The AboutUS space is using the Blog Mode!
View this blog in blog mode
Apply now for Student Finance

All students are reminded that Student Finance England are asking that current students re-apply by 19 June 2020 to be guaranteed to receive their loans on time in September.

Click here for more details and to apply.

If you have a query about your finances the University's Student Financial Guidance Team are available via their webpage: https://sj.sunderland.ac.uk/studentfinancialguidance/

Return to AboutUS

 

 

 

CitySpace 2.6 Challenge

The team at CitySpace are challenging students and staff to complete the 2.6 Challenge for Coco.

CitySpace are aiming to get as many people to burn 2600 calories as possible between 4 May and 22 June as well as raise money for Coco (Comrades of Children Overseas).

To enter the challenge you simply have to create an account at www.mywellness.com/cityspace, then download the app and log in. Watch this video for a step by step guide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8laSf3tBLU.

Once logged in you can enter the challenge on the app. Follow this step by step guide on how to enter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYnpOc5C2tQ.

All activity must be tracked via the activity tracker within the app and once entrants reach 2600 calories burnt, they will be entered into a prize draw to win one month’s free gym membership at CitySpace (once they are open again).

With the current lockdown situation CitySpace are encouraging staff and students to make the most of their daily exercise towards and use the activity tracker to contribute towards the challenge.

Every calorie counts so participants can register all activity towards completing the challenge.

CitySpace are also encouraging participants to donate via this link https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/donation-web/charity?charityId=1005458&stop_mobi=yes.

To find out more follow CitySpace on Facebook @UoSCitySpace or Instagram @cityspace_uni_sunderland.

Any questions please email cityspaceenquiries@sunderland.ac.uk

Return to AboutUS

The University of Sunderland is backing a national campaign urging the government to support and protect the education and training of future key workers.

It comes as Universities UK and MillionPlus – the Association for Modern Universities – outline a series of proposals aimed at protecting and sustaining university programmes which meet the national need for key workers.

The Covid-19 crisis has thrown a spotlight on the country’s vital key public service workers – particularly those in medicine, nursing, teaching, allied health professions, and social work. Such professions will be increasingly vital as the nation begins to heal in the months ahead.

Return to AboutUS

The University of Sunderland currently has more than 3,000 students on health and wellbeing programmes, including Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Paramedicine, as well as over 2,300 in Education and hundreds more in Social Sciences.

Many of the University’s students and graduates are already playing key roles on the Covid-19 effort. The University has played a significant part in supporting NHS services in recent weeks, through both workers on the frontline and the donation of state-of-the-art equipment. Read about just some of the efforts here and here.

The current crisis is putting considerable pressure on universities and concern is growing that without further action, training capacity may well not meet future needs.

•    Working with universities, the government could take a major stride towards mitigating against future capacity shortfalls via a three-pronged approach: Supporting students and graduates to become key workers in public services, by offering a maintenance grant of up to £10,000 for all students in training, removing any recruitment caps, and providing fee-loan forgiveness for those remaining in the relevant professions for at least five years.

•    Strengthening and enhancing key public service higher education capacity in universities by increasing the funding to the Office for Students to reflect the added costs while creating a new Public Services in Higher Education Capital Fund to enable universities to invest in simulation equipment, additional staff costs and other infrastructure.

•    Retaining and developing key workers in public services, by increasing general staffing budgets and creating a new professional development programme focused on enhancing skills of current key workers in public services and the new NHS volunteer reserve.

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University, said: “We actively support these proposals as part of the national recovery effort following the pandemic.

“At the University of Sunderland, we are well-placed to nurture, deliver and fit the requirements for future key roles in the north-east of England and beyond. We already have thousands of students studying in health and education-related programmes and we want to protect, sustain and grow these to meet the demands of a post Covid-19 world.

“We also deliver a host of professions-facing programmes from business and technology to media and creative industries which will be vital in rebuilding to meet future requirements.”

Professor Julia Buckingham, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of Brunel University, added: “Our universities and their students are vital assets to the UK. Our world-leading hubs of teaching and research have stepped up to the plate during the coronavirus crisis, supplying equipment, know-how and front-line staff to hospitals all over the country.

