Bangor, Civic Participation, Civil Society

WISERD New Starters – Part 3

In the last few of months, we have welcomed several new members of staff to WISERD, to work on a variety of new and existing projects.

This week we’ll be focusing on a Bangor based member of staff – Dr Sara Wheeler. Here, she tells us a bit about her backgrounds, research interests, and what she’ll be doing at WISERD. 

Sara WheelerDr Sara Wheeler

I am a Research Associate for the WISERD project: Researching Civic Participation in Wales, in place and over time. I am based at Bangor University where I took up post in October 2014, having previously worked at the universities of Chester, Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores. I am also currently a Visiting Research Fellow at Glyndŵr University, where I am studying towards the HEA Associate Fellowship.

I am originally from Wrexham and I am a fluent Welsh speaker. I am involved in a variety of civic participation activities in and around my home town and I have a plethora of related research interests, particularly within the Welsh-speaking community. I am also from a Deafhearing family and my civic participation and research interests encompass this phenomenon, including being a member of a sign singing musical group. I have future aspirations to study the multiple minority, plural position of Deaf Welsh Identity.

My PhD research explored doctor-patient communication and Medically Unexplained Symptoms in the primary care milieu and I have worked on a variety of research projects in the sphere of health and illness, including: behavioural epidemiology and the night-time environment; effective management of type-1 diabetes in adolescents; leadership and team-working in junior doctors; and habilitation training for children and young people with a vision impairment.

Prior to my career in academic research I worked in the field of equality and diversity and also a variety of childcare and education-related roles in bilingual settings, including Catalonia and the Basque country. I also worked for nine years as an Independent Public Appointments Assessor for the Welsh Assembly Government. I therefore have a variety of research interests relating to health, disability, minority languages, devolution and equality and diversity.

I am a sociologist with a particular interest in qualitative methodologies, particularly Creative Analytical Practice (CAP) such as autoethnography, life writing and writing as a method of enquiry. I have recently begun reflecting on, and writing about, the early career trajectory as I am experiencing it. I am also a member of the British Sociological Association’s Auto/ Biography study group and the citizenship study group.

I live in a small village in the Wirral peninsular and many of my personal interests relate to rural life and wildlife.

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