Lia Blaj-Ward is an associate professor at Nottingham Trent University, where she coordinates academic literacy provision for international students on creative and built environment courses. In parallel to this, as a mentor and assessor for Nottingham Trent’s in-house AdvanceHE professional recognition scheme, she supports the professional development of colleagues involved in learning and teaching in a variety of roles. Lia has a particular interest in co-creating learning experiences, the value of reverse mentoring and raising career aspirations; over the past couple of years she has combined these by designing and facilitating week-long work experience opportunities for pre-18 students.
Outside Nottingham Trent, Lia is an active member of BALEAP, the main professional association for colleagues supporting the academic success of international students. Between 2011 and 2020 she served on the organisation’s Executive Committee, ensuring the financial health of BALEAP and leading on a recently set up funding scheme to build capacity for collaborative practice and scholarship.