The Committee


Jasmine Hughes (she/her)

Hi! My name is Jasmine and I am a first year PhD student in Clinical Neurosciences. My research projects focuses on shared decision making in Glioblastoma patients and using gene delivery approach to treating Traumatic Brain Injury.

As President, I lead the MCR Committee and listen to your concerns and requests. I'm originally from North Carolina, United States. My goal is to create a more supportive and inclusive postgraduate community here at Newnham.


Sophie Field (she/her)

Hi Everyone! I'm Sophie, a first year PhD student in Clinical Neurosciences. You will most likely find me in the lab working on neuroinflammtion in Huntington's disease. I like to describe my aesthetic as cosy cottage core - I can think of nothing better than an afternoon with a book, a blanket and a giant mug of tea. I also love to sing and dance (in the shower).

As MCR secretary, I can be your port of call for any questions you might have regarding MCR life as well as anything you'd like to be raised at committee meetings which we can discuss as a team.


Martina Scauda (she/her)

Hi there! I’m Martina, a first year PhD student in Statistics. My current research focuses on causal inference and its applications in empirical legal studies.

As your Treasurer, I handle MCR budget and support the other committee members in their initiatives. I look forward to efficiently funding the wonderful MCR events that lie ahead!

Governing Body Representative

Pauline Eller (she/her)

Hi, I’m Pauline and I’m a first year PhD student in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies and in my third year at Newnham. While my research centres on 19th century discourse and the use of the word “unsex”, my creative practice is in the theatre. So around college you may find me on the way to or from rehearsals, instead of on my way to the library.

As the MCR Governing Body Representative I am always keen to hear your thoughts on anything College related, so please don’t hesitate to approach me or send me a quick email!

External Officer

Jane Ayamba (she/her)

Hello, I'm Jane Ayamba ( or, and I am currently doing the Master in Corporate Law (MCL) degree.

As External Officer, I represent the interests of Newnham's postgraduate students in the wider university. I sit on the Cambridge Student Union Student Council along with Officers from the other Colleges, SU Sabbatical & Campaign Officers and University representatives and can essentially propose and vote on motions that direct the work of the Student Union. If you have any questions about the SU or would like to explore avenues for making change within the University, please do get in touch.

Disabled Students & Student Carers Officer

Leah Schmidt (she/her/elle)

Hi, I'm Leah and I'm a first-year PhD student in Gender Studies (POLIS). Originally from Canada, I research diversity issues in modern armed forces, using bio/necropolitical frameworks, posthumanist theory, and feminist security studies. I am passionate about queer and disability activism, and I have two beautiful sons, who are cats. As your Disabled Students & Carers Officer, my job is to support you with any College accessibility needs. I promise confidentiality and any support you need to ensure that you feel fully supported at College. Please don't hesitate to reach out at any point if you have accessibility issues that need to be addressed or if you just want to chat!

Environmental Officers

Lia Nordmann (she/her)

Hi, I'm Lia. I'm a first-year PhD student in philosophy working on the moral status of animals and nature.

As an environmental officer, I want to ban meat make more sustainable habits available to all students. I feel lucky to be part of an MCR community with a huge interest in environmental sustainability and a College well on the way to carbon neutrality. I'll support ongoing efforts to reduce Newnham's emissions by participating in the Environmental Sustainability Committee as well as representing the students on the Garden Committee. Mariel and I will also seek to reduce food waste in College and support students who are willing to travel to conferences and workshops in Europe by train rather than aeroplane. We have lots of ideas for future events and are always happy about further suggestions!

Mariel Alem-Fonseca (she/her)

Hi everyone! My name is Mariel and I am one of your Environmental Officers this year! I love to hike, immerse myself in nature, play tennis, and dance! Previously, I studied Industrial Engineering in Costa Rica, where I am originally from, and then did a Master in Engineering for Sustainable Development at Cambridge. Currently, I am a second year PhD student in Engineering, working at the Institute for Manufacturing on food supply chain resilience, particularly looking at alternative proteins.

I am very excited to be in this role! I am driven by a strong passion to help build a more sustainable, resilient, and ethical food system. At Newnham, I would be dedicated to advocate for sustainable practices within our college community – so please feel free to reach out to me for a coffee, or just to chat and share a crazy idea!

