RAISE Committee 2020-21

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Stephen McVeigh

Chair (Swansea University)

Stephen is Professor and Associate Dean Education in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Swansea University. His work in these roles combines teaching across all levels of study with providing leadership in the development and implementation of new initiatives and strategic directions in learning and teaching across the University. 

Stephen has been actively involved in student engagement work for over 10 years, work which has brought together students, academic colleagues and professional services staff to create and enhance the context and structures for meaningful partnership with students in their learning and the environments supporting it. Placing students at the centre of University activity has required changes in culture and attitudes as well as systems and organisation and Stephen has made contributions in all of these areas. Among the outcomes are: a new model for student-staff forum, the creation of the new role of Student Engagement Lead, student exchange with PICNIC. Other projects are in development or pilot, such as: peer-to peer learning, funded student/staff co-created enhancement project scheme, student feedback journal, and flexible structures for co-created assessment design. 

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Tom Lowe

Acting Vice Chair (University of Winchester)

Tom gained a passion for student engagement from his previous role as Vice President for Education at Winchester Student Union. 

Tom is the Acting Vice Chair for RAISE and has served on the RAISE committee since 2015, first as a Student Committee Member and then as Communication Officer and until recently, Secretary. 

In his professional role, Tom is the project manager of the HEFCE funded REACT project, where he facilitates collaborative development between 16 UK HEIs around Student Engagement Development. 

Tania Struetzel

Treasurer (University of Greenwich)

Tania is the Student Engagement Manager at the University of Greenwich, leading the new student engagement provision focusing on engagement, retention and student voice. She previously worked at Middlesex University, where she was the institutional project lead for the TSEP Inclusive Engagement project exploring the experience of student representatives identifying as students of colour. Tania was a QAA Student Strategic Advisory Committee member and has recently completed the PgCert Student Engagement in Higher Education at the University of Winchester. 

Jill LeBihan

Acting Secretary (Sheffield Hallam University)

Jill is Head of Student Engagement at SHU, supporting work with students on representation, module co-creation and design, and extra-curricular reward and recognition. Jill is currently leading a HEFCE Catalyst-funded project on promoting ethical student behaviours and is co-leading an LFHE-funded project on the use and abuse of the student voice. 

With an academic background in English Literature and Women’s Studies, Jill’s publications focus on critical theory and women’s writing. Jill has considerable experience as a lecturer and academic leader, with skills in curriculum and programme design. Jill also has an active interest in teaching innovation and the use of digital technology to support academic delivery in creative ways. 

Madelene George

Ordinary Committee Member (University of Worcester) 

Madalene is a Student Engagement Coordinator, Senior Library Services Advisor and Study Happy Coordinator at University of Worcester Library Services. Madalene has helped to define the role of student engagement and promote its importance throughout the institution. 

Based at The Hive, Europe’s first fully integrated university and public library, Madalene has an interest in researching ethnographical approaches to student engagement and in working alongside students to create an innovative and inclusive service.  As coordinator of the Study Happy wellbeing programme, Madalene also engages students from the University of Worcester and the wider community, including those from secondary, further and other higher education institutes, in taking an active role in supporting their own wellbeing and that of others. 

Madalene is especially interested in working with students as partners and has been responsible for managing the redesign of the student work placement programme, resulting in the creation of innovative project-based placements and the introduction of successful student-led student engagement projects. 

Laura Callaghan

Communications Officer (Newcastle University) 

Laura is the Student Engagement Coordinator in the Combined Honours Centre at Newcastle University. She works with students in their extracurricular roles as Peer Mentors, Student Reps, PASS Advisors and much more. She is also involved in numerous student-staff partnership activities both inside and outside of the curriculum. She enjoys supporting students in their personal and professional development, and finding new and exciting ways to further student engagement initiatives in her learning community. Laura has recently completed the PgCert in Student Engagement in Higher Education at the University of Winchester and has been a member of RAISE since she was a student herself in 2015.

