Divya Jindal-Snape, Professor of Education in the School of Education and Social Work, tells us about three of her doctoral students in what would have been their graduation week.

L-R: Alexia Barrable, Argyro Kanaki, Jonathan Glazzard

Alexia Barrable and Argyro Kanaki are lecturers within the School of Education and Social Work at Dundee, and Jonathan Glazzard is a professor at the University of Leeds Beckett. All three are top class students.

“They all studied part-time alongside very busy and demanding jobs, and this is Jonathan’s second doctorate! Their theses are excellent, and the work will be impactful – in some cases it has already led to change. All three have been presenting their research nationally and internationally, with Alexia doing a TEDx talk in Cyprus before lockdown.

“All of their doctorates are in Education. Alexia’s is about nature connectedness, Argyro’s about metalinguistic awareness, and Jonathan’s about the transitions of LGBTQ+ students to and through university.

“There were a few challenging circumstances for the three students during their studies. Argyro had a baby during her doctoral study, and she also had a significant bereavement.

“Alexia’s and Jonathan’s viva were undertaken using Microsoft Teams during the very early stages of lockdown, so it was an unusual experience. On the day of the viva, Alexia’s son had a very high temperature. I asked if she would like to postpone the viva but she carried on, nipping to check on him during the time the examiners were having a closed meeting and making their decisions, and then popping back.

“In addition, Jonathan was very unwell on the day of the viva (had been for some days before then) but he refused to postpone and carried on, with success.

“I haven’t been able to do much as I have not been very well recently, but I would like to make their achievements special for them. Usually I give my students champagne after the viva and then take them for lunch but, of course, it was unfortunate that I couldn’t because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, we have planned a Teams celebration on Wednesday (it should have been graduation week) with their supervisors and family.

“I am incredibly proud of them and it’s been a pleasure supervising them.”