Thursday, July 14, 2016


Apologies for the delay in a new post. Things have been a bit hectic and up-in-the-air over the past few weeks, but I hope to share some very exciting news shortly.

In the meantime, we have had Brexit, a new PM, a cabinet reshuffle - life in the HE sector is very uncertain at the moment in the UK. But, I just saw a tweet about the new Education Secretary talking about teachers who made an impact in her life.

It got me thinking about those who have influenced me to get me where I am today.

During secondary school, I took Art to equivalent A-Level, which had a strong Art History component. To my shame, I cannot remember the name of my teacher, but without doubt she instilled an interest in the History of Art which led me to apply to study that at Trinity College Dublin. I thank you!

During my undergraduate, I was under the tutelage of Professor Roger Stalley, a specialist in Medieval Art and Architecture with a focus on Ireland. I was immediately gripped. Took every course I could with him:

  • Gothic Cathedral
  • Romanesque Art and Architecture
  • Early Christian Art in Ireland
He also supervised my undergraduate dissertation. I was shaped under his guidance, and always anticipated pursuing a PhD in medieval art with him. But life never works the way you plan.

I wanted to have a grounding in medieval history before returning to a PhD in medieval art, so went to UCL where I encountered the incredible Professor David d'Avray. He brought humour and rigour into Paleography and the study of manuscripts and documents. He supervised my master's dissertation and guided it to insights and conclusions I would never have come to without him. He still supports me with references, referring it light-heartedly to referee abuse as "academe's dirty little secret". I thank you!

During my Master's I found the text which led me to my DPhil (PhD) at Oxford, under the supervision of Professor Lesley Smith. Again, another incredible person to guide, push, and provide different perspectives to propel a project in paths unanticipated. I thank you wholeheartedly for the four years we spent honing that thesis, and the support during the hiccup of major corrections.

Teachers, lecturers, professors, supervisors - you all provide an amazing, and all to often underrated, service to your students. Without you all, I would not be the person I am today. I only hope that, whatever I do next, I can have an ounce of the impact on future students which you have had on me.

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