Ustinov Global Citizenship Programme

Volunteering at the Christmas Festival

By Kristine Kivle

On the 30th of November the Ustinov GCP volunteering team was fortunate to participate in the Nevilles Cross Christmas festival. Followed by several weeks of planning, organising and other preparations the festival was a great success.

Throughout the afternoon, both local and non-local families, children, students and adults came together to kick off the holiday season. It was a great way to build a bridge between the College and the local community and really get to know our neighbours. We were not only accompanied by humans, but also had a visit from Elvis the Reindeer, two beautiful owls and Santa and his elves.

It was a lovely festival filled with Christmas spirit, tasty treats, arts and crafts as well as Christmas music and other entertainment. For our international students it also gave valuable insight into English Christmas traditions and an opportunity of cultural exchange. All together it was a lovely experience for all involved and put us all in the right Christmas spirit. Our team was also involved in creating the Sheraton Park advent calendar in cooperation with the local community. The calendar is a beautiful display of arts, culture, traditions and Christmas spirit. The calendar can be seen in the windows at Ustinov College throughout December. 
As the Head of the GCP Volunteering team I would like to thank all volunteers for their efforts and help with the Christmas festival. I also want to thank the local resident’s group for embracing us and including us in the project. I would further like to extend a particular thank you to Mandeep Smith for all her efforts and coordination with the project!  Follow our Facebook page for more info on the Christmas Festival: https://www.facebook.com/nevillesxchristmas/ You can also read what the local newspaper had to say about the event here: https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northdurham/17273246.christmas-festival-lights-up-nevilles-cross-in-durham/?ref=fbshr&fbclid=IwAR3rF9Hh_mMWr_7ZG1oL8ZlP4TV7VxR9P0k7Z8lFrtL8uFdt8g_bZbAAaFY

Xmas Recycling with Arts

On Monday 3rd of December, the team Café Scientifique invited Ustinov college students to participate in a discussion panel about recycling, followed by the result of the competition for the best Xmas tree with recycled materials.

The event was very productive, attendees discussed different methods of recycling and what are the side effects on different countries; environmental and social. Then, participants had the opportunity to talk about their point of view about recycling at the College, we had the pleasure to count with the presence of the Principal from Ustinov College: Professor Glenn McGregor. As a result of our discussion panel, we got a list of suggestions to make our College more sustainable, not just focussing on recycling.
At the end of the discussion panel, Kimberly Liu was rewarded with an Amazon voucher for her original idea of the Xmas tree, the design consisted of using a plastic bottle of water and her own hair! decorations used were recycled too. Congratulations to Kim!! We have the chance to try her design!!

US Midterm Elections: What lies in the uncertain future?

On Tuesday 6th November 2018, Café Politique organised and hosted their first event of the academic year.

Their seminar, titled: ‘US Midterm Elections: What lies in the uncertain future?’ was in conjunction with the election date itself.

Café Politique invited Durham University’s School of Governmental and International Affairs’ very own Dr Patrick Kuhn and Dr Neil Visalvanich, who provided a presentation on the science behind election predictions, statistical data, and how it can be interpreted. 

Additionally, opinion polls were highlighted as sometimes being an inaccurate indicator for predicting results, as some people choose not to show their true voting intentions. The significance of youth turnout was also addressed, revealing the power the youth demographic has for potentially swinging election results. Furthermore, our guest speakers provided their own insightful predictions for what they believe the US Midterm Election results will show. 

Retrospectively, we can see that they were correct in regard to the outcomes of the election. The Democrats did gain control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans did maintain control of the Senate. After the presentation we held a thirty minute Q+A session, which had high engagement and fruitful debate.

 Following the success of Café Politique’s first event, we look forward to seeing you all early next year for our next event on the war in Yemen. More details to be revealed soon!

Ustinov Research Round Table – Thursday 15th November

                                                       By Marianna Iliadou

                                                             Seminar Series

How can you join smart cities, nationalism, wind turbines and regiment in global leadership? Through the Ustinov Research Round Table of course! This is an event organised by the Seminar Series team of the Ustinov’s Global Citizenship Programme (GCP), bringing together Ustinovians to share their own research.

In the year’s first Research Round Table, we managed to bring together speakers from the Department of Engineering, Geography, SGIA and Business School. This was extremely exciting, given its interdisciplinary character.

Briefly outlining the discussion, our first speaker, Roger Cox, talked about the maintenance record labelling of wind turbine data for fault prognosis and particularly the Bernoulli Naïve Bayes Classifier. Miklós Dürr, the second speaker, gave an account of smart cities by studying the case of Miskolc in Hungary, discussing broader matters, as its implication for minorities and mass surveillance. The third speaker, Eleanor Ferguson, shared her research interest in nationalism, using in particular the example of Italy and the recent rise to power of the Northern League. The last speaker, Etido Ekwere, explained in a cheerful and entertaining way what regiments in global leadership mean and emphasised the value of personal regiment, as it helps build influence and it is essential for aspiring global leaders.

The speakers participating in the Ustinov Research Round Table were given the opportunity to practise their presentation skills, discuss their work in a relaxed environment and get feedback from people coming from different academic disciplines. Additionally, the event provided other Ustinovians the opportunity to get an insight into their peer’s research. Creating these spaces of dialogue are very important for our community, helping us explore different disciplines, share our stories and engage in productive dialogue.

Interested in participating in (or attending) future Seminar Series events? Stay tuned for upcoming events advertised in our different social media accounts.