Category Archives: College

Reading Allowed (or the Chad’s Dead Poets’ Society)

Reading Allowed had its first meeting this Saturday past.  Around 15 people came, many to share, some just to listen. We squeezed into a snug little room in Grad’s building. This, alongside the hot drinks and dim lamplight, added to the cosiness. We kicked off with a short children’s story about arrogant raindrops. Reading passed anticlockwise around the circle; with teas, hot chocolates and coffees frantically assembled in the intervening spaces. We had a huge variety of pieces: from Hungarian poetry to Silmarillion to Plath to two people’s own work to a passage on fecal analysis from a non-fiction book on wolves. We have no particular limitations on what can be read; speeches and song lyrics being examples of other writing people may share in the future.

There are currently around 26 people on the chat where we organise the meetings. As it is open-invite, more people are slowly trickling in as their friends recommend it. Overall it was a sort of gender-diverse Dead Poets’ Society; something that we didn’t realise until we actually started. There is another one planned this Saturday, hopefully then continuing every other week.

P.S. Much as we love a pun, we’re hoping that a quote will be shared at some point that makes for an even more fitting name.

Robbie Bell

2017-18 Scholarships and Bursaries Awards

Leah Kadima-Muntu is a first year student, and is the 2017-18 recipient of the Shattock Family Scholarship. For Leah the financial support this award provides is very much appreciated, as not only will it allow her to buy textbooks and other academic paraphernalia, but it also enables her to experience a wider range of the cultural and extra-curricular activities that Durham University has to offer.

Since arriving in Durham Leah has joined  Durham Action on Singular Housing (DASH), a charity which aims to provide housing and support for those who are homeless or are at risk of being made homeless. She believes charities such as DASH are extremely relevant and much needed in our current socio-political climate: with homelessness on the rise, housing shortages and dependency on foodbanks she believes that many different groups are at risk, young people in particular. Leah says she is keen to do her bit to support others because she believes that it is reductionist simply to believe the aforementioned problems are a result of a meritocratic society – many people end up in bad positions merely due to chance, and it is very humbling to realise that she could just as easily be amongst the many thousands of young people forgotten and neglected by ‘the system’.

Following her degree, Leah is considering continuing in academia – her area of particular interest is Latin America during the Cold War – or to begin a career in political research or for a think-tank as a way to get involved in policy making.

Leah says:

St Chad’s has made me feel unbelievably welcome and I am glad to be a member of this college. What drew me to St Chad’s was how outward-thinking and conscientious it is, as well as the fact that the various charity societies will enable me to further expand my social outreach….

I am extremely grateful … for being a recipient of [this] scholarship; many… are not necessarily aware of financial help which is provided by colleges like St Chad’s through generous benefactors like [Matthew Shattock and his family]…

I am most grateful to be a recipient of a Shattock Family Scholarship at St Chad’s; this award will allow me to put 100% of my effort into my studies and worry less about living expenses, as well as giving me the opportunity to have a full experience of university life, which in turn will allow my views to become more nuanced as I meet and get to know people from outside my particular bubble.  All this experience will hopefully make me a more well-rounded individual.

 

Chapman Hau is a first year student in Chemistry and is the newest recipient of the Cassidy Scholarship for 2017-18.

For him the Cassidy Scholarship provides the financial support he needs to pursue his dreams. In addition it has inspired him to give back to the community. He has already signed up to various volunteering opportunities in Durham – secondary and sixth form tutoring, maths club and dog walking to name a few! Having tutored and helped children from his community in order to weaken their generalisation that success is unachievable for those from less privileged backgrounds, he hopes to be able to serve in an educational position sometime in the future so that he may be of benefit to the less fortunate and under-represented social groups.

Chapman says:

Even though I have just begun my undergraduate studies at St Chad’s College I am thoroughly enjoying College life and my course. During my first few weeks here I have delved into a new world of learning. I have already participated in many events at St Chad’s and at Durham University as a whole – I got matriculated (twice!), visited the Fresher’s Fair where I had a taste of the many societies Durham has to offer, and in my first lab session I synthesised cyclohexene.

The very generous Cassidy Memorial Scholarship will only continue to make my time at Durham more enjoyable without the worry of financial difficulties. My academic pursuits would not be possible without the kind support from the College alumni, friends and fellows. I would therefore like [say] a massive thank you [to everyone who has helped to contribute towards this scholarship and the College community].

