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Dr Jo Trelfa, Academic Practice and Enhancement Manager

Meet Dr Jo Trelfa, Academic Practice and Enhancement Manager based in the Queen Mary Academy. Jo has recently been recognised as a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA).

Dr Jo Trelfa, Academic Practice and Enhancement Manager, Queen Mary Academy

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve worked at Queen Mary

I am Academic Practice and Enhancement Manager within Queen Mary Academy. I took up the post in September 2023 and so in some ways am still finding my way around (literally!) but for the most part I feel very ‘at home’ in my role, with the team, and in the University, that kind of feeling when you know you have found where you belong.

Describe your average day/week

My main focus is educational development around assessment and feedback and so I might be facilitating workshops, developing material or having conversations with people in support of their work in this area. It overlaps, of course, with curriculum design, student engagement, and inclusion, and so my focus is also here. Each day and week is different.

You might also find me teaching on the Postgraduate Certificate Academic Practice (PGCAP) and supporting institutional initiatives and projects. I began life in higher education in 1999 from a professional background in informal, non-formal and formal education and find the art and craft of teaching fascinating, so joining with others to discuss and support the development of excellent teaching is a continued joy!

Congratulations on gaining your Principal Fellowship from Advance HE! Can you tell us a bit about what that involved?

Thank you! The process was both cathartic and validating. Although reflective practice is my area of expertise, like most of us dedicating time to focus on thinking back and over the current and recent past of our careers is not always easy to come by. An affordance of Fellowship is it requires us to do just that! The weaving of reflection, articulation and analysis is satisfying, and seeing an artefact emerge from an initial sketch of potential ideas is immensely rewarding. I wholeheartedly recommend it! 

Principal Fellow requires a strategic lens and when I started the process I wasn’t entirely confident I had what is needed. Having led institutional Advance HE Fellowship schemes in the past I know this to be quite a common experience. It’s a kind of ‘imposter syndrome’ combined with somewhat of a mystique about D4 (Descriptor 4 of the UK Professional Standards Framework) perhaps! I commend talking with managers and the Queen Mary Academy!

What’s your favourite place on any of our campuses?

Almost 10 months into my post, I still feel energised as I leave Whitechapel Underground to head for Dept W. Not only the sounds and rich vibrancy as I make my way through Whitechapel Market, but knowing I will be joining the wonderful team and being in the welcoming feeling of the building. I find the architecture and design of Dept W so conducive to the range of work that I need to do – and I enjoy the space of three roof terraces and a friendly café for when I take a break!

Do you have any hobbies, pastimes outside of work?

As a busy single parent to a wonderful daughter, for the most part ‘outside of work’ has been the fabulousness of being a mum, but she is about to start her Masters and I am starting to think about hobbies! I do this as I walk our dog along the beaches and moors of Devon, and whatever I do it will continue to include this!

Find out more about how Queen Mary Academy can support you to gain recognition from Advance HE.



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