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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

New Hall Society

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    New Hall Society International Women's Day Event 2018
    New Hall Society International Women's Day Event 2018

    All alumnae of the College are automatically members of the New Hall Society, which currently has over 6000 members, ranging from graduates of our very first years in the 1950s, to young women who have recently left the College.

    The Society keeps alumnae all over the world in touch, working with the College to deliver events and the New Hall Society Review.

    All alumnae are invited to get involved with the work of the New Hall Society, whether by attending the AGM, which is held during the Alumnae Weekend in September, or by joining the New Hall Society Committee, which meets termly in College.

    New Hall Society Committee

    If you are interested in becoming more involved with the New Hall Society, why not join the Committee? The Committee meets in College four times a year to discuss ideas for events and publications.

    The Committee consist of four officers and not more than 12 members representing all New Hall Society members. Appointment is for three years and Committee members shall retire annually by rotation. Retiring members shall be eligible for re-election. The Committee has the right to co-opt for a year at a time.

    Current Committee Members 

    Chair: Dr Tessa Kilvington-Shaw, NH 1970

    Tessa read Natural Sciences (Part II Materials Science) and stayed on in Cambridge to do research for a PhD in Metallurgy. She decided after two years that it wasn't for her and went with VSO to teach Maths and Physics in Nigeria. From there she resumed academic research and completed a multidisciplinary study for a PhD at Edinburgh University on Hydro-electric Power Development in Brazil. A career as a technical journalist and PR executive followed. These days she is very busy as an adult and family court magistrate in Cambridge as well as serving on numerous committees. She is also an associate hospital manager undertaking reviews of patients detained under the mental health act. An adventurous traveller she has hitch-hiked across the Sahara Desert and travelled up the Amazon River on a local boat sleeping in a hammock! Her next trip will be to Burma. She feels very privileged to have had the opportunity to collate and edit the latest edition of New Hall Lives.

    Claudia Bray, NH 1993

    Claudia read German and French at New Hall and was involved with the New Hall Music Society. She went on to King's College London to do her PGCE and has been teaching languages at secondary school level ever since. Initially she stayed on in London, however once the opportunity to return to Cambridge came up, she jumped at the chance. No longer at the mercy of London transport, she enjoys cycling everywhere. Now she is Head of Modern Foreign Languages at the Stephen Perse Foundation. Married to an outdoor expedition leader, much time is spent travelling and trekking. Recent travels have been closer to home since the arrivals of Leo and Sebastian. However, there is a continued interest and involvement with musical activities.

    Photo of Dr Abbe Brown

    Dr Abbe Brown, NH 1989

    Abbe read Law at New Hall from 1989-1992. Abbe worked as a solicitor, specialising in Commercial, Intellectual Property and Competition litigation in London, Australia and Edinburgh. She then made the big jump back to academia and gained a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, investigating the relationship between intellectual property, competition and human rights. Abbe married Robbie (Pembroke, 1989) in 1993, and has 2 sons, Hamish (born 2002) and Ross (born 2004), and now lives in Aberdeen. In 2012, Abbe was appointed Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Aberdeen. Abbe has very happy memories of her time at New Hall, has been sustained by the friendships she made there, and welcomes the chance to give something back.

    Kate Campbell, NH 1970

    After reading History at New Hall, Kate Campbell went on to work at the BBC World Service and teach in an inner London secondary school before having her family early. While her children were young she variously worked part-time, mainly in language and History teaching and in a voluntary capacity with Vietnamese refugees.  When her family returned to Cambridge and her children had all started school she took an English undergraduate degree and PhD, then tutored in English and interdisciplinary studies at the University of East Anglia and supervised English students at Cambridge University for several years. In 2003 she became a Lecturer in English at UEA, where her broad background led to her directing and teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate interdisciplinary programmes as well as English literature.  Since leaving UEA in 2014 she has taken courses in Counselling Skills, worked as a volunteer with those with memory impairment, and is now enjoying historical and literary pursuits, including her role in East Anglian Writers.  Her awareness of the great value of her years in Cambridge and her circuitous career have led her to join the New Hall Society Committee. 

    Photo of Camilla Cheung

    Dr Camilla Cheung, NH 2001

    Camilla studied Medicine at New Hall, matriculating in 2001. Since qualifying in 2006 she has been based in the Cambridge area, currently living near Ely. She has now completed her GP training and is enjoying being free of the interminable exams! Camilla had a great time at New Hall, making many lifelong friends as well as being superbly educated. She joined the committee in an effort to try to stay in touch with the college and hopefully to be able to give something back.


