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Thank you to our departing Fellows!

We sincerely thank all of our departing Fellows, who complete their Fellowship at the end of August and become WIHEA Alumni Fellows. They have all done valuable work and advanced the teaching and learning practices within our community and beyond.

Read below their reflections on their Fellowship experiences.

Dr Miriam Gifford


School of Life Sciences

My aim was to meet colleagues involved in developing their teaching across the university, and meet them not simply to carry out administrative tasks on committees. I’ve not been disappointed! WIHEA has a great breadth and depth of expertise but, above all, enthusiasm for innovation. As part of my fellowship I started a Director of Education forum and gained funding for ‘Remotely Practical’, a SEM faculty-wide project to devise an online unit to develop lab work skills, outside of the lab. This has already been valuable for our new first year students and the whole student-staff co-creation team involved.

I’ve long been interested in developing technology-enabled teaching materials and had some experience doing this with an IATL project. My initial thoughts were that I’d mostly continue to pursue this, but to my surprise I’ve moved in different directions, most notably getting involved in a great pedagogical research learning circle. Of course, you will find like-minded colleagues to pursue your core interests but I’d recommend new fellows to join something completely different since you will find this incredibly refreshing.

Dr Lucy Hammond

Associate Professor

Warwick Medical School (WMS)

Being a WIHEA Fellow afforded an enormous opportunity to learn about different people and perspectives from across the University. I used my Fellowship primarily to network and engage with others across the institution, to learn from their practice and share my own, and this has enabled building of meaningful relationships and opportunities for ongoing projects beyond the tenure of the fellowship itself. One of the most personally and professionally rewarding aspects of my fellowship has been my involvement in the Teaching Recognition and Reward Learning Circle, which I have co-chaired this last year. This has enabled me to have real impact at an institutional level, and I have been able to use the learning from this activity to make impacts within my department as well. My advice for incoming fellows? Reach out to new, existing and former Fellows to talk about your ideas and interests; my personal experience is that WIHEA is made up of open, creative, interesting and passionate individuals that as a collective have made great impacts – it has been brilliant community to be a part of.

Mark Hinton

Community Engagement Development Manager

Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL)

I became a WIHEA fellow fully intending to develop a Learning Circle ‘of my own’, focused on Community-Engaged Pedagogy, but it turned out there was more than enough engaging and impactful work to put my time into as an active member of the Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Processes in HE learning circle. I supported its leaders, convened one of its sub-groups and attended the others, wrestled with ideas and practices, learned much, and have had the great satisfaction of seeing WIHEA support for that LC and its outputs enable significant new initiatives (the Decolonise Project, the Tackling Racial Inequality at Warwick staff development programme, and the Anti-Racist Pedagogy Teaching Forum) which are beginning to make real change across the University. My own understandings of anti-racist pedagogy, as well as of processes of encouraging and developing an engaged learning community of critical pedagogues, have developed enormously, and I am very happy to remain an active participant in that community as my fellowship comes to an end.

Outside of the ARPP LC, WIHEA has introduced me to many other colleagues whose work and perspectives have been great to find out about, through informal networking around formal events, and through occasional attendance at other Learning Circles when they have focussed on areas of particular interest to me. This has always been illuminating, often fun, and sometimes transformative. My advice for incoming Fellows is to pursue what you care about and take your own initiatives, to take every opportunity to make new connections and learn from other perspectives, and not to underestimate how much can be learned and developed through the opportunities to get wholeheartedly behind the initiatives of others.

Dr David Lees

Associate Professor

School of Modern Languages and Cultures (SMLC)

My fellowship of WIHEA has been an invaluable experience. I had a reasonable idea of how the University worked prior to becoming a Fellow, but Fellowship has brought me into contact with so many likeminded colleagues across a range of roles and has opened up multiple opportunities to get more involved in the University community. I have been fortunate to obtain funding for two projects: one which examined ways of supporting students with their wellbeing when studying or working abroad (in 2018-19) and one examining peer mentoring and peer support schemes at Warwick (in 2019-20). I’d like to think both projects have had an impact on the student experience. I am particularly proud of the work we did on the peer mentoring project, which laid the foundations for the future direction of peer support at the University. Along with leading the peer mentoring Learning Circle, I’ve been involved with a number of others and have really benefited from the networking events and opportunities. I would advise any new fellows to get stuck in: Fellowship is what you make of it.

