As part of a long-term School strategic plan the School of Chemistry is delighted to welcome Widening Participation and Outreach Project Officer, Dr Rebecca Burns and Alumni Relations Marketing Officer, Kerry Balkwill who both started recently. These two new roles complete the new team led by Martin Boddie, Head of Marketing, Recruitment and Communications.
As the Widening Participation and Outreach Officer, Rebecca will develop new projects to enthuse and engage pupils from primary school age to adults in Chemistry. The role will focus on reaching groups who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM subjects and higher education.
An important part of the role is supporting high school children on their journey to higher education, carrying that support into their undergraduate years, aligning with the University Widening Participation Strategy.
Commenting on the new role Dr Rebecca Burns said;
‘As a PhD alumna from the School of Chemistry, I can draw on my passion for science and my years of teaching experience in higher education to design and deliver programmes engendering enthusiasm for chemistry, empowering young people from all backgrounds to follow a career in the sciences.’
Rebecca will provide the toolkit and guidance required for high school children to succeed and gain not only the grades but the confidence to enter higher education. Showing young people that they are welcome in higher education and STEM plus demystifying the path to becoming a scientist are key factors to breaking barriers faced by groups currently underrepresented in these sectors.
As a brand new role, the Alumni Relations Marketing Officer, Kerry Balkwill, has an exciting opportunity to build a supportive and engaged alumni community within the School of Chemistry.
Kerry will create opportunities for alumni to actively support the recruitment, education, development and employability of Chemistry students throughout their time at University and beyond. Bringing graduates back to share their stories will inspire Chemistry students to broaden their horizons and nurture a sense of lifelong connection to the University community.
Kerry Balkwill commented;
‘I will work to ensure that our Chemistry alumni are informed about and share in the achievements of the School. With more chances than ever to get involved, reminisce and celebrate as a community, our alumni will feel an even greater sense of pride to be a part of the School of Chemistry and the University of Edinburgh.’
‘Our students go on to develop expertise in a huge variety of different roles after graduation. They have a wealth of experience to draw from, and are our largest group of advocates.’
Commenting on the new team, Head of School of Chemistry, Professor Colin Pulham said:
‘We are very excited to welcome both Rebecca and Kerry to the School’s new Marketing, Recruitment and Communications team. The student experience has always been central for the School of Chemistry and this will enable us to continue building on the excellent progress to date.’