UACES Chair’s Message — February 2024

Simon Usherwood |

Dear Colleagues,

As you’ll know, the UACES office is going through some changes. I will be writing to you shortly to introduce our new Executive Director, but in the meantime I want to give our collective thanks to Melina Dieckgräber, our Digital Communications Manager.

Melina joined four years ago, when we were about to do some significant work on our online and communication presence. Of course, it  turned out we were also about to be spending a lot of time working from home, thanks to Covid. Melina not only adjusted with aplomb, but helped UACES to navigate the online world in ways that continue to enrich our work and (we hope) your experience. Add to that her excellent work in and around our events and it’s clear we’ve had a colleague who’s been a great part of the office and our community.

Melina will be taking up a new post as Communications Manager at Newcastle University, where we wish her the very best in the next stage of her career. She will be moving to the position in mid-February.

Stepping into a new role as Digital Communications and Marketing Officer, I’m delighted to welcome Katie Kilbourne, who many of you will get to meet at our conference in Trento or at the Graduate Forum Conference in Amsterdam in June. Katie’s got lots of experience from the charity sector, and as a European Studies graduate provides us with a handy example of all those transferable skills we teach our students!

And since we don’t do our office staffing changes by half, I can also welcome Sinclair Scotchmere as our new Finance Officer. Sinclair will be working remotely for the office, handling various financial functions, so you probably won’t get to meet him, but you may well see his name around our financial documents.

Ollie Pilkington isn’t left out in all this change, with a new title of Events & Membership Manager to reflect some growth in his responsibilities.

At which point I run out of people in the office. As always on these occasions I am reminded that UACES is exceptionally fortunate to have uniformly brilliant people working for us: I might get the glamour of writing a Chair’s message, but without the people managing and running all the things that you read about in this newsletter that would be meaningless. My deep thanks to the entire team, whether they are coming, going or staying.

Prof Simon Usherwood, UACES Chair