Luke Mepham


Warwick Students’ Union

“As President of Warwick Students’ Union, I have had the exciting opportunity to engage with WIHEA as an ex-officio Fellow over the past year.

Much of the work that the Academy carries out is centred around improving and evolving the student experience at Warwick and beyond. It has been so encouraging to see the passion that all the Fellows, student or otherwise, have for teaching and learning, and for ensuring the student experience is as inclusive and innovative as possible.

This year, I have particularly enjoyed being part of the Academy’s work on implementing restorative justice within a higher education setting, and look forward to seeing how this can be applied at Warwick to better support all students involved in disciplinary processes.

I would like to thank all of the WIHEA Fellows for their amazing work, as well as Leti for continuing to oversee and lead this work to improve teaching and learning for all students.”

Dr Martin Mik

Senior Teaching Fellow

School of Life Sciences

The fellowship opened access to an incredibly diverse group of people, representing different roles, areas, departments, but unified by their enthusiasm and interest in teaching and learning and willingness to engage in activities to help us address key issues and/or introduce new elements into our provision. Over the three years I saw an increase in the number of learning circles, all driven by the interest of the Fellows. I joined the Wellbeing Pedagogies Learning Circle, started by Elena Riva, and had the privilege of working with colleagues from across the University on various aspects of the topic, from embedding wellbeing in our T&L governance structures, our modules and courses, to embedding wellbeing in our community more broadly. One thing that stands out in WIHEA is the enthusiasm of colleagues who not only come up with brilliant ideas, but are also prepared to dedicate their time and effort to move these on. Together with Elena Riva, I participated in the working group that helped draft the University Wellbeing Strategy. We were able to contribute the Learning Circle’s views and helped shape the strategy.

WIHEA offers an unparalleled opportunity to talk to colleagues from other departments, discuss various issues with them and gain insight into how other areas dealt with the challenges we all face in our daily practice. This information sharing opportunity helped us repeatedly with thorny issues in teaching and learning and student community building more broadly. The ability to discuss issues with colleagues from other parts of the University offered an invaluable opportunity to sense check and challenge our own thinking. My students certainly benefited from my improved teaching practice and a variety of activities I implemented in my teaching based on discussions with WIHEA colleagues.

To all incoming Fellows: Make the most of your three-year fellowship. Prioritise WIHEA meetings and turn up. Even if you do not have anything to contribute, you will learn loads and I guarantee you will leave with at least one idea for your own practice. You often end up making contacts with others across the University that will help you in the future.

Dr Ines Molinaro

Academic Director

Warwick Foundations Studies (WFS)

It was my good fortune to take up my WIHEA Fellowship shortly after I arrived at Warwick. WIHEA introduced me to colleagues from across the university who are genuinely interested in all aspects of learning and teaching. WIHEA masterclasses, seminars and networking events inspired me to promote new initiatives and practices in Warwick Foundation Studies (WFS). I was able to discuss with other Fellows how to adapt practices to meet the needs of our international cohort of students. I hope my understanding of the challenges around assessment practices, student engagement, student and staff well-being, career development for teaching focused staff, interdisciplinarity, inclusivity and de-colonising the curriculum had a positive influence on my department, colleagues and students. I think my Fellowship increased the visibility of WFS, a department established a year before the start of my Fellowship. In turn, I learnt of activities and events for educators that I promoted and circulated to my colleagues. The most rewarding opportunity afforded Fellows is to join one or more learning circles; these communities embody the spirit, the work and the significance of WIHEA.

