Over the past 15 years, I have had the privilege to experience a very diverse and exciting career pathway, both in the heritage sector in Italy and in academia in the UK.
Having been immersed in a truly interdisciplinary environment at Loughborough University since November 2014, initially as a post-doc and from 2018 as a Lecturer, I have been provided with a broad range of skills and knowledge that have allowedme to develop a growing international reputation and a record of excellence in research, teaching and enterprise.
Since 2008, I have been involved in a variety of international research projects to develop tools and methods to foster innovation in education; to explore the role of storytelling in today's digital world; to investigate and trial ways of using digital storytelling as a participatory methodology for inter-disciplinary research.
I have a PhD in History and Computer Science from the University of Bologna and an MA in Contemporary History from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. I am also a journalist and a Web content and SEO manager.
Before moving to the UK, I was the coordinator of the Multimedia Department at BAICR Sistema Cultura, in Italy, a consortium of five cultural institutions with the aim of contributing to the enhancement of the historical and cultural heritage through the use of innovative methodologies, communicative approaches and the creation of digital environments.
My research has been focusing on three main strands: applied storytelling on environmental issues; digital storytelling in (cultural/heritage) education; storytelling and urban design. More recently, after having joined HEART - Healing Education Animation Research Therapy, I’ve been exploring digital storytelling as therapeutic intervention.
Over the past five years, I have been involved (as PI or Co-I) in 17 projects of various sizes, ranging from a few thousand pounds to over a million pounds in value, funded by AHRC, NERC and the European Commission (for the full list, please, see the CV). Since my first appointment at Loughborough, I have developed 11 Strategic Partnerships funded under the EU Erasmus+ scheme, that have brought to our School over €1,000,000.
In 2018, I was awarded an AHRC International Placement Scheme Fellowship at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, in Washington DC, US, that has since grown into an exciting and highly productive ongoing collaboration with this world-leading institution.
I have contributed two Impact Case Studies submitted to the Research Excellence Framework 2021 (D27), co-written with Prof. Mike Wilson. The first ICS is linked to my Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution and to two of my EU funded projects (EOOL and NARSPI) and responds to issues related to exclusion from formal and non-formal learning environments across Europe and the US. The second ICS is linked to our UKRI-funded projects on storytelling and environmental policy.
Additional esteem indicators include:
- Advisory board member of INTELLECT Centre, Centre for Research into Heritage Education, Well-being and Teaching Technology, Department of Education and Humanities, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy;
- Member of the International Committee for Doctoral Studies at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy;
- PhD External examiner at the University of Roma Tre, Italy;
- Reviewer for Austrian Science Fund (FWF) – From August 2020;
- Reviewer for Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage; Climate Risk Management; DigItalia - Rivista del digitale nei beni culturali ICCU - Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo Unico delle Biblioteche Italiane e per le Informazioni Bibliografiche.
- Member of the Editorial board for the Book series Advanced Studies in Museum Education, ESI - Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane.
Research Funding (selected)
- 2021-2023 - FutureAbilty - Digital and transversal skills for online teachers. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 287.230 [Co-Investigator];
- 2021-2023 - E-SHAHRAZAD - Innovative Approaches in Adult Education: Digital Storytelling in Intergenerational Learning. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 228,829 [Co-Investigator];
- 2020-2023 - SOLIS – Developing wellbeing and social inclusion: achieving success through understanding of cultural diversity. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 345,442 [Principal Investigator];
- 2019-2021 - Animated storytelling for mental health literacy among young people – funded by AHRC. Total budget: £996,475 [Co-Investigator];
- 2019-2022 - Art-Connection – Promoting EU Key Competence no.8 (cultural awareness & expression) as a tool for the development of individual and collective skills that promote social cohesion. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 387,195 [Co-Investigator];
- 2019-2022 - CERTIFY – Crisis and Employment: Tools and Methodologies For Your future. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 287,518 [Principal Investigator];
- 2018-2021 - PÁRAMO – Provisioning Of Ecosystem Services And Cultural Values In The Montane Tropics. Funders: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Budget: £ 287,405 [Researcher Co-I];
- 2018-2021 - PARAGUAS – How Do The Páramos Store Water? The Role Of Plants And People. Funders: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Budget: £ 184,120 [Researcher Co-I];
- 2018-2020 - SELAM - Learning self-awareness and self-management to eliminate bullying and create peer support scheme in immigrant concentrated schools. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 198,360 [Co-Investigator];
- 03-06 2018 - 'Storying' the Cultural Heritage: Digital Storytelling as a tool to enhance the 4Cs in formal and informal learning. AHRC IPS at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (SCLDA). [Principal Investigator];
- 2017-2019 - DIST – Digital Integration StoryTelling. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 204.908 [Co-Investigator];
- 2017-2019 - EOOL – Europe of our lives. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 137.330 [Co-Investigator];
- 2016-2018 - DICHE- Digital Innovation in Cultural and Heritage Education. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 300.533 [Co-Investigator];
- 2016-2017 - The Reasons - ‘There is something in the water’. Funder: Arts and Humanities Research Council – Connected Communities Programme (AHRC). Budget: £19,031 [Researcher Co-Investigator];
- 2015-2017 - NAR-SPI - Narrative educational resources for socio-professional inclusion. Erasmus + Strategic Partnership KA2; Total budget: € 195,963 [Co-Investigator];
- 2014-2019 - DRY – Drought Risk and You. Funded by UK Research Councils Institutional budget: £ 493,000 [Researcher].
I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My teaching approaches have been praised by the Centre for Academic Practice at Loughborough University, during their teaching observations, as ‘excellent and engaging’: in the latest report they wrote, ‘Antonia used her love of her topic to really bring this session to life; it was an excellently designed and executed piece of teaching’.
Current Teaching includes:
- Module Leader for ‘Storytelling and the Digital’ for the new MA/PGCert in Storytelling;
- Module Leader for 'Stories as Data' as part of the new MSc in Data Science;
- Co-leader for the UG Module ‘Theatre in the Community’;
- Co-leader for the UG Module ‘Creative Arts for Education’;
I am currently supervising a number of PhD students in Applied Storytelling (see full list on the Storytelling Academy website https://storytellingacademy.education/phd-students/).