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DDI Spotlight: 5 minutes with Katrin Augustin

Our DDI Spotlights explore our Academic Leads for Development, Diversity and Inclusion from across the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine. Dr Katrin Augustin is the Academic Lead for Development, Diversity and Inclusion in the School of Life Course & Population Sciences, below Katrin shares an introduction to her work, background and why you can't really have just one favourite book.

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Briefly, tell us about your background and career up to this point?

Being brief is tough because my career has not been a straight path. I started studying in Germany but had to stop my studies when my son was born because I could not find any childcare in the town we were based then. We then relocated to the UK and I did my undergraduate degree and PhD in here in basic biosciences (with a two-year maternity break that I spent in Singapore). After my PhD, I reoriented after spending some time working in Vienna with the UN and did my MSc in Global Health here at King’s. I have been here teaching Public Health ever since. End of last year I also took up the role as Academic Lead for DDI.

What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Don’t worry too much about whether you are choosing the right or wrong path because the right decision is a myth. Half of any decision is chance, and the other half is you making it the right choice.

Do you have any current projects that you’d like to tell us about?

Yes! In October, we launched our Black History Month initiative which celebrated the work of Black artists and writers – inside of academia and beyond. We also started a series that spotlights good practice in Diversity and Inclusion matters which features short interviews with members of staff who have made positive contributions to the culture in our School.

What do you do with your time outside academia/work?

I spend as much of my time as possible with my family, cats and chickens. And when I need my downtime, I usually crave creativity, so I play the guitar, sew or read. I am also a trustee at my kids’ school, which is a nice way of giving some of my time back to my local community.

What is something positive that happened to you in 2022?

It can be hard to focus on the positives when things look grim globally. I would go with the small things maybe, the almost negligible ones, like everyday kindness. One thing that really lifts my mood is seeing complete strangers start chatting and connecting. I guess, we can get so used to spending our time on phones, laptops and screens in general, and these random friendly conversations among strangers stand out for me as a reminder of how much we value and need human connection.

What is your favourite thing about working at King’s?

My favourite thing is our international community and the different disciplines that meet in our Faculty. Especially in the health sciences where so much depends on being able to ask a great variety of questions and understand different points of view, our diversity, both culturally and academically, is our greatest asset.


Favourite season: Autumn

Favourite book: Is there such a thing as one favourite book? There are a few books I keep going back to including Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, Independent People by Halldor Laxness, The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Picking any one of these would be impossible.

Coffee order: Oat Latte

One thing you could not go a day without: Hand cream and music

In this story

Katrin Augustin

Katrin Augustin

Lecturer in Public Health Education

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