    Photo of Catherine

    Catherine Picardo, NH 1992

    Catherine matriculated in 1992 and studied Modern and Medieval Languages (MML). Once at New Hall, she performed and directed two plays in College and at Emmanuel College  She took up Italian in her second year and was awarded a distinction in the Cambridge Certificate. She played in the College hockey team and had a short stint rowing. She was sponsored by Eversheds LLP (London) to complete her postgraduate studies in Law and went on to complete her Training Contract at Eversheds in the City. She qualified as a Solicitor in 2001 and was a Commercial Associate Solicitor at Dentons and Clyde & Co before re-specialising into criminal law as a Duty Solicitor and Crown Advocate for the CPS. Catherine transferred to the independent Bar in 2008 and appears at the Crown Court for both the Crown and the Defence. She is currently seconded to the Serious Fraud Office in the bribery and corruption team. She joined the Society last year, as she wanted to remain connected with College after she had been mentored by alumnae in the  Career Network scheme before she became a barrister. She said: "I will never forget how the College supported me when, in my second year, my mother died, suddenly. The college was a supportive and happy place to grow intellectually. Anything was achievable and I immersed myself in my studies and went on to achieve a strong joint 2:1. It continues to be so."

    Johanna Roodt

    Johanna Roodt, NH 2009

    Johanna Roodt (Tilly) read East Asian Studies (Japanese) at Murray Edwards College, graduated in 2013 and then went on to Columbia University in New York to become a certified language teacher. In New York she further completed a 200h Yoga teacher certification. She then started off her career by working as an international events manager organising fun runs in Japan and travelling back and forth between Europe, Japan and the USA. Upon meeting her South African boyfriend (now husband), she moved to South Africa and worked as a recruitment consultant for a FTSE 250 company. Her husband had to relocate to Belgium for his work in 2015. In Belgium Johanna initially continued working as a recruitment consultant, she later switched to a Marketing and Sales role at the world's largest beer company and is now working as a high school geography, ethics and language teacher at one of the so-called European schools (schools for kids of those working for EU institutions...). In the meantime, she has also completed a Master in International Business Management and has become a certified coach. When Johanna isn't working at the school, you'll probably find her spending time with her now 15 months old son, teaching yoga, giving career advice or a Japanese lesson, coaching or travelling. She loves adventures and has even already been to North Korea! Johanna joined the New Hall Society Committee to stay connected to college, her home away from home, and to help as many girls as possible to apply!

    Photo of Dr Elizabeth Waldram



    Dr Elizabeth Waldram, NH 1955

    Elizabeth has been co-opted to the committee to represent the `Silver Street’ years (1954 to 1964), those of us whose home was in the old Hermitage rather than the Dome. She came for her interview in 1954, only a few weeks after the very beginning of the college; there were just 18 undergraduates in her year. Since reading Natural Sciences, with Part 2 Physics, she has worked in the Cavendish Laboratory over a period of more than 50 years. In the 60s she wrote software, including some of the first ever computer graphics, on one of the earliest electronic computers, the Cambridge Edsac. As well as her involvement in research, she has been concerned with the public communication of science, organising school tours of the Radio-Astronomy Observatory, and is particularly keen to encourage girls in Physics. She is currently an Emeritus Research Associate in the Cavendish Astrophysics group. She is glad to serve on the committee to help to keep older members in touch with the College and perhaps to remind younger members of our pioneering origins.

    Philippa Walters, NH 2006

    Philippa did a Masters in Engineering, specialising in civil and structural, with modules in sustainability. She was also a keen rower and captained the New Hall Boat Club, as well as rowing with the University development squad. She did a number of internships while at College with various engineering firms, a cabinet maker, and Barclays Investment Bank. In 2010, she started on the graduate scheme at Barclays, working in Prime Services, and was recently promoted to Assistant Vice President. In her free time she teaches maths and drums, and enjoys cycling and making furniture.

    Sylvie Watts, NH 1980

    Sylvie studied Classics at New Hall. After a year teaching Latin at a girls' boarding school, she studied to become a solicitor, a profession she followed for some 28 years. She spent nearly all of it in the City of London, specialising in employee tax, executive incentive arrangements and corporate governance. She decided to take a belated career break in 2014, retiring from her partner role at Allen & Overy, to have more flexibility to spend time at home while her daughter completed public exams and university applications. She joined the board of Skarbek Associates, a strategy implementation firm, in September 2014, and the board of trustees of, a charity which provides a digital social network for people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, in September 2017. In June 2018 she graduated from The Courtauld Institute where she obtained a postgraduate diploma in the history of art, and is now thinking about the next stage of her working life, her daughter having embarked on her own university journey. It's rare for a day to go past when she does not appreciate the friendships and inspired teaching she has enjoyed from New Hall.

    Getting in touch

    You can contact the New Hall Society Committee directly by emailing: