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ASK Advisers – University of Reading

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ASK Advisers

Our departmental ASK Advisers

Sometimes you have a quick query that might best be answered by someone within your department - but you don't want to bother your tutor with it. You might want to know how to format a reference for a particular resource used only in your discipline - or what a particular term used in your subject means. In term-time, you may be able to consult an ASK Adviser.  

ASK stands for Academic Skills and Know-how. ASK Advisers are postgraduate research students in your department who are trained and mentored by the Study Advice team. Like Study Advisers, they can't proof read your work, or give you specific answers to your assignments. But they do have local experience of how things work in your department, and are uniquely placed to give you advice based on their knowledge and experience. And if your query is beyond their scope, they'll suggest the best person for you to contact, whether that's your tutor, a Study Adviser, or a librarian. 

In 2017-18, there are ASK Advisers in the following departments:



Food and Nutritional Sciences

Henley Business School



Politics and International Relations

Els Meijer ASK ClassicsClassics - ELS Meijer

Drop in hours: Wednesdays 12.00 - 13.00 and Fridays 13.00-14.00 in Edith Morley G36 (Classics corridor, near the Ure Museum).

About Els: I am a PhD student in Classics, examining the ways in which religion strengthened monarchic power in ancient Macedon. This study involves the use of a wide range of sources, including literature, epigraphy, archaeology, and iconography. I completed my undergraduate degree in Language and Culture Studies, and my MPhil in Ancient Studies at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. During my master's and now my PhD, I have taught several seminars on Greek History, as well as some on Roman History.

As an ASK adviser, I will be able to assist both undergraduate and postgraduate students with various study-related difficulties, such as preparing for exams, using the library, writing essays or referencing. I can help British students to bridge the gap between school and university, and foreign students to understand the British university system, in relation to their own past experiences, either at school or at another university.

Economics - Anisa Butt, Sarah Najm & Zhe Wang 

Anisa and Sarah will be providing the ASK service for all students in alternate weeks. Zhe will be providing a targeted ASK service for NUIST students only.


Anisa Butt ASK EconomicsDrop in hours for Anisa: Thursday 11-12, Edith Morley Building, room 179

Dates for Spring 2018:

1 February, 15 February, 1 March, 15 March

About Anisa:

I am a PhD student in Economics looking at income inequality in the UK. I completed my undergraduate degree in Economics and my MSc in Emerging and Developing Economies at the University of Reading.

As ASK advisors, we can help with any study-related enquires you may have.


Sarah Najm ASK EconomicsDrop in hours for Sarah: Thursdays 11-12PM, Edith Morley, G86A

Dates for Spring 2018:

11 January, 18 January, 25 January, 8 February, 22 February, 8 March, 22 March

About Sarah:

I studied at the University of York, MSc in Economics, and am now undertaking my PhD in Economics at Reading. I am interested in macroeconomics, energy, and environmental concerns.

As an ASK advisor, I am happy to be there for your study-related enquiries, no matter how trivial you think it sounds. Come along to my fortnightly sessions or feel free to drop me a line if need be.


Zhe Wang ASK EconomicsDrop in hours for Zhe (for NUIST students only): 11:30 to 12:00 every Thursday in Edith Morley 179.

About Zhe:  I am a PhD student in the Department of Economics. My research focuses on studying effects of monetary policy on unemployment based on empirical analysis of euro area countries. I studied at Sichuan University for BSc Public Finance, then completed MSc Economics and Finance at Durham University and am now undertaking PhD research at Reading.

My role is to help and support NUIST students with various study-related difficulties, like finding resources, referencing; layout design and time management. In addition, we will also organize some social events for you, like visiting London or other nice places in the UK.

I offer a 30min weekly drop-in session in my office. Feel free to pop in my office and let me help you.

Food and Nutritional Sciences - Lucy Turner

Lucy Turner ASKDrop in hours: Tuesdays 1-2 in the Food PC room.

About Lucy: I am a first year PhD student in Food Science and Nutrition looking at linking biochemistry and genetics in celery to taste and flavour perceived by consumers: developing a more acceptable product. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Reading in Nutrition and Food Science with an industrial placement and graduated this summer.

