UCL History welcomes Leonie James as interim Departmental Tutor

7 July 2021

We are delighted to welcome Leonie James as interim Departmental Tutor - Leonie will be stepping in for Cari Tuhey whilst she is on leave. We chatted to Leonie about what she is most looking forward to about the role and what advice she has for new and returning students.

Leonie James

Hi Leonie, welcome to UCL History! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I have lived and worked in the south east of England and London for all of my life and I have a lot of experience of working in the UK university sector.  Before joining UCL, I worked at Queen Mary London as part of their REF team and prior to that, held a number of roles over the years at the University of Kent, including lecturing and managing student support processes in History.  While I have published a few history-related things, I have come to the conclusion that I’m getting too old to spend all my free time doing research! Instead, when I’m not working, I like to run, go to the gym, read novels, hang out with my teenage children and watch international films and series on Netflix. Before covid, I loved to travel and particularly enjoy visiting anywhere you can find Renaissance art and architecture. 

You will be taking on the role of Departmental Tutor whilst Cari is on leave – what are you most looking forward to about the role?

Working with university students at such an exciting and significant time in their academic and personal development is very rewarding. I am particularly looking forward to getting to know UCL’s undergraduate historians and doing my bit to ensure that they achieve their full potential.  Having done all of my degrees as a mature student – some of the time with small children - I know how tough it can be when students face additional challenges.  I have first-hand experience of how important it is to be supported when things are not plain-sailing and this is one of the reasons why I enjoy pastoral work so much. 

This has been a hard year for students! What advice would you give to new and returning students looking ahead to September?

It really has been a difficult year for everyone and especially students, who have missed out on so much of the usual excellent UCL experience.  I would advise new students and our returners to approach the next academic year with plenty of enthusiasm, positivity and energy – it’s going to be a great year now that things are getting back to ‘normal’ – but also to contact us if they have any worries or concerns.  We are here to help and getting in touch with us sooner rather than later is the best way to ensure a smooth transition back into university life.