“It is critically important that universities have the resources to train the next generation of workers in these key areas so that we can meet future needs.”

The recipient of the University of Sunderland biggest single scholarship is preparing for his new career as a teacher – and getting in lots of practice in lockdown with his twin nine year-old boys.

Craig Remmer is in the final few weeks of his Primary Education degree. Craig, 33, from Seaham, is a single parent, and like many is home schooling – while still studying - during the Covid-19 crisis.

Return to AboutUS

“To be honest lockdown has left me with quite a bit of spare time!” says Craig. “I have made sure I am up to date with all work for University, and keeping busy by doing all of the little jobs around the house that you usually don’t have time for.

“But most importantly, I am able to spend huge amounts of quality time with my twins, Luke and Caleb.”

Craig has been supported in his studies with a DOSH (Development Office Scholarship) award.  The £10,000 Sir Tom Cowie Excellence Scholarship is the University of Sunderland’s biggest scholarship, supported by the Sir Tom Cowie Charitable Trust, and supports excellent students from the Sunderland region in either education or business.

Craig says the scholarship has had a huge impact on his studies – and now he is preparing for a teaching career with a first class honours degree.

“The scholarship has supported me hugely in my final year of study. It has enabled me to stop working and to fully dedicate my time to my course. It has meant that I have had more time to spend on written assignments and concentrate on my placements.

“I am now on track to graduate with a First, which will help when applying for jobs. I honestly do not think I would have achieved the grades I have without the scholarship.”

Craig is grateful for the support of Sir Tom Cowie’s foundation, and intends to give back as much as he can to his North East home.

“My plan is to remain in the Sunderland/Durham area if possible,” says Craig. “But in the current situation, work may take me outside of the region, then my ultimate goal will always be to return home and teach.”

Many people are taking on challenges and setting themselves daily fitness goals while on lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, but for one Sunderland lecturer her need to keep fit and mobile has led to her setting herself a very unusual challenge – and rediscovering the meaning of good neighbours.

Liz Gandy is a senior lecturer at the University’s Faculty of Technology, teaching BSc Computer Science and BSc Games Software Development  and is studying for her PhD.  Liz has cerebral palsy, walks on crutches and is a keen horse rider, so the lockdown has not only stopped her spending time with her horses, it has also impacted on her ability to keep fit and mobile.

Return to AboutUS

“When I started working from home in isolation I spoke to my physio about what type of exercise I could do, as I was quite worried about keeping mobile.  I ride horses, walk around at work, and do physio twice a week.  To go from that to being at home alone was a real concern.

“I started just walking up my road, to the top of a hill and back, which I worked out was about half a kilometre.  My initial challenge was just to make it to the top of the hill without stopping. 

“The first few times I had to stop for a rest outside a house near the top of the hill. One day as I was coming back I heard someone banging on a window, and there was an elderly man waving and cheering me on as if I was in the Olympics.”

The support of her neighbour was a real boost to Liz – and she soon began to think that she should take on an even bigger challenge, not just for her, but to lift the mood of her entire street.

“Work has been really busy.  Moving online has been a challenge for everyone, we’ve all had to work quite hard, but I think it has been very positive having the opportunity to learn some different systems and methods of working online with students. At the end of the day it is nice to get out, but when you are tired or there is still work to do it is sometimes tempting to skip the exercise.  It helped me make the effort knowing that this elderly neighbour – Jack - was watching out for me to come past so he could wave me on out of his window. 

“Within a few days Jack’s next door neighbour came out, and then another neighbour, and then I thought, well maybe I could turn this into some sort of a challenge to keep me going and raise some money for the key workers that are doing so much to protect and care for us all at this time.

“I’ve always thought that I’d love to do the Great North Run, but I knew it just wasn’t physically possible for me to do it.  The Great North Run is a half marathon distance of 21 km, and to the end of my street and back is 0.5 km, so it would take me 42 days to “do” a Virtual Great North Run, and I have set myself a target of completing it before the end of June, allowing some time for missed days due to bad weather - wet and windy weather aren’t very safe for walking on crutches.”

Liz set up a Virgin Money Giving page in support of the NHS Covid-19 Urgent Appeal, with the aim of raising £250. So far the appeal ‘Virtual Great North Run on Crutches’ has raised over £800 – and Liz is still only half way to her goal of 21 km.

“Up until this happened I didn’t really know the people in my neighbourhood.  I used to just get in the car and go to work and come back at night. Now, just by walking up and down the street I’ve met so many of my neighbours and they are all absolutely lovely. I’ve managed to get my groceries online so far, but now I know if I couldn’t I’d just have to ring any one of them and they would help me out.

“I’ve found that things really have changed since lockdown.  Everyone says hello, when maybe they wouldn’t have before.  Every night now my neighbours are waiting for me, and I really look forward to it.

“If lockdown is finished before then I would love to do the last half kilometre on South Shields seafront, finishing where the Great North Run would finish.

“When I do finish, and if we are still on lockdown, we’ll be holding a socially distanced celebration with my neighbours at the top of the hill.”

You can sponsor Liz’s ‘Virtual Great North Run on Crutches’ by going to her Virgin Money Giving page.

The past few weeks have been a challenge both mentally and physically for many people after the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK.

But what is life like for elite athletes who have spent months training for national and international competitions – only to suddenly feel like all their hard work has been in vain?

Return to AboutUS
Cameron Park is just 22 years old and is currently studying Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Sunderland. He is also one of the UK’s leading young Taekwondo champions.

For the past 10 years, the student has been training every day, honing his fighting skills in preparation for national and worldwide competition. It’s a schedule which requires discipline and hard work.

This dedication has seen him placed in the top 10 at two European Championships and led to his entire focus being set on this month’s World championships, due to be held in Denmark.

However, the event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, with lockdown now in place, the situation has left Cameron, and elite athletes like him, facing unique challenges in terms of training and mental wellbeing.

The student, who is from Durham and a former pupil at The Academy at Shotton Hall, says the crisis has left him with several challenges.

He said: “I cannot afford to sit around each day, otherwise my performance as an athlete will massively decrease, but I work within government guidelines in terms oftraining.

“I’m out running each day for the permitted time and then doing online sessions with Chris Curtis who is my strength and conditioning coach.

“Mentally, it took a toll on me as I do not know when the next time I will compete is. So therefore I’m doing everything I can to maintain my ability as an elite athlete and be prepared for when I do return to competition/full training.”

Cameron had been using the University’s CitySpace building for training purposes but with the facility now closed, he has had to diversify.

He said: “Without any facilities to access, I’m thinking outside the box along with Chris Curtis to maximise all my exercises along with the equipment I have at home. Luckily, I have equipment here in which I can get a lot of use from.”

Due to training with the GB team being cancelled, Cameron is now having to go back to basics, training in his back garden on his punch bag like he did when he was young.

Cameron added: “Nutrition was a big thing at the start when everybody was panic buying, as I need to maintain a good balanced diet. Thankfully, my mam is especially good at preparing all of this to keep me properly fed.

“As an elite athlete, I feel like my mental strength and thought processing is greatly helping me each day to focus on the future and hopefully we are getting one step closer to this pandemic finishing. Without the background I have, I feel current-life would be much harder to cope with.

“In terms of training, it has been difficult training at home at times as my three year old niece also lives with us.”

Cameron was 12 years old when his dad introduced him to Taekwondo, and he fell in love with it straight away.

The student is now part of the University’s Elite Athlete Scheme which supports young sporting stars of the future.

 

Dr Paul Davis is Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of Sport at the University of Sunderland and an expert in football fandom.

Here he looks at the impact of professional football being postponed across the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Return to AboutUS

“We should all realise by now that football fans are highly diverse in their outlooks, characters, intellects, wealth, and relationship with the game.

“Therefore, there are no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the impact of professional football cancellations due to the current pandemic.

“There is likely to be, at one extreme, those who are finding cessation horrific, who are binging on footage and who will plunge back into the routine with the zeal of the proselyte. 

