Angela Stienne, Future Leader Award Winner (2019)
What have you been up to since you won the Future Leader Award in 2019?
At the time of receiving my award, I was completing a fellowship at the Science Museum, which ended in December 2019. I then took an 18 month break to create an online museum called The Lyme Museum, which responded to current events and I also wrote my first book.
What does winning an alumni award mean to you?
It was significant to get this award because my research in museum studies always felt a bit different from what others were doing, so to see my work with refugees and digital projects recognised meant a lot. Also, growing up with an invisible disability meant that I did not see people like me doing great things and winning awards - there was a representation issue. So, winning an award as a person with an invisible illness and disability was so important.
What made you choose Leicester and what has studying at Leicester enabled and inspired you to do since graduation?
In 2013 I came to Leicester to complete MA in Museum Studies, as it was such a vibrant place and so multi-cultural. I loved it and the University so much that I stayed for a PhD and I am now an Honorary Research Fellow! But, for me, the most important thing it has taught me is the power of community and diversity.
What is the one skill that the University helped you develop and which you have continued to use?
Public speaking for sure! I started giving my first talks during my PhD, and I got small grants to attend conferences. This dramatically helped me to develop a strong skillset in public speaking and my work now would look very different if I did not gain this skill set during my time at Leicester.
Reflecting on your time at University – what are you most grateful for?
I am incredibly grateful for the people I met during my time at Leicester - from my tremendous supervisors to friends for life who now live around the world.
What was your proudest moment during your time at Leicester and what do you continue to be proud of when thinking about the University of Leicester?
Graduations were proud moments for me. Having my parents and sister attend made my little childhood dream come true and I went on to earn a PhD in a foreign language! When I think about the University of Leicester, I now know that the environment solidified my goal to continue with my studies and complete a PhD in just three years.
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to enter a similar work role to you?
My advice for anyone that would like to enter a similar career as myself would be to practice communication skills as they are extremely important. Also, make sure you try new things and stay curious as you can do many things with your studies, and you do not have to follow one set path.
What did you discover about yourself whilst studying with us?
Whilst studying at The University of Leicester, I discovered that I could use my voice to amplify important causes and give others a voice. Furthermore, due to being in an environment that fostered independent thinking, I learned to have confidence in my ideas, that my opinion matters and that small projects can have a significant impact.
Have you been to any alumni events since winning your award? What was your favourite event?
I attend online events as I returned to France 18 months ago. I eagerly await returning to the UK to see my friends graduate and for the Centenary Alumni Celebration!
What ambitions do you have for the future?
In the future, I plan to keep writing and developing digital and in-person projects that give people a voice and make them think 'wait, I feel seen, I matter, I am visible' when they head back home.