Alumna Paris Lees is one of Vogue’s New Suffragettes

Men should start behaving themselves was the message from University of Brighton honorary doctorate Paris Lees who has become the first openly transgender person to feature on the front cover of British Vogue magazine.

The award-winning writer, TV personality, presenter, equality campaigner, and University alumna is one of seven influential women featured to mark the 100th anniversary since women were granted the vote.

The Meet the New Suffragettes feature and front cover also feature politicians Stella Creasy and Sophie Walker, artist Gillian Wearing, founder of gal-dem Liv Little, blogger Dina Torkia and writer Reni Eddo-Lodge.

Paris graduated from the university in 2009 in BA(Hons) English Language and Literature and was awarded an honorary degree of a Doctor of Letters by the University in 2016 in recognition of her major contribution of transgender identity in contemporary society and of her work as a journalist and social commentator.

To see the New Suffragettes photo go to the Vogue website which features video interviews in which Paris says: “One thing that would improve the lives of women is if men would behave themselves #notallmen, just a significant proportion.

“Feminism is about pushing for the rights of women and that includes all women – because if you are not pushing for the equality and dignity for all women then it’s not equality you want, it’s diplomacy.”

Ulla Felden’s journey from International Tourism Management to Digital Marketing Exec!

Alumna Ulla Felden got in touch to tell us about what she’s up to now and her experiences studying at the University of Brighton….

“As part of my International Tourism Management course programme from my university in Germany, I studied my final year at the University of Brighton in Eastbourne in 2014. I had the opportunity to be taught by some amazing professors and learn a great deal about sport–and destination tourism as well as marketing. Being so impressed with the way that was taught as well as the open communication between students and professors in Eastbourne, I decided to come back to the UK in 2015 to pursue my Master’s degree in Marketing at the University of Leeds after finishing my degree in Germany.

“After working half a year as Business Development Executive, I am currently working at Search Laboratory, one of the top Digital Marketing Agencies in Leeds as an International Digital Marketing Executive. My main responsibilities include providing country and language specific content and PR strategies for our clients. I am further supporting the expert PPC and SEO teams in order to create high value online coverage for the client and excellent search marketing results for all departments. For the role as International Digital Marketing Executive it was of great help that I was able to improve my presenting skills at University of Brighton as well as all the marketing knowledge I gained.

“One of my most outstanding experience in Brighton was the graduation ceremony that I was able to enjoy with all my classmates and the inspiring speeches of the speakers for this occasion. My advice to all students and future graduates is to enjoy their time at university and to make as many friends and contacts as possible for the future. Studying at university is an incredible time and should be enjoyed as much as possible as it shapes your future in a great deal.”

If you would like to write a blog for us, drop me an email to n.ashton@brighton.ac.uk.

Catching up with alumna and entrepreneur Sally Bunkham

Entrepreneur and graduate Sally Bunkham (2002 BA(Hons) Cultural and Historical Studies) talks about her experiences while studying at the University of Brighton and how she turned a negative experience into a positive and started her own business!

“I ended up at University of Brighton a bit by accident…and what a lovely accident it was! I had almost given up on going to university when I didn’t get the grades I wanted at A Level. My pal persuaded me to give clearing a go. We stuck a pin on the list and it ended up pointing at Brighton, on a course called “Historical and Cultural Studies”. ‘Why not?’ I thought.

“Brighton felt a million miles away from my sleepy Lincolnshire hometown. I remember walking through the streets and thinking how colourful everything was. Tattoos, piercings and amazing eclectic fashion everywhere! I was daunted but immediately loved it. I made some fantastic friends in Varley Halls, who I still remain close to today.

“I remember how fabulously ‘right on’ my course felt. We were taught to question the world we live in and to look back on history in a totally fresh way. It was nothing like the history I was taught in secondary school. It was modern and it was exciting. It really made me see how the history of yesterday shapes our modern world…it still continues to do so. I remember being fascinated by what I learnt about Stalinist Russia. I have particularly nostalgic memories of watching and studying the Russian art film “The Mirror” by Tarkosvy. It was deliciously different and more beautiful than any of the stuff I’d learnt in school.

“Being at university taught me to talk to everyone. I flourished being in those diverse surroundings. It felt like a bit like everyone could belong because everyone was a bit of a misfit. I was in my element!

“One memory that stands out is my lovely best friend and housemate accidentally deleting my dissertation the night before it was due to be handed in. It was back in the day of floppy disks and we clearly weren’t very computer literate. There was a mass panic in our house and myself, my best pal Tash and my other pal Simon sat all night typing it up again from my handwritten notes. That night taught me to be calm and use humour in the face of adversity, and that if you all pull together, you can achieve a lot! My dissertation was handed in on time the next day. We still all have a laugh about that night to this day and they remain my closest friends.