2016-17 Scholarships and Bursaries

 

Ermos Chrysochos is a first year Liberal Arts student, in his second term at St Chad’s.  He has already been making his mark: he gave the ‘Toast to the Immortal Memory’ at the College Burns’ Supper in January and is already a passionate Chadsian.  He has been awarded a Shattock Family Scholarship worth £3,000 for each year of his undergraduate degree course. Ermos is an accomplished violinist who started to play at the age of eight and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for four years.  One of his challenges is the cost of combining his degree with his musical ambitions; a student loan does not cover violin lessons. Being awarded this scholarship, however, will mean that Ermos will be able to study with the co-leader of the Northern Sinfonia at the Sage in Gateshead and continue to be a leading member of the Durham University Orchestral Society.

“Music to me”, comments Ermos, “whether listening or making it, brings people together whatever their background. So, whilst the scholarship will immensely benefit me personally, I also know I will use it to live up to our College motto: ‘Non vestra sed vos’ – ‘Not what you have but who you are’.

 

This award has been made possible through the generosity of St Chad’s alumnus Matthew Shattock and his family.

“I am convinced that this is a very worthy cause … the creation of this scholarship programme to supplement those without the full means, but with the unquestionable ability, to benefit from the collegiate education which has shaped my own life and career indelibly. I had the benefit of a fully funded education at Durham and this turned out to be a life changing experience for me.  I hope to contribute to the same opportunity for others.”

-Matthew Shattock (Politics, 1980-83)

 

 

Third year Law undergraduate Marianne Holbrook has been awarded one of our first three Joe Cassidy Memorial Bursaries of £1,000 which honour the memory of our late Principal, Dr Joe Cassidy. Marianne has been a volunteer teacher in Malawi, Senegal and South Africa where, she says, her “interest in promoting human rights and justice in the face of political instability and in socially complex environments developed.”

She is hoping to pursue a career in economic and foreign aid policy development with the UN. Marianne applied for this Joe Cassidy award so that she can further her interests in social justice and continue to undertake volunteer and internship positions.

 

 

Stephanie Higgins, a first year Liberal Arts student, also receives a Cassidy Memorial award.  For Stephanie, receiving a scholarship from St Chad’s means that she can be fully involved in College and wider university life and work, and not have to take on yet more hours in her part-time on-line tutoring job.

Stephanie said, “I recently participated in a ‘Rice and Beans’ challenge where we ate only plain rice and beans for a week to raise awareness of food poverty and money for Tearfund. Being the recipient of a scholarship will help me to do more volunteering in social action projects within Durham”.

 

 

 

Nathaniel Attenborough is the first member of his family to attend university and wants to make the most of the opportunities that both his Cell Biology degree and being at St Chad’s can offer.  He volunteers in a local youth club when at home and is fully involved in College life at St Chad’s during term time: “I greatly enjoy everyday life around College and genuinely feel a part of a college family in ways friends at other universities cannot experience.”  Like too many students today, Nathaniel is worried about being able to afford living out of College next year; he said

 

“This Joe Cassidy Scholarship will make a significant difference to my time at university, in relieving the distraction of financial worries and allowing me to truly embrace what Chad’s has to offer.”

 

Dominic Birch is our 2016-17 Elizabeth Griffiths Scholar. He is a returning Chad’s student, having just completed his undergraduate degree at Durham. Since his return, now as part of the Middle Common Room Dom has been  the MCR’s Academic Affairs Officer – promoting interdisciplinary discussion in the College, organising several research forums, and publishing Foundation, our research journal. He says:

It’s been a great role to have; proving that Chad’s is a place where we still value expertise, learning and conversation.

He was delighted to be given the opportunity to continue his studies at Chad’s this year through an MA in Economic and Social History. His thesis focuses on how ordinary people in the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries argued with each other, and what this can tell us about early modern legalism. At this time ordinary people appealed to authorities locally – older, richer, male members of the parish – to resolve arguments. They also, understandably, tried to avoid long journeys to the local court. Thus, there existed a set of parish customs that stressed order and local reconciliation. We could call these customs an ‘alternative legal culture’; alternative, that is, to the more centralised court system.

