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Director in the Combined Honours in Social Sciences+44 (0) 191 33 43006
Professor & University Mentoring Coordinator in the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD)
Director of Combined Honours in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health 
Member of the Foundation Centre 43006

Biography

Personal Profile

I am Director of Combined Social Sciences and University Mentoring Coordinator at Durham University. I am an enthusiastic believer in the importance of belonging and community to people's success, both in the way I run our Combined Social Sciences programme and the ways in which I support mentoring activity throughout our university community.

I manage the Combined Social Sciences degree programme and its 400 students, liaising with departments who deliver the modules and supporting the students throughout their programme of study. I work with colleagues to develop and run interdisciplinary modules to offer a broader range of options to Combined Honours students as well as overseeing our Faculty Placement Year module for Social Sciences students taking a Placement Year as part of their degree.

I am an Applied Linguist and have been an EAP (English for Academic Purposes) teacher at Durham University since 2002 working in various different roles. My scholarship projects have been focused in a few different areas, initially on corpus linguistics principally the development of the FOCUS project: a corpus of Durham University student writings. Accessing corpus data either in class or through a suite of self-access facilities that we have designed helps students to uncover how vocabulary is used in different disciplines and in academic writing more generally. I have created student lesson material and staff training workshops in this area.

In addition to this, I am also involved in other scholarship projects which focus on student belonging. I have established peer mentor schemes in two departmental contexts and worked with colleagues across the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health to support them in setting up peer mentor schemes for their own departments. I run the Faculty Peer Mentor Network which brings together academic and student mentoring leads from each departmental scheme. I am part of the Mentoring Strand on the Pro:NE project which seeks to widen access and participation for racially minoritised students and staff in postgraduate research.

In the role of University Mentoring Coordinator, I work with colleagues in departments and central services to develop mentoring programmes and training for a range of contexts across Durham University. I have completed an ILM Level 7 Executive Coaching and Mentoring qualification, and am part of our internal coaching network at Durham University. I also coach clients from other institutions, so if you are interested in working with me then please get in touch!

Professional Membership

  • Senior Fellow of the HEA and a member of the HEA Internationalisation SIG
  • Member of BAAL (British Association of Applied Linguistics), member of the BAAL Vocabulary SIG and past convenor of the BAAL Corpus SIG
  • Member of IVACS (Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies)
  • Marker for the UK Linguistics Olympiad
  • Member of the Foundation Year Network
  • Member of the Combined Honours Network

Conference Talks and Workshops

'The development of online resources to enhance understanding of subject specific language in non-traditional students.' 12th Annual Durham Blackboard Users' Conference, Durham University, Jan 2012.

'Can I have a word please? Strategies to enhance understanding of subject specific vocabulary for non traditional learners.' Three Rivers Conference, Northumbria University, April 2012.

'Challenging the Western Stereotype: do Chinese international Foundation students learn by rote?' Three Rivers Conference, Northumbria University, April 2012.

'Can I have a word please? – Enhancing understanding of subject specific and general academic language at Foundation level through use of a corpus of student-generated texts.' IALIC Conference, Durham University, December 2012. 

'Challenging the Western stereotype: do Chinese international Foundation students learn by rote?' IALIC Conference, Durham University, December 2012.

'Recycling writing: learning from a corpus of student-generated texts.' 13th Annual Durham Blackboard Users' Conference, Durham University, Jan 2013.

'“Making the invisible visible”: learning from a corpus of student-generated texts.' Talk to Foundation Centre, Feb 2013.

'Recycling Writing: learning from a corpus of student-generated texts.' UALL Conference, Durham University, March 2013.

'"Making the invisible visible": learning from a corpus of student-generated texts.' Internationalising in HE: Making Connection. HEA, London, March 2013.

'“Making the invisible visible”: learning from a corpus of student-generated texts.' Foundation Year Network Conference, July 2013.

