Over recent years I have started to find Easter a better time than January for making new plans and thinking about the coming year.  The story of Easter alongside the lengthening days and warmer weather generally puts me in a more positive frame of mind than the relentless dreich darkness of January.  There is also the added benefit of the end of the academic year being in sight.  It might only be April but in another month almost all of my students will have drifted away from university to await their grades and make plans.  There are exciting things ahead for the coming year and I also thought it was time to change my website theme after three years of the same thing…

I am now the programme leader for a newly approved MSc in Applied Criminology and Forensic Psychology.  After being in the pipeline for a very long time this course is now open to applicants and I’ve already interviewed the first candidates.  This course is a collaboration between criminology and psychology and it offers a great blend of topics covering the entire legal process.  I am really looking forward to this programme starting in September and then teaching on it after Christmas.

The deadline is also rapidly approaching for the submission of my first book.  Co-authored with Michael this book will explore the subject of feederism and it has been a fascinating process putting it together.  Between us we have interviewed over 20 people involved in feederism making our book a qualitative analysis of one of the largest samples ever published.  Interest in our book has been really encouraging (thanks in part to Vice) and I hope people enjoy reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed writing it.  It’s due in September/October time this year.

Before all this September excitement I will also be heading to Singapore to spend some time working with the Singapore Police Force and Nanyang Technological University.  After a thoroughly enjoyable visit in May last year to attend a psychology conference I can’t wait to return to exotic Singapore.  I am grateful for the Santander Universities grant I have been awarded to help me make this visit.

I have also had the pleasure this year of taking part in the Leadership Foundation‘s Aurora Programme.  Held in a range of beautiful venues around Edinburgh this programme has really helped me think about how to work more effectively with my colleagues as well as helping me plan better and think bigger.  I have met some great women on this programme and I’ve really changed the way I listen to others.  There is one more session to go and after initially being sceptical I am now looking forward to it!

All in all, there are many reasons to be positive for the rest of the year ahead and I look forward to sharing them here.

Happy Easter!