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Nexusonline CONNECTING THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY
A P R I L 2 0 1 4
A word from
the Principal
RGU students
take the
plunge for
charity
RGU hosts
Scotland’s first
Health and Social
Care Team Challenge
RGU:Union
triumphs at NUS
Scotland Awards
Aberdeen Youth
Games scoops Gold
Game Changer
Award
RGU Nutrition
students get a
taste of industry
experience
Getting to know
SPARG
MBA students
present new
ventures
Meet the
‘Go Green’
team
DELTA appoints
Head of Teaching
Futures
Oil and Gas
Academy
of Scotland
launched
I Love RGU
Week
RGU launches
transatlantic
Pharmacy
exchange
programme
RGU:Union’s
Audrey
Bainbridge
honoured
RGU’s Law
School adds to
its impressive
portfolio
RGU welcomes
‘The Challenge’
scholarship winner
RGU staff deliver
successful training
programme in Qatar
Students launch
sustainable
community garden
project
Students gain insight
from leading oil and
gas experts
News In Brief Events
Student
Achievement
Awards
Designed and Activated by: The Gatehouse - Design & Print Consultancy at RGU
A word from the Principal
As some readers will know, I
publish a blog (universitydiary.
wordpress.com) in which I
cover various aspects of higher
education, and sometimes other
matters. As this is quite widely
read, I get a fair amount of
feedback from academics across
higher education, both in this
country and beyond.
A recurring theme of this
correspondence relates to the
frustration some people feel about
what they regard as their inability to
express their views, ambitions, hopes
and fears in their own institutions.
I hope this is not the case in RGU,
though of course I am well aware
that not everything we do is perfect.
Of course we have all been living
through times in which budgets are
tight and opportunities sometimes
less visible, but then again, in RGU we
have identified some exciting strategic
targets that we are now pursing
energetically.
As we develop our next phase of
strategic actions, it will be really
important that we identify the ideas,
views, anxieties, and ambitions of
colleagues throughout the institution.
I am hoping to undertake several visits
to different parts of the university,
where I am hoping to hear from many
of you and to explore with you how
we can develop in a way that brings
benefits for everyone.
At the same time you will also have
an opportunity to take part in the next
all-staff survey, “Employee Barometer
2014”, which goes live in mid-April.
The survey is much shorter and more
focused than in previous years, just
10 questions, and it takes just a few
minutes to complete.
Please do take the time to give us your
views; it’s really important you tell us
how you feel about the university and
your part in it.
RGU is a wonderful university, and it is
so because of what you all do for it. I
hope that we will be able to show that
we are not just ambitious, strategic
and focused, but also inclusive and
supportive. I hope to show that we
are not just a university, but also a
community.
Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski
Dare devil students from RGU
took a leap of faith recently to
raise money for charity.
A group of students from RGU took part in a
175ft static bungee jump at the university’s
Garthdee campus recently to raise money
for local children charity, Aberlour Childcare
Trust.
The students raised £3698 for Aberlour
through sponsorship for taking part in
the bungee jump, which was organised
by RGU:RAG (raising and giving), the
fundraising arm of the Students’ Union.
Rachel Stewart, third year Nutrition and
Dietetics student who also braved the jump,
raised £378 for Marrow Aberdeen, the
student branch of the UK’s largest bone
marrow register Anthony Nolan.
Students had been signing up for the jump
RGU students take the plunge for charity
since it was launched during this year’s
RGU:RAG Week, a jam packed annual
fundraising week held in February where
students took part in various activities
including a Nippy Dip at Aberdeen Beach to
raise money for Aberlour.
Among the group who took the plunge was
Student Vice President for the Community,
Alasdair Lemon, and RGU staff member
George Lawie, who works as a Resident
Assistant Warden as well as an Advice Co-
ordinator for the Students’ Union.
Rachel Sanders, Chair of RGU:RAG, who
has previously taken part in a charity bungee
jump, says: “While we offer challenging
fundraising expeditions such as climbing Mt
Kilimanjaro, we decided to organise an on-
campus bungee jump to give our students
the chance to take on an adventurous
charitable challenge without the need to
travel.
“The bungee jump created a lot of
excitement among our students and the
wider RGU community, which has not
only helped to raise money for our chosen
charity but also increase awareness of its
very worthwhile cause.
“I am delighted that our brave students have
managed to raise thousands for taking the
plunge, which combined with the money
raised during RGU:RAG Week, will take us
to a total of around £ 3789.39 which will
go towards supporting Scotland’s most
vulnerable children.
“The money raised will be divided between
two main services in Aberdeen, and will
bring lots of smiles to little faces in the city.
We would like to thanks everyone who got
involved and supported us through RAG
Week.”
“I had seen a number of presentations
about the Canadian and Australian
challenges and was really inspired by the
enthusiasm and practical approach to
getting health and social care teams to
learn with, from and about each other.
“We were inspired and a UK contingent
including a very active Scottish group
decided we wanted to see how we could
use the concept with our students, and
also our practitioners. Setting up of the
challenge has been a catalyst for further
interprofessional, cross sector and
international collaboration.”
This simple but very effective activity
has motivated students since the 1990s
and is backed by research that highlights
the ability to translate core values and
competencies into interprofessional
practice with the ultimate aim of
improving the quality of services
provided.
Pioneered by academics from the
University of British Columbia over
25 years ago, the Health Care Team
Challenge was taken to Australia and
developed for an Australian audience by
an interprofessional team of Queensland
academics. In 2007, the Project Team
held its first demonstration event at
The University of Queensland. The
enthusiastic participation, achievement of
learning outcomes and demand from the
students led to this becoming an annual
event and the birth of the Health Fusion
Team Challenge.
Students from across the
country descended onto the RGU
campus last month to compete in
Scotland’s first Health and Social
Care Team Challenge (HSCTC)
RGU’s Riverside East building was the
setting for the inaugural event which is
part of the drive to educate Scotland’s
next generation of health and social care
professionals in collaborative person-
centred care.
The Scottish HSCTC promotes
excellence in teamwork and person-
centred care. Inter-professional student
teams, drawing on representatives
from a range of health and social care
professions, worked together over four
weeks to develop a management plan for
a woman with Alzheimer’s disease and
her family.
The teams submitted their plan to an
audience and a panel of expert judges
before competing in a range of activities
designed to test them under pressure.
The teams were judged over the course
of the programme on quality and
collaboration with the winners receiving
the Scottish HSCTC trophy and hopefully
an opportunity to present at conferences
in the coming year.
“We were really excited about this first
Challenge – a first for Scotland but also
for the UK.” says Jenny Miller, Allied
Health Professions programme lead for
practice education at NHS Education for
Scotland.
RGU hosts Scotland’s first Health and Social Care Team Challenge
The Scottish Health and Social Care Team
Challenge*, led by NHS Education for
Scotland (NES) and the interprofessional
education leads at five universities in
Scotland, is an extension of the Australian
Health Fusion Team Challenge which is
unique to the United Kingdom.
The Scottish project team has actively
sought the involvement of health and
social care service users and carers
throughout the process supported by
Alzheimer Scotland.
“We hope that this will grow into an
annual event but also that the concept
is used within the workplace where we
really need to think about how we get
teams to work collaboratively with all
involved - across health and social care,
with voluntary organisations and even
more importantly in partnership with
those who use the services and their
family carers.”
It is hoped that the event will be the
start of a nationwide development of the
challenge for pre-registration students
and for use with professionals working in
health and social care settings.
The challenge forms part of a Festival of
Learning organised for those supporting
learning in practice within health
and social care settings, to network,
share practice and debate current
developments in teaching, learning and
assessment. The theme for this year’s
Festival of Learning was developing the
future workforce to meet the needs of
the Scottish 2020 Health and social care
vision.
Professor Val Maehle, Dean of the Faculty
of Health and Social Care at RGU, said:
“We are proud to host both the Festival
of Learning and the Scottish Health and
Social Care Team Challenge here at RGU
in partnership with our colleagues at NHS
Education for Scotland.
“Both events highlight the importance of
collaborative working across the health
professions which is something we
promote to students at every stage of
their professional development.”
There are examples of how the challenge
works Here.
The winning team: Melissa Davidson (RGU), Lewis Sutherland (RGU), Lois Salter (Edinburgh Uni), Lianne Brunton (Glasgow Caledonian Uni), Aimee McGoldrick
(Strathclyde Uni) and Lara McCann (RGU).
The Students’ Union at RGU
is celebrating a hat-trick of
national awards.
RGU:Union scooped the accolades for
Officer Team of the Year, and Equality
and Diversity, as well as a Lifetime
Achievement Award at this year’s
National Union of Students (NUS)
Scotland Awards.
It was awarded Officer Team of the
Year in recognition of the hard work
and commitment of the three student
presidents in ensuring RGU’s Students’
Union achieves its aims and objectives.
Student Presidents Paul Greene,
Steven Mills and Paddy Maughan were
commended for their coordinated
approach to their roles, which saw them
work together to successfully establish
a new Student Association after it
moved from its city centre premises to
the university’s Garthdee campus.
They worked hard to engage with
the student body throughout the
year, introducing a new constitution,
launching various campaigns and
initiatives, engaging heavily with the
student body to achieve a significant
increase in student participation, as
well as the highest society and sports
club membership take up the Students’
Union has ever received.
RGU:Union won the Equality and
Diversity Award for its work in
strengthening equality and diversity
across the university including
introducing a new Equal Opportunities
policy which is embedded in all of
the procedures and operations of the
Students’ Union.
The Students’ Union also strengthened
its governance structure by creating
student equality champion roles which
work in partnership with the RGU’s
staff equivalents to promote their
strands as well as host diversity weeks
such as ‘Disability Awareness Week’
which RGU:Union introduced to the
academic calendar.
RGU:Union’s longest serving member
of staff, Audrey Bainbridge, was also
honoured by NUS, which created
a Lifetime Achievement Award
specifically for her in recognition of her
37 years of service in supporting the
student body.
Audrey spent thirty years of her career
single-handily running the Students’
Union’s advice department and was
instrumental in the creation of student
societies. Her involvement with sport
at RGU saw her help to establish the
historic universities boat race and play
a significant part in the opening of
RGU:SPORT.
Student President for Education and
Welfare, who attended the award
ceremony, said: “We are thrilled to
have won two accolades and are
delighted that Audrey has been
honoured for her lifetime of work.
She truly has been instrumental to
RGU:Union and a lot of what we have
in place now is all down to her. The fact
that NUS created the award just for her
is a testament to everything she has
achieved for our students.
“We are really pleased to have won the
Equality and Diversity category as we
have worked hard to embed equality
and diversity into our plans, policies
and visions and have since seen a huge
impact in our student engagement as
well as a more diverse spectrum of
student representation.”
Michele Collie, the General Manager of
RGU:Union, who nominated the three
student presidents for the Officer Team
of the Year award, said: “The three
presidents have shown significant
effort, creativity, passion and patience
during their term, even in the face of
some very large barriers. RGU:Union
is the best it has ever been and this is
largely down to the work of our current
presidents.
“They work strategically and support
each other’s aims and campaigns and
have launched some fantastic initiatives
throughout the year. They even passed
a constitution with byelaws and a
trustee board, which strengthens the
governance structure and flexibility for
the future generations of sabbaticals.”
The NUS Scotland Awards celebrate
the work of individual students, student
groups and student associations from
RGU:Union triumphs at NUS Scotland Awards
NUS awards - RGU:Union team members with NUS Scotland’s Women’s Officer, Stacey Devine.
Audrey Bainbridge collecting her NUS Lifetime
Achievement Award
universities across Scotland. This
year NUS Scotland received a record
number of nominations for the awards.
RGU:Union picked up its accolades
at NUS Scotland’s annual award
ceremony which was held in Dundee
on Saturday, March 22.
The Aberdeen Youth Games
project has scooped a
prestigious prize at a national
awards ceremony to celebrate
higher education’s contribution
to help deliver a lasting
legacy for the Glasgow 2014
Commonwealth Games.
The project won the Gold Sporting
Contribution Award at the Game
Changer Awards organised by Colleges
Scotland and Universities Scotland,
and backed by Legacy 2014 and the
Scottish Funding Council, in Glasgow
on Thursday, April 3.
Representatives from RGU and
Sport Aberdeen, who are working
in partnership to deliver the project,
collected the award at a glittering
ceremony for more than 275 guests at
the city’s atmospheric Old Fruitmarket
in Candleriggs.
Scottish comedian and broadcaster
Fred MacAulay acted as the master
of ceremonies for the evening and
special guests included members of
the Scottish Government and Glasgow
2014 officials.
The Aberdeen Youth Games aims to
motivate primary school pupils in the
city to lead healthy and active lives,
and develop their global citizenship,
through celebrating the sport and
culture of the Commonwealth.
Bryan McCann, lecturer in Sport
and Exercise Science at RGU, leads
the project which will culminate in a
Aberdeen Youth Games scoops Gold Game Changer Award
Festival of Sport at Aberdeen Sports
Village on Friday, May 16.
He said: “We are very proud that the
Aberdeen Youth Games has been
recognised with a Gold Game Changer
Award. A lot of work is being done
to make sure this is a successful and
sustainable project which will help
create a lasting sporting legacy in the
city following the Commonwealth
Games. The award recognises all this
hard work.
“We hope this exciting initiative will
inspire the next generation of young
people in Aberdeen to pick up new
sports and be able to enjoy them into
the future.”
Olympic rowing champion Dr
Katherine Grainger CBE has thrown
her weight behind the project, which
was launched last year, and will be
at the Festival of Sport next month in
her role as Aberdeen Youth Games
Ambassador to encourage and cheer
on the 1,000 school pupils taking part.
A total of 36 primary schools have
signed up to participate in the
Aberdeen Youth Games and have been
assigned a Commonwealth country
which they will represent during the
opening ceremony and in skills-based
sport competitions throughout the day.
As part of the build up to the Festival
of Sport more than 30 second year BSc
(Hons) Applied Sports and Exercise
students from RGU have received
training in netball, badminton and
athletics coaching.
They will deliver coaching in these
sports to pupils across the city as part
of their work placements through Sport
Aberdeen this semester.
Graeme Dale, Senior Development
Manager, Active Schools at Sport
Aberdeen, said: “Winning the Gold
Award is a fantastic achievement
for the Aberdeen Youth Games and
the project is going from strength to
strength as we get closer to the Festival
of Sport.
“The students have completed their
coaching training and are eager to start
their placements where they will build
on our Active Schools programme and
deliver sports sessions for pupils across
the city.”
Alongside the sports coaching sessions
at school, pupils will learn about the
Commonwealth and develop their
global citizenship through education
activities and the completion of
‘Inspire>Aspire’ posters.
They will work on these to develop a
better understanding of their allocated
Commonwealth country’s culture. The
posters will then be put on display
at Aberdeen Sports Village during
the Festival of Sport where Katherine
Grainger will help choose the winning
design.
