Meet the Student Success Team

Graça Martins - Student Success Manager

I lead on the planning and delivery of the Student Success and Widening Access Strategy. I work closely with colleagues across the University to develop targeted programmes, support and development opportunities which aim to ensure all students have a sense of belonging and direction. I believe in working in partnership with students to co-create their educational journey and am committed to deliver the University's core purpose of transforming lives through an inclusive approach where everyone is valued, respected and supported to achieve their best.

Michelle Wakefield - Student Success Officer

I have worked at the University of Hertfordshire for 10 years and for the last 6 years as a Student Success Officer within the Widening Access and Student Success team.

Our team assist in the delivery of the Widening Participation and Student Success Strategy to ensure that students have clear sense of identity and engagement with their programme of study. We work closely with academic schools and other departments to provide targeted additional support and develop our staffs' capacity to understand and adopt and inclusive approach to access, retention and success. Within my role I support the Care Experience students to make sure they are fully supported throughout their time at the University or Hertfordshire.

Tope Bamgbelu - Student Success Officer

I am a Student Success Officer for the Widening Access and Student Success team, otherwise known as Herts Success. Our team work hard to ensure that no matter what a student's background or route into the University of Hertfordshire they are able to succeed. Within my role I create programmes both online and offline for many different student groups to help them develop and achieve their best.

Shanara Hibbert - Student Success Officer (Equality)

I work closely with colleagues across the University to provide targeted support and develop staff's capacity to understand and adopt inclusive support.

To ensure students have a clear sense of identity and engagement with their degree programmes, I lead on the planning and delivery of the University's Access and Participation Plans, Widening Participation and institutional equality strategy. I work closely with colleagues across the University, including academic schools and professional services, to provide consultancy on Widening Participation and equality matters. Part of my role is to offer constructive advice and support the delivery of events to under-represented groups.

Rachel Nield - Student Success Officer (Go Herts)

I lead, coordionate, promote and deliver the Go Herts award ensuring it is inclusive to all students. I work closely with colleagues across the University, providing targeted additional support and developing our capacity to understand and adopt an inclusive approach, especially in the delivery of events to widening participation students and other vulnerable groups.

Michelle Day - Administrator

I provide administrative support primarily to the Student Success team but also the Widening Access team to ensure the smooth running of our projects and activities supporting young people and University of Hertfordshire students.

Jekaterina Zevnovataja - Student Placement

As a placement student, I am involved in supporting the Widening Access and Student Success team in the delivery of programmes and projects that support students throughout the year at the University of Hertfordshire. I am heavily involved in the social media marketing where I create engaging social media campaigns for all UH students and staff to promote and engage our community in the events and programmes we have to offer. Additionally, I assist the Data and Evaluation Officer in evaluating events, projects and programmes.

Lucy O'Shea - Data and Evaluation Officer

As the Data and Evaluation Officer for the team I help to ensure that we are always gathering student and pupil voice, so that we can develop the best support for their learner journeys. I also support with reporting, both internally, externally and to the Officer for Students.

Dr Stéphane Farenga - Deputy Head of Widening Access and Student Success

I'm originally from Los Angeles but have lives in the UK since 2005 (funny enough I don't actually miss the weather that much!). As part of a career change, I completed a master's degree in Higher Education, which led me to focus on widening participation and joining the University's Widening Access and Student Success team in 2013 to lead our Data & Evaluation and Student Success portfolios. I'm very proud of our impact in helping transform lives at the University by supporting the aspirations and success of our students, be it removing financial barriers or helping students develop their skills, confidence and goals. In 2019, I completed my doctorate in education, having researched the student experience using collaborative staff-student engagement styles. I hope to bring this co-creation approach to staff-student networks across UH, the UK and beyond. When I'm not at work you can find me campervan-ing around the UK with my wife and husky!