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COVID-19: ADVICE FOR STaff, STUDENTS AND COMMUNITY
Community Stories

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Community Stories

Community Stories keeps the RGU community connected. It is an area for features, blog posts and stories developed entirely by and for the RGU community.

This is a dedicated space for you to share stories that contain good advice, helpful tips and any experiences of working and studying at RGU.

If you would like to contribute stories of your own, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Emmanuel Akerele

Black History Month and RGU

In his community story, Student President for Education and Welfare, Emmanuel Akerele, looks ahead to Black History Month, which begins on October 1.

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Adam Matthew

Adam turns a negative situation into a positive by joining the NHS

Adam Matthew, an International Tourism Management student at RGU, was set to go on what he hoped to be an experience of a lifetime – a six month placement in New York. Unfortunately, it was cut short. Read how he turned a negative situation into a positive by joining the NHS to take part in the fight against Covid-19.

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Jennifer Laffan

Jennifer channels her motivation for monumental challenge

Jennifer Laffan is about to begin her Master’s in Architecture at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment, after spending the last year on placement. As if studying was not enough, Jennifer undertook the challenge of a lifetime and swam the English Channel.

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The Physio Clinic

The Physiotherapy Clinic at RGU is back

The Physiotherapy Clinic at RGU was one of the university’s services which was significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the nature of what was involved in providing such a hands-on service to clients.

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John Little

Remote tutoring and workshop tips

John Little is a maths and statistics tutor within the Department for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and Access. He switched to remote delivery of learning back in March prior to lockdown and shares his tips on RGU’s teaching technology for our continued blended teaching approach.

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John Gbabo

Make the most of your time at university with extracurricular activities

The exiting Vice-President for Student Welfare at RGU:Union, John Gbabo, shares his take on the importance of getting involved in extracurricular activities like Student Voice and working in partnership to improve the student experience.

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Aberdeen Business School

Community Outreach at The Law School

Dr Paul Arnell, Reader in Law, and David Christie, Senior Lecturer, discuss how they have been reaching out to the RGU law community through live discussions and conversations in a bid to share knowledge in a way that retains a personal connection with staff and fellow students.

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Antonella Tonna with students

Student pharmacists deliver successful “Medicine Safety Programme” to primary schools

The School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences staff write about an innovative placement experience which provided students a chance to develop their personal and professional skills for future practice.

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Student presidents

Welcome from your student Presidents

RGU student Presidents, Jordan Moore, Emmanuel Akerele and Ross Leven, lead the welcome to new and returning students as we prepare for the new semester.

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Dr. Dallia Ali

What you can do to promote Campus Carbon Zero

Dr. Dallia Ali, an Associate Professor at the School of Engineering and a member of the university’s Energy Working Group writes about what we can learn from the environmental impact of the lockdown.

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Leadership Team

Leadership Development at RGU

At RGU, we recognise how important it is to develop our staff because ultimately, we as an institution depend on skilled employees at all levels for our continual growth and innovation.

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Art by Avril McKie

Connecting the caring community through art

During lockdown, vulnerable groups have become more isolated and simple acts of kindness can make a significant impact. Painting student Avril McKie is developing an ‘Art from the Heart’ project to reduce social isolation and was awarded with the Inspirational Idea Prize in the COVID-19 Student Innovation Challenge for her efforts.

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A groups being together as a community

Creating the Aberdeen City Mutual Aid Volunteering Group

Adult Nursing Student Robyn Ward won an Inspirational Student Prize in the COVID-19 Student Innovation Challenge after setting up the Aberdeen City Mutual Aid Volunteering Group as the country went into lockdown, bringing together and supporting member of the local community.

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Katy Yule

Counselling through a crisis

Katy Yule is one of the Student Counsellors based at RGU who has been working throughout the period of lockdown to assist any students who require support. In her community story, she outlines a bit about her specific role and the work of the counselling team during the pandemic and beyond.

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Sarah Hillyear

Supporting business throughout lockdown and into the new normal

Sarah Hillyear, Head of Business Development, reflects on the work that is being done by RGU to support businesses as they deal with the challenges of the global pandemic.

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Naomi Morris and Lauren Mckay

Intercultural books for schools

International Hospitality Management students Naomi Morris and Lauren Mckay together won an Inspirational Student Prize in the COVID-19 Student Innovation Challenge after being inspired by the Black Lives Matters movement to develop a Help Schools Teach Children About Race campaign.

