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Behind the scenes with Alan Dolan

Hear from colleagues who are taking time to contribute to graduation week, find out about their role and what they enjoy about it. It's a chance to see some of the activity that goes on behind the scenes to help make graduation week a success.

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Behind the scenes with...

Dr Alan Dolan
Associate Professor and Director of the MA Social Work programme
Centre for Lifelong Learning
Role at graduation: Member of academic procession


My usual job involves…
all of the usual day to day activities relating to the MA in Social Work including teaching and co-ordination to ensure that when students graduate they have the necessary knowledge, values and skills to be excellent social workers. I also have my research that tends to focus on the intersections between men, masculinity and health.


In advance of graduation week I…
am doing all of the usual things plus making sure that everything is in place for the MA in Social Work ‘celebration’ following graduation. This boils down to making sure that students have been invited and monitoring the number of students and guests attending to ensure there are enough crisps and sandwiches!


During graduation week I…
double and treble check the day and time of our particular graduation ceremony so I do not turn up on the wrong day or at the wrong time. On the day of the graduation ceremony I meet colleagues at the Chaplaincy where we collect our gowns and are ‘dressed’ by the very nice people who provide the gowns for those taking part in the Academic Procession.


I really enjoy being involved with…
The graduation ceremony because it is great to see students who have worked hard for two years awarded their degree. Taking part in the Academic Procession ensures that we have the best seats in Butterworth Hall!


Graduation week is unique because…
It is a really special day for students. It is their chance to be centre of attention and for them to get together with their families and their peers to celebrate their achievement.


If I could change one thing about graduation it would be…
The queues!


Not everyone knows that…
when the Academic Procession arrives on stage we are all simply hoping we find our allotted seat. Everything is organised with fantastic precision, but there is always that slight fear that we will not find our name on a chair!


What would you say to colleagues considering getting involved?
It’s a great opportunity to see students at the culmination of their studies.


What invaluable tip or advice would you give graduands?
Enjoy your day!



Alan was one of the first cohort of students to study on Warwick's 2+2 degree programme, so has experienced graduation both as a graduand and a member of staff. Hear about his student journey and what the opportunity meant for him.


Hear from other colleagues behind the scenes