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Class notes

Where has life taken your classmates since graduation?

Whether it's a summary of recent years or a latest career achievement, perhaps a marriage proposal or birth announcement, classnotes are a great way of sharing news and inspiring others in the community.

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Denise Gargan - BA Economics, 1980

Denise studied at Teesside in 1978 as a U.S. study abroad student and over the years has made banking her lifelong career. Having just turned 65, Denise shares that she was grateful for the time spent at Teesside as it opened her eyes in many ways - encouraging her to take risks and to reach further. Denise went into study at Drexel University in Philadelphia and earned her MBA. Denise currently manages endowments and foundations at PNC Bank and would love to visit the campus again to relive her time there. “It was fabulous!!”

Uma Bird (née Mungol) - Diploma Management Studies, 1989

Uma has been teaching in California for the last 15 years, having moved Stateside over 22 years ago with her husband - also at Teesside alum. She shares “Teesside holds very dear to my career and also where I met my husband of 31 years. We have both been very fortunate to have travelled and lived in many different places. So grateful, thank you Teesside!”

David Miller - BA Business Studies, 1986

David is proud to report that 37 years ago (when Teesside University was a Polytechnic) he became the first non-University graduate marketing trainee with United Biscuits, before moving into the world of advertising and strategic planning. David's professional life culminated in merging and running WPP's marketing strategy house, specialising in financial services. He later quit to advise and reposition the heritage luxury brand Debrett's before selling on the business. Subsequently involved in setting up and running a fintech business, David has also picked up a couple of Non-Executive Director roles along the way.

David Miller - BA Business Studies, 1989

David has had a life in retail since studying at Teesside - taking him from the boardroom of Harrods to the desert of Qatar. Married 3 times - the last time only a short time ago - David has two grown up daughters and now a young son. He has recently turned his hand to the commercial world of UK manufacturing and enjoys life living in the Garden of England, Kent.

Mark Brian - Advanced Diploma Leisure Management, 1993

Mark started work at Kingston University as their Sports Development Officer. From there he worked with BUSA / British Universities & Colleges Sport [BUCS] where he managed several sports, went on to set up their International Department, attended 4 World University Games and managed the HQ for England at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2002. Mark took over the role of Head of Sport at BUCS, leading the largest sporting programme in Europe. Mark now works as Head of Sport at Durham University.

Mark Suddes - BA Business and Finance, 1996

Mark worked at Procter & Gamble for 24 years in Belgium, UK & USA. He is currently a finance director based in Newcastle.

Ertugrul Partal - BEng Electrical Engineering, 1998

Ertugrul also completed his postgraduate qualification at Teesside, graduating in Advanced Manufacturing Systems in 2002. Initially working as a Power Systems Engineer at EDF Energy Networks and later at the National Grid, Ertugrul continued his career at the Turkish Electricity Transmission Corporation between 2014-2021. Since 2021, he has been working as an expert technical consultant at ADM Electricity Distribution Corporation. Ertugrul is a Chartered Engineer and a full member of Cigre Working Groups. Here he is presenting at CIRED Conference in Rome.

David Barton - BSc Media Technology & Production, 1999

David Barton (BSc Media Technology & Production, 1999) worked in the Commercial Operations Team at ITV upon graduating from University; his role to ensure that the commercial schedule successfully aired for all ITV Regions and channels. He moved to MTV in 2006, followed by a short spell at Sky in 2009, before returning to ITV in 2010 to manage the Commercial Operations Sponsorship team where he now manages both the sponsorship & Commercial teams. David married fellow Teesside alumna, Carly (nee Gaunt) (BSc Computer Science, 2000) in 2005 and they currently live in Slough with their two children. Carly is Development Manager for Iris Software.

Anne Jones - MSc Information Technology, 1995

Anne worked for Atos in manufacturing and rail transport after graduating from University. For the last 13 years she has worked for Cleveland Fire Brigade as a developer. During that time, she created a web-based application to manage the Service's Community Safety Services. While Anne has recent retired, she is proud to have left a tablet App written in C# which the Service uses to carry out fire safety checks.

