University of East London
What drew you to SoTL? I became aware of SoTL when a colleague was unable to attend the 2008 ISSOTL conferences and I was asked to attend in his place. At this conference I met wonderful colleagues who introduced me to the magic and mystery of SoTL. I realised that SoTL was synonymous with the work I was doing but did not recognise, at the time, that it was called SoTL. I am drawn to SoTL because I deeply care about the work I do, the impact I have and the people I can influence, encourage and enrich through interaction and conversation. I care about the student learning experience and the connections between people and purpose. SoTL epitomises this and enables me to continue my journey whilst supporting my development.
What does being an ISSOTL Fellow mean to you? Through the ISSOTL fellowship program I have entered a community of shared practice, a space to explore ideas around scholarships whilst learning with and from colleagues. For me the ISSOTL fellowship is not simply a reward or award but more a process of sustaining the work of SoTL by promoting best practices and advocating for positive changes. ISSOTL fellows play a critical role in advancing SoTL through collaboration, mentoring and career development approaches. Fellows are often the face of SoTL whose narratives are impactful, inspiring and goal driven. This ultimately enables colleagues apply to become fellows of the future.
What advice would you give to ISSOTL members looking to better engage others in SoTL? Be a mentor and lead through example. Help other recognise not solely what SoTL is but moreso what SoTL does. Referring individuals to TLI or other SoTL publications is vital in securing an interest in, and passion for, SoTL. SoTL is wonderfully queer in its outlook, it invites difference and embraces difference all of this for a common good to reshape the way we think about teaching and learning. Finally encourage others to speak about the work they do, share ideas and themes to build a culture for SoTL. Together ISSOTL communities can begin to plant different SoTL seeds and learn to repeat the benefits by understanding how SoTL is perceived, valued and developed.