Before embarking on the career change, Jean was a cognitive scientist, having earned an MSc and PhD from Carnegie Mellon. For almost 25 years, she worked in the UK in psychology departments, research centres and medical schools in Edinburgh, Newcastle and York. Her research mostly was in applied educational topics such as core skills of using external representations for problem-solving, the role of dialogue in learning and how people learn from observing other learners (vicarious learning). She helped set up the Hull York Medical School starting in 2003 where she had various roles including developing the Personal and Professional Development strand in the curriculum, implementing the e-learning strategy for the medical school, overseeing assessment activities as Associate Dean for Assessment, contributing to development and delivery of behavioural and social science learning outcomes in the MBBS, and conducting educational research. She also initiated the postgraduate programmes in Medical Education (Cert, Dip and MSc) as well as supervising dissertations and other independent projects.


  • 1981 BA (Neuroscience, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas)
  • 1984 MSc, 1986 PhD (Cognitive Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
  • 2016 MSc in Environmental Science and Management (Environment Department, University of York)