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Monica Fernandes small

Dr. Monica Fernandes 

Monica joined the APDU in September 2020, having worked as Head of Academic Skills Development where she led the strategic development and student initiatives in the Academic Skills department. She has worked in Higher Education in the UK and abroad, and has helped academics further develop their curriculum to support students, and taught undergraduate and postgraduate students in her subject area and academic writing skills. Monica has a PhD in Political History, and is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE. She is an active reviewer for multiple journals of learning and teaching, and teaches Race, Gender and African History in the Politics and History division at Brunel University. Her interests include decolonising the curriculum, inclusive teaching, working with students as partners, and increasing student engagement through creativity in teaching. 

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Sarah Wolfenden 

Sarah joined the Academic Professional Development Unit (APDU) in August 2020, having worked in the Brunel Academic Practice Team since 2017 and Brunel Library as a chartered Academic Librarian since 2012. She is a Senior Fellow of Advance HE and an ILM qualified performance coach. Sarah has taught all aspects of information and digital literacy to students and staff, including how to use social media effectively, in the UK Further and Higher education sector since gaining her Masters in Library and Information Science from UCL in 2008. She is a regular blogger and her interests include developing lifelong learning through reflective practice; maintaining motivation and wellbeing through coaching and writing retreats; and information literacy as a way of promoting social inclusion. 

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Dr. Senthila Quirke 

Senthila joined the APDU in October 2020, and has extensive experience in teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students within UK universities. At the Brunel Graduate School she led the Researcher Development Programme and provided bespoke training for doctoral researchers. As an Advance HE Senior Fellow, Senthila contributed to the academic practice initiatives and mentored colleagues to achieve Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. She is passionate about education and its role in building human capital. She recently completed her MA in STEM Education, where her dissertation evaluated science capital development in informal science learning settings. Senthila graduated with a Master’s in Medical Engineering and obtained her PhD in Biophysics from King’s College London. She is affiliated with the College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Brunel University.   


Gabriela Kubasiewicz

Gabi joined the APDU team in January 2021, having worked as an Administrative Assistant in the Computer Science Department (CEDPS) for 2 years.  Prior to working at Brunel University, she had roles as both a Teaching Assistant as well as an Administrator at Uxbridge College.  After graduating from the University of Manchester and gaining a degree in Russian and French, she trained to teach English as a Foreign Language.  This gave her the opportunity to live abroad in both Poland and Spain, where she enjoyed teaching children and adults of all ages.  Back in the UK, Gabi continued working in International Education and Study Abroad.  She now very much enjoys being part of the diverse and international community at Brunel, and supporting her colleagues in the APDU in providing professional development opportunities for academic and professional staff across the university.