The Elizabeth Griffiths Scholarship: The Revd Alec Griffiths, who celebrated 50 years as a priest in 2016, has very generously provided a scholarship fund at St Chad’s in memory of his late wife, Elizabeth. In the last few years the scholarship has been awarded to post-graduate students studying for a one-year taught or research Masters in the Faculty of Arts. Fr Alec trained for ordination at St Chad’s before parish ministry in Glasgow and Greenock, and then hospital chaplaincy in London. In retirement he lives in Largs.

New Chair of Governing Body

 

The Governing Body of St Chad’s College is delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Woodruff as its next Chair.

Mark brings a great deal of governance experience and a long commitment to social justice and inclusion.  He is currently a Programme Director of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.  Mark is also a musician and, as a priest, a writer in the field of ecumenism.

Mark knows St Chad’s well.  He was a student here in the late seventies and has been actively engaged as an alumnus in recent years.

Mark succeeds Jonathan Blackie, who is near the end of his term as Governing Body Chair.  The College is extremely grateful for Jonathan’s wise and kind leadership over the last eight years.

 

 

Intern:NE Launch

On Monday 20th November 2017, staff and students at St Chad’s College were joined by the North East England Chamber of Commerce and leaders of the North East business community for the launch of our new regional graduate retention initiative, Intern:NE.

The talent and energy of Chad’s graduates is often unfortunately lost to the North East when the vast majority of these students leave the region to begin their careers, most often in the South East. The new Intern:NE program aims to challenge students’ assumptions that you can begin or progress your career only in the South East by connecting our current students with exciting opportunities in the North East business community.

Through engagement with a North East business or organisation via internships  graduates are more likely to consider working in the region after graduation. This helps the region to retain prized talent and energy, and gives North East businesses valuable early access to some of the most accomplished graduates in the UK.

The College is proud of its location and heritage in the North East, and is committed to contributing to the region’s economic and cultural success. Over the past six months, College staff have been building relationships with some of the most prestigious employers in the North East to secure offers of internships or work experience placements exclusively for students at St Chad’s. We were joined at the launch by partners, CEOs and Trustees of many of these employers, who had the opportunity to mix with and speak to our students.

James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, addressed guests at the launch and said:

‘Improving our graduate retention rate is a key challenge for the North East. As a region, we are relatively successful at retaining students from the North East who go on to work here after graduation. However, we can do more to improve our attraction and retention of students from outside the region.

We know there are many great reasons to build your career in the North East, and we want to support businesses, particularly SMEs, to raise awareness of the opportunities they offer to graduates. The Intern:NE initiative developed by St Chad’s College at the University of Durham will help to address this issue by giving students an introduction to employers in the North East and providing valuable work experience.’

Chapel Choir sings Cathedral Evensong

On Monday 13th November the Chapel Choir sang evensong in the cathedral for the first time this academic year.

The choir and other members of College. It was great to see Canon Dr Margaret Masson in her new red Lay Canon robes, and we were delighted that the Dean of the Cathedral, Andrew Tremlett, who is also the College Rector, was able to attend the service.

The highlight of the service was undoutably the Vaughan Williams anthem: Lord, Thou hast been our refuge for choir, organ and trumpet, the final chords of which shook the building. Many thanks go to Tom Rickard, 3rd year Economics, for his trumpet playing and to Peter Swift, the College Organist, for playing the organ.

The rest of the music for the evening was:

Preces and Responses – Bernard Rose

Psalm 69 vv 1-4, 13-19, 31-37 – chant by J Battishill

Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis – Herbert Murrill

 

 

Returners Weekend 2017

In sleepy Durham nothing much has changed but our graduates have moved on into the big wide world. But for one weekend they had the chance to journey back to Durham for two days of nostalgia, northern chills and necking reasonably priced drinks in the bar.

The bop of Friday saw Chadsians relive their adolescent days with the returners bop theme being childhood TV and film characters. I imagine the Cassidy Quad looked very similar to the CBBC production floor in the late 1990s and early 2000s as we were graced with the likes of Neil Buchanan from Art Attack,  The Chuckle Brothers and all four Teletubbies!

Saturday was steak night for the returners’ on formal before they headed to the Princey B one last time! Apart from one attempt to dive into the river the night went swimmingly and the weekend, as a whole, was thoroughly enjoyed by all!

New College Fellow – Professor Bryan Morton CBE

On Tuesday evening, in the context of the Postgraduate Formal dinner, our newest College Fellow, Professor Bryan Morton CBE, was presented with his (very green) St Chad’s Foundation Fellow’s hood.

