The Committee


Raffaella Sero (she/her) (rvs28)

My name is Raffaella (she/her) and I am delighted to be your new MCR President! I was born in Italy and I moved to the UK in 2015 to study Classics at Wadham College, Oxford. I came to Newnham in 2019 to do my MPhil in Classics, and I am now entering the third term of my PhD. When not busy running MCR meetings or writing and producing one woman shows, I work on my thesis on “Dynastic Anxieties and The Roman Imperial Succession in Shakespeare”.  


Sofía Medina Cassillas (she/her) (sim31)

Hi all, my name is Sofía and I will be your MCR Secretary for 2021 – 2022! I come from Spain and I am a second year PhD student, doing research on gas turbine engines for aircraft propulsion. When I’m not thinking about planes I like to spend my free time playing guitar or going on runs around Cambridge, and I recently started playing football with the Newnham team as well.

As secretary, I hope to be a port of call when you have any questions or need help to navigate your graduate life and studies. I will also work with the committee to keep you informed of what’s going on in college, through regular college bulletins and by organising open meetings that the whole MCR community can attend. Looking forward to a great year!


Karolina Kostrzyńska (she/her) (kk713)

My name is Karolina Kostrzyńska; I am a first-year PhD student in Cardiovascular Research in the Department of Medicine. My usual day consists of conducting experiments in the lab, drinking lots of tea and bouncing between – I love research – I hate research.

As the MCR Treasurer, my main aim for the year is to spend the MCR budget such that it benefits all of its members. I hope that your time at Newnham will be even more enjoyable and integrative through our planned events.

Governing Body Representative

Sangeet Jain (she/her) (ssJ34)

Hi! I’m Sangeet, and I’m your Governing Body representative this year. I’m a first year PhD in development economics - I work on India’s industrial strategy and my research advocates the need for developing countries to focus on building technological capabilities, to have more resilient and productive manufacturing sectors, which are essential for economic growth. I did my MPhil at Newnham two years ago and am delighted to be back home to college for my PhD this year. I’m from India, and love hiking, ice-skating, drums, and above all else, dogs!

As Governing Body Rep, I represent the Newnham MCR community at Council meetings and work with the MCR President to act as an interface between the MCR and College governing bodies. I would love to hear from you about any concerns or ideas you might have, and am always available for a chat over Iris coffees/email! I will be committed to ensuring effective and transparent communication between the MCR and College and advocate for your needs as best as I can.

External Officer

Pauline Eller (pce24)

IT Officer

Charlotte Pincher (she/her) (cp764)

Hi everyone! My name is Charlotte, and I am a Physics MASt student (essentially part III Physics for those familiar with the Natural Sciences tripos). I’m only in Cambridge for a year, and I want to make the best of my time here by getting involved as much as I can with college life.

I want to improve the MCR’s online presence to keep us all connected and informed, so as a part of this I have revived the Newnham MCR Instagram account (@newnham_mcr) – get following!

If you have any ideas to improve the website or things you would like to see online from us, please do get in touch!

Welfare Officer

Regina Kolbe (she/her) (rak60)

Hi all! My name is Gina. I am a second-year PhD student at the Department of Sociology and your Welfare and Accommodation Officer for the academic year 2021-21. One of my main aims is to improve and streamline College’s support for survivors of sexual harassment/assault. So, let me know if you have been affected, need a sympathetic ear and/or have ideas, questions or concerns on the matter! Also let me know if you need help with any other welfare-related issue – I am here to support you with anything university (or private) life throws at you.

Environmental Officer

Ellie Piper (she/her) (ehp31)

Hi everyone, I’m Ellie, and I am so excited to be your MCR Environmental Officer this year! I am an MPhil Architecture and Urban Design student, researching property and gender in Istanbul’s informal settlements, from an environmental-feminist perspective.

My role is to raisevironmental issues to the MCR and organise efforts on these issues. I will also be your representative at the Garden Committee and the Environmental and Sustainability Committees, so if there is anytike me to raise please do get in touch! This year I’m hoping to organise environmentally-focused events for MCR members, such as a clothes swap, and bring new ideas on sustainability to college.

If you have any suggestions, again please do not hesitate to contact me!

LGBTQ+ Officers

Christiane-Marie Cantwell (she/they) (cmc215)

Hello! My name is Christiane-Marie, and I am a MPhil student in Classics, studying religion in Roman Gaul. I was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, the best and worst city in the world! I am one of your LGBTQ+ officers this year, and I am super excited to be in this role, hosting events for the community, and making sure Newnham is a welcoming place for queer students.