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Cupcakes

A taste of happy and helpful innovation

International Hospitality Management Student Jemma Stephen won an Inspirations Student Prize as part of the COVID-19 Student Innovation Challenge for shifting her business model online to supply delicious treats to people during the pandemic.

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Vivien Yu

Getting involved in interprofessional education

Pharmacy student Vivien Yu is co-president of RGU’s Pharmacy Society and RGU president of Aberdeen’s IPE society. Read her thoughts on the importance of Interprofessional education and a new inter-university IPE campaign coming in September.

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Professor Peter Reid

Scottish libraries in lockdown

RGU Professor Peter Reid has been awarded funding to explore Scottish Public Libraries and their role in community cohesion and resilience during lockdown. In his latest community story, he writes about the current issues public libraries in Scotland are facing as they have been closed during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

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Barry Robertson

Bringing a bit of theatre back during COVID-19

Creative Entrepreneurship Student Barry Robertson won an Innovative Idea Prize from the COVID-19 Student Innovation Challenge for supporting creatives who were left struggling as a result of lockdown as venues shut and the curtains closed on theatre opportunities.

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Laura Chalmers

Fostering Collaboration Through Interprofessional Learning

Laura Chalmers, who will lead the new Centre for Collaborative and Interprofessional Practice writes about why this centre is vital for student development.

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RGU Campus

Building RGU’s Community Orchard

Former and current university staff highlight how RGU's community orchard contributes to the "Healthy University" approach.

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Challenge solving

Kindness and creativity in the COVID-19 Student Innovation Challenge

RGU’s very purpose is to be innovative, inclusive, impactful and professionally-focused. Enter the COVID-19 Student Innovation Challenge to perfectly embody this mission, and bring to life our cultural values of ambition, innovation and collaboration.

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STAR Awards

RGU Staff Recognised for Supporting Students' Extra-Curricular Activities

STAR Awards are a chance for students to thank staff members from all across the University who have gone above and beyond to support them, especially over the past few months. Read about some of the winners.

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Self-care is not selfish

Self-care is not selfish

In her community story, student counsellor, Elina, gives some advice on developing a self-care toolkit, which you can tailor to suit your needs and interests.

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Aurora cohort 2019

Advancing leadership skills within RGU

Dr Pauline Bremner, lecturer and head of year four of the BA (Hons) Fashion Management course at the School of Creative and Cultural Business, and Laura Ginsberg, Academic Quality Officer, write about advancing their leadership skills through a recent collaboration project.

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Drawn North

Drawn North – a truly collaborative exhibition

The culmination of three years’ work by talented Architecture students to reimagine waterfront areas in Aberdeen and Orkney will be virtually exhibited in a collaboration with Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums (AAGM) and The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney. Find out more from Head of School, Professor David McClean, in his community story.

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Dave Cormack

Empowering young people through education

RGU has received a donation of £100,000 from The Cormack Family Foundation, established by AFC Chairman Dave Cormack, which will allow students from underrepresented backgrounds to study at the university. He writes in a Community Story about how delighted he and his family are to support this worthwhile initiative.

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Dr Andrew Martin

Jump starting tourism

Dr Andrew Martin, senior lecturer and Director of the Scottish Centre of Tourism at RGU, writes about how jump starting tourism in Scotland and Aberdeen will be a huge challenge for the in-dustry and how our graduates will have a stake in making that happen.

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Accelerating Innovation in the Education Sector

Accelerating Innovation in the Education Sector

Attendr won the Most Innovative award on Startup Sunday, Kyle Martin, COO, writes of his personal journey as part of the RGU Startup Accelerator programme.

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Delivering meaningful change to combat racism in our community

Delivering meaningful change to combat racism in our community

Professor John Harper, Principal of RGU and Emmanuel Akerele, Student President for Education and Welfare, reflect on the global movement to combat racism and the action we have planned at RGU to deliver meaningful change for staff and students.

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Virtual Degree Show

See, experience and be amazed at the Virtual Degree Show

Hear all about what you can expect from this year's fully immersive Virtual Degree Show from Head of School, Libby Curtis,

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Lucy Fisher

Reinventing Knitting for the Future

Lucy Fisher, an RGU Alumni, was part of the Startup Accelerator programme this year. She writes of her experience of working with family to create a global community of knitters.

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Com Des students

Students turn their negative into a positive for charity

A group of 4th year Communication Design students from Gray’s School of Art who spent the whole year fundraising to attend D&AD New Blood Festival London, will donate a large sum of their funds to charity.

