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Bethan Ovens
  Constitution UK   Craig Calhoun    
  News   Notices   Notices  

Crowdsourcing a new UK Constitution

Should the UK have a monarch, abolish the House of Lords, or repeal the Human Rights Act? Help to write a new UK Constitution.


#AsktheDirector is back

LSE Director, Professor Craig Calhoun, will be taking questions live on Twitter on Monday 14 October. Ask him a question in advance using the #AsktheDirector hashtag.


Bethan Ovens

Bethan, International Student Immigration Adviser, once had to dress up as Santa and sing the '12 Days of Christmas' to 3,000 Chinese students at a university Christmas show.

  ...   ...   ...  

- Research


- LSE in pictures



- Events


- Training and jobs




- Contact Nicole


  Nicole Gallivan   Hello,
I hope you have had an enjoyable summer and are looking forward to what the new academic year will bring.

Once again I would like to say a big thank you to those of you who completed the Staff News survey earlier in the year. You still enjoy reading the newsletter, which is great, but there were also some suggestions on how we could make it better.

So, over the summer we have made a couple of improvements. The newsletter now has a link to the Student News archive (which can be found at the very top of the page) so that you can see what the students are reading each week. I have also added clickable links to each of the sections within Staff News (found just above this message) so that you can quickly jump down to your favourite section rather than having to scroll through the whole newsletter.

I hope you like the improvements and please do continue to send me your news and achievements - the newsletter is only as good as the information you send me!

Don't forget we are always looking for members of staff to take part in our '60 second interview' slot, so if you would like to nominate a colleague or even put yourself forward, email me at

Best wishes,

  10 October 2013  

- News

  Kuala Lumpur   LSE to host its sixth LSE Asia Forum in Malaysia

LSE will host the next LSE Asia Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in April 2014. This is the sixth LSE Asia Forum and the first time it has been held in Malaysia.

The School will also celebrate the graduation of LSE students from Asia during the event with its first graduation ceremony to be held in the country.

The Asia Forum, which will take the theme ‘Building Asian Futures: integration, welfare and growth?’, was announced by LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun, during a visit to the country's capital.

Professor Craig Calhoun, Director of LSE, said: "LSE has a longstanding relationship with Malaysia so it is with great pleasure that I can announce that it will be the venue for the next LSE Asia Forum.

"The LSE Asia Forum is a flagship event in the region. By bringing together respected academics with eminent figures from the worlds of government, policy and business, we aim to enable a perspective on key themes facing Asian societies which is both global and reflects the expertise of Asia itself. I am sure that next year’s discussions will be both challenging and enlightening." More

  Janet Yellen   From LSE to the Chair of the Federal Reserve

Professor Janet Yellen has been nominated to be the next Chair of the US Federal Reserve, which would make her the first woman to lead the Fed in its history.

Professor Yellen, who was nominated by President Barack Obama, is a former lecturer in the Department of Economics at LSE. She has recently accepted an invitation to receive the award of an Honorary Doctorate of the School, which is the highest award an individual can receive from LSE, for her distinguished record of public service.

Professor Yellen is married to Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, who is also a former LSE professor and Honorary Graduate, making them the first wife and husband team to hold Honorary Doctorates from the School.

Professor Michele Piccione, head of the Department of Economics at LSE, said: "While I did not have the pleasure of working with Professor Yellen when she was at LSE it is always pleasing to hear when colleagues go on to great things and I offer my congratulations to Professor Yellen on her nomination. We were delighted when she accepted our invitation to become an Honorary Doctorate of the School and I look forward to welcoming her to LSE for the conferment of this prestigious award next year."

Professor Yellen will take up the post in January when current Chairman Ben Bernanke’s term comes to an end. More


Crowdsourcing a new UK Constitution

LSE took the first step towards drafting a proposed new UK Constitution this week with the help of several hundred people who attended a highly successful launch in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre.

Director of the Institute of Public Affairs, Professor Conor Gearty, chaired the event on Tuesday 8 October, mining the audience for feedback on what values should underpin a new constitution and whether we in fact need one.

