Suna Eryigit Madzwamuse – Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice, University of Brighton

I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice, University of Brighton, working with Professor Angie Hart. My work focuses on promoting wellbeing and resilience of children/young individuals and their families, taking into account biological and contextual risk and protective factors from a developmental perspective (which means I always keep in mind that people change over time).

In my recently completed work I tried to understand the impact of contextual (such as childcare and family) and individual characteristics on individuals who were born healthy or biologically at risk (pre-term or small). Previously, I explored wellbeing and identity formation during adolescence and early adulthood for ethnically and culturally diverse populations. I also tested the benefits of psycho-educational programs for children/young individuals and their families.

Currently I am working in a very exciting, cutting-edge resilience based programme: The Imagine Programme with an amazing group of colleagues including academics, practitioners, and young people. This project emphasizes community-university partnership and aims to develop a resilient system of evidence-based community support for children and young individuals with life challenges.

I am a mixed bag of disciplines and cultures. My passion for the wellbeing of children, youth and families at the interface between research and practice has developed through my interdisciplinary background and my experiences in various institutions and cultures I was part of. I studied Educational Sciences, Guidance & Psychological Counselling, Family & Couple Psychotherapy, and Human Development & Family Studies.

Before moving to the UK, I lived in Germany (as the youngest member of a Turkish immigrant family of three generations), Nazilli (a rural town in west of Turkey where my parents are originally from and also is known by its high quality of life and longevity rates higher than European averages), Istanbul metropolis (a city of resilient individuals and communities), and Alabama in the USA (war eagle!) for an average 7.5 years in one place; I also have family by marriage in Zimbabwe (I am MaiMona there). After moving to the UK, I worked at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners (King’s College London), Institute for Study of Children, Families and Social Issues (Birkbeck, University of London), and Department of Psychology (Warwick University), and now I am at the University of Brighton working closely with boingboing.

The concept of resilience has always been part of my research and practice agenda but with a focus on resilience at an individual level and mainly about understanding what counts as resilience. Boingboing’s approach on resilience introduced me to new aspects of this concept and broadened my perspective, embedding it into an understanding of daily practice. I am very keen to support the further development of the Resilience Framework and its adaptation to various domains of life as well as across cultural contexts.

Suna is moving to Canada to take up a post at The University of British Columbia. Boingboing and CRSJ look forward to making new chums in Canada.