“I was sad to graduate as it meant those fabulous 3 years were over. I tried to live in London but I missed Brighton too much and was back within a year. I had a brief stint in sales before finding a job working at The University of Sussex and working in events. I met my husband, Paul, in 2007 in the crowd of a Primal Scream set at Bestival. Despite meeting on the Isle of Wight we were delighted to discover we both lived in Brighton. We married in 2013 and had our first daughter, Daisy in 2014. Rather crazily we discovered I was pregnant again when my first daughter was only just 3 months old. So in 2015 I had 2 daughters under 2 (nearly under 1). I was flung into motherhood and I soon realised it was to be the second biggest life changing event I would encounter thus far (after moving to Brighton to go to university!).

“Rather sadly, I was diagnosed with post-natal depression following my second daughter. It was a bleak time, but bizarrely provided the inspiration for my career now. I am the founder and CEO of mumsback.com. We provide hamper gifts for new mums, focussing on all the yummy stuff we’re not allowed whilst pregnant. I got the idea following my back to back pregnancies missing all the stuff I wasn’t allowed! It also dawned on me that all the gifts I received as a new mum (although lovely) were all focussed on the baby. I thought there should be more that recognises the crazy journey of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood that us mums go on. We are also a social enterprise, and £1 from every hamper goes to PANDAS Foundation, who support families going through perinatal mental health issues.

“Things are going really well and we’ve been featured a number of times in some great publications like The Independent, The Guardian, The Metro and mashable.com. We are also a partner of notonthehighstreet.com. Mum’s Back has been on the TV and radio a number of times speaking out about the importance of maternal mental health awareness, and I’m absolutely loving turning something rather negative that happened in my life into something so positive.”

You can find information about Sally with the following links:

Mumsback.com

https://www.instagram.com/mumsback/ 

https://www.facebook.com/MumsBack/ 

https://twitter.com/MumsBack

Homes for Christmas designed by graduates

Two University of Brighton graduates have designed the UK’s largest temporary accommodation development – providing emergency accommodation for up to 288 people before Christmas.

John Smith and Roman Schneker both studied architectural technology and now run Cityzen, the Sustainable Architecture & Engineering practice in Portslade.

They designed the development reusing shipping containers, for Sussex based developers QED. The 60-apartments delivered in Acton, West London, for Ealing Council include 32 with two bedrooms, 20 with one bedroom and also eight studio homes. Each has its own kitchenette, shower room, and front door. There will also be a management office and laundry unit.

The apartments are based around Cityzen’s modular design of one, two and three adjoining units. Cityzen produced 315 drawings and each container build was tracked from the design process, through to the factory construction and to delivery on site. Cityzen designed not only the apartments but the building services in the apartments, and utilities to site.

John said: “It was a tough challenge, given just 10 months from first concept sketch to tenants moving in, and we’re proud to have played a part in helping Ealing Council provide homes before Christmas for people who would otherwise be in B&Bs or moved to another borough.”

John started out as a building services engineer but was continually being asked to look at the fabric and design of building to improve the performance. He saw that energy and sustainability were coming to the fore in the building industry so in 2003 he moved to Brighton to train at the University. Roman studied the same course at the School of Environment and Technology as he wanted to engage with the science of architecture and how buildings are built.

John said: “Both of us found the course helped with our career progression, and since graduating we have both become Chartered Members of the Institute of Architectural Technologists.”

John started Cityzen in 2010 and it became a limited company in 2017. John and Cityzen have mentored six placement students from the University of Brighton. Roman was one of these students and he later joined Cityzen as a Senior Architectural Technologist. For the past year he has been leading technical design on the firm’s modular and housing projects.

John has been working on container designs since 2005, being the subject of his dissertation. Cityzen have been assisting QED developing container design solutions since 2012. John said: “Working with QED has enabled us to see the opportunities and challenges that reusing shipping containers bring.”

The Acton development has a seven-year site uselifespan. After that time the units will be dismantled and taken to another site.

John said: “The team therefore has had to think not only how to build it quickly, exceeding building regulations, but how will it will then be dismantled and reused.

Roman said: “The project has been satisfying both professionally and personally. We’ve addressed various shipping container and site technical challenges. And when you see residents visit their new home, with their own front door providing them with the security and stability that most of us are lucky enough to take for granted, it’s an incredible motivator for the whole team.”

For more information, go to: http://cityzendesign.co.uk/ and https://www.ealing.gov.uk/news/article/1707/ealing_homeless_families_and_low-income_housed_for_christmas

Alumni using sport to create a level playing field

Three University of Brighton graduates are launching an organisation to tackle inequalities in sport.

