Governance

General Assembly

The General Assembly enables the wider community to play its part in the governance of The University of Manchester.

Members elected by the Alumni Association

The General Assembly is made up of more than 200 members. The majority of these are lay members drawn from a wide range of local, regional and national interests and together they offer the University a wealth of experience and expertise from differing perspectives and backgrounds.

The Alumni Association has 20 elected representatives on General Assembly.

We are pleased to announce that the following seven candidates were successfully elected/re-elected as alumni representatives on The University of Manchester General Assembly for a three year term (from 1 September 2018 until 31 August 2021).

Boyes, Christopher John (re-elected)

Mr Christopher John Boyes – BSc Hons Technology 1970

As a current General Assembly Alumni representative I have, since the merger, seen the University make significant progress towards its key strategic goals. I have also maintained links with the University by virtue of close involvement with one of the University’s traditional Halls and by activities within the Alumni Association and former Alumni Professional network at UMIST.

Going forward I am interested in particular in seeing the University continue to improve the ‘Student Experience’ and to provide quality accommodation for all and also to see the further development of its commitment to Social Responsibility.

In addition as a UMIST graduate I would welcome the opportunity of seeing the completion of the Engineering Campus to be followed by the Biomedical Campus and the eventual re-development of the UMIST site.

The main purpose of General Assembly is to act as a two way channel of communication through which the University presents itself and its achievements to its broader constituencies and receives feedback and advice on matters relating to University business. I am a local Councillor within Trafford, one of the AGMA Authorities, and have thereby significantly widened my perspective on Greater Manchester, especially concerning the potential benefits of the Northern Powerhouse both to Greater Manchester and to the University in particular. In addition I am a Governor at local Secondary and Primary schools and of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. All of these roles provide me with perspectives on local and civic issues which are very relevant to the University in 2018. I therefore feel well placed to make a positive future contribution to the desired for two way communication process.

I live within very easy reach of the University and would welcome the opportunity to offer further commitment to the University.

Craig, Bill Hamilton (re-elected)

Dr Bill Hamilton Craig – BSc Hons Civil Engineering 1968, MSc 1970, PhD 1975

I have represented the Alumni Association as a member of the General Assembly since September 2015, having been an undergraduate, postgraduate and staff member of the University for 50 continuous years from 1965-2015. Living close to Manchester I have been able to attend the regular GA meetings in that period and find them both informative and interesting – providing a different insight from a new perspective. I would like to continue in this role for a further three-year cycle and to continue to act in the ambassadorial role, on behalf of the University, which membership of the GA encourages.

Holt, Alastair Keith Ian

Dr Alastair Keith Ian Holt – BSc Hons Biology 1979, MBChB Medicine 1985

I have had extensive experience of University life as both an undergraduate and a postgraduate. More recently my four children have all studied at University and I have enjoyed teaching medical students and junior doctors attached to my practice. Now I am retired and have the time and enthusiasm to give something back.

I am very aware of the threats to University especially to recruit, retain and fund exceptional staff and research with the current political uncertainties and discussions over salaries and pensions. In addition students must get high quality teaching and have sufficient contact time and guidance so that they get value for the considerable investment that they make. These challenges also present opportunities that can be met by considering alternatives to the typical 3 year course such as; shorter courses, distance learning or adult learning .The University must continue to expand its links with industry at home and abroad and the development of the alumni as a resource. However, despite the constant pressure to attract financial backing we should not do this to the detriment of the Humanities and the University should be seen as a whole, that will contribute positively to society and its development.

I hope you endorse my application to join the General Assembly. Thank you.

Newby, Alison Michelle

Dr Alison Michelle Newby – MA American Studies 1987, PhD 1992

I believe in the value the University of Manchester (UoM) brings to individuals and communities (local, national and international). I’m grateful for the opportunities the UoM’s given me, both as a student and more recently as an alumna contributing time and experience in various capacities. I want to see the UoM flourish, and the Alumni Association to deepen its influence at the core of what the UoM does – from helping fund infrastructure and resources to mentoring students and forwarding the social responsibility agenda.

I’d bring several perspectives on the UoM to a role on the General Assembly:

  • Staff – as a qualified coach helping staff cope with the many changes ongoing in the institution, who writes about coaching and has made it my business to understand the context and rationale for the changes that are underway;
  • Community – as historian and Honorary Research Associate at the University’s Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre, showcasing resources recording the unheard voices of communities which have settled in the region. Providing public and academic engagement-orientated copy for the Centre blog means I understand the transformative power shedding light on ‘hidden’ experience via a UoM-connected open access entity can offer those for whom university would be a distant dream;
  • Student – from my own experience in conjunction with involvement in workshops for current students on the award-winning MyLearningEssentials programme (study skills) as well as Sustainability Challenge (part of the Ethical Grand Challenges);
  • International – through research on the international student experience past and present, revealing the development of the services international students are able to benefit from today.