As part of the build-up to the final
event a baton relay will be held
between each of the participating
primary schools. A design competition
CEO of Glasgow 2014, David Grevembreg, Bryan McCann from RGU, Michael Russell MSP and
Stuart Reid from Sport Aberdeen.
was held earlier this year which saw
pupils invited to Gray’s School of Art
to finalise their designs and create 3D
models of their work.
The overall winning design and model
will be created by Gray’s and used in
the baton relay before becoming the
centrepiece for the Festival of Sport.
For more information about the
Aberdeen Youth Games, please
Click Here.
Nutrition students from RGU have
made a contribution to public
health through food industry
placements organised by the
Scottish Food and Drink Federation
(SFDF).
Fourth year students Gillian Campbell,
Ki Wong, Karolina Papalexi and Ophelie
Robertson recently completed their 12-
week placements with SFDF’s Scottish
Government (Health) funded Reformulation
Programme.
The initiative helps small and medium sized
producers to play their part in taking calories
and salt out of the Scottish diet by giving
them practical, tailored reformulation advice.
The placements were organised by SFDF’s
Industry Technical Manager Chris Peace and
the students were tasked with reformulating
several popular food products offered
by different companies by reducing the
amount of fat, sugar and salt used in their
production.
Working with the SFDF team, Gillian
Campbell contacted butchers in Aberdeen
and Edinburgh to encourage them to create
new, healthier recipes for their sausages
using new lower salt seasoning available
from seasoning companies.
As a result of Gillian and SFDF’s efforts, a
large number of butchers across Scotland
are now able to access seasonings which
include less salt which can help them to
meet Food Standards Agency Scotland 2012
Salt Targets and help their customers to
reduce their salt intake.
Gillian’s work has been the starting point of
several case studies of butchers who have
completely reformulated their sausages.
She said: “It has been a great experience
working on an industry placement with the
Scottish Food and Drink Federation. We
have all benefited from our placements
and it has been very beneficial to see
first-hand how our studies in nutrition can
help product development and the food
industry.”
Another student Karolina Papalexi worked
at Aberdeen-based Chalmers Bakery
where she played a significant role in the
reformulation of four of the company’s most
popular products; the buttery, pie shells,
shortbread and puff pastry.
The recipes were all recreated to contain
less salt, fat and sugar without making a
noticeable alteration to the taste of the
finished product.
Noticing that the product range did not
include any vegetable-based options,
Karolina also sought to develop a product
which would fill that gap in the market.
She said: “Traditional bakeries in Scotland
don’t always have an extensive range of
vegetable-based options so a vegetable
pie seemed like a logical addition for the
business.”
The vegetable pie, which contains
mushrooms, courgette, mixed peppers and
onion, has been named the ‘Mediterranean
Pie.’
Following positive feedback from Chalmers’
customers, it is now available at Chalmers’
retail outlets. The pie was also entered into
the national Scotch Pie Awards in 2013 and
recently won the Commitment to Healthy
Eating Award at the Grampian Food Forum
Innovation Awards 2014.
Karolina said: “I’m so happy that the bakery
trusted me with the responsibility of
creating a new product. It is a very proud
RGU Nutrition students get a taste of industry experience
Ophelie Robertson, Ki Wong, Chris Peace, Karolina Papalexi and Gillian Campbell
achievement that the Mediterranean Pie
has been such a success and is now in full
production.”
Fellow student Ophelie Robertson spent her
placement with bakery company SM Bayne
which has more than fifty retail outlets
across Fife, Stirling and the Lothian’s.
The 23-year-old worked on reformulation
proposals for several of the bakery’s most
popular products including the chocolate
éclair and the mince and onion bridie.
Ophelie said: “Being able to put our skills
into practice in food development has been
a very useful experience. Assessing some
of the company’s lines and investigating
proposals to make them healthier has been
a very gratifying process.”
Meanwhile, fellow nutrition student Ki
Wong spent her placement with high-
end corporate caterer Itsy. The company
is based in Aberdeen and specialises in
sandwiches, burgers and cakes.
Ki successfully reformulated the company’s
sandwich selection, and they now offer
lighter options to their customers as a result
of her investigative work into the salt and fat
content of the sandwiches.
She said: “The Scottish Food and Drink
Federation did a really good job at setting
up these fantastic placements for us. I
enjoyed working with Itsy and putting
the knowledge I’ve learned at RGU into
practice. The lighter options developed for
customers have been really well received.”
Brian Ratcliffe, Professor of Nutrition
at RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life
Sciences, believes the placements have
been beneficial for both the students and
the companies involved.
He said: “We’re proud to work with the
Scottish Food and Drink Federation’s
Reformulation Programme to help our
students gain vital industry experience in
food development.
“The students were given experience and
responsibility in the workplace which will
improve their job opportunities when they
graduate.
“The businesses also gained from the
students’ expertise in food and nutrition and
also got to assess this cohort of students
with a view to future employment.”
Chris Peace, SFDF’s industry technical
manager is delighted at the impact the
students were able to make during their
placements.
He said: “The students from RGU have
done a great job helping with reformulation
projects within clients businesses of the
programme.
“The placements highlight that students
and young professionals have a lot to offer
the food manufacturing industry and we
look forward to continuing our work with
producers in Scotland to achieve even more
together.”
For the latest Getting to
Know SPARG profile series,
Nexus sits down with
Andrew McCreath, RGU’s
Executive Director of IT and
Communication.
Originally from Edinburgh, Andrew
didn’t start out for a career in IT but
became fond of the world of computing
while completing a PhD. Having
achieved a degree in Botany from
the University of Aberdeen, Andrew
embarked on a PhD which involved
studying plants that grew in bogs.
“It was when I began to use computers
to model the flow of oxygen through the
roots of plants that I realised computing
was more fun, and after receiving a MSc
for the work I had done, I switched to
a career in computing and have never
looked back,” says Andrew.
After his studies, Andrew moved
to Dundee where he took up a post
with NCR Corporation but returned
to Aberdeen to work for Grampian
Computers before joining the Wiggins
Teape Paper Mill where he worked
for 11 years. He then spent two years
working for an international technology
company and in 1999 he spotted a job
advert for Executive Director of IT at
RGU.
“I decided to apply for the position
because it looked like, and has turned
Getting to Know SPARG
Andrew McCreath
out to be, a great opportunity due to the
diversity of the role and the reputation of
the university.”
Andrew is responsible for the
development and delivery of RGU’s
IT strategy, which sees him work with
colleagues across many projects.
He ensures all of the university buildings
are equipped with appropriate IT
equipment and services so that staff and
students have the necessary resources
to complete their studies, work and
research. He is also responsible for data
protection and freedom of information,
and liaises with external organisations to
share ideas and best practice.
Andrew says that it is this vast remit and
range of roles which has kept him at
RGU for so many years.
“I like the diverse range of activity that I
have been able to be involved with and
I work with some fantastic people. Every
year there is something new to look at
and there are always ambitious plans for
the future - it’s impossible to get bored
here,” says Andrew.
A father of two, Andrew is married to
his wife Lesley with whom he has a
son, David, who is currently studying at
university, and a daughter, Eilidh, who is
just about to sit her higher exams.
A sibling to four sisters and two
brothers, Andrew grew up with a large
family and says family life is really
important to him.
“It’s great being part of a large family
and I enjoy spending time with everyone
although there are a lot of us - the house
is full to bursting point at Christmas time!
Family is really important and I have
found having my own children the most
rewarding thing in the world.”
Aside from looking after his children and
family, Andrew spends his spare time
actively involved with church which
plays a large part in his life. He also
enjoys gardening, which is not surprising
having studied the life of plants - well the
type that grow in bogs anyway.
A keen hill walker, Andrew is hoping
to rekindle his love of Scotland’s great
outdoors now his children are becoming
more independent and he is also looking
to take up his interest in astronomy.
When asked what his greatest
achievement has been to date, Andrew
says it has been his job which is not
surprising given the scope of his work,
which has included involvement in
the multi-award winning North East
of Scotland Shared Data Centre –
something he is immensely proud of.
Who has helped you get to where
you are today?
Many people - my parents, my wife, and
senior managers at the Paper Mill who
were an inspiration to work for.
If you were in power in Government,
what would you change?
I would set the drink driving limit to zero.
Where is your favourite place to go
on holiday?
Africa – I’ve only been there once but it
was unforgettable.
What do you drive and what car do
you dream of driving?
I drive a Seat Alhambra - my son plays
the double bass and it’s the best car for
fitting in the musical instrument and the
family! I’m not a car person and don’t
really dream about cars but my brother
had an Aston Martin DB6 a long time
ago - that would be fun!
What’s on your bucket list?
I would like to learn how to play the
piano again - I did at school but think I’ll
have to start from scratch.
If you were a character in a movie,
who would you be?
Mr Bean.
What charity do you support?
Christian Aid, Oxfam, World Wildlife
Fund, Cancer and Leukaemia Research
and Alzheimer’s Scotland.
RGU students had the
opportunity to learn from some
of the north-east’s leading
investors and entrepreneurs and
compete in the Investment Den.
The Investment Den, which is in its fourth
year, is a unique capital event and saw
teams from the MBA, MBA Oil and Gas
Management, MSc Project Management,
MSc Oil and Gas Law and MSc Oil and
Gas Accounting degrees compete for the
UPB trophy.
The weekend-long event is the brainchild
of MBA Director at RGU Allan Scott.
Anoop Poddar, MD First Reserve Energy
Growth Capital, provided training into
investment appraisal approaches on the
first day.
A number of worked case studies
were also presented to develop basic
investment appraisal skills.
The primary learning outcome of the event
is to appreciate what investors are looking
for when appraising an investment.
Allan Scott, MBA Director at RGU,
presented the investment case that the
teams were developing to pitch.
Richard Selwa, Chairman & Founder of
UPB Ltd then outlined the case studies
and gave a real example of how an
entrepreneur pitches for finance. The
students then had the evening to work
and undertake case analysis and initial
pitch preparation.
The following morning Richard Selwa
went through pitching from a business
persons perspective. The students
then had several hours to finalise their
presentations and cases.
The following afternoon the teams
pitched to the judging panel of Anoop
Poddar, Richard Selwa, Greg Herrera
Managing Partner of Energy Ventures,
Dr Farooq Ahmad, Lecturer in Corporate
Finance, and Professor Ken Russell,
Associate Dean. Anoop, Greg and
Richard are all RGU alumni.
The best pitches competed to complete
the deal with Team Dave of Heather
Hannam, Steve Shearman and Natalie
Closs coming out on top. Greg Herrera
and Richard Selwa managed the
investment deal from the judging panel
side.
Heather Hannam, of Team Dave, said:
“The Investment Den weekend was
a great opportunity for us to test our
learning to date whilst under some very
tight time pressures.
“In particular, Anoop, Greg and Richard
really put us through our paces -
particularly when they were questioning
our business case and offering us the
‘deal’.
“It has certainly made the three of us
feel more confident about pitching to
investors in the future.”
Mr Scott said: “The Investment Den
benefits all involved. As well as giving
RGU MBA students present new ventures and business ideas
to leading north-east entrepreneurs
The winning team: Steve Shearman, Natalie Closs and Heather Hannam, with judges Farooq Ahmed, Prof.
Ken Russell, Greg Herrera and Richard Selwa
MBA students a fantastic opportunity
to gain first-hand experience and learn
from some innovative entrepreneurs and
business experts, those who pitch get the
opportunity to sharpen their presentation
skills and expose their business ideas to
potential investors.
“Scotland has a rich history of producing
innovative and successful entrepreneurs
who have made an impact on a global
stage. Aberdeen Business School
understands the importance of investing
in future Scottish business leaders and
we believe this pioneering event will
act as a genuine learning experience for
the students and entrepreneurs taking
part, and potentially facilitate new and
profitable business relationships.”
The winners were presented with the
UPB Trophy.
RGU:Union has launched Go
Green, a new sustainability
initiative which aims to help
and support students reduce
their carbon footprint.
Go Green is spearheading four key
projects to help to mitigate Scotland’s
carbon emissions while maintaining its
beautiful landscape.
These are: a Bike Hire Scheme; a Student
Halls Energy Challenge; a Community
Allotment Project; and an Energy
Ambassadors Scheme which helps local
organisations to reduce their energy bills.
Heading up Go Green are three green
fingered climate change staff members
who have been employed by RGU:Union
to help implement the carbon busting
projects.
Taking the helm of Go Green is
Climate Change Manager, Anthony
Browne. Having completed a Masters
in Environmental Engineering and a
doctorate in Low Carbon Energy from the
University of Nottingham, Anthony has
worked on a number of carbon capture
projects so is well placed to oversee the
implementation of RGU’s four energy
saving schemes.
“Having worked on large-scale carbon
reduction projects in the power
generation industry, I am keen to look
into the more local CO2 savings which
can be achieved. Support and education
enable people to make greener choices,
whether it’s turning off the lights or
sorting your recycling,” says Anthony.
“I hope that as Climate Change Manager
I can facilitate students to develop
environmentally friendly habits and
behaviours.”
Alongside Anthony sits Climate Change
Student Engagement Co-ordinator,
Natalie Stypa, whose role is to develop
strategies and events to get students
involved in Go Green’s projects.
Originally from Germany, Natalie
graduated with a degree in Philosophy
and Literature from the Freie Universitat
Berlin before achieving a MLitt in Creative
Writing from the University of Aberdeen,
which brought her to Scotland.
“I have always been passionate about the
environment,” says Natalie, who used
to be a member of Greenpeace. “When
I was 11 I was struck by images from
Greenpeace’s protest against the sinking
of the Brent Spar oil storage at sea, where
people risked their lives to protect nature.
“I then learnt how incredibly fulfilling
it is to work in environmentalism
during an internship in the Media
and Communications Department of
Greenpeace.
“Working for Go Green, I am thrilled
to be helping the university reduce its
carbon emission and become more
environmentally friendly while engaging
with our students.”
Meet the Go Green team
The Go Green team: Mhairi Mackintosh, Anthony Browne and Natalie Stypa
And last but by no means least is Go
Green’s third staff member, Mhairi
Mackintosh, who is the initiative’s Carbon
Reduction Project Officer. Mhairi has
always been interested in environmental
issues having graduated with an
undergraduate degree in Conservation
Biology and later an MSc in Ecology
and Environmental Science from the
University of Aberdeen.
She has worked for a variety of
conservation organisations including the
Scottish Wildlife Trust and carried out a
short term contract with the James Hutton
Institute. She spent two months working
in Zambia where she was involved in a
biodiversity conservation project.
“I was instantly attracted to the role and I
enjoy being able to share my enthusiasm
for nature with our student population,”
says the Muchalls born environmentalist.
“I am heading up the allotment scheme
having worked on a similar project in
the past so it is great that I am getting to
spend time in the garden while reporting
on Go Green’s targets which is another
part of my role.”
