Transforming lives through staff and student initiatives

Expanding Horizons logo

2012 has seen the launch of Expanding Horizons: Aston's Year of Transforming Lives. This year will build on the successes and achievements of Crossing Boundaries: Aston’s Year of Ethnicity & Culture in 2011, by celebrating the University’s diverse campus community and specifically looking at how London 2012 can positively influence the community here at Aston.

Last month, the University asked staff and students to help shape what the year ahead will look like by providing an opportunity to bid for funding for any event or initiative that would fit into the theme of ‘Expanding Horizons: Aston’s Year of Transforming Lives’. Numerous outstanding bids were submitted and congratulations to the following individuals who have secured funding for their initiatives: Amandip Bisel (SCL); Dr Anneliese Dodds (LSS); Dr Jane Andrews (EAS), Dr Julia Brown (LHS); Dr Emmanuelle Labeau (LSS); Kate Parsons (Staff and Student Diversity and Well-being); Paul Lawrence (Well-being Group); Professor Helen Higson (Senior Pro Vice Chancellor); Nathalie Lam (ABS);  Prab Bhopal (Students' Guild); Sandra Roberts (Graduate Advantage); Vikramdeep Johal (Sikh society).

 The events and initiatives include:

  • A talk by top cricketer and renowned speaker Ed Smith. Ed will discuss the ‘mind set’ of top sportspeople, what they do to motivate themselves, and using motivation to manage both success and failure.

  • A Guinness Book of Records running attempt. Graduate Advantage will be collaborating with Sport Aston to encourage as many staff as possible to take part in a relay to try to beat the world record.

  • A disabled ‘wheel’ down Snowdon event to raise money for the MS Society. The challenge illustrated how teamwork can make anything possible and showcase that the more diverse a group is, the better.

  • Kicking homophobia off campus and promoting Aston as a ‘Gay Friendly’ place to work and study. Staff and students will be able to come together to discuss the University’s equality and diversity principles in practices.

  • Student volunteers will be mentoring Year 10 and Year 11 pupils from local disadvantaged schools and working with them to create a product linked to London 2012 and a business plan based on this concept.

  • A Bhangra flash mob dance - keep your eyes peeled!

  • The Sikh Society's “Langar on Campus” where students and staff can drop in throughout the day to learn more about the Sikh faith. Students and staff from all different backgrounds will be able to share a common platform – the eating and sharing of food together.

Watch out too for events already in the Expanding Horizons Event Calendar: Student Volunteering Week, ARCHA seminars, National Swimathon, Universities Week 2012, Aston Olympians, and Healthy Lives Healthy People.

 This is the perfect year to encourage our staff and students to try out a new sport or skill but also a way to showcase the University campus and facilities to the wider community and encourage the community and businesses to explore what Aston University has to offer. 

 For more information about any of these events or about Expanding Horizons: Aston's Year of Transforming Lives, please contact Simi Adesina on ext. 4414.