Farewell clichés

Emma Newcombe

After 17 years in the School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography; I started even before COMPAS was an application, it is time for me to move on. It definitely feels very weird closing the chapter and in some ways like a break up. Ok, so I don’t have the heartache or the problem of the shared record collection, but COMPAS has become part of me. I’ve always joked that I am part of the furniture, not only because I helped pick out the furniture but also because I’ve seen it practically every day for so long!

I’ve talked before on a blog post about how my job and the sector have radically changed over the past few decades. That was even before we entered a world we didn’t think was possible with the UK leaving the European Union. Office work, university administration and research communications continue to transform. All this change has meant lots of adaptation and learning for me personally over the years which on the whole, have been fantastic.

I have had lots of reasons to feel proud of the work I have been involved in from setting up the COMPAS photo competition that now enters its 11th round (this year’s theme is aptly titled ‘Finding Your Way’) to establishing the Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity with Sarah Spencer.  I’ve slapped the COMPAS logo on countless documents and products, built a number of websites and been involved in organising hundreds of events. Looking back the Decade of Migration events and publications including the Anthology was a particular highlight. Incidentally if anyone wants a copy we still have some available or check it out online. Looking to the future the truly interdisciplinary PEAK Urban project will be one to watch with partners in China, India, Colombia and South Africa based in disciplines from maths to medicine.

COMPAS is also is in the final stages of developing a DPhil in Migration Studies which opens for applications in the autumn with the first cohort starting in 2019. COMPAS staff have always supervised DPhil students but the difference is that there will be a thought out programme incorporating all the skills and expertise COMPAS and RSC have developed as research centres doing interdisciplinary, applied, cutting edge research. I will be around for a short time to help get this programme set up.

The main thing though has always been the people I’ve worked with. Special mention must go to Mikal, Nathan, Bridget, Vicky and Ida, but also all my other colleagues past and present, without whom COMPAS life would have been very different. Also, thanks to both my bosses (Prof. Steve Vertovec and Prof Michael Keith) who were hugely supportive of me personally, as well as of the need to invest in research communications.

I have truly had a great time at COMPAS and I will be sad to say good bye but excited to start a new chapter!