The Committee


Stani Georgieva (sg673)

I’m Stani. I’m in my 2nd year of PhD studying baby-brains, or how natural variations in genes associated with early neuronal development can influence basic neurophysiological functioning at birth. Last year, I was one of the social secs (though I’m gonna stop admitting that very soon given how much this year’s girls KICK ASS already!)

As the MCR President in the coming year, my main jobs would be:

  • to provide support to all MCR students with your initiatives and issues (or if I’m unable, to figure out who can);
  • to represent Newnham grads at broader college & committees alongside the Governing Body and External reps;
  • to ensure that everything in the MCR (including the actual room) is running smoothly, and to help improve things where needed, so that we all have a busy, successful and fun year

I really believe that Newnham is the best place to be as a female graduate student, and for myself - as a female scientist. I wish that all of us in the MCR take home this feeling when we graduate. Therefore, if you have anything that you might be struggling with, or are proud of, do get in touch and voice it out – I (as well as the whole committee) have been elected exactly for this purpose! [and don’t hesitate to contact me thinking that you might be bothering - I’m far too Bulgarian and I’ll tell you straight away if you are..] I really hope to meet you all very soon and am looking forwards to a fantastic new year!


Emily Tilby (emct3)

I’m Emily a second year PhD student in the Department of Archaeology and am carrying out a research project using microfauna to reconstruct past climatic and environmental changes around Shanidar Cave, Iraqi Kurdistan. I was the MCR Environmental Officer last year and am very excited to be the MCR Secretary for this coming year! My role is to help support the work of other officers on the Committee and to try to answer any other questions the MCR community of Newnham has. If you ever need any assistance with getting something done in College or something raised within the MCR please get in contact!


Hannah Gaffney (hg409)

‘Struggling PhD student & your MCR Treasurer 2018-19’

I’m Hannah, a final year PhD student in the Institute of Criminology, looking at the effectiveness of school- and cyber-bullying intervention programmes. I’m a proud Irish woman (if you haven’t already heard) and I love being a member of Newnham College. You may know me as one of the social secretaries from the MCR committee last year or one of the organisers of the Herbarium Garden Party 2018. I’m also frequently seen at the Iris bar, where I’m one of the bar’s general managers.

This year, I’ve been elected as treasurer of the MCR and I’m looking forward to taking on more fiscal responsibility whilst also procrastinating working on my dissertation! As treasurer, I’ll be overseeing the MCR account and budget, and ensure that our expenditure meets the needs of wonderful, vibrant and diverse graduate community. Contact me if you have any suggestions that Newnham could subscribe (educational or otherwise) that you feel would improve your time here in Cambridge as a Newnhamite.

Governing Body Representative

Célia Depommier-Cotton (ccd39)

Hi everyone! I’m Célia, a first-year PhD student in Modern and Medieval literature. I’m originally from France and I’m your Governing Body Rep for this year. Alongside the MCR President, my job is to represent you all at College meetings such as the College Council and the Governing Body. I’m very happy to get involved with our fantastic college and look forward to getting to know all of you better over the year. Please don’t hesitate to come and share your insights about life in Newnham so that together we try to make it even better!

External Officer

Carrington Hickey (cah98)

Hello Everyone! My name is Carrington and I am a practising lawyer from Canada. I grew up on a farm and I have been living and working in Toronto for the past few years. I am currently on a leave of absence from my firm to earn my Master of Law (LLM). I love travelling, mat pilates, and politics. If you have any travel blog recommendations, please let me know! I am very excited to be your 2018-2019 External Officer. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. :D

Women’s Officer

Nele Peerenboom (she/her) (nap42)

Hi everybody, my name is Nele and I’m a second year PhD student in Psychiatry. I am working on a smartphone app that is supposed to help alcohol dependent patients to stay abstinent. I’m originally from Germany, I did my undergrad in Berlin and went to New York for my Master’s. I love yoga, photography, travelling and politics. I’m your women’s officer this year and I’m super excited to organise interesting events on women’s issues including the International Women’s Day. I look forward to your ideas and input on possible events, speakers and topics that you would be interested in!

IT Officer

Laura Martens (she/her) (ldm41)

Hi everyone, I am Laura and I am doing an MPhil in Computational Biology, where I basically learn how to tackle biological and medical problems theoretically and computationally. I come from a bit of a different background as I studied Physics for my undergrad in Bremen in the north of Germany. I love to cook/eat, read books, travel and to learn and speak foreign languages. This year I will be your IT officer, so I am in charge of maintaining and polishing the MCR website. If you have any ideas of things to implement on the website, please share them with me!!

