Dr Joe Spencer-Bennett, Head of Department, and Dr Marcus Perlman, Acting Director of Postgraduate Research, at the Department of English Language and Linguistics, University of Birmingham, gave testimonials about Samantha's activities and involvement in the postgraduate research community during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020/2021). They particularly commend Samantha's work in organising the department's postgraduate conference - BELP2021 (read more about it here).
As Head of Department, I am extremely grateful to Samantha for her work as PhD student rep, and I know that other members of staff and students are too.
"Samantha did a superb job as PhD student rep in English Language and Linguistics. She held this role during 2020 and 2021, the core of the Covid 19 pandemic. And, at a time when many of us were limiting our activities to the essentials, she invented new ways of doing pretty much everything that the role usually involves, and more; organising regular seminars, social events, and, with incredible success, a PhD conference. Samantha’s work over the year was really central to bringing our PhD students – from all over the world – together academically and socially, and I have no doubt that their work, and their experience of the year as a whole, benefitted from all that she did. As Head of Department, I am extremely grateful to Samantha, and I know that other members of staff and students are too."
"As Lead for Postgraduate Studies in the Department of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Birmingham, it is my pleasure to write on behalf of Samantha Ford to express my gratitude for her role as PhD Student Rep during the 2020/21 school year and as the lead organizer of the Birmingham English Language Postgraduate Conference. Samantha has represented the English Language Postgraduate students throughout the brunt of the Covid Pandemic, which left most students stranded from their normal daily postgrad community and support system. Samantha was brilliant in moving the year’s schedule of activities online, running an online weekly postgraduate seminar series and other social events, and working tirelessly to forge academic and social community throughout the year. She led an outstanding online conference – the yearly BELP Conference which had to be canceled the previous year – bringing together PhD researchers from across the department, and indeed from across the world, to discuss their research and the challenges they faced doing research during the pandemic. The event was also attended by many undergraduate students and staff, and was a resounding success. I am extremely grateful that Samantha volunteered for these duties this year, and I am sure that other members of staff postgraduate students are too."