The vote at the end of the night was a dead heat: 41 per cent both in favour and against, with the remaining undecided.

A panel of legal and political experts, including former Home Secretary David Blunkett, well-known barrister Richard Gordon, LSE Emeritus Professor of Law, Carol Harlow, and political philosopher Dr Lea Ypi addressed the crowd and also took questions from the audience.

The launch marks the start of a two-year project to seek input from ordinary English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish residents on how their country should be governed.

To learn more about the project and the public feedback, go to Constitution UK. More

    The books that inspired Professor Stuart Corbridge: "Edward Said’s Orientalism made a huge impression on geographers"

In a special edition podcast on the LSE Review of Books, Stuart Corbridge, Professor of International Development and Provost and Deputy Director at LSE, focuses on the books that have inspired him throughout his academic career: From the Marxist theory that shaped his undergraduate study, to the many books on India and development studies that have inspired his passion for these areas, and finally through to a very special history of The Beatles.

Listen here on the LSE Review of Books.


Academics abroad

To coincide with SWIFT's 40th anniversary celebrations, Dr Susan Scott, Reader in the Information Systems and Innovation Group at LSE, gave a talk reviewing her new co-authored book, The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT): cooperative governance for network innovation, standards, and community, at the National User Group Chairperson's Meeting on Saturday 14 September in Dubai.

Following this event, Dr Scott was asked to attend Sibos (16-19 September) where she took part in an interview with Professor Max Engeli, architect of the original SWIFT Fin Standards, at a public event in the Standard's Forum.

Dr Robert Falkner, Department of International Relations and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, gave three lectures on international climate policy at the University of Mauritius on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 September.

He also spoke at a high-level panel discussion on "Climate Change as a Public Policy Challenge", which was convened by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of the Environment in Port-Louis on Thursday 26 September, and met the President and Acting Prime Minister of Mauritius to discuss the prospects of the current international climate negotiations.


- Notices

  Craig Calhoun   #AsktheDirector is back

Do you have a question for the LSE Director? Professor Craig Calhoun (@craigjcalhoun) will be live on Twitter to answer your tweets from 4-5pm on Monday 14 October.

Feel free to ask him a question in advance, or during the ‘live hour’, using the hashtag #AsktheDirector.

    Peacock Theatre

The management of the Peacock Theatre has moved from the External Relations Division to Facilities Management in the Estates Division with effect from Monday 7 October.

Booking arrangements through Timetables or Conferences and Events remain unchanged. Sam Gaid, Theatre Manager, can be contacted at or on ext 7808 with any queries relating to events or lectures being held in the Theatre.


Changes to LSE's Health and Safety Policy

Council agreed a revised Health and Safety Policy at its meeting on Monday 16 September. The revised policy sets out changes to the governance and management structure for Health and Safety within the School, which include the Director delegating to Susan Scholefield, School Secretary, the role of Health and Safety Champion.

The policy clarifies the responsibilities for health and safety of everyone within the School, particularly senior managers and heads of academic departments.

You can read the revised policy on the Health and Safety website.

  Annual Fund   LSE Annual Fund: new applications process for staff and academic projects

A new process for submitting proposals for academic and staff projects to the Annual Fund has been implemented for the 2013-14 academic year.

This follows consultations between the Director’s Management Team and the Annual Fund Allocations Advisory Group.

The application round for the Michaelmas term is now open. For full details on how to apply, click here.

    The new LSE Global Centre for the Social Sciences

Design Exhibition: 7-18 October in the LSE Library
An exhibition of the five designs from the architects shortlisted for the new LSE Global Centre for Social Sciences (GCSS) will be on display in the main entrance of the LSE Library until Friday 18 October.

Please come and view them - the Library is open from 8am to midnight, seven days a week. The designs are also online at

Have Your Say: vote online
Students and staff are invited to vote for their preferred design. Votes can be cast until Friday 18 October via There are also two dedicated computers in the Library exhibition area.

