Dr Nikki Spalding
- Academic Development Officer Higher Education Academy
‘Asking yourself some ridiculous questions to better understand your passion, purpose and personal skills.’
I have been at the Higher Education Academy for almost five years, during which time I have been involved with nearly every aspect of the HEA’s work as an independent non-profit organisation committed to world-class teaching in higher education.
In 2011-12 I briefly worked as a teaching associate at Newcastle University whilst finishing my PhD in Cultural and Heritage Studies. The terrifying experience of feeling thrown in at the deep end of module leadership, lecturing, seminar planning, managing assessment and feedback etc. has motivated me in everything I have done since (in particular in the development of the HEA’s support for “new to teaching” staff through training, events and online resources).
I am fortunate to be in a job that I love and that continues to challenge and inspire me; but this isn’t a happy accident. The HEA has been through enormous change, which has afforded me the chance to be work on a wide range of projects, challenges and opportunities. I have developed new skills and knowledge with every step, whilst proactively evolving my role and remit in response to the needs of the organisation.
Outside of work, I am part of the organising committee for York’s LGBT Pride, which is probably the most fantastic, heartening and fun thing I’ve ever been part of. In the last year I have also become obsessed with martial arts and fitness, in particular Body Combat classes and kickboxing, with a little bit of badminton and step aerobics on the side!