Clark Ainsworth - BA Business Communication, 1996

After several years working for local newspapers and 16 years as a journalist at the BBC, Clark made the move to Hong Kong in 2016. He's now deputy digital editor of the South China Morning Post.

Mark Pearson - NVQ Customer Service, 1996

Mark started work as an assistant manager at a youth project based in Darlington, then in 2000, moved to Manchester as he was getting married and got a job working as an outreach worker for the National Autistic Society. In 2005 he went back into youth work working for a project in Bury, then in 2007 started working as a Learning Support Assistant in high schools across Manchester. Having worked in education ever since, Mark now lives in Plymouth and continues to support students with additional needs in mainstream lessons. He reports that he loves his job and values the rewards that come with working with the students that he supports.

Mark Brown - BEng Chemical Engineering, 1999

Mark recently launched L4 Financial Management - a consultancy business based in the North East, specialising in part-time and project-specific portfolio finance director services for SMEs. With expertise in Xero accounting software and associated apps, he offers tailored financial management solutions to optimise businesses' financial health.

Gareth Jenkins - BSc Media Technology, 1999

Gareth works as Senior Principal Consultant at Oracle, supporting international HR Systems implementations.

Neil Walsh - BSc (Hons) Psychology & Criminology, 2000 and MSc Criminal Investigation, 2003

Neil works for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime [UNODC) and is Regional Representative for Easten Africa, with a staff of 200, covering 13 countries.

James Bromley - BSc Criminology, 2004

James has had a variety of roles from working within Customs and Excise and the RSPCA, to a Professional Football Club Charity Foundation. James is currently CEO at a local charity in Derbyshire.

Jonathan Bracher - BEng CAD Engineering, 2005

Jonathan updates us that he is now married, with a beautiful 10 month old son and lives full time in Stavanger, Norway. After graduating he joined the offshore energy industry as a graduate subsea engineer and has subsequently worked his way up to Lead Engineer at Equinor in Norway, after spending many successful years at tier one subsea construction companies. Jonathan is chartered with IMarEST (awaiting Fellowship) and UK Engineering Council, European Engineer status with FEANI, and recently joining the Society of Underwater Technology on their Norway council on a voluntary basis. He comments “I regularly reflect on my journey since graduating from Teesside, and remain forever grateful to Alan Shaw and the SST teaching staff for preparing me for my career in offshore energy.”

Adam Pickard - BSc Sport and Exercise - Coaching Science, 2006

Adam ince leaving University Adam has mostly worked in education as a primary school teaching assistant and teacher. He recently left the profession and has created Invincible Mindset - a positive, aspirational mindset programme for children and young people. Over 1000 children have been a part of Invincible so far and Adam reports that feedback from schools and local organisations has been extremely positive.

Esther McNeill - MA Education, 2007

Esther shares that “life after TU has been amazing!” Esther has taught at St Margaret Clitherow's Catholic Academy, Middlesbrough before becoming the Lead Teacher at the Autistic Spectrum Unit, based within Beech Grove Primary. This autumn Esther moved to Holmwood SEN school. “I started late in life when it came to study, but I'd say it's never too late!”.

Gareth Healy - PGC Management, 2009

Since graduating, Gareth has worked in several roles at Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, where he is currently the Fleet Manager responsible for all of the Council's 200 vehicles. His commitment to moving towards the fleet being carbon reduced and carbon free, plus his pursuit of adopting green technology was recently acknowledged when Gareth was named Green Fleets Alternative Fuel Vehicle Champion. Gareth reflects that his programme of study helped him to develop the skills necessary to become the successful manager he is today. His own experience of having a mentor while at uni is something he would recommend for any current student, as it was this that he feels has shown him the breadth of opportunity within the sector he now works in - local government.

Charmaine Bale - BSc Forensic Science, 2002

Charmaine reminisces that “Teesside was such a long time ago, and I have previously appeared in a graduate edition in my then role of a Crime Scene Investigator in Wales. I have since moved forces twice, entered Digital Forensics and am now a Lecturer/Dep Course Leader of the Crime and Investigative Studies degree course at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.”

