January and February
Despite the unusual year 2020 was, it was uplifting to see so many stories of our University community volunteering for local charities. To remind staff that they are all entitled to a day of leave for volunteering each year, Bulletin spoke to Sarah Ford-Hutchinson (pictured), Communications Manager in the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, and Annie Lovett, Senior Philanthropy Officer in Development and Alumni about their volunteering. Both made use of the Day to Make a Difference scheme.
In recognition of February as LGBT+ History Month, we spoke to the Staff Pride Network about their latest updates, one of which was their Rainbow Office Hours initiative. Professor Sue Fletcher Watson, Chair of Developmental Psychology, was part of the team that helped to set up the initiative and explained how important it is to have a safe space for staff and students to talk, especially when nobody was allowed to meet in person.
March and April
To continue the incredible momentum of work in 2020, Edinburgh Innovations and the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine came together to launch the Bench to Bedside Campaign. The initiative was created as the commercialisation of the College’s therapeutics expertise continued to grow and aimed to boost industry engagement and inspire more research staff and students to commercialise their work. We spoke to a number of staff involved to find out more about the campaign.
In early 2021 prominent human rights lawyer Debora Kayembe was elected, unopposed, to the role of University Rector. Debora plans to tackle injustice, fight racism and address the inequality of access to higher education. She spoke to Bulletin about how she would use the next three years to do it.
May and June
We all have mental health and recognising and talking about it is an important part of looking after ourselves. The return of Mental Health Awareness Week in May seemed a fitting opportunity to speak to James Saville, Director of HR, about his experience of burnout and recovery.
We also celebrated the appointment of Professor Catherine Heymans as the first female Astronomer Royal. She shared how she’s going to use the role to promote Scotland internationally as a world-leading centre for science, and to share her passion and enthusiasm for astronomy with people from all walks of life, especially children and young people.
July and August
After completing the Action Plan first created after the University signed the Technicians Commitment in 2017, and a hugely positive response from the Technician Commitment Steering Committee, Bulletin took the opportunity to celebrate the huge number of projects created to raise the profile and celebrate the work of our technicians as well as supporting them in being proactive about their own career journeys.
With restrictions relaxing and staff and students returning to campus on a more permanent basis we took the opportunity to recognise and thank a selection of staff that never left, continuing to come in throughout the lockdowns.
September and October
September saw the Student Experience Grants scheme celebrate 10 years. Bulletin spoke to Jeremy Crang, Professor of Modern British History in the School of History, Classics & Archaeology about his experience on the Student Experience Grants Steering Group and how other members of staff can get involved.
We also spoke to the Disabled Staff Network about their recent work in implementing the rollout and recognition of sunflower lanyards across the University. Members of the network shared how to support someone wearing the lanyard, and the impact on their personal and professional life.
November and December
The New College building has been an iconic part of the Edinburgh Old Town skyline for the past 175 years. In celebration of this milestone, Bulletin spoke to Helen Bond, Head of the School of Divinity about the celebration events the School had been enjoying.
Finally, at a time of year that can be difficult to navigate, we spoke to Dr Andre Philips, Teaching Fellow in Reproductive Biology for the Biomedical Teaching Office who volunteers for Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts. The initiative aims to feed as many people as possible, through regular free dinners as well as a meal delivery service. Andre shared how they would be helping those in need over the festive period.
Photography was either taken before the pandemic or in accordance with applicable Covid-19 guidance.