Student Experience (2019)
Tell us a bit about your role…
I work as a Community Engagement Officer in Library’s Academic Services, designing and implementing interventions to support students’ wellbeing and development in study spaces across campus and virtually.
In a nutshell, I help students study better and encourage them to look after themselves.
Outside of this role, I’m also a member of the Residential Life Team, supporting students’ welfare in halls of residence on campus.
Tell us about your award-winning project/work…
The Study Happy is now five years old. It has grown from a handful of events taking place during the exam period, to an extensive, whole-year programme promoting and supporting students’ wellbeing. We’re collaborating with a wide range of colleagues in Professional Services, and broadening outreach in academic departments to bring “Study Happy” to as many students as possible.
The contents of the programme revolve around “Five Ways to Wellbeing” (connecting, being active, taking notice, learning and giving), which are empirically supported steps anyone can take to improve how they feel. With so much pressure on students to succeed, we’re trying to create opportunities for them to engage in different activities, from pop-up sports and mindfulness workshops, to socialising with other students at Language Exchange and getting artistic in Creative Chillout sessions. The idea is to equip them with self-care habits they can take away after they graduate.
How does it feel to have won the Student Experience Award?
Students tell us daily how much they benefit from “Study Happy” but it’s amazing to know our team’s work and my own contribution are recognised and valued at a higher university level.
This award is also an inspiration to further expand the programme and find new ways to increase the students’ engagement and enrich their experience at Warwick.
Why do you think people should get involved with nominating for the University Awards?
One of the best things about Warwick are its people and these awards are a unique opportunity to celebrate the dedication and effort that individuals and teams put into making the university a great place to study and work.
What was a personal highlight for you from the Summer Party on 24th June? (Other than winning, of course!)
My favourite moment was seeing Rolf’s family and Claudia Rei receive the recognition they justly deserve for enabling him to happily roam the campus, bringing so much joy to students and staff alike. Furthermore, they have spared no effort to support the #RolfSaysRelax campaign we ran for students earlier in the year, promoting wellbeing-boosting activities and the Campus Cats exhibition.
Also, given that we regularly collaborate, it was lovely to share the stage and the Student Experience award with Jina Tanton.
The University Awards are a great way for the University to improve and learn from staff initiatives over the year. If you could change one thing at the University, what would it be?
Warwick is a huge institution, with so many things going on that it’s difficult to keep track of everything even for staff members, and let alone students. Also, the amount of red tape often hinders cross-departmental collaboration. We would all benefit from talking to each other more and fostering an environment in which it’s easier for people to work together.
What would you like to say to the person – or people – who nominated you?
I am immensely grateful to my manager Phil Salé (also nominated for the award!), who works tirelessly and keeps us all motivated. The main reason “Study Happy” is so successful is that we all work well together, within the team, and also with our student ambassadors and colleagues from other departments. I can’t wait to see how the programme will develop in the future!
Ana Kedves collecting the Student Experience Award at the Summer Party