Michelle is a Chartered Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Chester, specialising in areas of psychology related to wellbeing, work wellness, positive psychology and learning analytics.
Having worked in industry (both in the UK and overseas) prior to entering academia, Michelle studied for her BSc (Hons) in Psychology as a mature student at the University of Liverpool, going straight on to do an ESRC-funded PhD in Health Psychology at the University of Bristol. The research she carried out for her doctorate looked at the effects of stress hormones (cortisol) on memory, where she worked with both non-clinical and clinical populations.
As a post-doc Research Fellow, Michelle worked on a three and a half-year Hefce-funded project looking at occupational stress in higher education institutions, and a two year Leadership Foundation funded project, looking at the characteristics, roles and selection of University leaders.
Whilst Michelle still continues to show research interests in wellbeing and work wellness, she is now building on this by incorporating aspects of positive psychology, in particular, resilience, flourishing and emotional intelligence. As part of this, Michelle also works closely with the Optentia Research Programme at North West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa, where she is also an External Examiner for their Masters and PhD students.
Karen is an Assistant Director of Human Resources Management within the University of Chester. She has over 15 years’ experience of HR and training management in different sectors including retail, finance, hospitality and public sector. She has developed a number of HR practices which support employee engagement which have contributed towards improvements in personal and organisational performance. Karen was a stakeholder in developing the National Higher Education research project ‘Wellbeing and engagement for challenging times’ where she and others in the University undertook research evaluating the links between ooccupational and personal wellbeing.