Alan Smith has been involved in the professional education of youth and community workers for more than 21 years. He has been at the forefront of policy and practice developments for most of that time, helping guide the profession to its current graduate status, and working with others to champion youth and community work as a discipline which changes lives and creates fairer communities.
Ben Sumner trained as a stage manager and has worked in corporate events, dance, drama, musical theatre, opera, circus and television.
He first taught Stage Management at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 1987 before becoming Senior Lecturer in Technical Management at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He remained there for 11 years developing new programmes in Stage Management and Stage Technology.
Chrissi Nerantzi used to be a translator of children’s literature and taught Modern Foreign Languages for many years, before moving into academic development. She is a passionate and creative academic developer. Her approach is playful and experimental and underpinned by scholarship and research. A colleague from MMU said about her: “Chrissi is a force of life and one of the most amazing and creative people I have ever met.”
Dr Alison Twells is a historian in the Department of Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University. Over the past decade, she has developed pioneering modules that enable students to explore the relationship between history, heritage and regeneration in South Yorkshire and the north of England more broadly and to work in partnership with public and community-based historians.
Alison has also developed the website South Yorkshire Through Time, which is a hub for community history and a collaboration between students, academics, the public and community historians.
Dr Andy Pitchford believes that the creation of innovative community placements can transform the learning of students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In his current role he is committed to a wide range of community interventions that simultaneously make a positive impact on the local environment while offering students a new set of lenses with which to view the world.
Dr Catherine Watts has worked at the University of Brighton for over 30 years in the fields of language teaching and learning (German and English, including Old and Middle English). She firmly believes that languages are of crucial importance to young people, enabling them to compete effectively on international stages and to maximise opportunities in the increasingly global economy of the 21st century.
Dr Christine Edmead’s career began as a research scientist in Pharmacology but since swapping the lab bench for the lectern in 2003 she hasn’t looked back. Holding two concurrent part-time University positions for a number of years, as a Senior Teaching Fellow in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology (2003-present) and an Educational Projects Officer in the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Office (2007-2013), her roles have been wide ranging.
Dr Christine Szwed joined the University of Birmingham as a lecturer in primary education and has since held the positions of Director of Studies for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) and Head of Primary Initial Teacher Education. Her research interests cover the area of special needs and management alongside the area of initial teacher training.
A deep commitment to developing students as individuals underlies Dr Dave Lewis’ approach to student education. He uses interactive approaches to stimulate his students’ curiosity with science and the underlying ethical implications and inspire them to want to discover more. Students have commented: