Our staff

sparqs has a team of ten staff members, most of whom are based in our main office in Edinburgh (hosted by NUS Scotland), with one staff member based in Inverness.

We also employ a number of Associate Trainers each year on a part-time basis, a team of students who mainly deliver course rep training for us.

If you wish to contact any of our team, please call the sparqs office on 0131 622 6599 or by the mobile numbers listed. 

To email a member of staff or Associate Trainer use the following format: firstname.surname@sparqs.ac.uk


Main staff team

Director:  Eve Lewis 
Mobile: 07813 014679

As Director of sparqs, Eve is responsible for managing the agency on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. She provides strategic direction and management support to the sparqs team, and maintains close links with other sector agencies both at home and abroad. Eve took up her post within sparqs in July 2010. Previously, she was Education and Welfare Manager at Heriot-Watt University Students’ Association for eighteen years, managing their non-commercial activities including their extensive work on academic representation.


Institutional Support and Development Manager:  David Scott 
Mobile: 07977 980867

David leads on two of the strategic aims of sparqs work; supporting students to engage in their university/college experience and supporting the development of student engagement practices and activities in institutions and their students’ associations. Previously, he was Head of Learner Services at Dundee and Angus College with responsibility for a range of academic support services as well as working for Education Scotland as an Associate Assessor. David joined sparqs in June 2014.

David is the sparqs contact for the following institutions:
Colleges - Dumfries & Galloway, Newbattle Abbey, New College Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian.
Universities - Edinburgh and Stirling. 


Development Consultant: Simon Varwell
Mobile: 07815 938966
Normal work days: Monday to Thursday

Simon works mainly within our first two strategic aims. His current projects include our work on student engagement in transnational education and online & distance learning, university institution-led review, a forthcoming combined toolkit on course rep systems, our Academic Representation Co-ordinators’ network, and the development of various course rep training modules. He works with the College Development Network and NUS Scotland on college board member inductions, and is involved in a number of sparqs’ international projects, such as in Ireland and Armenia. He is also responsible for our Twitter content and Talking Student Engagement interview series. He is a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, where he was President of the Students’ Association, and has previously worked for UHI Millennium Institute (the precursor to the University of the Highlands and Islands) and Glasgow University SRC. Simon has been with sparqs since 2007 and is based in Inverness.

Simon is the sparqs contact for the following institutions:
Colleges - all of the UHI colleges and North East Scotland College
Universities - RGU, Aberdeen and UHI.


Development Consultant: Hannah Clarke
Mobile: 07966 104056

Hannah’s main work area is around working to support student engagement with national sector agencies and policy development. She oversees sparqs' work around the QAA Enhancement Themes and works with students to determine what public information is useful, to feed into the reviews of KIS and NSS. She was involved in establishing a regional student group on articulation, part of a joint project with ELRAH (Edinburgh, Lothians, Fife and Borders Regional Articulation Hub) to increase student engagement in articulation. Hannah is also now the lead within sparqs on Student Partnership Agreements.  She previously worked in college articulation at Glasgow Caledonian University and in student support services at the University of St Andrews. She is a graduate of the University of St Andrews and the University of London. Hannah joined sparqs in June 2014.

Hannah is the sparqs contact for the following institutions:
Colleges - Edinburgh, Glasgow Clyde and West College Scotland.
Universities - Edinburgh Napier, St Andrews, Abertay and Dundee.


Development Consultant: Morven Stewart
Mobile: 07469 354246
Normal work days: Monday to Wednesday

Morven is a previous sparqs Associate Trainer and has now joined the main staff team, initially to complete a number of projects, and now for an extended period. Her initial work including revising our Course Rep Training materials for supported education students and developing and implementing training for Apprentice Reps.  The next step related to this work area will include looking into online Course Rep Training across the sector. Morven's other main work areas are around the pupil voice in schools and our work with apprentices.

Morven is the sparqs contact for the following institutions:
Colleges - Ayrshire and Glasgow Kelvin.
Universities - GCU, Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


Development Consultant: Lindsay Isaacs
Mobile: 07469 354245
Normal work days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday

Lindsay’s main work areas include providing support to those involved in our Institutional Associate Trainer scheme, continuing our work around staff development and Lead Reps, and developing an Equality & Diversity resource pack for students' associations.  During her initial weeks in post she will be involved in the pilot of Annual Support Visits within colleges, a new piece of work for the sparqs team.  Lindsay is a graduate of The University of Edinburgh and University of Stirling.  She joined sparqs in November 2016.

Lindsay is the sparqs contact for the following institutions:
Colleges - Borders, City of Glasgow, Fife and SRUC.
Universities - QMU, SRUC and University of Glasgow.


Development Consultant: Stef Black 
Mobile: 07880 192722

Stef’s main areas of work include supporting developments in the role of students in Institution-led Review and supporting and developing the role of School/Faculty Officers in universities, as well as senior/lead reps in colleges. She will also work to support developments in Course Rep Training and enhancements in online training. Her other areas of work will include the use of data within colleges and sustainability in the curriculum. Stef is a graduate of Bangor University, Wales and has worked within a number of universities for the past five years. She joined sparqs in March 2017.

Stef is the sparqs contact for the following institutions:
Colleges - Dundee and Angus, and Forth Valley.
Universities - Heriot-Watt, Strathclyde, UWS and the Open University.


