Spotlight on... Sandra Lusk

Sandra Lusk, UCL Arena Centre and Office of the Vice-Provost (Education and Student Affairs) on working in partnership with students through student quality reviewers, UCL ChangeMakers and the Global Citizenship programme.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am currently seconded to VP Education where I am the Education Strategy Student Projects Manager.

This involves providing project management support to the Global Citizenship Programme (GCP) and the Introductory Programme (IP Programme)

GCP is an extra-curricular programme which is free to UCL students. The programme is an opportunity for students from different disciplines to come together to work on global challenges and the IP Programme offer new students an intellectually enriching introduction to degree-level study and UCL, creating a sense of place and belonging before they arrive.

Both of these projects give me opportunity to with students which is what I enjoy most about working at UCL.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I joined UCL in 2016 as UCL ChangeMakers Manger , having had a similar role in Westminster University before that I worked in local government as a project manager.  

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my work on student-staff partnership, particularly the development of Students as Reviewers of Teaching Practice. This is an exciting initiative in which students are partnered with staff to review their teaching practice. The project isn’t about feedback, it is about partnership and dialogue were students and staff work together to review the teaching practice and enhance the learning experience. Colleagues can request to work with a student at any time throughout the year.

I’m soon to I re-join the Arena Centre and the UCL ChangeMakers team and looking forward to continuing to support student-staff partnership.

  • Read this week’s Seven Questions interview with PhD candidate Julian Laufs on his experience as a Student Reviewer of Teaching.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list

I’m currently working on the Launch of the Global Citizenship Programmme which takes place on Monday 11th November in the South Cloisters. It’s an informal event for students to meet and talk with the programme leaders and find out what each strand has planned for 2019/2020.  There will also be opportunities to chat with former Global Citizenship Programme participants and find out about their experiences. This is new for this year but I’m hoping students will find the time to come along and see what we have on offer.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Favourite album: Midnight Blues - The Early Recordings 1958-1960 , Charlie Rich. Charlie was a singer, song-writer and contemporary of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. He had a great voice and although he became more famous as country and western singer I love his early rock and roll music.

Film: Oh Brother Where Art Thou (2000) - a great combination of Coen Brothers complexity, George Clooney and a fantastic Bluegrass sound track.  

Favourite novel: I like almost all Nordic crime fiction but one novel or rather a series of books that I love are the Martin Beck stories. This series of 10 books was written in the 1960s and 1970s by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Set in Sweden, Inspector Martin Beck is the protagonist. I like very much that he’s not much of a hero and doesn’t make clever intuitive leaps to the correct answer. They are all about the setting and the character development. Doesn’t sound that exciting but they are so well written.  What is surprising, is that the authors researched the books together and then wrote alternate chapters. I find that extraordinary.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Paul Robeson, Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash and Susan Sarandon

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’d probably tell my younger self to join in and go out more. I was very serious when I was young and didn’t like putting myself out there. I’ve cracked the going out and having fun thing but still don’t join in enough.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

As a hobby I restore vintage furniture.

What is your favourite place?

’I belong to Glasgow, dear old Glasgow town’ I have to say that of course...

Find out how you can partner with your students:

  • Get a student’s perspective and improve your teaching practice with Student Reviewers of Teaching.
  • Encourage your students to register their interest for GCP and attend the launch event on Monday 11 November, 1pm to 3pm.
  • Each UCL department is guaranteed £850 to work in partnership with students on a departmental-level UCL ChangeMakers project

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