My main professional interests are vocational education, women in technology, and harnessing the potential of social and digital media in communication and research.
How I got to where I am now
I started my career as a computer programmer in the manufacturing sector, at Motorola and AVEX Electronics. Supporting staff through the introduction of new computer systems, I developed an interest in learning and training which led to me taking up a lecturing job at the University of Paisley to teach computer networks.
Here, my interests extended to learning with technology and I was an early pioneer in the creation of online courses and development on e-learning platforms.
I developed this interest further when I joined the Scottish Council for Educational Technology, where I led a directorate covering educational software developments and the delivery of training courses for teaching and support staff in schools and colleges.
Working for Learning and Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland) I developed an interest in the broad policy drivers underpinning education and lifelong learning in Scotland. I took this interest forward when I joined the Scottish Government as a policy analyst in 2003.
In my 10 years in government — including a two-year stint with the UK Government — most of the roles I had were related to vocational education and training, employment and economic recovery. Throughout this period, and indeed in previous jobs before I joined government, I worked closely with the college sector and was delighted to take up a role as vice principal at Ayrshire College in 2013.
I joined West Lothian College as principal and chief executive in August 2018 and am working with staff, students and stakeholders on achieving our vision of developing a highly skilled and enterprising workforce.