The January member spotlight is on Katie Akerman, who is a moderator for conference session proposals. Katie is a Fellow of the AUA, and also an assessor for the AUA’s PgCert.

Why do you do it?

I was one of the first graduates of the AUA’s PgCert and was involved with all sorts of things for the AUA as a graduate, including contributing session proposals on the PgCert to the annual conference, which developed into moderating session proposals! I really, really enjoy it – it’s a real privilege to see all aspects of the sector represented through the proposals, and the innovative ideas that both individuals and institution present.

What has been the best bit so far?

Being asked to contribute again and again – it’s a real honour to be asked because it’s such a precious thing. It’s a conference from professionals in the HE sector to professionals in the HE sector. As a Director of Quality and Standards, I can find my own tribe within the AUA, but none of us work in isolation and it’s really important to understand what other parts of the sector do – estates, finance, HR, IT, library, marketing, registry and research. Having had so much given to me by the AUA I welcome the opportunity to give a little back. I think this is even more important where the introduction of fees have made us all feel a little more competitive with each other.

Would you recommend the role?

I’d recommend this role and any other role you might be interested in – mentoring for the PgCert, representing members at Boards, making a proposal for a session at the annual conference. AUA doesn’t exist without its membership so it’s important to contribute – it’s fun and as well as informative.

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