Julian Robinson, LSE’s Director of Estates said: "This will be the School’s biggest ever building project and will transform the heart of our campus. Given its scale it will be a landmark building and its legacy will endure for many generations of LSE students so it is vital that we make the right decision."

Your votes will provide an important steer for the jury panel chaired by LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun. An announcement of the winning team is due in early November.

    REF Impact Database presentation

LSE staff are invited to attend a presentation of the REF Impact Database on Thursday 17 October.

The REF Impact Database is a Research Division and External Relations Division project to gather impact data from around the School for analysis and reporting in support of the 2014 REF. The reports are highly visual and reveal LSE’s impact worldwide in terms of web usage, press mentions, and other measures.

The presentation will explain the project and reveal latest findings. As people’s availability is limited, two identical sessions have been scheduled running in the morning and afternoon:

  • 10.30-11.30am - first session
  • 4-5pm - second session

Both presentations will take place in room EAS.E171, East Building, on Thursday 17 October. Please RSVP, indicating first or second session, to Hayley Reed at so that she can send you a calendar invite and track numbers.

  Spectrum   LSE Spectrum

LSE Spectrum, the School’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) staff network, would like to invite members old and new to drinks at the George IV pub on Tuesday 22 October from 5.30pm.

Spectrum has some great events coming up around LGBT history month next term, including film screenings, quizzes and public events. Visit for details, or check out Facebook and Twitter for updates.

If you would like to become a member of Spectrum, or a non-LGBT friend of Spectrum, email to introduce yourself.


Staff portrait dates

Nigel Stead, School photographer, will be holding two staff portrait photo sessions on Thursday 24 October and Tuesday 29 October. The sessions will be held in room G.19, Old Building, from 11am-1pm and 2-4pm.

New staff (or old staff who need to update their existing pictures) can turn up at any time in these time slots and there is no need to book. All pictures are in colour and in a digital format and will be supplied to each department/centre on a CD. Hard copy prints will not be provided. Pictures will be sent after post production, which can be up to two weeks after the shoot.

The cost is £15 per head charged to the department/centre and staff are asked to bring their budget codes with them on the day. For more information, contact Nigel Stead at Another session will be held towards the end of term.


Computer tip of the week

Get to your often used folders in just one click

Quite often, your files and folders can be found only after a lot of clicking. This tip will show you to create shortcuts to the folders you regularly use.

1. Click Start-Computer and navigate to the folder for which you wish to create a shortcut
2. When in this folder, right click on Favourites at the top of the drives menu in the left hand pane and click on Add current location to Favourites
3. The name of your current folder will appear at the bottom of the list
4. To get to a folder in the favourites list, click on the one you need

You can rename a folder in the Favourites list by right clicking on it and clicking on rename. Then, enter the new name and press return. You can remove a folder from this list from the same menu.

If you have a specific question about how to do something in Windows or Microsoft Office software, look for an answer in our online guides and FAQs, attend a Software Surgery, enrol for a one-to-one IT Training session, or consider the other computer training resources available on the IT Training website.

  Skip Fit Lessons  

Skip fit lessons

Security officer and former boxer Daniel Beckley is running skip fit lessons for all staff and students at LSE. Build up your fitness, burn calories and increase your stamina, all within an hour.

The next lessons will take place from 1-2pm at the Badminton Court, Old Building, on Tuesday 15 October, Tuesday 29 October, and Tuesday 5 November.

Just turn up on any of these dates with your own skipping rope. All lessons are free.

For more information, email Daniel at


Lunchtime meditation

On: Tuesdays (term time) from 12.10-12.45pm
On: Thursdays (term time) from 12.10-12.45pm (first meeting - Thursday 24 October)
At: LSE Chaplaincy, 20 Kingsway

Just breathing, just sitting, just being present - a place to pause during the week and be present to oneself. Meditation offers space to tune into a deeper, quieter part within us. Being more fully present to what is.

Meditation allows us to connect with our true intentions. With mindfulness we can learn to respond more creatively to our experience.