My role as an ASK Advisor is to answer any queries in a range of subjects such as starting a literature review, structuring, and referencing for essays. I aim to help you with any problems you may have using my knowledge and experience I've gained from the department.

Henley Business School - Neil O'Brien

Drop in hours: Thursdays, 3.00-4.00 in the ARC

Neil O'Brien ASKAbout Neil: I work as Senior ARC Assistant at Henley Business School across both Whiteknights and Greenlands campuses. My undergraduate degree is in Typography and Graphic Communication from Reading University. My MA is in Information Management from the University of West London. I have worked in academic libraries for over ten years in roles such as Library Assistant and Subject Librarian.

Working in the ARC, I have good knowledge of Business, Finance and Real Estate resources, including: books and journals (print and online), case studies, market reports and subject databases.

As an ASK Advisor I can assist undergraduate and postgraduate students with using the ARC and the University Library, referencing, research skills, academic writing, as well as general study and student related advice.


History - Charlie Crouch

Charlie Crouch HistoryDrop-in hours: Tues 1-2.

Venue: History Resource Room

About Charlie: I am a PhD Candidate researching medieval marriage contracts and the uses of marriage as a tool of power by the French aristocracy.

I completed my undergraduate degree in History and French in 2014, as well as an MRes in Medieval Studies the following year. I'm now in the third year of my PhD, and I have taught on the Journeys modules for the Department. All of this experience has given me a great insight into the Department, assessments, and good academic practice.

I am here to help with any queries that you might have concerning your studies. I can advise on planning and structuring essays, using essay feedback to improve, locating resources and referencing, note taking, reading efficiently and other study skills, as well as time management. If I cannot help, I normally know who can.

Sarah Fisher ASK PhilosophyPhilosophy - Sarah Fisher & Steven Wu

Drop-in hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 13.00-14.00. (No sessions in weeks 1 or 6.)

Venue: G59, Edith Morley Building (Philosophy corridor)

About Sarah (Mon & Thurs): I am a PhD student in the Philosophy Department. My research investigates how people respond to information when it is presented in different ways, and what that tells us about the role of context in meaning.

I have come back to academic philosophy after working for several years in public policy. Prior to that I was an undergraduate at the University of Oxford and completed my Masters at the University of Edinburgh.

As ASK adviser, I can help with a range of research and study skills, including essay-writing, structuring, referencing, and understanding feedback on previous work.



Steven Wu ASK PhilosophyAbout Steven (Tues & Fri): I am a PhD student in the Philosophy Department. My research investigates theories of justice and desert. I have come back to academic philosophy after several years of teaching English Literature at international schools in Guangzhou and Shanghai. I completed my B.A. at New York University, an M.A.T. at Tufts University (in Education) and an MRes at the University of Reading (in Philosophy).

As ASK adviser, I can help with a range of research and study skills, including essay-writing, structuring, referencing, and understanding feedback on previous work.


Yanos Soubieski ASKPolitics and International Relations - Yanos Soubieski

Drop-in hours: 14.00-16.00 every Wednesday

Venue: Edith Morley Building, room 411

About Yanos: I am a PhD student in the Politics Department and my research focuses on applying an Althusserian critique of subjectivity and capitalism to a feminist critique of gender and patriarchy. I was awarded my Politics and International Relations Degree from Reading in 2013 and my Master Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of York in 2014. In addition to my role as ASK Adviser I also teach 'Introduction to Political Ideas' (PO1IPI) and have given an introductory lecture on Marxism.

As ASK Adviser my role is to help students in the Politics Department in terms of developing their skills for essay writing and research. I am happy to review pieces of work previously submitted in order to identify where improvements in structure, style and referencing can be made but am also happy to advise on matters regarding presentations and research. Please do come by my office, whether it's to practise your presentation or to ask for advice on exams or essays. Finally I am happy to meet outside of my office hours if you cannot make it, in which case please just email me. Just remember I was a student like yourselves only a couple of years ago and I really do sympathise with your academic worries and woes - I certainly shared them during my undergraduate years.


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