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What is a typical day at work for you?

There is no such thing for me I’m afraid! There is typically some teaching and meetings with students and staff. But every day is different and new challenges are faced each day. That’s what keeps the job interesting and entertaining! I could have a day where I plan on marking all day…then come the knocks on the door, the queries, the worries, the fires to put out.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

My favourite thing about my job is watching the students have ‘ah ha’ moments! It is a wonderful feeling to be able to be a part of the teaching and learning experience of people, and make a difference in their lives, even if it is just a small part of their lives.

What has been your proudest moment whilst working at the university?

My proudest moment working at UCS is not just down to one moment. It has been watching the learning journey of each and every individual student that we have, and watching them all grow into independent, autonomous and knowledgeable individuals. It is when we have our students come shouting and smiling down the hallway because they got onto that Master’s programme, or got that job that they wanted. The proud ‘moment’ comes from the fact that they felt that it was important to tell us and to thank us for it. We are part of their lives, their learning and their achievements which makes us very proud and happy.

Have you seen anything funny or surprising while working at the university?

There is laughter in the classroom all of the time. Largely because the students find it funny when I make a mistake or when they manage to trick me into something. But really the best part of being in the classrooms is the personal level of teaching and learning experience. If we didn’t have that, then all of my fumbles in the classroom would just be embarrassing… instead of embarrassing - bearable - because I am amongst people who understand that I am but human too!

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?

As a manager, my exciting upcoming projects tend to involve liaising with new stakeholders and organisations to integrate and work with on the programme to enhance the student experience. I also see every project that my students are involved in as exciting upcoming projects because they involve local community organisations and the impact that their research can have on the community is immense. I just enjoy working with local organisations to try to make a difference in people’s lives, and UCS is just the right place to be able to accomplish that.

What is the best thing about the course?

It is difficult to choose one thing that is best about the programme. Of course I would say the ‘applied’ nature of the programme, but how this is interpreted could be different for everyone. What I mean about the applied aspect is the involvement of our students with the local community and solving real world problems for the community, but also for themselves. In addition, the preparation that we incorporate into the programme for our students to integrate into the postgraduate or working world. The workshops they deliver, mock job interviews, poster conference, training and trips out. It all makes for a great experience in teaching and in learning.

Choose a movie title for the story of your life.

Story of my life: “Say Anything” (though that often gets me in trouble!) or perhaps “A Hard Day’s Night!”, (I am a Beatles fanatic!).

Maybe Shawshank Redemption? In the sense that I would completely break out of prison if I were wrongfully convicted and I am also a forensic psychologist, so it interests me…

However, thinking at a character level, a student once compared me to two characters in Matilda – she said that though I may be perceived at times as Mrs Trunchbull due to my job description, I am more like Miss Honey. That made my heart swell.

If you could have a superpower what would you choose?

I would like an invisibility cloak…so I could spy on the students and hear what they say about me. Then again…perhaps the superpower to be able to increase people’s self-esteem and confidence in themselves might be a bit safer a journey with superpowers?

What should your students remember about you?

My students will likely remember that I am tough/strict, OR ‘firm but fair’ as we might put it. But I hope that they also remember that I am compassionate, personable, and will always fight their corner for them.

What might people not know about you?

People probably don’t know how much sleep I lose in order to ensure that the experience on the programme is as best it can be…but if we are looking at something interesting, it is that I have very big feet! When I was in Year 7, a boy once told me that my feet were too big for my head. I like to think that I have grown into my feet by now… but I still get teased about them by family and friends. And now that I have written this, I presume that this will now be the focal point of my future lectures with my students!

What is the best piece of advice that you could give to a student?

Be flexible and open minded with the content that is delivered. I think that at times students will look at a lecture topic and decide that it may not be relevant to them – it always is, or we wouldn’t deliver it. So, it’s important to understand and be comfortable with the idea that every single discipline, transferable skill and venture we can relate to our own personal career goals and aims is relevant. 

What makes University Centre Shrewsbury unique?

The unique learning experience. The personable yet autonomous experience that each and every student gains on the programme. It’s like no other HE institution. It is filled with passion, personality and good people.  

Find out more about our Applied Psychology programme at University Centre Shrewsbury. If you have any questions, why not ask a student?


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