How long have you worked at the university? What does your current role involve?
I have been at the University for about eight years now. I'm currently Web Content Editor in the Faculty of Science. I'm based in the marketing and web team and I manage the faculty and department websites and I create content to recruit students on our courses.
What would you most like to achieve whilst at the university?
In terms of my web editor role, I want to ensure we provide clear, concise and compelling copy on our course pages and other digital marketing channels, so that people can make the right decision about whether they want to come and study at Bath. I try to use plain English as much as I can, which makes copy easy to read and more accessible.
In a voluntary capacity, I chair the Bicycle Users Group, which includes a mailing list, Yammer group and regular meetings with a group of staff who all want to make it easier and better to cycle to campus and to encourage others to take up cycling to work.
Can you name one thing that makes you feel proud to work here?
The work the Climate Action Team is doing. I am very concerned about the climate emergency and I think the University should take a leading role in this area. We have the academic expertise to make a real difference in this area, and I hope the work in this area will continue to grow and that the University will become a leader in this area.
You've recently been made the Bicycle Mayor of Bath. Can you tell us a little bit about that role?
The role of Bicycle Mayor is voluntary and independent, and it’s about raising the profile of cycling. It is an unelected role, so I applied for the role by writing an application about what I wanted to achieve in my term. It also included three letters of recommendation. I am now part of an incredibly inspiring international network of Bicycle Mayors all over the world.
I have been involved in local campaign group “Walk Ride Bath” for a couple of years now, and back in May of last year we started taking to the streets with a big group of people called a “Kidical Mass”, including lots of families with children, to show that we want safe spaces to cycle. By riding through town as a group, we want to show that it’s fun to cycle and to ask decision-makers to take action and provide safe infrastructure for cycling.
What piece of advice would you like to give to a student?
I was given the advice to study what I love and not think about what I wanted to do after graduating. I think I would still give that piece of advice; I would choose a subject you’re passionate about, and then you will find your path. I think this way you’ll make the most out of your time at university.
Who was your most influential teacher or educator?
I've been a board member of an organisation called the European Peer Training Organisation; they train young people (under 35) as peer trainers, so they can train other young people in anti discrimination and diversity topics. I was trained by Gary and I was really inspired by his style, and by the general idea of this non-formal training. It was a new way of learning for me and it really opened up my mind and I learned a lot about myself and others.
What was your first job?
The first job I can remember, I think, was actually working on a website. I'm from a small town and there was this local entrepreneur and he was buying a lot of domains, and one of the websites he owned was to sell second hand cars. He hired me to work on the HTML code for the second hand car ads. I was 14 years old and it was my first go at coding and managing a website.
If you could start your own dream business, what would it be?
I guess it would be related to cycling! I don't want to start my own business, but if I did, I would probably set up something like a social enterprise around cycling.
Julian House Bike Workshop is a fantastic social enterprise offering training to vulnerable people and providing them with opportunities to return to independence and employment. They also sell new and second hand bikes and service bikes.
Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?
I guess this has changed for me over the years, as I'm trying not to fly anymore.
I've always liked to travel by train. I do love Southeast Europe, so I've done a bit of volunteering in several countries, and travelled there by train. I’ve spent time in Croatia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria as a volunteer and visited other countries for holidays. With two young children, very long train trips are not really on the cards (yet!), although we do take the train to the Netherlands regularly to visit family.
Most recently during the pandemic, we've been going on holiday by bike, which is possible with our electric cargo bike. We went to Cheddar, Glastonbury and we also went to Chepstow in Wales, and it was actually really nice because the journey was the most important part of the holiday.
Do you have a favourite book or album?
The most recent book I really liked was Shuggie Bain, by Douglas Stuart. It’s placed in Glasgow and it’s pretty grim. I do recommend it though!
If you could have a superpower, which would you like to possess?
My superpower would be to install separated cycle lanes all around the world, so we can all cycle safely and people could use their cars less. That would be an amazing superpower!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I used to work in a factory to make trucks! This was during summer holidays when I was in secondary school and I worked on an assembly line, which was really interesting, mostly because of the people I worked with.
Can you tell us your favourite joke?
A motorist, cyclist, and a pedestrian walk into a bar. There are ten cookies on the bar. The motorist takes nine of them and whispers to the pedestrian, "Watch out! The cyclist is after your cookie!"