“At the other extreme is likely to be a socially aware, self-aware and self-actualising type, who might find in the current moratorium a platform for consideration of their relationship with the game.

“These people may be asking themselves ‘is it too important to me? Are my moods too affected by how my team does? Does it take up too much of my time and money?’

“This type might also be reflecting with sharpened focus and deepened solemnity on the game’s economic, social and political scaffolding. Some in this category might try to redefine their relationship with the game and their team(s). 

“The same fans, however, are likely to be experienced in fandom’s seductive qualities, and will therefore be no more surprised than any of their family or friends if it is ‘as-you-were’ within a month or two of resumption.

“Most fans probably do not fit snugly into either of the preceding categories. There are probably few who will not reflect to any degree on the social, cultural, economic, political and personal issues arising from cessation. 

“The conclusions and resolutions reached, again, will be as diverse as fans themselves. Some fans, again, will freely discuss such issues with other fans, while others have a more private or selective relationship with football.

This fan’s prediction, for what it is worth, is that it will be business as usual for football fans soon after resumption. 

“While all will realise that their clubs and the game will long negotiate the coronavirus legacy, their own personal and social commerce with football will be largely unaffected. 

“Whatever the current reflections and resolutions, it will be the same old psychology and preoccupations, e.g. ‘we need to do something about the left side of midfield’, ‘we can win the cup this year’, ‘I wish he would shut up behind me’ … 

“Most fans will look back on the current forced abstinence as older fans would once look back on a fierce winter that caused many postponements and a backlog headache.”

Monday April 27 to Friday May 1 is Online Applicant Experience Week at the University of Sunderland. This is your chance to get a taste of life at the University from the comfort of your own home. Find out more our courses, talk to current students and staff, and discover everything you need to know about university life, from finance, to careers support, to wellbeing. Click HERE to find out more.

While many businesses are struggling under the current lockdown conditions one young North East artist is seeing her ceramics business thrive, by offering “a touch of magic” to her clients.

Helen Gallagher-Logan, 30, is the founder of Mucky Paws Ceramics in Gateshead, and graduated from the University of Sunderland last summer with a degree in Glass and Ceramics.

Return to AboutUS

“Mucky Paws Ceramics focuses on wheel-thrown ceramics, largely mugs and cups,” says Helen. “I think that handmade items can really elevate an experience and bring a touch of magic to your everyday.

“Most of my online sales are through the community I’ve built on Instagram and most pieces are sent across Europe, but I’ve also sold work to customers in the USA, Canada and even Japan.

“Whilst the current lockdown is obviously incredibly difficult I feel quite lucky in that it hasn’t impacted me a huge amount, though I do miss long walks in the countryside and trips to the coast. My studio is at home so I’m still able to produce work, but all sales are online now because of events being cancelled. I’m working on a range of drinking vessels which I’m hoping will provide comfort in these strange times.”

Helen boosted her professional practice while at University with a DOSH (Development Office Scholarship) award.  The Mike Davies Innovation Scholarship supports students studying Glass or Ceramics.

Helen used her scholarship to travel to the Orkney Isles. Orkney is a marked World Heritage Site and is thought to be where Grooved Ware pottery was developed around 5,000 years ago.

Helen says: “The trip I took to Orkney on my scholarship was absolutely amazing and I was able to experience so much in the week I was there, from the ancient settlements to the stunning coastlines and the beautiful towns.

“It’s an experience that will stay with me forever. I think that the biggest impact it had on my work was simply giving me the confidence to forge ahead. Once I’d graduated I had to make big decisions about my future and I’ve been creating and selling my work full time since!

“It’s been a crazy experience and I’m so grateful to be able to pay the bills whilst doing something that I love.

“Students should take every opportunity they can.  Apply for that commission or these brilliant scholarships, because you just don’t know if you don’t try.”

The Mike Davies Innovation Scholarship supports students studying Glass or Ceramics and offers two scholarships of £1,000. Closing date for applications is noon on Friday 1 May.

