Professor Gayle McPherson

CCSE Director

Professor Gayle McPherson holds a Chair in Events and Cultural Policy within the School of Business and Creative Industries at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). She joined the University in 2010 from Glasgow Caledonian University where she was a Professor in Cultural Policy and Head of Department of Cultural Business.  Her research interests revolve around the interventions of the local and national state and wider agencies in events and festivity of all types and the social and cultural impacts of large-scale events on communities.  She is particularly interested in the contested role of events in leveraging social change.
She has a range of external roles and she acted as the Legacy and Evaluation advisor to Paisley 2021 UK City of Culture Bid team, is member of European Cultural Parliament and also teaches at the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin and is an expert advisor to the OECD on their Recommendation on Global Events and Local Development. She is a REF sub-panel member of Unit 24 Sport, Exercise Science, Leisure and Tourism 2021, and is Co-Chief Editor of Frontiers in Sport and Active Living,: Sport, Leisure and Tourism section.  She has published widely in the events, culture sport and festivals area and is a reviewer for many journals and acts as a college panel member for the AHRC.

Professor David McGillivray

CCSE Deputy Director

Professor David McGillivray holds a Chair in Event and Digital Cultures. His research focuses two areas. First, the contemporary significance of events and festivals (sporting and cultural) as markers of identity and mechanisms for the achievements of wider economic, social and cultural externalities.
The second main area of interest concerns the affordances of digital and social media in enabling (and constraining) participation in civic life, including in relation to major sport events. He has published extensively on the topic of accelerated leisure cultures and digital technology, focusing on the wider social and cultural implications for producers, consumers and regulators across the lifespan.
Prof McGillivray has led several large practice/research projects including Digital Commonwealth exploring themes of digital storytelling, digital citizenship, participatory cultures and community development in the context of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow; FESTSPACE, exploring the relationship between festivals, events and public space in Europe; EventRights, exploring the relationship between sport events and human rights; and Festivals Connect, exploring the role of events in promoting positive EDI outcomes. He is the co-editor of Digital Leisure Cultures: Critical Perspectives (Routledge, 2017) and co-author of Event Policy: From Theory to Strategy (Routledge, 2012), Event Bidding: Politics, Persuasion and Resistance (Routledge, 2017) and Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises and Possibilities (Routledge, 2018). He is currently Deputy Editor of the Event Management journal and sits on the Editorial Board of the Leisure Studies journal. For more information on publications, visit our publications page.

Professor Sandro Carnicelli

CCSE Deputy Director

Sandro Carnicelli is a Professor of Tourism and Leisure Studies at the University of the West of Scotland and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Culture, Sport, and Events. Sandro is a member of the Young Academy of Scotland, and a member of the ABRATUR (International Academy for the Development of Tourism Research in Brazil).

As a researcher, Sandro has been working in the fields of Tourism, Events, and Leisure for almost 20 years. Sandro has now over 50 publications between book chapters, peer-reviewed papers, and edited books. He has delivered funded projects for organisations such as the Carnegie Trust, UK Department of Transport, the Moffat Trust, The Higher Education Academy, and the UKRI-GCRF. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Leisure Studies Journal, and Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning. He also acts as Associate Editor for Event Management Journal and is currently the Editor in Chief of the World Leisure Journal.

Dr Sophie Mamattah

Research Associate

Dr Sophie Mamattah joined UWS in April 2016, having recently completed her doctoral research into migration and identity at the University of Glasgow. Dr Mamattah has been involved in the successful delivery of both large and medium scale EU funded projects in which she has fulfilled a number of roles, including research, coordination, budget management, and reporting. Dr Mamattah will be responsible for conducting the majority of the desk based review of extant literatures and analysis for the project, under the supervision of the PI. She worked on the desk based review of literature for the previous British Council research project in 2016/7.  She has extensive experience of conducting social research with an emphasis on qualitative and mixed methodological approaches.

