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What is a typical day at work for you?

My experience of being an academic means there isn’t a ‘typical’ day.  Each day is varied in terms of content and activity.  One day I might be leading a field course in New York talking to students about the experiences of immigrants in the city; another day I’ll spend two hours running a debate on the rights of asylum seekers working in the UK, before delivering a lecture on crime prevention through environmental design, followed by several meetings with colleagues about various different projects I’m involved in; and another day I’ll spend all day working on my computer writing a research article or editing other people’s journal articles that have been submitted to one of the journals I work on.  It is a wonderfully varied job! 

What is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of the job is that I get to spend all my time learning.  This is through my interaction with students who teach me new ways of thinking about Geography and how to better explain and teach the subject, and through my conversations and work with other academic staff members both in Chester and from around the world. 

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects?

I’m particularly interested in how students and staff might work together to enhance learning and teaching and the student experience in Higher Education.  I have various ongoing projects that relate to this area. 

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

Receiving my National Teaching Fellowship in 2017 – a national award based on my teaching practice and research. 

How would you summarise your Chester story?

I joined the University of Chester just as I was finishing my PhD.  It was my first lecturing position.  Working at the University has been a highly enjoyable experience – so much so that I have just celebrated my 10th year anniversary at the University!

What do you enjoy most about teaching your subject?

I enjoy teaching about current issues that are affecting the world and the people in it and being able to explore these in a critical way through conversations and debate with my students. 

What is the most memorable lesson you’ve ever taught?

Following research into working in partnership with students a couple of years ago my colleague Dr Rebecca Collins and I re-thought how we taught how to design a questionnaire.  We approached it an entirely different way in which the whole class participated in the ‘live’ production of the questionnaire.  All the students in the class contributed significantly and the final questionnaire was produced by the whole class.  It was a fantastic experience for both the staff and the students, who commented how much they enjoyed the process. 

What do you like about being a Personal Academic Tutor?

Being a Personal Academic Tutor is an important responsibility but also a wonderful opportunity to get to know new and interesting individuals.  I enjoy building relationships with my tutees over three years and being able to help them when things aren’t going so well, but most importantly celebrate with them when they achieve what they’ve been working towards. 

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