Monday, 27 October 2014

Foreign adventure widens student's horizons

Studying abroad can be of great benefit to students by widening their horizons and improving employability.

Jodie Palmer is studying the second year of her Strength and Conditioning course at the University of Northern Colorado, USA, and feels it was an opportunity she couldn't pass up.

"I chose to study abroad as it's something I've always been interested in and UCLan offers great opportunities and support to be able to it," said Jodie.

"I'm building my self-confidence and learning life skills I might not have gained so early in the UK, including how to be independent and adjust to different lifestyles. These skills will help me in the future, both in my career and in my day to day life."

Whilst in the USA Jodie has had the opportunity to take part in numerous activities, including mountain hiking, whitewater rafting and horseback riding. She has also attended an ice hockey game, watched American Football and been caving. Jodie hopes to go snowboarding and skiing when the snow arrives, and is planning to travel around some other states in the US during spring break.

Jodie has also opted into a programme where students team up with local people. "I've been paired with a couple who live in the local town of Greeley," she said. "We go for meals, movies, shopping and sightseeing together. The programme allows us to learn about each other's cultures and lifestyles and it gives me the opportunity to experience the State of Colorado.

"I've made many friends, my closest being my roommates. Out here when applying for halls of residence, you have to take a short questionnaire which then matches you to roommates who have very similar interests as you."

In addition to her personal development, Jodie said the experience is helping to expand her knowledge: "I'm learning different methods of coaching and teaching physical education other than the ones commonly used in the UK. This broadens my knowledge and I look forward to putting it all into practice when I go home."

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Graduate develops Hammers Science role

Our programme provides graduates with a platform to progress into a variety of roles.

During his time at UCLan, Adam Crossley completed a BSc in Personal Fitness Training, before advancing onto an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science. He also gained experience in both professional football and rugby league, eventually securing a role with West Ham United FC in 2012.

He commented: "My whole time at UCLan helped me develop considerably into the role I'm currently working in at West Ham's Academy.

"Before I undertook my Master's I was offered an opportunity at another University, but I felt the opportunity to continue to learn off staff like Dr Steve Atkins and Dr Howard Hurst was an excellent one.

"Not only did it develop me academically, but there were also numerous opportunities to gain experience in the field. These could include testing elite athletes coming into the University or gaining part-time placements with professional clubs. These opportunities were vital in my development and ultimately helped me decide on my career path."

During his third year at UCLan, Adam worked once a week with Wigan Warriors RLFC in their Academy Strength & Conditioning Department. He also gained further experience, shadowing the Lead Sport Scientist at Preston North End FC and also completed a work placement at a local primary school.

Adam said this was crucial in his personal development: "I initially worked with a number of different year groups, once every week for half a year. When I completed my placement I was given the opportunity to stay there, running the after-school football club. I did this for two more years and it was vital for me in developing key skills such as organisation, group speaking and time-keeping skills."

After finishing his Master's, Adam was offered a year-long placement at West Ham. His main role was leading the GPS analysis at their Academy: "It was the start of the EPPP (Elite Player Performance Plan) and the Academy had never had their own GPS set-up, so I came in to develop that area," said Adam.

"Fortunately for me this placement turned into a full-time role and the position has developed considerably. I'm now in my third year at the club and my job includes leading on the analysis of the GPS (matches and training), filming and analysis of training sessions and the monitoring of training load. The introduction of the EPPP definitely helped me get a placement and I think its introduction will help newly-graduated students get more opportunities too.

"The Sport Science Department at the Academy has developed an excellent student placement programme, and I’m glad to say I've been able to work with Dr Atkins again to give UCLan students the opportunity to learn here on a year-long placement. Working with our excellent department I know will have a significant positive impact on their development."

Friday, 10 October 2014

Lecturer edits prestigious journal

UCLan SENS Lecturer Carol Wallace recently edited a special edition of the journal 'Perspectives in Public Health'.

The issue included a number of peer-review articles from the Division, including Brigit Ramsingh's paper on Food Standards and one written by Carol with Debbie Christopher, one of last year's Food Safety Management Master's students.

International collaborator Dr Ben Chapman also had an article published, whilst Carol produced a guest editorial on food safety management systems.

To view the journal, please click here.