AECC University College Support International Women’s Day

We are proud to be supporting International Women’s Day, Friday 8 March, by championing and celebrating our fantastic female colleagues at the University College.

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the cultural, social, economic and political achievements of women across the globe. It is also a significant day, marking a call to action for accelerating gender parity and women’s rights. International Women’s Day is not a modern invention, in fact it was first acknowledged in 1911.

At AECC University College, we are proud of the many women who make our health science community, who span many different areas from leadership to professional services, to academic and research. We want to champion our influential women who are dedicated, committed individuals who inspire our students, patients, colleagues and wider community.

Throughout March we will be sharing and highlighting a handful of AECC University College's inspirational women on our social media platforms.


Rebecca LeClercq
Clinic Receptionist

“I joined the AECC University College in January 2018 as Clinic Receptionist, which was my first working role since having my daughter in 2015. My previous roles have been primarily in the hospitality industry managing the Front of House teams. Outside of work, I am a Survivor’s Ambassador for the charity Women’s Aid and have organised several successful fundraising events.  In January this year, I spoke in front of a panel of MP’s in Westminster in support of the bill for better safeguarding for Domestic Violence victims, which was successfully published a week later. 

I sincerely enjoy every single day at AECC University College. It is an honour to watch our chiropractic Intern’s at our on-site clinic progress in their final years, and then graduate. Also, hearing how our clinical services are bettering the lives of our patients is so rewarding. The team are also very understanding of the fact I am a single mother and allow me to be flexible with my working hours which makes such a huge difference to my role as a mother.”

Julie Currin
Interim Executive Director of Finance

“I am the Interim Executive Director of Finance at AECC University College. I’m a certified accountant with over 20 years’ experience in senior finance roles across the public and voluntary sectors, including positions as an NHS Director of Finance, Chief Finance of a large national charity, and as an Executive Director of a number of educational providers. I am motivated by working within, and contributing to, the leadership of organisations which make a positive difference to people’s lives.

Outside of paid employment, I have been Vice Chair & Trustee of Bournemouth Gateway Club, a local charity affiliated to Mencap which provides social opportunities for adults with learning disabilities, since 2010; and also the Chairperson for the Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Forum, which was formally designated by Bournemouth Council in 2018 to develop a community-led Neighbourhood Plan for the Charminster & Queen’s Park area."


Michelle Holmes
Lecturer in Research Methods

“I am a Lecturer in Research Methods at AECC University College. In my role, I teach both undergraduate chiropractic students and postgraduates from a range of clinical backgrounds. I am also the Research Convener for the Centre of Clinical and Applied Service Provision Research. My work involves collating and promoting research to improve patient outcomes and delivery of health services. My personal research interests include: contextual mechanisms of care, self-management, chronic conditions and multimorbidity, patient experience of care, evidence-based practice, and the pedagogy of research methods. I am also completing a PhD at the University of Southampton, examining the use of Patient Reported Outcome Measures within clinical practice. I am a fellow of the Chiropractic Academy for Research Leadership, an international programme aiming to build research capacity within the Chiropractic Profession.

As part of the CARL fellowship, my colleagues and I have founded the Florence Initiative, to promote equality and diversity within the field of chiropractic research. Acknowledging that when professional teams are diverse, ideas, performance, and outcomes are improved, this project aims to increase inclusivity in research teams and ensure all individuals are supported throughout their research careers.

I love working at AECC University College; both teaching students about research and conducting my own research to improve patient outcomes."


Caroline Cooke
Head of Library and Learning Services

“I joined AECC University College as E-Resource Librarian in 2008. Prior to that I have held positions as Assistant Information Manager at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, various education and industry librarian roles, and I have taught at secondary and primary levels. I am now Head of Library and Learning Services for the institution, responsible for the strategic development and delivery of Library Services, the Virtual Learning Environment and Technology Enhanced Learning.

I have a passion for education, libraries and information, and digital literacy; and particularly how these tools and services are of most use to students and colleagues when embedded effectively into the learning environment.”


