Why did you choose to study at UEL?
A professional doctorate is essential for my career. When I came to the open day at UEL, I felt so welcome and at ease. The department's focus on positive psychology and pupil voice is amazing.

What is your one special memory of your time at UEL?
In our first week, to help us settle in, we went for a walk with the lecturers through Olympic Park to get pizza and a pint. It made us feel part of a family rather than just students.

What have you done since graduating from UEL?
Mostly academic pursuits! I have been fortunate to present my doctoral research at two national conferences and continue to offer support to schools and councils on supporting LGBT students.

What is your current job role? And what does it involve?
I'm an Educational Psychologist, so I work in partnership with children and young people, schools and the local authority to identify and implement the most appropriate support for them.

How did UEL help you get to where you are now?
UEL offered a nurturing and supportive environment for me to be myself and to explore the areas in which I am passionate about - supporting the rights of LGBT young people in education.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Don't be afraid of who you are! Our experiences, both good and bad, make us. Embrace them and use them to learn and improve not only yourself, but the world around you. You can make a difference.

What advice would you give to UEL current students preparing to graduate?
Don't worry if you haven't got your life planned out yet! Take the time to consider who you are and what you want to be, so you can get the right experience and thrive later on.

Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know:
I used to be a teacher in Thailand, and there is still a giant billboard with my face on it along one of the main South/North highways!

If you were to do it all again, would you still choose UEL?
Absolutely. My cohort, both students and staff, were like a family, and I wouldn't change them for the world.

Dr Matt Leonard

Dr Matt Leonard

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