Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health, University of Portsmouth
Sherria is currently the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health at the University of Portsmouth. Before beginning her degree in Psychology in 1991 she qualified as a Basic Adult Education tutor and taught adults with severe learning disabilities and those leaving school without basic reading, writing and mathematics skills. This was the beginning of her passion for understanding learning and development and factors that can create inequities in this.
Sherria combines her leadership role with a successful research and teaching career. She has played a role in research teams generating over £10 million of research and innovation income. As the lead researcher she has secured over £2 million of funding in the last three years.
Her current research (in schools, college and university aged learners) takes a social cognitive approach to understanding how learner’s beliefs (e.g. implicit and self-theories) impact their learning behaviour (e.g. resilience, motivation and approach to learning) and academic outcomes. She is specifically interested in whether we can influence those beliefs to positively impact participation in education, learning expectations, behaviour and outcomes.
Sherria’s research and innovation has been conducted with over 250 local, national, and European non-academic partners. This has had significant impact both on the practice of educators, the culture of schools, colleges and universities, and the resilience and attainment of learners of all ages. She is currently leading three high profile funded research projects. The first is a UK project exploring Learning Gain in British Higher Education. The second is a nationwide randomized control trial testing the impact of the intervention that she designed on the character development and attainment of school pupils. The thirds is a UK project developing and evaluating an intervention to close the attainment gap in university graduates that is found in relation to social class and ethnicity.
She has also led numerous community projects (e.g. A City that Counts – bringing mathematics peer mentoring to deprived areas) and two years working with the Institute of Physics, supporting their work in schools to improve the gender balance in this discipline.
Sherria is an invited Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and has been awarded the highest level of accreditation from the Higher Education Academic, Principal Fellow. She has been nominated for and received numerous teaching awards, not least the prestigious National Teaching Fellowship.