Simon Brown - BA Computer Animation, 2004

Simon reports that he has been working in CG for TV, films and immersive media. He reports that he started off as a generalist working all over the industry, and is now Head of CG at Passion Pictures working with up to 200 colleagues at a time depending on the project.

Amanda Livingstone - BA Fashion Enterprise, 2006

Amanda refocused her career, leaving the fashion industry to work on oil rigs in the North Sea. Amanda has enjoyed time on oil and gas projects in Brunei and Israel, and more recently she has secured a position as a Health and Safety Executive & Compliance [HSE&C] Advisor with BP on the Net Zero Teesside project.

Glynnis Peacock - BSc Computer Studies, 2006

After completing her studies in 2006, Glynnis went on to complete a graduate teacher programme with Stockton GTP, leading her to teach ICT for 5 years at Trinity Catholic College before moving to Outwood Academy Bydales as Head of Computing. 3 years later Glynnis became Assistant Principal responsible for teaching and learning. Glynnis reports that she still has her roots in computing, training and mentoring new computing teachers, and leading on esafety across the school.

Nilupa De Silva - BA Accounting and Finance, 2006

Nilupa joined Central Bank of Sri Lanka in June 2010 as a Management Trainee and is currently working as a Senior Assistant Director at the Bank Supervision Department.

Louise McLaren - BSc Nursing, 2008

Louise qualified as an NHS Staff Nurse and spent time nursing in hospitals as well as out in the community. Having graduated from Northumbria University with a BSc Specialist Practitioner in District Nursing, Louise's current role is as Specialist Nurse with the Bladder and Bowel team.

Klysa Hall - MSc Forensic Science, Crime Scene Investigation, 2009

Since completing studies, Klysa has completed her PGCE and is currently employed as a Policing and Criminology Lecturer at Newcastle College.

Rakesh Nadig - MSc Information Technology, 2011

Rakesh recently reflected that his time studying at Teesside greatly contributed to his career development – the opportunity to specialise at Masters level facilitating his move into a managerial role within his company. He continues “The expertise gained through my PG studies enabled me to attain the highest performance rating at work, leading to my recognition as a recipient of the HCL Achiever award twice in the year 2018 and 2019.”

Arlind Svarca - BA International Management, 2015

Arlind now works in IT sales for a software company, delivering cloud services for B2B customers. He initially started work in a brokerage company, a role he began while still a student.

Oraya Tancharoensap - MA Creative Writing, 2018

Oraya updates us that upon graduating she published her book ‘Lilith: Death's Order’. Available in both Thai and English, Orava's book is available on Amazon. The sequel ‘August: Death's Remnant’ has also now been published.

Alex Gillett - PhD Business 2012

Alex Gillett is currently senior lecturer at the University of York.

Carlos Almeida - BEng Chemical engineering, 2013

After graduation, Carlos worked for BP in his home country of Angola, initially as a production technician in an offshore Installation and then latterly in roles such as Operations Planner. He currently works as a Process Engineer for Azule Energy which is an incorporated joint venture between BP and ENI. He hopes to return to Middlesbrough soon to show his wife the place that gave him the foundation to be who he is today.

Jóhann Østerø - MA Computer Science, 2018

Jóhann has recently updated us that he has worked at Flowcore, the largest telecommunication firm on the Faroe Islands for the last 5 years. He combines this work with also being a part-time computer science teacher at the University of the Faroe Islands and in addition has also released two mobile games, one by his own company (called Gaman Games). Jóhann and his wife are currently building their own house!

Arthur Arepyev - BA Creative Media, 2020

After graduation Arthur continued his studies online and started working in a VFX studio, Universal Production Partners, where he worked on the projects such as Gran Turismo, Barbie and Foundation. After this, he switched to being freelance where he worked creative visuals with different clients such as IQOS. Arthur is currently working for different startups based in the United States developing projects in Unreal Engine, and slowly building his own brand and business.

Domenica Abramo - BSc Aerospace Engineering, 2021

Domenica returned to Italy after studies to pursue her masters degree in Space and Astronautical Engineering. During the last two years she has been involved in many incredible projects related to space and interplanetary exploration. She proclaims “Once a Teessider, always a Teessider! See you soon!”

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