Welfare & Accommodation Officers

Caitlin Conmy (she/her)

Hey Newnham! My name is Caitlin, and I am a MPhil Criminological Research student. My research focuses on violence and abuse against women with this year's specific focus being on age gap relationships and self-identity as predictors of future victimisation.

I am looking forward to supporting you all with all things Welfare and Accommodation through a range of resources and activities. Throughout my undergraduate I was involved in College Welfare (the picture is of me helping out at a Welfare Valentines event) so I already have a few ideas and can't wait to get started with them. However, I'd love to open ideas up to the wider community so the welfare inbox is always open if you have suggestions, worries or concerns, or you just want to have a chat :)

Marie de la Burgade (she/they)

Hi everyone! I’m Marie, a second year PhD student in developmental biology at the department of PDN. Before this, I worked at the Natural History Museum and did my MPhil at the Gurdon institute in Cambridge. I love all things crafty and creative in my free time. I am passionate about advocating for the importance of mental well-being for your studies.

As your welfare officer, I will be a source of support and a confidential ear to help you navigate your time at Cambridge. Please don’t hesitate to reach out! I will also be your point of contact for any comments or concerns about accommodation in College.

LGBTQ+ Officers

Yana Stoykova (she/her)

My name is Yana (she/her), I am currently doing an MPhil in Philosophy. I also hold an MA in Legal and Political Theory from UCL, and a BA in PPE from KCL. In philosophy, I research various issues within feminist political philosophy – consent, microaggressions and the social ontology of gendering. When my thinking hat is off and I’m not doing philosophy, I like reading sapphic romcoms and drumming. I also dabble in transformative amateur literature (iykyk). As an LGBTQ+ rep, my job is to ensure members of Newnham’s queer community are feeling not just good but positively content. I intend to organise many cool events, like a Queer Karaoke Night, Women’s Football watch parties (and field trips), Queer Baking and a social where we all bring our girlfriends/partners/wives to showcase. I would also love to organise academic events where everyone can learn something new about queer issues from a multidisciplinary perspective. I am open to further suggestions, and looking forward to serving the community.

Carolin Kost (she/her)

Hey everyone! I‘m Carolin (she/her) and am currently doing an MPhil in Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies. My research broadly focused on the impact of a patient's gender on the nature of their experiences within healthcare systems. I am very excited to be able to serve the LGBTQ+ community at Newnham - please get in touch via email if you need support, have any questions / suggestions or would like to chat for any other reason.

BAME Officer

Chloe Sanyu (she/her)

Hello! My name is Chloe, an MPhil student studying Multi-disciplinary Gender Studies. My research broadly focuses on gender equality policy in the context of British foreign and development affairs. I am really looking forward to serving as the Black and Minority Ethnic Officer this year.

In this role, my aim is to spread radical joy among our diverse Newnham postgraduate community through a host of events that bring us all together. In addition, I am here as a port of call for all of the Newnhamites from a minoritised background if you need support, have any queries or simply want to get something off your chest - just get in touch via email.

IT Officer

Constanze Leeb (she/her)

Hi everybody! I am Constanze, a third-year PhD student at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) out in West Cambridge. In my research I am trying to understand how AI-driven technologies that are used for augmentation rather than automation influence the people who work with them. Specifically, I look at how this might impact the work identity we hold towards our occupation.

After having done other roles in the MCR committee over the last few years, I am excited to now continue as your new IT Officer. I will be maintaining the MCR website and be the one running our social media channels, as best as I can. If you spot something that needs changing or have any ideas, do let me know!

International Officers

Shara Arzooman Chowdhury (she/her)

Ahoy there amazing people!

This is Shara, your international officer for this year. Currently, I’m doing MPhil in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies, and previously I have studied law and worked in the field of gender equality and equity with diverse organizations. Along the way I have met interesting people, formed connections and learnt that life has so much to offer, we just have to be willing to savour it. Due to my study and work I have been living out of my suitcases, and I totally understand settling in a place can be daunting and overwhelming. I’m always ears if you ever want to share anything, it can be about family, friends, even when you’re having FOMO moments or missing your furry kiddo. Here in Newnham, we always find and believe in beauty in diversity. We (along with our other International Officer) will try to organize international festivals as well to make you feel like a bit of home. If you have any issues or trouble (i.e., studies, student life, opportunities etc.), reach out, and I promise! Together we will find a solution over a chat or coffee.

