Dr Maggy Fostier (BSc, MRes, PhD, PGCE) - personal details
After five years in higher education at the University of Toulouse in France (Engineering degree course in Biotechnologies followed by a Master in Molecular biology on alternative splicing), I came to the University of Manchester and completed a PhD and a post doc in developmental biology studying the Notch signalling pathway in Drosophila.
During that time, I took part in the Biotech Yes competition (http://www.biotechnologyyes.co.uk/) and decided to pursue this further. I spent a year in France working in a start up private consultancy group (Agenetech, now closed). This was short but very interesting as I got to meet many entrepreneurs and study many Biotech/Pharma companies while assisting Poitiers Economic Development Agency in developing their Biopole; it was also challenging as I was responsible for implementing Agenetech’s competitive intelligence activities, which was new to me.
Life then brought me back to Manchester, where I am now a senior teaching focused lecturer (i.e. specialised in teaching as an academic subject). I enjoy all sorts of teaching but particularly like developing innovative teaching projects with colleagues.
The projects I am the most proud of are:
- The enterprise projects where a colleague and I teach soft skills and how to use reflection for employability. I love seeing the students transforming over the year developing their knowledge and transferable skills through the challenges of the course. I also love hearing every day through LinkedIn of the great jobs they obtain thanks to the course. It also allows me to liaise with entrepreneurs and keep abreast of new bio-technologies, which don’t cease to amaze me.
- The PASS scheme for which I am an academic coordinator in FLS. PASS stands for Peer assisted study sessions and I work weekly with our volunteer leaders and coordinators for one semester. This interaction/dialogue is probably what has taught me the most about teaching, how students view their life at University and their expectations teaching wise. It also allows me to tell them a bit more about active learning principles and what we expect from students in HE. Their enthusiasm is incredible and they come up with fresh ideas every year responding to new trends in our ever changing environment. So, from a evo-devo point of view, witnessing and being part of this evolution process is a delight. Our work was rewarded with UoM prizes in 2007, 2010 and 2011.
- The implementation of a problem paper as assessment of our year 1 practical unit and its accompanying booklet of practice problems. This aims to improve students research skills, and involved working with staff to create ~40 problems derived from 28 practicals, all equivalent in content and difficulty. I also audited the provision of research skills in each practical and worked with staff to add class activities when gaps were obvious.