Keep an eye out for information on how
to get involved in all of the Go Green
projects. The Go Green team are based
at the RGU:Union offices on University
Street so pop in past to see how you can
become part of the exciting initiative and
help to keep RGU green and clean.
The Oil and Gas Academy of
Scotland (OGAS) was publicly
launched Tuesday, April 1 at an
event at the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish Funding Council-funded
organisation, which will address training
and educational requirements in the oil
and gas industry, is a collaboration of six
training and education providers for the
sector.
These are RGU, the University of
Aberdeen, Forth Valley College, Heriot
Watt University, and North East College
Scotland – which incorporate the ASET
International Oil and Gas Training
Academy.
The event, which was attended by
more than 90 professionals from across
the energy and education sectors, was
hosted by Maureen Watt MSP and
featured a keynote speech from Scottish
Minister for Energy, Enterprise and
Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP.
Established initially in 2012 to support
Scottish Government objectives for the
Energy sector, OGAS brings together
existing skills and expertise with partner
institutions and training providers to
facilitate innovative and effective oil and
gas training and education, supporting
the next generation of industry experts to
keep Scotland at the forefront of the oil
and gas sector.
OGAS director Rulzion Rattray, who
is based at RGU, said: “I am excited
and passionate about the current and
potential new opportunities made
available through the formation of the
Oil & Gas Academy of Scotland. The
key thinking in the formation of OGAS
has been and continues to be that of
collaboration and cooperation.
“Our key aims are to develop a one-stop
shop for the training and education
needs for the Oil and Gas Industry; to
work closely and collaboratively with all
stakeholders in the industry; facilitate
the delivery of focused ‘mid-career’
education and training to support
industry succession planning; work
with partners and organisations across
Scotland to secure a Scotland-wide
training and education solutions, based
on regional specialisms and to collaborate
in the development of new provision of
training and education, based on market
research and emerging needs.
“I would suggest that the OGAS
partners between them represent a very
significant global capacity for education
and training focussed on the oil and
gas sector and that this probably has no
rival outside the US. This is particularly
the case if we focus on the offshore
element of this capacity as represented
by the OGAS partners and by the
wider stakeholders in the community
of Scotland’s on-going experience of
working in the North Sea.”
Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski,
Principal of RGU, said: “OGAS is a
vital initiative for Scotland and for the
industry, involving a close partnership
between some of the key providers of
education and training, and allowing the
industry to access courses and expertise
through a single point of contact. The
OGAS partners will ensure that Scotland
has the skills to be a recognised global
centre of excellence for oil and gas.”
Oil and Gas Academy of
Scotland launched
Rulzion Rattray, Director of OGAS who is based at RGU
Director of OGAS,
Rulzion Rattray with
Maureen Watt MSP
and Minister for
Energy, Enterprise
and Tourism, Fergus
Ewing MSP
RGU’s Department for the
Enhancement of Learning,
Teaching and Assessment
(DELTA) is enhancing the
development of teaching
practice across the university.
Hilaire Graham has been appointed
as Head of Teaching Futures at RGU
where she leads the continuing
professional development (CPD)
for learning and teaching, and
enhancement projects across the
university.
She joins RGU from the University
of the Arts in London where she was
Associate Dean for Learning and
Teaching, and Programme Leader for
the MA Academic Practice, and brings
with her a wide range of experience in
educational development.
Originally from Papua New Guinea,
Hilaire studied architecture at the
University of Sydney, where she
also taught the subject, and went on
to work as an architect in Australia,
London and Iraq.
She also has a number of other
qualifications, having received a
post graduate Masters of Science at
the Bartlett School of Architecture,
a postgraduate diploma in Design
Science (Facilities Management) as well
as a graduate certificate in Education
DELTA appoints Head of Teaching Futures
Studies (Higher Education) from the
University of Sydney.
She spent part of her career working at
the University of the Creative Arts and
the University of Plymouth, where she
shifted from teaching architecture to
engaging with education and learning
in the creative arts disciplines.
Hilaire is currently talking with
colleagues across the university
about their aspirations for recognising
professional teaching, developing an
understanding of the various needs for
CPD in learning and teaching that are
relevant to the various cohorts of staff
in their disciplines.
Hilaire says: “RGU’s focus on
professional disciplines really appeals
to me and I am interested in Scotland’s
enhancement themes.
“This is a new post leading learning and
teaching in an interesting university
that enables me to build on experience
in previous institutions.
“There is a broad range of disciplines
at RGU and the role provides me with
an opportunity to explore teaching
practice across the Faculties and
Schools.
“A key factor for my role is to mediate
between sector demands and
Hilaire Graham
institutional and individual aspirations
and disciplines to set an agenda for
developing CPD that supports the
range of professional activities at RGU,”
says Hilaire.
Hilaire can be contacted directly via
email to h.graham@rgu.ac.uk or via
DELTA secretary Sandra Marnoch.
DELTA staff are currently still based in
St Andrew Street but are scheduled
to move to Garthdee in June 2014.
They will be located on the top floor
of ICRGU where they look forward to
welcoming clients into the new training
and demonstration area.
More than 150 students and staff
gathered at the Marriot Hotel in
Dyce last month for the annual
Student Achievement Awards,
celebrating the volunteering work
of students and societies at RGU.
Previously known as the Scarlet and
Golds, the Awards recognise the hard
work and successes of students over
the last year, either as part of a society,
volunteering for a good cause or
through a class representative role.
Guests were welcomed to the Awards
with a champagne reception, before
sitting down to a three course meal
which was followed by the ceremony
itself, where winners were presented
with their accolades by RGU’s Deputy
Principal, John Harper.
Over 100 students received awards
this year, with highlights including the
Society Person of the Year which was
awarded to Amy McNellis, who was
also recognised with distinction, for her
work with the RGU Electronic Gaming
Society, as well as a large amount of
volunteering hours for RGU:Union.
Rachel Sanders, who has previously
received the highest accolade, the
Full Scarlet Award, was honoured this
year for her continued excellence for
Volunteers honoured at
Student Achievement Awards
her work as RGU:RAG chair and as a
volunteer for the Students’ Union.
Ashley Thomson was also recognised
with distinction for her dedication
to volunteering and scooped the
Volunteer of the Year Award.
Stevie Kearney, Student Development
and Volunteer Co-ordinator, said:
“Student volunteering at RGU,
whether through charity work, class
representation or being part of a
society, raises valuable funds and
awareness for the university, local
community and various non-profit
organisations.
“So many of our students are
committed to volunteering and are
involved with some fantastic work
and initiatives so it is great that the
university recognises and celebrates
the hard work of individuals and
societies from across the student
body.”
RGU’s Deputy Principal with a group of award winning student volunteers
Student Presidents Paul Greene, Steven Mills and Paddy Maghaun with RGU:Union’s General Manager, Michele Collie.
RGU:Union’s longest serving
staff member, Audrey
Bainbridge, was honoured by
her peers at this year’s Student
Achievement Awards.
She was awarded a Lifetime
Achievement Award from the Students’
Union for its appreciation of her
commitment and dedicated years of
service.
Audrey first began working in the
Student Association canteen at Robert
Gordon’s Institute of Technology in
1977. She quickly moved to an admin
role supporting the General Manager at
the Student Association, and from there
on to an advice and welfare position.
For the next thirty years she single-
handedly ran the Students’ Union’s
advice department through the
institution’s transition to RGU. She
continues to work at RGU:Union and
gives her all to helping any students
who need support, as she has
throughout her many years here.
Audrey has been heavily involved
in many aspects of the Students’
Union. As well as her work with the
annual Graduation Ball, she was a
driving force behind starting the Blues
(Sports) and Scarlet & Gold (Societies
& Volunteering) awards balls, both of
which are still popular annual events.
RGU:Union’s Audrey Bainbridge honoured
for dedicated years of service
“She is always the first to volunteer
to help with things, even if they
would take her far beyond her regular
working hours for the week,” says
Michele Collie, the General Manager of
RGU:Union.
She has also regularly taken on the role
of the Deputy Returning Officer for the
student elections, which involves giving
advice to candidates, ensuring a fair and
democratic process, and maintaining
continuity through the annual turmoil of
student officer turnover.
“Audrey is incredibly knowledgeable
of all of the Union’s processes,
constitutions and regulations (past and
present), and holds a position on the
University’s Academic Regulations Sub-
Committee,” says Michele.
Scotland’s second oldest boat race,
The Aberdeen Asset Management
Boat Race which began in 1995, owes
its creation to a team of which Audrey
played a significant part. This is just one
of the most public indicators of Audrey’s
deep involvement with sports clubs
throughout the years, as she was also
their main administrator.
Ten years later in 2005, the university
opened a new, state-of-the-art sporting
and health complex, RGU: SPORT
which Audrey played a pivotal role in.
“This also shows the selflessness that
Audrey has – even though the creation
of RGU Sport would remove her
interaction with the sports clubs that
she had been deeply involved with for
years, she supported its inception and
creation as it was the better option for
the student body overall,” says Michele.
Audrey was also instrumental in
the creation of student societies,
including RugRag, the fundraising arm
of the Students’ Union now known
as RGU:RAG, which was recently
awarded Best Newcomer by Childreach
International and raised over £60,000
last year – achievements that would not
have been possible without Audrey’s
original involvement.
Audrey has also, throughout the years,
supported elected sabbaticals and
volunteers during their terms. This
is more than a standard colleague
relationship, as Audrey treats even
the smallest issue with complete
compassion and warmth.
She ensures that any student seeking
advice is made aware of all possible
options that they can take, and that they
are comfortable with any actions that
will then be necessary.
“No student leaves a support meeting
Audrey Bainbridge (centre) with Michele Collie, General Manager of RGU:Union and the three Student
Presidents Paul Greene, Steven Mills and Paddy Maghaun
with Audrey without, in some way,
having their day improved. While
obviously she cannot solve every
academic or personal issue that a
student brings, at the very least
Audrey’s huge capacity to listen and
talk without judgement gives students
a space to air their problems,” adds
Michele.
Students who have been helped by
Audrey and sabbaticals who have
worked with her fondly remember her,
and it is common for visiting alumni
to enquire about her. Through the
decades, many students’ lives have
been touched and improved due to her
selfless dedication to the student body.
Friends, Tutors, and Placements! Art & Paintings around
campus!
RGU:Union held ‘I Love RGU
Week’ last month to gather
feedback about the university
and spread some cheer around
the Garthdee campus.
The campaign encouraged students
and staff to get involved and tell them
what they thought was good about the
university, and why they love RGU.
The week started with an event on
the Monday morning in the reception
of Faculty of Health and Social Care
where breakfast foods and water were
given away while the RGU:Union
mascot, Bobby the Boar, and some
student volunteers danced around
to create a happy atmosphere on the
campus.
Signs were left outside the RGU:Union
offices on University Street for students
and staff to write down their favourite
things about the university, while large
numbers of people took to social media
websites, twitter and facebook to voice
their love for RGU.
Some even took the time to send in
emails detailing the things they like
best at RGU.
Steven Mills, Student President for
Education and Welfare helped to
organise the week and was thrilled with
the response they received from so
many students.
“The week was fantastic, it was really
successful and we gathered lots of
brilliant feedback,” said Steven.
I Love RGU Week
Steven came up with the idea of
the campaign as a positive way of
gathering feedback to improve RGU’s
representation structure which is part
of the Student Partnership Agreement.
“Normally student representation is
about gauging feedback but this often
encourages negative responses.
“I felt that representation can also be
very positive and we should encourage
students to talk about why they came
here in the first place, what they enjoy
here, what works, and what should we
try to build on as a university.”
There was a variety of comments left
by a large number of students, praising
all manner of things from the campus
facilities and surroundings, lecturers,
the student presidents, and the various
placement opportunities available at
RGU.
The week also featured the launch of
the ‘I Love My Lecturer’ nominations
which is an annual RGU event where
students nominate their favourite
lecturers.
Due to the success of the first ‘I Love
RGU Week’ Steven hopes that it
becomes an annual event and grows
bigger and better in years to come.
Some of the comments and tweets left throughout the week conveyed lots of positive messages:
#IloveRGU because it actively
fights for equality :) #OutinSport
#ILoveRGU because they gave me
the opportunity to study abroad
in South Korea for a semester.
#lifechanging
#ILoveRGU because this place gave me the opportunity to
work for students as opposed to working for the sake of it.
#ILoveRGU because of the amazing campus, my course,
people and the #rguunion :) @AberdeenBSchool
I met some of my best friends here! Got me my dream job!
Great Student Association! Awesome Staff, great placements!
Can’t help but love it and be Proud!
Postgraduate student Reginald
Ankrah won a scholarship to
RGU after taking part in The
Challenge, an Apprentice style
reality TV show in Ghana.
He started his MSc Information
Engineering course at the School of
Computing Science and Digital Media
in January and tells Nexus how he has
found his time at RGU so far.
I’d always wanted to pursue my
postgraduate education at RGU. I had
previously been offered a place in
September 2012 but couldn’t accept it
at the time due to financial constraints.
I received an email from RGU last
year stating they were sponsoring
the Challenge and that the winner
gets a full scholarship to study at the
university. I also received a call from
my previous Head of Department
who happens to be a graduate of RGU
and encouraged me to try out for the
Challenge.
I was reluctant to apply at first because
I doubted myself and felt I wouldn’t
be up to par. The Challenge required
that to succeed you have to be
highly creative, innovative and very
intelligent. However, I felt I owed it to
my deceased father to at least give it a
try because he always believed in me
and told me I was meant for greater
things. To honour his loving memory,
I took the boldest step ever in my life,
and entered the Challenge.
RGU welcomes ‘The Challenge’ scholarship winner
The Challenge tasks were meant to
test the contestants in all aspects
of academia and real life situations.
Among the tasks we were set was
drafting a viable business plan,
designing and modelling a 3D futuristic
mobile technology, shooting a
documentary, developing a marketing
plan and taking part in a treasure hunt.
I had mixed feelings when I was told I
had won The Challenge - on one hand,
I was filled with joy and excitement
for winning and on the other, grief for
the fact that my father wasn’t there to
witness this great achievement in my
life.
I did my undergraduate degree in
Computer Network Management at
Koforidua Polytechnic but I wanted
to hone my skills in the area of Object
Oriented Programming, Databases,
Web Development and Data Mining.
Information Engineering is the perfect
course to help me acquire such
expertise.
I already have an IT business running
back home and I hope to use the
expertise I gather from RGU to design
and develop good systems to assist in
the area of data gathering, specifically
in statistics. This will foster good
productivity within businesses and
institutions back home in Ghana.
The course is very interesting and
involving. There are several resources
available both on the Campus Moodle
Postgraduate student Reginald Ankrah
platform and in the Library. The
lecturers are very helpful and exciting
in the teaching.
I’ve settled into Aberdeen really well.
