My brief education and research story so far: North Somerset comprehensive school, first degree (first generation) in Zoology (Oxford, UK), PhD in Neurobiology (UCL, UK), two post-docs in cellular neuroscience and stem cell biology (KCL, UK and Karolinska Institute, Sweden), appointed as a Neuroscience Lecturer at Imperial College London, UK and I am now a Senior Teaching Fellow. From 1st September 2017, half my work will be as the Senior tutor for the Faculty of Natural Sciences with special interests in mental health support and the new learning and teaching strategy.
Other Significant Activities
Contributions within the Department of Life Sciences
Cell Biology, First year Biochemistry (core course)
Integrative Cell Biology, Second year Biochemistry (core course)
Challenges in Cell Biology, Second year Biochemistry (elective course, until Sept 2017)
Stem cells, regeneration and ageing, Final year Biochemistry and Biology (elective course, until Sept 2017)
Science communication, Final year Biochemistry and Biology
Neuroscience, Final year Biochemistry and Biology
Applied Biosciences and Biotechnology, module leader, Postgraduate Masters course
Pastoral support roles in the Department:
Teacher of University study skills and supporter of School-to-University and University-to-work transitions
Women’s tutor for Biochemistry
Mental Health First Aider (and MHFA trainer and Faculty Mental Health and wellbeing Champion). I see 2-3 students a week as well as some staff to discuss mental health concerns and questions and signpost the support that is available and the hopeful likelihood of recovery from mental ill health.
Other Departmental contributions:
Transferring teaching knowledge via Departmental best practice workshops
Peer reviewing colleagues' teaching practice and innovation
Member of the Life sciences’ teaching committee and contributor to external and internal reviews of our teaching and the development of new courses
Trainer and mentor of postgraduate teaching assistants
Contributor to College Open days for future undergraduates and their parents
Contributor to the Life Sciences’ DNA summer schools
'Champion' of undergraduate research opportunities and intellectual property awareness training
Serve as Member of an undergraduate admissions panel
Served as Departmental Biochemistry careers advisor
‘Champion’ of staff personal review and development
Recently invited onto a new equal opportunities committee group to discuss widening participation initiatives
Contributions within the Faculty of Natural Sciences (FoNS)
A founder, co-organiser, co-supervisor and mentor for the Faculty student team innovation competition, ‘FoNS Make a Difference’.
Recruited as Faculty Mental Health Champion to help students, staff and College make mental health and wellbeing a priority as part of Imperial’s strategic plan.
Schools science competition first stage judge and host
Run a Biology lab session for Year 12 school students for Imperial Outreach
Contributed some of my work on peer review of academic writing to a FoNS educational technology day.
Undergraduate research opportunity (UROP) reviewer
Served as invited Member of a FoNS Education Futures Curriculum group
As Faculty Senior Tutor invited onto the following committees: Quality Assurance and Enhancement, Faculty Education, Undergraduate Student Staff and Masters Student Staff.
Contributions beyond Faculty within Imperial College
Designed and run the Life Sciences and Medicine Global summer school for one hundred 16-17 year old international students
Run a summer science workshop for visiting Sutton Trust students
Recruited and sponsored by College to be trained as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor
Serve on the 'task and finish' working group on Doctoral student wellbeing e.g. by helping to develop an online course for supervisors
Contribute to discussions about mental health first aid with personal tutors (e.g. in the Faculty of Medicine)
Contributed to Imperial's internships strategy group
Served as an invited member of the Schools working group as part of College’s Societal Engagement strategy
Member of the Imperial School Governors network - recently established to support College's STEM and University Outreach work
Took part in a panel discussion of 'students as partners' during Imperial's Education day 2015 and ran a workshop on Lecturing at Education day 2017
Launched and run a collaborative network of Imperial's 130 Teaching Fellows. This network aims to support the sharing of teaching innovation and best practice as well as career development, scholarship and publication. I Chair the recently established Board of Teaching Fellows.
Invited member of College's Teaching staff career paths and Teaching reward, retention and recognition frameworks working groups
Invited member of College's Learning and Teaching strategy 'steering group'
Panel member, Making Mental Health Work@Work discussion and Q&A in conjunction with Time to Change December 2015.