These varied perspectives, plus a broad understanding of the HE context, mean I would bring an informed, balanced approach to reflecting the alumni community’s voice at the heart of the organization.

Sharma, Angela

Dr Angela Sharma – BSc Hons Experimental Immunology and Oncology 1993, MBChB Medicine 1996

I grew up in Manchester, went to Withington Girls’ School and then went on to study Medicine at Manchester University. I am a proud Mancunian and feel this solid base of education has helped me achieve everything I have in my life right now. I am now a GP in central London for the last 15 years. I feel experienced enough now in my profession and understand how the health system works and how people feel who use the services. I feel now is the time to use this knowledge to give back to the wider community. I feel the best and first place to start would be back with my roots in Manchester and I would like to serve as an alumni representative on the General Assembly. I am interested in providing support to people who would like to study further but do not have the means to.

Stark, Jennifer A

Dr Jennifer A Stark – PhD Neuroscience 2006

I graduated in 2007 with a PhD in Neuroscience. During that time I saw the university of Manchester expand the biomedical sciences with 2 new buildings, and merge with UMIST. Now, 10 years later, I am returning to Manchester with a wealth of experience as an alumna having worked as a Visiting Fellow at the NIH in Baltimore, and as a research scientist at the University of Maryland. Motivated to change careers after witnessing continuous funding cuts to science research, by a desire to communicate information to a wider audience, I completed a Professional Master’s in Information Visualization at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and taught myself to code. Since then I participated in civic hackathons, lead coding workshops, and completed a research scientist position in the Computational Journalism Lab at the University of Maryland. From March I will be continuing to communicate ideas and information in the context of data journalism and visualization with my own business in Manchester.

In my different roles I have mentored graduate students, organized workshops and trainings, presented research in the UK, US, and Ireland, and been an invited speaker to a journalism conference in Brazil. As such, I have developed a broad network across industries and borders. I hope I can put these to use in support of the University of Manchester.

Having lived in Baltimore and D.C. for 8+ years and Tokyo for the last 6 months, I have a fresh appreciation for social programmes, equity and accessibility to education and information. I support the goal of the General Assembly to communicate the University’s achievements with the local and wider communities and to also hear what they have to say about us. I believe my participation in the General Assembly as an alumna can contribute to that mission.

Yakubu, Ishaka

Mr Ishaka Yakubu – MSc Operations, Project and Supply Chain Management 2012

I commenced a Master’s Degree programme in Operations, Project & Supply Chain Management in September 2011, and graduated in December 2012. Six years on, my spirit and passion remains with my alma mater, my home, my Manchester, and, of course, the exciting experience still feels very much fresh, as though it all happened moments ago. It was a cherishable experience, one worth not just revisiting, but also recreating. And this indeed, motivates the aspiration I currently nurture to becoming an Alumni Representative to the General Assembly of our dear University, with the sole ambition to contributing significantly to ensuring current and future alumni gain even better experience to relive, while the institution continues on its growth path among the best in the world.

My name is Ishaka Yakubu. I currently work with Dangote Flours Mills Plc in my home country – Nigeria, as the Field Sales Manager, managing the company’s Pasta business in Nigeria’s Capital, Abuja. My post-Manchester professional experience cuts across a few other roles in different countries, which include: entrepreneurship focused on importation of British-standard products from the UK to Nigeria; Lecturing Postgraduate Diploma students in Procurement & Supply Chain Management at Kaduna State University; and working in an internal operations team consisting multicultural staff members from over twenty countries, at Wagamama in Amsterdam.

Going by the rich crop of graduates produced by our respectable institution over the past century, it is an obvious fact that my credentials would definitely fall short of being the best among my fellow alumni’s, a lot of whose enviable achievements are well-documented around various parts of the globe. However, I believe my determination, and enthusiasm, which have driven me through my current path of achievements, would just be sufficient enough to seeing me successful on the role, if eventually considered.