No previous experience of meditation is needed. Meditations will be guided. For more information email Erika Mansnerus at or Tina Basi at


Chair Yoga - wellness at work

Working in an office at a computer for prolonged periods of time can lead to tension, stiffness, and stress throughout the body. Yoga stretches can be done at your desk anytime, and can help reduce strain that develops from sitting for long periods of time, typing, and staring at the computer screen.

In these sessions we will target neck, shoulders, wrists, hips, hamstrings and the lower back. The techniques will be easy to follow and will be practiced seated and standing. No yoga mat, special attire, or previous yoga experience is required.


  • Reduced stress and muscle tension

  • Clear your mind

  • Relieve neck and back pain

The next session is Thursday 17 October from 12.45-1.30pm in room 2.04, Tower One. The sessions cost £7.50 plus £1.10 booking fee.

Book early to avoid disappointment, spaces are limited and sessions do sell out very quickly. For more information and to book your place, visit

    More for less - take advantage of special offers for LSE staff

The Grange hotel group is offering LSE staff a discount on bookings for office Christmas meals. An event at the Grange Holborn Hotel will cost £45 ex VAT per head (discounted from £60), and at the White Hall Hotel and the Grange Beauchamp Hotel the rate is £30 ex VAT per head (reduced from £36).

The packages include:

  • Half a bottle of wine
  • Three course festive meal
  • Tea, coffee and mince pies
  • Room hire
  • Table decorations
  • Christmas novelties
  • Personalised menus
  • Cloakroom and attendant
  • Dedicated event manager

For bookings and enquiries, contact Amelia Doyle on 020 7630 2000 or email

If you know of any deals that you think may be of interest to Staff News readers, please email


Large room available to rent

A large room is available to rent on the top floor of a Victorian house, located in a picturesque private mews.

The room is bright, clean and well-furnished, with gas central heating, a double bed and broadband facilities. The tenant will share a bathroom (with shower) and a kitchen (with washing machine) with two other people.

The house is adjacent to shops, restaurants, cafes, a library and a theatre. Brixton tube station is a 12 minute bus ride and train stations for Victoria and the City are just a few minutes' walk. The house is 30/40 minutes door-to-door from LSE.

The room costs £500 per month inclusive of gas, water, electricity, and council tax. Would suit a mature and responsible female student or professional lady. For more information, call 020 8766 7234.

    Three and half hour body combat marathon

Are you a fitness fanatic? Would you like to be part of an event to raise money for a good cause?

Fist and Feather® will be hosting a three and half hour body combat marathon in aid of The Bethany Chiddle Fund on Sunday 27 October.

Bethany is five years old and was born with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Funds are needed so that she can have pioneering surgery on her spine in the USA. All profits from the marathon's ticket sales will go to The Bethany Chiddle Fund.

If you are interested in participating in this event and raising funds for Bethany, tickets are available to purchase at £20. To purchase your ticket, email Amy Mamawag at For more information about the event and Bethany, visit


- LSE in pictures


The latest picture of the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre shows construction workers using a mobile crane to install the canopy above the building’s main entrance.

For more images like this, visit the Photography Unit.

  Saw Swee Hock Student Centre  

- Research


Monetary policy is less powerful in recessions

Changes to key interest rates by central banks have a significant impact on economic activity during periods when the economy is expanding. Unfortunately, they seem to have virtually no effect during recessions – the time when the stimulus of monetary policy is most needed.

These are the central findings of research by Professor Silvana Tenreyro and Gregory Thwaites, published by the new Centre for Macroeconomics at LSE.

The study focuses on the Fed Funds Rate, the main monetary policy instrument used by the US Federal Reserve and the counterpart of the Bank Rate set monthly by the Bank of England. The researchers explore the effect of changes in this ‘policy rate’ on US macroeconomic activity over a 40-year period - from 1969 until 2008. Whether central bank interventions of this kind can stimulate activity is a key issue for policy.