Dr Meleisa Ono-George

Associate Professor / Director of Student Experience

Department of History

My WIHEA Fellowship was been an amazing journey. WIHEA reunites a community from across the university, and I have met amazing people through it that I got the chance to work closely with. First thing I did as a WIHEA Fellow was to run an inclusive curricula workshop, together with Laura T?, and it highlighted the need for staff to have an opportunity to think and learn about racism, how it operates, how they can address it.

Then together with Anil Awesti we started the Anti-Racist Pedagogy Learning Circle, which has been my main focus through my Fellowship. The Learning Circle has been incredibly impactful, and this would not have been possible without WIHEA’s structure, which gave us both support and autonomy.

One of the wonderful things about WIHEA is the community. I have met amazing people and had the chance to work closely with colleagues from all over the university. I cannot imagine what my experience at Warwick would have been like, if I did not have the opportunity to meet and work with such broad range of people.

WIHEA’s Fellowship has been instrumental in my career progression and development and allowed me more opportunities to get involved with institutional discussions about things that matter to me.

My advice to incoming Fellows is to make the most of it, think about what matters to you and put your energy there. Just find your passion and use this platform to develop that work.

Mrs Sue Parr

Director of Part-time Programmes and Work-based Education


I really enjoyed my time as a WIHEA Fellow and I appreciate the space that it provided to meet, work with and learn from people from across the university, many of whom I would never otherwise have got to know. Having time to share ideas on a wide range of topics, all related to improving the experience of university for both students and tutors was stimulating. The enthusiasm and passion shown by colleagues for the topics was infectious and I became closely involved in two learning circles as co-lead. Unfortunately due to time constraints I was not able to do all that I would have liked to- although I still feel that I have gained a lot from the “time to think” about issues related to, but not necessarily immediately part of, the “day job” and the constructive conversations and discussions. My advice to incoming fellows would be to make sure that you really can be as present as possible – the opportunity to share ideas and to drive change through the circles really deserves to be given sufficient time.

Emily Reid

Senior Teaching Fellow / Director

Warwick Medical School (WMS)

During my time, I was part of the Anti-Racism Learning Circle which greatly impacted on my practice. With colleagues, we formed the Attainment Gap Working Group and have done a lot of work now in this space. This year, I’m leading on a new Advancing your Practice: Anti-Racism learning module directly as a result.

In my final year, myself and Dr Bo Kelestyn have co-led the Employability Learning Circle. We’ve gained WIHEA funding to launch a co-creation Employability Challenge, that enables interdisciplinary teams of students and staff to bust open the discourse on Employability at Warwick.

This fellowship has broadened by thinking and practice and the impact of this has been profound. Advice to others – get involved and guide others with your expertise!

Dr Elena Riva

Associate Professor

Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL)

My time as WIHEA fellow has been one to treasure during which I connected and worked with incredible colleagues! In my first month as Fellow, I collaborated on a project for offering interdisciplinary learning experiences during Welcome Week and I have not stop since then! Importantly, WIHEA has given me the space (and money!) to pursue my vision of bringing wellbeing at the centre of the educational environment, promoting the embedding of wellbeing in the curriculum across Campus. I have organised and delivered 3 Masterclasses on this topic, I have created and co-led with Martin Mik the Wellbeing Pedagogies Learning Circle and the outcomes of this work on how to positively impact students’ wellbeing in T&L settings have been embedded in the Warwick Wellbeing Strategy 2020-2024. With colleagues, I received WIHEA funding for creating the Wellbeing Pedagogies Library, a repository of over 80 practical pedagogies for delivering wellbeing positive learning experiences, and for exploring how to support staff wellbeing. My suggestion would be to get involved right from the start and to dare to present your ideas and your wildest pedagogic dreams!

Dr Ashley Roberts

Associate Professor, Assistant Dean Internationalisation

Warwick Business School (WBS)

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a WIHEA Fellow! It has been a fantastic opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals across the University and to get insights into their truly impressive work.

