Getting to know Karen Barnett

Everybody returning to Plymouth’s school of Psychology will have heard of Karen Barnett, those that are just starting out you will get to know of Karen. She is, as we say, the glue that holds the pieces together. No seriously!!! And what’s more you probably won’t know anything about her other than her email address and it is equally unlikely you will have seen her in person.
I met with Karen to put a face to the name, I have had much correspondence with Karen following a rather difficult year personally, for which she has been incredibly supportive. I was intrigued to find out the person behind the email.
You will find her in Rolle on the 4th floor. She is the senior administrator for the school of Psychology, she deals with all the regulations etc. so if you need to apply for extenuating circumstances she has the final say. She tells me from induction through to panels and academic boards, it is non-stop. When I suggested she has a stressful job she replied “not at all I love my job!” This may be because she is able to leave her job on her desk (they need to teach us how to achieve that!) She sometimes finds the academic staff rather trying and is sure it is the same for them, but she loves them all. The most rewarding part of the job is attending graduation.
I took the opportunity to ask Karen if she found it tiresome when students, like myself, ask constant questions or keep applying for excircs. She immediately put me at ease by saying that she would rather people ask questions than just assume they know it all. She wants everyone to know that she is there for them and that people should seek advice as soon as an issue arises.
Karen went to Notre Dame school and progressed onto college. She later got married, had children and has worked at Plymouth for 19 years which would be longer than some stage one students have been alive! She hadn’t intended to be an administrator and quite liked the idea of marketing.
If she was an alcoholic drink she would be a vodka and diet coke, although lately she has been leaning towards a prosecco! She is inspired by her dad and if she could spend an hour on a bench with anybody she would choose Beyonce, although she is not sure what she would ask her. This is because Beyonce is empowering and a good female role model. Karen tells me she loves pop music. Her favourite movie was Pretty Woman which is great and is topped off by the fact that she would choose a week in Ibiza as opposed to a log cabin in the woods.

Zoe Higgins, Stage 4


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