Run the Bases (RTB) is using softball to address the issue by combing values and skills-based coaching to “empower and encourage young athletes to become leaders in sport and in life. Inclusion and gender equality are the goal and the target group is the female population.”

The three alumni, all graduates from the University’s Sport and International Development MA programme, are Sebastian Cirillo , from Italy, Kelly Smith from the UK, and Tara Henry, from the USA and a former UCLA softball player.

They were previously involved in the University’s Football 4 Peace, the pioneering project that uses sport to build cultural bridges and promote peaceful co-existence.

The three recently organised a pilot event in Gozo, Malta, in partnership with the Għajnsielem Redcoats, a local sports organisation offering softball, baseball and basketball to its members.

Offering advice to participants were Stanley Doney, coach of the Dutch softball team Olympia Haarlem, the European Cup Winners Cup Champions and Dutch Softball Coach of the Year, and Tahli Moore, a former National Collegiate Athletic Association NCAA softball player in the USA.

More than 130 participants, aged 6-36, from two primary schools and four local softball teams joined in the event which was supported by Sport Malta, the World Baseball Softball Confederation and the European Softball Federation which donated equipment.

Some primary school children were playing softball for the first time. Tara Henry said: “The Redcoats’ great response during the goal setting sessions demonstrated the enormous potential that softball as a sport can have in breaking gender barriers.

“The event validated our mission and confirms the importance of offering athletes equal coaching in both skills and values. It also served as a useful starting point for academic investigation. RTB will use the results of research from the event to build a strong body of academic literature to disseminate educational materials in the field of Sport for Development.”

The graduates hope to partner the Redcoats and other organisations to meet their goal of becoming an international destination for sport. Tara said: “This is the first step towards building a sustainable system of talent development. This in turn would create many female role models and the ideal environment for promoting gender equality through softball.”

For more information, email www.runthebases.org or go to: info@runthebases.org

Postgraduate study at Brighton

The University of Brighton offers a wide range of postgraduate courses and study options.

Scholarships and discounts
We offer a range of generous scholarships for postgraduate students. Brighton graduates may also be eligible for an alumni discount on fees. Scholarships and bursaries available include:

  • Vice-Chancellor’s excellence scholarship worth £3,000, for graduates with a first-class degree from a UK university in the 2017/18 academic year.
  • Vice-Chancellor’s alumni scholarship worth £3,000, for Brighton students who graduate with a first or 2:1 in the 2017/18 academic year.
  • 50 scholarships for international students, some worth up to £5,000.
  • PGCE, NHS and social work bursaries.

Accredited courses
Our courses are recognised and accredited by professional bodies and our links with hundreds of large companies and small–medium enterprises helps to give you the best possible preparation for life after university.

Flexible study
We offer a wide range of flexible postgraduate study options, including opportunities to study individual modules and part-time, which will help you to balance work and life commitments.

Open days
We will be holding postgraduate open evenings in early 2018 – find out more

Our subjects
We offer a range of postgraduate courses in the following subject areas 

 

Arts and architecture

Business and law

Computing and Mathematics

 

Education and teaching

 

Engineering and Construction


Geography, Geology and Environment

 


Health

 


Humanities


Media


Natural sciences


Social sciences


Sport and exercise

Isaac Roblett aims to conquer Ben Nevis for the Mental Health foundation

Alumnus Isaac Roblett tells us about how he is challenging himself to raise money for a charity that means a great deal to him.

“I studied Business at The University of Brighton from 2013-2016, which I will always hold close to my heart, meeting some extraordinary people on the way.  Like in any walk of life it had its ups and downs, moving into such a drastically new environment, felt like I was thrown in the proverbial lion’s den, and I am sure such a metaphor would resonate with every single new student to a certain extent, but like any challenge in life you must face it head on.

“This brings me to a poignant topic close to my heart ‘Mental Illness’. Mental illness is a growing epidemic, with 1 in 4 adults in England diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression and anxiety. On top of this, 78% of suicides are males, making it the biggest killer for men under the age of 35. This is a huge problem, yet little is done to combat it.

“I have sadly in the past suffered from depression myself, starting mildly at university and really culminating at an alarming level through most of 2017, this was the case because I allowed myself to be drawn in by the stigma of any mental illness and not addressing it or seeking help. At my lowest points, I felt like a person who had lost his identity, lost any hope, and for what is a life without hope? Day to day tasks became a battle, and I saw myself slowly becoming isolated from the real world, which in turn made things a lot worse. I had this persona of I can’t have a mental illness, and I can’t talk to anybody about it.

