Your memories

Stories from our staff and students

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At the heart of everything we do are the students and staff. Here are just a few stories of those who have studied and worked with us over the past ten years

Would you like to see more stories? Watch our 10 Years videos here!

Mathew Atkinson

Head Teacher, Class of 2011

I remember making paper spinners with a group of friends as part of a science experiment. We dropped them down inside the main building in Carlisle to carry out the experiment and they hit someone on the head. Ooops!

Read the whole story
A photo of Mathew Atkinson

Katie Slavin

Teacher for Special Educational Needs, Class of 2014

I was asked in my interview: "Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?" And my reply was: "Owning my own theatre school for children with special needs."

A photo Katie Slavin

Jan Ashbridge

Principal Lecturer, Institute of Education

I've been a part of the University of Cumbria since it was St Martins back in 2005, so I suppose in a way I've been here from the beginning.

I can remember the night when we became a university. The celebrations were memorable – we played rounders, had a party tea, went to chapel and danced into the night in the JCR – if I remember rightly!

A photo of Jan Ashbridge

Chris Loynes

Course leader, Transcultural European Outdoor Studies

I'm so proud of the achievements of so many of the students I’ve had the pleasure to work with and, in some cases, remain in touch with. I remember two students telling me they were leaving for New Zealand after graduation, and 5 years later I got a call to say they were back in Ambleside, having cycled all the way home!

We have a masters student who won gold in the Rio Paralympics as a cyclist, graduates guiding in Antarctica, teachers in most Cumbrian schools making a difference to young lives county wide. I could go on!

A photo of Chris Loynes

Grace Hurford

Residential Module Leader, Ambleside

I always wanted to live, work and climb in the most beautiful place in England. It makes me so happy that over 500 students, from ambassadors and government advisers to small business traders and NGO staff from around the world, still consider me their 'Aunty Grace'.

I suppose I have a special connection to the university. I gave birth to my first child in the Blencathra building on 9th September 1997 – and two years later started work on the campus and ended up invigilating an examination in the same room!

A photo of Grace Hurford

Margaret Johnston

HR Business Partner

One of the things I love to do at the university is help as a volunteer at graduation. In my role I don’t come into direct contact with students very often, and it’s always great to engage with them and their families at the highlight of the outcome of all their hard work and effort.

We've come so far in 10 years, and in the next decade I think our university will look vibrant and confident, having established itself as a top player in the HE sector.

You can hear me talk about my memories here.

A photo of Margaret Johnston

Anne Gager

Senior Lecturer in SEN/Inclusions, Institute of Education

I'll never forget the inaugration ceremony for the university at Carlisle Cathedral in 2007 - it truly was memorable event. 

Being at Cumbria is a bit of a family tradition now. As well as myself, we have my four feisty redheaded daughters, two of whom studied at UoC, two of whom have worked for UoC. One studied and worked here!

Photo of Anne Gager

Michael Skelly

BA Hons Dance Performance & Musical Theatre Performance, class of 2013

The University of Cumbria celebrates its 10th birthday, which means ten successful years of developing skills of thousands of students who are now contributing their skill to the rest of the United Kingdom and to the world - like myself in Australia where I am teaching dance. Thank you and Happy Birthday UoC!

A photo of Michael Skelly

Joe Monaghan

BA Hons Film & TV Production, class of 2015

Service Desk Technician – Fujitsu

I want to wish the university a big Happy 10th Birthday! I made many lifelong friends, and I miss being there. I think about life at the University of Cumbria every day.

A photo of Joe Monaghan

Sayed Muhammad Ali Rawnaq

I completed my MBA in L&S at the University of Cumbria and l am still reading its materials supplied for study. I am very much proud of this university as being the first Afghan to join in 2012 and graduate in 2014 successfully. I have gained a lot both in knowledge and for my career.

A photo of Sayed Muhammad Ali Rawnaq

Dr Martyn Halsall

PHD Creative Literary Studies, class of 2009

Joining the university as a postgraduate student, under the inspiring supervision of Drs Penny Bradshaw and Lucy Collins, enabled me to develop new poetry, and a supporting critical text exploring 'Poetic Truth in Times of Exile'. The degree demanded both literary creativity and academic rigour, which have continued to govern my work as poet and critic.

A photo of Martyn Halsall