At Staffordshire University we welcome all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and non-binary staff. Below are the profiles of some of our LGBTQ+ colleagues.
If you would like to add your profile to our page, please email the Diversity Team.
Matt has worked at the University for nearly a decade in a variety of roles and is currently the Interim Director of Staffordshire University London. Previously, as Associate Dean in the School of Digital, Technologies and Arts, Matt was Equality, Diversity and Inclusion champion for the school management team where he ensured course curriculum development embedded EDI frameworks and strategies.
Matt is passionate about social mobility and creating an environment and ethos where students, staff and key education and industry partners can come together to create, develop and innovate for the future. Consequently, Matt has taken a lead on developing new learning strategies that align to the Department for Education’s digital skills agenda and has taken up responsibility as a spokesperson on behalf of Universities UK to advocate for higher education institutions.
Matt has worked previously in a number of commercial and manufacturing sectors and been based overseas in Indonesia and the Caribbean and is proud to be able to bring an international and multi-cultural focus to strategic developments. His membership of professional bodies, such as the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (FRSA), help Matt identify and collaborate on new opportunities for students and staff.
Matt’s institutional remit includes membership of the Senior Leadership Team, Quality and Enhancement Committee, Innovation and Enterprise Zone workstream, Academic Planning Group and Teaching & Learning (Covid-19 Response) workstream. Consequently, Matt can ensure that LGBTQ+ issues, developments and needs for students, staff and stakeholders are heard at strategic leadership levels within the University.
Education has provided me with opportunities for both personal and professional development that I couldn’t easily foresee as a young person exploring and finding my identity. I was fortunate to be able to have access to very good education as a child and into my teens but University didn’t seem like a good fit for me. Nevertheless, I gave it a go after taking a gap year but dropped out after a semester and entered the world of work. I worked in many different industries, both private and public, in a myriad of roles from recruitment consultant to car salesperson! In my thirties I moved to the Caribbean to establish a commercial aviation business and on my return to the UK I decided that it was the time to get a degree. I was finally ‘comfortable in my own skin’ and I started a law degree at Staffs. Well over a decade later I am still here!!!
Higher education has allowed me to express myself in a safe and supportive environment whilst being encouraged to reach my full potential from a personal and professional standpoint. Staffs has afforded me opportunities to engage more widely with LGBTQ+ culture and I am currently working on my doctoral thesis researching whether there are real or perceptive barriers to higher education for LGBTQ+ individuals and whether the student journey is fully inclusive. Therefore, I would say that yes, education and higher education specifically has definitely changed my outcomes in life and I am now in a position where I can influence policy and procedure both within and outside of the University for the benefit of others.
I have a wealth of experience working in Higher Education and this has always been in the areas of Student Support Services and Residence Life – enhancing the student experience and student wellbeing has been at the heart of every position. I arrived at Staffordshire University 15 months ago, and at my previous institution Manchester Met I created the Res Life team and within five years, they were supporting 5,000 students across eight hall complexes.
My HE career began at Edge Hill University, while undertaking a PhD, and started by creating a post grad network, which transformed my student experience and that of my peers. Prior to working in HE, my career varied considerably from owning my own business restoring classic motorcycles to being a full time carer in very challenging circumstances. The transformation came in my career when I started my university education as mature student, and I have never looked back.
Education has driven all of my life, starting as a teenager when choosing to study in Australia for a year. This opened my eyes to global possibilities and after returning to the USA to complete my secondary education, an opportunity to study in the UK came my way. Once arriving in the UK, life gave me a few detours until education came to the forefront of my life; as a mature student gaining a first-class honours in Social Sciences from the Open University. This sparked my desire to complete a research degree, so naively, I signed up to undertake a PhD, and in 2013 after numerous years of blood, sweat and tears I defended my thesis and was awarded a PhD on: Presidential Rhetoric, President George W Bush and Constructions of Otherness, post 9/11.
Undertaking a PhD opened my eyes to the significance of supporting students, and the difference support can make to progression and retention – my own included. Since this experience, I have been a passionate advocate for students gaining student support and students gaining a sense of belonging.
I am passionate about leading on course curriculum development and promoting a supportive cohesive learning community. I teach in the areas of TV and Radio, with a focus on programme histories and screen performances. I have worked as a consultant and archive researcher on several broadcast documentaries and dramas and presented a paper on the media representation of the gay campaigner Peter Wildeblood at Keele University and have curated several LGBT+ history artefact exhibitions. I have been a contributor to the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and worked as a consultant, archivist and researcher on The Times Pick of the Day radio documentary The Jon Pertwee Files (BBC R4extra), marking the actor’s centenary. I have also worked as a contextual researcher on the AIDS crisis drama It's a Sin (RED Production Company/Channel 4/HBO) with Russell T. Davies, broadcast in January 2021.
Education has had a massive impact on my life and contributed to me wanting to combine my passions for the media and performance with that of teaching. I was fortunate to meet the right teaching mentors at school, college and university, who supported, nurtured and encouraged me towards where I am today: Mr. Garlinge, Polly Peters, Vicki Luzney, Dr. Martin Shingler. Meeting these educators allowed me to understand the role of teaching and the positive outcome that it can have, many of which I still borrow and apply to this day. I feel privileged to do the job that I do, and never forget the importance that education and skills development can have on shaping the lives of others.
My work is theory and context driven, using an integrated approach to allow students as a safe space to grow and engage with different learning models and opportunities. Meeting and working with LGBT+ role models was such an important aspect of education for me. They gave me the confidence to be who I am today, to be an openly gay man and to understand not only the struggles of the past but also the on-going need for a visibility in the work towards inclusivity, acceptance and equality.
I'm a white British genderqueer lecturer in counselling and I've been teaching at Staffs Uni for 9 months now. As a child growing up I knew I didn't quite fit with the labels around me and spent a lot of time working out my sexuality. Gender not so much - 'trans' was not a term that was available to me, and as I both didn't 'feel like a girl' or 'feel like a boy' I just assumed that I was experiencing something normal for my assigned gender.
As I got older and began to meet people with similar identities to me, I realised that there were words for my experiencing of myself and became comfortable with genderqueer and non-binary.
Aside from one uncle, who lived some distance from my family, who had gone to university as a mature student, I was the first person in my family to go to university. I also did this as a mature student - before this I had been working in jobs that did not feel in any way fulfilling. I had known since I was young that I wanted to do something with teaching, and I changed my focus from music, to languages to 'special needs' and finally I ended up in counselling. But without that path in to university I would not have got to a place that feels fulfilling.
I finally feel that I am at a place where my job is also something that I really enjoy. Someone asked me recently 'if you won the lottery what would you do?' and I said ‘I wouldn’t stop working', which to me, speaks volumes about how happy I feel that education has changed my life and allowed me to work in a field that I love.
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