure that they are consistent and effective, but are flexible enough to  take into account an individual student’s situation. The NUS report highlights why it is crucial that staff involved in supporting students are consulted when reviewing policy and practice to ensure a holistic view of the student.

  • 27 March 2018 09:39 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Shaping Futures - AMOSSHE conference 2018Shaping Futures is the AMOSSHE national conference 2018, exploring future directions for Student Services in higher education: how we can enable student success by being proactive, collaborative, and far-sighted.

    The conference features 27 workshop and presentation sessions led by AMOSSHE members and sector organisations, plus keynote speakers, networking groups and social activities. It all takes place in Liverpool from 4 to 6 July 2018.

    We’re delighted to announce that Professor Dame Janet Beer is a confirmed keynote speaker for Shaping Futures. Janet is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, President of Universities UK, a Trustee of the British Council, a member of the Research Excellence Framework Equality and Diversity Advisory Panel, and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In 2018 Janet was awarded a Damehood for her services to higher education and equality and diversity.

    It's worth making the investment to attend Shaping Futures: we've frozen delegate rates from last year, and there are discounts for AMOSSHE members and organisational colleagues. Plus, if you're planning to attend as a residential delegate, you can secure a discounted early bird rate if you register by 23 April!

    Find out more and book your place here: Shaping Futures.

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