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Dr Tom Ritchie

Academic profile photograph

Dr Tom Ritchie

Assistant Professor
Director of Student Experience, Chemistry

About Me

Tom studied at the Centre for the History of the Sciences on a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership between the University of Kent and the Science Museum in London. Prior to this, he was President of his Students' Union from 2011-2013, and completed a Masters in Science, Medicine, Environment, and Technology in History, with Professor Charlotte Sleigh in 2014.

At Warwick, Tom is currently working on:

- 'We are Chemistry' - a student experience and community-building project that will provide over 100 events, activities, and opportunities in Chemistry, focused on wellbeing, inclusion, and belonging. You can hear more about this student experience work on the Pathways Podcast.

- The Chemistry curriculum review - working with a colleague in Life Sciences, Tom is designing a new optional research and skills module for year one students for 2023-24. The module - Chemistry Student-Led Challenges - uses Design Thinking Principles to get students to work as a group to choose a real-world problem, develop the skills needed to solve it, suggest solutions, and reflect on the process and skills they've learned.

- Innovation 101 - a 3rd and 4th year module that Tom has taken on in the role, which will equip students with the skills to become innovators and develop value solutions for real-world problems.

Before joining Warwick, Tom worked at the University of Exeter, as the Project Manager at the Education Incubator. In this role, he:

- provided strategic and operational oversight of 47 projects in 2020 and 2021 that changed pedagogic practices in response to COVID-19. To ensure their success during the pandemic, he joined the multidisciplinary teams of six of the projects and became project co-lead on a further three. One of these projects won a Times Higher Education Award for Technological and Digital Innovation of the Year in 2021.

- worked on an Erasmus+ project 'Communities and Students Together (CaST), co-authoring a State-of-The-Art review, a Case Studies Compendium, and a Pilot Synthesis into Engaged Learning across six European Higher Education institutions.

- developed and delivered the Education Innovation Lab programme in 2021, which used Design Thinking Principles to bring together national leading design thinking coaches, design tools, and a strong emphasis on peer learning to provide a pedagogical model that supported project teams to rapidly design and test solutions for problems in their institutional settings. These projects secured policy and financial commitments from the University and Student Guild to implement the designed solutions.

- formulated, created, and implemented business cases for new funding calls that engaged students to lead on projects, worth up to £75,000. Through these calls - that focused on anti-racist pedagogies and gender safety projects on campus - Tom recruited and empowered eight student teams, with one - Active Together - being awarded the University of Exeter's EDI prize in 2021.

Throughout his postgraduate studies, Tom:

- worked for Canterbury Christ Church Students' Union at their satellite campus in Medway, devising and implementing Teaching Quality, Learning Environment, and Student Outcomes policies to build community. He also worked with students to publish a project that focuses on BAME attainment in healthcare courses.

- volunteered during this time with the postgraduate community at Kent, creating and implementing a student engagement programme that led to him being awarded 'Student of the Year' and 'Intercultural Initiative of the Year' in 2017.

- taught four undergraduate and postgraduate modules across History and Politics at Kent, developing the UK’s first national student-led humanities teaching network (‘Radical Pedagogies’) to bring together students, academics, professional services, and schoolteachers to create more inclusive, equitable pedagogies. This project led Tom to be a co-author for the 2019 article 'HE Outreach: Guidance on Good Practice for Academics', published in the British Journal of Educational Studies