Meet the NASMA Board
Kellie McAlonan, NASMA Chair
I have been working in Student Services at the University of the West of Scotland since 2008. Initially joining the team as a Student Support Adviser, I moved on to become the Student Funding Team Leader and have been in this role for over 10 years. Since taking on this role the team has developed significantly to become a proactive service for students, with the development of financial capability skills being a core strategy in our service delivery.
I have been on the NASMA Board since 2017 in the role of Scotland Policy Rep and have thoroughly enjoyed this experience. During this time I represented NASMA on the Scottish Government Project Board that has delivered the new Student Information Scotland resource, designed to be an initial and comprehensive resource for all types of students embarking on study, and includes a financial capability focus.
Through this role I have also worked closely with SAAS, developing a working relationship that features NASMA as a partner in operational and strategic discussions, and representing the views of Scottish members.
I look forward to continuing to be part of the NASMA Board, this time in the position of Chair, and look forward to working with the Board, NASMA Office, Committees and wider membership to support our members.
Vice-Chair Governance & Operations, Jude Cringle
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.
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.
Vice-Chair Communications, Alison Young
I have been in my role as Student support Officer for 5.5 years. The college I work in is a small rural college, which supports the agri food industry within Northern Ireland. It provides both further and higher education programmes. My role covers all three of our campuses and is unique in that each campus has a very different student demographic and each comes with their own set of challenges.
A significant part of my role involves advising students about financial matters, such as student loans, benefits and financial hardship issues. I co-ordinate the college’s Hardship fund and run financial planning workshops throughout the year for students. I joined the NASMA board in the role of NI policy three years ago. Being on the board has been one of the best experiences of my career to date. I have developed a lot of new skills and have enhanced my knowledge of student finance considerably.
As Vice-Chair Communications I am keen to work in partnership with my board colleagues, the NASMA office, the membership and all regions to develop an openness and transparency for members as part of this role. My working life is a busy one. In my spare time I enjoy, reading, participating in the park walk scheme and spending time with my family
Vice-Chair Finance, Alan Humphries
I am currently a Welfare Adviser at Coventry University Students’ Union (CUSU) where I’ve worked for nearly a year. Prior to that I worked at the Student Union at Birmingham City University for 6 and a half years. I offer a wide range of advice including academic, housing and basic immigration but my main area of responsibility is now money and finance advice.
I advise on all things Student Finance England, help with debt issues such as budget plans, debt management and, if needed, Court representation. I also assist in managing our Emergency Fund and am in the process of helping to set up a digital Money Doctors service for our students across all of our Campuses in Coventry, London, Barking & Dagenham and Scarborough.
On joining the higher education sector, I saw the increasingly valuable work that NASMA does for students and wanted to become more involved and moving to CUSU has given me the opportunity to do that. I worked on NSMW19, have been part of the training & Development Committee that delivered this year’s Conference and am currently also Chair of the Midlands Region. NASMA can play a crucial role in all things finance for students and I want to be part of the process that drives that.
My background is both legal and financial as I am a non-practising Solicitor (by choice!!!) and helped to set up a local authority Appointeeship Unit that is still going (more to do with them than anything I did!!!) in Sandwell, which helps vulnerable people with learning difficulties and mental health issues manage their finances through the Court of Protection and the Department for Works and Pensions.
In my spare time I’m a Councillor on my local Town Council, do some amateur dramatics, play tennis and read a lot as well as being a season ticket holder at Birmingham City going to the away games as well (I bet you wish you’d voted for someone else now!!!). Oh and I have five cats!!!
Vice-Chair Training & Development - vacancy
Emma-Jane Quirke, England Policy
Hi, I’m Emma–Jane Quirke. I’ve been a member of NASMA for about 15 years. I have been regional chair for the North East Region for about 5 years. NASMA has been invaluable to me as a support network and I am delighted to be part of the Board now. I have worked at Leeds Trinity University since 2005 as a Student Adviser, providing general welfare advice to students but mainly focusing on Money Advice. I also manage the university hardship funds. One of the main parts of my role is helping applicants and students with their student finance applications, eligibility queries and delayed funding problems so I hope I am well placed to be a point of liaison for NASMA with the SLC on student finance matters.
Judith McMeekin, Northern Ireland Policy
I have been working in the Student Wellbeing team at Ulster University from September 2014, initially as a Student Wellbeing Assistant, before moving into the role of Student Money Coordinator in October 2015. From my commencement in this role, we have designed and implemented an online financial support application process that allows students to submit and track applications throughout the academic year, from the comfort of their own home.
This new way of working aided us in our goal of developing an holistic approach, ensuring that not only did our students receive financial support where required, but offering support and guidance (from funding your studies to money management), seamless referrals into other areas of our wellbeing team, signposting to external support agencies and providing proactive support in increasing student’s financially capability further, with the roll-out of our ‘Mind Your Money’ workshops in 2017.
Our team of two became three in 2019 and we have continued to expand on our supportand guidance to students, with a renewed focus on our social media streams.Throughout my time at Ulster, I have developed strong working relationships with various external agencies, charities and regional organisations, such as local SFNI offices and FE colleges. My downtime has changed recently since completing my part-time degree. I can now focus on completing Netflix.
Emma Griffiths, Wales Policy
My name is Emma Griffiths and I am a Funding and Money Advisor at Glyndwr University. I deal with providing funding advice for prospective and current students, giving budgeting advice and processing all of the hardship applications. I have worked at Glyndwr for 15 years, starting in the finance department in 2005 and moving to the funding and money advice team 8 years ago. I have been the Wales regional Chair for 2 years and have really enjoyed getting to know all of the members in Wales at our regional meetings. I am thrilled to have been nominated for the position of Wales Policy Board member and I am excited to learn this new role and how the NASMA board works. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues on the board.
Scotland Policy - vacancy
Financial Capability Champion, Hayley Borrett
I am currently a student support officer at Keele university and work as a money specialist. I have been at Keele for almost 5 years now and had previously worked at Harper Adams University in the Registry team. My role at Keele covers a range of responsibilities from processing hardship fund applications and several other scholarships and bursaries to providing one to one advice and guidance. I am also a dedicated contact for care leaver and estranged students and feel passionate about supporting these students during their study and their transitions.
This will be my second year as Financial Capability Champion and I am looking forward to working with the Financial Capability Committee and my fellow board members on existing campaigns such as NSMW, as well as introducing some supportive resources for colleagues across the sector to use in their own work to improve financial capability in students.
When I’m not at work I can usually be found trying to increase my running ability, pretending to be a knowledgeable gardener or upcycling furniture!
Campaigns Coordinator, Sophie Taylor (profile to follow)
I’m currently the Head of Student Support at Birmingham City University having started the role in January 2020 where I manage a team of advisers supporting students with student funding, debt issues, benefits and anything else money related. My background is in student financial support across both further and higher education, having gained over ten years’ experience working in the field so I’d like to think I’ll bring a broad range of experience to the NASMA board. Outside of work I have a keen interest in social policy, in particular around welfare benefits and housing and I’m looking forward to starting my Masters in Education (HE Leadership) in September 2020. When I have spare time I like to visit RHS gardens nationwide as I’m an enthusiastic gardener and I love to bake.
FE Liaison - vacancy
There are currently 3 vacant positions on the NASMA Board. If you are interested in any of these roles please do not hesitate to contact the NASMA office at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice-Chair Training & Development
- FE Liaison
- Scotland Policy