Connector Stories

Learn about the work and achievements of Student and Staff Connectors.

The Connector Programme's co-creative approach between students and staff has benefited multiple areas of work across the University, from embedding technology in learning to co-designing new modules to increasing student engagement with schools and services.

Students and Staff Connectors have equal input and responsibility as they work together on key areas finding solutions that truly reflect the needs and wants of our community. Here are some of our success stories. 


Connector Projects spotlight

Academic Skills

Clare Hardman (Academic Skills Manager) and Georgia Shakeshaft (Media Studies Student and Student Connector) discuss how co-creation has improved academic skills support at Sussex.

Clare Hardman:

“Students are now at the centre of what we do. Our Connectors are passionate and they want to make changes –it is inspiring and exciting to work with them. Their voice reminds us of things that are important to students and helps us to focus on how we deliver our academic skills services.”


Professor Claire Smith (Head of Anatomy at BSMS, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor for Education and Innovation at Sussex) and Jessie Phillips (Psychology Student and Student Connector) discuss the importance of co-creation in making Sussex Direct and Canvas accessible and user-friendly.

Professor Claire Smith:

"The Digital Connectors are core to the development of the digital environment at Sussex. As we all live digital lives we need to ensure that the digital ecosystem supports our lives and learning.The Digital Connectors are important to enable the student experience and voice come through on all we do in this."

Media, Arts and Humanities

Professor Mary Krell (Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Media Arts & Humanities and Emma Green (American & Film Studies Student and Student Connector) speak about how co-creation helped faculty think creatively about assessment and feedback.

Professor Mary Krell:

"One of the things I love about our Connector groups is that each works a bit differently. On some projects, the Connectors discussed issues around assessment and feedback. Another included a brief to help us seriously rethink assessments to make them more inclusive and better suited to what we teach. I think that the flexibility to support different styles of co-creation is a key reason the Connector Programme is so great."


Connector Alumnus spotlight

Connector Alumna: Suzie Eastman

Suzie is a University of Sussex graduate and during her time at the university she completed a degree in Economics, was a Student Connector from the very beginning of the programme and has been invaluable to the development of the Spirit of Sussex Award. 

"The Connector jobs are extremely valuable for students as they allow for you to establish and expand on key transferable skills, meet new people, and develop an idea of what tasks and responsibilities a job after university could involve"

Connector Aulumna: Ilina Stanimirova

Ilina is a University of Sussex graduate and has completed a degree in Media and Communications. As a Student Connector since July 2020, Ilina has provided valuable input to development of the Business School Assessment Criteria project and the Connector Buddy Scheme.

"My work as a Student Connector has given me a lot of employability skills and many great experiences and friends. I am forever grateful for what the programme has given me, and I am wishing it only expands and grows and keeps being successful in impacting students in a positive way."