 

Sunderland pharmacy student Sydney Madu, originally from Canada, has made the North East her home, and is currently working for the Ambulance Service during the Covid-19 crisis.

Sydney, 24, graduates in 2021 from her Master of Pharmacy degree, and works as a health advisor for NHS 111.

Return to AboutUS

“I work on the weekends during term time which helps me continue my studies,” says Sydney. “I am lucky to live with two other Sunderland students. We are surviving the lockdown together, and looking out for each other. It helps to have support from others who are going through the same thing.”

Sydney has been supported in her studies with DOSH (Development Office Scholarship) award.  The Hope Winch Scholarship is specifically designed to support undergraduate pharmacy students.

“The scholarship allowed me to remain focused on my studies, and also be involved in university life,” says Sydney. “I didn’t have to make compromises because of my finances.

“I was able to volunteer with the University Rowing Club, and became vice-president, helping out with the club and coaching new members. I was able to balance my time studying and volunteering.

“The scholarship helped cover the costs of a job interview, such as travelling. It allowed me to continue to be active in the university community and seek out more opportunities. “

The Hope Winch Scholarship is open to Pharmacy students and offers scholarships up to £1,000. Closing date for applications is noon on Friday 1 May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Universityhas launched four new online Management Masters degrees targeted at ambitious professionals and graduates across the UK and the world. Entirely delivered online the new programmes can be studied from anywhere in the world and will equip students with the skills and knowledge to establish themselves as successful managers and transformational leaders, across a broad spectrum of careers.

Return to AboutUS

Classes for the MSc degrees start in June 2020 and will include a core MSc Management programme and specialisms in three key business disciplines:

•    MSc Management
•    MSc Management with HR
•    MSc Management with Marketing
•    MSc Management with Finance

The flexible, online delivery of the degrees will require no campus visitd, making them well-suited to busy adult learners, who can find a time for study that fits with their work and family commitments, such as in the evening or even during the daily commute or lunch break.

Students on the programmes will join an online community of fellow students in a highly interactive and collaborative virtual learning environment featuring discussion boards, forums and group activities.

Proud of its reputation as a welcoming and supportive place to study, the University of Sunderland will offer each online student a dedicated Student Success Co-ordinator, who will be offer study guidance from enrolment to graduation.

Professor Jon Timmis, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Commercial), said: “In today’s increasingly dynamic and demanding global employment market, employers strive to identify and recruit strategic thinkers with a broad skill-set and knowledge base across the disciplines of business and management. High-quality postgraduate qualifications can set students apart and provide them with the knowledge and capabilities to help them achieve career success.

“These new online Masters degrees build on our proud track-record as a global university, providing distance learning to students across the UK and across the world. They are specifically designed to expand access to high-quality education in business and management, and ultimately to unlock the career potential of the senior leaders of tomorrow.”

The 100% online Masters courses have been developed by the academics at the University of Sunderland’s Business and Management School, in partnership with online learning experts Higher Ed Partners.

The University has won accolades for its ‘world leading’ research in Business* and received a 5-star rating for teaching in the QS rankings 2019.

*Most recent Research Excellence Framework

A Sunderland Journalism graduate who moved into the video game industry has been included in a prestigious list of talented young people.

Sam Jones, who had previously worked on the Tamworth Herald newsdesk as a reporter before joining e-commerce entertainment retailer Fanatical back in 2017, has been unveiled as one of MCV/Develop's 30 Under 30 for 2020 - an annual event 'showcasing the very best young people in the industry'.

Return to AboutUS

The 29-year-old, who originally started out as a trainee reporter on the Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough in 2014 before joining the Somerset County Gazette, has been a "huge presence across Fanatical’s social channels after taking on the role of scriptwriter and presenter" alongside his marketing, blogging and SEO duties as Content Manager for Fanatical.

"I'm immensely proud to have been included in the 30 Under 30 list amongst such a great array of talented people from the game industry," said Sam. "I still have fond memories of visiting Animex and interviewing game developers with the University’s Head of School for Journalism Lee Hall whilst studying at Sunderland, who would have thought I'd be working in such a fantastic industry a few years down the line.

