Steering Group

The steering group consists of the Association’s Co-Chairs, Treasurer, Secretary and Working Group Leads. The steering group is elected annually. Election is on a self-nomination basis, supported by a current member of the steering group or a working group co-chair, with membership ratified at the Association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM). At each AGM, there is opportunity for new members to join the steering group without portfolio and be supported for 1 year before moving into a named role within ALDinHE. To join the Steering Group, please respond to the call which is issued in April each year via the LDHEN list.


  • Contribute to the strategic development of the association.
  • Gain experience in the operation of the association with people from other institutions.
  • Develop professional skills that can translate to careers in and out of academia.
  • Demonstrate impact for professional accreditations, eg. ALDinHE, AdvanceHE.
  • Develop new insights into current trends and initiatives in the LD community.
  • Opportunity to take responsibility in a chosen area.
  • A chance to step outside of normal routine to become more objective.
  • Benefit from knowledge exchange, share practice and influence a culture of collaboration.

Alicja Syska

Steering Group Member
Chair of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education Editorial Board

Dr Alicja Syska has been an editor at the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education since 2018 and a Co-Lead Editor since early 2019. She is a Learning Development Advisor at the University of Plymouth where she also holds lecturing posts in Education and History. Alicja has a Ph.D. in American Studies from Saint Louis University, USA, is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE, and an ALDinHE Certified Leading Practitioner. Her interests include writing, community building, and researcher development.

Alistair Morey

Steering Group Member
Chair of the Events Group

Alistair joined the steering group member in 2020 as co-lead for Events, after having been previously a member of the LearnHigher, Regional Events and Research Funding working groups. He has worked in learning development for 12 years, following previous higher education roles teaching history and politics and in educational research. He is currently Head of Skills Development at King’s College, London.
His particular focus is on the intersection between learning development and academic/educational development.

Bernard Aidoo

Steering Group Member

Member of the Professional Recognition Working Group

Member of the Research and Scholarship Working Group

I am an Academic Mentor for Psychology at London Metropolitan University.

My role entails supporting students achieve their personal, academic and career goals through 1-1 and team coaching. My background is in Positive Psychology, Coaching and Teaching & Learning. I am keen to apply these areas in supporting students to achieve positive academic outcomes.

Carina Buckley

ALDinHE Treasurer
JLDHE Editorial Board 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.

Christie Pritchard

ALDinHE Co-Chair

Christie has been a member of the Steering Group since 2015 and became ALDinHE Co-Chair in 2022 and was Co-Chair of the Research and Development working group between 2018-2021. She is a senior leader at the University of Plymouth and Heads up the Academic Development department, leading strategy and support in Digital Education, Educational Development, Learning Development and English Language. She is an Advance HE Senior Fellow, a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development and completed her Doctorate in Education in 2021, focusing on student learning spaces and the Higher Education climate.

Helena Beeson

Chair of LearnHigher and Steering Group Member

Helena Beeson started working as a Learning Development Tutor in 2011 at the University of Northampton but has worked in roles across Library and Learning Services for several years before this. She is currently working as a Learning Development Tutor and Mentor Manager. Helena joined the LearnHigher in 2019 to collaborate with colleagues in similar roles across the country and share her wealth of experience. She is an ALDinHE Certified Practitioner, a Fellow of the HEA with a MA in Modern English and Linguistics. Her current research interests include collaboration with student mentors and promoting student autonomy.

Ian Johnson

Steering Group Member
Chair of the Research and Scholarship Group

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.

Kate Coulson

ALDinHE Co-Chair
Professional Recognition Working Group Member

Peer Mentoring Working Group Member as Co-Lead of the AI CoP

Kate is Head of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at the University of Northampton where she leads a team comprising: Academic Practice, Educational Linguistics, Learning Design and Learning Development. Kate is an Advance HE Senior Fellow, a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development, a National Teaching Fellow and an Associate Professor in Learning and Teaching. Kate joined the ALDinHE Steering Group in 2019 as Secretary.

Kiu Sum

Steering Group Member

Kiu Sum is a Lecturer in Nutrition at Solent University, Southampton. Her research focuses on healthcare professionals’ diets and nutritional behaviour in shift work. Kiu is also interested in pedagogy research in higher education, focusing on student engagement and partnerships. She is part of ALDinHE Research Community of Practice and previously contributed to the RAISE Network as a Student Officer. Kiu co-convenes RAISE Network’s Engagement Assessment and the Early Career Researchers Special Interest Groups and sits on the Editorial Board for the Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal. Kiu hosts The Education Burrito Podcast (@EdBurritoPod).

Maddy Mossman

ALDinHE Secretary

Maddy has been a steering group member since 2020. She has coordinated the ALDinHE regional events since 2017 – 2023. Maddy has worked in higher education for over eighteen years, predominantly in teaching, widening participation and learning development roles. She moved to take up her current position as Head of Learning Development at the University of Leeds in February 2018. Her particular interests are the pedagogy of academic literacies, particularly academic writing, and the coordination and collaboration opportunities for student support services in large institutions.

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 writer self-confidence and self-efficacy. She holds a CeLP from ALDinHE and an SFHEA from AdvanceHE.

Sandra Sinfield

Steering Group Member
Chair of the Peer Mentoring Group

Sandra Sinfield SFHEA and CeLP, is Senior Lecturer and University Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Professional and Educational Development at London Metropolitan University, a co-author of Teaching, Learning and Study Skills: a guide for tutors and Essential Study Skills: the complete guide to success at university (5th Edition), and one of the co-founders of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDHE). Sandra has worked as a laboratory technician, a freelance copywriter, and an Executive Editor (Medicine Digest, circulation 80,000 doctors). With Tom Burns, she has developed theatre and film in unusual places – their Take Control video won the IVCA gold award for education – and is interested in creativity as emancipatory practice in Higher Education.

Sheryl Mansfield

Steering Group Member
Chair of the Professional Recognition Working Group

Sheryl has been a member the Steering Group since May 2020. She is Head of Learning Development at the University of Northampton. She is an Advance HE Senior Fellow, a Certified Leading Practitioner in Learning Development and Qualified Teacher. Her background teaching Sport Science in Further and Higher Education institutions has offered a plethora of experience actively engaging learners. Her research interests include asynchronous resources and inclusive teaching.

Steve White

Steering Group Member

I currently work in a hybrid educational developer / learning developer role in Southampton University Business School. This involves supporting various forms of peer learning, transition and student representative schemes, whilst attempting to influence curriculum development to include consideration for learning development. I’ve previously worked in learning development and educational development roles at Arts University Bournemouth, and also have previous experience in online learning design. My PhD explored the way learning designers work in a third space in higher education, and I’m interested to continue exploring the idea of third space work for learning developers following on from existing research amongst ALDinHE members. I’m also interested in the development student and staff digital literacy, and teaching and learning of critical thinking. I’ve chosen to work in education because I like helping people learn things, and I do it in a university because I want to know what really works.

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