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 use the following format: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Normal work days: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
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. He is the lead on sparqs' conferences, oversees Course Rep Training provision and is a key member of the international ESPAQ project, which focuses on student engagement in Armenian higher education's national quality processes. 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, Forth Valley, Newbattle Abbey, New College Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and West Lothian.
Universities - Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Stirling and UWS.
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, 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, The Open University and UHI.
Development Consultant: Morven Stewart
Mobile: 07469 354246
Normal work days: Monday to Wednesday
Morven is a previous sparqs Associate Trainer, having joined us in 2013-14 while studying at Glasgow School of Art. She went on to join the main staff team in 2016, initially to complete a number of projects, including revising our Course Rep Training materials for supported education students and developing and implementing training for Apprentice Reps. Morven's main work areas are around the pupil voice in schools and our work with apprentices, working with both colleges and employers.
Morven is the sparqs contact for the following institutions:
Colleges - Ayrshire, Glasgow Clyde and Glasgow Kelvin.
Universities - GCU, Glasgow School of Art, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Strathclyde.
Development Consultant: Lindsay Isaacs
Mobile: 07469 354245
Normal work days: Monday to Thursday
Lindsay’s main work areas include providing support to those involved in our Institutional Associate Trainer scheme, continuing our work around staff development and developing an Equality & Diversity resource pack for students' associations. During her initial weeks in post she was 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, Dundee & Angus, Fife and SRUC.
Universities - Edinburgh Napier, QMU, SRUC and University of Glasgow.
Development Consultant: Steph Kirkham
Mobile: 07880 192722
Steph’s main work area will be around working to support student engagement with national sector agencies, and university and college quality arrangements. She will oversee sparqs' work around the QAA Enhancement Themes and Student Partnership Agreements. Steph is a graduate of The University of Southampton and joined sparqs in November 2017, on a fixed term contract providing maternity cover.
Steph is the sparqs contact for the following institutions:
Colleges - Edinburgh College, West College Scotland
Universities - Abertay, Dundee, St Andrews
Development Consultant: Hannah Clarke
(Please note that Hannah is currently on maternity leave, as of December 2o17. Her work areas are mainly being covered by Steph Kirkham)
Hannah’s main work area is around working to support student engagement with national sector agencies, and university and college quality arrangements. She oversees sparqs' work around the QAA Enhancement Themes and is 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.
Development Consultant: Stef Black
(Please note that Stef is currently on maternity leave, as of September 2o17. Any queries re her work areas should be directed to Eve Lewis in the interim)
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. Her other areas of work include supporting developments in Course Rep Training and enhancements in online training, 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.
Central Support Team Manager: Nicola McIntosh
M0bile: 07785 626159
Normal work days: Monday, Wednesday, 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.
Our team of Associate Trainers for 2017-18 have a wealth of experience from their studies and course rep activity within their institutions. We are delighted that four of the team are continuing as ATs for an additional year. The 2017-18 team's biographies are below.
You can find out more here about the Associate Trainer scheme generally and how it works.
Paige is in her fourth 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 fourth year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.
Jack is in his fourth 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 third 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 is in his final few months at the University of Dundee, studying for his BSc in Adult Nursing and due to graduate in November 2017. 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 within his final year had adopted the role of Student President for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. This role included 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. On completion of his degree Gary plans to complete a part-time working Masters degree in Complex Conditions and Education in Nursing. This is Gary’s second year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.
Christopher has recently completed an honours degree in Sports Coaching with Development of Sport at the University of Glasgow and is now undertaking his TQFE qualification at University of Stirling. 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 second year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.
Gary is in his final year of study for a BA (Hons) in Marketing Management with Consumer Studies at Edinburgh Napier University. Previous to this he studied an HNC in Advertising and PR at Dundee and Angus College where he very much relished his course rep duties. Having studied at both college and university, and as a mature student, he has experience of the differences/similarities of each. Gary enjoys meeting new people and would like to work in the education/education-related sector when he graduates and is delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with sparqs. This is Gary's first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.
Clare has just finished her BA Hons Degree in Business at the University of the West of Scotland and is now progressing to study for a Masters in International Marketing Management. She was a course rep for two years during her degree and was also a course rep at college when she studied Architectural Technology to degree level. She aspires to go into lecturing and feels this opportunity will add to her already varied skills and employment experience. Clare has also worked as a student guide, a student mentor and as a registry assistant so she is very student orientated. This is her first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.
Mel is in her third year of Psychology (BSc) at the University of the West of Scotland. She has been a course rep since the beginning of the course and hopes to remain for the duration. She has run her own business for 10+yrs and is an active volunteer with a charity, which has allowed her to gain numerous skills in training. She sees the major role student reps play in engagement of students and believes the training of student reps is essential to this process. With many different employment avenues open with a psychology degree, Mel is confident being an Associate Trainer will equip her with many skills that will benefit her in her future employment. This is Mel's first year as an Associate Trainer with sparqs.
Jack is an HND Social Science student at City of Glasgow College and is the current Vice President of Learning and Teaching. He has spent time as a course representative, a faculty representative and as an elected member of the student executive team. Last year Jack was an Institutional Associate Trainer at City of Glasgow College. He plans on becoming a police officer and believes that his time as an Associate Trainer with sparqs will enable him to gain valuable experience which will inevitably help him in his planned career. This is his first year as a sparqs Associate Trainer.
Leo is currently in his honours year for a BA (Hons) in Marketing at the University of Strathclyde. He is originally from Germany and moved to Scotland to study. He has been a course representative for two years, for classes ranging from 20 to 400 students. Leo is also a trustee for his Students’ Association and NUS Scotland’s LGBT+ officer for academic year 2017/18. This is his first year as an Associate Trainer with sparqs.