Additional sitting representatives:

Ms Gillian Adams (2020)

Ms Gillian Adams – BSc(Hons) Management Sciences 1988

I graduated with a BSc in Management Sciences from UMIST in 1988 and started my career in Human Resources at BAe Systems in Lancashire. I held senior HR roles in Manufacturing, Retail and Banking before joining a Change Management Consultancy. Always using sound academic research as the basis for my work, I specialise in supporting executive teams to design and implement transformation programmes. Originally from the North West, I have lived in Germany and Italy, and have worked globally with clients across pharmaceuticals, financial services, retail, utilities, manufacturing, and housing sectors. I am a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development.

I was recently appointed Independent Lay Member on the West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group Board: I chair both the Primary Care Commissioning, and Quality and Performance Committees and am a member of the Audit, and Finance and Planning Committees. I also hold a lay role on an NHS England Clinical Reference Group and working alongside expert transplant clinicians have recently helped to secure NHS funding for second Stem Cell Transplants.

As a passionate champion of the benefits of diversity, I am particularly keen to promote opportunities for individuals from under-represented groups, especially in public life.

I have a track record of effectively representing the views of others on Governing Committees and making a genuine difference. I am hugely enthusiastic about this opportunity to represent fellow Alumni on the General Assembly.

Mr Peter Dickinson (2019)

Peter Dickinson, BSc(Hons) Mechanical Engineering 1979

My previous association with the General Assembly has confirmed the need for Manchester University to instigate significant changes to the way it relates to and interacts with, in particular, the local community. Through its extensive academic activities, the university connects with the wider national and international communities but these activities fail to resonate with the local communities in and around Manchester.

At the moment, to the vast majority, the university is simply somewhere where clever people go and do clever stuff. It fails to touch the lives of most people who live and work in and around Manchester. These problems arise due to the, some might say understandable, focus of the university’s leadership on research, academic papers and funding streams that help attract the brightest students and staff. I believe it may also be due to the increasing feeling of disenfranchisement many people feel from the political, commercial and academic elite as evidenced by the recent referendum result.

I believe Manchester can do so much more in the way of forging and developing links with local schools and colleges. My experience in developing community relations strategies and programmes within the private sector has given me a clear insight into the optimum means of creating and sustain such relations.

One proven approach that is particularly pertinent to Manchester’s problem is to get children enthused about something, in this case what Manchester can offer them. Such enthusiasm is then translated to the parents, friends, family and the wider community. If Manchester University could also forge local ‘make you feel better about life’ groups and services aimed at easy to engage activities such as language, horticulture, book clubs etc… then I believe it would have made a significant step towards making itself more relevant.

Professor Susan Edwards (2019)

Professor Susan S M Edwards – MA(Econ) Sociology 1976, PhD Sociology 1979

I arrived in Manchester in the seventies and embarked on an MA and Ph.D. What I experienced was life changing and Manchester, the University, and the city, enabled, encouraged and supported me in my development. Vibrant politically and with a diversity of students from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East Manchester was already establishing itself as an international University.

Being part of Manchester meant that a student became part of the world and was soon to realize that being a student was more than a recipient of ideas but also a political act. Before ‘students come first’ became the institutional KPI in higher education students in Manchester did in fact come first. Simply that was the ethos. I have, since leaving Manchester, used every opportunity as External examiner or guest speaker or most recently
rally participant in continuing my unbreakable bond with Manchester.

I would be delighted to serve as a ‘mature’ alumna to help Manchester continue to develop in reputation and standing and to be an Alumna Ambassador to progress the interests of the wide community of Manchester graduates and current students, to raise Manchester’s profile and to be part of the endeavour to increase opportunities for its diverse students and assist in its projects and fund raising efforts.

Mr Shaun Geaney (2019)

Shaun Geaney, MPhys 2014

I am an alumni of The University of Manchester where I graduated with an MPhys in Physics in 2014. Currently, I am an early career researcher studying for my PhD in Quantum Metrological Physics at the National Physical Laboratory.

During my time at Manchester, I became involved in schemes that worked with the University in improving its reputation, academically and in terms of student experience. I became a Student Mentor Coordinator for the School of Physics & Astronomy where I was able to make decisions to improve the scheme for the student cohort. This allowed me to have an impact on improving the University on a small scale. I now want to be able to contribute on a larger scale as a member of the General Assembly by providing feedback, insight and advice on issues that concern the University.

I believe I can bring a fresh and unique insight to the General Assembly given that I was a student not too long ago and I still continue to be as a postgraduate. I believe this will give me a perspective that is more in line with what current students at the University think and believe about the policy and everyday business of their institution. Additionally, I am currently a Student Ambassador for the Postgraduate Institute (PGI) within the National Physical Laboratory that aims to improve the postgraduate experience and my role allows me to guide the direction that the PGI takes through communication with students. I believe the skills that I have learned from this role will be beneficial to the General Assembly.

