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Interdisciplinary Voices - Dr Elena Riva

Do you have an interesting fact about yourself?

"I love translating the work of Latin authors, especially Tacitus and Cicero. And I also love transforming my kitchen in a fun science lab where I make lava lamps and invisible inks with my three little boys. "

What four words describe IATL?

"Interdisciplinarity, care, fun, possibilities."

How would you describe your role in IATL?

"I am an Associate Professor and Director of Studies. I work with my dedicated colleagues for ensuring that students and staff have the opportunity to access and be part of an excellent interdisciplinary curriculum.
I make sure that we strive to provide a unique and fully supported student experience. So I would be delighted to hear from you if are a UG or PG student that has the desire of discovering more about our modules' provision. And I am also the right person for you if you are a member of staff interested in creating an interdisciplinary IATL module or in contributing to them."

What motivates you to work in this area?

"This interdisciplinary arena is essential for creating new responses to current world issues. In fact I believe that being able to foster conversations and collaborations across disciplines, capturing their knowledge and approaches, is the only way to create adequate responses to global challenges.

On a personal level, I have always liked ‘mixing up things’, in my Chemistry lab and I have always been attracted by the opportunity to merge knowledge and experiment with the different methodologies of sciences and humanities. Becoming part of IATL has simply given me the opportunity to become the interdisciplinary academic I have wanted to be! "

One of IATL’S values is interdisciplinary teaching and research.

What does the term interdisciplinary mean to you?

"Interdisciplinarity is the opportunity to learn beyond all the possible boundaries (disciplines, methodologies, cultures, etc.) and, as result of it, to forge new solutions to contemporary problems. These solutions are truly holistic and timely as they take in account the knowledge and ways of exploring of different stand points."

Why is interdisciplinary teaching and research important to students?

"Interdisciplinarity learning and research are essential opportunities to offer to students for preparing them for the challenges of tomorrow. It is also an incredible way for supporting their full academic development and for widening their horizons, often restricted by the disciplinary walls. It is the possibility of growing, collaborating with students and staff across disciplines, failing and trying again, learning across boundaries, acquiring new skills and challenging themselves. "