I have very good accommodation on
campus and an excellent view of the
University from my window. My flat
mates are awesome. Even though we
are all from different backgrounds
we get along very well. I have made a
number of friends both in and out of
my course from around the world.
I don’t just like Aberdeen, I love
Aberdeen. For me it’s an excellent
place to live. I love the weather,
architecture, the granite buildings,
the quietness of the town, the
multi-cultural diversity and the great
hospitality of the people. Aberdeen is
an amazing place.
RGU has launched an
international exchange
programme for Pharmacy
students to gain experience of
a different healthcare system in
the United States.
The first stage of the partnership with the
Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East
Tennessee State University (ETSU) saw
American students Chase Ballinger and
Les Louden spend four weeks in Aberdeen
throughout March.
During their time in the north-east they
attended Pharmacy lectures at RGU,
observed Pharmacists working in the
community and participated in a number
of public health and Interprofessional
Education (IPE) events.
Chase and Les said that they had both
enjoyed their exchange which had
highlighted a number of differences in the
way the profession works on either side of
the Atlantic.
Chase said: “The exchange to RGU has
been a great experience which has given us
the opportunity to gain perspective on the
differences of Pharmacy practice between
the United Kingdom and the United States.
Les added: “Community Pharmacy is
fantastic here in the UK, especially how they
go about their practices. The profession is
also a lot more science and research focused
which means you’re always learning about
the latest developments.”
RGU launches transatlantic Pharmacy exchange programme
Les Louden, Katy Hart, Gary Carson and Chase Ballinger.
As part of the exchange programme RGU
Pharmacy students Katy Hart and Gary
Carson will make the return trip to Johnson
City for four weeks in June.
Gary said: “It’s been great to meet Chase
and Les to compare and contrast how
Pharmacy is practiced in the US. There
are quite a few differences between the
American system and here in the UK which
is interesting to learn about and identify best
practice.”
Katy added: “I already feel like I’ve learned
so much about what we’re going to see and
do while we’re in the United States. I can’t
wait to travel to Tennessee and learn how
Pharmacy is taught and practiced in the US.”
Professor Donald Cairns, Head of School
of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at RGU,
recently visited ETSU after the exchange to
further strengthen the university’s links in
the area.
He said: “I am delighted to see the first
fruits of the International Exchange
Programme between Pharmacy and
Life Sciences at RGU and the Bill Gatton
College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee
State University. Chase and Les spoke very
highly of their time here at RGU and we
look forward to welcoming two more ETSU
students next session.”
The LLM Oil and Gas Law
course at RGU has been
reaccredited by the Energy
Institute, adding to the
university’s already vast
portfolio of accredited courses.
The course, which is taught at RGU’s Law
School within Aberdeen Business School,
was originally accredited in2008, and it has
been reaccredited following a recent visit
from the EI panel.
The EI panel members commended the
enthusiasm of both the staff and the
students who they met, and also the
reflective approach the Oil and Gas Law
Group has taken to developing the course
under the leadership of Bill Craig.
In a competitive world such as the energy
industry the modern professional body is
a valuable partner for any organisation.
The purpose of the EI is to develop and
disseminate knowledge, skills and good
practice towards a safer, more secure and
sustainable energy system.
Professor Ken Mackinnon, Head of the
Law School, commended Bill Craig and his
course team on the successful outcome
adding : “The EI accreditation procedure
involves a thorough assessment of the
course contents, its teaching staff and
facilities by a panel of Energy Institute
experts who also conduct meetings
with both lecturers and students. So its
testament to all of those involved that we
Staff from RGU travelled to the
Middle East recently to deliver
training to Pharmacy staff in
the region.
Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) trainers Dr Kay
Cooper and Pamela Kirkpatrick from RGU’s
Institute for Health and Wellbeing Research
(IHWR) spent five days at Qatar University
in March.
There they delivered the JBI Comprehensive
Systematic Review Training Programme
to 14 delegates of faculty staff in the
University’s College of Pharmacy.
It is the first international delivery of the
course offered by the Scottish Centre for
Evidence-based, Multi-professional Practice:
an affiliate centre of the Joanna Briggs
Institute, based in Adelaide University.
RGU’s Law School adds to
its impressive portfolio of
accredited courses
RGU staff deliver successful training
programme in Qatar
have gained the reaccreditation.”
The LLM Oil and Gas Law focuses on the
main legal issues within today’s oil and gas
industry.
Aberdeen is the energy capital of Europe
and this postgraduate course in Oil and
Gas Law has been developed to provide
graduates with the skillset required in an
area of increasing market demand. It is
suitable for those with legal qualifications or
with considerable experience in the oil and
gas industry.
The course provides the opportunity to
critically assess and examine key legal issues
in the oil and gas sector, both in the UK and
leading areas. On successful completion of
the course graduates will be in a position to
understand and deal with some of the main
energy legal issues. They will also gain key
employability, enterprise and transferable
skills.
It can also be studied by the flexible distance
learning allowing busy professionals to
study at their own pace.
Course participants included Associate
Professors, Assistant Professors, the Chair
of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice section
and the Dean and Head of Research for
Pharmacy.
Most of the participants are active in varied
aspects of pharmacy research including
inter professional education, coronary heart
disease and drug effectiveness studies.
Pamela Kirkpatrick said: “It’s great Dr
Cooper and I have been able to deliver the
course to our colleagues at Qatar University.
Their feedback has been extremely positive
and it’s good to know we’ve helped increase
their knowledge of the JBI approach to
conducting systematic reviews.
“Conducting JBI systematic reviews will
allow the Pharmacy staff to synthesise
research evidence on a range of topics,
thereby facilitating evidence-based practice
and teaching, and identifying areas that
require further research to be conducted.”
The pharmacists will now work on
registering their titles, developing their
protocols and systematic reviews with
support from the RGU trainers through
regular communication.
This will consolidate knowledge gained and
help to optimise publication opportunities
in The Joanna Briggs Institute Library of
Systematic Reviews and Implementation
Reports.
In addition to further developing research
capacity in Pharmacy globally, delivering
the training strengthens RGU’s research
relationships with healthcare professionals
in the Middle East and activities will also
contribute to the outputs of the Scottish
Centre.
RGU students launch sustainable
community garden project
RGU students gain insight from
leading oil and gas experts
Green fingered students
from RGU broke the turf of a
sustainable community garden
project at Garthdee last month.
The Students’ Union at RGU held a launch
day for the community garden which it
is creating on a plot of land near to the
university’s Garthdee campus for members
of the public to use as well as students and
staff.
Members of the public were invited to the
garden launch day on Saturday, March 22 to
help spruce up the plot which will become a
working allotment with vegetable and fruit
patches as well as flower beds.
The garden is funded by a grant from
the Climate Change Fund (CCF), which
awarded RGU:Union more than £200,000
for a proposal it submitted to the Scottish
Government initiative with ideas to
reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint while
maintaining its beautiful landscape.
Anthony Browne, Climate Change Manager
at RGU’s Students’ Union, who is heading
up the Go Green initiative, said: “The
RGU community garden project is open to
anyone as an opportunity to gain hands-on
experience in sustainability by producing
environmentally friendly home-grown food.
“The garden will become a working
allotment for people to grow their own food
RGU’s MBA Oil and Gas
Management cohort recently
gained an insight from some of
the north-east’s leaders in oil
and gas throughout a series of
seminars.
Experts from BP, one of the world’s leading
oil and gas companies, shared their
knowledge with RGU’s MBA students and
alumni.
Trevor Garlick, Regional President of BP
North Sea, Andy Hessell, Vice President
Commercial Operations at BP and Dave
Lynch, Vice President for BP’s Resources all
presented seminars. They explored various
topics including joint venturing in the North
Sea, reservoir development and the future
of the basin. They also discussed what BP is
doing to focus its activity, maximise recovery
from its assets and invest for the future.
All of RGU’s cohort could attend the
seminar series, which was attended by
around 120 over the three sessions.
Allan Scott, MBA Director, said: “The
BP seminar series gives MBA students a
fantastic opportunity to gain an insight
into the dynamic environment in which BP
operates and the exciting opportunities that
lay ahead for the North Sea basin. Learning
from the leading experts in the industry is an
invaluable part of our programme”.
“The face-to-face experiences are critical for
affiliation to the school, networking and the
high level of industry engagement.
“To be able to give students access to
managers of such seniority is great and BP’s
involvement is much appreciated. Events
like this are an important way of enhancing
the aspiration of our students and to prepare
them to be the leaders of the future.”
Tim Smith, BP’s VP for Communication and
External Affairs is due to speak to MBA
students and alumni in June.
RGU offers an MBA programme
which consists of Master of Business
Administration, MBA Oil and Gas
Management, MBA Energy Business
and MBA Information Management and
maintains a truly global perspective.
RGU’s MBA programme is designed
with students’ aspirations and industry
demand in mind and focuses on academic
underpinning and ethical practice,
behavioural skills, career mentoring,
personal development and industry
engagement through guest lectures,
projects and networking events. The
university has over 850 MBA alumni and
more than 300 students currently studying
on the programme.
The online MBA has been ranked as one
of the top online courses at highly ranked
business schools.
The QS Distance/Online MBA Ranking is
the first global ranking of distance/online
MBA courses which is designed to help
applicants identify the world’s strongest
online MBA courses, and RGU’s Aberdeen
Business School was featured at number 23.
for free, not only helping the pocket but
also helping the environment by mitigating
the fuel emissions caused by the vehicles
that are used to transport produce to
supermarkets.
“RGU:Union is committed to sustainability
and the community garden is just one
strand of our ‘Go Green’ initiative which
is all about engaging with students to get
them involved, demonstrating how small
measures can be put into place to help
reduce our carbon footprint while having
fun, meeting new people and gaining
qualifications.
The plot of land is situated at the Garthdee
Field Allotments on Garthdee Road,
Aberdeen.
News in Brief
The Treehouse
Nursery celebrates its
10th birthday
The Treehouse Early Care and
Education Centre were proud to
celebrate their 10 year anniversary last
month.
To celebrate this milestone, the nursery
held an all-day birthday party on
Tuesday March 11, where the children
and their parents took part in a number
of fun activities including a puppet
show and face painting.
CUSP welcomes
Commonwealth
Professional Fellow
The team at RGU’s Centre for
Sustainable Practice (CUSP) welcomed
a new face in February when
Commonwealth Professional Fellow
Toyin Oshaniwa joined the university.
Toyin, who is the CEO of Nigerian
sustainability NGO (Non-Governmental
Organisation) Nature Cares, will be at
RGU until the end of May.
	
An Environmental and Sustainability
Educator and Researcher, he was
inspired to learn more about the
work done by CUSP after following
the team’s efforts to develop a
regeneration plan for the Nigerian
community of Makoko in Lagos.
He said: “Learning about CUSP’s
various initiatives for promoting
sustainable practice sparked my
interest in coming to learn and share
knowledge with the team.
“I also found the plans to launch
a Masters course in Energy and
Sustainability interesting and wanted
to learn more about the dynamics
of course design, development and
implementation.”
Commonwealth Professional
Fellowships support mid-career
professionals from developing
Commonwealth countries to spend
a period of time with a UK host
organisation working in their field
for a programme of professional
development.
A birthday tea party was also held in
the afternoon and the children and
their parents tucked into a colourful
and delicious birthday cake.
Christine Buchanan, Dean of Students
at Robert Gordon University and parent
liaison officer, attended the tea party
and helped to cut the cake.
Miranda Anderson, Nursery Manager
at The Treehouse, said “We had a
fun-filled day packed with activities
to celebrate our nursery’s ten year
milestone.
“The children particularly enjoyed
taking part in the puppet shows and
the face painting was a great success.
It was fantastic that Christina and
our parents were able to join in the
birthday fun too.”
The Treehouse Early Care and
Education Centre is located on the
RGU campus after moving from its
heritage site in Kepplestone in March
2004.
The bespoke, purpose-built, nursery
is open to university students and staff
and also the wider community, caring
for babies and children from 3 months
to 5 years of age.
Talking about what he will take away
from the experience, Toyin said:
“The experience will be significant
in updating training materials
and learning new innovative
training techniques in sustainable
development. In the long term, it is a
fundamental step towards building a
long-term relationship with CUSP and
RGU.”
Continued
News in Brief
Rugby hero to be
guest of honour at
university sports ball
Former Scotland rugby captain and British
Lion Jason White will be the guest of honour
at this year’s RGU: SPORT Awards Ball.
The rugby union player, who is originally
from Aberdeen, will join more than 500
students and guests at the glittering event at
RGU:SPORT on Friday, April 25.
Sponsored by DG Fitness, the RGU: SPORT
Awards Ball is considered the highlight of
the sporting calendar for students at the
university.
Paddy Maughan, student President of
President of Sport and Physical Activity,
has helped organise this years’ event which
will celebrate the achievements of talented
individuals and sports clubs.
He said: “We’re all really looking forward
to the Awards Ball and a lot of hard work as
gone in to making sure the event will be a
success.
“It’s great to have a local high-level athlete
like Jason White as our guest of honour and
I know he will be looking forward to meeting
all of the award winners.
“The sports clubs at RGU have produced
some fantastic performances this year and
it’s important that we have this chance to
recognise their efforts and celebrate all of
their successes.
“The evening is also an opportunity to
say thank you to all of the supporters and
volunteers who run our sports clubs as their
hard work is invaluable to us. In particular,
we are extremely grateful to our sponsors
DG Fitness for their continued support of
the RGU: SPORT Awards Ball.”
Legal Eagles gather
at RGU for Lord
Hamilton lecture
More than 100 people from the
Aberdeen legal profession and further
afield gathered at RGU to listen to
senior Scottish judge Lord Hamilton.
In the final of a series of events marking
the achievements of the Law School at
RGU, the Rt Hon Lord Hamilton, the
former Lord Justice General of Scotland
and Lord President of the Court of
Session, delivered an inaugural public
lecture on Arbitration.
His lecture, entitled ‘Arbitration In
Scotland: Its Nature and Future’ gave
a unique insight into arbitration, which
is an essential method of dispute
resolution, and its future.
In light of its potential impact on
the Scottish business community,
understanding arbitration is essential
for all those in business, industry and
the legal profession.
Over 110 people attended – largely
from the Aberdeen legal profession
Volunteering for
Asthma UK gives Toni
sense of satisfaction
An e-learning advisor at RGU is using
her skills to help one of the United
Kingdom’s leading Asthma charities.
Toni Simpson from the School of
Pharmacy and Life Sciences volunteers
for Asthma UK and devotes her spare
time to a number of important roles.
More than five million people in the
UK suffer from the disease, 368,000 of
those cases are in Scotland.
Toni started volunteering with the
charity in January 2012 and started as
a member of its Research and Policy
team.
The dedicated volunteer chose to give
her time to the charity in order to help
it to achieve its aims by supporting
world-leading research, award-winning
information and services, and life-
changing campaigns.
