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Dr Lisa Bradley has been appointed Head of the Department of International Business at the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus.

A native of Londonderry and past pupil of Thornhill College,  Dr Bradley joined the lecturing staff of the Department of Retail and Financial Services at the Ulster’s Coleraine campus in 2002.

Dr Bradley says she is looking forward to working with the Department’s staff and students to consolidate the work of her predecessor, Professor Dolores O’Reilly.

“My number one goal is to champion the good work being done by staff and students in the Department.

"We have a variety of excellent programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, including the very successful MSc International Business by distant learning,  and the department has both a very strong research base and growing international links.

“I would like to harness the expertise of everyone in the Department to further develop professional courses, reflecting the changing needs of the business community in the north west,” she continued.

The Department’s links with the local business community were given a boost recently with the appointment of Gerry Murray, a well known chartered accountant and economic analyst, as visiting professor.

Professor Murray helped develop the new BSc Accounting and Managerial Finance, which was introduced at Magee this semester.

Next year, another new degree, BSc Creative Advertising Technology will be introduced. Both programmes were developed in response to demand from employers.

“These new degree programmes highlight the Department’s commitment to blending academic excellence with practical experience and business insight which is very beneficial for students,” said Dr Bradley.

A further strength of the Department is its links with schools on both sides of the border:

“We are very fortunate to have such well established links with local schools. I would like to see these links developed as part of our commitment to widening access.”

While the Department has a lot going for it, Dr Bradley says her ace card is the commitment of staff for students.

“Staff have such a good rapport with their students. They are proud of their achievements and share in their success.”

Citing her own positive experience of teaching staff, both at school and university, Dr Bradley said: “I was very fortunate to have had such inspirational role models.

Students can be very influenced by their lecturers and a positive experience gives immeasurable added value. Lecturers have a key role to play in helping students set goals and achieve targets.”

Setting goals and achieving targets is nothing new for the Derry academic, who is also a martial arts expert.

She holds a third Dan black belt in judo, and was a silver medallist at the 2002 Commonwealth Games as well as being twice World Masters champion.

Although she was only introduced to judo when she was fifteen, she has travelled the world - Brazil, Canada, Mauritius, China, Japan, as well as throughout Europe – to compete at the highest level.  She no longer competes but is still involved in coaching.

“A lot of the skills I’ve developed through judo are generic and applicable in many different situations. Whether you are head of department or a coach, you’re goal is to bring out the best in people.”

Dr Bradley is married to top Northern Ireland judo coach Jim Toland and the couple have an 18 month old daughter, Lisa Rose.