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HEON

Higher Education Outreach Network

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Staff profiles - Meet the HEON team!

The HEON team currently consists of 9 key members that are working to deliver an effective outreach programme for students.

The 4 central team members they are:

Holly Yorston - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Manager

 

I’m the HEON Manager and am based at University of Surrey which is the lead institution for the Network. I started with the team in October 2018 after working in Children’s Social Care for the last 5 years, predominantly with Looked after Children and other underrepresented groups. I am really passionate about empowering young people to make informed choices in all areas of their lives and am excited to play my part in developing the HEON project. In my spare time, I dance and I run and am currently training for my first marathon.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a paramedic or a dancer, worlds apart I know. I didn’t really want to go to University but didn’t feel like I had a choice so I decided to do something I’d enjoy and ended up studying Drama and Dance.

What do you do for HEON?

I manage the central team and the partner officers and work strategically with our partners to ensure we’re meeting the aims and objectives of the programme.

 

Jonathan Plummer - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Central Coordinator

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An actor, which ended up being my career for a decade before I moved to education.

What do you do for HEON?

I am part of the Central Team that is based at the University of Surrey. My role in a nutshell is building relationships with schools/colleges and our partner institutions and then matching their needs with appropriate activity and support. I coordinate the activity delivered by our partner officers across Surrey and NE Hampshire and help ensure that HEON meets the NCOP project targets.

Do you have a favourite session that you deliver and if so why?

Apprenticeship Workshops as it offers students a viable and exciting alternative to university (if that is suitable for their career aspirations) and immediately boosts their knowledge and understanding.

My contact details-

Email: j.plummer@surrey.ac.uk      Tel: 01483 684185

 

Christopher Dexter - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Coodinator (Impact and Evaluation)

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your institution:

I’ve been at the University of Surrey for around 4 years now. Initially as an administration officer working with three different departments before moving over to the HEON project. And before that I lived for a number of years in Boston, USA where I worked at Harvard University!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A professional sportsman. The particular sport changed pretty much each year!

What do you do for HEON?

I’m the HEON Evaluation Coordinator, so I spend a lot of time looking over spreadsheets, surveys and evaluation forms, and talking to the team about all the events they run. Basically doing my best to make sense of all the data that our team produces and collects!

I’ve also spent some time helping manage the project budget and like to chip in elsewhere as & when I can.

Do you have a favourite session that you deliver and if so why?

My role is mostly behind the scenes, so I don’t deliver all that often, but occasionally I get the chance to talk to students, parents & teachers about the events we run and progression to HE which is both really interesting to hear about while also feeding into our overall evaluation of the project.

Any specialist subjects?

Well I studied German at Uni, and for this role I ought to say social research, but more honestly I’d admit my specialist subjects are probably more along the lines of Middle Earth or Westeros trivia or NBA basketball

My contact details-

Email: c.dexter@surrey.ac.uk     Tel: 01483 683362

Rachel Cornall - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Administrator

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your institution:

I grew up in Fleet and studied Tourism Management at Bournemouth University after doing an A Level in Travel and Tourism at college. I am passionate about travel and so far I have managed to visit most of Central America as well as doing a volunteer project in Costa Rica looking after turtles! I’ve also travelled to Vietnam and Thailand next on my list is The Philippines and Africa.

After years of working in the private sector I have moved into the education sector as I wanted to develop on my own personal experience of higher education programmes. I hope my time at Surrey University will be rewarding and I can be a welcome addition to the team.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to be a vet however after realising I’d have to see animals in pain I knew that I wouldn’t be able to cope. Plus I was never good at the game operation as a child.

What do you do for HEON?

I work as the administration assistant for the HEON team I started the position in February 2019 so I am very new to the job. My role is to support the team with the functioning and evaluation of the project. I hope to use the skills and experience I gained as a student mentor and ambassador at Bournemouth University to help the team develop ideas to engage students and their influencers.

Any specialist subjects?

I studied Tourism Management which looked at the impacts of tourism in different countries as well as the environmental impacts.

My contact details

Email: r.cornall@surrey.ac.uk     Tel: 01483 684337

We also have 5 officers based at our partner institutes, they are:

Hayleigh Baker-Towns - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Partner Officer for the University of Creative Arts in Farnham

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your institution:

I grew up in Farnham, and studied Media & Communication Studies at University of Wolverhampton. In my spare time I sing with a ladies' choir called Ancora, perform with the Alton Operatic & Dramatic Society (AODS), and I am a District Guider in Farnham. I have worked at the University for the Creative Arts for nearly 8 years. It's the number one specialist Arts University in UK, and specialises in Creative Arts Business and Technology. We have four campuses across Surrey and Kent (Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Rochester). #WeCreate

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was younger I wanted to be a West End Actor / Pop Star!

Favourite session that I deliver:

Wearable Letters - it's a Graphic Design-based workshop that our degree students do when they first start their course.

Favourite session that UCA deliver:

Textiles - screen printing, foiling, lino cutting, sublimation, heat transfer printing.

Own specialisms:

Media, acting, classical singing, petanque (French boules), crafts for children (7-10yrs).