Makena Nugi (she/her)

Hello everyone, Makena here, your newly appointed co-international officer at Newnham! I’m from Kenya and currently pursuing an MPhil in Population Health Sciences.

In my role as an international officer, my mission is to infuse a bit of warmth and freshness into the lives of our international students. Cooking up our favourite homegrown meals together, hosting movie and music nights featuring artists from our diverse countries and organizing well-being events where we can openly share our experiences (yes, tears are more than welcome—I've got the tissues and cocoa ready!).

I see this journey not just as a study abroad experience but as an opportunity to build lasting cross-cultural connections. Whenever you need a friendly chat, advice, or just someone to share a laugh with, my virtual door is always open. Feel free to drop me an email anytime—I'm here for you all!

Here's to creating unforgettable memories and making Newnham a warm and welcoming space for every global explorer in our community. Cheers to the exciting journey ahead.

Speaker Series Officers

Nuzli Karam (she/her)

Hi everyone! I'm Nuzli and I'm a third year PhD student in the Department of Engineering. My research involves making devices to study neural populations in brain organoids. I have family all over the world and love to travel. In my free time you can find me reading, drawing, cooking (and on occasion, running). I'm really excited to co-run the speaker series for this year, please reach out if you have any questions or suggestions at

Rabea Klesing (she/her)

Hello everyone! I’m Rabea, a first year PhD student in English. My research is a comparative study of Muslim women authors who write about Iran or Algeria in European languages, specifically considering the challenges faced in the publishing industry.

As your Speaker Series Organiser, I will be organising the Women’s Speaker Series together with Nuzli. I hope that you are as excited as I am for the upcoming talks and inspiring speakers who will join us here at Newnham! Additionally, we will have a Graduate Conference this year, which gives you the opportunity to share your ideas and research with the community.

Social Secretaries

Jess Ellison (she/her)

I'm one of the social secs (she/her)! I'm currently doing the medieval archaeology MPhil, with interests in funerary rites in the early medieval period as well as the appropriation of medieval archaeology in nationalist causes. For the bio maybe we could say something like 'I'm really looking forward to organising fun and varied events for the Newnham MCR, and I'm happy to hear any suggestions for fun events to put on!

Mahera Sarkar (she/her)

Hi, I’m Mahera, one of this year’s MCR social secretaries! I’m really looking forward to working with the rest of the team to help make Newnham a sociable and friendly place for our postgrad community. Think formal swaps, weekly events and more! Feel free to message me with any suggestions you have.

Jules Macome (she/he/they)

Hi, I'm Jules. I'm one of the social secs. I am doing a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science working on the origins of life. I like playing football, surfing, dancing, changing, and meeting people. I joined Newnham's MCR to help put up various exciting socials for people to get to know each other and feel like they have a community around them.

Ella Wiegers (she/her)

Hi Newnham! I’m Ella, one of the social secs. I’m doing an MPhil in medieval history, with a focus on gender, heresy, and apocalypse in medieval thought (cheery!). I love a themed event and/or a costume party, and I’m a bit of a tea and wine nerd when I’m not singing shapenote music, accidentally embroiling myself in too much theatre, or wandering into old churches in search of early modern memento mori art.

I can’t wait to plan some fun activities for the MCR community with my fellow social secs, and do feel free to email me if you’ve got an idea for something fabulous!

Women and Non-Binary Officers

Christiane-Marie Cantwell (she/he/they)

Hi everyone! My name is Christiane-Marie (she/he/they) and I am one of your Non-Binary and Women's representatives this year. I am a first-year PhD in Classics, studying the social economics of Gallo-Roman votives (aka my lil guys). Apart from deconstructing Roman religious practices, I enjoy doing the NYT crossword every day, listening to pop culture podcasts, taking pictures of my friends and queer history. I also run the Newnham Queer Archive!

In this role, my job is to speak out and act on issues of gender equality in the Newnham community and beyond. If you need help accessing certain resources regarding gender-based discrimination in the University, me and Izzy are here to help.

Isobel Holland (she/her)

Hi! My name is Izzy and I am an MPhil student in political and economic sociology. My research looks at the gender imbalance in unpaid domestic work during COVID-19, specifically in families of frontline workers. I am also learning Welsh in my spare time (S’mae!) and love anything creative, especially life drawing (though I am not very good at it). As one of your women’s and non-binary officers, I will be working with Chris to run events, discussion groups, and also be someone to chat to, should you need it.