How long have you worked at the Uni? What does your role involve?
I joined the Department of Psychology as a Senior Lecturer in September 2016 but worked at the University of Bath previously between 2001 and 2008. I also completed my PhD here too in what is now, the Centre for Pain Research. That makes me both staff and alumni. My role involves teaching on the Masters in Health Psychology and being responsible for the placements that our health psychology students undertake. Research is also a big focus on my role and I enjoy working on projects in my research area, which looks at how children and their families experience pain.
What would you most like to achieve while at the University?
I would really like to raise the profile of paediatric pain, both through my own work and through inspiring students to become the future research leaders in this field. That’s a timely aim given that I am a core member of the Bath Centre for Pain Research and the Centre is celebrating its 10th birthday this year. Raising the profile of our collective work and activities is important.
Name one thing that makes you feel proud to work at the University of Bath?
As ever the people. We have a fantastic community of students and staff across the university. Having great colleagues really matters.
What piece of advice would you like to give to a student?
Believe in yourself and work hard.
Who was your most influential teacher/educator, and why?
I am not sure I could name just one. There have been many influential people throughout my career so it would be impossible to choose. Sometimes because they are just generally doing fantastic work that I hugely admire and/or because they gave me a sense of believing in myself, opportunities to progress and confidence. I have learned many different things from individuals and I am very grateful to them.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young I wanted to be a secretary like my Mum but that changed to wanting to train as a journalist when I was a bit older. I even went to University to study English Literature so was clearly quite determined that English in some format was my future. I quickly realised that it was not for me though and psychology was the way forward.
What’s the one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you were younger?
That whilst it is great to have plans (I’m a real planner), you do also need to be flexible about them and open to opportunities. Life does not always play out the way you think it will and being able to explore other ways of getting where you want to go is important. You learn new things and might even find a totally different direction.
What was your first job?
I worked as a clinic assistant on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children at the University of Bristol. This really involved administering tests of psychological and physical functioning to children aged 7 and 8 years. It was my first psychology job and I loved it.
If you could start your own dream business, what would it be?
This is tricky, as I would have to say that I am particularly gifted in this department. I would love to have been a historian though, does that count? I totally love history.
Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?
I really love Canada and am always very happy there. It think that my absolute favourite would have to be Vancouver Island. Some very happy memories as it’s where we went on honeymoon. We also visited Vancouver this year with my family so the children were very excited to experience Canada for the first time. It’s just stunning, so much to see and do. I love the outdoorsy nature of Canada.
What’s your favourite book or album and why?
Wuthering Heights is an all time favourite. I studied it for A Level and still love it. Way more than just a love story, it’s quite sinister! I like the complexity.
When are you happiest?
When I am outside in the sunshine with my family. We went to Devon in half term and managed to eat outside in November in the sunshine. It was lovely! Small things can bring great joy.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Queen Victoria. She was crowned at such a young age and really changed so much across the world. Whether people liked her personally or admired what she did, she was clearly a formidable woman and a great example of a strong female character at a time when women were typically unheard.
Which one superpower would you like to possess?
Something that would enable me to get more done and better balance work and home. Who doesn’t need more time? I would say some type of speediness but I would worry that you would lose the ‘in the moment’ nature of life if I was able to rush around too quickly. So perhaps I am best left without a superpower.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Maybe that I used to have a menagerie, which included one dog, seven rabbits and two hamsters (all rescue animals). Now I just have children. I am also very tidy, neither animals nor children help with that! And that I really love ice-skating. I have already booked for the Christmas period, perhaps more for me than my children.
Tell us your favourite joke
My youngest daughter loves this joke so I will go with it. Where do cows go at the weekend? To the moo-vies.