Invited member of the ‘Action Inquiry’ groups which examined and suggested ways to evolve Imperial’s institutional culture
Contribute to joint College Trade Union, HR and Senior Management committees
Trained in Hay Group job evaluations and gradings
Volunteered for English conversation sessions with overseas students and researchers as part of Imperial College's Conversation Project (helps alleviate culture shock and offers informal English language support)
Teach neuroscience to medical students e.g. as part of the intercalated BSc in Neuroscience and mental health
Professional contributions beyond College
'Career paths in academia' at the PhD and Post-docs's careers day, King's College London, September 2016
‘Peer review with first year students (and transition support)’ at the Heads of University Biosciences sponsored workshop on, 'Assessments that reward learning and feedback that builds resilient students'. January 2016
Career paths in academia: what are my options? Naturejobs Career Expo, September 2014 (followed up on Twitter)
My reflections on widening participation from within a highly selective University, Brilliant Club conference, July 2014, University Perspectives Panel
Career paths in academia: Teaching-focused choices Society for Experimental Biology, June 2014
Guardian Higher Education Network Live chat, 'rethinking the teaching and research balance', November 2011
STEM Outreach, widening access and participation, public engagement and STEM careers support
Most in own time, many as STEMNET London Ambassador, others as an invited volunteer e.g. with Inspiring the future, City Islington College and the Big Bang Festival. These events include: University STEM career networking events, after school science clubs, science fairs, xmas lectures I'm a scientist online, summer school events, University interview practice, developing STEM educational resources, community festivals and FunPalaces.
Other professional activities beyond College:
Invited reviewer and Associate editor for Bioscience Horizons (Journal of international undergraduate bioscience research), invited reviewer for Japan Society for the promotion of science and textbook reviewer for Garland Science
Worked with one of the 'big four' audit firms to better support transition, mental health and resilience. This may lead to further work based around a discussion of modern working practices
Served as Director of the Parent Promoters Foundation (Elmgreen's Foundation body) at The Elmgreen School (a community comprehensive school), London, SE27 9BZ November 2015 - Present. Aim: To work in partnership with the school, parents and the wider community to improve outcomes for all Elmgreen's children
Director of We Rise, a social enterprise based in South London that aims to empower young people to create their own futures through authentic project-based work experiences.
I share information about pedagogy and mental health on Twitter as @ani2tall
I have been trained in Gender equality Outreach by the Fawcett Society to educate the next generation of gender equality champions.
Student Academic Choice Award nominations: Best Innovation, Best Tutoring and Best student support, March 2017 (1/6 Shortlistees for Best Innovation), Imperial student-led awards
President's Award for Excellence in Teaching
May 2015 staff + student awards
''Consistent evidence of sustained good practice, very student-centred and a well-informed teacher who is appreciated by both staff and students. Very strong, supportive references also doing good work with the Teaching Fellow network to promote learning & teaching good practice'' (President's Award Reviewers' panel). ''Has inspired 100s of students to try research'', President's Award ceremony.
Faculty of Natural Sciences Prize for Excellence in Teaching
May 2015 'Anita is an effective, hard-working teacher who is much appreciated by the students on the UG and Masters programmes. Her approach to teaching is reflective and innovative. Her deep thinking about student learning shows throughout her approach to teaching, whether it is in the lecture theatre, the practical lab or small group tutorials. An excellent departmental citizen, Anita has always been willing to share her good teaching practices with other staff through our termly workshops. Anita also serves as the departmental careers adviser, and has worked to support the school-to-university transition for our first year students. She has also introduced elements of mental health support in a sensitive and caring way as part of her teaching.' FoNS Teaching Committee, 2015
Student Academic Choice Award nominations: Best Undergraduate teaching and Best student support, January 2015, Imperial student-led awards
Faculty of Natural Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching
Imperial College London, June 2013
Students' nomination for Rector's Excellence in Pastoral Care Award, April 2013
HFSP Long-term Fellowship
Human Frontier Science Program, December 2001
Karolinska Institute Fellowship
Karolinska Institutet, December 2000
Continuing professional development
I have completed a Postgraduate Diploma in University Learning and Teaching run by Imperial’s Educational Development Unit and I regularly attend their workshops and seminars. I attend teaching conferences and use MOOCs, books and online education networks to learn more and improve my practice in: assessment, feedback, problem-based learning, inclusivity, gamification, laboratory teaching, one-off teaching sessions, small group teaching, reflective learning, course design, public engagement, educational technology, transition support, informal learning and emerging bioscience fields
Student-run research projects
Research-led teaching to raise student engagement
Student-led invention and innovation, hacklabs and makerspaces
Outreach and widening access and participation in further and higher education
Social media's role in education
Collaborative neuroscience research
Supporting positive mental health in students and staff
Public STEM engagement and dialogue
Staff development and support
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