Alumni Return for AECC Summit 2018

AECC University College hosted AECC Summit 2018 on Saturday 15 September, which saw the return of alumni from across the globe.

The Summit provided an opportunity for AECC University College graduates to return to Parkwood Campus and walk the corridors once again. Many of the guests started their day with Brainfood for Breakfast, a relaxed networking session providing the chance to speak with senior staff members at the institution over a healthy breakfast, fuelling them for the engaging activities ahead.

The events throughout the day included expert panel talks, covering topics effecting health professions. Guests were also invited to attend plenary sessions by notable alumni Richard Brown, Secretary-General of the World Federation of Chiropractic and Honorary Fellow; and Dr Jonathan Field, Spinal Extended Scope Practitioner.

Tours of the campus and facilities were led by ASU, AECC University College Students’ Union, allowing alumni to talk with current students. Many alumni shared experiences of their time studying in Bournemouth, and the ASU team performed an excellent role in showcasing the University College’s new and updated campus developments.

Of course, there was much catching up to do over lunch. Prosecco was flowing and food was enjoyed outdoors in the Quad, a lovely moment to reflect on the panel talks and enjoy the sunshine with friends both old and new.

Both our Open Upright MRI and Ultrasound teams showcased their departments, with the School of Medical Ultrasound providing a live demonstration of an abdominal and shoulder scan using the latest ultrasound equipment through our partnerships with MIS Healthcare and Samsung.

In the evening, alumni and guests took to the Hilton Hotel Bournemouth for our always popular dinner and dance. Following the three course meal, guests were addressed by Principal, Professor Haymo Thiel, who thanked alumni for coming back to celebrate their beloved institution. 

At the event we also announced the recipient of our first Alumni Recognition Award. The award recognised the exceptional achievements of our alumni within the field of health. Nomination were submitted by fellow alumni, and a short-list went before a panel of internal academic and professional services staff members. The well-deserving Dr Jonathan Field scooped the award for his contribution to the health professions, particularly around his work developing Care Response, a system which collects data on patient outcomes in a unique way so that individual practitioners and clinics can learn from patient feedback. Care Response is a bold initiative which demonstrates effective and innovative solutions to gathering important data and promoting excellence in clinical practice.

Richard Brown also addressed the guests and spoke fondly of Professor Haymo Thiel, who will be stepping down from his role as Principal at the end of the year. Richard commented on the magnitude of contributions Haymo has made to the University College over the years:

“I look at the work Haymo has done in the last six and a half years in his time as Principal, and it is difficult to foresee a time in the history of AECC University College when there have been so many positive developments and changes. Achieving Taught Degree Awarding Powers for the University College is no mean feat, and I know the hours Haymo put into that. Not content with only that, AECC has now become a University College, and who would have envisaged all those years ago that the college would go on to such great things in such a short time. I think Haymo has done all of this with his typical modesty, integrity and humility; he is someone who gets on with his job effectively and efficiently, and we all respect him hugely as a leader.”

Once the band struck up, everyone hit the dance floor and stayed dancing and partying until the early hours.

This year it was important for the institution to recognise the breadth of our alumni and to provide a selection of varied events. The Summit was a great success in showcasing the expertise here at the institution and the strong connections within the health arena. Event Organiser, Communications Officer Ryan Grimshaw commented: “The individual and collective experience of our alumni is crucial to inspiring and educating our current students. The pride and passion they have for the institution is evident, and they are as much a part of the University College now as ever before. Events like the Summit allow us to explore how we work together with our alumni community to promote and invest in the successful future of AECC University College.”