The leaves have most definitely fallen and it’s finally hat and scarf weather. Over the past couple of months we’ve said a big hello to our fresh new starters and a warm welcome back to our returning students. We couldn’t be happier to see you all on campus.

Whilst the past year or so has been somewhat distanced, this new semester has hopefully been a time to reconnect face to face. So, with Christmas looming let us help you Sleigh Your Studies, as we reintroduce you to the Student Engagement Team and remind you how we can help support and develop your academic skills.

Of course, our support never went away, and we’ve met many of our returning students online during webinars and 1-2-1 appointments over the past year. Our online support has been so well received, it will continue going forward, along with the return of in-person workshops and appointments. So, please book whichever format is best for you via the UniSkills webpages.

For those of you new to Edge Hill University you may still be wondering who the Student Engagement Team are? Well, we are a friendly and supportive team who are sometimes also known as the UniSkills team. We are part of Library and Learning Services and can be found in Catalyst. We also have a member of our team based at Manchester St James’. Most of the team are Academic Skills Advisors, who meet with students to discuss any concerns they may have about their academic writing, referencing, searching for books and journals, making presentations etc. This can be during a 1-2-1 appointment where we can focus solely on your work, or during a UniSkills workshop where we meet with you in groups and tackle academic skills together. We also deliver lots of embedded sessions, so you may meet us during your lectures too.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all soon, but in the meantime let’s re-introduce the team – starting with me…

Claire Olson – Academic Skills Advisor

Claire Olson - Academic Skills Advisor

Hello, I’m Claire and I have worked at Edge Hill for 5 years. I count myself as one of those lucky people who can happily say they love their job.

I’m passionate about understanding how building resilience can impact on student success and really enjoy discussing ways in which we can develop both our personal and academic resilience. Meeting with students and helping them when they are struggling with their writing or referencing is a big part of my role, and there is nothing like it when a student suddenly grasps criticality or reflection and can apply it to their own assignment.

Outside of work, I’m kept busy being mum to a lively 8-year-old. Any free time is taken up with reading and catching up on Netflix. I am powered mostly by coffee and cake.

Maisie Prior – Academic Skills Advisor

Maisie Prior - Academic Skills Advisor

Hello, I’m Maisie and I’ve been an Academic Skills Advisor for over 3 years. I love being able to help students develop their writing, feel confident delivering presentations and discover productivity strategies that work for them.

It’s so wonderful to be back in the office with colleagues (old and new!) and we have already had lots of ideas for exciting new workshops, webinars and resources.

My hobbies include learning languages, copywriting, and snowboarding – although I don’t like the cold!

Andy Tomkins – Academic Skills Advisor

Andy Tomkins - Academic Skills Advisor

I am a qualified librarian and have worked at Edge Hill for 14 years. My role involves helping students with referencing, finding academic information and developing their academic writing. This can involve one to one support, a UniSkills workshop or an embedded session arranged by your tutor.

I find it very rewarding to help someone with something that they may have struggled with and to see their understanding develop. It’s good to see students back on campus, working hard and experiencing some normal life.

My main hobby is hillwalking, and this takes me all over the UK and even all over the world. Most weekends I travel to the Peak District, the Lake District, North Wales and even the south of Scotland.

Helen Briscoe – Academic Skills Advisor

Helen Briscoe - Academic Skills Advisor

My name is Helen and I have been part of the Student Engagement Team for almost 3 years, but have worked at Edge Hill University for over 19 years! I love that my Academic Skills Advisor role enables me to meet and support so many different students. Since starting in this post I have enjoyed developing new initiatives, such as Returning to Learning – a learning community which enables students to support each other, and more recently I have loved designing and creating an interactive Academic Integrity and Referencing Toolkit for students and staff to use. Keeping my mind and body healthy is important to me, so I regularly go to the gym, do Parkrun most weeks, and play badminton when I can. I also love reading and doing puzzles … but I am at my happiest when I am drinking coffee and eating cake!

Adam Paxman – Academic Skills Advisor

Adam Paxman - Academic Skills Advisor

Hi, I’m Adam. I’m new to the Uniskills team. I’ll be running embedded sessions booked by lecturers and 1-2-1 sessions booked by students from October 2021. I look forward to meeting you! I’ll be covering both information skills and academic writing skills sessions.

I’ve previously worked in academic support and have also lectured for around a decade. I’m a published academic but have recently self-published two fiction books – one collection of short stories, and one book of poetry. I love drawing, sci-fi, reading and cooking, as well as getting out and about collecting blackberries for crumbles with my young son (season permitting). 

Claire Swanwick – Academic Skills Advisor

Claire Swanwick - Academic Skills Advisor

Hi, I’m Claire and I am new to the Academic Engagement Team this year. I have been a lecturer in FE for 20 years and so really understand the transition that students make from FE to HE. I particularly enjoy helping students to become independent learners and gain the confidence to develop academic style and flair, as they embark upon their academic writing journey.