I also work with the Queer Archive, so if you are interested in the LGBTQ+ history of Newnham, please join us. If you see me around, please say hi, or feel free to come with any comments/concerns/complaints. You can always find me in the library front and centre!

Ellie Dixon-Coyte (she/her) (ed582)

Hello! My name is Ellie and I’m here at Newnham studying for my MPhil in Classics, focusing on Republican/Augustan Rome and Classical Receptions. I am your LGBTQ+ Rep for this 2022 academic year in tandem with Chris(tiane-Marie). This is my second time in the position, as I was previously elected LGBTQ+ college rep at St John’s College, Durham – making me an old hat at the role!

Chris and I hope to endear a sense of (queer) community in Newnham, with inclusive events held throughout the year. I’m always up for a chat, so if you see me in the halls, feel free to say hi!

Women's and Non-Binary Officer

Agnes Vendel (she/her) (akv28)

Hi everyone! I am Agnes, a third year PhD student in Classics and your Women’s and Non-Binary officer. A native of Stockholm (Sweden) I have lived most of my adult life abroad, in France, Italy and now England. I am passionate about languages, whether dead or alive! In my PhD research, I work on Latin syntax and in particular how to interpret non-conventional word order.

As your MCR Women’s and Non-Binary officer, I would like to raise gender-related issues in college. I am particularly keen on improving the support available for victims of assault, harassment and discrimination. I also want to organize some fun and empowering activities, such as a book circle, self-defence workshop (if the covid situation allows), and more. I’m open to suggestions from you all if there’s anything you’d like to see. Also, feel free to get in touch if you just need a chat, a cup of tea, or some general sympathy!

BAME Officer

Shaaroni Wong (jv424)

International Officers

Aman Kang (akk50)

G’day! My name is Aman and I am a first year PhD student in Archaeology. My research utilises a technique called ZooMS (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) to analyse worked bone from the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in Europe.

I’m very excited to be the MCR International Officer alongside Constanze! I’m originally from a rural town in Australia, so I know how challenging it is to move and adapt to Cambridge. In this spirit, we want to host events that celebrate our diversity, and also provide a space that will minimise being homesick. We want to make your transition to a new country as welcoming as possible.

Constanze Leeb (she/her) (cl876)

Hi everyone! My name is Constanze and I am excited to be one of the International Officers this year! I am in the first year of my PhD in Engineering at the Institute for Manufacturing. I am doing research in the area of technology management, more specifically, I will be looking at how AI tools are integrated in social decision-making approaches across industries. Before coming to Cambridge I finished my master’s degrees in Vienna, Austria, where I am from. During my studies I also spent some time in Slovenia and the U.S.

As I know what it is like to start studying and living in a new country, I want to offer a helping hand in this exciting – but sometimes scary – adventure! Together with Aman, I hope to be able to support MCR students from across the world at Newnham, both in good and in bad times, by lending an open ear and organising social events. With Aman being from Australia, our home countries might not be far apart in the alphabet, but definitely are in the world. But those are only two of the dozens of countries that are represented among us Newnhamites – Join us in celebrating the diversity of the multicultural community we have here at Newnham!

Speaker Series Officers

Rachel Sim Jing Xi (jxs21)

Hi everyone! I’m Rachel, I’m an MPhil Architecture and Urban Studies student at Newnham and I’m your current Organizer of Speakers' Series. As the role suggests, I am in charge of organizing the upcoming annual graduate conference. My job is to bring together a range of speakers and students with a common interest and kickstart honest discussions amongst the student body. As such, please feel free to reach me at if you have any pressing issues you'd like to see discussed at the conference!

Saoirse Mortimer (jm2446)

Social Secretaries

Tianyi Xiao (tx217)

Hi, my name is Tianyi, I am one of the social secs this year. I am a first year PhD student studying biochemistry, working on regulation of histone modifications using systematic and structural approaches. I did my undergraduate also in Newnham studying Biological Natural Sciences.

As a social sec, I aim to provide as many events to Newnhamites as possible while keeping everyone safe. Along with other social secs, we are working hard together as a team to organise an amazing garden party this year.

Newnham is an open and welcoming place to study and live, so if you have ideas for events, feel free to get in touch with me!

Elizabeth Lindqwister (eal54)

Nicole Nalbandian (nkn24)

Iga Szlendak (is515)

Disabled Students and Carers Officer

India Harris (igh22)