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ARU Spotlight Podcast

A series of interviews with students, alumni, academics and technical staff from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences at ARU, exploring their personal experiences of education, career paths, projects and interests, and their advice for anyone hoping to work in the same field.

Hosted by Gareth Long, Faculty Communications Co-ordinator.

Follow @ARUCreative and @ARUaboutideas on Twitter for details of new episodes, or find it on all top podcast platforms including Spotify and Apple.

Season 2

ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E12 - Aliz Kovacs-Zoldi, BA (Hons) Photography graduate.

Aliz won Amateur Photographer magazine’s Student Photographer of the Year award for her major project shortly after graduating. Discover the inspirations and processes behind her project, and how the exhibitions and facilities she had access to on the course were vital to her development as a photographer.

ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E11 - Lauren Tabbinor, BA (Hons) Criminology graduate.

Since graduating in 2014, Lauren has worked mostly in the education sector. Find out how studying Criminology enhanced her empathy, allowing her to work in many roles supporting and developing others, and how the friends and connections she made on the course eventually drew her back to live and work in Cambridge.

ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E10 - Gabi Kaziukonyte, BA (Hons) Film and Television Production graduate and Senior VFX Co-ordinator with VineFX.

Hear Gabi talk about how a 2-week internship with VineFX eventually led to her employment, how it felt to go from being a Production Assistant to Senior VFX Co-ordinator in just two years, and how her career in video was originally inspired by a passion for music.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E9 - Sam Millar, BA (Hons) Writing and English Literature graduate, and author of poetry collection Retail Park.

Hear Sam talk about getting his poetry collection published by Querencia Press in 2022, as well as the inspirations for his work and how the feedback from staff and students on his course helped him develop it.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E8 - Dr Cassie Gorman, Course Leader, BA English Literature

Cassie is Associate Professor in English Literature as well as Course Leader for our BA English Literature. We discuss her interest in the representations of science in long-17th century literature; her new research project unearthing manuscripts by women writers of the period, and how her time as a student gave her a space to try out ideas and gain confidence voicing them.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E7 - Josh Newman, Senior Lecturer in Film Production

Josh is a filmmaker with 25 years of industry experience in TV, film, visitor attractions and online marketing, and a broad interest in using video storytelling for education, communication and social justice. Among other things, we talk about how the very first film he worked on after graduating not only took him to the Sundance Festival but also saw him liaising with George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound division; the recent developments and moral dangers in documentary film making; and the often overlooked benefits of ADHD when working on urgent projects.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E6 - Agata Kazmierczak, BA Film and Television Production

Agata graduated from our BA Film and Television Production degree in 2022. She now works as a Technical Operator at BBC News in London, mostly mixing sound for live programs and bulletins. We talk about the success of her student films on the festival and awards circuit, the importance of the soft skills she learned on the course, the ups and downs of studying during the Coronavirus lockdown and more!


ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E5 - MA Music Therapy Placement Special, Caterina Dellabonna and Ana Pessoa

MA Music Therapy student Caterina Dellabonna talks about her placement with Hollanden Park Hospital, alongside placement supervisor Ana Pessoa, Lead Music Therapist at Hollanden Park and also a graduate of our MA. We discuss the support Caterina received from ARU and Hollanden Park, how her placement inspired her major project on patients unable to interact musically, and how placement students can often bring surprising new ideas to organisations.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E4 - MA Dramatherapy Placement Special, Madelaine Cameron and Rebecca Wilson

MA Dramatherapy alumnus Madelaine Cameron talk about her placement at London Disability Network, alongside her mentor Rebecca Wilson. After graduating, Madelaine began work as a registered dramatherapist, and continued providing dramatherapy support to Rebecca’s clients. We talk about the support Madelaine received before and during the placement from her course lecturers and LDN staff; the benefits of placements for both students and employers; and the positive impact Madelaine’s dramatherapy sessions had for Rebecca’s clients.

ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E3 - Lucy Bland, Professor of Social and Cultural History

Lucy is Course Leader for ARU's MA History degree and is currently researching race relations in the 1930s. Her book Britain’s Brown Babies won the 2020 Social History Society’s Book of the Year prize, as well as a Museums Association award for its accompanying online exhibition.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E2 - Natasha Doe, BA (Hons) Politics graduate

Natasha graduated from our BA Politics degree in the summer of 2022, and shortly after landed her dream job with the UK Civil Service. She talks about how comedy show Derry Girls got her interested in Irish politics, the work experience that helped prepare her for her new role, and how university not only helped her come to terms with her hearing impairment, but use it as inspiration for her final major project.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S2E1 - Kristin Roskifte, children's book author & illustrator, and BA (Hons) Illustration alumnus

Since graduating in 1998, Kristin has gone on to publish eight children’s books, as well as setting up publishing house Magikon with her husband. Her latest book Everybody Counts has been translated into 40 languages and in 2019 it won the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize.


