1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role within Marketing and Communications?
I’m an Events Manager. Although I’ve been at the university since 2007, I came into this role in 2020, just after the pandemic hit – it’s quite strange having been in a role for two years and only doing many things for the first time! As a team we’re responsible for reputation raising events activity, with the exception of anything specifically relating to student recruitment. It’s an exciting and varied role that means I get involved in activities as diverse as managing public lectures, arranging dinners, planning concerts, liaising with VIPs for visits and making sure everyone has the right gown available for ceremonial events.
2. You have recently been organising and promoting our College’s annual Magna Carta lecture, which this year is being delivered by Charlie Taylor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons. Can you tell us more about what we may be able to expect from the lecture?
The Magna Carta lecture at the beautiful Middle Temple Hall in London was supposed to take place in 2020, so we’ve been planning this one since 2019! We are very lucky to have such a fascinating speaker for this event, and someone who doesn’t do a lot of public speaking engagements. Charlie Taylor will be giving a talk on ‘The importance of good prisons in a criminal justice system’ and will be answering questions afterwards.It should be a great event for anyone interested in law, politics or social policy. There will also be a reception afterwards for everyone at the lecture, a good opportunity to meet people, and the canapes look delicious.
3. How can colleagues sign up to attend this year’s lecture?
Go to royalholloway.ac.uk/events – you’ll find links to all of the events colleagues from around the university are putting on – and most of these are totally free.
4. Can you tell us more about the history and significance of our annual Magna Carta lecture?
The Magna Carta lecture series was created to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215. It’s a great series which has attracted a variety of notable speakers including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lady Hale (who delivered our online Magna Carta lecture in 2021) and many other prominent historians, politicians and legal experts.
5. What do you enjoy most about working at Royal Holloway?
As an alumnus of the university I feel passionate about the unique place and community that Royal Holloway is. It’s a cliché, but the people I work with really make it a special place – I’m lucky to have such supportive and knowledgeable colleagues. Between my colleague, Sue Heath, and I the events team must have more than 30 years experience of this place! I also love being part of the traditions and ceremonies we have at Royal Holloway – meeting Dr Brian May at his Honorary Fellowship conferral in 2021 was a highlight.
6. How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I’ve always enjoyed theatre - putting on Events is a lot like directing a play – and I started taking improvised comedy classes (like ‘Who’s line is it anyway?’) a few years ago which I can highly recommend as a good way to unwind each week. I’ve also recently taken up Taekwon Do with my wife and kids – I’m not great at it, but I’m going for my first coloured belt in July.