AMOSSHE’s summer roundup

Bulletin-summer-2016-coverIt’s nearly the end of the academic year, and Student Services professionals are gearing up to welcome the new 2016/17 cohort and ensure that their student experience gets off to a fantastic start. It’s also a good time to reflect on what we’ve achieved in 2015/16, so here’s AMOSSHE’s summer roundup.

Inside you’ll find an overview of AMOSSHE’s work this year, and how this is aligned to the strategy we published in 2015. There are also summaries from our Executive team about their activity in the sector and on behalf of members.

As well as this, there’s a roundup of our very successful national conference, Breaking Boundaries, which took place in Glasgow in July.

And finally, looking ahead, the bulletin contains details about AMOSSHE membership and events for the academic year ahead – including dates for our 2017 national conference.

Read our summer bulletin here: AMOSSHE bulletin summer 2016.

AMOSSHE elects a new Chair and Executive team

Members of AMOSSHE, The Student Services Organisation, have elected a new Chair, Vice Chair, and Executive team to steer our professional association and guide our strategy and development for the next two academic years.

Ben Bailey, Director of Student Services at the University of Birmingham, will take the role of Chair, after the current Chair Ben Lewis steps down at the end of August 2016. AMOSSHE’s new Vice Chair will be Fay Sherrington, Director of Student Services at Edge Hill University. Fay will replace Brian Hipkin.


Game of Chairs: (left to right) incoming Chair Ben Bailey, incoming Vice Chair Fay Sherrington, outgoing Vice Chair Brian Hipkin, and outgoing Chair Ben Lewis

AMOSSHE is directed by 12 Executive members, who are Student Services professionals and AMOSSHE members. The Executive are elected by the membership and volunteer their time to ensure that AMOSSHE works in the best way to support our members, the sector and the student experience. Each year half of the Executive roles become vacant. All named AMOSSHE members have the opportunity to join the Executive by nominating themselves for a role, and members vote to elect the new Executive.


2015/16 Executive team: (back row left to right) Helen McNeely, Ben Bailey, Nic Streatfield, and Sam Dale. (Front row left to right) Fay Sherrington, Maria Lorenzini, Mandi Barron, Nicole Redman, Christine Lowther, Ben Lewis, and Brian Hipkin. Jayne Aldridge (not pictured) was also part of the team

This year, 15 candidates volunteered to take the six available roles. AMOSSHE members elected the new Executive team after a month of voting, and the election results were announced at the AMOSSHE annual general meeting in Glasgow on 6 July.

The Executive Member roles for the 2016 to 2018 term of office will be taken by Nicola Barden (Director of Student Services, University of Winchester), Mandi Barron (Head of Student Services, Bournemouth University), Helen McNeely (Head of Student Affairs, Queen’s University Belfast), and Chris Shelley (Director of Student Services, King’s College London).

In addition, because Ben Bailey is taking the Chair role, his Executive Member role becomes vacant for one year. So Peter Quinn (Director of Student Support, University of York) takes this place for one year.

The new Executive members will join the ongoing Executive team to represent AMOSSHE for the 2016/17 academic year. At the annual general meeting, AMOSSHE Vice Chair (Operations) Nicole Redman welcomed the newly elected Executive members, and thanked everyone who nominated for the roles. She also thanked the outgoing Executive, Ben Lewis, Brian Hipkin and Maria Lorenzini, for all their hard work at the helm of the UK’s Student Services organisation.


Ben Bailey thanks Ben Lewis for his work as AMOSSHE Chair

Find out more about the AMOSSHE Executive elections 2016.

Thank you for Breaking Boundaries!

BB-brochuresThe amazing city of Glasgow, Scotland was the location for this year’s AMOSSHE national conference, Breaking Boundaries. The conference is the highlight of the AMOSSHE calendar, and Breaking Boundaries was an inspiring opportunity for delegates to learn, network, strategise and find out about the amazing work of Student Services in the UK and worldwide.


Inspiring keynote: Doreen Lawrence

The conference started on 6 July with a compelling keynote from Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, expertly interviewed by her former colleague and AMOSSHE member Rotimi Akinsete (Head of Wellbeing, University of Surrey). Doreen spoke about her personal journey, including how her university studies helped her to cope with the death of her son. She gave fascinating insights into the organisation of the House of Lords, and talked about the importance of equality in government representation. It was an honour and a pleasure to hear Doreen speak about higher education and access opportunities for black and minority ethnic people. At the end of her keynote, delegates gave her a standing ovation. Find out what people were saying on Twitter at the time here: Breaking Boundaries day 1.

The city of Glasgow gave our conference a very warm welcome, including a drinks reception at the beautiful Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on the first night. The Bailie of Glasgow welcomed delegates in person.



Bailie Scanlon and colleague


AMOSSHE Executive conference lead Brian Hipkin

The second day of Breaking Boundaries saw our conference hashtag #amosshe2016 trending on Twitter during the first keynote session: AMOSSHE was delighted to welcome Annie Clark and Andrea Pino from EROC (End Rape on Campus) to talk about their work tackling sexual violence in higher education. Having come all the way from the USA, Annie and Andrea spoke about the statistics of sexual violence in their home country, but also discussed the UK context in detail.


EROC keynote Andrea Pino

Their practical suggestions and perspectives were truly inspiring, while their sincere message to all survivors of sexual violence – “we believe you” – was extremely moving. Take a look at the social media buzz here: Breaking Boundaries day 2.


EROC keynote Annie Clark

Our gala dinner on Thursday night was a fantastic celebration of all the hard work Student Services leaders have undertaken this year.


Delegates enjoying the gala drinks reception


AMOSSHE Executive conference lead Helen McNeely

In spite the ceilidh and disco dancing, however, there was still plenty of energy left on Friday morning for our final keynote Smita Jamdar (Head of Education at Shakespeare Martineau LLP). Smita combined thoughtful and witty insights into the current state of higher education with practical advice from a legal perspective. Naturally, the impact of Brexit was on everyone’s mind, and Smita gave useful insights about the legal implications for higher education. Here are the tweets from the final day of Breaking Boundaries: Breaking Boundaries day 3.


Final keynote Smita Jamdar

Breaking Boundaries was a truly international conference, with session leaders sharing their expertise from the USA, Canada, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.


Kevin Kruger (President, NASPA) leading a session


David Newman (President, CACUSS) leading a session

The core strength of Breaking Boundaries, however, was the input of AMOSSHE members, leading sessions and taking part in discussions to share knowledge and good practice. Highlights of the sessions included the outcomes of this year’s AMOSSHE Insight projects.


Winner of our best conference picture competition


Winner of our best tweet competition

You can find another roundup of Breaking Boundaries by AMOSSHE’s social media champion for the event Eric Stoller, here: Student Services in the UK: Reflections and Tweets from Breaking Boundaries.

Breaking Boundaries supporter Guidebook provided a app for the conference. Find out more about it here: Guidebook provides mobile app for AMOSSHE national conference.

A huge thank you to everyone who took part and helped to make Breaking Boundaries a success: our speakers, session leaders, supporters, organising team, and especially our Breaking Boundaries delegates!


Conference photography by Richard Meftah Photographic (07990 528 451