Steering group

Joining the steering group

On this page, you can discover more about the people that make up our steering group.

If you would like to nominate yourself to become a member of the Steering Group, please send the self-nomination form to the Secretary: secretary@aldinhe.ac.uk

ALDinHE Steering Group self-nomination form

Carina Buckley – Co-Chair (Research) and Treasurer

Carina Buckley Carina joined the Steering Group in 2012 and has been Co-Chair since 2015. She came into learning development almost by accident after gaining a PhD in Archaeology in 2006, and is currently Instructional Design Manager at Solent University, responsible for leading on the development of the VLE as a student-centred learning space. Her research interests focus on collaboration and community in LD, and how these impact and are impacted by our professional identities, particularly in terms of emotion and imposter syndrome. She is an Advance HE Principal Fellow and a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development.

Steve Briggs – Co-Chair (Practice)

Steve Briggs Steve joined the ALDinHE Steering Group in 2014. He has been ALDinHE Co-Chair since 2016. He previously Co-Chaired the Professional Development Working Group, led the development of the CeP and CeLP recognition scheme and helped to launch ALDinHE regional events. Steve is currently Head of Professional and Academic Development at the University of Bedfordshire. He has a PhD, is a Chartered Psychologist and an Advanced HE Principal Fellow.

Jacqui Bartram – Communications Coordination Group Lead

Jacqui works as an Academic and Library Specialist at the University of Hull and joined the Steering Group in 2019 having previously co-chaired our Communications working group. She is a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development and is currently writing up her doctorate looking at bridges and barriers to developing visual literacy in Higher Education. She is particularly interested in visual ways to communicate and visual expressions of knowledge. As an NVivo Certified Expert, and with her background in ICT Learning, she has developed expertise in helping students get to grips with technology to aid learning and research.

Paul Chin – Steering Group Member

Paul Chin Paul joined the conference committee in 2017 and has now joined the Steering Group in 2020 as a representative of Liverpool John Moores University. Paul is a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development and a Principle Fellow of the HEA. His main research interest is peer learning, having completed his PhD in online peer learning and assessment. Paul also has an active interest in developing graduate attributes, promoting employability skills and learning technology – as well as occasionally dabbling in other areas of learning development . As an Associate Member of CIPD Paul is also a keen advocate of promoting personal and professional development.

Melanie Crisfield – Conference Committee Lead

Melanie Chrisfield Melanie joined the conference committee in 2017 and became the co-chair in 2019.  She has over 10 years’ experience as a learning developer in both UK and American universities.  She currently works as an Academic Skills Adviser at Brunel University London.  Her areas of interest in learning development include: understand and developing critical thinking skills; undergraduate and PGT dissertation transition; literature review writing; communities of practice; and building student self-confidence and self-efficacy. She is an ALDinHE certified practitioner and an AdvanceHE fellow.

Kate Coulson – Secretary

Kate Coulson Kate has been a member of the Steering Group since 2019. Her background is in corporate/commercial information and worked in the City of London before realising that education is far more interesting! Kate is currently Head of Learning Development at the University of Northampton. She is particularly interested in the impact of Learning Development upon students and is passionate about the importance of LD advocacy to ensure that our work is understood and valued. Kate is an Advance HE Senior Fellow and a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development.

Maria Kukhareva – Research Funding Working Group Lead

person Maria’s expertise spans learning development, education, widening participation, social science and business. She joined ALDinHE in 2015 and has co-chaired the Research and Development Working group since 2016.

Maria is an Advance HE Senior Fellow. Maria holds a Professional Doctorate in Social science, and has taught social science and pedagogy. Her contributions include research into human resilience and innovative interdisciplinary practice. Maria’s current role outside ALDinHE is Head of Organisational Development at the University of Bedfordshire.

Sheryl Mansfield – Steering Group Member

Sheryl is a new member and welcomed to the Steering Group in May 2020. She is a Learning Development Tutor at the University of Northampton and is responsible for liaising with the Faculty of Health, Society and Education. She is an Advance HE Fellow, a Certified Practitioner in Learning Development and Qualified Teacher. Her background teaching Sport Science in Further and Higher Education institutions has offered a plethora of experience actively engaging learners. Her research interests include asynchronous resources and inclusive teaching.

