Board Profiles 2016-17
Meet the NASMA Board
Rob Ellis, NASMA Chairperson
My name is Rob Ellis; I am a Chartered Manager and have worked as a Student Money Adviser in Higher Education for almost 10 years. I have held a number of roles on the NASMA Board, ranging from Welsh Policy Rep to Treasurer to my current role as NASMA Chair.
As NASMA Chair, I lead the board and office staff to ensure the organisation’s strategic aims align with the best interests of our members and that NASMA continues to grow and move forward. I am passionate about professional development, empowering people to progress and succeed and am constantly looking for ways to improve and professionalise both NASMA as an organisation and the money-advice profession. With this in mind, I actively create and provide training for both NASMA members and other external membership organisations to ensure that professional training is provided on key issues from within the sector.
I am enthusiastic and determined to improve our organisation further. Being on the NASMA Board has allowed me to develop my own skills and knowledge immensely and I relish the opportunity to represent my colleagues from across the UK.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and baby daughter. I also enjoy sport being a lifelong Leicester City fan and am a keen gardener.”
Louise Miles - Vice-Chair Governance & Operations
I am now into my 3rd year as a board member and my first term as the VC Governance & Operations, after moving from Wales Policy Rep to a more senior position on the board.
My aim is to ensure that we adhere to the compliance tasks, complete all reports on time, keep records up to date and offer support to our board wherever needed as expected within the role.
Equally it is also expected that I support the board with projects that will be beneficial for the membership and to enhance the reputation of NASMA. I sit on the Campaigns Committee and intend to move forward with a campaign to support gambling awareness within the student population.
I work closely with the Policy Board members and regional chair within Wales to ensure that NASMA is aware of relevant consultations and that our region is supported locally with training opportunities.
I will continue to chair meetings, deliver training sessions at board meetings and the NASMA annual conference. I am particularly proud that there are now 4 board members from Wales, this represents a strong region of NASMA award winning members.
Tom Levin, Vice-Chair Communications
It's my third year on the board, but my first within the Communications role and a Vice Chair member of the board. It has been challenging, enjoyable and each year has allowed me to gain new skills and experiences. Highlights have been meeting and helping with the annual conferences and producing the materials that will potentially be read by 600 plus members and more.
The day job is spent at Liverpool John Moores University as a Student Funds Officer. Helping students to navigate their way through the Student Support system. This has kept me busy for over 6 years.
I am soon to be a father so the challenges are still coming and time is becoming a commodity. This will be my last year on the board, and it has been a pleasure!
Michelle Jagger, Vice-Chair Training & Development
I have worked at the University of Exeter since September 1998, initially with the University as Student Funding Manager, and from June 2003 moving to the Students’ Guild (our student union) where I have had various job titles the latest being Student Support Manager. This involves management of the Advice Unit which provides advice to students on funding, housing, academic related matters, welfare and a lot more. In addition I also support student welfare peer support groups to establish and operate, and from this month I have taken on an additional role coordinating the Guild provision at our other campus in Exeter at St Luke’s. This includes providing direct access to advice 5 days a week as well as developing the services over time in response to student feedback. I probably spend at least 50% of my time involved in direct advice work with students and funding related enquiries equate for about 30% of this work. In addition the Advice Unit has the remit for providing funding advice and information on behalf of the University to all prospective students and their families so we deliver over 100 hours of funding talks ranging from a 10minute overview to interactive sessions with local schools and colleges. I have also been the South West Regional Coordinator since 2014 ( my second stint following an initial one from 2010-12 when the role was part of the NASMA Board) which I really enjoy as an opportunity to bring colleagues together for networking and support.
As VC Training and Development my role is to lead on all training and accreditation developments. This includes the organisation of the annual conference and a programme of other training events throughout the year. This is very much done in partnership with the NASMA Training Manager and Training and Development Committee involving some very knowledgeable and experienced NASMA members. This year our focus is exploring a move towards online accreditation and, longer term, online learning resources for our members. Our key objective is to further advance and enhance on the status of NASMA and its members as the leading experts in funding and money advice to students across the UK.
Outside of my day job and NASMA I lead a busy life with my family including a teenage daughter and a scruffy but very loveable Jack Russell. Leisure time usually involves walking and exploring the beautiful countryside of the South West, and annual holidays to Austria for summer walking and clean mountain air. I also enjoy a good murder either in TV drama or novel form and have become quite the expert in thinking up devious ways to bump someone off!!
