Megan Poore

Be a pen pusher for a PhD

04 March 2013

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Megan Poore is the Academic & Research Skills Advisor to PhD students at Crawford School of Public Policy.

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If you’ve got pens to be pushed, folders you’ve forsaken or your stationery has been too long stationary then the Stationery Exchange wants to hear from you.

The Stationery Exchange – an idea of Crawford School PhD Academic and Research Skills Advisor Dr Megan Poore – aims to take the unused and unwanted stationery sitting in staff’s offices and drawers, and redistribute and recycle it to the school’s PhD students. The idea began last week and Poore says it’s already been a big success.

“People have been fantastic,” she said. “They’ve donated everything from paper clips to archive boxes, whiteboard markers and many bulldog clips, which seem to reproduce at a surprising rate!”

The school has around 130 PhD students who, thanks the Stationery Exchange, can now help themselves to the recycled stationery from a cupboard in the Stanner Building.

Poore says the idea came about after she caught a glance at her own stationery hoard.

“I was looking at my own drawer and thought ‘gee, there’s a lot of stuff in there that I don’t use that someone else could be using’. And if I’ve got a few things in drawers, I’ll bet other people have too.

“PhD students have access to stationery, but there’s nothing for them in the building they’re located in. Having it close to where they are makes them feel that people are looking out for them.”

The push for pens and pencils began with a staff email, but it was the personal touch that reaped the most rewards, as Poore explained.

“I sent round a couple of emails and got a few nibbles back, but the most useful thing was door-stopping people at their offices and then getting them to clear out their drawers as you hang over their shoulder. But people have been great, and even if it’s just a few pens it still adds to the store,” she said.

She added that the search for staplers and the hunt for highlighters has uncovered a few classic items.

“We have an area we’ve named the relic shelf with a few antiques. It’s got a magnetic tape recorder and some magnetic tapes, so it could still be used. We’ll see what happens with that. If it doesn’t get taken or used we’ll recycle it in some other way.”

Poore added that she hopes the project will be ongoing and that other areas around the university will try their own drives to recycle rubbers and salvage some sticky notes.

If you have unwanted good quality stationery to donate, contact 

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