Alistair Morey – Events Working Group Lead

Alistair joined the steering group member in 2020 as co-lead for Events, after having been previously a member of the LearnHigher, Regional Events and Research Funding working groups. He has worked in learning development for 12 years, following previous higher education roles teaching history and politics and in educational research. He is currently Head of Skills Development at King’s College, London.

His particular focus is on the intersection between learning development and academic/educational development.

Maddy Mossman – Events Working Group Lead

Maddy has been a steering group member since 2020. She has coordinated the ALDinHE regional events since 2017. Maddy has worked in higher education for over eighteen years, predominantly in teaching, widening participation and learning development roles. She moved to take up her current position as Learning Services Manager at the University of Leeds in February 2018.

Her particular interests are the pedagogy of academic literacies, particularly academic writing, and the coordination and collaboration opportunities for student support services in large institutions.

Amanda Pocklington – Learn Higher Working Group Lead

person Amanda was co-opted to the Steering Group in 2012 and became chair of Learn Higher in 2013. She has worked in learning development since 2001 and is currently an Academic Skills Adviser and Peer Programmes Manager at the University of Exeter. Amanda is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development. Her particular interests lie in understanding the processes and impact of group and social learning offered through peer schemes.

Christie Pritchard – Research Development Working Group Lead

Christie has been a member of the Steering Group since 2015 and the Co-Chair of Research and Development Working Group since 2018. She is currently the Student Learning Manager at the University of Plymouth and is responsible for leading the Learning Development and Peer Learning service, including their innovative Writing Cafe and well established Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS). She is an Advance HE Senior Fellow, a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development and is currently writing up her Doctorate in Education, focusing on student learning spaces and the Higher Education climate.

Sandra Sinfield – Peer Mentoring Working Group Lead

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Dr Alicja Syska – Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education Working Group Lead

Dr Alicja Syska Alicja has been an editor at the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education since 2018 and a co-lead editor since early 2019. She is a learning developer based at the University of Plymouth and a lecturer in History, with 20 years of teaching experience. She is also an Advance HE Fellow and an ALDinHE Certified Leading Practitioner. Alicja works closely with Arts and Humanities students and uses her hybrid role to promote effective embedding of learning development in subjects. She is particularly interested in the impact of learning development on student understanding and experience of writing within their disciplines.

Pam Thomas – Professional Recognition Working Group Lead

Pamela is a Senior Learning Developer in Academic Practice and English Language. She joined the Steering Group and the Conference Working Group in 2018. She has over 15 years’ experience in EFL, ESOL, EAP and Business Studies teaching learners in post-compulsory education. She is an Advance HE Fellow, a Certified Leading Practitioner of Learning Development and an Associate Member of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM). Her research interest is in the field of academic literacy development investigating how student writers transition with vocational qualifications and navigate and negotiate their way through the academic writing process within their subject-specific discipline.

Ella Turner – Partnerships and Collaborations Working Group Lead

person Ella has been a member of the Steering Group since 2018. She currently manages a team of Study and Maths Skills Advisers at the University of Chester. Ella has worked in education for ten years in a number of settings. She has worked as a local history tutor in a community setting and as a lecturer and personal tutor in two further education institutions, before moving into higher education as a Learning Developer in 2013. Ella is an Advance HE Senior Fellow and is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education, focusing on how the political culture of higher education shapes the roles and relationships of professional and academic staff.

Helen Webster – Professional Development Working Group Lead

Helen has been a member of the PDWG since 2012, and joined the steering group not long after, becoming co-chair of the PDWG and leading on developing professional development. She is Head of the Writing Development Centre at Newcastle University, and has been working in Learning Development since 2005. A qualified teacher, she is interested in the pedagogy of Learning Development, and blogs about this regularly as @scholastic_rat. She is a Certified Leading Practitioner of LD, a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a National Teaching Fellow.
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