Conference Committee

The conference committee shapes the conference programme, reviews proposals and plays an important part in making our annual conference a huge success. Committee activities include reviewing proposals, helping to spread the word about the conference and providing input to help us make the conference the best it can be and reflect our diverse LD community across the UK and beyond.

If you are interested in joing the conference committee, please email, an expression of interest (approx 100 words) on your suitability for the role and your reason why you’d like to be involved in this group.

Carina Buckley

Steering Group Member
ALDinHE Treasurer
JLDHE Editorial Team Member

Carina joined the Steering Group in 2012 and was Co-Chair 2015 – 2021. She came into learning development almost by accident after gaining a PhD in Archaeology in 2006, and is currently Instructional Design Manager at Solent University, responsible for leading on the development of the VLE as a student-centred learning space. Her research interests focus on collaboration and community in LD, and how these impact and are impacted by our professional identities, particularly in terms of emotion and imposter syndrome. She is an Advance HE Principal Fellow and a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development.

Ellen Spender

Ellen Spender is the Student Engagement Partner for the School of Management at Swansea University where she is also a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and the recipient of several teaching awards. Her current research focuses on student engagement research and on the use of game-based learning platforms in the higher education teaching environment as a teaching strategy to engage students. In particular, she is currently working in the area of educational technology and the critical role technology plays in the student-lecturer relationship. Ellen was a recipient of an ALDinHE funded project in 2021 and this was the incentive for her to become further involved with ALDinHE.

Ian Johnson

Ian has been active in ALDinHE since 2015 and a member of the peer mentoring working group since Spring 2020. He set up ALDinHE’s research community of practice at the same time, as the first CoP under the peer mentoring group umbrella, and continues to run it. The CoP provides informal peer support, critical friendship etc for research-active learning developers, and has co-authored a journal article, book chapter and several conference presentations around collaboration between learning developers. Ian is in the late stages of a professional doctorate on the framing and value of Learning Development work and also has research interests in feedback on student work and the teaching of reflective writing practices.

Janet Ramdeo

Deputy Chair of the Conference Committee

Janet joined the Conference Committee in 2022. She is an experienced teacher educator with over 15 years of experience in a range of universities. She has predominantly worked in international teacher education and Initial Teacher Training (ITT), having led teacher development projects in China and Kazakhstan, as well as led employment-based ITT provision at two London universities. She recently joined the University of Surrey, taking up an academic developer role in inclusive education, specifically race equality. Her research interest is primarily in the intersectional experiences of racialised educators but she is also supporting projects at University of Surrey examining the awarding gaps.

Katie Winter

I’ve been working as a Learning Development Librarian at the University of Surrey since October 2019, having previously worked as a liaison librarian. Since then, I’ve enjoyed exploring the areas of crossover between librarianship and learning development with the help of ALDinHE and this working group.

Laura Barclay

Bio coming soon.

Melanie Crisfield

Steering Group Member
Chair of the Conference Committee

Melanie joined the conference committee in 2017 and became the co-chair in 2019. She has over 12 years’ experience as a learning developer in both UK and American universities. She currently works as the Senior Graduate School Tutor (PGR Lead) at Brunel University London. Her areas of interest in learning development include: understand and developing critical thinking skills; researcher development; literature review writing; communities of practice; and building student self-confidence and self-efficacy. She is an ALDinHE certified lead practitioner and an AdvanceHE fellow.

Michelle Reid

Dr Michelle Reid works at Oxford Brookes University as a Learning Development Tutor as part of the Centre for Academic Development. She joined the Conference Committee in 2019 as she really wanted to become more involved in ALDinHE again after a time being away from the network. She is interested in finding a range of ways for people to share their practice, and she helped to organise the LD@3 Summer Programme of online seminars during July-Aug 2020.

Steve Rooney

Bio coming soon.

vlasios sarantinos

Vlasios Sarantinos is an educator and academic, with a strong passion for supporting students’ learning and teaching to ensure that they realise their potential. He has been working for several years as Senior Lecturer in Bristol Business School at the University of the West of England, with expertise in People Management and International Education. He also has experience in numerous other HEIs and working across different countries. Alongside his teaching and scholarly activity, he is a member of several professional associations, maintaining currency in relation to real-life business practices and ensuring learners’ experience is equally rich from both an academic and industrial perspective.

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