Nichola Street Joins the Psychology Department at Staffordshire University.

The Psychology Academic team are pleased to welcome Nichola Street who joined the University as a Lecturer in Psychology in August 2015. Nichola introduces herself below:

I am delighted to be joining the team at Staffordshire University as a Lecturer in Psychology. My first week here was full of happy, friendly faces and learning my way around the building and campus!

NStreet Aug 15To give you a bit of background to my journey here, I began studying psychology at high school, and was hooked on the subject from the beginning. I went on to complete my undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology and PG Cert in Counselling and Psychotherapy at Liverpool John Moores University.

I had discovered a love of research during my degree and I started my PhD at Aberystwyth University in 2010 under the supervision of Dr Alex Forsythe. My PhD examined perceptions of visual beauty, focusing on the role that individual difference plays in aesthetic responses to natural shapes (fractals). I’d always been fascinated by the draw and hypnotic qualities of nature, and wanted to explore some of the factors that made these scenes so appealing to so many people. I transferred my PhD studies to University of Liverpool to complete my thesis. During the final year of my PhD I also worked as a Research Fellow at University of Salford with Dr Sarah Norgate (lead) on an EPSRC Digital Economy/ Energy 6th Sense Transport research in collaboration with Lancaster University and 3 other UK universities investigating travel behaviour. Our particular focus was the concept of ‘Walking School Buses’ and exploring how to reduce barriers to uptake with the support of a smartphone application ‘goWSB’. Most recently, over the last year, I have been working at University of Liverpool as a Lecturer in the School of Psychology. My role at Liverpool involved coordination for the international psychology module and working on the Online MSc Programmes in a Quality Assurance position. My time at Liverpool taught me many things but one stands outs, that there is an international need for psychological studies and education which should be encouraged as much as possible as psychologists often hold the key to helping tackle global issues in this increasingly global world.

My research focuses on some key underlying questions, namely how the environment in which we spend time can impact our behaviour and wellbeing. I enjoy interdisciplinary working and am currently collaborating with artists and scientists from a number of disciplines to explore this question further. The team and expertise here at Staffordshire is something that attracted me to the university. I was also drawn to the teaching and student-focus here at Staffordshire as I see supporting the next generation of psychologists is such an important task. Alongside my teaching, I’m excited to be taking on some public engagement responsibilities including organising the ‘Weird and Wonderful Psychology’ event to be held later in the year. I enjoy creative and collaborative events and find them very inspiring, so I am hoping to bring some of this passion to the students and wider Stoke population about the wonderful subject that is psychology!

Finally if you like social media, please follow me on twitter @NikkiCMJones, I try to tweet regularly mainly work and research related content alongside some personal stuff (mostly expect pictures of art/animals/food & drink!) and always appreciate making new connections. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into teaching and meeting more of the students and staff here at Staffordshire, so far so good and I’m very glad to be new to the team!