I hope that I have clearly conveyed my keen interest, passion and relevant skills, as well as offering a different perspective, to help broaden and contribute to the General Assembly. I would highly appreciate your vote!

Mr Jim Hancock (2020)

Mr Jim Hancock – BA (Ord) Arts 1970

I am an active member of the Alumni Association recently chairing an event on the last General Election as well as attending meetings on the American election and a history of the University’s buildings.

I would like to extend my involvement with the Alumni Association by representing you on the Assembly and to be an alumni ambassador. After my year as President of the Students Union I had a career in political reporting including spells as Political Editor of both Granada TV and BBC North West during which I developed an extensive network of contacts which I hope would be of benefit to the University. In these divisive times, it is more important than ever that the University should improve its links with local communities which might feel “left behind” by higher education institutions like ours.

Brexit will present big challenges for our university and the Alumni Association must play its full part in ensuring that we maintain our valued links with European universities and reassure our academic community that all are welcome here.

During previous periods on the Board and Assembly I have spoken about issues like the student teaching experience, the development of the campus and the University’s role in the Northern Powerhouse.

An Assembly member needs to represent the Alumni view inwards and be proud to be an ambassador for our great university to the wider world.

Dr Simon Hayward (2020)

Dr Simon Hayward – MBA 1986/DBA 2015

I am a double graduate of AMBS (MBA and DBA) and have been an active supporter of the school as chairman of the global alumni association for six years during the 2000s and class president on the DBA programme (2010 to 2015). My first degree was from Oxford University.

I have been a supporter of The University of Manchester more recently, working closely with several senior leaders to further the development of the University as an international leader.

I have worked in the field of leadership development with blue chip clients for over 25 years, both in the UK and internationally, with clients such as BT, Standard Chartered Bank, M&S, AstraZeneca, The Crown Estate and InterContinental Hotels Group. Prior to this I held roles in general management in the IT sector. I hope this experience will enable me to contribute further to the long-term success and reputation of the University as a whole.

I am a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a member of the British Academy of Management and of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. My publications include ‘Connected Leadership’, which was WHSmith’ business book of the month in January 2016, in their top ten for several months and is distributed internationally. It was also shortlisted by the Chartered Management Institute for Book of the Year. I have chapters accepted for publication in 2017 by Gower (on qualitative methods in research) and Palgrave Macmillan (connected leadership in Asia).

I am actively involved in charitable fund raising and chair the development board of the East Cheshire Hospice. I hope these experiences will enable me to contribute to the future financial success of the University in an increasingly complex world of funding.

I am married, have three grown up sons and love running and research.

Mr Gareth Lewis (2019)

Mr Gareth Lewis – BA (Hons) Modern History with Economics 2012

I have spent my first three years on the General Assembly holding the University’s leadership to account over their inaction on Brexit. The question of our future in the EU has huge implications for the future of the University, and I want to continue my role on the Assembly questioning and pushing Manchester to ensure we are prepared for the impact of Brexit.

At every meeting since my election I have questioned the Vice Chancellor on her engagement on the EU question with government, and the University’s involvement in the referendum campaign. Now, following the vote, I have continued to press for answers on how the University intends to prepare for the impact on staff, students, and the huge loss of EU funding Manchester will face.

I joined the General Assembly after I moved out to Brussels to work in the European Parliament. I have seen first-hand how much cross border collaboration, free movement, and European funding drives scientific excellence in the UK. Manchester’s own scientists like Brian Cox get that it is not partisan to say that we excel when we work together. Despite this, Manchester’s 2020 strategy made no mention of the implications of Brexit, a fact I have highlighted again and again in Assembly meetings and my discussions with the University’s leadership.

Of course we must respect the referendum result. But given the University leadership’s poor track record anticipating and preparing for the impact of Brexit, I want to continue my work holding the Vice Chancellor to account. I want to continue asking questions and making sure the University is not ignoring the key challenges to our new relationship with the EU; a secure future for university staff; and the rights and privileges of our students whether they are British, European or international.

Dr Paul Mitchell (2019)

Dr Paul Mitchell, PhD Medicine (Community Based Medicine) 2009

I have lived in Manchester for over 30 years and worked primarily with young people in mental health and social care settings. I have had strong links with the university over the last 14 years; I worked on two community-based research projects for the university prior to undertaking my doctoral research at the university. I was awarded my PhD in 2009 and have held an honorary contract since then, but I have never held office at the university. I continue to work in mental health and social care with young people as a practitioner and also at strategic/policy level, and try to maintain strong links between the university and community to ensure that service developments are informed by research findings and that service users are involved in research projects. At my graduation ceremony reference was made to the gap in expectations/aspirations between the people attending the ceremony and those in the local community, and those words resonated strongly with me. I am actively involved in my local community group (within two miles of the university), and would strive to strengthen links between the university and community if elected to the General Assembly.

