College of Social Sciences Birmingham Professional

Lorraine Gaytten"Welcome to the Birmingham Professional Programme for professional services staff in the College of Social Sciences. As Director of Operations for the College and Professional Services lead, I am committed to the development and support of all of our professional services colleagues. We play a vital role in the success of our College and are at the heart of our University. 

To continue to build on our achievements the Birmingham Professional initiative has been designed to:

- Provide development and networking opportunities
- Recognise and celebrate best practice and new innovations across the College
- Enhance communication and wellbeing

I very much hope you will take the opportunity to attend some of sessions that may be of interest and that you will encourage your staff and colleagues to do the same.  We welcome any new ideas for future sessions that you feel would be beneficial; please contact our Programme Lead or get in touch with the Programme Champion for your School if you would like to be involved in shaping and designing your future. 

Finally, I would like to thank you for the immense contribution each of you make to the College and very much look forward to working with you to continue to build on this great work together."

Upcoming events

06/08/2019 - 28/08/2020
Craft event for CoSS Staff

CoSS Wellbeing Taskforce Cans not Cards

04/11/2019 - 13/12/2019
JG Smith Building - room G36
CoSS Wellbeing Taskforce Cans not Cards

Everything You Wanted To Know About Being A PI… But Were Afraid To Ask!

Muirhead Tower 112-113
The College of Social Sciences is delighted to invite you to our new year event.

CoSS Wellbeing Taskforce Tai Chi

14/01/2020 - 16/06/2020
St Francis Hall Multi Faith Chaplaincy Main Worship Space (O2 on campus map)
CoSS Wellbeing Taskforce Tai Chi event page
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Your Birmingham Professional contacts

The following people are key contact points for all Birmingham Professional activities and events for the College and if you have any questions, ideas or suggestions for future activities or events please do get in touch – we want to hear from you! We meet regularly throughout the year and work closely with the University’s Birmingham Professional Working Group.

CoSS Programme Lead - Kelly Kealey

College Hub

Contact Kelly at

More about Kelly...

I am the Centre Manager for Women’s Enterprise, Leadership, Economy and Diversity (WE LEAD). I manage the day to day activities of WE LEAD, undertaking project management and stakeholder engagement roles, as well as a variety of administrative duties to ensure the smooth running of the Centre. Two key areas of my work are event management and communication activities, which are essential for creating an arena for debate, for putting research into practice and for the dissemination of WE LEAD’s work. I would like the CoSS Birmingham Professional Programme to benefit colleagues across the college, by organising engaging events that will help to develop skills and knowledge. The programme will also provide an excellent opportunity to network and connect with members of staff across the college and I am looking forward to working with all of the champions to develop an exciting programme of events!

Kelly Kealy

CoSS Champion - Adrian Leech

School of Education

Contact Adrian at

More about Adrian...

As a Birmingham Professional Champion I find myself working alongside enthusiastic and dynamic colleagues. I hope this experience will allow me to develop my own administrative and organisational skills whilst at the same time putting my knowledge and experience of working at the University over many years to good practical use.

My first post in Higher Education was as a Resource Assistant in the Regional RE Centre based at Westhill College (now the Selly Oak Campus). Starting in 1986, I remained at Westhill in various roles including; Centre Administrator, finance assistant, publication sales and programme administrator. I was involved in the introduction of the new student loan scheme and can remember issuing cheques to students on their arrival! Westhill College became part of the School of Education (SoE) in the 1999-2000 academic year and since that time I have worked mainly for the SoE although I have had spells working in the Academic Office, Central Timetabling and the Business School. Current and more recent roles in the SoE include; Extenuating Circumstances Officer (previously mitigations) Reasonable Adjustments Contact (RAC), responding to complaints and appeals, plagiarism and the joys of timetabling. My previous experience helps me immensely in my current post as Welfare Officer. 

Many Professional Services colleagues do not see personal or career development as being something applicable to them or something they aspire too, I hope to use my time on the team to change at least some of those opinions.

The Birmingham Professional programme is an excellent way of meeting colleagues from different schools within CoSS and from across the University.

Adrian Leech

CoSS Champion - Andy Howell

School of Government

Contact Guvinder at

More about Andy...

After working as a filmmaker for a few years after graduating university, I began working at the University of Birmingham; first in the Medical School, then Education, and finally School of Government, where I have risen to be Undergraduate (Deputy) Manager. My role already involves some events organisation in the Applicant Visit Days I manage, and as this is my favourite part of the job I jumped at the opportunity to become the COSS Champion for Government.

Having attended COSS Birmingham Professional events previously and been impressed by their high standards, I look forward to being involved in helping to deliver similarly diverse and exciting events in the future. I am also looking forward to building more links with colleagues in different departments and colleges, which will allow me to be more efficient in both this role and my regular job.


CoSS Champion - Jessica Agnew

School of Social Policy

Contact Jessica at

More about Jessica...

I have worked within the School of Social Policy since 2015 in the role of Student Recruitment Administrator. A large part of my role includes planning various recruitment events, this is an aspect of my role that I really enjoy and hope to bring these skills to the CoSS Birmingham Professional team. Since working at the university I have attended several Birmingham Professional events and have always found them engaging and beneficial.  I look forward to working with colleagues across the college and wider university through this inclusive forum.

Jessica Agnew

CoSS Champion - Naazlin Somani

College Hub

Contact Naazlin at

More about Naazlin...

I currently work in the College Hub as Committee Secretary and PA to the Director of Internationalisation and Deputy Director of Operations (Education). I am primarily responsible for facilitating College Board and College level Committee Meetings as well as supporting the Directors. Since starting at the University I have attended a number of Birmingham Professional events which I found useful in broadening my knowledge. My role at the University requires excellent organisation and forward planning. Having been given the opportunity to become a champion for the College, I am looking forward to bringing these skill and others to the team as well as developing, at the University, my event planning and marketing skills. 

Naazlin Somani

Event recaps and resources

After each Birmingham Professional event we will be producing reports that will provide a recap of the activity as well as sharing feedback and photography from the day. We will also make resources such as presentations available.

Birmingham Professional Event Recap: Mindfulness Series

Birmingham Professional Event Recap: Mindfulness Series
This series of four one hour lunchtime sessions provided an introduction to mindfulness. The group were guided through meditation by Dr David Mair, who explained about "monkey mind" and the basics of mindfulness.
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After each Birmingham Professional event we would really value your feedback and opinion and we will be asking you to complete a brief evaluation of the event. The feedback is used to help us plan future events and activities.

Since 2013 the rolling average for satisfaction for College Birmingham Professional events is 3.5/4.0 and it is only through your feedback that we’re able to continue to offer events which are interesting and relevant to the College’s professional services staff.