Meet our staff: Centre for Applied Science
Desire Saffer – Head of Optics
Desire grew up in South Africa. When she came to UK she was already a qualified dispensing optician, but sat the UK version of the exam and studied the Contact Lenses of the course at City and Islington College.
For three years Desire worked in the industry for Specsavers, but decided that she wanted to teach. Returning to the College she has progressed to become Head of Optics at the Centre for Applied Sciences.
Every year I learn something new about this profession through working with students, and you continually work on improving how you explain theory.
95% of our students progress to employment. Some go on to work as dispensing opticians, some open their own practises, and others continue their studies in contact lenses or qualifying to become an optometrist.”
Lucy Chapman - Dyslexia Support Officer
Lucy started her career working as an adult literacy lecturer at a London college. After supporting students with dyslexia in this role she wanted to learn more and trained in adult dyslexia diagnosis and support at Southbank University. As well as supporting students and staff from difficult social backgrounds she has also gone onto help degree and post-graduate students at Imperial College who have dyslexia.
Since starting at the College in 2009, Lucy specifically supports students at the Centre for Applied Sciences in diagnosis, confidence building, exam preparation and learning support.
Perceptions of dyslexia are slowly changing. It affects how you learn, not your level of intelligence. The practical focus of many of the courses at the Centre for Applied Sciences are ideal for those with dyslexia, and it is very rewarding to help them progress.”
Dennis Ray – Forensic Science Technician
For many years Dennis had run high end restaurants in London, one of which held one of U2’s first London gigs at the rock garden.
Dennis had always been interested in science and eight years ago decided to return to education at City and Islington College, and experience he found ‘liberating.’ Studying a BTEC in Applied Science he enjoyed studying with younger people and found the teaching at the Centre for Applied Sciences ‘inspirational.’
After finishing the course, Dennis was offered a job as a forensic science technician at the College.
One of the things I love about the College is the scope for staff to develop. I have had the opportunity to take a teaching qualification and now teach forensic science photography.
The science courses here are very hands on, vocational and prepare students for a direct profession. Many go on to become crime scene examiners, and work in laboratories working as technicians or pathologists.”