Tamsin Cross

Profile picture of Tamsin CrossSchool of History and Cultures

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About

My time as a student at the University of Birmingham studying for my B.A. Classical Literature and Civilisation and M.A. Antiquity (Classics) was both enjoyable and fulfilling. In my SEF role my principal aim is that all students should enjoy and benefit from their University of Birmingham experience even more than I did.

While I was a student I was involved with many extra-curricular activities, including taking on organisational and editorial roles on the committee for the postgraduate journal Rosetta. Opportunities like those with Rosettaenhance a university experience, and as a SEF I am always looking for ways to engage students in innovative projects. Having been a student at the University of Birmingham I am in a great position to be able to tailor projects to be directly relevant and beneficial to students in the School of History and Cultures.

I began as Student Engagement Facilitator in the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology in October 2012. In November 2013 I broadened my role to become Student Engagement Facilitator for the School of History and Cultureswhich encompasses the Department of History, the Department of African Studies and Anthropology, and the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology.

Students are welcome to contact me via email or social media or to visit me in my office hour (Tuesday 11:00-12:00 and Thursday 11:00-12:00). Feedback on current projects, general departmental feedback and ideas for future projects are all helpful and appreciated. 

Projects

  • Ran focus groups for students to give feedback on their programmes and ideas for future improvements to their university experience.
  • Organised and hosted the first Undergraduate Forum session in collaboration with the Rosetta Postgraduate Forum. This session was an opportunity for undergraduates to gain advice from postgraduates about research, getting into postgraduate study and postgraduate life.
  • Organised student attendance at the Birmingham and Midlands Classical Association special lecture on Sparta, which was directly relevant to an assessed module. 
  • Established social media channels to improve communication with students and to advertise relevant academic, careers and event opportunities. 
  • Organised the School of History and Cultures Undergraduate Dissertation Poster Conference to help final year students to structure and develop their dissertation. Final year students produced a research poster outlining their dissertation and discussed this with students and staff at the conference. 
  • Organised Welcome Week activities and events to ensure students felt comfortable in their department and effectively integrated into University life. These activities included a fun ice-breaker session to help new students meet each other in a relaxed social environment and a treasure hunt to help students familiarise themselves with the University of Birmingham campus.

Ongoing Projects

  • Supporting the Student Staff Committees. I am helping the student representatives gather feedback from their cohorts to report to the SSC and reporting action points from the SSC back to the relevant student cohort through drop-in sessions with reps and via social media.
  • Working with departmental societies to meet the needs of our students with a varied programme of society events.
  • Student librarian project in the Peter Gelling Library - I am working with a team of student librarians to invigorate the CAHA department library as an accessible and useful resource for all students. This project is also enabling the student librarians to gain valuable practical experience. As an added benefit to volunteering in the Peter Gelling Library I recently organised a visit for the team to the Cadbury Research Library for the students to learn more about careers in archiving and conservation. 
  • Museum and special exhibition trips relevant to modules including a blog to allow students to record their visit and to keep other students up to date with trips in the School of History and Cultures.
  • Careers events designed to broaden students’ understanding of the career paths open to them after graduating with a degree from the School of History and Cultures.
  • CAHA Academic Family Scheme - this scheme is designed to nurture a friendly student community and to support new students in particular. Current CAHA second and third year students “adopt” tutor groups of incoming first year students to form a mutually supportive family unit.
  • Repeating and continuing to develop previous projects for the coming academic year.