Dr George Neisser (2020)

Dr George Neisser – BSc(Hons) Physics 1976/ PhD Physics 1980/ MA Polish Studies 2013

Following graduation in Physics at Manchester I spent six years at UMIST undertaking PhD and postdoctoral research in polymer physics. I subsequently spent two years at Salford University developing communications software. In 1984 I joined the then University of Manchester Regional Computer Centre (subsequently Manchester Computing) to develop and manage computing facilities and internet based services for the University of Manchester and the wider UK academic community. In 2011 I took the opportunity of early retirement to pursue my research interests.

My Polish origins inspired me to undertake research into the development of collective memory and national identity in the UK Polish émigré community, for which I was awarded an MA by the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures in 2014. I remain keenly interested in this field and in the developing field of the digital humanities. I am also pursuing research interests in physics and cosmology.

My past experiences have given me a good understanding of academic life, its stresses, demands and ultimately its benefits to individuals and society. I believe in the importance of stimulating the interest of young people in the arts and sciences, and encouraging them to undertake higher education. Moreover I also contend that citizen science remains undervalued and demands serious encouragement to ensure that the talents and experience of older citizens are, likewise, harnessed for the benefit of society. I am therefore most interested in seeing the growth and expansion of University outreach programmes to further embrace such activities, and I contend that, where possible, Alumni should be encouraged and welcomed to contribute to outreach initiatives.

If elected I believe that my work and experiences will enable me to make contributions of real value to the General Assembly on behalf of the Alumni Association.

Dr Raj Patel (2020)

Dr Raj Patel MBChB Medicine 1985

Manchester University gave me an education and a degree that has imbued in me a sense of purpose and a vocation to serve the community and the people of Manchester. Originally from the Midlands, I now regard myself as a proud Mancunian. I live in Greater Manchester and have worked as an NHS doctor and GP for over thirty years. For the last five years, I have served as Medical Director within NHS England for the population of Greater Manchester overseeing delivery of healthcare. I have twice been named in the Manchester Evening News “most influential” list in that time. I have maintained links to the University via the Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network.

I have enjoyed the pleasure of organising the ten, twenty and thirty year reunions for my medical school classmates graduating in 1985 with grateful assistance from the Alumni office. I am a regular donor to Manchester University and I have an interest in improving access to education for people from less privileged backgrounds. I now wish to serve as an Alumni representative to the General Assembly as a way of giving back to the University that has served me so well.

Dr Lucy Smyth (2019)

Dr Lucy Smyth, MSc Immunology and Immunogenetics 1995

I currently am a lecturer at Salford University; researching and teaching in areas of Biomedical sciences. Appointed in 2010 I have since supervised PhD and MSc research students, PG taught causes and UG Biosciences modules and become Biomedical science programme lead for one of the school’s largest cohorts of students (school of Environment and Life Sciences).

Prior to this I spent many years in translational medicine research, one of these posts employed by Manchester University, and I remain an honorary member of staff to date. My research interests span areas of inflammatory disease including the lung (eg. asthma and COPD), dementia, and leukaemia (drug development with Salford university charity Kidscan). Learned society membership includes the BSI, BALR and the FHEA and I am a peer reviewer for a range of respiratory journals. I participated in the ‘Leadership Foundation Aurora Initiative’ that promotes opportunities for women leaders and I’m proud to represent this group to help maximise their potential. I am thankful to
everyone who has educated and supported on my academic journey, including the Manchester Immunology team who taught me the tools to carve out my research and academic career.

My current role has developed my awareness of University senate and management structures required for education and awarding degrees. But more importantly the students have taught me the value of keeping connected with them after they fly the university nest as it is they who become the influential voice of future research and collaborations. To serve on the ‘General Assembly/Alumni’ panel would be tremendous opportunity to contribute towards Manchester University developments and to ‘cross fertilise’ academic input between local universities.

Ms Helen C Stevens (2020)

Ms Helen C Stevens – BSc (Hons) Mathematics with Aeronautical Engineering 1984

As a participant in General Assembly over the last 6 years I have been delighted to play a part in advancing the Manchester 2020 Agenda. It elicits an exciting vision bringing to fruition a 20-year transition process whereby UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester have successfully merged and are on course to become one of the top 25 Universities in the world. This is testament to the academic prowess and forward thinking of the University community over many years.

