Tena has taught at ATU since 2003. Prior to taking up her teaching position, she worked in Price Waterhouse (London) for six years and Unifi TYE (Letterkenny) for 9 years, in senior management and marketing positions. A committed advocate of lifelong learning, Tena began her academic studies in Trinity College Dublin with a BA in French and Music. This was followed ten years later with an MBA, also from Trinity, and Tena completed her doctoral research in 2017 with Northumbria University. Her thesis explored how entrepreneurs in the creative industries identify and enact opportunities.

Tena currently teaches in the departments of Design and of Law and Humanities at ATU. Her teaching interests straddle the areas of creativity, business, entrepreneurship and education. She delivers undergraduate courses in creativity and innovation, and is involved at post-graduate level in teaching and supervision on the ATU MBS and MA in Learning and Teaching programmes, and on the Post-graduate Diploma in User Experience. She has a keen interest in learning by doing, and frequently employs the Action Learning methodology in her teaching practice.

Research & Engagement

Tena has been a member of the DICE team for the last 5 years, during which time she has organised many networking and industry engagement activities. She has worked with a colleague to devise a Design Thinking process called UNIQUE, a teaching workbook which divides the creative process into the six stages of Understand, Needs, Ideas, Quick prototyping, User testing and Evaluation.

Most recently she has been involved with a small team that successfully attracted funding to run Creativity and Entrepreneurship activities for secondary school students. The project, DICE_TY Academy, brought together 100 Transition Year students from around Donegal for six days over six months to design and prototype a new product, service or experience to enhance the Wild Atlantic Way.

Other research/publication activities:

  • Teaching Case Study published by Sage Research Methods (Jan 2019): Using IPA to research lived experience of entrepreneurship in the creative industries
  • The UNIQUE Book (co-authored with ATU colleague, September 2018): a workbook designed to support learners through the stages of the Design Process
  • Paper delivered at Chartered Association of Business Schools Annual Conference, Glasgow (April 2018). Bridging the Gap: the intersection of business and creative education
  • Patten, T (2015) ‘Creative…Entrepreneur?’ – Understanding the Creative Industries Entrepreneur, Artivate: A journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 5(2), 23-42

Interested in working on

Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):