Sophie Renville

Job title
Student Success Officer
Talking about
Using research and data

Tell us a bit about yourself

I studied BA Contemporary Surface Design and Textiles at Bradford School of Art. I grew up near Keighley and I now live in Leeds. I love techno, craft beer and spending my free time making costumes and styling wigs (I love drag artistry). 

Are you able to sum up your role in one sentence? 

I take a data-led approach to organising or supporting activity that aims to help increase attainment and retention for student demographics under-represented at university. 

Tell us about some of the work that’s going on in the Faculty of Environment to support Student Success 

I’m setting up a new Mature Student Network for 2021/22 for undergraduates and postgraduates which I’m really excited about! I’m running a peer mentoring scheme for Plus Programme undergraduates in the School of Geography, Earth and Environment, and the School of Food Science and Nutrition. I’ve also helped to set up a Fieldwork Fund in the School of Earth and Environment to help cover the costs of fieldwork kit such as boots and waterproofs. 

What is your favourite thing about the job? 

I love my job! I’ve loved being able to be hands on with setting up different support initiatives as well as carrying out investigations, such as the Commuting Students at Leeds report which I wrote this year. Working closely with the faculty’s Equality and Inclusion student champions is another highlight.

What are the key things that need to be in place for a student to be able to enjoy their university experience? 

I think everyone needs to feel like they have someone to turn to when they need some support. We all march to the beat of our own drum, it’s just a case of finding the right crowd who get you. Once you’ve found your peers, and feel academically supported too, life at university is a lot more enjoyable.