Student Success Lecturers join the School of Computing

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The School of Computing is delighted to have appointed two new lecturers to join the team. Dr Sahar Al-Sudani, based at Medway and Dr Jacqui Chetty, based in Canterbury, will be active members of the Student Success Project, contributing to making research-informed decisions on identifying interventions and activities to narrow the attainment gap within the School.

Sahar Al Sudani is a member of the Computing Education research group and the Data Science group She obtained her Bachelor’s degree and MSc in Computer Science in Iraq, then completed her PhD study in Collaboration with INRIA (the French National Institute for computer science and applied mathematics), one of the top research centres in France in 2006. Her research is mainly on using Semantic Web Technologies in Information Retrieval.

Sahar has over 19 years of experience of teaching in Higher Education. She obtained recognition as a Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK in 2011. In 2012, she was awarded an MA in Higher Education from the University of Greenwich with research relating to student engagement.

She said, “Working with a diverse body of students over the last 19 years has equipped me with skills and experience of managing and improving non-traditional students’ performance. I am proud of my students who were performing very well and seeing their improvement over the last years gives me confidence and self-satisfaction. I think I am always trying to be as explicit as possible with my students in term of their previous learning experiences and link it to current delivery of the various courses.”

Jacqui Chetty completed her undergraduate degree, masters and PhD at the Rand Afrikaans University and the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Her PhD focused on student success, where she was able to view the nature of the educational environment through a unique lens, to develop a set of educational design principles that provided opportunities for more students to pass.

Jacqui has been employed within higher education for the last 25 years teaching a variety of modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and has much experience regarding student success, as she has been involved in this discipline for a number of years. She said, “I have always had a passion for supporting the transformation policies at the universities within South Africa. Assisting the multicultural diverse cohort that often enter tertiary institutions under-prepared has been very rewarding. I had a unique opportunity to develop educational solutions for at-risk students.”

She aims to provide leadership through the development of educational solutions that can improve the retention and academic attainment within the School of Computing. “Engagement of staff as well as students is crucial so I hope to be able to work closely with School members to implement a sustainable solution.”

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