Now we have emerged like butterflies from the somewhat sheltered cocoon of lockdown, I am excited to feel the buzz of a new academic term and interact face to face with students to work on the skills they need to be successful with their HE studies. 

When I’m not at my desk, I’m kept busy with two young children and can be found frantically adding travel documentaries to my Netflix watch list and lusting after my next far flung escape, in a bid to travel vicariously until restrictions are fully lifted.  I also enjoy the seemingly unachievable task of trying to beat my fastest time at my weekly local Parkun. Maybe next week!

Guy Williams – Academic Skills Advisor

Image of a pharaoh.

Hi, I’m Guy and have recently joined Edge Hill as an Academic Skills Advisor. My role is based in Manchester St. James (Tuesday to Thursday), but on occasion I will dust off my saddlebags and mount an expedition to Catalyst in search of food.

Day to day, though, most of my time is spent meeting students, either face to face in Manchester or online. I am quickly discovering that Edge Hill has a wonderfully broad range of learners, from many different backgrounds, and it is engaging with these people and helping them improve as academics that most appeals to me. Writing or researching for university assignments is very much a skill to be learned, and I’m always happy to help in its development. If I can also spread my love of cricket and ancient Rome to unsuspecting victims, then so much the better.

Away from Edge Hill, I like to run, swim, eat, and write stupid stories about TV shows.

Ellie Pauley – Academic Skills Advisor

Ellie Pauley - Academic Skills Advisor

Hi I’m Ellie. I work across two teams in Library and Learning services, SPLD and Student Engagement. I graduated from EHU (English language) in 2017 and have worked for various teams at the Uni since.

I love stationery, singing and all things nature. I am a creative, positive cat person and love problem solving and focusing on quick fire solutions in my roles at Edge Hill.   

Christine Anderton – Student Engagement Officer

Christine Anderton - Student Engagement Officer

Hi, I am Christine Anderton and I’ve worked at Edge Hill for 17 years in a variety of roles within Student Services and Learning Services. In my current role as Student Engagement Officer I am responsible for managing the team of Student Advisors, co-ordinating campaigns and student engagement activity, social media communications and much, much more! I particularly enjoy how varied my role is so no two days are ever the same.

Outside the workplace I like the quiet life, but I enjoy reading, cooking, doing super hard puzzle games and binge watching a TV series on Netflix.

Alice Murphy – Student Engagement Officer

Alice Murphy - Student Engagement Officer

Hi, I’m Alice.  My role is to co-ordinate a range of campaigns and initiatives and support the delivery of academic skills support for students. I also carry out the monthly stats for embedded sessions and help out wherever I’m needed! I particularly enjoy the interaction with students and team spirit.

Since restrictions have eased, I have enjoyed meeting up with friends and being able to organise events again to raise money for my children’s school, although I’m not enjoying being mum’s taxi again………

Helen Jamieson – Head of Student Engagement

Helen Jamieson - Head of Student Engagement

I’m Helen and I am responsible for the delivery of academic skills support (UniSkills) at Edge Hill University. I manage the Academic Skills Advisors who deliver the support and oversee the quality of the provision we provide. I particularly enjoy using quantitative and qualitative data to improve service provision and plan new student-centred academic skills interventions.

To relax I like to do yoga and am looking forward to doing more in person yoga very soon. I also like to go for long walks in nature and can often be found listening to a podcast (usually about yoga!).

Julie Nolan – Student Engagement Manager

Julie Nolan - Student Engagement Manager. Photo of Julie's garden, a lovely green shed and potatoes she has grown.

Hi, I am Julie and I do a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ operational and business intelligence work to ensure the UniSkills offer runs as effectively (and smoothly) as possible for students. Amongst many tasks, this includes working with your academic tutors to coordinate our embedded UniSkills sessions, writing informational and supportive online content for web and blogs, curating our student facing social media campaigns across all our LS platforms and responding to student support enquiries. I really enjoy all aspects of my job, but possibly my favourite part of the role is working with our fabulous Student Advisors who in turn offer you peer to peer support.

During the first lockdown, I re-discovered the bottom of my garden and a love of growing vegetables! After digging out all the weeds and brambles and discovering I had a very nice vegetable patch work has progressed even further with the arrival of a fancy new shed! With my growing confidence (and weekly check ins with Monty Don) I have also started renovating other parts of my garden and it’s so lovely to have such an inviting outdoor space now. During summer 2021 I have also been visiting lots of open gardens to gather more inspiration – honestly, cannot recommend the National Garden Scheme enough if you’re looking for a different day out!

Student Advisors

Last but by no means least, we also have a fabulous team of Student Advisors who offer peer to peer support. They have written lots of blog posts about who they are and what they get up to, so do check out their previous posts to find out more about them and the support they provide. You may want to check out their most recent blog which listed their favourite study techniques.

The Student Advisor Team.

We hope you have enjoyed hearing a bit more about the Student Engagement team. Best of luck with your studies, and do please get in touch if you need our support.