Hannah Bundy, Vice-Chair Finance
I am a Student Adviser in the Advice and Money Team at Cardiff University but have worked in Student Finance for the last twelve years. My main responsibilities involve provision of information and advice to pre-entry and current students on statutory funding, as well as dealing with other welfare issues such as housing or academic. For me, part of the interest of the job is not knowing what query might come through the door next!
As NASMA's Vice-Chair Finance it is my responsibility to ensure NASMA meets all of its financial commitments and requirements. For example, submitting the annual accounts and complying with changes to workplace pensions. I also action the payment of salaries and other associated costs incurred by NASMA.
Within my team at Cardiff I take the lead on financial capability. This is a topic that I am passionate about and believe that knowledge is power in allowing people to make informed financial decisions. However, it can be hard to get information out to people who don’t know they need it. Through working on the Financial Capability and Research Working Group I hope to continue to develop the hard work that has been put into establishing financial capability on the HE agenda, to continue to help grow the NSMW campaign and to contribute to the work of the board generally.
Out of work I co-run a pop-up board games café and am often found out and about walking with my husband and our husky.
Stephen McCartney, Northern Ireland Policy
Currently I work as the Head of Student Services within the Northern Regional College in Northern Ireland. The Northern Regional College is one of six regional colleges in Northern Ireland and is mainly a Further Education College with some Higher Education provision. As well as managing the Student Finance Team, I also have responsibility for Careers, Education Support, Safeguarding, Student Counselling, Pastoral care, Libraries and the Student Union. I am also an active member of the National Association Managers of Student Services (NAMSS).
So while I don’t consider myself to be an expert in student funding, my knowledge has grown over the years with all the changes that have occurred, and I am fairly clued in to what is happening on the ground for students, and also at a strategic level with our local Department for the Economy. I also think it is vital that Northern Ireland is represented on the Board of NASMA so I will do my utmost to relay issues that affect students here. I am also keen to encourage more members to join NASMA from the FE sector right across the country
Having worked on the Board of NASMA before, I am aware of the workload and how I can positively contribute to what is an excellent membership organisation.
Beryl Dixon, Wales Policy
I have worked in the advice sector for over 16 years and have been at Glyndwr University working with students for the last 11 years. I am currently the manager of the Student Funding and Welfare Team and I have recently joined the Board of National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) as Welsh Policy Rep.
At Glyndwr University I manage a small team of people who work primarily with home and EU prospective and current students to inform and assist in applying for their statutory student funding and I also help on a variety of welfare issues including accommodation and money management.
My role within the team centres around IAG on Statutory Student Funding, especially if a student has issues, the responsibility for the distribution of all discretionary student funds including the university hardship fund, Financial Literacy and acting as the main point of contact and mentor for students accessing the University’s Care Leaver Scheme.
Outside of work my main priority is my ever growing family of four children with partners and six (soon to be seven) grandchildren. If I have a spare moment I love to read mainly historical novels and holiday in the sun.
Jude Cringle, England Policy
I am an experienced Student Welfare Adviser and have been at Middlesex University since 2001. Before that I spent three and a half years as a Student Adviser at Newham College FE. In my current role I provide specialist and confidential advice on a range of topics including student financial support, money management, social security benefits, tax credits, childcare, housing, basic immigration law and general welfare. The advice is delivered through one-to-one casework, student workshops and targeted events.
In my role as NASMA England Policy I attend the DWP Operational Stakeholder Engagement Forums and the Improving Communications Group. I have also attended the DSA Stakeholder Group. I am a member of the Training and Development Committee and have assisted in finding venues, trainers and supported the NASMA Office during the annual conference. In addition, I respond to student and policy queries received by the NASMA Office.
My wealth of experience in the sector has allowed me to develop my knowledge based skills as well as practical skills and I hope to bring these to the Board.
Ann Gordon, Scotland Policy
I’ve been working at the University of Dundee in the Student Funding Unit since 2001, and have just started a 2 year secondment within Student Funding as Financial Capability Adviser. Despite so many changes in University funding, our small unit repeatedly receives praise from both students and staff on campus for our good work.
