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Board Profiles

Meet the NASMA Board

 

Stephen McCartney, NASMA Chair

StephenCurrently 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 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. Basically everything that no-one else wants.

I qualified as a teacher and have worked in both the primary and secondary sectors. I also currently work as a part time lecturer, specialising in the whole area of disability.

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.

Over the past number of years I have been the Northern Ireland Policy Rep and I thoroughly enjoyed working with others from across the Nations. As far as I know, I am the first Northern Ireland and also the first FE member to be chair of NASMA.  I am keen to encourage more members to join NASMA from both the HE and FE sectors right across the country, and linking appropriately with other organisations with similar aims and objectives.

In my spare time, I have a never ending love affair with my garden. Keeping it looking good, and then relaxing in it, with a glass of wine, watching it grow again!

Vice-Chair Governance & Operations, Jude Cringle

Jude CringleI 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, Gareth Pearse (profile to follow)

 

Vice-Chair Training & Development, Andrew Withey

 Andy WitheyI have worked in HE for 10 years now, starting at University of Leeds before making the move to Leeds Beckett University in 2015.

At Leeds Beckett, I manage our Student Money team, made up of money advisers, Hardship Fund assessors and our US Loans office. We have a diverse student body and the team work across both our city and Headingley campuses, providing support to those students most in need. We also arrange a number of activities and workshops throughout the year to help educate and inform both our students and staff.  

I’m new to the NASMA board but really looking forward to meeting more members and hearing thoughts on what our priorities should be.

Being father of two young daughters, a lot of my free time is spent standing at the bottom of a slide waiting for one of them to make their way down. I’m also a keen photographer, and when not pointing a camera at my family, I concentrate on weddings.  

Vice-Chair Finance (currently vacant)

 

Northern Ireland Policy, Alison Young

I have been in my role as Student support Officer for the past two and half 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 would run financial planning workshops throughout the year for students. I am a relative newcomer to the world of student finance and am keen to enhance my knowledge in all aspects of financial student support.  I am looking forward to sitting on the NASMA board and getting the chance to enhance my professional knowledge. 

England Policy, 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!!!

 

Beryl Dixon, Wales Policy

BerylI 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. 

Kellie McAlonan, Scotland Policy 

KellieI have been working with students since 2006 when I was elected as a sabbatical officer at the University of Paisley Students Association, with a keen interest in students and their money. I made the move to working in the University of West Scotland’s Student Services Team in 2008, and now manage the Funding and Advice Team.

My role at UWS involves managing a team who advise prospective and current students on all things student funding, administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds and develop the financial capability strategy within the university. The team also deal with a variety of welfare issues, including housing, benefit entitlements and debts.

With a diverse student population across 5 campuses of UWS, I am passionate about services meeting the needs of all types of students. I work closely with our Widening Participation team to ensure prospective students are supported in their journey to and through UWS.

I am new to the NASMA Board but hope to ensure the Scottish voice is represented (despite originally being from Norther Ireland) and NASMA continues to develop strong relationships with stakeholders in Scotland. 

Financial Capability Champion, Hayley Borrett (profile to follow shortly)

 

FE Liaison, Alison Young 

 I have been in my role as Student support Officer for the past two and half 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 would run financial planning workshops throughout the year for students. I am a relative newcomer to the world of student finance and am keen to enhance my knowledge in all aspects of financial student support.  I am looking forward to sitting on the NASMA board and getting the chance to enhance my professional knowledge.

There are currently two vacant positions on the NASMA Board.  If you are interested in either of these roles please do not hesitate to contact the NASMA office at:  office@nasma.org.uk

  • Campaigns Co-ordinator
  • Vice-Chair Finance

 

Last Updated: August 2019