For the past 20-months, I have proudly been the National Coordinator for the Physics Mentoring Project. However, due to the impact of covid-19 on our funding timeline, today is my last working day on the project.
Working on the project since the beginning has been a whirlwind of creating processes, recruiting and training mentors (twice!), juggling priorities of the many collaborators and some logistical nightmares! Some of my favourite memories over the past 20-months have included: Travelling to Brussels with MFL Mentoring to celebrate St. David’s Day, the launch of the Physics Mentoring website, students at Islwyn High and mentors Izzy and Lille representing the project on the BBC, both training weekends (especially all the pizza!), creating the Level 4 unit “Increasing Engagement with Physics through Mentoring” which will give the mentors who complete it something tangible to put on their CV and the glowing final report, which validated the hard work of everyone involved.
I look fondly back at all the above events, but for me the most rewarding part of being the National Coordinator has been working with the student mentors. Many mentors have recognised their experience with the project as key to securing PhDs, PGCEs and graduate roles and, to me, that is priceless.
It is clear that the Physics Mentoring Project would not have been the success it has been without all the collaborative partnerships with the universities, schools, mentors, education consortia and funding from HEFCW. However, there are a few people who have particularly supported, mentored and become friends to me. I want to personally thank:
- Lucy and Tallulah from MFL Mentoring for always providing advice, laughs and biscuits,
- Lizzie and Laura from OnData Research for providing guidance, honest feedback and support,
- Mike and Helen from Creo Skills for training the mentors, and me, and always providing a sympathetic ear for venting,
- Everyone who works on the 4th Floor of McKenzie House for extended coffee breaks and keeping me up to date on what you’re having for dinner,
- Grace Mullally for being a huge support and help throughout lockdown and the uncertainty in the final days of my role, and
- of course, Chris North, the Academic Lead of the project, who trusted me to fully manage the project and supported me fully when things were personally and professionally difficult.
I look forward to seeing the success of the project in the future and hope I cross paths with all who I have worked with again.