LGBT+ Officer

Rebecca Smith(she/her) (rcs63)

Hello my dudes! My name is Rebecca, I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, and I am doing an MPhil in Genetics this year! Specifically, I study how hereditary spastic paraplegia affects calcium signaling in motor neurons!! Right now, I am realizing I should use less exclamation points in this blurb…. so I’ll cut back on that…. Aside from biology, I love taking photographs, running, climbing, hiking, cross country skiing, cooking/eating (especially cookies), writing poetry, and watching old films. My favorite vegetable is an asparagus and my favorite fruit is a mango. I don’t believe in the myth that you have to be a dog or a cat person—I really think you can love all fuzzy animals equally and don’t have to choose—but I’d love to talk about that if you strongly disagree. I am here to be your LGBTQ+ officer because, although I just got here, I care about this community a lot and I want to represent all you dudes well, get some good events going, and provide support where needed. So hit me up if you need anything or have any cool ideas you want realized!!

Welfare Officers

Nora Masler(she/her) (nkhm2)

Hello Everyone! My name is Nora Masler and I am from the United States. Within the U.S. I have lived in many different places including Santa Fe New Mexico, Seattle Washington and Santa Monica California. Here at Cambridge I am studying the psychological impacts of our built environment. More specifically how living walls (those lovely plants on the sides of buildings) may affect how we feel. I am so happy to be a member of Newnham, alongside such powerful interesting women, and I look forward to supporting this community as welfare officer.

Oonagh Devitt-Tremblay (od267)

My name is Oonagh (pronounced oo-na) and I doing my MPhil in English, specifically 18th Century and Romantic Studies. I was born in Paris, France and raised in Toronto, Canada. I studied English at the University of Toronto and then I went to film school at Ryerson University. I love thinking about story telling and how people communicate. I'm an avid reader, writer, traveller and analog photographer. As one of your welfare officers, I am here to promote physical and mental wellbeing in the MCR community. I encourage you to come chat if you are ever in need of a listening ear. I feel strongly about body positivity, self-care, healthy routine building and enjoying life amidst essay deadlines! I am thrilled to be one of your Welfare Officers this year. I look forward to destigmatising mental health and creating an environment of wellbeing at Newnham College.

Mobeen Hussain(she/her) (amh215)

Hello! My name is Mobeen and I am second year PhD in History. I did my BA in History and English and MA in Contemporary History and International Politics at the University of York. I have previously worked at a university, school and hospital and have lots of experience in supporting people with various issues. I was the MCR Governing Body representative last year on which I represented your interests at Council and Governing Body and was involved in some of the decision making (like the gym).

My role this year is to provide you with support on sexual and mental health, sports and accommodation issues. I, along with my fellow welfare officers, hope to run Welfare Teas, stress relief events, nature walks and am available for one on one chats. I teach Zumba in the college (great stress relief and good for mental health), and am a great listener so don’t hesitate to contact me, or any of the other MCR Welfare officers, if you want to talk to someone!

Nazia Jassim(she/her) (nj304)

Hi, I’m Nazia and I’m a 1st year PhD student in the Department of Psychiatry. I like trashy books, horror movies, spicy food, and being an insufferable hipster when it comes to music. As a psychiatry researcher, I take mental health very seriously. The Welfare Officer role allows me to add to the support provided by the University and Newnham. If you ever feel that your issue is “too trivial” to bring to the professionals, if you’re daunted by the idea of seeking professional help, or you find yourself clueless about whom to approach, I encourage you to get in touch with one of your Welfare Officers. You will find a completely non-judgemental confidant in me and I will ensure you find the right help. In addition, Newnham offers a safe, unique space to discuss ALL things taboo and/or TMI– an opportunity we should make full use of! Our very ladylike welfare tea parties will have us discussing important, crude, and awkward topics over tea and cake. Finally, as (one of) your Custodian(s) of Sexual Health Supplies (okay, that’s not an actual title), I’m here to make sure our Magical MCR Cupboard of Requirement is perpetually well-stocked. I look forward to having many stimulating, cathartic, and downright bizarre conversations with you!

International Officers

Charlie Barranu (cb841)

Hi there! I’m Charlie and I’m one of your International Officers for this year (2018-19). I’m a second-year PhD student in English, and I’m originally from Bologna, Italy - ragù being our obvious claim to fame. With Aditi I’ll be putting all my effort to make sure that all of you feel at home here at Newnham! We are hoping to organise events in collaboration with our social secs, welfare and speaker series officers, so that you may have the best possible experience during your studies. Please have your say – we’re always happy to organise events to celebrate international festivities, or discuss international issues with the entire MCR body. We’re hoping to create an online platform precisely for this purpose, so - watch this space! Personally, I could also offer some practical advice on how to apply for a permanent residency permit in view of Brexit, having just gone through the process myself. Do feel free to drop me a line anytime!