Before presenting Bryan with his hood, Dr Masson said: “We are honouring with our College’s highest award, our College Foundation Fellowship, someone who has made a significant contribution to Chad’s over a number of years. It is our way of saying thank you, because actually, when someone accepts a fellowship, the real honour is ours. It’s a way of saying: “this is someone we admire, and who is making a very distinguished contribution in a number of areas that we think are very important – someone in whose glory we want to bask, just a little”.

Dr Masson highlighted three reasons for St Chad’s decision to honour Bryan Morton in this way: first for his outstanding success as an entrepreneur and for his commitment to sharing his experience with Durham University and students of St Chad’s; second for his work in the healthcare industry, developing drugs to treat a range of terrible diseases and alleviate suffering all over the world; and finally St Chad’s is hugely grateful for Bryan’s generosity in supporting the College’s Joe Cassidy Scholarship Fund which helps to help ensure that no student with the talent is excluded from a Chad’s education because they cannot afford it.

Special guests at the dinner included the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Stuart Corbridge, the Dean of Durham Business School, Professor Susan Hart, President of the North East Chamber of Commerce, John McCabe, and a number of other North East business leaders and champions of enterprise.

It was a wonderful evening abounding in good conversation, great food, and new friendships. Not only was our newest College Fellow hooded and welcomed, but St Chad’s relationship with the University and with the North East was toasted and celebrated.

PERSPECTIVES: Generation Snowflake?

 

The first in the series of ‘Perspectives’ talks at St Chad’s College took place on Monday 16th October at 6:30pm. The ‘Perspectives’ series which brings together a wide range of academics from Durham University is St Chad’s College’s very own pioneering interdisciplinary college module. For this first event, a panel of students and researchers came together to discuss the incredibly topical issue of millennials, the ‘snowflake’ generation, notoriously (and perhaps unjustifiably) known for their wayward ideals and expectations. The evening was introduced by College Principal, Dr Margaret Masson and Vice Principal, Dr Eleanor Spencer-Regan, who both emphasised the importance of inter-disciplinary and even inter-generational learning and scholarship at Durham. Encouraging students to make the most out of the resources at both St Chad’s and the wider university, they also introduced the notion of the ‘snowflake generation’, which has been recently defined as millennials who are generally more prone to taking offence and less resilient to difference in attitudes and ideas than previous generations.

First up to speak about this issue was Durham Students’ Union’s very own President, Megan Croll. Megan gave a personal insight into the issues and challenges that she faces and helps people with in her role as a student leader. These included issues such as the rise of social media in connecting individuals, as well as the ability of our ‘digital age’ to give us far more choice over who we engage and interact with, citing dating apps such as Tinder as positive ways to identify shared interests. Megan also outlined the heightened level of pressure that students are now being put under to achieve more than previous generations, and claimed that this might be responsible for fuelling the ambitions of students to go further than their predecessors.

Second to speak was Dr Benedict Anderson who is an Assistant Professor in the Law School. Dr Anderson defined a snowflake as a ‘unique item that melts under pressure’, and argued that this can apply to a wide range of people when faced with challenging situations. He also outlined the sketchy area between intention and offence, citing how it might be possible to unconsciously cause offence due to differences in outlook and ideology.

Final to speak was Becca Dean, a youth worker and PhD researcher in the School of Applied Social Sciences. Becca introduced three broad ideas that attempt to explain the effects of the current generation’s excessive use of social media. Firstly, Becca introduced the concept of ‘Elkind’s Personal Fable’, which attempts to explain how self-curation is often imagined as a social act, where our appearance becomes a symbolic representation of who we are. Secondly, Becca unpacked Erikson’s Stages of Development, explaining how our sense of ‘self’ coordinates and changes the way in which we relate with others, creating communities that systematically include and exclude others. Finally, Becca used the research of Caitlin Moran to explain how the internet, still in its relative infancy, is like a teenager; a “new-founded liberal city that failed to install a sheriff” and was consequently a little wayward in its behaviour.

The first Perspectives event was standing room only or bring your own chair!

The audience were very receptive to these ideas, taking the opportunity after the introductory speeches to break into small clusters and explore the issues at stake. This was followed by a more informal networking opportunity to find out more about the experiences, insights and research of the speakers. The next talk in the series takes place on Monday, 30th October at 18.30, where the topic will be the very relevant issue of the future of meat and the ethical issues that surround its consumption.