"I've made great strides since joining Fanatical and have much more to learn, but this award goes to show that my efforts so far have been noticed, and this is something that I'm very proud to have achieved."

Katie Thompson, Brand Marketing & Community Manager at Fanatical, added: "Sam manages Fanatical's content and has written over 1,000 blog posts in his time here, which has seen a 149.9% increase in sessions over the last six months.

"If this wasn't enough, he is also the main star of our new YouTube videos, writing, recording and performing the scripts, or being on camera reviewing games of interviewing - he is the voice of Fanatical.

"To top it off, Sam also works tirelessly to gain new prizes every month to give away to our customers and has secured many exclusive interviews with gaming celebrities such as Roger Craig Smith and Sasha Zotova, the new face of Jill Valentine in Resident Evil 3."

Sam studied a BA Hons in Sports Journalism at Sunderland between 2010 and 2013, and was awarded the first-ever SportsByte 'Reporter of the Year' for his work on covering Wearside League side Sunderland West End FC.

Speaking about his time at the University, Sam said: “Sunderland was a great experience. The facilities were among the best in country for what I wanted to do which is why I chose to go there. It certainly helped having SportsByte as a training ground.”

Layla Khoo was able to launch her first solo exhibition at Whitby Museum recently thanks to the Futures Fund Graduate Development Scholarship.

Layla graduated MA Glass and Ceramics in 2019. Her exhibition, “A Chronicle of Curiosities”, imagines a dinner party, where the guests made up significant figures inspired by the museum collection and the history of Whitby.

Return to AboutUS

She explained: “With the money awarded to me through the Scholarship, I was able to research, design, create and promote a solo exhibition to consolidate my artist in residency position at Whitby Museum.”

Each dinner guest has their own bespoke place setting inspired by themes within the museum, side plates link to these themes with verses inspired by the “Sunderland-ware” ceramics in the collection. The walls are adorned with ink illustrations on antiquated encyclopaedia pages, inspired by the extensive library collection, and the “Hand of Glory” has been liberated from its dark, mythic origins in the form of ceramic candle holders to light the table."

Layla used the money from the funding to make the finished pieces of work and also enabled her to extensively test all new designs without fear of “wasting” materials she could not afford. This resulted in a well finished exhibition of high quality pieces of work.

Layla said: “The residency at the museum was an incredible opportunity to be able to truly engage with a heritage setting, work with the curatorial staff, and find an appropriate creative response to my research there.

“Small museums such as Whitby Museum are keen to work with contemporary artists to bring relevance to their collection, but are sadly severely restricted by funding. The museum were deeply grateful and impressed that the University of Sunderland supports its students in this way.

“As part of the residency I was also able to run public workshops, inviting the local community to come and further explore the collection. The museum felt that this area of the work was a key part of the residency, as they are keen for members of the local community to get involved with this unique collection.”

Layla thanked the Futures Fund for allowing her the opportunity of working on this project.

She concluded: “This experience has been invaluable – I have learnt more about working with heritage collections, curatorial staff and public workshops, and how to create and publicise exhibitions.

“There has been extensive problem solving necessary – from difficult to move artefacts, to resolving differences of opinions between the museum and members of the public.

“As a result of creating this work (and in combination with my recent exhibition with the National Trust) I have been offered (and accepted) fully funded residencies with the Forestry Commission at Dalby Forest, and the Bronte Society and the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Both works will be completed this year, and I am now in discussion with the National Trust with regards to a further project in 2021.”

The Futures Fund is open to all students and offers scholarships up to £2,500 for Opportunity, Excellence or Graduate Development.. Closing date for applications is noon on Friday 1 May.

Engineering a future career

As final year students look toward their futures with some trepidation, one undergraduate engineer is working harder than ever, and hoping that a strong foundation will help launch his career after graduation.

Ryan Calvert, 41, from Sunderland, is in the final year of BEng Electronic & Electrical Engineering.  As with all final year students Ryan is working hard, and since the Covid-19 crisis struck has less time than most, as he has young children and a key worker post, as well as his studies. 

