CGS People Award Winner: Andrea Barnard of CSVPA

Winning a CGS award is a big achievement. Andrea Barnard, Senior Administrative Officer of Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts (CSVPA), is a joint winner of the first-ever People Award. The award celebrates positive behaviour from listening, supporting, and everyday acts of kindness.
Andrea is a much-loved member of the CSVPA community having joined the Arts school in 2008. With an office overlooking the Round Church in the centre of Cambridge, she has seen thousands of students pass through the campus. In her role, she supports colleagues and students. This includes coordinating staff and student consultative committees, boards of study, all CSVPA committees and Higher Education assessment processes.
Andrea received several nominations from her peers and was described as “sunshine on a rainy day” who “goes above and beyond every day to assist students and staff”.
Recently she kept a colleague company as they waited after hours to give a student a campus tour. The peer who nominated Andrea said: “It seems like such a tiny moment, but it is absolutely in line with Andrea’s empathic approach.”
What does being an CGS award winner mean to you?
It’s very flattering. It came as a wonderful surprise. I was very lucky. We all work in a vibrant community where we want to be kind and helpful to each other and all the staff I work with have all these qualities.
How has being an award winner positively impacted you personally, your career, and the CSVPA community?
Personally, it’s a great confidence boost, in terms of career it’s a recognition that I am on the right track. For CSVPA it is a testament to the great community I work in that staff would take the time to make an acknowledgement.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The interaction with creative students and staff.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
Rewarding, interesting and collegiate.
If you could give a People Award to anyone in your life, who would it be and why?
It would be to all my family members who have always looked out for each other.
What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
Find comedy clips to make me laugh and great music to lift my spirits.
What advice would you give to any nervous student starting at CSVPA?
Being nervous is natural, it is a form of excitement. You will find your studies at CSVPA exciting and rewarding. Enjoy your time and all will be well.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
“Do the right thing.”
You were described as having “wicked dress sense” in one nomination, where do you get your style inspiration from?
From years of combing charity shops and jumble sales. I was once asked “do you always dress in a time warp?” to which I answered “Yes.”
What words of encouragement would you give to others who are thinking of nominating their peers or themselves in the future?
Join in, it’s worth the effort and good luck!