As we approach 100,000 Fellows, it’s a good time to look back at some of our fantastic Fellows and reflect on what they have achieved. The Fellowship process is all about self-reflection, so we’re having a look back at some of our blog posts to reflect on what Fellowship means to those who have achieved it.
Dr Sally Everett, Principal Fellow and Deputy Dean (Quality and Student Experience) Lord Ashcroft International Business School Anglia Ruskin University, shared her story about how achieving her PFHEA “was just the beginning” as it encouraged her to search out new opportunities to challenge herself.
Sally explained that one of these opportunities “was becoming the Chair of the University’s working group focused on delivering inclusive learning and teaching for all. I am proud to have helped bring about a step-change in our practice in terms of accessible learning materials, assistive technologies, staff training and peer mentoring. The PFHEA acted as a catalyst - igniting my passion to realise positive transformational change. The journey certainly did not stop at the fellowship and I am now a very proud National Teaching Fellow (2017) and was the team lead of a Finalist Award team in the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (2016). A springboard for more? Most definitely!”
Claire Hughes, Course Leader at Southampton Solent University, has made the journey from Associate Fellow, to Fellow and recently Senior Fellow. She described the journey as a “powerful tool” for reflecting on her own practice.
“I was able to spend time reflecting on my progress in my academic teaching practices and the lessons I had learnt along the way, as well as sharing ideas and best practices with peers in a collegiate environment.”
Claire explained how reflection is “not a luxury but an essential” and said that one of the most powerful outputs from completing her portfolio was gaining direction on her personal journey.
“I realised through my journey from Associate to Senior Fellow I had a gained a wealth of experience in teaching across both standard and non-standard courses to a wide variety of students, both on-campus and off-campus. I realised that my journey had opened up paths where I could use this experience to lead and influence internal and external peers along their journeys. It gave me renewed confidence, belief and passion for learning and teaching and a further defined focus on where I wanted my journey to continue onto. “
In China, Dr Jianmei Xie from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, a Senior Fellow told us her story about how the application process enabled her realise how much she had already achieved, despite being an “Early Career Academic, struggling with self-confidence.” While reflecting on her career, Jianmei became fully aware of her own impact on engaging students and mentoring academic colleagues.
Nicky Meer, PFHEA and Academic Developer at the University of Cumbria shared her journey about overcoming barriers to Fellowship – in her own case breaking through self-doubt about whether she was sufficiently qualified to become a Principal Fellow.
As Nicky said, “If you are thinking about Fellowship but then hear the little voice inside telling you that you cannot because ‘you are just….’ Please ignore it. Have a look at the criteria for the level of Fellowship that you want and decide honestly if you can demonstrate this or not. If you can, then do it - no matter what role you have or what others may say.”
For further information about Fellowship please click here.