#Hellomyname is Janice St. John-Matthews. I am the Associate Head of Department for the Allied Health Professions at the University of the West of England, Bristol. I am a registered diagnostic radiographer. When I was 18 I left my home in Ireland and moved to the UK to peruse my dream career. After spending a decade working clinically and in industry I joined academia. I currently oversee five radiography programmes consisting of three pre-registration and two post-registration courses alongside standalone continuing professional development activities for all allied health professions.

I am passionate about working at the University of the West of England due to its ethos of inclusivity. As someone who comes from a widening participation background I know first-hand how education can empower and the difference equality in expectation can make.   As an individual with dyslexia I also appreciate how a supportive environment can ensure every learner achieves their potential. Each year I work with extraordinary students, who have joined higher education through non-traditional education routes. Those studying radiography leave as a credit to both the University and the profession. I am proud to be part of this.

Evidence from the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education has highlighted the lack of women in senior posts in academia for various reasons. For me this is being a mum to a small child with minimal extended family support. I was finding networking, collaborating and publishing difficult to balance with caring responsibilities. To address these challenges, I started to use social media outlets to raise the profile of the radiography profession, to write frankly about the challenges of dyslexia and to share my experiences as a part-time Doctoral candidate. Subsequently I have been able to connect with individuals across the world and this has led to opportunities to present and publish nationally and internationally.