But Ryan believes that gaining a DOSH (Development Office Scholarship) award has put him firmly on the right track.  Ryan was one of the first students to receive the Dovre engineering scholarship.

Return to AboutUS

“The Dovre scholarship helped me immensely in terms of being able to focus more time on studies and less time on earning money to run my household,” says Ryan.  “Not only that, but I’m able to look for graduate jobs with an award on my CV that recognises the hard work I’ve put in.

“I’m hoping to join Northern Powergrid’s delayed graduate scheme when it opens in the summer. If my final classification has not been awarded at that point, I can at least provide evidence to say that I have been recognised for outstanding  performance. That can only help my application.”

The Dovre scholarship is now open to applications to students studying an engineering discipline entering their final year of study in 2020-2021.

Ryan, who lives with his fiance and two children aged 13 and 2 years, admits he is struggling with the extra demands of lockdown.

“I’m not feeling the study benefits of quarantine because I don’t have any available childcare during the day, and I’m a government key worker on an evening.

“To say I’m keeping busy would be a gross understatement! I’m having a lot of very late nights making sure I finish my degree as strongly as possible.

“But I’d say to other students; American’s have a saying, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’.  I think it’s just as important not to sweat the huge stuff that lies outside of your temporarily shrunken sphere of influence.

“I’m not going to be able to build my final year project without access to lab equipment, but I’m working with academic staff to complete a narrative of what I would’ve done, while consolidating the simulation elements to meet the learning objectives.

“I’m trying to see the positives in having something worthwhile to concentrate my energies on through this period. You should focus on what can be done rather than what can’t.”

The Dovre Excellence Scholarship offers two £1,000 scholarships to engineering students entering the final year of their studies.  Closing date for applications is noon on Friday 1 May.

Students, staff and graduates have been paying tribute to Professor Pete Rushton, who died recently.

We know that many staff and students will have fond memories of Professor Rushton. If you would like to share these or any message of condolence please send them to Usonline@sunderland.ac.uk with "Professor Peter Rushton" in the subject header, then they can be added to this page.

"I am deeply shocked and still cannot believe it, Professor Pete Rushton has an enormous positive impact in my life, pretty much like a Godfather figure of School of Sociology, he has been the main mould and engine of sociology department. My Local Hero rests in peace, my Professor supervisor and friend. An immense bibliothek i cannot stop describing who you are as you had rationalised and shaped my life positively, will never forget you."

Rachidy Bikaya, BA (Hons) Sociology (2015) current MBA Business Administration student

"Very sad to hear the news about Pete Rushton.  In addition to his many other contributions to the University, Pete served as a very diligent Academic Staff Rep on the Board of Governors between July 2006 and July 2010."

Bernard Dale, Governance Officer, Legal & Governance

"I had the great pleasure of getting to know Pete, first as he helped ease my panicked self into writing the documentation for REF2014, where we formed a self-help community fuelled by cake and humour.  I then shared an office with him, and continued to be astonished by the depth and breadth of his knowledge.  This knowledge was always carried lightly, and shared willingly.  His kindness and patience to everyone he met, from students up to blundering senior colleagues, never failed to leave all those who came into contact with him feeling better.  His wit and humour kept us all going, whether that was in meetings or in the freezing office we shared in Vardy. The world is a richer place for him being in it."

Professor Angela Smith, Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries

"I have had the honour, and pleasure, of knowing Pete for the last nine years. When I first met him, I was a brand new lecturer and was completely in awe of his knowledge and intellect. As I got to know him better as part of the Social Studies team I realised what a lovely, down-to-earth, man he was. Oh and the stories…! He always had an amazing story to tell about absolutely any topic you could possibly think of. I never thought he would actually leave the university as he loved his work so much. I will miss him and his soothing presence in the team and send my sincerest condolences to his family and close friends. Bye Pete… Lesley xxx."

Dr Lesley Deacon, Senior Lecturer Social Work and Applied Social Sciences; Programme Leader BSc Health and Social Care

"Pete was my final year dissertation supervisor last year and I was upset to hearing of his passing. I also remember him when working at the university library in the 80s! He was a very down to earth, approachable person and will be sadly missed."

