National Teaching Fellow 2011
Language and skill development are at the centre of Professor Kristyan Spelman Miller's academic and professional life. Her career in higher education began in 1988 as a lecturer in Applied Linguistics at the University of Reading, and over the years her interests in learning and teaching have led her on to significant roles at discipline, Faculty, and university levels.
She has held positions as School and Faculty Director of Learning of Teaching and Learning at Reading, and as Associate Dean and currently Dean at Winchester.
Kris' research into how writers produce text draws together her pedagogic interests and her academic background in applied linguistics. Externally she has a national profile, particularly within the languages community through active involvement in the University Council of Modern Languages and University Council of General and Applied Linguistics. She is also an auditor for the Quality Assurance Agency.
Through her leadership roles Kris has gained a track record of inspiring and managing change. With a clear focus on student engagement in learning, she has instigated a number of initiatives with impact at institutional level. For example, while at Reading she led the development of a web portal for skills support, Skills Opportunities at Reading (SOAR), which enables access to on-line information and materials. At Winchester, she is developing an on-line resource to support students' academic and employability skills.
Inspiring students to raise their game and to experience the excitement of learning underpins other successful initiatives she has led, such as the Winchester Research Apprenticeship Programme (WRAP). This scheme provides students with the opportunity to work collaboratively with an academic on a live research project. Commenting on the experience of being a WRAP apprentice, one student writes: 'I was keen to see if I would enjoy the rigorous nature of academic research, and I did. I loved it. It is like detective work with the delicious, added element of intellectual satisfaction.'
In her work both with students and staff, Kris sees her main role as instilling confidence, enthusiasm and commitment to achieve to the highest level.
Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Winchester