Our warmest congratulations go to our dear sister and colleague Muna Abdi, for her new permanent role as Lecturer in the Psychology of Education at Sheffield Hallam University, commencing in September 2016.
Muna, who will shortly be submitting her PhD thesis: Politics of Belonging: Insight into the lived experiences of young Somali men through the use of narratives at Sheffield University; is an alumnus of Sheffield Hallam University, where she gained a first class bachelor’s degree in Educational Research with TESOL. She also has an MA with distinction in Educational Research from Sheffield University.
In addition to being a valued member of Black Sister Network; Muna is also an active member of the PhD Network at Black British Academics. In October 2015, she posted an article linked to a presentation she delivered entitled: Staff and Students of Colour Speak Out On Racism. It reached over 4,000 people on Facebook and is currently the most popular post on the PhD Network website with over 1200 hits.
Despite the demands of undertaking a PhD, Muna is involved in a number of extra-curricular activities. She helped set up the Critical Race and Ethnicities Network (CREN), a cross-institutional, postgraduate-led network involving students at Sheffield, Leeds and York universities.
She set up and coordinates the PGR Critical Writing Group; she is on the steering group of Collaborative Writing in the Academy – a sub- group of the Centre for the study of Literacies, and she is a member of the Centre for the Study of the Human, Centre for the study of Literacies, and Centre for Childhood and Youth (CSCY).
Muna told Black Sister Network that as an alumnus of Sheffield Hallam University she was familiar with and attracted to its social justice ethos and the role is a perfect match to her skills, experience and teaching interests:
“I’ve taught on BA, MA and EdD level courses in Education and Psychology at my current institution.”
Asked what factors she perceives were important in helping her to secure the permanent post, Muna replied:
“I think what may have swayed it for me is the work I have also done between universities in setting up a network and working with external services (the council) to secure funding and do commissioned research. I think they realised I could offer the institution a bridge that would bring research into practice in real world terms. Applied research is something this institution is keen on.”
With her excellent qualifications, dedication and commitment to academic citizenship, as well as to research and teaching, we are not surprised that Sheffield Hallam University recognised and valued the contribution Muna can make to their institution.
We wish Muna success with her PhD thesis and success in her upcoming academic post.