Toni said: “I enjoy volunteering and
it’s a great way to help others by using
your own skills. I chose to work for
Asthma UK because the condition
affects so many people and I felt I had a
lot of offer the organisation.”
As well as her role on the charity’s
Research and Policy team, Toni is now
also a member of the Readers Panel
and a Lay Reviewer.
but also from outside the region. The
Chairman of the Scottish Arbitration
Centre - which is a government
backed initiative at promoting Scotland
as a venue for dispute resolution -
Brandon Malone came to listen to Lord
Hamilton.
Professor Ken Mackinnon, Head of
the Law School at RGU, said: “We
were very pleased that Lord Hamilton
accepted the Law School’s invitation to
give the first of what will be an annual
series of lectures by distinguished
legal figures who can provide unique
insights into the practice of law.”
Mr Malone said: “It was great to hear
Lord Hamilton’s insights into arbitration
and the Scottish Arbitration Centre was
proud to support the event.
It is a real benefit to that aim that we
have arbitration practitioners such
as Lord Hamilton in the country, and
training courses available to those who
want to build their knowledge, such as
the excellent ones offered by RGU’s
Law School.”Through her work with RGU Toni has
also gained Fellow status to the Higher
Education Academy (HEA) in 2011
and is now working towards achieving
Senior Fellow status.
She said: “I was extremely proud
to receive Fellow status to the HEA
and be one of the first non-academic
members of staff at the university to
have achieved this.”
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AprilEvents
01
Professorial Lecture:
Going to the Market?
SLSA Conference 2014 SLSA Conference 2014 SLSA Conference 2014
One RGU, Many Nations
Carnival
Sexual Health and
Wellness Among Afro-
Caribbeans’ in Diaspora
Conference
Professorial Lecture: Going to
the Market?
9 April
Riverside East
The Principal of RGU will examine the
impact of markets on society during his
professorial lecture.
SLSA Conference 2014
9 to 11 April
Aberdeen Business School
Over the past 21 years, the annual
SLSA conference has expanded to
become one of the most prestigious
international events in socio-legal
studies. The conferences are central to
the SLSA objective of the dissemination
of knowledge in the field of socio-legal
studies.
One RGU, Many Nations
Carnival
15 April
Riverside East
The event provided students and staff
with an opportunity to showcase their
backgrounds, nationalities and cultures
to the wider RGU community. It will
feature an exhibition of nations and
a variety of Scottish and international
performances and a fashion show.
Sexual Health and Wellness
Among Afro-Caribbeans’ in
Diaspora Conference
19 April 2014
Riverside East
The event features various speakers
including senior lecturer at RGU Dr
Winifred Eboh, Consultant in Public
Health Physician for NHS Grampian,
Dr Emmanuel Okpo, Consultant in
Sexual health for NHS Grampian, Dr
Daniella Brawley, and Katai Kasengele
of Waverely Care.

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NEXUS-April-2014

  • 1. Nexusonline CONNECTING THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY A P R I L 2 0 1 4 A word from the Principal RGU students take the plunge for charity RGU hosts Scotland’s first Health and Social Care Team Challenge RGU:Union triumphs at NUS Scotland Awards Aberdeen Youth Games scoops Gold Game Changer Award RGU Nutrition students get a taste of industry experience Getting to know SPARG MBA students present new ventures Meet the ‘Go Green’ team DELTA appoints Head of Teaching Futures Oil and Gas Academy of Scotland launched I Love RGU Week RGU launches transatlantic Pharmacy exchange programme RGU:Union’s Audrey Bainbridge honoured RGU’s Law School adds to its impressive portfolio RGU welcomes ‘The Challenge’ scholarship winner RGU staff deliver successful training programme in Qatar Students launch sustainable community garden project Students gain insight from leading oil and gas experts News In Brief Events Student Achievement Awards Designed and Activated by: The Gatehouse - Design & Print Consultancy at RGU
  • 2. A word from the Principal As some readers will know, I publish a blog (universitydiary. wordpress.com) in which I cover various aspects of higher education, and sometimes other matters. As this is quite widely read, I get a fair amount of feedback from academics across higher education, both in this country and beyond. A recurring theme of this correspondence relates to the frustration some people feel about what they regard as their inability to express their views, ambitions, hopes and fears in their own institutions. I hope this is not the case in RGU, though of course I am well aware that not everything we do is perfect. Of course we have all been living through times in which budgets are tight and opportunities sometimes less visible, but then again, in RGU we have identified some exciting strategic targets that we are now pursing energetically. As we develop our next phase of strategic actions, it will be really important that we identify the ideas, views, anxieties, and ambitions of colleagues throughout the institution. I am hoping to undertake several visits to different parts of the university, where I am hoping to hear from many of you and to explore with you how we can develop in a way that brings benefits for everyone. At the same time you will also have an opportunity to take part in the next all-staff survey, “Employee Barometer 2014”, which goes live in mid-April. The survey is much shorter and more focused than in previous years, just 10 questions, and it takes just a few minutes to complete. Please do take the time to give us your views; it’s really important you tell us how you feel about the university and your part in it. RGU is a wonderful university, and it is so because of what you all do for it. I hope that we will be able to show that we are not just ambitious, strategic and focused, but also inclusive and supportive. I hope to show that we are not just a university, but also a community. Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski
  • 3. Dare devil students from RGU took a leap of faith recently to raise money for charity. A group of students from RGU took part in a 175ft static bungee jump at the university’s Garthdee campus recently to raise money for local children charity, Aberlour Childcare Trust. The students raised £3698 for Aberlour through sponsorship for taking part in the bungee jump, which was organised by RGU:RAG (raising and giving), the fundraising arm of the Students’ Union. Rachel Stewart, third year Nutrition and Dietetics student who also braved the jump, raised £378 for Marrow Aberdeen, the student branch of the UK’s largest bone marrow register Anthony Nolan. Students had been signing up for the jump RGU students take the plunge for charity since it was launched during this year’s RGU:RAG Week, a jam packed annual fundraising week held in February where students took part in various activities including a Nippy Dip at Aberdeen Beach to raise money for Aberlour. Among the group who took the plunge was Student Vice President for the Community, Alasdair Lemon, and RGU staff member George Lawie, who works as a Resident Assistant Warden as well as an Advice Co- ordinator for the Students’ Union. Rachel Sanders, Chair of RGU:RAG, who has previously taken part in a charity bungee jump, says: “While we offer challenging fundraising expeditions such as climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, we decided to organise an on- campus bungee jump to give our students the chance to take on an adventurous charitable challenge without the need to travel. “The bungee jump created a lot of excitement among our students and the wider RGU community, which has not only helped to raise money for our chosen charity but also increase awareness of its very worthwhile cause. “I am delighted that our brave students have managed to raise thousands for taking the plunge, which combined with the money raised during RGU:RAG Week, will take us to a total of around £ 3789.39 which will go towards supporting Scotland’s most vulnerable children. “The money raised will be divided between two main services in Aberdeen, and will bring lots of smiles to little faces in the city. We would like to thanks everyone who got involved and supported us through RAG Week.”
  • 4. “I had seen a number of presentations about the Canadian and Australian challenges and was really inspired by the enthusiasm and practical approach to getting health and social care teams to learn with, from and about each other. “We were inspired and a UK contingent including a very active Scottish group decided we wanted to see how we could use the concept with our students, and also our practitioners. Setting up of the challenge has been a catalyst for further interprofessional, cross sector and international collaboration.” This simple but very effective activity has motivated students since the 1990s and is backed by research that highlights the ability to translate core values and competencies into interprofessional practice with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of services provided. Pioneered by academics from the University of British Columbia over 25 years ago, the Health Care Team Challenge was taken to Australia and developed for an Australian audience by an interprofessional team of Queensland academics. In 2007, the Project Team held its first demonstration event at The University of Queensland. The enthusiastic participation, achievement of learning outcomes and demand from the students led to this becoming an annual event and the birth of the Health Fusion Team Challenge. Students from across the country descended onto the RGU campus last month to compete in Scotland’s first Health and Social Care Team Challenge (HSCTC) RGU’s Riverside East building was the setting for the inaugural event which is part of the drive to educate Scotland’s next generation of health and social care professionals in collaborative person- centred care. The Scottish HSCTC promotes excellence in teamwork and person- centred care. Inter-professional student teams, drawing on representatives from a range of health and social care professions, worked together over four weeks to develop a management plan for a woman with Alzheimer’s disease and her family. The teams submitted their plan to an audience and a panel of expert judges before competing in a range of activities designed to test them under pressure. The teams were judged over the course of the programme on quality and collaboration with the winners receiving the Scottish HSCTC trophy and hopefully an opportunity to present at conferences in the coming year. “We were really excited about this first Challenge – a first for Scotland but also for the UK.” says Jenny Miller, Allied Health Professions programme lead for practice education at NHS Education for Scotland. RGU hosts Scotland’s first Health and Social Care Team Challenge The Scottish Health and Social Care Team Challenge*, led by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and the interprofessional education leads at five universities in Scotland, is an extension of the Australian Health Fusion Team Challenge which is unique to the United Kingdom. The Scottish project team has actively sought the involvement of health and social care service users and carers throughout the process supported by Alzheimer Scotland. “We hope that this will grow into an annual event but also that the concept is used within the workplace where we really need to think about how we get teams to work collaboratively with all involved - across health and social care, with voluntary organisations and even more importantly in partnership with those who use the services and their family carers.” It is hoped that the event will be the start of a nationwide development of the challenge for pre-registration students and for use with professionals working in health and social care settings. The challenge forms part of a Festival of Learning organised for those supporting learning in practice within health and social care settings, to network, share practice and debate current developments in teaching, learning and assessment. The theme for this year’s Festival of Learning was developing the future workforce to meet the needs of the Scottish 2020 Health and social care vision. Professor Val Maehle, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care at RGU, said: “We are proud to host both the Festival of Learning and the Scottish Health and Social Care Team Challenge here at RGU in partnership with our colleagues at NHS Education for Scotland. “Both events highlight the importance of collaborative working across the health professions which is something we promote to students at every stage of their professional development.” There are examples of how the challenge works Here. The winning team: Melissa Davidson (RGU), Lewis Sutherland (RGU), Lois Salter (Edinburgh Uni), Lianne Brunton (Glasgow Caledonian Uni), Aimee McGoldrick (Strathclyde Uni) and Lara McCann (RGU).
  • 5. The Students’ Union at RGU is celebrating a hat-trick of national awards. RGU:Union scooped the accolades for Officer Team of the Year, and Equality and Diversity, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland Awards. It was awarded Officer Team of the Year in recognition of the hard work and commitment of the three student presidents in ensuring RGU’s Students’ Union achieves its aims and objectives. Student Presidents Paul Greene, Steven Mills and Paddy Maughan were commended for their coordinated approach to their roles, which saw them work together to successfully establish a new Student Association after it moved from its city centre premises to the university’s Garthdee campus. They worked hard to engage with the student body throughout the year, introducing a new constitution, launching various campaigns and initiatives, engaging heavily with the student body to achieve a significant increase in student participation, as well as the highest society and sports club membership take up the Students’ Union has ever received. RGU:Union won the Equality and Diversity Award for its work in strengthening equality and diversity across the university including introducing a new Equal Opportunities policy which is embedded in all of the procedures and operations of the Students’ Union. The Students’ Union also strengthened its governance structure by creating student equality champion roles which work in partnership with the RGU’s staff equivalents to promote their strands as well as host diversity weeks such as ‘Disability Awareness Week’ which RGU:Union introduced to the academic calendar. RGU:Union’s longest serving member of staff, Audrey Bainbridge, was also honoured by NUS, which created a Lifetime Achievement Award specifically for her in recognition of her 37 years of service in supporting the student body. Audrey spent thirty years of her career single-handily running the Students’ Union’s advice department and was instrumental in the creation of student societies. Her involvement with sport at RGU saw her help to establish the historic universities boat race and play a significant part in the opening of RGU:SPORT. Student President for Education and Welfare, who attended the award ceremony, said: “We are thrilled to have won two accolades and are delighted that Audrey has been honoured for her lifetime of work. She truly has been instrumental to RGU:Union and a lot of what we have in place now is all down to her. The fact that NUS created the award just for her is a testament to everything she has achieved for our students. “We are really pleased to have won the Equality and Diversity category as we have worked hard to embed equality and diversity into our plans, policies and visions and have since seen a huge impact in our student engagement as well as a more diverse spectrum of student representation.” Michele Collie, the General Manager of RGU:Union, who nominated the three student presidents for the Officer Team of the Year award, said: “The three presidents have shown significant effort, creativity, passion and patience during their term, even in the face of some very large barriers. RGU:Union is the best it has ever been and this is largely down to the work of our current presidents. “They work strategically and support each other’s aims and campaigns and have launched some fantastic initiatives throughout the year. They even passed a constitution with byelaws and a trustee board, which strengthens the governance structure and flexibility for the future generations of sabbaticals.” The NUS Scotland Awards celebrate the work of individual students, student groups and student associations from RGU:Union triumphs at NUS Scotland Awards NUS awards - RGU:Union team members with NUS Scotland’s Women’s Officer, Stacey Devine. Audrey Bainbridge collecting her NUS Lifetime Achievement Award universities across Scotland. This year NUS Scotland received a record number of nominations for the awards. RGU:Union picked up its accolades at NUS Scotland’s annual award ceremony which was held in Dundee on Saturday, March 22.
