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Helen Markes celebrated for lifelong commitment to creative education

Arts University Plymouth Senior Lecturer recognised at Royal Garden Party for over 35 years in creative education
<p dir="ltr">Arts University Plymouth’s longest serving Lecturer has attended a Royal Garden Party in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, invited in recognition of her lifelong services to creative education.</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/people/helen-markes">Helen Markes</a>, a Senior Lecturer and Extended BA Course Leader who has worked at Arts University Plymouth since 1988, was nominated by colleagues at the University and selected by the Department for Education to attend the Royal Garden Party.<br /></p>
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Helen Markes

<p dir="ltr">The Garden Parties, which are hosted by the Sovereign, are an opportunity for members of the Royal Family to recognise and reward the achievements of people who have made a positive impact in their community.</p> <p dir="ltr">Helen is the longest serving member of staff at Arts University Plymouth. She began her teaching career by working on a Creative Lettering course at Arts University Plymouth over 35 years ago. Since then she has taught on and led numerous creative qualifications, including a National Diploma in Graphic Design &amp; Illustration, the Foundation Diploma in Art &amp; Design, leading up to her current role leading the University’s BA (Hons) Extended Degree provision.<br /></p>
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<p dir="ltr">Helen said: “I have the best job in the world. Every day I come to work in a place where everyone eats, sleeps and breathes art and design. I feel as passionately about creative education today as I did when I first started in the role. My students are the reason that I was invited to the Royal Garden Party. The students inspire me and they’re the ones who help me to be good at my job, it’s a collaborative experience. I’ve kept in touch with a lot of former students and made some good friends over the years. I’m most proud of having had the opportunity to help students who might have struggled when they started their studies and by the end of their time here they’re thriving and ready for the next challenge.”<br /></p>
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<p dir="ltr">Karen Green, one of Helen’s current Extended BA (Hons) students, said: “We are all delighted that Helen’s incredible passion, dedication and ability to inspire, with unsurpassed knowledge and experience, is being acknowledged and celebrated. Helen has helped me to accept my sight loss in a way I never thought possible. I am so delighted about the recognition she has received because I truly couldn’t put into words the difference she has made to me and so many others.”<br /></p>
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<p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/people/tim-gundry">Tim Gundry</a>, Assistant Dean for Student Experience at Arts University Plymouth, said: “I’ve known and worked with Helen for over 15 years and when I first became a full-time teacher she was my manager. Always open, honest and direct, Helen's no nonsense approach has been appreciated too many times to mention. It is an approach which is also characteristic of the way in which Helen teaches her students. Helen is a passionate and dedicated educator. Her commitment to her course and the success of her students is absolute and she has a particular ability to connect with people, always seeking to understand them as individuals. I know of so many students who have progressed through their degree, sometimes into postgraduate study and beyond, who cite Helen Markes as being a key contributor to their success."<br /></p>
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<p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/people/madalaine-blyth">Maddy Blyth</a>, Assistant Head of Pre-Degree at Arts University Plymouth, said: “The most amazing aspect of Helen's teaching is her ability to connect with every single one of her students. People from all walks of life enter her studio and it may be within days or it may take months, but Helen finds a way to draw out their curiosity, challenge them and encourage them further. There is a real artist to artist relationship that takes place, the kind of trust in an art studio that makes room for really exciting moments to occur. That's down to Helen and the endless energy she has for her craft.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/people/steven-forsyth">Steven Forsyth</a>, Head of Pre-Degree, said: “Helen is one of the best educators and kindest people I know. Helen has amassed significant levels of experience and over the years has supported countless students and colleagues with an empathetic heart, a kind ear and a finely tuned home truth or two.</p>
Helen Markes RGP Palace of Westminster Terrace

Helen Markes

<p dir="ltr">Helen has touched the lives of countless artists and designers throughout the course of her career. During her trip to Buckingham Palace the sun was shining as Helen explored the gardens, enjoying two military brass bands and meeting dignitaries and other invited guests. The party was attended by King Charles III and Queen Camilla, alongside numerous members of the Royal Family.</p> <p dir="ltr">Congratulations Helen and thanks for your many years of support for students and colleagues at Arts University Plymouth.<br /></p>