What’s the best thing about being a lecturer in sociology?
Helping students develop what we like to call their ‘sociological imagination’ – it means they start to see seemingly normal things in their everyday lives through a very different lens and it’s very exciting to watch this happen.
What advice would you give to a student starting out at university for the first time?
Try and enjoy the wonderful privilege of learning new things and expanding your mind without worrying too much about the future. It’s a period in your life you won’t get back again!
What made you want to get involved in teaching in higher education?
I love teaching students at higher education level because by the time they get to me they have already gathered a great deal of work and life experience that we can use to develop their sociological thinking. Sociology is best understood when we can apply it to our ordinary lives and experiences, and enabling students to do this was one of my main motivations to become a lecturer in sociology.
What is the best part of your job?
Watching students graduate at the end of their journey here and celebrating how far they have come in the three years we have been working together. Many of our students reach the end of their degree as mature, critically thinking, wise people ready to face the world of work and achieve fantastic things – and that’s great to be a part of.
How does your research inform your teaching?
Much of the content of my teaching is designed around my own expertise and research I’ve carried out first hand. For example, my new Level 6 sociology module Food, Taste and Consumption is based on years of research into the social geographies of food and taste, the globalisation of food, food tourism, and how things can taste differently depending on where you are and who you are with. I find our teaching really comes to life when we can draw on research we are deeply involved with ourselves.
What do you love about working at the University of Westminster?
The fact that we are surrounded by some of the best things London has to offer, and have such a brilliantly interesting and diverse body of students from all over the world.