Presidential Monthly Report (January)

Dear Postgraduates,


This document serves to highlight the activities, events and officer engagements over the month of January as far as the KPA is concerned. Myself, Currie, Sharon and the committee are looking forward to holding lots of exciting events over the course of the year for postgraduate students! 

New Year 2020!

After returning from my annual leave on the 10th of January, we were thrown straight back into numerous meetings, event planning and prep for the year ahead! We began planning for refreshers and our Ordinary General Meeting, that were approaching pretty fast! At the Clubhouse, we hosted a New Years Eve Party to see in the new year with our friendly locals and postgraduate students. We hope this was a positive start to the year and look forward to what 2020 brings! 

Refreshers Week...

The Clubhouse worked hard to ensure that all new and existing postgraduates were encouraged to come along to events!

On Friday 24th of January, we held an end of exams cheese and wine evening - which always goes down really well with our students! We particularly wanted to congratulate you for your achievements and a massive well done for completing exams! 

At the weekend, we celebrated Chinese New Year! On Saturday 25th at the Clubhouse, we provided free nibbles and snacks. On Sunday 26th, our Equality and Diversity Officer attended the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery to meet any postgraduate students interested in the all day Chinese New Year event! 

On Sunday 26th, we also subsidised our postgraduate students' Sunday Lunches at the KPA Clubhouse! In the evening, they had a fantastic Refreshers Karaoke event! 

On Monday 27th, we treated our postgraduates to FREE brunch on us! In the afternoon, we provided free tea and cake - all hosted at the KPA Clubhouse! 

Tuesday 28th was the first KPA quiz of the year, hosted by our fantastic regular quiz master, Charlotte Quixley! 

On Wednesday 29th, the Clubhouse were joined by the Kieran Matthews Live Jazz Trio! 

On Thursday 30th, Gin and Tapas night took place at the KPA Clubhouse! Thank you to the star chef, Oliver Roddis, who created some fantastic dishes for our customers! 

On Friday 31st, we had 80s night! Our themed evenings are always busy and well turned out! 

Our committee worked hard to provide "Come Dine with Me" tables across university campus to encourage new and existing students to sit together with lunch or coffee and have a chat! We hope that our students have had the opportunity to use this as an outlet to meet new people and feel comfortable in a friendly environment! We set up tables in the Library, KeeleSU, the Refectory and the KPA Clubhouse. 

Here at the KPA, we are constantly working to ensure that we are putting on the correct events and providing our best service to our members. As you know, we have a full committee this year, who all have tonnes of enthusiasm and ideas for events! We will be continuing our coffee mornings and postgrads that lunch throughout the year, so please do keep coming along to these! We will also be working alongside the clubhouse to hold some fantastic events; If you have any thoughts or ideas for events that you would like to see, please do get in contact kpa.chair@keele.ac.uk, or kpa.vp@keele.ac.uk! We would love to see some ideas!

Our KPA Ordinary General Meeting...

Our Ordinary General Meeting took place on the 28th of January. This time around, we had no motions submitted, so instead focused our attention on key discussion items, which included mental health provision for postgraduate students at Keele University, upcoming KPA Activities and the Bursary. These discussion tables were lead by Toni Karic (Mental Health Provision), Martin Goodhead (KPA Activities) and Sophia Hayat Taha (KPA Activities). Special thanks for doing such a good job of facilitating table discussions and providing fantastic headline feedback to personalise our actions as an association going forward. I really felt that it was a very positive meeting with outcomes that we can work on in the next few months. Thank you also to our student trustee, Amy, who did a brilliant job of chairing the meeting. We had a few new faces which was lovely to see! It is so encouraging that our postgraduate membership really do want to feedback their ideas and thoughts to the KPA and the university and we do hope that we can support you all for the year ahead. Minutes for our last OGM were approved, officer reports and KPA finances to date were also noted. Minutes for this meeting will be circulated via email and uploaded to our website as soon as possible. 

