Who are we?
Queen Margaret University Graduates' Association is an organisation for staff and former students Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (formerly Queen Margaret University College, Queen Margaret College and Edinburgh College of Domestic Science (known as Atholl Crescent to those studying there). Founded in 1914, the Association is designed to maintain links, friendship and networking between former students and staff of the University.
Membership is open to students who have completed a recognised course of study and to all present and former staff whether academic, administrative or support services. With a programme of networking lunches and social events, promoted via a regular newsletter and a dedicated page in the QMYOU Magazine, it provides a superb way of keeping in touch!
Our constitution can be downloaded here.
Meet the team
Hello I’m Lindesay Irvine and I am delighted to have been elected President at the 2020 AGM. I graduated with a QMC degree in Nursing in 1983, and specialised in Care of Older People. I returned to study at Edinburgh University gaining an MSC in Nursing and Education. Having taught at South Lothian College of Nursing I moved to Aberdeen where I was a senior lecturer at Foresterhill College. A final move saw me return to QMUC in 1992 as a lecturer. During my time as a lecturer in Nursing I undertook a PhD with QMU and graduated in 2008. I was latterly involved in running the PGCert Professional and Higher Education , which we moved to an online course in 2019, and I also was programme director for the Professional Doctorate for the whole University.
QMU has always been very close to my heart with as a student and staff member so when I retired in 2019 I joined the QMU Graduate association and promptly became a committee member. I am very excited to be able to help take the association forward into the future and to assist in helping it to continue to flourish and develop.
My role as Minute Secretary, means that I am trustee of Madras Lodge, the main part of the role is to liaise with the chair and other committee members, attend committee meetings, to take minutes of these meetings and the AGM, distribute them to the committee. I sometimes attend other events , when Elaine is unable to attend.
As Social Secretary, it is my role to organise any events held for the members, and liaise with Thomas Kelly re any Alumni Events etc for QMU
I am excited and honoured to be a elected Treasurer this year with QMUGA which is a dynamic organisation valuing past achievements while looking to embrace the future .
I had originally trained as a Registered General Nurse in Edinburgh, working as a ward sister. I then completed the Diploma in Drama at Queen Margaret College 1976/79. By following the Dramatherapy option then available, I enjoyed a creative and challenging mix of drama psychology speech and movement!
Moray House followed with the PGCE in Speech and Drama, and I taught at an Edinburgh High School for 10 years. Some post grad modules in Early Education followed while opening a private Day Nursery in Edinburgh from 1990 to 1996. I moved into Further Education as a Lecturer in the Dept of Childcare and Community Studies at Jewel and Esk Valley College for 4 happy years before specialising in teaching children with Autism until 2018. On retiring from teaching I achieved the 1 year Teacher Certificate in Mindfulness [ for adults] with Youth Mindfulness Glasgow. and have facilitated community groups in Health Wellbeing and Mindfulness. This includes working with Veterans and people living with Homelessness. I am still a Registered Nurse and I still draw upon people centred group work methods from my drama training.
Elaine Acaster OBE
Hello. I'm Claire (Claire Seaman) and I have the pleasure of becoming QMUGA Membership Secretary in 2021. I graduated from QM in 1988 and 1992, studying dietetics and human nutrition initially. A masters in agri-business followed and a developing research interest in family owned and run businesses, which is my current focus within Queen Margaret Business School. At present I am working with the British Council to develop an entrepreneurship curriculum and standards for Uzbekistan, but along the way I have spent quite a lot of time earlier in my career working with QMUs academic partners in India, Singapore, Nepal, Greece and indeed Switzerland. Away from work, I enjoy outdoor swimming, reading, travel with my family and I volunteer with the community organisation 'WomenBeing'.
I am delighted to be part of the QMUGA Committee, although I am a bit of an impostor, as I’m not a QMU graduate. However, I worked at QMU for ten years, before retiring at the beginning of 2019, and I’m very committed to the university community and QMU’s values. I have studied and worked at a number of universities around the UK, first as a Spanish lecturer and then as an academic developer, and I felt I had come home when I started working at QMU.
My job, as Director of the Centre for Academic Practice, was to support staff to carry out high quality teaching and research. I also spent a lot of time working with QMU’s international partners around the world, both in academic enhancement and staff development.
I am now Professor Emerita of Higher Education at QMU, and semi-retired, but I continue to do research and to work with the UK lecturers’ professional body. I’m also the international academic advisor at HTMi Switzerland.
I come from a big extended family, and enjoy spending time with them, and with my two grown up sons, my daughter-in-law and two lovely grandchildren.
I am honoured to have been President of QMUGA from 2016 - 2020, working with committee members as a team which upholds the objectives of the association. We arranged a variety of events throughout the year, mostly in Edinburgh. We support the University through mentoring, involvement in student projects, an annual Personal Development Student Award, and attendance at University events. Together we promote friendship among GA members, and look forward to increasing and diversifying our membership.
Following teacher training at ECDS (Atholl Crescent), I qualified as a dietitian. After a short period working in NHS, my career diverted into a variety of roles in Further and Higher Education, finally as Vice Principal of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. I am a member of QMU Court and have recently been appointed as interim Chair of Borders College Board.
I demitted office as the treasurer in 2020, having been on the committee for many years. I graduated in 1969 with a 1st Class in Institutional Management. I started my career as a Home Economist with South of Scotland Electricity Board and while in post I won a National Public Speaking Competition and also The Caroline Haslett Commercial Catering Bursary. Since 1984 I have travelled to Japan over 40 times working for Mackays of Arbroath. I started my own company in 2002 as a Tea Consultant and travelled frequently to Japan,China, Taiwan, USA and UK lecturing on the history of British Afternoon Tea and related topics.
Hello. I'm Sylvia (Sylvia Parker Northcott) and I have had the pleasure of being QMUGA Membership Secretary since 2014 In 1997 at 54 years of age, I graduated at QMUC with a BA Combined Studies (Social Science/Health
Psych/Media Studies)...Unfortunately I failed to find employment within the media sector. However, whilst studying for my BA, I was able to continue working part time as a qualified Ophthalmic Nurse with Lothian Health Board until my retirement. During this Covid 19 Pandemic I have set myself challenges and subsequently been able to use my acquired QMU knowledge and
nursing skills to become a volunteer presenter with my local Community Radio Station. I have also been busy during lockdown scripting and putting together a weekly informative radio show on behalf of the Midlothian Ageing Well Project. I have also in the past been involved with Queen Margaret University Student Mentoring Services.
Hello, I am Carol Brennan. I am delighted to join the QMU Graduates Association Committee. I graduated with a QMC degree in Home Economics in1982 and became a Consumer Adviser with Scottish Borders Council where I gained a Diploma in Consumer Affairs with the Trading Standards Institute. I became a Lecturer at QM in1987. During my time at QMU, I was awarded an MA in Education with the Open University. I provided leadership for Consumer Studies degree programmes, became a Reader and led the Consumer Dispute Resolution Centre. Following my retirement from the University in 2019, I became an Honorary Reader.
I continue to work as a consultant in consumer policy. I am a member of the Office of Rail and Road Consumer Expert Panel and a member of the Civil Aviation Authority Consumer Panel. I chair the Qualifications and Awards Board and the Examinations and Assessment Board for the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
I greatly valued my experience as a student and then as a member of staff at QMU so was very pleased to be invited to contribute to the future development of the QMU Graduates’ Association. I look forward to working with colleagues on the Committee and other members of the Association.
In my free time, I enjoy swimming, gardening, and walking and socialising with friends and family.