Aston 50th Anniversary: Pam Moores Q&A

50 Aston Greats: Pam Moores

Professor Pam Moores

Having worked at Coventry College of Education, the University of Warwick, and the Open University, Professor Pam Moores moved to Aston University in 1978, where she has spent most of her career. From 2003 to 2013 she led the School of Languages and Social Sciences as Executive Dean, while at University level she chairs the Equality and Diversity Forum. In 2009 she received an OBE for her contribution to excellence in Modern Languages in Higher Education, and her promotion of language learning in schools and colleges.

How did you first become involved with the University?

I joined Aston as a Lecturer in French and new mum in 1978. I had worked locally at Coventry College of Education and the University of Warwick and was keen to stay in the region. I was attracted by Aston’s strong focus on the use of language in the contemporary world.

What is your fondest Aston memory?

My fondest memories are of visiting Aston students on placement all over France. Whether working in a busy Paris office, or a school in a remote location, or studying at a university disrupted by strikes, students really welcome a familiar face, the chance to confide some of their more challenging experiences, and to explore every avenue to make the most of their opportunities. This has been the starting point for some rewarding and long-lasting relationships.

What is your greatest achievement at Aston?

My predecessors established a strong reputation for Modern Languages at Aston, which I have built on through national roles such as Chair of the University Council of Modern Languages and Director of Routes into Languages  for the West Midlands. Since we created the School of Languages and Social Sciences at Aston a decade ago, the expansion of our academic activities at every level has been phenomenal, and this is down to committed and creative teamwork. We can now boast an impressive new range of social science provision, extensive language learning opportunities for non-specialists, world-leading expertise in Forensic Linguistics and Translation Studies, significant research grant income, and so much more…

What has your experience at Aston given you personally?

Valuable friendships with a diverse range of colleagues from across the University, current and retired, who I know I can always trust and rely on, even if we do not get the opportunity to spend much time together. Academia may have changed enormously, but the university remains an incomparably stimulating environment, a meeting point for people who are keen to share and learn.

What is the best advice you can give to today’s graduates?

Stick to your principles and trust your instincts. Do what you enjoy. Have the courage to take advice for what it is (these comments included), and the confidence to recognise your own strengths, your own circumstances and priorities. Taking time to listen to others is crucial in all aspects of life, but we live with our own decisions.