UCL News


Spotlight on... Zachary Walker

15 July 2021

This week we meet Zachary Walker, who is Head of Department for Psychology and Human Development at the UCL Institute of Education. Here, he chats to us about spending six years in Singapore and shares his shortcut to happiness.

Zachary Walker

What is your role and what does it involve?

I am the new Head of Department for Psychology and Human Development (PHD) at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). It involves making sure that the talented team we have in PHD feels supported, works together, and laughs a lot. If we do those three things, our students will have a great experience and we will continue to be highly productive.

How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?

I have been at the IOE for three years after spending six years in Singapore – I work in the field of inclusive leadership and innovative teaching. This includes understanding how we can be more inclusive personally and at a systems level. It is exciting work and especially relevant right now.

What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?

The next one.

Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?

Answering these questions seems to be of utmost importance at this very moment.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Album: Depends on the time, place, and mood.
Film: Good Will Hunting.
Novel: Too hard. Cannot possibly do justice to all the novels that have taken me to far-away places, challenged my thinking, or opened my eyes.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

What did the fish say when it ran into a wall?… Dam.

Who would be your dream dinner guests?

Jesus. My parents. Two very wise people from Oregon. A woman who shall remain nameless. And Dave Chappelle.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Focus on sleep, diet, and exercise first. No matter what else you have going on, if you do those right, everything else is easier. Oh… and dancing is a shortcut to happiness.

What would it surprise people to know about you?

I am a first-generation college graduate and a great dancer. Surprising?

What is your favourite place?

Too many to name but most of them involve a view of the sky, a good beverage, a better book... and quiet.