With this secondment, I’ve got the difficult job of juggling two different emphasis’s – one part is dealing with our institutions RUK Bursaries & Scholarships, the other part is promoting financial capability. I still meet with students having financial difficulties and/or those experiencing problems with their funding. I regularly liaise with many of our Student Services departments as well as academics and our student association
In 2014/15 I was co-opted to the NASMA role of Scotland Policy, and at Conference 2015 I was elected for another 2 years in this role. The experiences I have had over my time as a Board Member has increased my knowledge in NASMA matters exponentially, and really brought home the good work that all NASMA members carry out.
I have also been a member of the Training & Development Committee since 2015/16, which, much to my delight, arranged a PDD in Edinburgh in April 2016 which was a great success. Looking forward to another one this year!
Outside of work, now that my daughter is off and away to university, her Dad and I are experiencing a new lease of life! We’ve been to a couple of concerts and even managed a city break to Berlin in April! First time we’d been abroad in 20 years, so life really does begin at 50 (or whenever your kids leave home!)
Rachel Glover, Campaigns Co-ordinator - profile to follow
My name is Rachel Glover and I am the newly elected Campaigns Co-ordinator at NASMA, I also Chair the Campaigns Working Group. If you are interested in getting involved please do not hesitate to drop me an email.
As a Student Money Advisor at King’s College London, I rely on NASMA to be able to connect with other Advisors across the UK and run our annual National Student Money Week campaign.
I am very passionate about financial capability and giving young people the skills that they need to manage their finances and make the most of their money whatever their budget.
In addition to giving advice on financial issues, I also run the Money Mentors programme. These are current students that have been trained to provide their peers with essential money saving tips and budgeting tools. The Mentors also attend events and promote money themed campaigns throughout the year.
I graduated from the University of Reading with a 2:1 in BA Politics and International Relations. I developed my passion for financial education when after graduating I took a job with Student Finance England as a Presenter on the Student Finance Tour. It was this experience that enhanced my knowledge of student funding and made me realise the need for financial education for all young people.
I have also previously worked for an MP as a Caseworker and really enjoyed the rewarding element of casework. My most recent role before I came to King’s was Student Officer at The Money Charity where I managed the Student Moneymanual project, an essential guide to managing your money for students which the charity produces in partnership with UCAS and NUS.
In the office I get called the ‘Wheeler dealer’ as I am always finding bargains and selling old things to make a bit of extra cash. I will never say no to a cup of green tea and a slice of cake!
Anita Bailey, Financial Capability Champion
name is Ani, and in addition to my role on the NASMA Board as Fin Cap Champion, I am also the Chair of the Financial Capability and Research Working Group. I am a Student Adviser at Ravensbourne in North Greenwich and have been in this role for over 4 years. My position is a dual role; as well as Finance Support and advice I am also responsible for our Accommodation Services. Over the past few years I have focused on collaborative working, extending resources based on student feedback and have developed projects to improve the services. I enjoy the challenge of working within a creative environment, supporting our diverse student community through money management, money campaigns, funding and advice work.
My role at NASMA has allowed me many opportunities to network with external organisations and to continue to build strong partnerships to benefit our members. This includes our ongoing work with the Money Advice Service as well as representing NASMA as part of the National Strategy for Financial Capability Steering group. We are in the process of planning for the next National Student Money Week and I enjoy working closely with the rest of the group.
I love music, true crime podcasts, reading and writing short stories.
Sophie Maholland, FE Liaison
I have worked within welfare and funding in education for over eight years and currently work as the Student Budget Counsellor at University College Birmingham, dealing with both further and higher education students. I provide advice and guidance on all money matters and manage a range of funds for students facing financial difficulty. I am currently the point of contact for independent and estranged students and I’m responsible for developing an entry offer that meets their needs.
The FE Liaison role will give the further education sector a voice on the board and it is my intention to build and develop a membership that meets the needs of advisors working within FE and bring FE funding and policy issues to the attention of the board for discussion. I’m also on the Policy Committee representing the FE sector.
I have been a NASMA member for two years and honestly don’t know what I did before I had membership. I wouldn’t be as successful in my role without it as it offers the opportunity to share experiences and knowing and find solutions to complex issues and it is my aim to develop this community amongst our FE members.
I am also studying myself, I’m currently in the final year of my BA (Hons) Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice which relates directly to my job role. My studies have developed a keen interest in social policy, in particular around homelessness policy and the welfare benefits system.
When I’m not working, studying or parenting a teenage daughter I enjoy holidays (preferably somewhere sunny!), gardening and when I have time, baking amazing cupcakes.
Last Updated: 31 October, 2016