A writer who specialises in Knowledge Exchange, Valentina is skilled in leading, and being part of, project teams. Engaging confidently with stakeholders and policymakers, she has worked with Community Heritage projects across Scotland and beyond: from Glasgow to Dumfries & Galloway, from West Lothian to Cumbria, from Shetland to Skye.
She has a strong reputation, too, in delivering high-visibility projects with prestigious partners including The Smithsonian Institution (Scotland at the Smithsonian), Royal Society of Edinburgh, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (Robert Burns 250) Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and Scottish Government.
Prior to becoming freelance in 2017, Valentina was an academic, full-time in Scottish Universities for thirty years. From 1999, she worked at the University of Glasgow, first as Head of Scottish Studies. As Director of the Solway Centre for Environment and Culture she, and her team, secured substantial funding from the UK Research Councils, as well as community-based sources. Over three years, as School Events’ Director, she programmed between thirty and seventy public events annually, from seminars and lectures to workshops and conferences. She brings this experience to programming, delivering and publicising events now.
In her post as Reader in Literature and Ethnology (Folklore) at Glasgow University, specialising in Scottish writing, song and stories, Valentina created and delivered courses and programmes for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her roles included being College of Social Sciences Ethics Officer, and she retains a keen interest in ethical research design and delivery, whether qualitative or quantitative.
From 2018 – 19, Valentina was a half time senior lecturer at the University of Stirling, teaching postgraduate students in the MLitt Scottish Literature programme. From 2017 – 18, she held a bespoke part-time post as Principal Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, in the School of Humanities. She combined this with a year’s project work as Creative Writing Development Officer in Winchburgh, West Lothian. Valentina has also taught literature at the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde.
In earlier years, Valentina was a founding member at the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen, preserving and promoting traditional culture and a Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, for Cinema Culture in 1930s Britain. She was Edinburgh-Memorial Canadian Studies Fellow at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and retains a keen interest in diaspora communities.