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Case Study: Thomas Leppard

Personal details
Degree:M.A. Hons Ancient History and Archaeology Profile picture
School(s): School of Classics, School of History
Year of Graduation:Jun-2006
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Southern Connecticut State University
Job title: Lecturer
Occupational Sector: Teaching HE
What has been your route to getting your current position?
After St Andrews, I headed to Sheffield for an MA, and then to Brown in the US for my PhD, which I earned in 2013.
What does your job involve ?
Lecturing in the Department of Anthropology; research and fieldwork.
What are the best bits of your job ?
Getting positive and rewarding responses from first-generation students after communicating especially difficult or challenging concepts is very pleasant. Getting out into the field and writing papers is a very enjoyable necessity, especially when fieldwork is in the Caribbean or Mediterranean.
Why were you successful?
Any success I may accidentally have had is attributable largely to excellent and inspiring teachers in the Department of Classics, especially to Greg Woolf, Christopher Smith, Rebecca Sweetman, and Jon Coulston.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
The capacity to take complex material and present it in an orderly and readily-understandable fashion, inculcated whilst at St Andrews, has been especially helpful, as has the broad, humanistic Scottish curriculum. Being made to read widely and outside of my immediate discipline has been immensely helpful down the road.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
Gaining the PhD was certainly challenging, but imaginative thinking - another St Andrews trait - stood me in good stead during it, alongside moderately hard work and a willingness to read widely.