I received funding to work together with Rachel Cuddihy (Undergraduate Programme Manager - International) plus Monash Faculty, Professor Michaela Rankin (Deputy Dean - International) and Professor Robert Brooks (Deputy Dean, Education). The project has co-created a joint, credit bearing and short-term Undergraduate overseas module. The elective, ‘Strategic Luxury Management’ will now form a part of our exciting Alliance Intensive Study Programme (AISP) offer in Venice. Much institutional learning has been generated via this enjoyable project and we very much look forward to seeing its impact on our learners.

I encourage incoming Fellows to fully participate in their preferred Learning Circles and to also enjoy the many conversations outside of those with the great community! Thank you to the WIHEA team for their excellent work and here’s to The Academy going from strength to strength in the future!

Dr Claire Rocks

Associate Professor / Director of Outreach

Computer Science


The Fellowship represented a great opportunity to connect with people across the University and make an impact in my department. During my Fellowship I was involved with the Wellbeing Learning Circle, and tried to promote wellbeing within the Computer Science department, together with other colleagues. I was the first Fellow from this department, and it was great to be a leading force in encouraging others to join this network. Within WIHEA, I focused on things I felt could have a bigger impact on students and I could contribute to through my own work. I got involved with the Neuro-diversity Learning Circle and the funded project this year, involving also students from the Computer Science department to help us in the process and to spread awareness. I will continue to be involved in these initiatives and to encourage others from the department to get involved with WIHEA.

The work done through WIHEA also played an important role in my promotion last year, and I hope to contribute to this network’s growing visibility.

My advice to incoming Fellows is to come in without expectations, and don’t hurry to find your place, since it can be difficult initially. Spend the first year finding your interests, and don’t worry if you do not instantly find your niche, maybe you don’t have to. Just enjoy all ways in which you can contribute.

Dr Karen Simecek

Associate Professor / Director of Student Experience and Progression

Department of Philosophy

My time as a fellow with WIHEA has been wonderful. I have learnt so much from colleagues acro+ss the university, gained many friends and eaten lots of mini cakes along the way. Not only has WIHEA helped shape my teaching practice and vision for teaching in HE, I also developed a better understanding of how the University works. I’ve been so proud to be part of the various learning circles, particularly helping to design the questions for module evaluation, leading the subgroup on designing modules for employability and working with David Lees on peer mentoring. When I joined WIHEA, I had lots of ideas of things I wanted to do to enhance the student experience and changes I wanted to make but without the knowledge or experience to make them happen. WIHEA helped me gain confidence in my ideas and through support from the other amazing fellows as well as Gwen Van der Velden, I have a clearer idea of my values and how to work with others across the University to make change happen.

Dr Lauren Schrock

Teaching Fellow

Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)


To anyone interested in joining WIHEA: go for it! WIHEA was a great opportunity to connect with individuals who share a similar passion for transforming education. As a member of the Wellbeing Pedagogies Learning Circle I gained a deeper appreciation for teaching techniques that support student wellbeing and shared my practice in the Warwick Wellbeing Pedagogies Library. I also had the pleasure of leading the Interdisciplinarity Learning Circle, which enabled colleagues to share their interdisciplinary teaching and learning practices and scholarship, and the creation of the Interdisciplinary Staff Hub (a project funded by WIHEA). My advice for incoming Fellows is to find a Learning Circle and dive into it! A Learning Circle is a great way to find support and build friendships across the university.


We would also like to mention the following Fellows as they reach the end of their Fellowship:

Izzy Bourne

Welfare & Campaign Officer

Warwick Students' Union

Megan Clarke

Education Officer

Warwick Students' Union

Shingai Dzumbira

Postgraduate Officer

Warwick Students' Union

Dr Elizabeth Hough

Assistant Director (Head of Admissions)

Student Recruitment, Outreach and Admissions Service

Kerry Pinny

Senior Academic Technologist

Academic Technology

Prof Vasilios Stavros

Professor of Physical Chemistry