Aditi Tandale (ayt22)

Hello! My name is Aditi, I am a second-year PhD student in the Biochemistry department from India. As an international student in Cambridge, I’ve noticed and personally experienced the challenges and that settling in isn’t always easy. Charlie and I along with the MCR committee and fellow Newnhamites are here to provide you with all the help and support in making Newnham ‘Home’ for you. As international officers, we are also responsible for promoting Newnham’s internationality and planning international festivities and events. I am very friendly and will be happy to have a chat with you, so please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions!

Environmental Officers

Sarah (email)

Hi! I am Sarah, a Secondary Geography PGCE student and new to Cambridge. Before coming to Cambridge I did an undergraduate degree in Geography at Oxford. As part of this role I am involved in promoting sustainability and environmentally friendly practices in college. I am particularly looking forward to collaborating with the JCR on the college divestment campaign. Kate and myself are here to answer any of your environmental questions and concerns!

Kate Howlett(she/her) (kh557)

I’m Kate, a first-year PhD student in Zoology, and I’m one of this year’s Environmental Officers. I work with Sarah, the other Environmental Officer, to help make Newnham as environmentally friendly as possible and to help connect Newnhamites with nature and environmental issues via gardening, birdwatching, documentary watching, discussion groups and other environmentally themed events. Alongside Sarah, I represent the MCR on the Garden Committee, the Environmental Working Group and the Fairtrade Steering Group. If you have any ideas or concerns in this area, please feel free to get in touch, and I will be happy to help!

Social Secretaries

Roísín Healy(she/her) (rh716)

Hey everyone! My name is Róisín (pronounced Roe-sheen), I’m Irish, and I am one of your four social secretaries for 2018/19. I hold an undergraduate degree in Chemistry but I’m studying for an MPhil in Management here in Cambridge. I was a class representative for my undergraduate class and have lots of experience organising social events. I would be delighted to hear what you all want from your social secretaries this year, so don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m looking forward to organising events for my fellow MCR Newnhamites, hopefully we’ll all have a year to remember 😊

Evelyn Strope(she/her) (ems92)

My name is Evelyn Strope and I am a first year PhD in History in the American History Subject Group. I look at eighteenth-century American consumerism and the construction of the American consumer democracy. I did my MPhil in Cambridge last year, but this is my first year at Newnham and I’m very excited to serve as one of your four social secretaries this year! I will help to plan and host events that help keep our MCR Newnhamite community together. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your ideas!

Social Secretaries - Evelyn Svingen (es707)

Hey all, my name is Evelyn and I am one of your social secretaries! I’m a second year PhD student in Criminology and this is my third year at Newnham. I enjoy baking, going to bed by nine, and am currently trialling for the university lightweight rowing team. I am a Norwegian raised in Russia and I am looking forward to organising unusual events from various countries. Whatever your idea is, bring it to me and I will try to make an amazing event out of it with my glorious social sec team! Let’s get this party started.

Social Secretaries - Stella Pryce(she/her) (smp63)

Hi everyone! My name is Stella and I am a first year PhD student reading Children’s Literature in the Faculty of Education. I previously studied for my undergraduate degree here at Cambridge University and am so happy to be back! While I am not new to Cambridge, I am a Newnham newbie and am delighted to have been selected as one of the social secretaries on the MCR committee this year. In my spare time I love socialising with friends, eating cake and reading books. I am so excited to organise and run some awesome events in an out of college for everyone and if you do have any ideas for events, questions or other suggestions please don’t hesitate to get in touch! 

Speaker Series Officer

Lucy Goodman (lg368)

Hi! I’m Lucy and I’m thrilled to be working with Cota on the speaker series and student conference. We are extremely keen to hear from you who would be the best people for you to hear as part of the series (aim high and we will see what we can do!) and also what would make a good Newnham graduate conference. I’m in my second-year of my PhD also, looking at the social and environmental impacts of dam construction in the Himalayas. I’m interested in being outside, camping, travelling and following those up by reading by the fire. I’ve loved being part of Newnham MCR so far and have made some inspiring and amazing friends (including Cota!) with the help of last year’s amazing committee, I hope I can make a small contribution also.

Speaker Series Officer

Cota Toro-Valdiviesco (cvt24)

Hi guys! I am Cota, a second year PhD student. Originally, I am vet from Chile but my true passion has always been environmental conservation. I am particularly interested and very worry about marine environments. I decided to combine my veterinary skills with my love for marine mammals and research, which later translated into my PhD research project. Currently, I am looking at the faecal microflora from fur seals, which are important ocean’s health sentinels. I have been extremely lucky to meet the most inspirational people during my life. Certainly, they have been key on me wanting to pursue my dreams. I am very looking forward to bring (with my amazing friend Lucy) the inspiration itself embodied in the most amazing speakers out there.