Ambassador Spotlight

Close video

Ambassador Spotlight

We're taking some time to highlight some of our wonderful Ambassadors. The latest spotlight shines on Dr Rachel Shanks, who tells us why Aberdeen makes for a brilliant place to host events and conferences.

Dr Steve Turner

Steve Turner

 

Please specify your job title.

Consultant paediatrician (children’s doctor).

 

Tell us about yourself and your area of work/research?

My job involves “usual hospital doctor jobs” such as ward rounds, clinics and on call.  I also do research into asthma and also into improving the child’s “journey” through the NHS when they are poorly.  Additionally I do a bit of teaching and help run a few Scottish and UK committees.

 

Why did you choose to come to Aberdeen OR What makes Aberdeen a great place to visit, live and work?

We have been in Aberdeen for almost 20 years.  We have lived in a number of different places in a number of countries.  Nowhere is perfect. But Aberdeen is the closest to perfect we have found.  Just big enough to have everything on hand.  Just small enough to be a hop and a skip to the beach or open countryside. 

 

Why do you think Aberdeen is a great conference and event destination? Especially for your field of work/research.

Being next to the airport and all the new hotels, the new TECA is an easy venue for events.

 

Fun question - can you tell us something about you that is unique and different?

I support Accrington Stanley Football Club, and know a surprising number of folk who have a soft spot for “The Stanley”.

Dr Rachel Shanks

Dr Rachel Shanks

Please specify your job title  

Senior Lecturer.

 

Tell us about yourself and your area of work/research?

I have had a varied career which has included being a law lecturer, employment rights advisor and French tutor. For the last 9 years I have been working in the School of Education after completing a PhD in Education. My research covers children’s rights in education and at the moment I am focusing on issues related to school uniform. I have also researched teacher induction and the mentoring of new teachers.

 

Why did you choose to come to Aberdeen OR What makes Aberdeen a great place to visit, live and work?

In 2004 my partner got a job with Aberdeen City Council so we moved here with our 4 year old and 10 month old children. I love living in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire because of being close to both the sea and wonderful countryside while still having cinemas, theatres and museums to visit. There is lots of sunshine too and not nearly so much rain as in Ireland where I’m from.

 

Why do you think Aberdeen is a great conference and event destination? Especially for your field of work/research.

Being able to show visitors the fantastic countryside, the coast, castles and gardens makes it easy to draw people to Aberdeen. I work with many people in education research across Europe and they are always very interested in visiting Scotland.

 

What is your experience of being involved (whether direct or indirect) with bringing a conference to the region and the support you received?

I have had incredible support from staff while working on a bid to bring a large (2500+ delegates) conference to Aberdeen. Potential grants have been found and a really great brochure was produced for the bid. We are still awaiting a final outcome so fingers crossed.

 

Fun question - tell us something about you that is unique and different.

I was captain of my university women’s football team in the late 1980s.

Professor Angela Kydd

Angela Kydd

Tell us about yourself and your area of work/research

I worked as a Clinical Professor in Nursing in a joint role between Robert Gordon University and NHS Grampian. My remit was to increase research capability and capacity in both institutions, and I worked in tandem with the Clinical Professor for Allied Health Professionals. My remit included following my own research projects and as my specialism is gerontology (the study of ageing), one of my projects was a large international Horizon 2020 research project entitled EuroAgeism. The whole project was led by a professor in Israel, Professor Liat Ayalon and I was the UK lead for this project.

 

Why did you choose to come to Aberdeen OR What makes Aberdeen a great place to visit, live and work?

I came to Aberdeen from Perthshire because of my job. I started work here in July 2018 and knew little about the place. My husband and I bought a house in Crathes and I am delighted to have settled here. Aberdeenshire has everything, the city, the beaches, the castles and I do believe 76 sets of standing stones. Aberdeen is historic and there is much to do and see in the city, the shire and Moray. The city has a wonderful art gallery and several museums. The theatres attract good productions, and the transport links are excellent. I have no intention of moving from the area now that I have retired and I have made the best of my retirement by exploring the city and surrounding area.

 

Why do you think Aberdeen is a great conference and event destination? Especially for your field of work/research.

Aberdeen has excellent transport links, very good hotels and is a very easy place to sell to conference organisers. It is steeped in history, has over 300 castles, a city centre plus a beach and beautiful surrounding scenery. The P+J live is a recent addition to the area and has the capacity to host large events.

 

What is your experience of being involved (whether direct or indirect) with bringing a conference to the region and the support you received?

The EuroAgeism project involved universities from 8 participating countries and 9 partners, again from different countries. The project also supported 15 global PhD students. Pre Covid, it was essential for participants, partners and students to get together and provide training events for the students. I volunteered to host a three day training event in Aberdeen and made contact with the team at Visit Aberdeenshire and received so much help. I met with staff members and assisted to apply (and was granted) a civic reception in the city, I was provided with maps and guidebooks for delegates and from this event was proud to become an Aberdeen Ambassador.

 

Fun question - tell us something about you that is unique and different.

I retired at the end of April this year and one of my goals has been to learn the violin. I started lessons in May and am thoroughly enjoying having the time to learn to play this wonderful instrument.