"My decision to investigate tolerance and ethnocultural empathy arose out of my experiences of teaching sociology and psychology GCSEs to adult learners. Certain topics, such as labelling theory and in-groups and out-groups, seemed to really resonate with the students and lead to meaningful critical thinking and discussions around tolerance and empathy.
"I completed my Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PCET) at USW in 2012, and I enjoyed the atmosphere at the university and the supportiveness of the staff at all levels, so it was my first choice to complete my PhD. It was a great decision which has opened up so many doors for me and my research.
"The Graduate School supported me to attend a number of overseas conferences: one at the University of Turin in Italy where I made links with Professor Cayir who went on to do my transfer viva, and another at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, which led to me writing my first book chapter for the publication The Role Of Education In A Multicultural Cyprus.
"Last year, towards the end of my PhD studies, I received the University’s 2019 Award for Best Research Student Impact - it gave me a real boost to complete the final hurdle.
"Recently, I have been in touch with the Welsh Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, to discuss my research in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s my opinion that including tolerance within the citizenship element of the Welsh Baccalaureate could have a positive effect on pupils’ tolerance and understanding of others.
"I am now writing a handbook for teachers, youth workers and other professionals on teaching tolerance, as well as a more academic book that explores the debates around this subject.
"It feels amazing to have finally finished my PhD and I am now looking forward to the next part of my research journey – this is only the beginning!"