The analysis shows that nearly all of the effect of the policy rate on economic activity over the business cycle is attributable to changes made during good times - and it is particularly driven by the responsiveness to rate changes of business investment and consumer spending on durable goods. More

    LSE report calls for a Digital-Age Convention on the Rights of the Child

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and children’s charities need to rethink how digital technology and communications are affecting the rights of children around the world, according to a new report from LSE.

The report, A Global Agenda for Children’s Rights in the Digital Age: recommendations for developing UNICEF’s research strategy, by Professor Sonia Livingstone and Dr Monica Bulger of LSE, argues that UNICEF should adopt new research methods in order to get robust evidence on how children are using information and communication technology (ICT), and how this may affect their rights and wellbeing.

Even though children’s digital activities are growing quickly, many of the creative and interactive features of the internet remain substantially underused, especially in lower-income countries and among marginalised children. The growth in ICT around the world is also increasing ‘offline risks’ such as bullying, exposure to pornography and unwanted sexual solicitation. More

  Meena Kotecha   A world full of data statistics

Meena Kotecha (pictured), a teacher in the departments of Management and Statistics at LSE, was invited to contribute to new research which looks into the changing environment of data statistics and how this can be better reflected in A-level classrooms across different subjects.

The report, entitled A World Full of Data Statistics: opportunities across A-level subjects, is the outcome of round-table discussions and research seminars organised by the Royal Statistical Society (RSS). It was launched on Wednesday 11 September at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Meena said: "I was delighted to be invited by the RSS to contribute to this research, as one of six subject advisors, on the role of statistics in A-level economics curriculum.

"I am passionate about enhancing undergraduates’ learning experience, which can be achieved by exploring and optimising the enormous potential of A-level courses to equip students with basic statistical concepts. I would argue that this would better prepare students to tackle statistical challenges in higher education degree programmes.

"Our collaboration commenced at the RSS on 6 March as we worked on our individual contributions. The launch event consisted of presentations and panel discussions focused on statistics teaching across a wide range of A-level courses."


Top downloads on LSE Research Online for September

Most downloaded peer-reviewed articles in LSE Research Online in September:

1. Livingstone, Sonia (2008) Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers' use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression. New media & society, 10 (3). pp. 393-411. ISSN 1461-4448 (901 downloads).

2. Lever, Annabelle (2010) Compulsory voting: a critical perspective. British journal of political science, 40 (4). pp. 875-895. ISSN 1469-2112 (559 downloads).

3. Coyle-Shapiro, Jacqueline A-M. and Shore, Lynn M (2007) The employee-organization relationship: where do we go from here? Human resource management review, 17 (2). pp. 166-179. ISSN 1053-4822 (515 downloads).

4. Beauregard, T. Alexandra and Henry, Lesley C. (2009) Making the link between work-life balance practices and organizational performance. Human resource management review, 19 . pp. 9-22. ISSN 1053-4822 (431 downloads).

5. Hook, Derek (2001) Discourse, knowledge, materiality, history: Foucault and discourse analysis. Theory & psychology, 11 (4). pp. 521-547. ISSN 0959-3543 (371 downloads).

Total downloads for September: 86,653


- Events

  Sir Philip Craven   TICKETS AVAILABLE - The Paralympic Movement Takes Off

On: Monday 14 October from 6.30-8pm in the Old Theatre, Old Building
Speaker: Sir Philip Craven (pictured)

President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Sir Philip Craven will discuss the challenge for the IPC to capitalise on the success of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Paralympic Games, and help build a society in which people with an impairment are fully integrated.

This event is free and open to all but a ticket is required. Tickets are available online or at the LSESU shop in the New Academic Building. More

  Michel Barnier  

NEW EVENT - The UK in the EU Single Market: what next? Opportunities and challenges

On: Thursday 17 October at 2pm in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Michel Barnier (pictured), European Commissioner responsible for the internal market and services

The single market or "common market" as more frequently referred to in the UK is probably the one bit of the European Union most British politicians seem to agree is a good thing.

