Spotlight on... Madiha Sajid

This week we meet Madiha Sajid - Teaching & Learning Officer for MSc Health Psychology - who founded the UCL Parents and Carers Together Network. Here, Madiha chats to us about Finland, Urdu literature, and her work preparing for an online start to the new academic year.

What is your role and what does it involve?

I have multiple roles at UCL as a result of my interests in educational leadership, gender studies and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Officially, I am the Teaching & Learning Officer for MSc Health Psychology. In addition, I am the co-chair of UCL Athena Forum, chair of UCL Parents and Carers Together Network, and lead for UCL Gender Network.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I been at UCL for over 10 years now. My first role was in the Chemistry department as an assistant administrator for PG, UG and PGR students.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

I am very proud of the fact that the MSc Health Psychology programme is consistently ranked highly by our students (89% PTES satisfaction rate). I work hard with my colleagues to run a right ship looking after all aspects of students’ learning journey, starting from initial queries all the way up to graduation (and beyond). It is of personal joy and satisfaction when I see our students move on to successful careers and become aspiring leaders in their own areas of expertise.

With my other hat on, recently I was asked to write an article on how staff networks at UCL are supporting the university’s inclusion and diversity agenda.

Obviously I wrote a piece about the UCL PACT Network and I am very proud of how far the network has come along, especially in the light of COVID-19. We are running regular webinar series, providing support to each other, and sharing our experiences of parenting and caring for relatives.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

We are getting ready for an online start to the new academic year and this project is critical right now. I am developing online induction plans, interactive lectures, and alternate methods of assessments. Taking an inclusive approach is key here, given that many of our new students will be joining from across the world. We shall have to pay special consideration to the time difference, availability of computers, accessibility to internet, caring responsibilities of students, and religious and cultural practices, to name a few. We are working very hard to provide the best of the ’UCL experience’ in a virtual world!

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho remains my favourite book. I can read it any day any time and still feel intrigued by the simplicity of it.

Nothing beats Shawshank Redemption! My favourite quote is actually from this film by Morgan Freeman: ’Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies!’

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

I am big fan of Dad Jokes! Here’s one:
Son: Dad, can you tell me what a solar eclipse is?
Dad: No sun!

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

My father.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Dream big - you’ll find a way to get there!

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I am very competitive when it comes to playing badminton! Something I really enjoy!

Also, I am big fan of Urdu literature - it is a beautiful language derived from Persian and there is a wide huge selection to choose from - very calming and very immersive.

What is your favourite place?

Long walks in the unspoilt beauty of Finland and hiking in The Dales up in Yorkshire.