CLES Cornwall Inclusivity Committee

Daniela Farina

Since February 2013 I have worked as a full-time Research Technician in microbiology running the experiments and managing Health and Safety. When I was hired I was five months pregnant and now I am a mother of a two-year-old daughter that can balance work and private life. That is something that would be much more difficult if not for the Athena SWAN philosophy around and, sometimes, I feel requires me to give back. Working in academia often requires personal sacrifices and I think that if the University takes some load off staff and students, thanks to well-placed Athena SWAN initiatives, it will benefit from it. The plan is to build on the success of the previous panels and use the enthusiasm for the Athena SWAN related initiatives that is around. As technicians are often a link between all the imaginable positions around, from professional services to professors.

Sarah Hodge

I am Vice Chair of the Athena Swan panel in CLES Penryn, having joined relatively recently in 2015. Since joining the Biosciences department as a lecturer over 6 years ago, I have observed first-hand the positive changes that the Athena Swan initiatives have brought about for both staff and students. This has been particularly relevant to me, as I recently returned to work part time after a period of maternity leave, a transition has been surprisingly easy, largely due to the support I have received while adjusting to my new role as a working mother. Looking to the future, I am particularly excited about working with our undergraduate students as I believe that keeping underrepresented groups in academia requires a positive and inspirational message early in their academic career.

Laura Kelley

I joined the Athena Swan panel at the start of 2017 as the Early Career Researcher (ECR) representative. I am passionate about helping to make an inclusive and diverse working environment that supports staff and students. I recently returned to work part time after maternity leave and the Athena Swan initiative has helped me to balance my career alongside my caring responsibilities. I look forward to helping maintain the momentum of positive change in gender equality and diversity in our workplace.

Brendan Godley

I am delighted to be a member of the self-assessment team for the College of Life and Environmental Sciences (Cornwall) Silver application. I became Head of Department in August 2014 but started my teaching career here a decade ago when the campus first opened. I have carefully observed the inception and subsequent mainstreaming of our Athena SWAN process and the profound positive changes that have resulted since our Bronze award in 2012.

Rachel Turner

As a relatively new lecturer in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences I’m pleased to have the opportunity to join the Athena SWAN panel. I believe positive change is essential to inspire and develop a wide diversity of future scientists, and in particular to support early career researchers. I am encouraged by the wide range of staff who are committed to creating a supportive and fair working environment in CLES Cornwall, and I look forward to contributing to the panel’s future initiatives.

Frank van Veen

Following our silver award, I have taken on the role of Athena SWAN Champion. I have always been passionate about promoting equality and diversity in the work place and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute in this way. I still remember clearly how my announcement, as a young post doc, that my wife was pregnant was met with expressions of sorrow that a young scientist would commit academic career suicide like this. Things have definitely improved significantly since then and not least because of the awareness that has been raised by the Athena SWAN charter.  It is my firm belief that to solve the problem of gender inequality, we need to look critically at all our processes, in every aspect of our work, and if we get this right we will not only improve gender equality, but equality across all dimensions of diversity.

MD Sharma

I first came to CLES Cornwall as a PhD student in 2007 and am now a research fellow here. In addition to being an early career researcher, I am also a parent of twins and part of a working family. In my time here, I have seen first-hand how the College’s commitment towards equality, diversity, representation, progression and success for all has evolved over the years. We still have challenges to overcome and improvements to make, however, the fact that there is a strong desire and support to make positive changes in our work culture makes it a good place to be! Our considerate and nurturing working environment makes me feel very comfortable with my full-time job and busy parenting life.

I joined the panel to help address equality more broadly (not just barriers to progression that affect women), and I bring with me, a multivariate perspective of someone who has progressed from being a student to staff within CLES; is at the early stages of their research career and a parent (of twins). I am aware that sometimes work-life balance cannot be achieved unless the working culture is flexible and integrates the reality of dual career partnerships. I look forward to providing a balancing perspective to equality and diversity initiatives across the board.

I joined the panel because I wanted to ensure that everyone in the department, at each stage of their career, knows what wellbeing support services they can access and how those services can support them.

Owen Greenwood

I am the Assistant Teaching Lab Manager for CLES Cornwall, alongside completing my Masters by Research. I joined the Athena Swan panel in 2016, seeing it as an excellent opportunity to inspire and drive change towards equality with the College and wider University culture. In particular I am a voice for Technical and Professional Services staff, as well as having a vested interest in Post-Graduate student affairs.

Sarah Hamm

I am a second year PhD student and joint Postgraduate Research (PGR) representative for the Athena Swan panel. I joined the panel a year ago to help promote equality and diversity within the department.

Shari Mang

I started a PhD in Biosciences in September 2017 after completing my masters in the department. I joined the Athena Swan committee in 2017 as a postgraduate representative. I am keen to be involved in women in science initiatives and aims to help reduce harassment and inequality from the academic environment. I am the point of contact for postgraduate students who have any issues or concerns and can be contacted at any time.

Alex Thornton

I joined the Athena Swan panel in 2017 and am excited to help contribute to making our Department an even better place to work. In research and teaching, as in life, diversity is a huge plus. Diverse groups generate more interesting ideas, can tackle more important questions and are generally much more stimulating. We have a long way to go before the academic world can really be said to reflect the diversity of our wider society, but we are taking important steps in the right direction. Through the Athena Swan initiative I hope that we can continue to build a Department that is inclusive, fair and fun.

Laura Colebrooke

I joined the Athena Swan panel in November 2017 as a representative from the Post-Doctoral community in geography. My hope is to contribute to the panels’ work in reflecting on and improving the role that our workplace plays in our wellbeing and ensuring that we meet the needs and interests of those who are often under-represented in Higher Education.

Bethany Mitchell

I am a third year undergraduate student studying Evolutionary Biology, I have really enjoyed my time studying here and I will be staying another two years to do a Masters by Research. I joined the panel because I want to make sure that all undergraduate students enjoy their time here as much as I have, and so that every student feels empowered and inspired to pursue their academic future.

Andrew Young

Associate Professor of Evolutionary Biology

Jon Blount

Professor of Animal Ecophysiology/Director of Postgraduate Research