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Dr Madeleine Marcella-Hood

First year students take their fashion exhibition online

Each year, teams of first year students from the School of Creative and Cultural Business design and organise a fashion exhibition event. Dr Madeleine Marcella-Hood, lecturer and Head of Year 1 BA (Hons) Fashion Management, discusses how the students turned their cancelled event into a valuable learning experience.

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Rachael Ironside

Our Storical Story

Storical won the Best Pitch Award during Startup Sunday Live 2020. Rachael Ironside speaks of her experience while working the RGU Startup Accelerator programme.

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SISA Students

Producing innovative thinking students through SISA Awards

Dr Pauline Bremner Head of Year Four BA (Hons) Fashion Management and lecturer within the School of Creative and Cultural Business writes about the success of the Scottish Innovative Student Awards (SISA) within RGU.

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Ursula Ojiji

Celebrating student achievements in RGU

Students have had a significant impact on enhancing their learner experiences during the pandemic and Ursula Ojiji, Student President for Communication and Democracy, shares how that was celebrated through the recent achievement awards.

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Joanne Lancaster

The Value of Mentee-Mentor Relationships

Joanne Lancaster and Louise McDowell write about their experiences as mentee and mentor respectively and why they found it valuable.

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Joanna Robertson

Inspirational student is embracing challenges after accident

Gray's student, Joanna Robertson, is looking ahead to returning to university after an accident which left her unable to walk.

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Rebecca Wright

Kangoo's trip to Orkney and back

Rebecca Wright, lecturer at the School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences writes about her round trip to Orkney in RGU's Kangoo.

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Paula Sledzinska

Top Writing Tips for Researchers

Paula Sledzinska compiles top tips on writing from Graduate Students and Early Career Researchers.

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Hamish Walker

Rainbows are a symbol of HOPE - importance of Pride during COVID19

Hamish Walker is the RGU student immigration manager and a member of the Rainbow Network. In his community story, he outlines his feelings on the importance of Pride during the current pandemic.

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David Christie

Moving past traditional lecturing to a new digital format

David Christie, academic strategic lead, and Dr Andrey Kotelnikov, law lecturer, write about how The Law School adapted to the online delivery of workshops when role playing and face to face contact had seemed integral.

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Ursula Ojiji

Embracing the gift of technology to reach out to students

The Student President for Communication and Democracy, Ursula Ojiji, shares how the many mechanisms through which students can work in partnership to improve their university experience are still available after the switch to online learning.

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Sally and Hilary

Creativity and positivity abound in challenging times

Look Again's Hilary Nicoll and EIG's Sally Charles share their thoughts on the new Creative Entrepreneurship course, which had to very quickly move to online delivery.

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Rachel McGregor

Staying well while staying at home: study well online

Academic Support Lead Rachel McGregor shares why the university is well placed to support students with their studies online, and shows that CampusMoodle is the university in virtual form.

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Tina McGregor

Time Management Tools & Techniques for Home Working

Although many staff members may be slowly getting accustomed to working from home, it is useful to turn to tips and techniques that will help us optimise our time, achieve work life balance and be efficient with the way we manage our tasks. Tina McGregor, Leadership Development Specialist at RGU, provides tips on how to get the best out of working from home.

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Claudia Ryan, Tabita Knoblauch

How RGU Students Are Supporting Each Other During Lockdown

Since the start of government lockdown many of the university's students have continued to stay at RGU's accommodation sites to pursue their education. These include students in the RGU ResLife team who are supporting the residents during this incredibly challenging period. ResLife Advisers write about how their role has changed significantly since the start of the pandemic.

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Upskilling in action

In celebration of a workforce and the call to arms

Laura Chalmers is leading a collaborative project between RGU and NHS to deliver training for key staff in the fight against coronavirus. She believes that this is an example of the university at its very best, creating a workforce for right now, and tomorrow

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Bill Somerville

Keeping the Lights on During a Lockdown

Bill Somerville, Director of Estates & Property Services, writes about the challenges the Estates team have overcome to ensure staff and students are supported during the lockdown period.

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Responding to the NHS call for Support to Fight COVID-19

Responding to the NHS call for Support to Fight COVID-19

This feature story highlights how the university community is jointly supporting the government in its fight against the COVID-19.

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Dr Rachael Ironside

From Disappointment to Digital Event Success

Events Management students demonstrated incredible creativity, innovation and resilience when faced with having to cancel their Main Event programme. Course Leader, Dr Rachael Ironside blogs about how the students successfully transformed their events to a digital format.