  • 6. The Aberdeen Youth Games project has scooped a prestigious prize at a national awards ceremony to celebrate higher education’s contribution to help deliver a lasting legacy for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The project won the Gold Sporting Contribution Award at the Game Changer Awards organised by Colleges Scotland and Universities Scotland, and backed by Legacy 2014 and the Scottish Funding Council, in Glasgow on Thursday, April 3. Representatives from RGU and Sport Aberdeen, who are working in partnership to deliver the project, collected the award at a glittering ceremony for more than 275 guests at the city’s atmospheric Old Fruitmarket in Candleriggs. Scottish comedian and broadcaster Fred MacAulay acted as the master of ceremonies for the evening and special guests included members of the Scottish Government and Glasgow 2014 officials. The Aberdeen Youth Games aims to motivate primary school pupils in the city to lead healthy and active lives, and develop their global citizenship, through celebrating the sport and culture of the Commonwealth. Bryan McCann, lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at RGU, leads the project which will culminate in a Aberdeen Youth Games scoops Gold Game Changer Award Festival of Sport at Aberdeen Sports Village on Friday, May 16. He said: “We are very proud that the Aberdeen Youth Games has been recognised with a Gold Game Changer Award. A lot of work is being done to make sure this is a successful and sustainable project which will help create a lasting sporting legacy in the city following the Commonwealth Games. The award recognises all this hard work. “We hope this exciting initiative will inspire the next generation of young people in Aberdeen to pick up new sports and be able to enjoy them into the future.” Olympic rowing champion Dr Katherine Grainger CBE has thrown her weight behind the project, which was launched last year, and will be at the Festival of Sport next month in her role as Aberdeen Youth Games Ambassador to encourage and cheer on the 1,000 school pupils taking part. A total of 36 primary schools have signed up to participate in the Aberdeen Youth Games and have been assigned a Commonwealth country which they will represent during the opening ceremony and in skills-based sport competitions throughout the day. As part of the build up to the Festival of Sport more than 30 second year BSc (Hons) Applied Sports and Exercise students from RGU have received training in netball, badminton and athletics coaching. They will deliver coaching in these sports to pupils across the city as part of their work placements through Sport Aberdeen this semester. Graeme Dale, Senior Development Manager, Active Schools at Sport Aberdeen, said: “Winning the Gold Award is a fantastic achievement for the Aberdeen Youth Games and the project is going from strength to strength as we get closer to the Festival of Sport. “The students have completed their coaching training and are eager to start their placements where they will build on our Active Schools programme and deliver sports sessions for pupils across the city.” Alongside the sports coaching sessions at school, pupils will learn about the Commonwealth and develop their global citizenship through education activities and the completion of ‘Inspire>Aspire’ posters. They will work on these to develop a better understanding of their allocated Commonwealth country’s culture. The posters will then be put on display at Aberdeen Sports Village during the Festival of Sport where Katherine Grainger will help choose the winning design. As part of the build-up to the final event a baton relay will be held between each of the participating primary schools. A design competition CEO of Glasgow 2014, David Grevembreg, Bryan McCann from RGU, Michael Russell MSP and Stuart Reid from Sport Aberdeen. was held earlier this year which saw pupils invited to Gray’s School of Art to finalise their designs and create 3D models of their work. The overall winning design and model will be created by Gray’s and used in the baton relay before becoming the centrepiece for the Festival of Sport. For more information about the Aberdeen Youth Games, please Click Here.
  • 7. Nutrition students from RGU have made a contribution to public health through food industry placements organised by the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF). Fourth year students Gillian Campbell, Ki Wong, Karolina Papalexi and Ophelie Robertson recently completed their 12- week placements with SFDF’s Scottish Government (Health) funded Reformulation Programme. The initiative helps small and medium sized producers to play their part in taking calories and salt out of the Scottish diet by giving them practical, tailored reformulation advice. The placements were organised by SFDF’s Industry Technical Manager Chris Peace and the students were tasked with reformulating several popular food products offered by different companies by reducing the amount of fat, sugar and salt used in their production. Working with the SFDF team, Gillian Campbell contacted butchers in Aberdeen and Edinburgh to encourage them to create new, healthier recipes for their sausages using new lower salt seasoning available from seasoning companies. As a result of Gillian and SFDF’s efforts, a large number of butchers across Scotland are now able to access seasonings which include less salt which can help them to meet Food Standards Agency Scotland 2012 Salt Targets and help their customers to reduce their salt intake. Gillian’s work has been the starting point of several case studies of butchers who have completely reformulated their sausages. She said: “It has been a great experience working on an industry placement with the Scottish Food and Drink Federation. We have all benefited from our placements and it has been very beneficial to see first-hand how our studies in nutrition can help product development and the food industry.” Another student Karolina Papalexi worked at Aberdeen-based Chalmers Bakery where she played a significant role in the reformulation of four of the company’s most popular products; the buttery, pie shells, shortbread and puff pastry. The recipes were all recreated to contain less salt, fat and sugar without making a noticeable alteration to the taste of the finished product. Noticing that the product range did not include any vegetable-based options, Karolina also sought to develop a product which would fill that gap in the market. She said: “Traditional bakeries in Scotland don’t always have an extensive range of vegetable-based options so a vegetable pie seemed like a logical addition for the business.” The vegetable pie, which contains mushrooms, courgette, mixed peppers and onion, has been named the ‘Mediterranean Pie.’ Following positive feedback from Chalmers’ customers, it is now available at Chalmers’ retail outlets. The pie was also entered into the national Scotch Pie Awards in 2013 and recently won the Commitment to Healthy Eating Award at the Grampian Food Forum Innovation Awards 2014. Karolina said: “I’m so happy that the bakery trusted me with the responsibility of creating a new product. It is a very proud RGU Nutrition students get a taste of industry experience Ophelie Robertson, Ki Wong, Chris Peace, Karolina Papalexi and Gillian Campbell achievement that the Mediterranean Pie has been such a success and is now in full production.” Fellow student Ophelie Robertson spent her placement with bakery company SM Bayne which has more than fifty retail outlets across Fife, Stirling and the Lothian’s. The 23-year-old worked on reformulation proposals for several of the bakery’s most popular products including the chocolate éclair and the mince and onion bridie. Ophelie said: “Being able to put our skills into practice in food development has been a very useful experience. Assessing some of the company’s lines and investigating proposals to make them healthier has been a very gratifying process.” Meanwhile, fellow nutrition student Ki Wong spent her placement with high- end corporate caterer Itsy. The company is based in Aberdeen and specialises in sandwiches, burgers and cakes. Ki successfully reformulated the company’s sandwich selection, and they now offer lighter options to their customers as a result of her investigative work into the salt and fat content of the sandwiches. She said: “The Scottish Food and Drink Federation did a really good job at setting up these fantastic placements for us. I enjoyed working with Itsy and putting the knowledge I’ve learned at RGU into practice. The lighter options developed for customers have been really well received.” Brian Ratcliffe, Professor of Nutrition at RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, believes the placements have been beneficial for both the students and the companies involved. He said: “We’re proud to work with the Scottish Food and Drink Federation’s Reformulation Programme to help our students gain vital industry experience in food development. “The students were given experience and responsibility in the workplace which will improve their job opportunities when they graduate. “The businesses also gained from the students’ expertise in food and nutrition and also got to assess this cohort of students with a view to future employment.” Chris Peace, SFDF’s industry technical manager is delighted at the impact the students were able to make during their placements. He said: “The students from RGU have done a great job helping with reformulation projects within clients businesses of the programme. “The placements highlight that students and young professionals have a lot to offer the food manufacturing industry and we look forward to continuing our work with producers in Scotland to achieve even more together.”
  • 8. For the latest Getting to Know SPARG profile series, Nexus sits down with Andrew McCreath, RGU’s Executive Director of IT and Communication. Originally from Edinburgh, Andrew didn’t start out for a career in IT but became fond of the world of computing while completing a PhD. Having achieved a degree in Botany from the University of Aberdeen, Andrew embarked on a PhD which involved studying plants that grew in bogs. “It was when I began to use computers to model the flow of oxygen through the roots of plants that I realised computing was more fun, and after receiving a MSc for the work I had done, I switched to a career in computing and have never looked back,” says Andrew. After his studies, Andrew moved to Dundee where he took up a post with NCR Corporation but returned to Aberdeen to work for Grampian Computers before joining the Wiggins Teape Paper Mill where he worked for 11 years. He then spent two years working for an international technology company and in 1999 he spotted a job advert for Executive Director of IT at RGU. “I decided to apply for the position because it looked like, and has turned Getting to Know SPARG Andrew McCreath out to be, a great opportunity due to the diversity of the role and the reputation of the university.” Andrew is responsible for the development and delivery of RGU’s IT strategy, which sees him work with colleagues across many projects. He ensures all of the university buildings are equipped with appropriate IT equipment and services so that staff and students have the necessary resources to complete their studies, work and research. He is also responsible for data protection and freedom of information, and liaises with external organisations to share ideas and best practice. Andrew says that it is this vast remit and range of roles which has kept him at RGU for so many years. “I like the diverse range of activity that I have been able to be involved with and I work with some fantastic people. Every year there is something new to look at and there are always ambitious plans for the future - it’s impossible to get bored here,” says Andrew. A father of two, Andrew is married to his wife Lesley with whom he has a son, David, who is currently studying at university, and a daughter, Eilidh, who is just about to sit her higher exams. A sibling to four sisters and two brothers, Andrew grew up with a large family and says family life is really important to him. “It’s great being part of a large family and I enjoy spending time with everyone although there are a lot of us - the house is full to bursting point at Christmas time! Family is really important and I have found having my own children the most rewarding thing in the world.” Aside from looking after his children and family, Andrew spends his spare time actively involved with church which plays a large part in his life. He also enjoys gardening, which is not surprising having studied the life of plants - well the type that grow in bogs anyway. A keen hill walker, Andrew is hoping to rekindle his love of Scotland’s great outdoors now his children are becoming more independent and he is also looking to take up his interest in astronomy. When asked what his greatest achievement has been to date, Andrew says it has been his job which is not surprising given the scope of his work, which has included involvement in the multi-award winning North East of Scotland Shared Data Centre – something he is immensely proud of. Who has helped you get to where you are today? Many people - my parents, my wife, and senior managers at the Paper Mill who were an inspiration to work for. If you were in power in Government, what would you change? I would set the drink driving limit to zero. Where is your favourite place to go on holiday? Africa – I’ve only been there once but it was unforgettable. What do you drive and what car do you dream of driving? I drive a Seat Alhambra - my son plays the double bass and it’s the best car for fitting in the musical instrument and the family! I’m not a car person and don’t really dream about cars but my brother had an Aston Martin DB6 a long time ago - that would be fun! What’s on your bucket list? I would like to learn how to play the piano again - I did at school but think I’ll have to start from scratch. If you were a character in a movie, who would you be? Mr Bean. What charity do you support? Christian Aid, Oxfam, World Wildlife Fund, Cancer and Leukaemia Research and Alzheimer’s Scotland.
  • 9. RGU students had the opportunity to learn from some of the north-east’s leading investors and entrepreneurs and compete in the Investment Den. The Investment Den, which is in its fourth year, is a unique capital event and saw teams from the MBA, MBA Oil and Gas Management, MSc Project Management, MSc Oil and Gas Law and MSc Oil and Gas Accounting degrees compete for the UPB trophy. The weekend-long event is the brainchild of MBA Director at RGU Allan Scott. Anoop Poddar, MD First Reserve Energy Growth Capital, provided training into investment appraisal approaches on the first day. A number of worked case studies were also presented to develop basic investment appraisal skills. The primary learning outcome of the event is to appreciate what investors are looking for when appraising an investment. Allan Scott, MBA Director at RGU, presented the investment case that the teams were developing to pitch. Richard Selwa, Chairman & Founder of UPB Ltd then outlined the case studies and gave a real example of how an entrepreneur pitches for finance. The students then had the evening to work and undertake case analysis and initial pitch preparation. The following morning Richard Selwa went through pitching from a business persons perspective. The students then had several hours to finalise their presentations and cases. The following afternoon the teams pitched to the judging panel of Anoop Poddar, Richard Selwa, Greg Herrera Managing Partner of Energy Ventures, Dr Farooq Ahmad, Lecturer in Corporate Finance, and Professor Ken Russell, Associate Dean. Anoop, Greg and Richard are all RGU alumni. The best pitches competed to complete the deal with Team Dave of Heather Hannam, Steve Shearman and Natalie Closs coming out on top. Greg Herrera and Richard Selwa managed the investment deal from the judging panel side. Heather Hannam, of Team Dave, said: “The Investment Den weekend was a great opportunity for us to test our learning to date whilst under some very tight time pressures. “In particular, Anoop, Greg and Richard really put us through our paces - particularly when they were questioning our business case and offering us the ‘deal’. “It has certainly made the three of us feel more confident about pitching to investors in the future.” Mr Scott said: “The Investment Den benefits all involved. As well as giving RGU MBA students present new ventures and business ideas to leading north-east entrepreneurs The winning team: Steve Shearman, Natalie Closs and Heather Hannam, with judges Farooq Ahmed, Prof. Ken Russell, Greg Herrera and Richard Selwa MBA students a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience and learn from some innovative entrepreneurs and business experts, those who pitch get the opportunity to sharpen their presentation skills and expose their business ideas to potential investors. “Scotland has a rich history of producing innovative and successful entrepreneurs who have made an impact on a global stage. Aberdeen Business School understands the importance of investing in future Scottish business leaders and we believe this pioneering event will act as a genuine learning experience for the students and entrepreneurs taking part, and potentially facilitate new and profitable business relationships.” The winners were presented with the UPB Trophy.
  • 10. RGU:Union has launched Go Green, a new sustainability initiative which aims to help and support students reduce their carbon footprint. Go Green is spearheading four key projects to help to mitigate Scotland’s carbon emissions while maintaining its beautiful landscape. These are: a Bike Hire Scheme; a Student Halls Energy Challenge; a Community Allotment Project; and an Energy Ambassadors Scheme which helps local organisations to reduce their energy bills. Heading up Go Green are three green fingered climate change staff members who have been employed by RGU:Union to help implement the carbon busting projects. Taking the helm of Go Green is Climate Change Manager, Anthony Browne. Having completed a Masters in Environmental Engineering and a doctorate in Low Carbon Energy from the University of Nottingham, Anthony has worked on a number of carbon capture projects so is well placed to oversee the implementation of RGU’s four energy saving schemes. “Having worked on large-scale carbon reduction projects in the power generation industry, I am keen to look into the more local CO2 savings which can be achieved. Support and education enable people to make greener choices, whether it’s turning off the lights or sorting your recycling,” says Anthony. “I hope that as Climate Change Manager I can facilitate students to develop environmentally friendly habits and behaviours.” Alongside Anthony sits Climate Change Student Engagement Co-ordinator, Natalie Stypa, whose role is to develop strategies and events to get students involved in Go Green’s projects. Originally from Germany, Natalie graduated with a degree in Philosophy and Literature from the Freie Universitat Berlin before achieving a MLitt in Creative Writing from the University of Aberdeen, which brought her to Scotland. “I have always been passionate about the environment,” says Natalie, who used to be a member of Greenpeace. “When I was 11 I was struck by images from Greenpeace’s protest against the sinking of the Brent Spar oil storage at sea, where people risked their lives to protect nature. “I then learnt how incredibly fulfilling it is to work in environmentalism during an internship in the Media and Communications Department of Greenpeace. “Working for Go Green, I am thrilled to be helping the university reduce its carbon emission and become more environmentally friendly while engaging with our students.” Meet the Go Green team The Go Green team: Mhairi Mackintosh, Anthony Browne and Natalie Stypa And last but by no means least is Go Green’s third staff member, Mhairi Mackintosh, who is the initiative’s Carbon Reduction Project Officer. Mhairi has always been interested in environmental issues having graduated with an undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology and later an MSc in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Aberdeen. She has worked for a variety of conservation organisations including the Scottish Wildlife Trust and carried out a short term contract with the James Hutton Institute. She spent two months working in Zambia where she was involved in a biodiversity conservation project. “I was instantly attracted to the role and I enjoy being able to share my enthusiasm for nature with our student population,” says the Muchalls born environmentalist. “I am heading up the allotment scheme having worked on a similar project in the past so it is great that I am getting to spend time in the garden while reporting on Go Green’s targets which is another part of my role.” Keep an eye out for information on how to get involved in all of the Go Green projects. The Go Green team are based at the RGU:Union offices on University Street so pop in past to see how you can become part of the exciting initiative and help to keep RGU green and clean.
