Suely's passion for belonging at UCLan
Suely Ludgero-Newlove (She/Her) is a EDI Staff Development and Inclusive Culture Officer
Suely’s passion and advocacy for belonging, equity and social justice in higher education and beyond. Read her lived experience journey from UCLan Alumna to career progression as UCLan staff.
Suely is Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officer at UCLan since 2018. Currently, the main areas of her professional practice at UCLan are EDI Staff Development and Inclusive Culture. Suely has been a passionate advocate for EDI and has been involved in implementing positive actions and interventions to make UCLan a more diverse and equitable workplace and learning environment.
Suely performs in a wide range of areas supporting staff, students and stakeholders in relation to integrating diversity and equity in everything they do. Suely is currently involved in several University wide projects, committees, working groups and Self-Assessment teams to increase voice, opportunities and representation of people from various minoritised and/or disadvantaged identities and backgrounds, eg Ethnic diversity, Disability, Faith-Belief, Sex, Sexual Orientation and Gender identity.
Suely explains: “I was born and raised in north-eastern Brazil and moved to the UK in 2002. As a migrant and openly gay woman of colour, it was a great challenge to adapt to British culture, language and access higher education. At the beginning of my journey living in the UK, I felt lost, very isolated and lonely. This had a massive impact on my self-esteem, mental health, sense of belonging and security. At first, I thought I would never be able to continue my academic education and progress on career aspirations due to many barriers I’ve faced in this process. However, I’ve always been a fighter and did not give up on my ambitions and aspirational goals.
My relationship with UCLan started as a student when I applied to the Post-graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course in 2012. UCLan has opened the doors to my dream of continuing my higher education studies in the UK since I learned my application of study was successful and I received an unconditional offer to start on this course. My previous education history took place in the global south, and higher education in Brazil is very different in comparison with the UK so it took time for me to understand, overcome the challenges and reclaim my place and voice. I had great support from the lecturers at Runshaw College, UCLan’s partner college delivering the programme.
“This experiential journey made me realise the great importance of role models, pastoral care, tailored advice, support and information given to international students. Inevitably, this can positively impact on them by overcoming the challenges caused by overload of information and quick adaptation to the systems. Without a doubt, my experience at UCLan as a student and later as staff has made me more employable and given me back my confidence and self-belief.
“I am very excited and feel very proud to work at UCLan. I have had great personal development opportunities supported by my line manager and feel empowered to progress in my career at UCLan. This enabled me to achieve my first career promotion in 2021. I finished Springboard leadership training in 2022 and look forward to undertaking future leadership development opportunities after I finish my master’s in Social Justice in Education.
“It is an honour to be influencing and helping to implement the inclusive culture ethos at UCLan. I’ve been working with many supportive colleagues in professional services and academic schools who are genuinely passionate and devoted to enhancing a true sense of belonging and equity at UCLan. We have an authentic sense of community here and I’ve made many wonderful friends. Our people is the most valuable asset in our organisation. Hence why the voices of colleagues and students are an invaluable source of collaboration to the EDI agenda and beyond. I am optimistic that we will achieve our goals and ambitions to make UCLan also a national and international reference in diversity, equity and belonging.”