Meet the Committee
My name is Holly Corso and I am a Systems Support Specialist based in SAS. My role involves working closely with staff in both the Library and Student Support Services, providing technical support, advice and training on the systems they use. I have worked at SHU for 2 years now and one of the reasons I wanted to work here was it’s Disability Confident employer status and the emphasis on staff mental and physical wellbeing.
I was diagnosed with Epilepsy at 22 and I had been experiencing seizures for 3 years prior to that. My diagnosis has meant I’ve had to make a few changes in my life, giving up my driving license and car, giving up alcohol and ensuring I always get an early night to name a few! Although my seizures aren’t controlled by medication, I’ve learnt to live with them and with the support of my husband, family and employer I’ve been able to continue to progress my career.
I have lived in Sheffield for 13 years now and I love this city. It’s a quirky city, with lots going on but still friendly. I also love all the green spaces and how quickly you can be in the middle of nowhere! I enjoy spending my weekends visiting all of Sheffield’s green spaces with my husband and little boy. In my spare time I like making things, particularly crochet (which is a really great mindful activity). I’m an active member of Seven Hill Women’s Institute and I really enjoy our varied monthly meetings which can be on anything from cheerleading to chocolate making.
Nick Russell, Co-Chair
My name is Nick Russell and I work as the Peer Learning Coordinator in the Skills Team in Library Services.
I have a number of voluntary roles at Hallam including Healthy Hallam Champion, mental health first aider, first aider and ceremonial mace bearer! I have a number of comorbidities (a lovely term I’ve always thought!…) including anxiety, depression, dyslexia, dyspraxia and most recently I was diagnosed as being autistic. Living with these conditions as well as a large facial birthmark can certainly make life challenging at times. This is why I am so passionate about promoting support and highlighting the challenges and barriers people can face in work and in their personal lives.
Away from work I enjoy spending quality time with my wife, small groups of friends and family as well as archery shooting. Archery might sound like an aggressive activity, but it is actually very mindful, provided you are shooting ok! I am a proud geek and love Star Wars (we had stormtroopers at our wedding!), playing computer games and building/collecting Lego. I also have a lifelong love of animals and enjoy any day out that includes them.
I always enjoy talking to other staff and hearing about their work and life experiences. I can be a bit withdrawn depending on what sort of day I am having but always feel free to email me if I can be of any assistance or if you would just like a chat!
Ruth Deller, Events Officer
Ruth is a Reader in Media and Communications in the Department of Media Arts and Communication and the Ethics Lead for the Culture and Creativity Research Institute. Outside of work she is into theatre, creative writing, cookery, film and TV.
Thomas King, Digital Communications
Halo! I am an Animation graduate from Sheffield Hallam, now working in Library Resources. I liked it here so much that I wouldn’t go away after graduating. My primary tasks for Spark! include managing the network blog and creating various media. As one of the original members of the Spark! network, I am excited to see it grow and develop.
I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome during my first year in secondary school, when my family and teachers realised that my behaviour was unusually immature when compared to the other kids in my year. I had always had trouble communicating with others, understanding social norms and would rarely leave my own social bubble. Over the years I have worked to develop myself as a person; Not so much to fit in but to become more comfortable with myself.
My disability may give the impression that I lack empathy or struggle to connect with others, but I could not be happier to have this opportunity to meet new people and help where I can.
Outside of work I am a film and video game nut who enjoys long walks and friendly cafes, especially if they make a good Millionaire Shortbread. As confirmation of the presence my Aspergers still has, I have a collection of Sonic the Hedgehog shirts (it’s not my fault that George/ASDA keeps adding new designs every few months!)
Kevin Kerrigan, Senior Champion
I have lived in Sheffield for the past 5 years having moved back to my home county after about 30 years becoming an ‘honorary Geordie’ in Newcastle and Gateshead. I am Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Enterprise and I really enjoy the external engagement work I do in Sheffield and further afield. Meeting entrepreneurs, business leaders and community groups in this vibrant city and helping them establish and grow new ventures is really rewarding.
My main interest outside work is cycling. I live within easy reach of the Peak District which enables me to get up into the hills (when I have the energy) and there is nothing better than looking down on the city from the ridge between Ringinglow and Redmires knowing that you have a 5 mile descent into town! Here is one of my favourite rides.
I asked to be involved as a University champion for disability because I believe that if we can improve the experience and support for disabled colleagues and students not only do they feel more of a sense of belonging and being valued but the University benefits enormously by helping people achieve their potential and the success that results from this. If organisations like ours can understand better the barriers disabled people face and make adjustments in a fair and systematic way, I am convinced that huge gains can be made. I see my role as helping to advance this agenda, ensuring that SHU recognises its responsibilities and adopts a positive, proactive and collegiate approach to addressing issues.
Emma Booth and Paula Diamond, HROD Representatives (profiles to come)
Joe Rennie, Senior Champion (profile to come)