  • 11. The Oil and Gas Academy of Scotland (OGAS) was publicly launched Tuesday, April 1 at an event at the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Funding Council-funded organisation, which will address training and educational requirements in the oil and gas industry, is a collaboration of six training and education providers for the sector. These are RGU, the University of Aberdeen, Forth Valley College, Heriot Watt University, and North East College Scotland – which incorporate the ASET International Oil and Gas Training Academy. The event, which was attended by more than 90 professionals from across the energy and education sectors, was hosted by Maureen Watt MSP and featured a keynote speech from Scottish Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP. Established initially in 2012 to support Scottish Government objectives for the Energy sector, OGAS brings together existing skills and expertise with partner institutions and training providers to facilitate innovative and effective oil and gas training and education, supporting the next generation of industry experts to keep Scotland at the forefront of the oil and gas sector. OGAS director Rulzion Rattray, who is based at RGU, said: “I am excited and passionate about the current and potential new opportunities made available through the formation of the Oil & Gas Academy of Scotland. The key thinking in the formation of OGAS has been and continues to be that of collaboration and cooperation. “Our key aims are to develop a one-stop shop for the training and education needs for the Oil and Gas Industry; to work closely and collaboratively with all stakeholders in the industry; facilitate the delivery of focused ‘mid-career’ education and training to support industry succession planning; work with partners and organisations across Scotland to secure a Scotland-wide training and education solutions, based on regional specialisms and to collaborate in the development of new provision of training and education, based on market research and emerging needs. “I would suggest that the OGAS partners between them represent a very significant global capacity for education and training focussed on the oil and gas sector and that this probably has no rival outside the US. This is particularly the case if we focus on the offshore element of this capacity as represented by the OGAS partners and by the wider stakeholders in the community of Scotland’s on-going experience of working in the North Sea.” Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU, said: “OGAS is a vital initiative for Scotland and for the industry, involving a close partnership between some of the key providers of education and training, and allowing the industry to access courses and expertise through a single point of contact. The OGAS partners will ensure that Scotland has the skills to be a recognised global centre of excellence for oil and gas.” Oil and Gas Academy of Scotland launched Rulzion Rattray, Director of OGAS who is based at RGU Director of OGAS, Rulzion Rattray with Maureen Watt MSP and Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP
  • 12. RGU’s Department for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DELTA) is enhancing the development of teaching practice across the university. Hilaire Graham has been appointed as Head of Teaching Futures at RGU where she leads the continuing professional development (CPD) for learning and teaching, and enhancement projects across the university. She joins RGU from the University of the Arts in London where she was Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, and Programme Leader for the MA Academic Practice, and brings with her a wide range of experience in educational development. Originally from Papua New Guinea, Hilaire studied architecture at the University of Sydney, where she also taught the subject, and went on to work as an architect in Australia, London and Iraq. She also has a number of other qualifications, having received a post graduate Masters of Science at the Bartlett School of Architecture, a postgraduate diploma in Design Science (Facilities Management) as well as a graduate certificate in Education DELTA appoints Head of Teaching Futures Studies (Higher Education) from the University of Sydney. She spent part of her career working at the University of the Creative Arts and the University of Plymouth, where she shifted from teaching architecture to engaging with education and learning in the creative arts disciplines. Hilaire is currently talking with colleagues across the university about their aspirations for recognising professional teaching, developing an understanding of the various needs for CPD in learning and teaching that are relevant to the various cohorts of staff in their disciplines. Hilaire says: “RGU’s focus on professional disciplines really appeals to me and I am interested in Scotland’s enhancement themes. “This is a new post leading learning and teaching in an interesting university that enables me to build on experience in previous institutions. “There is a broad range of disciplines at RGU and the role provides me with an opportunity to explore teaching practice across the Faculties and Schools. “A key factor for my role is to mediate between sector demands and Hilaire Graham institutional and individual aspirations and disciplines to set an agenda for developing CPD that supports the range of professional activities at RGU,” says Hilaire. Hilaire can be contacted directly via email to h.graham@rgu.ac.uk or via DELTA secretary Sandra Marnoch. DELTA staff are currently still based in St Andrew Street but are scheduled to move to Garthdee in June 2014. They will be located on the top floor of ICRGU where they look forward to welcoming clients into the new training and demonstration area.
  • 13. More than 150 students and staff gathered at the Marriot Hotel in Dyce last month for the annual Student Achievement Awards, celebrating the volunteering work of students and societies at RGU. Previously known as the Scarlet and Golds, the Awards recognise the hard work and successes of students over the last year, either as part of a society, volunteering for a good cause or through a class representative role. Guests were welcomed to the Awards with a champagne reception, before sitting down to a three course meal which was followed by the ceremony itself, where winners were presented with their accolades by RGU’s Deputy Principal, John Harper. Over 100 students received awards this year, with highlights including the Society Person of the Year which was awarded to Amy McNellis, who was also recognised with distinction, for her work with the RGU Electronic Gaming Society, as well as a large amount of volunteering hours for RGU:Union. Rachel Sanders, who has previously received the highest accolade, the Full Scarlet Award, was honoured this year for her continued excellence for Volunteers honoured at Student Achievement Awards her work as RGU:RAG chair and as a volunteer for the Students’ Union. Ashley Thomson was also recognised with distinction for her dedication to volunteering and scooped the Volunteer of the Year Award. Stevie Kearney, Student Development and Volunteer Co-ordinator, said: “Student volunteering at RGU, whether through charity work, class representation or being part of a society, raises valuable funds and awareness for the university, local community and various non-profit organisations. “So many of our students are committed to volunteering and are involved with some fantastic work and initiatives so it is great that the university recognises and celebrates the hard work of individuals and societies from across the student body.” RGU’s Deputy Principal with a group of award winning student volunteers Student Presidents Paul Greene, Steven Mills and Paddy Maghaun with RGU:Union’s General Manager, Michele Collie.
  • 14. RGU:Union’s longest serving staff member, Audrey Bainbridge, was honoured by her peers at this year’s Student Achievement Awards. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Students’ Union for its appreciation of her commitment and dedicated years of service. Audrey first began working in the Student Association canteen at Robert Gordon’s Institute of Technology in 1977. She quickly moved to an admin role supporting the General Manager at the Student Association, and from there on to an advice and welfare position. For the next thirty years she single- handedly ran the Students’ Union’s advice department through the institution’s transition to RGU. She continues to work at RGU:Union and gives her all to helping any students who need support, as she has throughout her many years here. Audrey has been heavily involved in many aspects of the Students’ Union. As well as her work with the annual Graduation Ball, she was a driving force behind starting the Blues (Sports) and Scarlet & Gold (Societies & Volunteering) awards balls, both of which are still popular annual events. RGU:Union’s Audrey Bainbridge honoured for dedicated years of service “She is always the first to volunteer to help with things, even if they would take her far beyond her regular working hours for the week,” says Michele Collie, the General Manager of RGU:Union. She has also regularly taken on the role of the Deputy Returning Officer for the student elections, which involves giving advice to candidates, ensuring a fair and democratic process, and maintaining continuity through the annual turmoil of student officer turnover. “Audrey is incredibly knowledgeable of all of the Union’s processes, constitutions and regulations (past and present), and holds a position on the University’s Academic Regulations Sub- Committee,” says Michele. Scotland’s second oldest boat race, The Aberdeen Asset Management Boat Race which began in 1995, owes its creation to a team of which Audrey played a significant part. This is just one of the most public indicators of Audrey’s deep involvement with sports clubs throughout the years, as she was also their main administrator. Ten years later in 2005, the university opened a new, state-of-the-art sporting and health complex, RGU: SPORT which Audrey played a pivotal role in. “This also shows the selflessness that Audrey has – even though the creation of RGU Sport would remove her interaction with the sports clubs that she had been deeply involved with for years, she supported its inception and creation as it was the better option for the student body overall,” says Michele. Audrey was also instrumental in the creation of student societies, including RugRag, the fundraising arm of the Students’ Union now known as RGU:RAG, which was recently awarded Best Newcomer by Childreach International and raised over £60,000 last year – achievements that would not have been possible without Audrey’s original involvement. Audrey has also, throughout the years, supported elected sabbaticals and volunteers during their terms. This is more than a standard colleague relationship, as Audrey treats even the smallest issue with complete compassion and warmth. She ensures that any student seeking advice is made aware of all possible options that they can take, and that they are comfortable with any actions that will then be necessary. “No student leaves a support meeting Audrey Bainbridge (centre) with Michele Collie, General Manager of RGU:Union and the three Student Presidents Paul Greene, Steven Mills and Paddy Maghaun with Audrey without, in some way, having their day improved. While obviously she cannot solve every academic or personal issue that a student brings, at the very least Audrey’s huge capacity to listen and talk without judgement gives students a space to air their problems,” adds Michele. Students who have been helped by Audrey and sabbaticals who have worked with her fondly remember her, and it is common for visiting alumni to enquire about her. Through the decades, many students’ lives have been touched and improved due to her selfless dedication to the student body.
  • 15. Friends, Tutors, and Placements! Art & Paintings around campus! RGU:Union held ‘I Love RGU Week’ last month to gather feedback about the university and spread some cheer around the Garthdee campus. The campaign encouraged students and staff to get involved and tell them what they thought was good about the university, and why they love RGU. The week started with an event on the Monday morning in the reception of Faculty of Health and Social Care where breakfast foods and water were given away while the RGU:Union mascot, Bobby the Boar, and some student volunteers danced around to create a happy atmosphere on the campus. Signs were left outside the RGU:Union offices on University Street for students and staff to write down their favourite things about the university, while large numbers of people took to social media websites, twitter and facebook to voice their love for RGU. Some even took the time to send in emails detailing the things they like best at RGU. Steven Mills, Student President for Education and Welfare helped to organise the week and was thrilled with the response they received from so many students. “The week was fantastic, it was really successful and we gathered lots of brilliant feedback,” said Steven. I Love RGU Week Steven came up with the idea of the campaign as a positive way of gathering feedback to improve RGU’s representation structure which is part of the Student Partnership Agreement. “Normally student representation is about gauging feedback but this often encourages negative responses. “I felt that representation can also be very positive and we should encourage students to talk about why they came here in the first place, what they enjoy here, what works, and what should we try to build on as a university.” There was a variety of comments left by a large number of students, praising all manner of things from the campus facilities and surroundings, lecturers, the student presidents, and the various placement opportunities available at RGU. The week also featured the launch of the ‘I Love My Lecturer’ nominations which is an annual RGU event where students nominate their favourite lecturers. Due to the success of the first ‘I Love RGU Week’ Steven hopes that it becomes an annual event and grows bigger and better in years to come. Some of the comments and tweets left throughout the week conveyed lots of positive messages: #IloveRGU because it actively fights for equality :) #OutinSport #ILoveRGU because they gave me the opportunity to study abroad in South Korea for a semester. #lifechanging #ILoveRGU because this place gave me the opportunity to work for students as opposed to working for the sake of it. #ILoveRGU because of the amazing campus, my course, people and the #rguunion :) @AberdeenBSchool I met some of my best friends here! Got me my dream job! Great Student Association! Awesome Staff, great placements! Can’t help but love it and be Proud!
  • 16. Postgraduate student Reginald Ankrah won a scholarship to RGU after taking part in The Challenge, an Apprentice style reality TV show in Ghana. He started his MSc Information Engineering course at the School of Computing Science and Digital Media in January and tells Nexus how he has found his time at RGU so far. I’d always wanted to pursue my postgraduate education at RGU. I had previously been offered a place in September 2012 but couldn’t accept it at the time due to financial constraints. I received an email from RGU last year stating they were sponsoring the Challenge and that the winner gets a full scholarship to study at the university. I also received a call from my previous Head of Department who happens to be a graduate of RGU and encouraged me to try out for the Challenge. I was reluctant to apply at first because I doubted myself and felt I wouldn’t be up to par. The Challenge required that to succeed you have to be highly creative, innovative and very intelligent. However, I felt I owed it to my deceased father to at least give it a try because he always believed in me and told me I was meant for greater things. To honour his loving memory, I took the boldest step ever in my life, and entered the Challenge. RGU welcomes ‘The Challenge’ scholarship winner The Challenge tasks were meant to test the contestants in all aspects of academia and real life situations. Among the tasks we were set was drafting a viable business plan, designing and modelling a 3D futuristic mobile technology, shooting a documentary, developing a marketing plan and taking part in a treasure hunt. I had mixed feelings when I was told I had won The Challenge - on one hand, I was filled with joy and excitement for winning and on the other, grief for the fact that my father wasn’t there to witness this great achievement in my life. I did my undergraduate degree in Computer Network Management at Koforidua Polytechnic but I wanted to hone my skills in the area of Object Oriented Programming, Databases, Web Development and Data Mining. Information Engineering is the perfect course to help me acquire such expertise. I already have an IT business running back home and I hope to use the expertise I gather from RGU to design and develop good systems to assist in the area of data gathering, specifically in statistics. This will foster good productivity within businesses and institutions back home in Ghana. The course is very interesting and involving. There are several resources available both on the Campus Moodle Postgraduate student Reginald Ankrah platform and in the Library. The lecturers are very helpful and exciting in the teaching. I’ve settled into Aberdeen really well. I have very good accommodation on campus and an excellent view of the University from my window. My flat mates are awesome. Even though we are all from different backgrounds we get along very well. I have made a number of friends both in and out of my course from around the world. I don’t just like Aberdeen, I love Aberdeen. For me it’s an excellent place to live. I love the weather, architecture, the granite buildings, the quietness of the town, the multi-cultural diversity and the great hospitality of the people. Aberdeen is an amazing place.
  • 17. RGU has launched an international exchange programme for Pharmacy students to gain experience of a different healthcare system in the United States. The first stage of the partnership with the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) saw American students Chase Ballinger and Les Louden spend four weeks in Aberdeen throughout March. During their time in the north-east they attended Pharmacy lectures at RGU, observed Pharmacists working in the community and participated in a number of public health and Interprofessional Education (IPE) events. Chase and Les said that they had both enjoyed their exchange which had highlighted a number of differences in the way the profession works on either side of the Atlantic. Chase said: “The exchange to RGU has been a great experience which has given us the opportunity to gain perspective on the differences of Pharmacy practice between the United Kingdom and the United States. Les added: “Community Pharmacy is fantastic here in the UK, especially how they go about their practices. The profession is also a lot more science and research focused which means you’re always learning about the latest developments.” RGU launches transatlantic Pharmacy exchange programme Les Louden, Katy Hart, Gary Carson and Chase Ballinger. As part of the exchange programme RGU Pharmacy students Katy Hart and Gary Carson will make the return trip to Johnson City for four weeks in June. Gary said: “It’s been great to meet Chase and Les to compare and contrast how Pharmacy is practiced in the US. There are quite a few differences between the American system and here in the UK which is interesting to learn about and identify best practice.” Katy added: “I already feel like I’ve learned so much about what we’re going to see and do while we’re in the United States. I can’t wait to travel to Tennessee and learn how Pharmacy is taught and practiced in the US.” Professor Donald Cairns, Head of School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences at RGU, recently visited ETSU after the exchange to further strengthen the university’s links in the area. He said: “I am delighted to see the first fruits of the International Exchange Programme between Pharmacy and Life Sciences at RGU and the Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University. Chase and Les spoke very highly of their time here at RGU and we look forward to welcoming two more ETSU students next session.”