Dr Kalyan Bhandari

Senior Lecturer
Kalyan Bhandari (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Events and Tourism in the School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the West of Scotland. His research interests are in the sociology of leisure and tourism, tourism at heritage sites, governments and tourism public policies, the environment, and regional development. He completed his PhD on Scottish tourism at the University of Glasgow. Kalyan has published papers on tourism, leisure and identity and has published papers in reputed journals like Annals of Tourism Research; Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space; Leisure Studies; and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. He has published two books: Tourism and National Identity: Heritage and Nationhood in Scotland (Channel View Publications) and Tourism and Nationalism in Nepal (Routledge). Kalyan is currently investigating a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust-funded project on the Covenanting memorials in the southwest of Scotland. Kalyan sits on the editorial board of the British Sociological Association’s flagship journal Sociology (Sage). 

Dr Adam Talbot

Centre Member
Adam joined UWS in 2022 as a Lecturer in Events Management previously been a Lecturer in Sport and Event Management at Coventry University and Lecturer in Sport Development at Abertay University. His research focusses on the impacts of events on host communities, particularly the deleterious impacts of sport mega-events, while also exploring the reaction to these impacts by communities. He completed his PhD at the University of Brighton, focussing on the spatial politics of resistance to favela evictions in the context of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He has subsequently conducted follow-up research in Rio de Janeiro, exploring the concept of “legacy” and conducted research on human rights policy evolution in the context of mega-events. His current research focuses on the burgeoning transnational movement against the Olympic Games and mega-events more broadly.  

Dr Jenny Flinn

Lecturer in Events Marketing

Jenny Flinn joined UWS in 2020 as a Lecturer in Events Marketing having previously designed, developed and led programmes in events at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research interests lie in the area of festivals and events with a particular focus on the experiential aspect of events, community impacts of events and safety/security for events. Jenny has published a number of articles and book chapters and has experience of undertaking consultancy projects and designing CPD products for industry.  She is currently the module leader for the CCSE CPD module The Future of Events which is delivered in conjunction with the Centre for Business Innovation and Transformational Technology. 

Jenny also has a strong interest in the relationship between the events industry and Higher Education and is currently undertaking a Professional Doctorate, examining how universities and industry can collaborate to enhance the student experience and increase graduate employability.  She has been a member of the Executive Board of the Association for Events Management Education since 2009 and has recently been re-elected to the role of Secretary. 

Dr Briony Sharp

Lecturer, Division of Marketing, Innovation, Tourism & Events

Dr Briony Sharp is a Lecturer in the Marketing, Innovation, Tourism, and Events division at the University of the West of Scotland and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her most recent research focuses on the social impacts and legacies from events, event governance, volunteering and engagement, and critical event studies. She is co-editor of Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Events Studies (2018, Routledge). Briony is an Executive Board Member of the Leisure Studies Association (LSA) and Social Media Editor for the Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. She is also an Associate Board member of the journal on Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity (IPED) and of the Association for British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO).

Dr Liz Carlin

Lecturer in Sports Coaching & Development

Dr Liz Carlin is a research assistant working on parasport participation and the legacy of integrated/ non-integrated parasport major events. Liz has previously worked at UWS on a social impact study of a Dementia Friendly Walking Football program in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Scotland and is also a member of the Special Olympics Europe Eurasia Research Network working on a European wide study of the social inclusion of Special Olympics athletes within their local communities. Her PhD was a cross-cultural analysis of the management and motives of volunteers within Special Olympics.

Previous work has involved collaborations with Public Health England as part of the evaluation of a large scale, national clinical champions physical activity program at Loughborough University. Liz is a member of the British Association of Sport and Exercises Sciences (BASES) and also of the UK Sport Volunteer Research Network (SVRN). Externally, Liz works as a coach educator with Sport Northern Ireland and Coaching Ireland as well as a casual teaching associate within Ulster University’s School of Sport.

Dr Masood Khodadadi

Centre Member
Masood is a Lecturer in Tourism and Events Management at School of Business and Creative Industries, University of the West of Scotland (UK). He specialises in policy, planning, heritage and marketing aspects of tourism studies. He is the author of several inter/multi-disciplinary works focusing on tourism policy, planning and development. Masood is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the British Institute of Persian Studies. He has over a decade of work experience in the hospitality and tourism industry and has worked for companies such as Gleneagles, Hilton and the G1 Group. 

