Lesley M. Scott

Lesley M. Scott
PhD Candidate in Special Arrangement
Department: Leadership Studies
Area of expertise

Quality Enhancement

Areas of research/expertise

Leadership; Teaching and learning; Curriculum studies; Quality enhancement

What would you like others to know about you?

I am doing my PhD at entirely the wrong end of a career in academia.  I arrived late to university teaching in my early 40s when, as a lecturer, I taught the reading of visual culture to art and design students at the Robert Gordon University in Scotland. Way back in time I had graduated with an MA Hons in Art History from the University of Edinburgh. I taught at the art and design school for 11 years, during which time I held the additional positions of Disability Co-ordinator and Learning Enhancement Co-ordinator. When I emigrated with my family to BC in 2010, after our first few years, I finally found myself up at the University of Victoria. I came to know some lovely people at the Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC, now LTSI) there, and so the journey continued.   My PhD topic has essentially emerged from the conceptual collision of two places and two diverse educational worlds.

What have you done so far, or what do you hope to accomplish during your graduate degree at UVic?

What have I done? Eight courses, candidacy exams, my research proposal, the ethics proposal, and now data collection.  Recently I have studied content analysis, learned to use NVivo, sourced multiple documents and am now recording interviews. I have also built a metaphorical bridge across the Atlantic during the pandemic, in order to interview academics in Scotland, in addition to academics in BC. What I want to achieve is the answer to my research question. That question is rooted in my earlier role as a Learning Enhancement Co-ordinator in Scotland, and it is: how do universities set out to improve teaching and student learning? For me, graduate studies is currently to do with that question, but it was ever nested within an ongoing curiosity about the world and how it actually works.

Can you share an experience or something you've learned that other students might benefit from knowing more about?

I have learnt that doing a PhD is not so much about being academic; rather it is about being resilient and not giving up.  The process covers time and inevitably life throws the unexpected at you, and sometimes at those important to you too. With illness, loss, family responsibilities, etc., you have to divert, until eventually, you are able to regroup. And don’t forget, there’s been a pandemic too. The one thing I would therefore share is this: just keep going. Keeping going is all.