Kate originally graduated from Royal Holloway and Bedford New College (RHBNC) in 1991. She was awarded the Thomas Holloway prize for BA students and the London University prize for Classics. She then began a career as an English and Drama teacher in Southern Africa, Germany and UK. Moving into the civil service and working at the Cabinet Office, she experienced the behind-the-scenes workings of politics for the Prime Minister, often attending and holding meetings at No10. This inspired her interest in alternative routes to power and different forms of leadership for both men and women for her PhD in humanities. She also wrote on the social construction of sexuality.
Another change of direction saw Kate retrain as a business psychologist, having taken a career break to bring up twin girls. She completed a psychology degree with the OU and two postgraduate diplomas in research methods (Business and Management, Psychology). She then went to Kingston University to study occupational psychology. She was awarded the Bruner Prize for social psychology (OU), the Savile Prize for occupational psychology and the Kingston Award for Career Changer. She has recently completed an MSc HRM at the OU as part of her CPD.
Kate's key interests are social identity, group processes and language-focused approaches to everyday issues.
Kate is currently writing up two main projects. The first is the Smart Communities project at Kingston University which looks at using sociological research around norms and practice to encourage more green behaviours. Her particularly focus here is the role of social identity. She has presented several posters and papers on her work here. Working still with social identity, Kate has also explored the role of group processes on decision making in assessment centres. Again she has presented this work in a number of conferences. Kate's main methodological approach is qualitative discourse analysis and her next planned projects are 1) how knowledge around linguistics can help managers perform better in performance review and 2) how striking workers are portrayed in the media.
Kate also enjoys the links she can make between the social sciences and classics. Recent conference papers have included 'Nice Girls Don’t and Boys will be Boys: A social-constructionist approach to portrayals of gender and relationships in Catullus’ poetry' and she has recently published a chapter exploring rhetoric and emotions '‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’: Reinterpreting some poems of Catullus from a Discursive Psychological point of view.' in 'Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity'
Kate has taught psychology at Birkbeck UoL and entreprise skills and business psychology at Kingston Business School. She currently teaches at the Open University: psychology in FASS and leadership/change management and the MBA project in FBL. She wants to teach business psychology at the OU!