Jenny Marie

SIGs Convenor (University of Greenwich)

Jenny is the Head of Quality Enhancement at the University of Greenwich. She leads the quality enhancement and quality assurance team, overseeing HEA accredited programmes and schemes, strategic development work, CPD provision, as well as quality processes across the university and for partner institutions. 

Jenny has a particular interest in student-staff partnership, having experience of developing a scheme to support enhancement projects conducted in partnership between students and staff. She is a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the HEA. 

Rachel Forsyth

Journal Editor in Chief (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Rachel Forsyth is Editor-in-Chief of the RAISE network journal, the Student Experience in Higher Education Journal and Head of the University Teaching Academy  at Manchester Metropolitan University. 

As journal editor, she hopes to encourage new authors, or authors new to writing about education, to get involved in scholarly activity around student engagement. In her own practice, she is particularly interested in student engagement in curriculum development and assessment. 

Ella Dyer

RAISE Administrator (Newcastle University)

Ella’s interest in student engagement has grown over a number of years. She was a Student Representative and advocate of the student voice during her undergraduate degree at Sheffield Hallam University. More recently, student engagement was at the core of Ella’s Learning and Teaching Assistant role at Newcastle University. 

Ella is in now in her first year of a PhD studentship at the Institute of Health and Society, with a specific interest in improving the care in pregnancy after reproductive loss in women with diabetes. 

Ellie Ward-Mayo

Ordinary Committee Member (University of the West of England)

Ellie was elected Vice President for Education at Bournemouth Students’ Union following her degree, which ignited her passion for student engagement. Since then Ellie joined HEFCE, knowing it would become the Office for Students, with the intention of supporting the organisation to develop effective methods for  engaging students. Ellie then transitioned into the Office for Students and began working in the Student Engagement team, primarily to develop a student engagement strategy. 

Ellie has experience of supporting teams internally to engage students in work such as TEF, Prevent, and Access and Participation Plans, and has facilitated engagement initiatives in the emergent regulatory environment. As such, Ellie has a a good understanding of the regulatory expectations for student engagement for the sector, a clear understanding on the direction of travel, and the subsequent implications for institutions both in the HE and FE sector. 

Ellie has recently joined the University of the West of England as Student-led Enhancement Manager. Her passion lies in direct engagement with students, and utilizing stakeholder feedback to enhance the student experience. 

Kiu Sum

Student Officer (University of Westminster)

Kiu is currently a Doctoral Researcher at University of Westminster and previously graduated from Imperial College London. Her academic research interests lie in public health nutrition with nutritional behaviour and mobile health. 

Alongside her study, Kiu has been involved in a number of student engagement and pedagogy research projects (i.e. Students as Co-Creators) and taken on various roles championing student engagement. With her passion for bringing together student engagement with nutrition, Kiu is the current Chair of the Student Section at The Nutrition Society. In addition to her Student Officer role at RAISE, Kiu is a Co-Convenor for the “Engagement Assessment” SIG. 

Eugenie Johnson

Student Committee Member (Newcastle University)

Eugenie is a part-time MSc student in Public Health and Health Services Research at Newcastle University and a Training Fellow in Evidence Synthesis. 

During both her BA in Combined Honours and MLitt in English Literature at Newcastle University she was involved in the student council and PASS schemes and is now a student representative for the Innovation, Methodology and Application Theme within the University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences. 

Eugenie has a background in journalism and continues to work as Assistant Managing Editor for Cochrane Incontinence, based at Newcastle University. She looks forward to bringing her experiences both within and outside Higher Education and student engagement to RAISE and helping to explore exciting opportunities for the committee in the year ahead. 

Meerav Shah

Student Committee Member (Durham University)

Meerav is currently a Combined Honours undergraduate student at Durham University studying Education, Economics and Sociology. His academic research interests lie in interdisciplinary and co-created pedagogies.


Throughout his degree, Meerav has been involved in various engagement projects. He has participated in the PICNIC scheme and focused on bolstering cohort identity-building initiatives within his own department through peer mentoring and student-led activities. Meerav has also been a course representative and is now a faculty representative for Social Sciences and Health at Durham after returning from a year abroad at the University of British Columbia.