Central Support Team Manager: Nicola McIntosh
M0bile: 07785 626159
Normal work days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

Nicola manages the Central Support Team, which involves ensuring everything in the office runs efficiently and effectively. She also monitors the finances and deals with recruitment and human resources. Prior to sparqs, Nicola has worked in the finance sector and the civil service. She has worked with sparqs since 2006.


Central Support Team Co-ordinator: Sarah Davidson
Mobile: 07585 969881
Normal work days: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Sarah is responsible for the sparqs Course Representative Training bookings system. Managing events and processing finances are also other key areas of her role. Before joining sparqs, Sarah worked in the finance sector. She is our longest serving employee, having been with sparqs since its inception in 2003. 


Communications Co-ordinator: Ali McDade
Mobile: 07585 969882

Ali’s main duties include data management and communications, including sparqs publications and maintenance of the sparqs website. She is also responsible for co-ordinating attendance at key sector meetings for both sparqs and NUS Scotland. Ali is a graduate of Edinburgh Napier University and her background is in learning and development co-ordination and project co-ordination. She joined sparqs in November 2010.


Associate Trainers

Our team of Associate Trainers for 2016-17 have a wealth of experience from their studies and course rep activity within their institutions.  We are delighted that three of the team are continuing as ATs for an additional year.

You can find out more here about the Associate Trainer scheme generally and how it works.

The 2016-17 team's biographies are below.  
To email an Associate Trainer use the following format: firstname.surname@sparqs.ac.uk

Paige Stevenson
Paige is in her third year at the University of the West of Scotland, studying Social Work. Prior to that she completed her HNC Social Care course at West College Scotland, having previously studied the course at NC level. During her time at college she was a course rep for two years and is now beginning her third year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.

Kayleigh Radford
Kayleigh is in her final year of a BSc Honours degree in Sociology at the University of Abertay. She is in her second year as an elected Executive officer within the Abertay Students’ Association and this is her third year as a sparqs Associate Trainer. One of her main hobbies is playing the cello and she plays in the Dundee Symphony Orchestra throughout the year. She has spent her last two summers working as a Camp Counsellor at a Girl Scout Camp in Texas USA through the Camp America Programme.

Jack Delaney
Jack is in his third year of a BA in Popular Music at Perth College UHI. He was a student rep during his first year of study and this is his second year as a sparqs Associate Trainer. Jack has a keen interest in a career as a teacher and believes this role to be a positive step in that direction.

Gary Lawson
Gary is in his final year at the University of Dundee, studying for his BSc in Adult Nursing. This is his second degree, also having a degree in Primary Education. During his current degree he has been course rep in first year, Associate School President in second year and is now in the role of Student President for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. This role includes working with students, the senior management team, the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) and DUSA (Dundee University's Students’ Association) to support and enhance the experiences of students within the school and to develop innovative learning and teaching. This is Gary’s first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.

Sorcha Kirker
Sorcha is starting her MLitt in Archaeology at the University of the Highlands and Islands, having previously completed her Undergrad degree and MSc. She has been a course rep for three of the five years
spent at university, and received training from sparqs in 2011. This is her first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer. Alongside this, she will also be starting her second year as a Depute President for the Highlands and Islands Students' Association.

John Dare
John is in his third year of a BSc Honours degree in Computing Science at Perth College UHI. John joined Perth College after being in business for twenty years. He has been a class rep and for the last two years was an officer of the Students' Association which included serving as President last year. John has seen the benefits and difficulties of the class rep system and understands how important it is to both students and staff. "Returning to education has changed my life and given me confidence that I never had and I want to help as many people reach that same goal". This is John’s first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.

Alba Roman
Alba is starting her first year at the University of Aberdeen as an International Relations and English Literature student after spending a year studying an HNC in Social Sciences at Newbattle Abbey College. At Newbattle, Alba was Vice President of the Student Representative Council, a position she loved and which encouraged her to become a sparqs Associate Trainer this year. Before her HNC, Alba lived in China for over two years, as a Chinese (Mandarin) language student and an English language teacher and loves the opportunity of standing in front of a class again this year.

Matthew Ford
Matthew is starting his fourth year at Lews Castle College UHI, studying for an HND in engineering systems, after completing an HNC in engineering, welding inspection. He attended school at the Nicolson Institute Stornoway. Matthew has been an active course rep for the past year, being involved in initiatives such as petitioning to get better IT equipment. This is his first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.

Christopher Haldane
Christopher is in his final year at the University of the West of Scotland, studying for a BA (hon) in Sports Coaching with Development of Sport. He has acted as course representative for three years, both at college and university. Christopher has a keen interest in pursuing a career as a Lecturer and believes that this position with sparqs will enable him to gain valuable experience in achieving his goal. This is his first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.

Frankie Linn
Frankie is in his first year at Queen Margaret University studying Public Relations and Media. Previously he was a modern apprentice studying an SVQ level 3 in Business and Administration. As a member of the National Society of Apprentices leadership team Frankie has represented apprentice views at local and national level. This is his first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer and indeed the first year sparqs has had a dedicated trainer for delivering Course Rep Training specifally designed for apprentices. 

Student Engagement Framework

That’s Quality! Universities 2017

26 Jul 2017 - 27 Jul 2017

The aim of the event is to equip participants with the knowledge and ability to use…