Season 1

ARU Spotlight Podcast S1 E13 - Dr Jon Stone, Lecturer in Creative Writing

Jon is a poet and poetry editor, and co-founder of award-winning small press publisher Sidekick Books. We discuss the relationship between poetry and games, the importance of communities in creative writing, and why the advice ‘be yourself’ might not actually be very helpful.


ARU Spotlight S1E12 - Megan Herdson, BA (Hons) Writing and Film  / MA Creative Writing graduate

After graduating, Megan used her writing skills to secure a career in marketing, and now works as Senior Campaign Manager at ARU. We talk about how her time as a student helped her get used to sharing her writing with others; how she transferred those skills to a marketing environment; and how her role now allows her to tell the stories of other ARU students.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E11 - Blessing Raimi, BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate

Blessing now works as a Junior Graphic Designer at Conscious Communications. We cover how the course helped prepare her for working in industry, including placements and professional studies modules; how walking around Cambridge inspired her graphic design work; and her current work on a campaign against harmful sexual behaviour.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E10 - Michael Bruce, BA (Hons) Writing and Film student

Michael is an international student from Macon, Georgia, in the US. We talk about how Doctor Who and fish and chips were key to his decision to study in England; the difficulties and pleasures of moving to a new country after a childhood spent in home schooling; and how his passion for making horror films was inspired by movies like Silence of the Lambs and Insidious.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E9 - Connie Esavwa, BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate

Connie, originally from Kenya, talks about the she designed and produced for her Major Project, to publicise small businesses in her home nation, and also how the supportive atmosphere of the course helped build her confidence as well as her skills. This interview was recorded in May 2021, shortly before Connie graduated.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E8 - Julia Johnson, Co-Course Leader, BA (Hons) Photography

Julia, a professional photographer with a focus on mental health and marginalised communities, talks about the visual significance of the black lives matter coverage, the difficulties of critically analysing students’ subjective expression, and a toolkit she has developed for the therapeutic use of photography. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E7 - Mark Pickering, Technical Officer & Associate Lecturer in Audio and Music Technology

Mark talks about how he and his brother helped bring higher production values to grime music videos; the importance of keeping up to date with current trends in music and video; and how attitudes and behaviours have changed in the music industry since he was a student. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E6 - Toby Venables, Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting

Professional screenwriter and novelist Toby talks about his creative work, including BAFTA-winning Netflix horror film "His House"; how he was drawn to both horror and history from an early age by the story of Beowulf and Grendel; and the importance of enthusiasm when teaching to bring a subject to life for students.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E5 - Monique Brown, Technical Officer for Fashion

Monique talks about her work as Animatronic Model Designer on feature films including The Fifth Element and Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; the importance of experimentation in creative projects; and how emerging digital technologies might affect both fashion and costume design in the future. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E4 - Joe McCullagh, Head of Cambridge School of Art

Joe talks about how his inspirations like Brian Eno and Roxy Music led him to an appreciation of multidisciplinary practice; his thoughts on how digital culture has shaped art education; and what the future will be like for creative courses and careers. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.


ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E3 - Dr Apurba Kundu, Deputy Dean of Education

Apurba talks about his time as Captain of the University of Leeds rowing team, his co-founding of ARU’s Black and Minority Ethnic Network, and what working life was like under the Coronavirus lockdown. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E2 - James Ward, Head of Cambridge School of Creative Industries

James talks about his career route; the inspiration he takes from people who work across a variety of creative disciplines; and the importance of keeping an open mind and seeking out different opinions to your own. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

ARU Spotlight Podcast S1E1 - Chris Draper, Course Leader, BA (Hons) Illustration

Chris talks about his journey as a practising illustrator, from education to professional life; his early experiments with a music career that got him into the top ten of the indie dance charts; and how working as a freelance illustrator, particularly with New Scientist magazine, opened him up to new ideas he had never before considered. This interview was originally recorded in March 2021, when the UK was still under national lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.