The colleges and schools I work with are- 

All Hallows Catholic School, Ash Manor School, Brooklands College, Farnham Heath End School, Hoe Valley School, The Winston Churchill School

My contact details:

Email: hbaker3@uca.ac.uk Tel: 01252 891482

Jonathan Baldwin - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Partner Officer for the Royal Holloway University London

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your institution:

I’m Jonathan and I am HEON’s Partnership Officer at Royal Holloway, University of London. After completing my PhD at the college I wanted to get back into widening participation and supporting students in their pursuit of Further and Higher Education pathways. Many of my colleagues in academic departments love to be involved in outreach, so I often collaborate with them and provide school students with interesting and engaging taster sessions, such as Remote Access Drone Flying with our Psychology department, or ‘Counting Time’ with Electronic Engineering. As well as these, I also lead classroom sessions focused on different aspects of Higher Education. These include demonstrating the different pathways into HE, exploring the area of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, and getting to grips with Student Finance. I even use my obscure field of academic expertise – the history of utopian and dystopian thought – in a classroom session to help students think about what university would be perfect for them called ‘Unitopia’… I also like bad puns…

The colleges and schools I work with are-

Collingwood College, Strodes College, The Bishop Wand CofE School, The Matthew Arnold School, Thomas Knyvett College

My contact details-

Email: Jonathan.Baldwin@rhul.ac.uk Tel: 07387 419512

Emilie De La Nougerede - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Partner Officer for Surrey University in Guildford

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an archaeologist but I think it was mainly due to Indiana Jones, I decided I wanted to be a biologist as soon as I started year 9.

What do you do for HEON?

I work as a partner officer for the University of Surrey, designing and delivering subject specific workshops and information sessions such as student finance as well as our flagship event, the residential summer school.

Do you have a favourite session that you deliver and if so why?

My favourite session to deliver is anything STEM related such as the women in STEM talk and hands-on science activity which uses research grade lab equipment where students have a chance to complete a series of challenges using scientific techniques. I also really like delivering apprenticeship workshops and myth-busting activities to give students the correct information to base their decisions around.

Any specialist subjects?

My specialism is in science, in particular biology and cancer research.

The colleges and schools I work with are-

6th form College Farnborough, Christ's College, Guildford College Group, George Abbot School, Kings College Guildford, St Peter's Catholic School, Alderwood School, The Magna Carta School

My contact details-

Email: e.delanougerede@surrey.ac.uk Tel: 01483 689698

Keri McSweeney - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Partner Officer for Farnborough College of Technology

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your institution:

My name is Keri McSweeney and I work at Farnborough College of Technology. In my spare-time I play regional netball for a local club and I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I love a Netflix series and enjoy regular trips to the cinema. The College is a FE and HE educational establishment providing vocational courses, A Levels, Degree courses and Apprenticeships for a variety of age groups.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was very young I always dreamt about being a dancer in the West End or an Ice Skater in the Olympics (after watching Torvill and Dean!). As I grew older and had a passion for sport and exercise I knew I wanted to work within the sporting industry in some form.

What do you do for HEON?

I work as a partner officer for the partner college – Farnborough College of Technology. I organise in-reach workshops/group tutorials for year 12 and year 13 students and also help deliver other HEON presentations to local schools and partners.

Do you have a favourite session that you deliver and if so why?

I enjoy delivering the Degree Apprenticeship workshop as students who didn’t know before realise there is an alternative route to achieving a higher level qualification without having to commit to a full university course.

Any specialist subjects?

I would say my specialism would be in Sports Science/Development or Music

The colleges and schools I work with are-

Cove School, Fernhill School, Samuel Cody School, The Wavell School, Farnborough College of Technology.

My contact details-

Email: k.mcsweeney@farn-ct.ac.uk Tel: 01252 407112

Alison Smith - Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Partner Officer for North East Surrey College of Technology in Epsom

I’m relatively new to the HEON team having only joined in January!

I completed my Highers before leaving school and relocating with my parents from Scotland to England at the age of 17, which at the time was very stressful!  I had always wanted to be a PE teacher, but unfortunately due to various reasons & circumstances this was sadly never pursued.

Instead I completed a HND in Hospitality Management, which ignited my interest in Personnel and Human Resources.  Following this I then went on to study part time at Kingston University whilst working in this sector as a Human Resources Advisor.  I loved the variety and the challenge of this role, the main responsibilities being recruitment, employee development & compliance with employment law legislation.

I have also worked in a Paediatric Therapy Services team to support families and educational settings to allow children and young people to reach their full potential.  This was a challenging but equally very rewarding role, as I was supporting children & families who regularly had their own ‘mountains to climb’.

NESCOT (North East College of Technology), is situated in Epsom, and has been delivering high quality, vocationally relevant Higher Education for more than 60 years.

It has a national reputation for science higher education, particularly in Biomedical Science, Perfusion and Acoustics, and is also home to the Surrey Institute of Osteopathic Medicine.

In addition to the FE & HE courses, NESCOT also run apprenticeships up to the Higher Level with specialist staff and excellent working relationships with both local and global employers

NESCOT offers a range of opportunities whether it’s for students studying Animal and Landbased studies to participate in a conservation programme on the Galapagos Islands, to the computing students who continually excel in national & international competitions such as Worldskills UK & Huawei ICT global.

In my role as a Partner Officer I hope to use the skills and experience to engage with students and their influencers to hopefully encourage informed choices, to feel empowered, and in control of their future choices.

The colleges and schools I work with are-

The Beacon School, Salesian School, Chertsey High School, St John the Baptist Catholic, NESCOT, Woking College.

My contact details-

Email: alsmith@nescot.ac.uk Tel: 020 8394 3207

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