The current worldwide perception of UK higher education gravitates towards Oxbridge / Imperial / UCL; to recognise and include Manchester University in our true place within ‘the golden triangle’ is something that I have been promoting throughout my working life.

The Strategic Plan commits the University to making social responsibility a defining characteristic of its mission. This obviously starts in Manchester, expands to the NW and has global aspirations. As a member of the Alumni
Association Advisory Board I participate actively in this mission by engaging with the global alumni network at the highest levels internationally, as they change the world for the better, whatever crisis prevails.

Being London based, I am well placed to lobby MPs, and to meet with opinion formers in the City and the INSEAD community. I am an active and committed alumna of the University who passionately represents the views of ‘my generation’ along with those of many younger alumni/ae with whom I am in regular contact.

Your vote for my re-election as an alumni representative to General Assembly would enable me to continue to draw on the breadth and depth of my knowledge and expertise, adding value to the various debates and assisting our University in setting its strategic goals and accomplishing its future plans.

Let’s keep the University of Manchester ‘top of mind’.

Ms Janine Watson (2020)

Ms Janine Watson – BA(Econ) Hon 1981

Dear electors, I would like your vote please in this election to the General Assembly because The University of Manchester changed my life, and I believe it must continue to offer life-changing experiences to others.

I grew up in an English market town, picturesque but with little diversity, intellectual challenge or culture. And since I arrived in Manchester in 1978 to study economics, the University has encouraged me to embrace all
those and more.

My studies kick-started a career for 20 years as a political journalist in Liverpool and Manchester, before I switched to marketing, promoting Manchester to the world.

Twelve years ago, I joined the University’s Alumni Association Advisory Board and I’ve been delighted to help as the University has developed a full role in the future of the North West. Six years ago, I was elected chairman of the Board and we now engage online and through fascinating events with around 350,000 alumni worldwide, encouraging them to give back life-changing assistance through mentoring, careers advice or funding to young students of today.
I see the General Assembly as essential to scrutinise and communicate to wider audiences the developments at the University, its academic excellence and financial responsibility while encouraging social responsibility in local communities, including the schools my own children attended, and encouraging volunteering.

This year I was privileged to take part in a film for the University’s Great Sustainability Challenge, in which new students must make decisions about their environment – great fun and very worthy. My term as Chairman of the Alumni Association also comes to an end, and I believe membership of the General Assembly is the best possible way to remain involved, ensuring that the University of Manchester continues to reach its full potential at the heart of this city and this region.

 

Dates of meetings

2018-2019

  • Wednesday, 20 June 2018, 3pm
  • Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 3pm
  • Wednesday, 26 June 2019, 3pm

 

Advisory Board

The Alumni Association Advisory Board provides advice, support and guidance for the operation of the Alumni Association. It is a vital connecting point for the University and its Alumni Association.

Alumni Association Advisory Board Members

To view candidate statements for the 2018 election of alumni to the Alumni Association Advisory Board, click here.

The Alumni Association Advisory Board is attended by a representative cross-section of the alumni body, comprising of:

  • Chair of the Association
  • Deputy Chair of the Association ex officio
  • Secretary to the Association ex officio
  • General Secretary of the University Students’ Union or their delegate
  • An Association member who graduated within the previous five years
  • At least one internationally-based Association member
  • A member of the General Assembly
  • Three elected members of the Alumni Association
  • Co-opted Association members

Current members of the Advisory Board

Ms Katherine E Leopold, Chair

No profile available

Mr Andrew D Spinoza

Andy Spinoza

Alumni details
BA (Hons) Combined Studies, 1982

When did you join the Board?
2005

Do you have a specific role on the Board?
I was chair for two terms of three years each, and I am now a member of the Board of Governors. I am a representative of the Alumni Association on the Board, but it is important to note that my position on the board is not there to formally represent the interests of the alumni.

What is your current or most recent job or role?
Since 1998 I have owned and run a marketing and PR agency called SKV Communications; we have a wide range of public and private sector clients, and we are currently one of only five agencies in the country to run PR campaigns for government departments under the Crown Commercial Services framework.

Are there any other biographical details you would like to tell us?
When I graduated from university, I founded and co-edited a what’s on magazine called City Life, which published from 1983 and was later acquired by the Guardian Media Group. I was Diary Editor of the Manchester Evening News from 1993 – 1998. I am currently a director (board, not musical) of Manchester Camerata, the city’s chamber orchestra. I live in Heaton Moor with my wife Lynne and three grown up daughters.

