Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Leeds Trinity 2013: Gabby Logan, Chancellor

A Happy New Year to all the readers of Leeds Eye View!

As you know, I am a Journalism student at Leeds Trinity University - which proudly received that final recognition of University title in December of last year. Not content with just that major transformation, the University has today announced that Leeds-born, award-winning sports presenter Gabby Logan has become the new Chancellor!

And of course, when you have industry-grade facilities at hand, you make an announcement in your own style! So after a formal introduction to staff, governors, students and press, Gabby came to our modern new TV studio facilities - which I have recently put to use myself - to be interviewed by students from the Centre for Journalism! Indeed, she was unique amongst guests in that she could teach us a great deal about the challenges of television presenting.

Of course we weren't the only ones with a nose for the story, and press from Calendar, Look North and the Yorkshire Post were all jostling for room inside our facilities. Indeed, at one point I had those two titans of regional broadcasting - Harry Gration and Duncan Wood - sat directly behind me as I engineered the sound for our programme. This was not the time for me to hit the wrong button on our music console, but indeed I did so. An anecdote to laugh over in the future, but one to cringe about now!

Such fears were not troubling Gabby however, as she spoke enthusiastically to Sammy Parker about embracing the role, and hoping she could inspire students to gain the most from a University degree - something she states definitely benefited her career. Afterwards, she chatted with Duncan and Harry, reminiscing about their pasts - as Gabby had come up in reporting via work experience with none other than Mr Gration, the beloved face of Look North!

Again, she was able to show how her own professional experiences, backed up by her own treasured University days, would be such an immense boon to Leeds Trinity, in the town to which she has strong ties.

Once the video interviews were concluded, Gabby and the crew of the studio, who were almost all bright new journalists on Trinity degrees, were snapped in glowing photoshoots. At the same time, I was able to talk with Professor Margaret House, the University Vice-Chancellor who joined us just prior to Gabby's announcement. I was able to keep Professor House up to date with the Twitter storm we were all generating - causing trending to occur within minutes - and in turn hope I satisfactorily answered her searching questions about being a student at Trinity. I'm a Student Rep and I discuss University matters with staff frequently, but even I was gratified at this level of interest in, and engagement with, students on their level.

After this, Gabby was again whisked away, this time to the modern radio broadcast facilities in the Centre for Journalism where she conducted interviews with BBC Radio Leeds, Pulse Radio, and Radio Aire, all with the assistance of award-winning post-grad lecturer Richard Horsman. Here she acknowledged the uniqueness of Professor House and herself leading the way in academia, a hot topic in higher education circles - and she stated how old-fashioned views of 'traditional' roles for men and women should be challenged.

It's another encouraging sign from someone who will become an Ambassador for the University, and a role model for many aspiring students, especially based on the reactions of those she passed on campus! So a day of media engagements was drawn to a close, and we lucky journalists who covered it are now submitting our stories.

Gabby Logan is the new Chancellor of the new Leeds Trinity University, in the New Year of 2013. It's an exciting time to be part of it!

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