The Fifth Keele Postgraduate Conference and the Launch of the Keele Doctoral Academy...

All postgraduate students are invited to attend the Fifth Keele Postgraduate Conference and the Launch of the Keele Doctoral Academy on April 29th, 2020. Get it into your diary now and SAVE THE DATE!

Stephen Kilner has provided an outline of reasons why to get involved with the Keele Postgraduate Conference as it is a fantastic opportunity for our students! He has shared them with the KPA as follows: 

Celebrate the fantastic range and diversity of postgraduate work in the University.

The opportunity to communicate your research in an accessible and inspiring way to an informed but non-specialist audience.

Gain valuable experience in sharing your work beyond your own field.

Free and open to all postgraduate students.

Three different competitions: Poster, Three Minute Thesis and Bake Your Doctorate

Prizes to be won in each!

Free food to be eaten!

Be there to support your friends and colleagues.

Take part in the Three Minute Thesis competition and set yourself a challenge of presenting your doctoral research in an inspiring and engaging way, using just one slide, in just 3 minutes to an intimate audience.

Bake Your Doctorate – combine your research with your creative baking skills!  


Get your name and abstract in the conference handbook.

There is a current call for abstracts, with its closing date: Monday 2nd of March 2020 at 5.00pm. All postgraduate students are invited to share their work in progress and present their research, dissertation project and course-related posters to a cross disciplinary audience of peers, students and staff. Participants are expected to present their work as a poster, although artefacts or performance may also be offered! This is a different and alternative opportunity in addition to those available within the faculties and research institutes and the challenge here is for postgraduate students to communicate their work in an accessible and inspiring way to an informed, but non-specialist audience. The conference is open to all to attend and will also include the Keele Three Minute Thesis and Bake your Doctorate competitions. If you are not presenting, please do come along, support your colleagues and enjoy the day! (Lunch and refreshments will be provided!)

For further information, please get in touch with Stephen Kilner at: s.r.kilner@keele.ac.uk or visit the ILAS office next to the Keele Postgraduate Association on the top floor of Keele Hall.

Opening of the Denise Coates Building...

On the 24th of January, myself, Currie and the SU sabbatical officers were invited to attend the official opening of the Denise Coates building! It began with a fantastic networking session in the main atrium of the building, followed by a series of short speeches to officially open the building. We were delighted to be a part of the day and meet new people who are working hard to inspire local business growth in the Staffordshire area. We were very humbled to receive a speech from Nataliey Bitature, who was awarded her honorary degree at Keele in the graduation ceremony just the day before. An advocate for women in business and one of Africa’s brightest young achievers, it was inspiring to listen to her achievements in business. 

The Official Launch of the Office for Students Start to Success...

On the 28th of January, we were invited to the official launch of the start to success mental health and wellbeing event. We were given a range of fantastic speeches on wellbeing in higher education and what student mental health looks like nationally. The idea that this will take on a whole community approach was deeply embedded within the talks and is something we are working alongside Toni and student services to ensure that postgraduate mental health and wellbeing provision is in place for the best student experience.  

Congratulations...

I would like to use this space to congratulate some of our postgraduate students in their academic achievements and contributions to campus...

Congratulations to all of our postgraduate students that graduated on the 23rd of January! I was gutted not to be able to proceed alongside Currie as I was on student governor training for the day! But I wish all of our students the best of luck in their future endeavors. 

(If you would like to nominate yourself or another student to feature within this section, please get in touch with me at kpa.chair@keele.ac.uk)  

If there’s anything missing that members would like to have seen included or anything members are expecting to be done, you are welcome to get in touch with queries or issues. 


The committee and I look forward to working with all you amazing postgrads! Please feel free to email either Currie or I on kpa.vp@keele.ac.uk or kpa.chair@keele.ac.uk if you have any concerns, want to give us updates or simply just want a chat!! 


Best,

Katie Charlton

(KPA President)




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