Please tell us why you enjoy giving your time to be on the AAAB
I became lost to the alumni for some years and it was only later in life that I realised that the alumni network allows you to appreciate a shared history with your contemporaries, and to enjoy the benefits of the huge positive associations we all have to the university and the city. There’s something special about Manchester University and our common thread is something to be nurtured and celebrated.

Mr Michael S Taylor

Michael Taylor

Alumni details
B Soc Sc (Sociology) graduated 1988

When did you join the Board?
2010

What is your current or most recent job or role?
Founder of Discuss Manchester, the home for intelligent debate.

Are there any other biographical details you would like to tell us?
Michael Taylor is a writer, fixer and project facilitator, building on a career as an award winning business journalist.

His clients include government-backed coaching service GrowthAccelerator, Deloitte, JMW Solicitors, the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW), Daisy Group, Seneca and the Prince’s Trust.

He has also led a number of workshops and creative programmes for private businesses and is currently working with the ICAEW on Tomorrow’s Practice, a research project.

In 2013 he has developed an employee engagement and brand development project for a Seneca, a new investment and fund management business, interviewing every member of staff, external stakeholders and running a series of internal
workshops and events.

Previous to his recent events role he was the editorial director of publishing group Insider and won many awards for his investigative journalism and business commentary. In 2013 he founded DISCUSS, a new debating forum designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity and discourse.

He is also chairman of business lobbying group Downtown, a non-executive director of Liberty Pensions and on the advisory board of the University of Manchester Alumni Association.

His debut novel, Forty by Forty, was published in 2014 and shortlisted for the Pulp Idol new writers award.

Please tell us why you enjoy giving your time to be on the AAAB
Opportunity to strengthen the network of the world’s greatest university.

Mr Patrick Hackett

Patrick Hackett

Alumni details
Biological and Computing Science (BSc Hons), 2004

When did you join the Board?
2006

Do you have a specific role on the Board?
I represent the Faculty of Life Sciences.

What is your current or most recent job or role?
Project Manager, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Manchester

Are there any other biographical details you would like to tell us?
I have worked in project environments for my whole career, previously within Financial Services and Sports Retail before now moving to the Higher Education sector. This has spanned sales support, organisational redesign, website creation and most recently a building project, but I’ve probably never enjoyed a job more than my first, when I was the last Student President at UMIST before the universities merged to form the University of Manchester in 2004.

Please tell us why you enjoy giving your time to be on the AAAB
The AAAB provides a fantastic avenue through which Alumni can shape some aspects of University life and symbiotically gives the University a window as to how best they can tailor its offering to the Alumni community. The areas where I feel I can contribute most through AAAB include advising on how best to communicate to such a vastly differing Alumni community and how to engage Alumni in current student activity.

Mr Paul WH Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

Alumni details
Polymer Chemistry (Hons)1970

When did you join the Board?
UMIST 1995-2000
UoM 2008

Do you have a specific role on the Board?
Global Travel Awards
Representing AAAB on Remembrance Day

What is your current or most recent job or role?
Ski Guide / Instructor for Chalet Guests / Yacht Delivery

Are there any other biographical details you would like to tell us?
Enjoyed careers spanning the Polymer, Leisure and Health Industries, mainly in Training and Development roles.

Companion of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management.

Gold Award and Life Membership of the British Association of Ski Instructors.

Please tell us why you enjoy giving your time to be on the AAAB
Proud of the heritage the University has bestowed on me, and only too pleased to have the opportunity to promote its successes and worth through the AAAB.

Mr Hian Seng Tang

Tang Hian Seng

Alumni details
1999, BEng Electronic Engineering (First Class Honours), Awarded Department Course Prize and Final Year Project Prize

When did you join the Board?
2015

What is your current or most recent job or role?
Consultancy and business owner in a vocational training school in Shanghai and also distribution of beauty and aesthetic products in China and Asia region.

Are there any other biographical details you would like to tell us?
I was the Vice President of the Singapore Alumni Association from 2007-2009 and the current President since 2013.

The alumni network has benefited me greatly, making and engaging the alumni, be it for personal or business, and hence, established many close friendships and relations within the alumni network in Singapore and the greater Asia regional Hong Kong and China alumni network.
Please tell us why you enjoy giving your time to be on the AAAB
The opportunity to contribute back to the University and getting more involved in a greater capacity and role at the AAAB, beyond the current Singapore and regional alumni association interaction. To be part of the team to help the University strengthen and engage better the global alumni community and particularly the University of Manchester branding.

