I began my academic journey in 2006, when I studied Sociology and History at undergraduate level, and attained a First Class Honours degree. Following this, I went on to study a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with Masters, training as a secondary school and post-16 History teacher. In 2012, I completed a Masters of Research degree course at Keele University (with Distinction), and subsequently went on to study for a PhD. My research focusessed on the ways in which neoliberalism and the economic recession have affected older people living in a deprived area in Stoke-on-Trent. In October 2018, I became a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Wellcome Centre, working with the Transforming Engagement project.
Highlights of my career to date
– Head of Access Sociology at Newcastle-Under-Lyme College from 2011-2015 and achieved five consecutive grade one observations, including two from Ofsted. The students achieved some of the highest grades in the country.
– Taught various modules to undergraduates at Keele University, such as ‘Sociological Research Methods’, ‘Mediated World’ and ‘Analysing Culture’. Nominated for an ‘Excellent Teaching Award’ in 2016.
– Designed the Sociology undergraduate degree course for Arden University and subsequently became Module Leader for five modules from Level 4 to Level 6, including ‘Introduction to Sociology’, ‘Medicalisation of the Self’, ‘Inequalities in the Modern World’, ‘Consumer Society and the Commodification of Beings’ and ‘Insecurity and Precariousness in the Globalised World’.
– Social Science Editor for the journal Under Construction from 2015-2018.
The research I will be undertaking in the Centre
I am part of a research team looking to unearth the ways in which transformative engagement affects relations between local residents and service providers, and health and well-being, in the low-income area of Stoke-on-Trent. Drawing from the principles of C2 (Connecting Communities) and complexity theory, the aim of this research is to measure (both quantitatively and qualitatively) the extent to which people in areas of deprivation experience feelings of isolation and loneliness, and identify ways to overcome these through community-led initiatives, which will serve to strengthen social bonds, increase access to services and resources, and release the potential in communities. This research ultimately seeks to overcome some of the structural inequalities prevalent in low socio-economic areas, enhance levels of social capital and contribute to improved health and well-being.