The UK government's own estimates are that the single market benefits the UK between £31 billion and £92 billion per year, i.e. £1,300 and £3,500 for each UK household per year. Three and a half million UK jobs are linked to the single market, one in every 10. British politicians and businesses call regularly for a deeper single market. But what exactly makes up the "single"/"common"/"internal market"?

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. More

  Gavin Hewitt (photo from BBC)  

Other forthcoming events include....

Can the European Union Reconnect with Its Citizens?
On: Monday 14 October at 6.30pm in the New Theatre, East Building
Speaker: Gavin Hewitt (pictured), BBC’s Europe editor.

The Cunning of Uncertainty
On: Tuesday 15 October at 6.30pm in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Helga Nowotny, president of the European Research Council.

    A Kangaroo in Obama's Court: Nashiri before the Guantanamo Military Commission

On: Friday 11 October from 6-7.30pm in the Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Professor Lawrence R Douglas, James J Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College, USA.

The trial of Abd al-Nashiri, the senior al Qaeda lieutenant alleged to have masterminded the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, before a military commission in Guantanamo Bay represents the most significant criminal case to come before a military court since leading Nazi functionaries stood trial in occupied Germany.

This lecture will consider the extraordinary legal challenges that the trial poses. Can a tribunal originally born of an impatient contempt for due process now prove itself a legitimate institution of American law?

The event is open to all with no ticket required. More

  Paul Danahar  

The New Middle East: the world after the Arab Spring

On: Wednesday 16 October from 6.30-8pm in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speaker: Paul Danahar (pictured), BBC Bureau Chief.

In this event, Paul Danahar will discuss his timely and important book, offering a fascinating and illuminating analysis of the new order in the Middle East following the Arab Spring and explaining what it will mean both for the region and the West.

With access to many of the key players including Bashar al-Assad, Muammar Gaddafi, Shimon Peres, leadership figures in the Muslim Brotherhood and senior officials in the UN and US and with vivid, on-the-ground storytelling, Paul Danahar provides an unparalleled account of recent events.

This event is free and open to all on a first come, first served basis For more information, email Sara Masry at More


Podcasts of public lectures and events

The Undercover Economist Strikes Back
Speaker: Tim Harford
Recorded: Tuesday 1 October, approx 66 minutes

What Has The European Convention on Human Rights Ever Done For Us?
Speakers: Martin Howe, Professor Philip Leach, Caroline Lucas MP, Emily Thornberry MP, and Professor Alan Sked
Recorded: Tuesday 1 October, approx 89 minutes

Tracking the Gender Politics of the Millennium Development Goals: from the Millennium Declaration to the post-MDG consultations
Speaker: Professor Naila Kabeer
Recorded: Wednesday 2 October, approx 86 minutes


- 60 second interview

    Bethan Ovens  

with..... Bethan Ovens

I’m the International Student Immigration Adviser in the International Student Immigration Service team. I’m just coming to the end of my first year at LSE, but I’ve been working with international students for five years now.

I’m originally from Wales, although the accent only appears every now and then (at least I think that). Some past colleagues said I sounded like Nessa from Gavin and Stacey so I’ve tried to cut back on the times I say "Tidy" or start a sentence with "Oh!".

I started as a supply teacher in secondary schools in South Wales. As the danger money wasn’t enough, I fell into working in the Registry at what was then the University of Glamorgan. Following a couple of years working in quality assurance, I escaped by going to China for 18 months. I re-joined the higher education sector working as an adviser to international students, which eventually led me here.

I live in a leafy part of south London and am still enjoying the buzz of living in the city. I don’t think you can beat London on a sunny day and a daily commute past some of the World’s most famous landmarks.

What does the International Student Immigration Service (ISIS) do?

ISIS comprises the only staff at LSE who are designated to advise students on the student immigration rules. We give students the tools and advice to enable them to feel confident about dealing with Tier 4 visas. This might be applying for a Tier 4 visa, what to do if a passport is lost or stolen, working options, or how to apply for a visa for dependants. This is just a small selection of the services we provide. More information is available at

ISIS is also involved in other projects across the School including administering Erasmus, providing orientation workshops for students, and providing staff training on the immigration rules.

Do you like to go to the LSE eateries and which one is your favourite?

I’ve been to a few of the eateries on campus, but my favourite is definitely a pay day cake from the Garrick. The Danish pastries remind me of the cakes we used to get as a treat back home.

Where is the most interesting place you have visited?

I was lucky enough to work in Eritrea for two years with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas). I’d love to go back there but the cost of the flight is prohibitive enough without all the red tape. You can visit it as a tourist, but there are only certain areas where you are permitted to go. I had the opportunity to live in a village and also the capital city Asmara. It’s a country of contrasts geographically. I was based in the highlands at over 2,000 metres, whereas my friends were in the lowlands facing temperatures of 47 degrees in the summer.

It was sometimes a challenging environment to live in due to the history and politics of the region. However, the positives far outweighed the negatives and I got to experience living in a country that not many people know much about.

I did spend a lot of time chasing the elusive official camel stamp for my travel permits and visas, so I can empathise with our students when they are applying for their Tier 4 visas.

What was your best subject at school?

I would say history but my results may indicate otherwise. My father used to try to amuse us on long car journeys by getting my sister and me to find the two swords marking a battle site on a map and my grandfather talked about fighting in the Second World War. I initially studied economics and social history for my degree and my main teaching subject was history, so I’m at home working amongst historians.

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?

This is a difficult question and I did ask one of my oldest friends if she could think of anything. Most were vetoed. I don’t know if it was funny for me at the time, but once I had to dress up as Santa and sing the '12 Days of Christmas' to 3,000 Chinese students in our university Christmas show.

Luckily there’s no photographic evidence. Unfortunately, I don’t live up to the stereotypical idea of Welsh people being able to sing, but it was much better than when they asked me to sing the part of Maria in a 'Sound of Music' song for a competition. Needless to say I wasn’t first up to do the karaoke during the Summer Party.

Which are your two favourite shops in London?

I’m currently in the process of attempting to find somewhere affordable to live in London. As much as I would love to say Selfridges and Harrods, it’s more Morrisons in Camberwell and Boots on the Strand at the moment.


- Training and jobs

    Training and development opportunities for staff

Courses scheduled for next week include:

  • Moodle Basics Training
  • Excel 2010: formulas and common functions
  • Effective Writing Skills

These are just some of the events running next week. To receive a monthly summary of all training courses, subscribe to email list by clicking here and pressing send. To find out more about training and development across the School and for links to booking pages, see

  HR   Jobs at LSE

Below are some of the vacancies currently being advertised to internal candidates only, as well as those being advertised externally.

  • Assistant Professor in Accounting, Accounting
  • Assistant Professor in Operations Management, Management
  • Assistant Professorship in Economics, Economics
  • Assistant Professorships in Sociology, Sociology
  • David Davies of Llandinam Research Fellowship in International Relations, International Relations
  • Grant Applications Manager, Research Division
  • Head of Press and Information, External Relations Division
  • Helpdesk Technician (Maternity Cover), Estates Division
  • LLM (Masters in Law) Administrator, Law
  • Department Manager (Maternity Cover), Law
  • Marketing Coordinator, Academic Registrar's Division
  • PA to the Pro-Director for Research/PA to the Pro-Director for Teaching and Learning, PCPD: Directorate and Support Team
  • Policy Analyst and Research Advisor, Grantham Research Institute
  • Research Officer (Environmental, Climate or Energy Economics), Grantham Research Institute
  • Research Officer (Quantitative Social Research), Sociology

For more information, visit Jobs at LSE and login via the instructions under the 'Internal vacancies' heading.


- Nicole wants to hear from you!

  Nicole Gallivan   Do you have some news, an achievement, or an aspect of LSE life that you would like to share? If so, then I would love to hear from you, contact me at or on ext 7582.

The next edition of Staff News is on Thursday 17 October. Articles for this should be emailed to me by Tuesday 15 October. Staff News is emailed every Thursday during term time and fortnightly during the holidays.