Mr Rajkaran S Kharbanda

No profile available

Dr William H Craig

No profile available

Mrs Melinda McMahon

Mrs Melinda McMahon – BA Hons Economics 1977

Having left school at 16 with a few mediocre O levels it never occurred to me or to any of my then teachers that I could be a university candidate until I began to realise that all I would ever be able to do would be to find jobs, not have a career, and therefore spend my working life being dissatisfied that my abilities were not being fully utilized. I was therefore extremely grateful to be offered a place not just at a university but one as prestigious as Manchester. There may be many others like myself who have missed out on their first opportunity who I would encourage to apply to the University if I encountered them.

Since serving my first term on the Alumni Association Advisory Board I have been impressed by the range of work carried out by this important body and would welcome the opportunity to see the progression of active issues.

I am also conscious of the worldwide reputation of the University and want to continue to promote it as part of my responsibilities. Given the number of successful universities available to potential students the University must ensure that its name and reputation continue to rank highly in the choice of where students elect to study for a first or second degree. Not only does the University need to attract quality students from the UK but it needs to compete in a highly competitive international arena therefore any activity which promotes the reputation of the University at home or abroad must be supported in whichever way possible.
Supporting students in field work at home and abroad is one of the ways of enhancing the reputation of the University and I am pleased to be able to help in this way by serving on the AAAB.

Dr Jennifer A Stark

Dr Jennifer A Stark – PhD Neuroscience 2006

I graduated in 2007 with a PhD in Neuroscience. During that time I saw the university of Manchester expand the biomedical sciences with 2 new buildings, and merge with UMIST. Now, 10 years later, I am returning to Manchester with a wealth of experience as an alumna having worked as a Visiting Fellow at the NIH in Baltimore, and a research scientist at the University of Maryland. Motivated to change careers after witnessing continuous funding cuts to science research, and by a desire to communicate information to a wider audience, I completed a Professional Master’s in Information Visualization at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and taught myself to code. Since then I participated in civic hackathons, lead coding workshops, and completed a research scientist position in the Computational Journalism Lab at the University of Maryland. From March I will be continuing to communicate ideas and information in the context of data journalism and visualization with my own business in Manchester.

Through my different roles, I have learned the importance of mentorship, networks and other support structures. I have worked to improve policies and practices in the workplace on behalf of myself and others, and acted as an intermediary between students and professors.

I want to use my experiences living and working abroad and changing careers to contribute to the Manchester Alumni Association’s continued support and work with alumni around the world.

Miss Letty Newton

Letty Newton

Alumni details
Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 2011

When did you join the Board?
2016

What is your current or most recent job or role?
Secondary maths teacher, completing the Teach First course.

Are there any other biographical details you would like to tell us?
Letty graduated from the University of Manchester in 2011 and subsequently was elected to spend a year as General Secretary of the Students’ Union. In this position she was Chair of Trustees of the Students’ Union and lead on strategy and represented student interests at senior levels of the university, including serving on the Board of Governors.

Following this she spent two years in Hong Kong, project managing an extra curricular English program in a university.

She moved back to the UK in 2014 to train with Teach First to become a maths teacher, qualifying in partnership with the University of Manchester. She has spent nearly two years teaching at a school in Knowsley and is due to take a new job at a school in Hackney in September.

She is currently undertaking a part time Teach First masters course in Educational Leadership here at Manchester.

Please tell us why you enjoy giving your time to be on the AAAB
The alumni is a vast global network that has something to offer all graduates of the university and I am keen to help people access it and get involved.

 

Duties and responsibilities of an Alumni Association Advisory Board Member

Duties and Responsibilities of an Alumni Association Advisory Board Member

Advisory Board Members hold office for a period of up to three years in the first instance. Membership is then renewable for a further period not exceeding three years.

If it is deemed beneficial to the work of the Advisory Board and the Alumni Association to allow any member to remain on the Advisory Board after a period of six years, this is allowable at the discretion of the University Board in consultation with the Officers of the Association.

Minutes of meetings of the Advisory Board

You can download the minutes of our Advisory Board meetings from previous years (all the files below are PDF documents).

 

Dates of Meetings

Advisory Board Meeting
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 (Manchester)
Spring 2019 (London) TBA

Open Meetings

Alumni Association Open Meetings meet twice a year and are an opportunity for alumni to receive updates from The University of Manchester on strategically significant business.

 

Constitution

Download The University of Manchester Alumni Association Constitution:

Board of Governors

Mr Andrew D Spinoza represents the Alumni Association on the Board of Governors of The University of Manchester.