Sarah Burbidge
Digital Engagement Manager

"As Digital Engagement Manager at AECC University College, I work within the Marketing and Communications team to grow the institutions online profile as a specialist in health sciences, acquiring new students in both domestic and key international markets with integrated marketing campaigns. I am passionate about showcasing our expertise, experience, and fostering an understanding of the benefits of story sharing will be key for our growth strategy. I enjoy maintaining a strong focus on continual measured improvements with website visits, conversions and engagements from prospective students, patients and our wider community. We are only at the tip of the iceberg for digital engagement, which makes my role a fun and exciting one. AECC University College is an inspiring place to work and the girl power is strong! Outside of work I'm a mum and voluntarily manage an under 7s rugby team."


Mandi Goldfinch
Clinic Reception Manager

I first joined AECC University College n June 2003 as a part time clinic receptionist coming from a legal secretarial background. Working in the health education sector was something new and exciting for me. My role has developed within the last four years having successfully completed NVQs in Customer Service and Team Leading, resulting in my promotion to Head Receptionist and a further promotion to Clinic Reception Manager in July 2018.  The Clinic Reception Manager role is somewhat varied; my main duties are to be responsible for the day to day and smooth running of the clinic reception, providing support to the reception team/Clinic Practice Manager.  I have not only developed my skills working at AECC University College, but have seen the organisation progress to university status. Working in the clinic is a double whammy, not only do you see the patients progress in their treatment, but also see the chiropractic interns through their final year in clinic to go on to be successful professionals. The fact that I have worked at the organisation for over 15 years is testament to our happy, friendly and welcoming AECC University College ‘family’."

Karen Pichlmann
Academic Registrar

"I am the University College’s Academic Registrar, responsible for the strategic development and operational delivery of student and academic administration. I joined AECC University College in July 2016, bringing 15 years’ experience in higher education in the UK and Australia. Prior to joining the University College, I was Head of Admissions at Bournemouth University and Manager, Prospective Students Office at the University of Adelaide, Australia. Joining AECC University College after degree awarding powers had been achieved provided me with a unique opportunity to develop and enhance existing processes and practices, and to enhance the student experience.  I am also responsible for the Academic governance and committees, student facing regulations, policies and procedures and is the University College’s Prevent lead."

Dr Alyx Taylor
Senior Lecturer in Physiology

"I joined AECC University College at an exciting time in the development of the higher education institution and was honoured to be invited to join the School of Psychology, Sport and Physical Activity.  As a Senior Lecturer in Physiology, I enjoy teaching chiropractic students and clinical exercise and rehabilitation students, whose enthusiasm for scientific and clinical knowledge inspire me.  I am also the convener for the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Science Research, which undertakes innovative research supporting individual athletes and sports teams for national and international competition, as well as research into the application of physical activity for health improvement.  I am currently leading a collaborative research team including professional sports scientists and chiropractic and clinical exercise students. The latest project launched is an exciting community orientated study in Bournemouth concerning exercise for people diagnosed with cardiovascular conditions."


Gabi Sanger Stevens
Clerk to the Board and Company Secretary

"I’m Gabi Sanger-Stevens and my role here at AECC University College is as Clerk to the Board and Company Secretary.  I’m responsible to the Chair of Governors and to the Principal.  I organise the work of the Board of Governors and its sub-committees, aiming to ensure that they have the right information at the right time to provide effective strategic governance of the University College. I work with the Principal to anticipate and address Board requirements and I also look after various legal aspects, working with Companies House and the Charity Commission. Every day is slightly different; some very demanding and others less so. Sometimes I’m here four days a week, sometimes six but it balances out. AECC University College has a great ethos and ambience; staff are wonderful and the students provide so much energy and enthusiasm that it’s infectious. I love working here!"

The University College is currently preparing data to report on its gender pay gap which will be released in April, as required by an institution of our size. We are committed to equal opportunities and developing and maintaining an institution where all staff and students can flourish.

Find out more about International Women’s Day and join the conversation using hashtags #BalanceforBetter and #IWD2019.