The path to a senior academic role at the University of Liverpool for Gita Sedghi has required a commitment and resilience beyond that experienced by many others. She is now inspiring her colleagues and students through innovative teaching and her influence on the University’s Athena Swan Committee which successfully steered at the School of Physical Sciences to reach Silver.
Gita was awarded the National Teaching Fellowship 2019 for her excellence in learning and teaching and the outstanding contribution she has made at the University of Liverpool and beyond. Her work has led to a positive shift in the experience of thousands of students within the Faculty of Science & Engineering, with the impact of her innovations also enhancing the education received by students across the University and in other institutions.
Gita has been pro-active in ensuring her ideas are developed and shared more widely and she has been involved with many other universities in the UK and abroad in collaborative educational research projects as well as forging fruitful links with organisations including the Royal Society of Chemistry and Royal Statistical Society.
Gita’s bespoke Peer Assisted Learning Scheme and internationalisation projects have played a key role in enhancing levels of student satisfaction and employability. Her approaches have had a significant impact on pedagogical practices in other departments at the University of Liverpool as well as other higher education institutions including the Technological University of Dublin.
Her passion for education has been nourished in part by her own personal circumstances of migrating from the Middle East, and starting a new life, raising a family, and establishing a career. As a woman of colour teaching Chemistry and researching in education, she has put her own experiences of the challenges of accommodating to a new country and educational setting into practice to create an inclusive environment for both local and international students. Inevitably, gender plays a part in her work, especially working within a subject area viewed from outside as male-dominated.
Despite many adversities, Gita’s strength and determination show it is never too late to pursue your goals. She offers a unique perspective as someone who has transitioned countries, cultures, language, careers and family.
Gita is a role model amongst her peers and a trailblazer for building equity in science. She is a trained mentor who focuses on building confidence in others.