UOG student Noah Ergen wins 3-Minute Dissertation 2020 Competition

When the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) challenged students to present their best dissertation work, Noah Ergen, an Politics and International Relations student, raised to the occasion. Under the current circumstances the student produced a pre-recorded video of his dissertation on the topic Hypersonic Missiles and the Revolution in Military Affairs. The video is available on OUR YouTube page, where you can also view other student projects. Noah is the recipient of a prize awarded by Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng, the project lead.

In addition to his academic achievements, Noah is also a virtual student federal service (VSFS) Intern with USAID producing research and analysis documents for distribution to multiple organisations throughout the U.S. Government.

Congratulations to Noah on the successful achievement!

Research evaluates undergraduate student experience of the Inside Out Prison Exchange Programme

Greenwich scholars Dr Giulia Zampini and Dr Camille Stengel (School of Law and Criminology) were involved in a research study evaluating student experiences of undergraduate modules taught inside prisons. Both academics evaluated a prison-university partnership with HMP Swaleside (a men’s prison) and the University of Kent, who run a final year undergraduate criminology module in Swaleside for both University of Kent students and men inside the prison.

The sign at the entrance to HMP Downview

This partnership is based on the global educational initiative known as the Inside Out Prison Exchange Programme. The Inside Out module involves an equal mix of ‘inside’ students (people in prison) and ‘outside’ students (people at university) studying alongside each other in the prison environment for one academic term. The second part of the research study involved colleagues from the University of Kent, evaluating the optional level five Inside Out module run in partnership with the University of Greenwich and HMP Downview (a women’ prison). Inside and outside students were interviewed twice: once before the modules started in order to gauge their expectations of the class, and a second time after the module ended.

Inside and outside students in the prison-university partnerships highlighted several key benefits they experienced during the Inside Out classes, including a feeling of connectedness across and among difference via their exposure to different view and opinions, increased confidence in their academic skills, and a more enhanced understanding of the criminal justice system. One University of Greenwich student said that Inside Out: “creates the kind of learning that couldn’t happen anywhere else”. A summary of the research findings can be found in the research briefing that was presented during a School of Law and Criminology Research Lunch in November 2019. The research evaluation was funded by the Peter Harris Trust and the University of Kent Faculty of Social Sciences Faculty Research Fund.

Congratulations to Dr Giulia Zampini and Dr Camille Stengel for the outcome of your collaboration and for stealing the spotlight!

Landscape Architecture and Urbanism PhD Student creates amazing flip book

Professor Ed Wall proudly tweeted about the amazing work of one of his PhD students, who composed the flip book of The Landscapists AD. The book is available to buy online from Wiley or be accessed via Wiley Online Library. This is a great example of teacher / student collaboration at the University of Greenwich.

Congratulations to Professor Ed Wall for stealing the spotlight through mentorship!

New publication shows how ‘Studying in this England is wahala (trouble)’, by Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng

The article by Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng, recently featured in Studies in Higher Education Journal, analyses the challenges and benefits of being a West African – international student in the English Academic scenario.

The study, based on the experience of 12 West African (Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone) students illustrates why ‘studying in this England is trouble’. If on one hand there is an underlying promise of a more successful career future with academic achievement accredited abroad, on the other, the contrasts in education systems, adjustment to a different culture, environment, cost of living, lifestyle and contrasting study pace can be a hard hit for some students. Nothing prepares them to this reality, it must be lived and experienced. Pessimism aside, this narrative is a clear contrast with that portrayed in the comedy film Coming to America but equally enlightening.

Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng cleverly achieves a Publication that draw us to reflect on the polarity of two very distinct education system – the Western world and Africa, while subtly creating awareness for this reality.

Enjoy the reading!

Researchers call for transparency on social media content moderation to combat Covid-19

There is little doubt over the great potential of melding artificial intelligence with digital epidemiology to combat Covid19 effectively: the study of large amounts of online published data ranging from social media posts to trending hashtags can aid health officials in their task to track outbreaks quickly and target responses. At the same time, large technology companies hold a wealth of unpublished information (private posts, search keywords, location and interaction data with contacts) that could help epidemiologists further. To this end, LETS Lab at the School of Law and Criminology has joined forces with a network of organisations and researchers in an open letter urging social media and content sharing platforms to archive material for research.

According to LETS Director, Dr Argyro Karanasiou, the lockdown policies imposed globally have boosted an unprecedented flow of information via online platforms used for social purposes. At the same time the ever familiar danger of spreading misinformation online is now met with solely automated means of moderating content online, which needs to be transparent and audible as it may well compromise free speech and privacy. The letter urges tech giants to archive such data so that they can be studied further “to evaluate the macro and micro level consequences of relying on automation to moderate content in a complex and evolving information environment. (…) It is essential that platforms preserve this data so that it can be made available to researchers and journalists and included in your transparency reports. The data will be invaluable to those working in public health, human rights, science and academia. It will be crucial to develop safeguards to address the privacy issues raised by new or longer data retention and by the sharing of information with third parties, but the need for immediate preservation is urgent.” 