'Confidence through Corpora: supporting native speaker EAP with a corpus of student-generated texts.' Inter-Varietal Applied Corpus Studies Symposium, Queen's University Belfast, January 2014.

'Reading from the centre outwards: an evaluation of corpus-based teaching activities.' Scholarship Forum presentation, March 2014.

'Complex Ion or Complexion? Using a corpus of student-generated texts to support international learning at Foundation level.' 3 Rivers Conference, Durham University, March 2014.

'Complex Ion or Complexion? Using a corpus of student-generated texts to support international learning at Foundation Level.' IVACS Conference, Newcastle University, June 2014.

'Development of corpus-based activities to improve the academic writing skills of Chemistry undergraduates.' Durham University Teaching Fellow Network, St Chad's College, September 2014.

'Complex Ion or Complexion? Using a corpus of student-generated texts to support international learning at Foundation Level.' InForm Conference, Reading University, July 2015.

'Data Driven Learning to aid Transition to Higher Education.' Enhancing Student Learning through Innovative Scholarship Conference, Durham University, July 2015.

'Supporting Transition through Peer Mentoring.' Enhancing Student Learning through Innovative Scholarship Conference, Durham University, July 2015.

'Write on the edge: corpus-based teaching activities to support student writing in unfamiliar genres.' Inform Conference, Durham University, July 2016.

'Write on the edge: corpus-based teaching activities to support student writing in unfamiliar genres.' Durham University Learning and Teaching Conference, September 2016.

'FOCUS project: Using a corpus to develop online student activities.' 17th annual Durham University Blackboard Users' Conference, January 2017.

'FOCUS project: Using a corpus to develop online student activities.' Three Rivers Conference, Teesside University, March 2017.

'Using corpora in EAP: Online activities supporting Sport student lab reports.' BAAL Corpus SIG Symposium, March 2017.

'Using Xerte online toolkit corpus-based teaching activities to support Sport and Education students writing in unfamilar genres'. Durham University Learning and Teaching Conference, September 2017.

'Using Data Driven Learning to support students writing in unfamiliar genres'. Coventry University, BAAL Corpus SIG Symposium, June 2018.

'Write on the Edge: Using corpus-based teaching activities to support students writing in unfamiliar genres'. BAAL Conference, September 2018.

'Fostering cohort identity in a Combined Honours degree programme' Durham University Learning and Teaching conference, September 2018.

'Belongingness and Identity in Cross-disciplinary degree programmes' HEA Conference, June 2019

'Dissertations beyond disciplinary boundaries - developing an interdisciplinary dissertation module' Durham University Learning and Teaching conference, September 2019

'"You shall go to the ball!" Fostering cohort identity in a Combined Honours degree programme' RAISE conference, Sept 2019

'Cohort building with a hint of dystopia' Three Rivers Conference, Sept 2019

'To be at home wherever I find myself': peer mentoring as a tool to enhance student belonging' Three Rivers Conference June 2021

'Supporting racially minoritised PGRs through mentoring' Pro:NE workshops, Jan/Feb 2024

 Grants and Awards

  • 2008/09: Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award (£10,000)
  • 2012: HEA/UKCISA award to assess online concordancing tools (£5,370)
  • 2012: Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award - Pre Arrival Portal project (£5,200)
  • 2012: Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award - The FOCUS project (£5,050)
  • 2012: HEA award to develop teaching activities for the FOCUS project (£5,000)
  • 2013: Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award - FOCUS diagnostics (£5,000)
  • 2013: Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award - Pre Arrival Portal project (£5,200)
  • 2013: Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award - Peer Mentoring Project (£4,000)
  • 2014: Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award - Language support project for final year UG Chemistry students (£4,200)
  • 2015: Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award - Corpus based teaching activity development project (£16,000)
  • 2017: Enhancing the Student Learning Experience Award - PICNIC project on student exchange (£3,000)

Esteem Indicators

  • 2000: IELTS examiner: I certified as an IELTS examiner in 2006 and continued in this role until 2010. I am due to recertificate.

Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article