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Spotlight on Marie Xypaki

11 June 2019

Marie is the Curriculum and Public Engagement Consultant within UCL Culture, UCL Arena and UCL East. Her role leads on the development and delivery of a consultancy service that helps academic staff bring collaborations with external partners into their programmes.

Marie Xypaki

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am the Curriculum and Public Engagement Consultant at UCL and I sit within UCL Culture (Public Engagement Unit), UCL Arena and UCL EAST. This is a new role at UCL and it is about leading on the development and delivery of a consultancy service that helps academic staff bring collaborations with external partners into their programmes to enhance student experience.

The working title of the service is Community Engaged Learning and it is a characteristic of the Connected Curriculum – UCL's framework for research-based education. The Community Engaged Learning service adopts a joined-up approach, bringing together expertise and resource from across the university.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I first joined UCL in 2010 as a postgraduate student of The Bartlett (MSc Sustainable Urbanism). As the Curriculum and Public Engagement Consultant, I started at UCL in September 2018. I was previously the Curriculum Developer at Kingston University London with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development (Vice-Chancellor’s Team). 

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

My work has always been underpinned by a commitment to enhance student experience. I always try to offer students the opportunities to become well-rounded individuals, critical thinkers and responsible citizens. When I was working at City University London, I led on the development and delivery of a cross-institutional, HEFCE-funded project that involved student-community collaborations.

Due to the high student and community engagement, the project received national awards and recognition. I personally received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Local Community. The actual awards might look good on a CV, but, more importantly, they confirm the fact that many students and community members benefited from the project, which makes me happy and proud.   

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

A project that is top of my to-do list is to support UCL East programme leaders to embed collaborations with external partners in their new curricula. Together with the UCL EAST Academic Planning and UCL EAST Engagement teams, we are developing workshops, events, resources and a more strategic approach to enable the new programmes meet the Academic Vision for the new campus: UCL Experiments, Arts, Society, Technology (EAST) will be engaged with local communities to make a difference: nurturing curiosity, enabling creativity and challenging inequality.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

This is always a difficult question as there is so much I like! I always enjoy Tarkovsky and Kieślowski films - recently watched The Stalker and really enjoyed it. I like reading all sorts of things, but if I must pick one novel that would be The Chess Story by Stefan Zweig. And as for albums, I am between Boris Vian Chante Boris Vian and Let’s Dance

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)? 

What does cheese say to itself in the mirror?  
Halloumi.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

God, Nietzsche and Kazantzakis discussing about whether God is dead or not. At this point, I am more interested in God’s views. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t take yourself too seriously. 

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I am a member of a group of musicians and performers presenting a variety of acts in the East London music scene. 

What is your favourite place?

One of my favourite places is Knossos in Crete, Greece. I spent many summer holidays there as a child and it always feels special when I return.