The open letter has been published by Article19 and can be viewed here.

Congratulations to Dr Argyro Karanasiou for being an active voice and stealing the spotlight!

Dr Elena Vacchelli represents Greenwich in Research Migration meeting in Senegal

Dr Elena Vacchelli was recently invited to attend an ‘Expert meeting on the cooperation between Africa and Europe‘ in Dakar, Senegal. The event took place earlier this year and was the final meeting of the Horizon 2020 project CrossMigration. Dr Vacchelli delivered a well received talk highlighting methodological aspects of her research. The 2 day meeting focused on the cooperation between Africa and Europe for a strategic research agenda on migration and was attended by over 40 participants including international organisations and NGOs.

Amongst the organising committee was Papa Sakho, Geography Professor at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar and Riccardo Pozzo, History and Philosophy Professor at Tor Vergata University in Rome.

Expert Professor Riccardo Pozzo

Congratulations to Dr Vacchelli for putting Greenwich on the map and stealing the spotlight!

New documentary films reveals Artistic Research Practices Applied in the Creation of Immersive Hyperreal Soundscapes, by Dr Andrew Knight-Hill

Last summer Dr Andrew Knight-Hill (School of Design) led a HEIF funded research project to investigate the affordances in new multichannel audio technologies. In partnership with international loudspeaker manufacturer L Acoustics, Dr Knight-Hill assembled a team of world leading sound creatives including sound artist Brona Martin and Hollywood sound designer Paula Fairfield (Game of Thrones, LOST), to interrogate the possibilities available in these novel technologies through artistic research. 

“Engineers built them, but do they really understand how these tools can be used?” said Dr Knight-Hill, “often we think of knowledge in-terms of abstract facts, but there are many different ways of understanding the world. By applying creative methodologies to experiment, test possibilities and push their limits, we are able to access deeper understandings of these tools and reveal new possibilities for how they can be used.”

The applied practice methodology engaged world leading artists in the development of immersive sound works which were performed, alongside compositions by undergraduates students on the BA Sound Design programme of the University, to audiences in Highgate at the L Acoustics L-ISA lab.

Potential beneficiaries for this research project include: engineers and developers of multichannel audio systems, post-production sound professionals, student composers engaged in the project and composers and sound artists engaging in multichannel composition. 

A documentary crew was able to capture the unique events and interview the project participants. These films are now available online and provide an insight into the exciting new world of immersive hyperreal sound. Another proud moment for the University of Greenwich.

Congratulations to Dr Andrew Knight-Hill for stealing the spotlight!

Watch the films and get immersed in the project here:

Mind the Gap – Social vs Physical distancing, a point of view from Professor Ed Galea

COVID-19 may have changed our lives forever. Why? It seems uniquely designed to create segregation, while attempting to nest us, confused? So am I.

Conflicting information on how to stay safe, protect yourself and others, is thrown at us every day; ‘stay home, go out, use a mask, don’t use it, outdoor exercise, no outdoor exercise’… At least, one thing we’re clear – keep your distance!

Luckily for us, Greenwich’s own Professor Ed Galea managed to give a different view on what is being said about social distancing and how to do it responsibly. The Professor writes a series of articles on LinkedIn that may just change our minds and behaviours when out and about.

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives!

Image credits: Prof Ed Galea

UOG Sociology student is a panellist at conference hosted by the University of York

From Margins to Centre?: An Undergraduate Conference on Marginalised Histories! was a one day conference attended by Gabriel B. Couto Ribas, a Sociology a BSc Hons Sociology and Psychology at the University of Greenwich, which took place 28th February 2020 at the University of York. The conference had a particular focus on LGBT+ history, women’s history, BME history and history of disability. Aimed specifically at undergraduate students to involve them in the discipline.

Olivia Wyatt, Clare Burgess, Dr Louise Owusu-Kwarteng and Gabriel B. Couto Ribas

Gabriel was an invited panellist and presented the paper ‘Drag and Me’ – Autobiographical reflections on the impact of drag artistry in my life- a very personal approach, shared in the recently published autobiography ‘Livin’ Our Best Lives: Autobiographical Reflections of life in Current Times’ soon available online.

The keynote speech was given by Catherine Hall, Emerita Professor of History at UCL , with panels chaired by Jonathan Saha and Sue Lemos.

Congratulations to Gabriel and the Applied Sociology Group!

University of Greenwich PhD Student wins Curran Fellowships award

The University of Greenwich is proud to announce that PhD student Beth Gaskell has been awarded the Curran Fellowships. The grants were founded by pioneer researcher Eileen Curran to support primary source and archival research into the periodical press of 19th-century Britain and its empire. The 2020 Curran Fellowships include: Beth Gaskell, The History of Early Regimental Journals 

This grant will enable Beth to pursue her work on C19 military periodicals after her PhD, which is nearly completed.

More detail of the Curran Fellowships can be found at

http://rs4vp.org/awards/curran-fellowship/