Christine Rollinson, BSc (Hons) Criminology (2019) current LLM student

"Pete was my dissertation supervisor in my final year of study of sociology in 2016. He was such an intellect and and this was reflected in everything he did, even his jokes made referenced to historical or theoretical jargon, which I'm sure he constructed in such a way to go over most people's - but when you caught one you realised how funny it was. He really cared about his studies, the studies of his students, and really cared about the work they were doing. He'll be a big miss in the department and university. I'm thinking of his friends, family, colleagues, and students, and this sad time, we have all lost an intellectual titan, who took such care over his craft."

Jack Cullen, BA (Hons) Sociology (2016)

"Pete was a great support to me as second supervisor for my dprof.  I recall spending some hours in the various cafes around the university where his comments stimulated much discussion and new directions of my thinking.  A sad loss to students."

Dr Ruth McGrath, PhD, Higher Education in Policing

  Return to AboutUS

 

Peter Kay, Head of the School of Social Sciences, remembers Professor Peter Rushton, Professor of Historical Sociology, who died recently.

"Friends, colleagues and students past and present will be devastated to hear of the passing of Professor Pete Rushton.  

"Pete worked at the University of Sunderland for 41 years teaching, researching and supporting students and staff in their studies and in their research."

Professor Rushton studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge before moving to Manchester University for an MA and PhD in Sociology.

His research was interdisciplinary in the field of social and sociologically-informed history.

He supervised many graduate students in the fields of sociology, community and youth work, and history. 

Peter Kay added: "Pete’s contribution to teaching and research, as well as his wide ranging knowledge, experience and humour will be sadly missed by all who knew him.  

"He has been a highly valued and much appreciated colleague and friend in his time at the University of Sunderland.  A fantastic colleague, researcher, teacher and friend."

Professor Lynne McKenna, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society, said: "Sadly I only knew Pete for the five years I have been at Sunderland, but his calm, supportive and very clever and sensible approach to all manner of things was wonderful. He will be a massive miss."

 



 

A lecturer who specialises in the treatment of children’s cancers, is urging people to think about those children fighting cancer and leukaemia in their day to day lives under coronavirus.

Lynzie Middleton is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Sunderland, an Honorary Clinical Pharmacist in Paediatric Oncology at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, and panel member of the Chemotherapy and Pharmacy Advisory Service.  She is involved in the research of  cancer treatments and also teaches undergraduate Masters pharmacy students on Diseased systems: Principles of Oncology, Infection Control and Immunology.  

As well as research and teaching Lynzie works one day a week in practice, which allows her to see patients in the maintenance phase of their leukaemia treatment, to assess them and make alterations to their existing chemotherapy doses as well as prescribing supportive therapies and chemotherapy.

Return to AboutUS

She said: “We have very much a team approach to treating patients. As a pharmacist you can have an awful lot of input into patient care. It is such an evolving area and there are always new treatments being developed and trialled which as a pharmacist you are involved in.

“The children and adolescents who I treat are immunocompromised and as a result are more susceptible to infections, which they are told about from the start of their treatment. It is essential that the patients I see carry on with their therapy, as the evidence shows that a reduction in their treatment could lead to relapse of their disease.  

“Although there have been no clinical trials, data from China and Italy is showing that children with cancer are not suffering the severe effects of Covid-19. This is very different to adult patients, where some very difficult decisions about treatment are having to be made.”

While it is essential that the children’s treatment continues, Lynzie believes that it is the responsibility of everyone to contribute to the treatment of the most vulnerable people in society at the moment.

“We need people to stay at home.  These patients are shielding and so are the members of their household in the majority of cases.  When ordering online shopping, people should be considerate and think of these patients and families that are unable to leave the house. 

“Also, we know that generally the number of children presenting to hospital unwell has dropped since the outbreak.  We need to be mindful of this, as we know late presentation in an oncological setting is often associated with adverse outcome.

“Don’t be afraid to contact the NHS if you feel your child needs treatment, we are here for you.”