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Karena Valentine

Five tips for studying from home

Online learning student, Karena Valentine, shares her top tips for studying from home.

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Chris Hardie

Q&A with Chris Hardie, Visiting Professor at SSS

Chris Hardie is a Visiting Professor of Architecture at RGU. He is currently based in Shanghai where he is Principal and Design Director at Schmidt Hammer Lassen & Perkins and Will. Chris recently caught up with RGU Comms for a short chat about his experience during the Coronavirus outbreak, and how things have developed where he is.

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Scott and Dan

Self-isolation and mental health

RGU lecturers in mental health, Scott Macpherson and Dan Warrender, look at techniques and tools for dealing with anxiety and challenges during this crisis and why the behaviours of ourselves and others may not be the same as normal.

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Chris Moule

Moving beyond work – video conferencing for social connectivity

Chris Moule, Head of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, shares the advances taking place in social connectivity through video conferencing as we push to not let social distancing measures get in the way of work and fun.

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John Isaacs

Technology enabling CSDM to remain approachable and accessible to students

Dr John Isaacs, Head of the School of Computing, discusses the technology his team is utilising which enables them to remain open and accessible to their students.

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Clinton Grant

Creating an office away from the office

Clinton Grant, RGU’s Head of Occupational Health and Environmental Safety, shares advice on creating an office away from the office, that is still comfortable and healthy.

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Louise Herd

RGU alumna working to protect rights of children and young people

RGU alumna Louise Herd is hoping to make a difference to children and young people in Scotland through her fellowship with specialist outreach legal representation service Clan Childlaw.

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Helen Scott, Careers Consultant

Five reasons why you can’t miss experiences like Employers Live, Careers Event

Careers Consultant Helen Scott recommends that students attend experiences like our Employers Live, Careers Event, during lockdown to boost their employability, and gives five top reasons why.

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Cursty Mackin

Paving the way for a "Hedgehog Friendly Campus"

Cursty Mackin writes about what we could to make our homes and the university campus Hedgehog Friendly.

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Fiona Hall

Gender Based Violence and the role of the First Responder

Fiona Hall is a project coordinator within the Student Life team. She reflects on her additional role as one of a network of Gender Based Violence (GBV) First Responders, who are still there to support staff and student during the crisis.

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Lisa Paul

Meaningful conversation and social distancing

Occupational Therapy Lecturer Lisa Paul describes her experience of working through lockdown and wants your help to prepare others in case of ongoing or future periods of isolation by taking part in her research.

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Kieran Matthews

Keeping RGU sports clubs active during lockdown

President of Sport and Physical Activity, Kieran Matthews, reflects on his role and how he has helped to keep the many sport clubs at RGU active and engaged throughout the lockdown period.

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Events Students

Making a difference through events

Dr Rachael Ironside, course leader for Events Management, writes how our students have brought communities closer together while making a difference and raising much needed funds for local charities.

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Edward Pollock

Innovation in Isolation

Edward Pollock, Startup Coordinator for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group at RGU, gives his top tips for being innovative in isolation.

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Dr. Amy Robertson

Top tips for efficient and effective online feedback

Dr. Amy Robertson from DELTA provides her top tips to academic staff for providing online feedback.

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RGUTogether

#RGUTogether – helping celebrate the RGU community

Laura Pollock, ResLife Coordinator, writes about a new campaign to celebrate the RGU community and how we can support each other.

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Scott Matthew

IT leads the transition to a safe online RGU community

Director of IT and Digital, Scott Matthew, shares some top tips for safe IT working and studying from home, after his team supported the very quick transition to this new way of operating.

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Calvin Park

Using Virtual Tools and Games to Engage the RGU Community

Calvin Park, a second year Cyber Security BSc (Hons) student at RGU and Events and Workshop coordinator at the RGU Computing Society writes about how they are using virtual games and tools to build a sense of community.

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Emmanuel Akerele

Responding to COVID-19 through feedback and partnership

The Student President for Education & Welfare, Emmanuel Akerele, shares recent successes from the university community working in partnership to improve the student experience.

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Dr. Nadimul Faisal

Adapting research to a post-COVID-19 world

Dr. Nadimul Faisal, from the School of Engineering provides advice to researchers on how they can contribute to the fight against COVID-19

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How to make the most of working from home - Scott Cameron

How to make the most of working from home

Head of HR Operations & Support, Scott Cameron, speaks about how to keep going while you're working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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