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Welcome Week profile - Karen Simecek

Name - Karen Simecek
Job title - Director of Student Experience and Progression
Department - Philosophy

Can you tell us a bit about your role?

As Director of Student Experience and Progression for Philosophy, I work closely with our staff and students to provide the best educational experience we can. As part of my role, I look for ways to enhance our curriculum, assessment & feedback and sense of community through strategic projects. For instance, I have developed alternative assessment methods that help develop transferable skills such as video-presentations and annotated bibliographies. I also offer study skills support for our students and help them think about how philosophy applies to the world outside of university.

And what’s your involvement in Warwick Welcome Week 2018?

I have led on department events – we have an excellent programme, with a welcome talk (with information about the course, department and wider university opportunities), a taster lecture and seminar (where our students are tasked with designing an ethical autonomous car) and a philosophy orienteering Instagram event where our students will have to spot philosophy on campus from the contemplative cat by the bus terminal to a philosophical biscuit in Rootes grocery store!

This year sees an entirely new approach and programme for Welcome. What benefits will this bring to new students?

This is such a fantastic opportunity for our students to come together as a cohort and be focused on one another rather than worrying about understanding their first set of lectures. Already I can see that this has helped to build a positive and supportive atmosphere between our students.

What are you most looking forward to about Welcome Week?

I’m excited by the buzz of our new students. I really can’t wait to see the results of our Instagram orienteering event. There’s lots of chance for creative interpretation of the items. We’re going to display photos posted as the backdrop of our department party next Thursday.