Dr David Meir

Centre Member
I teach on the BSc Sport Coaching & Development degree at the UWS Ayr Campus where I deliver the physical education modules. I have been lecturing in further and higher education for 20 years. My research publications have focused on critical pedagogy, sport for development, community sport, participatory research methodologies, inclusive practice, and physical education policy. I have recently completed my PhD by publication which through building on my previous research, focused on the design, delivery and analysis of education in sport for development. In building upon this work I contend that to successfully implement education practices in SfD requires the prioritisation of participant engagement, the challenging of inequities caused by power disparities, the promotion of inclusion for social justice and the incremental development of transformational pedagogy.

Dr Aleksandra Webb

Dr Aleksandra Webb is a Lecturer in the Division of Management, Organisations and People. She researches issues related to human work, employment, skills and careers. She is particularly interested in topics concerning cultural labour, cultural labour markets, live arts and cultural sectors’ workforce and their skills development needs in times of rapid societal, economic and technological transformations. She has carried out several research, consultancy and evaluation projects related to skills and labour markets across a range of low and high-skilled occupations. She has published on women’s work and careers, informal work and employment, skills supplies and demands, technological transformations in the labour market and the world of work (projects, gig and platform work, new employment relations, digitalisation and digital skills in higher education and in the performing arts), and a role of arts and imagination in nurturing professional values. Currently, she investigates opportunities and impacts of digital innovation, big data and AI in relation to a sustainable post-Covid recovery and a long-term resilience of cultural sectors. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of European Training Foundation’s Skills Lab Network and sits on the Scientific Committee of the European Network on Regional Labour Market Monitoring (ENRLMM). 

Renfrewshire Council Cultural Regeneration Team

Louisa Mahon

Head of Marketing, Comms & Events
Louisa Mahon is Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council. She is the strategic lead for the Paisley Partnership and has responsibility for corporate communications and marketing, cultural regeneration, regional destination marketing and the council’s major events programme – which attracts 160,000 attendees each year. Louisa’s remit also includes overseeing the Capital Appeal for Paisley Museum Reimagined. Louisa led the campaign for Paisley’s Bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and Paisley’s bid to host the Royal National Mod in 2022. Previously she held senior marketing and PR roles in local government and at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.


Katie Nicoll

Cultural Regeneration Lead
Katie Nicoll has over 25 years’ experience working within the cultural sector in Scotland, delivering strategic organisational objectives in the development, production and presentation of artistic and cultural work locally, nationally and internationally.  In her role as Cultural Regeneration Lead Officer at Renfrewshire Council, she is a champion and advocate for Future Paisley, a cultural regeneration partnership programme that developed out of Paisley’s 2021 UK City of Culture Bid.  Working collaboratively with a broad range of partners to achieve Future Paisley’s strategic outcomes, Nicoll is identifying models of best practice and innovative approaches to embed cultural and creativity across services by influencing policy and developing a blueprint to promote Renfrewshire as an exemplar in the integration of culture across all aspects of societal life. 

Dr Clare Edwards

Cultural Regeneration Officer
Clare joined the Council in autumn 2018 as part of the new Cultural Regeneration Team, building on the legacy of Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid. The team is responsible for developing an overarching, collaborative and unifying approach to cultural regeneration and renewal for Paisley set within the context of social change and transformation. Clare’s role involves providing cultural policy expertise, identifying new opportunities, delivering existing commitments and developing relationships and partnerships.Clare’s AHRC-funded PhD at the University of Glasgow, in collaboration with Glasgow Life, investigated the emergence of cultural policy in Glasgow in the decades leading to European City of Culture 1990. She also has a Masters in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Prior to starting her PhD, Clare spent 11 years working in arts development, with a particular focus on education, learning and social inclusion, in the North East of England at Arts Council England, Sunderland City Council and Baltic, the Centre for Contemporary Art Gateshead.

Micaela Levesque

Monitoring & Evaluation Reporting Support Officer, Future Paisley

Micaela has been working with Renfrewshire Council since July 2023. She joined to provide full time assistance with the evaluation of the Future Paisley programme as it approaches completion. The evaluation will capture the vast array of activities that have taken place through the Future Paisley programme as well as the impact these activities have had on the Renfrewshire community.

Micaela holds an MSc in Creative Industries and Cultural Policy from University of Glasgow and is a trained theatre practitioner with a focus on Shakespeare and musical theatre performance. Prior to working with the council, she completed a year as a student sabbatical officer for the Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council as the VP Education working on education policy and student voice. 


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