“I became somebody I did not want to be, or was not proud to be, and sincerely apologise now if I caused anyone pain. I was lucky enough to have a wonderful support system of charities, professionals, friends and family to help me through these tough times, something not everybody has. This support system was vital in my rehabilitation and is something everyone suffering with mental illness should have. With all this in mind, I was inspired and galvanised to help people who have gone through similar problems as me, to make a positive difference on those less fortunate, I wanted to change a horrible point and situation in my life, into something productive and beautiful, the ultimate redemption.

“Therefore, on the 15th December I plan to climb Ben Nevis (the highest peak in the UK), in a trek which will take 8 hours and is over 16 miles for the Mental Health Foundation. I choose the Ben Nevis challenge, because I see mental health as a metaphorical mountain, both something you must struggle through to conquer.

“The work of the Mental Health Foundation is invaluable. I am proud to raise money for them. They work to raise awareness of Mental Health in the UK and support those who deal with it, but more fundraising needs to be done to ensure they can continue making progress in helping more people effectively combat mental illness, hence why I choose to raise money for them.

“The most important thing that my illness showed me, and the efforts of overcoming it where the toxicity of negative thoughts, and the beauty of positive thinking. When you think negative, you will attract negative situations, and when you think and do positive, the potential optimistic results are endless.

“My advice for any student suffering from a mental illness is to learn from my mistakes, to seek help, (the university has great tools for people who have any mental illness), talk to others about your problems, and most important of all, don’t be hard on yourself.  University can be a lonely place, and I can guarantee you won’t be the only one going through challenges, so don’t isolate yourself.

“We are all human beings, we can all achieve greatness, we all make mistakes and have our own internal problems, so be positive, optimistic, compassionate and open your hearts to others, because you don’t not know what others are going through.

If you wish to support Isaac, you can do so here.

We love to hear your memories and receive pictures from our graduates. If you would like to share your story with us please email alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

 

 

Alumnus Ian Anderson remembers his time at Brighton College of Arts and Crafts

Ian Anderson (right) in Bristol

89 year old Ian Anderson contacted us to share his memories of his time studying at Brighton College of Arts and Crafts when he was a member of the Brighton Student Association (now the SU). He began his studies at Brighton School of Art which became the Brighton College of Arts and Crafts in 1947 and was then was absorbed into Brighton Polytechnic in 1970, which eventually became the University of Brighton in 1992. You can read about the history of the art school here.

Ian recalls…

“Going back over 73 years can be a bit unreliable… I went, at 16, on a scholarship to Brighton School of Art, joining the Preliminary Course of six girls and three boys which, after the boys-only Brighton Grammar School, was something of a shock. In 1946, having passed the course, I was called up into the army, being demobilised in January 1949. After failing to become a stage designer (repertory theatres were closing all over the country) and other efforts at a career, I went back to the Art College in 1950, which had upgraded its name in about 1948, studying fashion for the Intermediate Arts & Crafts 2-year course, that being the nearest to stage design available.

“I was involved with the BSA, organising the Student Rag Day that year. Traditionally, the BSA president was from the Technical College, with about 800 students, while the vice-president was from the Art College, with just over 100. However, in my second year I was elected President of the BSA, due to a few politically-minded Technical College students pulling a fast one. The previous president had generously offered Brighton as the venue for the 1952 NUS Congress, so I had to organise that as well as the Rag Day.

“The Technical College provided an office and part-time secretary to the BSA but in those days presidents were supposed to find spare time to operate. As a result I spent a lot of time in the office and failed my course. Despite my Principal, Mr. Sallis Benney, offering another scholarship year, I left. I did complete an Open University degree in the 60s, when I was a lecturer at Salisbury College of Art.

“Incidentally, I think I have life membership of the Brighton Students’ Association, should it still be in existence.”

We love to hear your memories and receive pictures from our graduates. If you would like to share your story with us please email alumni@brighton.ac.uk.

Catch Dale’s art at the new Saatchi expo

Brighton alumnus Dale Lewis (Fine Art MA 2006) will be exhibiting in the upcoming Saatchi Gallery exhibition: ICONOCLASTS: Art out of the Mainstream. Dale’s work will feature in the exhibition which runs from 27 September 2017 to 7 January 2018.

Dale Lewis, Eurovision, 2015, Oil, acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 200 x 400 cm

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What do you think?

The University of Brighton is working on a project to look at how we can best communicate what it’s like to be a student here. As our alumni, we think that you are the best people to help us with this.

It would really help us if you would take a few minutes to complete a short online survey which asks questions about how you feel about the university, what makes it stand out and how you would describe it to others. The survey is run by external company, Spencer du Bois. No personal data will be collected and your answers will be completely anonymous.

If you are happy to support us in this, please click on this link to take the survey.

Many thanks in advance for your participation!