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Branch Exec Photos and Biographies Officers

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Pauline Collins, Branch President


Pauline CollinsPauline joined the OU as an AL in 2000 on one of the Openings Courses. Prior to that she worked in the voluntary sector for 20 years as well as teaching at the University of Ulster. Pauline has been on the Exec for many years, she was a member of the UCU National Exec Committee and she has taken on the role of Pensions officer.




Caitlin Adams, Vice President

Caitlin Adams

Caitlin is the Research and Enterprise Manager for the Arts Faculty, where she has been a UCU Faculty ‘Rep’ and caseworker for three years. Before joining the Open University, she helped to form a UCU branch at The Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London, subsequently serving as Equality Officer and President. She holds a doctorate in History from the University of Michigan and was employed as a lecturer before moving to academic-related work. Caitlin is a member of ROCC and active in the UCU campaign for the English regions.





Kate Servant, Vice President

Kate Servant

Kate joined the OU in 1994, working first as an administrator in what was to become Student Services, then moving to IT to become an analyst in 2000. During this time she has also studied OU courses in the Arts, Science and MCT faculties. Kate has been a member of the union since 1996, she is an experienced caseworker, one of the UCU reps for IT and is currently on secondment to the UCU office.





Lesley Kane, Honorary Secretary

Lesley KaneLesley works for the OU because she still believes in its original ethos of opening higher education to those who would not otherwise have access to it, even though the policies of successive governments, bent on turning education into a marketable commodity, have increasingly created obstacles to that mission. Lesley tutors an entry level computing course, and a Masters level Fractal Geometry course. Lesley has taught in HE most of her life, with a five-year break as a computer programmer-analyst, after which she moved from Languages to Maths and Computing.





Peter Piper, Honorary Treasurer


Peter PiperPeter joined the OU as a student in 1972 and then became an AL (Tutor counsellor) in 1986. Initially he was part of the Technology faculty, but now he is in Science. Peter joined the Union in 2003 and has been on the Exec Committee for 4 years.

Prior to the OU, Peter worked as a Science Teacher at Firth Park Community Arts College in Sheffield. Peter has been a local Exec member for NASUWT and an accredited Health & Safety representative for NASUWT and the MU. He was also a paid official for the Musicians’ Union from 1978-2004, prior to its regionalisation.




Denzil de Souza, Equality Officer


Denzil de SouzaDenzil originally started at the OU as an agency temp in October 2001, progressing to a fixed-term contractor from Dec 2001 until August 2013, when he was made a permanent member of staff. During this time, and up to August 2006, he was employed as a Project Officer in the then, Faculty of Education and Language Studies (FELS). Sep 2006-Dec 2007 - Denzil ran the Computing Helpdesk, comprising a diverse team of 20+ staff members on, including resource planning and project management. This involved regular and frequent communication with both ALs and students, providing them with 1st level on-line teaching and learning support. Jan 2008 to July 2008 – Denzil held two secondments: Course Manager in FELS and Business Project Leader in the VLE Office. Aug 2008-May 2010 – Leading the Service Delivery Team, Denzil managed a team of 14 technically skilled service administrators and assistants, in the building of over 500 module websites for OU students every year. The team dealt with web assets, quality assurance and 2nd level support of IT and online services support to OU students and Associate Lecturers. May 2010 to date – Denzil currently manages the Associate Lecturer (AL) Representation Office, overseeing AL and student consultation with the OU. Denzil took over the responsibility from the Governance Team, covering AL appointments and elections to committees; office budget, staff management and committee secretarial roles, amongst others.




Caroline Holland, Central Academic Staff Officer

Caroline Holland

Information on Caroline to be added shortly.




Natalie Olivadoti, Central Academic-Related Staff Officer


Information and photo of Natalie to be added shortly.




Philip O'Sullivan, Regional/National Academic Staff Officer

Philip O'Sullivan

Born in Dublin, Philip grew up in England, was a student undergraduate in Edinburgh (philosophy & politics) and has now lived in Belfast for 18 years. In Belfast Philip worked in advertising/marketing jobs for a local newspaper and then as press officer for the Council for Integrated Education. He studied part-time and got a PhD in political theory (on anarchism and marxism) and then worked at Queen's University as a teaching assistant and sessional lecturer in politics, teaching with undergraduates and mature students. Philip joined the Open University as an AL in 2006 and has taught on DD203, DD306 and DU311. In September 2009 Philip was appointed as Staff Tutor in Social Sciences in Ireland and still continues to work as an AL on DU311. Philip joined the union when he became an AL and this year stood for election to the executive as rather than being an inactive member he thought he should try to do more. Outside work, Philip is busy (and driven demented) by supporting Glasgow Celtic, using his season ticket whenever he can.




Judy Ekins, AL's Officer


Judy Ekins
Judy was a student at Sussex, East Africa, St Andrews and the Open University. She has worked for the Open University for many years as an academic in MCT - Judy has now retired but remains an Associate Lecturer for the East Midlands region. Judy has also taught in Dundee, Uganda and Hong Kong. She is on the Disabled Members Standing Committee and has been on the OU branch Exec for several years. Judy has been a delegate at the UCU congress and the TUC disability congress.