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Student Success Festival: SSF Panels

The Student Success Festival is a holistic grouping of a large array of services within Middlesex University to help students achieve their best!

The SSF 2020: Virtual Treasure Hunt - Exclusive Panels


As part of the Virtual Treasure Hunt, we were lucky enough to have the following amazing guests come and join us for our exclusive panel. Each panel was not only an absolute delight but touched on some very thought-provoking and interesting topics.

SSF Panels

Panel one: Knowledge Skills and Experience: How They Can Help You Succeed!

Everyone knows that universities provide students with degrees—a way to evidence their expertise in a specific subject area. But is that all that students gain when studying? Join this panel to discuss all the skills and experiences students can gain while studying at Middlesex and how these can be turned into selling points for when they enter the career market.

In this Student Success Festival exclusive panel we will discuss skills and experiences that can enrich your life as an MDX student and will help you succeed in the career market. We are joined by:

  • Julie Crabb. Julie is Head of Student Support and Wellbeing, and Deputy Director of Library and Student Support. Julie has led the set-up of UniHelp in 2012 and managed the Welcome and Induction.  

  • Alan Stuart. Alan is the Director for MDXworks - the Careers and Employability Service at Middlesex University. Alan is a strong advocate and activist within the diversity and social mobility arena. 

  • Paul Kirk. Paul is responsible for international mobility opportunities at Middlesex-  Paul has funded international work placements, campus transfers, and other fantastic chances to explore the world! 

  • Funmi Sonaiya. As Senior Customer Success Manager at LinkedIn, Funmi works with learning technologies to empower organisations and individuals, including MDX.   

  • Migle Simaskaite. Migle is currently studying marketing and working as a Student Learning Assistant here at Middlesex. Migle is in the process of developing a business plan which she wants to launch after graduating from Middlesex. 

Panel 2: Beyond 2020: What Happens Next?

2020 has been an unprecedented year. Stock markets have been shaken, working and studying practices have changed, and politics and social movements have taken centre stage in national and international news. But what happens now? Join this panel to discuss what the future might hold. 

In this Student Success Festival exclusive panel, we discuss the impact of the challenges of the year 2020,  how we got to this point in the first place, and what we need to learn to make the future a better place. Our Student Success Festival organisers, Faith, Jo and Zdenka, are joined by: 

  • Jeanette Ng. Jeannette is an award-winning fantasy author and journalist for Foreign Policy Magazine. Jeanette is also a political activist and a voice of change.  

  • Dr Theo Gilbert. Theo is an Associate Professor in Teaching and Learning, at the University of Hertfordshire’s Learning and Teaching Innovation Centre. Theo’s research addresses students’ mental health, staff workloads (and mental health), and inequalities within ethnic groups in the UK.  

  • Mark Thomas. Mark is a comedian, presenter, political satirist and journalist, best known for his activism and challenging the status quo. Mark has published books and won three human rights awards for his work.  

  • Dr Anastasia Cristou. Anastasia is Associate Professor of Sociology at Middlesex with a long-term interest in issues of inequality, diversity and exclusion as regards gender, class, race and ethnicity in migrant, minority, youth and ageing groups. Anastasia has written three books and has a long history of research into humanities and social sciences.  

  • Dr Mehmetali Dikerdem. MDX lecturer and activist, Mehmetali is one of the three founders of the Race & Culture Programme set up in British HE to `decolonise’ the curriculum. He is an active member of the University and College Union and a researcher in Colonialism and Imperialism, Political Sociology, Practice Theory, and the History and Politics of the Middle East. 

Panel 3: The Future of the Hashtag: Can The Internet Make the World a Better Place?

The internet presents a unique space for social change, but is that a good thing? In what ways has the internet helped bring about positive, affirmative action, or is it truly a hive of inequity and trolls? Join this panel to discuss what the internet—and our students—can do to help make the world a better place.

In this Student Success Festival exclusive panel, we discuss the internet. Can it be (will it be?) a platform to create positive social change and bring good to the real world? How do we navigate the internet and avoid harm? Our Student Success Festival organisers, Faith, Jo and Zdenka, are joined by: 

  • Magid Magid. Magid was recently named one of TIME’s 100 rising stars shaping the future of the world for his work in politics and activism. He was the youngest ever Lord Mayor of his beloved city, Sheffield.   

  • Dr Azumah Dennis. Azuma currently works for the Open University as a Senior Lecturer in the field of Education, Leadership and Management. Her main research areas are educational policies, ethics and social justice. 

  • Dr Rima Saini. Rima is a Lecturer in Sociology at Middlesex University London and co-lead on the BA Sociology programmes. Rima is a member of the MDX Anti-Racist Network Steering Group. 

  • Alexandra Pitt. Alex is Senior Academic Developer at Imperial with multi-disciplinary profile, from the social sciences to the creative arts, and she has a keen interest in value, community, and the celebration of difference.