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Professor turned DJ

Maricar Jagger, Events Officer at The University of Portsmouth

“My 17 year old self probably wouldn’t believe that I would one day become a professor,” said Sam Warren when asked about her inaugural lecture which will be held at the University of Portsmouth in November.

Pic: Sam Warren

Born in St Mary’s Hospital, Sam grew up in Fratton. After quitting college at 17, she spent ten years working at various retail, sales and marketing jobs, got married and had two children before she found her calling through education. Sam took A Levels at night school when her youngest son was only 3 months old. Aged 26 Sam went on to do a degree in Business Studies at the University of Portsmouth as a mature student. She was given a free nursery place at Milldam and a small grant that made everything possible. 

Inspired by the support and teaching she received, she achieved a first class honours before winning a scholarship to do her PhD. After her first lecturing job at Portsmouth she moved to Surrey, where in the space of two and a half years, she won two research grants and was promoted to Reader. She took up her first Professorship in Management at the University of Essex before moving to Cardiff University as a Professor in 2015. 

But it’s love that has brought her back to Portsmouth – her partner, whom she met through mutual friends, lives in Portchester – and after 3 years of commuting along the M4, she jumped at the chance to go back home when a Professorial post was advertised last year. Though she was sad to leave Cardiff, the universe clearly had it all mapped out for Sam. 

“Portsmouth gave me so much as a junior researcher, and now it’s my turn to pay that back.” 

Sam has always been interested in researching interesting and unusual aspects of management. Today, she is a leading researcher of organizational aesthetics, and is currently investigating female electronic music producers’ careers, while learning to produce music herself. Why women? Only 2% of music producers are women according to the most reliable statistics in the U.S., and at the recent Beatport Top 100 chart, she counted a whole 6 tracks by women.

She’s really passionate about what she does. A long-time raver she recently learned to DJ (under the name of Dovetail).

“I admire every single woman who has the guts to put herself out there in a male dominated industry and just do it.”  

When not researching, or making music, Sam is addicted to property shows on television. “A Place in the Sun is my surefire go-to when I need to switch off from reality!” said this person who practices what her artist friend Beatriz calls ‘Bonito Living’ – finding the joy and beauty in the everyday. 

Her favourite place is Eastney beach and the Coffee Cup. “Letting Eastney go back to nature, and the general smartening up of the seafront and pier is the best thing the City has done while I’ve been away!” 

To find more about Sam’s Leverhulme Trust funded project, ‘In the Key of She’, and other public events at the University of Portsmouth, go to

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