  • 18. The LLM Oil and Gas Law course at RGU has been reaccredited by the Energy Institute, adding to the university’s already vast portfolio of accredited courses. The course, which is taught at RGU’s Law School within Aberdeen Business School, was originally accredited in2008, and it has been reaccredited following a recent visit from the EI panel. The EI panel members commended the enthusiasm of both the staff and the students who they met, and also the reflective approach the Oil and Gas Law Group has taken to developing the course under the leadership of Bill Craig. In a competitive world such as the energy industry the modern professional body is a valuable partner for any organisation. The purpose of the EI is to develop and disseminate knowledge, skills and good practice towards a safer, more secure and sustainable energy system. Professor Ken Mackinnon, Head of the Law School, commended Bill Craig and his course team on the successful outcome adding : “The EI accreditation procedure involves a thorough assessment of the course contents, its teaching staff and facilities by a panel of Energy Institute experts who also conduct meetings with both lecturers and students. So its testament to all of those involved that we Staff from RGU travelled to the Middle East recently to deliver training to Pharmacy staff in the region. Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) trainers Dr Kay Cooper and Pamela Kirkpatrick from RGU’s Institute for Health and Wellbeing Research (IHWR) spent five days at Qatar University in March. There they delivered the JBI Comprehensive Systematic Review Training Programme to 14 delegates of faculty staff in the University’s College of Pharmacy. It is the first international delivery of the course offered by the Scottish Centre for Evidence-based, Multi-professional Practice: an affiliate centre of the Joanna Briggs Institute, based in Adelaide University. RGU’s Law School adds to its impressive portfolio of accredited courses RGU staff deliver successful training programme in Qatar have gained the reaccreditation.” The LLM Oil and Gas Law focuses on the main legal issues within today’s oil and gas industry. Aberdeen is the energy capital of Europe and this postgraduate course in Oil and Gas Law has been developed to provide graduates with the skillset required in an area of increasing market demand. It is suitable for those with legal qualifications or with considerable experience in the oil and gas industry. The course provides the opportunity to critically assess and examine key legal issues in the oil and gas sector, both in the UK and leading areas. On successful completion of the course graduates will be in a position to understand and deal with some of the main energy legal issues. They will also gain key employability, enterprise and transferable skills. It can also be studied by the flexible distance learning allowing busy professionals to study at their own pace. Course participants included Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, the Chair of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice section and the Dean and Head of Research for Pharmacy. Most of the participants are active in varied aspects of pharmacy research including inter professional education, coronary heart disease and drug effectiveness studies. Pamela Kirkpatrick said: “It’s great Dr Cooper and I have been able to deliver the course to our colleagues at Qatar University. Their feedback has been extremely positive and it’s good to know we’ve helped increase their knowledge of the JBI approach to conducting systematic reviews. “Conducting JBI systematic reviews will allow the Pharmacy staff to synthesise research evidence on a range of topics, thereby facilitating evidence-based practice and teaching, and identifying areas that require further research to be conducted.” The pharmacists will now work on registering their titles, developing their protocols and systematic reviews with support from the RGU trainers through regular communication. This will consolidate knowledge gained and help to optimise publication opportunities in The Joanna Briggs Institute Library of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports. In addition to further developing research capacity in Pharmacy globally, delivering the training strengthens RGU’s research relationships with healthcare professionals in the Middle East and activities will also contribute to the outputs of the Scottish Centre.
  • 19. RGU students launch sustainable community garden project RGU students gain insight from leading oil and gas experts Green fingered students from RGU broke the turf of a sustainable community garden project at Garthdee last month. The Students’ Union at RGU held a launch day for the community garden which it is creating on a plot of land near to the university’s Garthdee campus for members of the public to use as well as students and staff. Members of the public were invited to the garden launch day on Saturday, March 22 to help spruce up the plot which will become a working allotment with vegetable and fruit patches as well as flower beds. The garden is funded by a grant from the Climate Change Fund (CCF), which awarded RGU:Union more than £200,000 for a proposal it submitted to the Scottish Government initiative with ideas to reduce Scotland’s carbon footprint while maintaining its beautiful landscape. Anthony Browne, Climate Change Manager at RGU’s Students’ Union, who is heading up the Go Green initiative, said: “The RGU community garden project is open to anyone as an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in sustainability by producing environmentally friendly home-grown food. “The garden will become a working allotment for people to grow their own food RGU’s MBA Oil and Gas Management cohort recently gained an insight from some of the north-east’s leaders in oil and gas throughout a series of seminars. Experts from BP, one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies, shared their knowledge with RGU’s MBA students and alumni. Trevor Garlick, Regional President of BP North Sea, Andy Hessell, Vice President Commercial Operations at BP and Dave Lynch, Vice President for BP’s Resources all presented seminars. They explored various topics including joint venturing in the North Sea, reservoir development and the future of the basin. They also discussed what BP is doing to focus its activity, maximise recovery from its assets and invest for the future. All of RGU’s cohort could attend the seminar series, which was attended by around 120 over the three sessions. Allan Scott, MBA Director, said: “The BP seminar series gives MBA students a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into the dynamic environment in which BP operates and the exciting opportunities that lay ahead for the North Sea basin. Learning from the leading experts in the industry is an invaluable part of our programme”. “The face-to-face experiences are critical for affiliation to the school, networking and the high level of industry engagement. “To be able to give students access to managers of such seniority is great and BP’s involvement is much appreciated. Events like this are an important way of enhancing the aspiration of our students and to prepare them to be the leaders of the future.” Tim Smith, BP’s VP for Communication and External Affairs is due to speak to MBA students and alumni in June. RGU offers an MBA programme which consists of Master of Business Administration, MBA Oil and Gas Management, MBA Energy Business and MBA Information Management and maintains a truly global perspective. RGU’s MBA programme is designed with students’ aspirations and industry demand in mind and focuses on academic underpinning and ethical practice, behavioural skills, career mentoring, personal development and industry engagement through guest lectures, projects and networking events. The university has over 850 MBA alumni and more than 300 students currently studying on the programme. The online MBA has been ranked as one of the top online courses at highly ranked business schools. The QS Distance/Online MBA Ranking is the first global ranking of distance/online MBA courses which is designed to help applicants identify the world’s strongest online MBA courses, and RGU’s Aberdeen Business School was featured at number 23. for free, not only helping the pocket but also helping the environment by mitigating the fuel emissions caused by the vehicles that are used to transport produce to supermarkets. “RGU:Union is committed to sustainability and the community garden is just one strand of our ‘Go Green’ initiative which is all about engaging with students to get them involved, demonstrating how small measures can be put into place to help reduce our carbon footprint while having fun, meeting new people and gaining qualifications. The plot of land is situated at the Garthdee Field Allotments on Garthdee Road, Aberdeen.
  • 20. News in Brief The Treehouse Nursery celebrates its 10th birthday The Treehouse Early Care and Education Centre were proud to celebrate their 10 year anniversary last month. To celebrate this milestone, the nursery held an all-day birthday party on Tuesday March 11, where the children and their parents took part in a number of fun activities including a puppet show and face painting. CUSP welcomes Commonwealth Professional Fellow The team at RGU’s Centre for Sustainable Practice (CUSP) welcomed a new face in February when Commonwealth Professional Fellow Toyin Oshaniwa joined the university. Toyin, who is the CEO of Nigerian sustainability NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) Nature Cares, will be at RGU until the end of May. An Environmental and Sustainability Educator and Researcher, he was inspired to learn more about the work done by CUSP after following the team’s efforts to develop a regeneration plan for the Nigerian community of Makoko in Lagos. He said: “Learning about CUSP’s various initiatives for promoting sustainable practice sparked my interest in coming to learn and share knowledge with the team. “I also found the plans to launch a Masters course in Energy and Sustainability interesting and wanted to learn more about the dynamics of course design, development and implementation.” Commonwealth Professional Fellowships support mid-career professionals from developing Commonwealth countries to spend a period of time with a UK host organisation working in their field for a programme of professional development. A birthday tea party was also held in the afternoon and the children and their parents tucked into a colourful and delicious birthday cake. Christine Buchanan, Dean of Students at Robert Gordon University and parent liaison officer, attended the tea party and helped to cut the cake. Miranda Anderson, Nursery Manager at The Treehouse, said “We had a fun-filled day packed with activities to celebrate our nursery’s ten year milestone. “The children particularly enjoyed taking part in the puppet shows and the face painting was a great success. It was fantastic that Christina and our parents were able to join in the birthday fun too.” The Treehouse Early Care and Education Centre is located on the RGU campus after moving from its heritage site in Kepplestone in March 2004. The bespoke, purpose-built, nursery is open to university students and staff and also the wider community, caring for babies and children from 3 months to 5 years of age. Talking about what he will take away from the experience, Toyin said: “The experience will be significant in updating training materials and learning new innovative training techniques in sustainable development. In the long term, it is a fundamental step towards building a long-term relationship with CUSP and RGU.” Continued
  • 21. News in Brief Rugby hero to be guest of honour at university sports ball Former Scotland rugby captain and British Lion Jason White will be the guest of honour at this year’s RGU: SPORT Awards Ball. The rugby union player, who is originally from Aberdeen, will join more than 500 students and guests at the glittering event at RGU:SPORT on Friday, April 25. Sponsored by DG Fitness, the RGU: SPORT Awards Ball is considered the highlight of the sporting calendar for students at the university. Paddy Maughan, student President of President of Sport and Physical Activity, has helped organise this years’ event which will celebrate the achievements of talented individuals and sports clubs. He said: “We’re all really looking forward to the Awards Ball and a lot of hard work as gone in to making sure the event will be a success. “It’s great to have a local high-level athlete like Jason White as our guest of honour and I know he will be looking forward to meeting all of the award winners. “The sports clubs at RGU have produced some fantastic performances this year and it’s important that we have this chance to recognise their efforts and celebrate all of their successes. “The evening is also an opportunity to say thank you to all of the supporters and volunteers who run our sports clubs as their hard work is invaluable to us. In particular, we are extremely grateful to our sponsors DG Fitness for their continued support of the RGU: SPORT Awards Ball.” Legal Eagles gather at RGU for Lord Hamilton lecture More than 100 people from the Aberdeen legal profession and further afield gathered at RGU to listen to senior Scottish judge Lord Hamilton. In the final of a series of events marking the achievements of the Law School at RGU, the Rt Hon Lord Hamilton, the former Lord Justice General of Scotland and Lord President of the Court of Session, delivered an inaugural public lecture on Arbitration. His lecture, entitled ‘Arbitration In Scotland: Its Nature and Future’ gave a unique insight into arbitration, which is an essential method of dispute resolution, and its future. In light of its potential impact on the Scottish business community, understanding arbitration is essential for all those in business, industry and the legal profession. Over 110 people attended – largely from the Aberdeen legal profession Volunteering for Asthma UK gives Toni sense of satisfaction An e-learning advisor at RGU is using her skills to help one of the United Kingdom’s leading Asthma charities. Toni Simpson from the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences volunteers for Asthma UK and devotes her spare time to a number of important roles. More than five million people in the UK suffer from the disease, 368,000 of those cases are in Scotland. Toni started volunteering with the charity in January 2012 and started as a member of its Research and Policy team. The dedicated volunteer chose to give her time to the charity in order to help it to achieve its aims by supporting world-leading research, award-winning information and services, and life- changing campaigns. Toni said: “I enjoy volunteering and it’s a great way to help others by using your own skills. I chose to work for Asthma UK because the condition affects so many people and I felt I had a lot of offer the organisation.” As well as her role on the charity’s Research and Policy team, Toni is now also a member of the Readers Panel and a Lay Reviewer. but also from outside the region. The Chairman of the Scottish Arbitration Centre - which is a government backed initiative at promoting Scotland as a venue for dispute resolution - Brandon Malone came to listen to Lord Hamilton. Professor Ken Mackinnon, Head of the Law School at RGU, said: “We were very pleased that Lord Hamilton accepted the Law School’s invitation to give the first of what will be an annual series of lectures by distinguished legal figures who can provide unique insights into the practice of law.” Mr Malone said: “It was great to hear Lord Hamilton’s insights into arbitration and the Scottish Arbitration Centre was proud to support the event. It is a real benefit to that aim that we have arbitration practitioners such as Lord Hamilton in the country, and training courses available to those who want to build their knowledge, such as the excellent ones offered by RGU’s Law School.”Through her work with RGU Toni has also gained Fellow status to the Higher Education Academy (HEA) in 2011 and is now working towards achieving Senior Fellow status. She said: “I was extremely proud to receive Fellow status to the HEA and be one of the first non-academic members of staff at the university to have achieved this.”
  • 22. 02 07 08 09 03 04 05 06 14 15 16 10 11 12 13 21 22 29 23 30 17 18 19 20 28 24 25 26 27 AprilEvents 01 Professorial Lecture: Going to the Market? SLSA Conference 2014 SLSA Conference 2014 SLSA Conference 2014 One RGU, Many Nations Carnival Sexual Health and Wellness Among Afro- Caribbeans’ in Diaspora Conference Professorial Lecture: Going to the Market? 9 April Riverside East The Principal of RGU will examine the impact of markets on society during his professorial lecture. SLSA Conference 2014 9 to 11 April Aberdeen Business School Over the past 21 years, the annual SLSA conference has expanded to become one of the most prestigious international events in socio-legal studies. The conferences are central to the SLSA objective of the dissemination of knowledge in the field of socio-legal studies. One RGU, Many Nations Carnival 15 April Riverside East The event provided students and staff with an opportunity to showcase their backgrounds, nationalities and cultures to the wider RGU community. It will feature an exhibition of nations and a variety of Scottish and international performances and a fashion show. Sexual Health and Wellness Among Afro-Caribbeans’ in Diaspora Conference 19 April 2014 Riverside East The event features various speakers including senior lecturer at RGU Dr Winifred Eboh, Consultant in Public Health Physician for NHS Grampian, Dr Emmanuel Okpo, Consultant in Sexual health for NHS Grampian, Dr Daniella Brawley, and Katai Kasengele of Waverely Care.