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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

New Appointments in College

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    08 September 2022

    At the beginning of this academic year, we are welcoming several new people to Murray Edwards College.

    Our new Head of Access and Student Recruitment is Matthew Diston. He is coming to us from Form the Future CIC in Cambridge, a social enterprise that focuses on supporting young people from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds as well as parents, teachers and other groups, where he was Head of Programme Delivery. Matt has extensive experience in widening participation in Higher Education, and is deeply committed to devising and delivering meaningful and effective access and outreach programmes that benefit young people, empowering them to make informed choices for their futures, and he is looking forward to developing our student recruitment programmes.

    We were most grateful for Dr Gavin Stevenson’s stewardship of Gateway this past academic year as acting Tutor for Student Development, and we are delighted that he has taken up the enhanced role of Director of Student Development. Dr Stevenson is a Fellow in Sociology, an undergraduate Director of Studies (HSPS), a tutor and a college supervisor. He also received the University of Cambridge HSPS Supervisor Award in 2017 and 2018, along with being recognised by the Student Union and Fitzwilliam College for his contributions to undergraduate teaching.

    Our new Head of Wellbeing is Dr Susan Imrie. The establishment of this post will help the College realise its strategic objectives in terms of the student experience at Murray Edwards and reflects our commitment to enhancing wellbeing resources and practical welfare support. Dr Imrie is a developmental psychologist who was most recently Lecturer in Psychology at UCL. Susan will be supported by new college nurse, Anna Richardson, who is a Registered Adult Nurse with over 21 years of nursing experience working within both acute hospital, and community care settings. She enjoys working with young people and focusing on holistically supporting patients’ health needs and wellbeing.

    Dr Stuart Palmer and Dr Andrew Bond have joined as Directors of Admissions in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and STEM respectively.

    Dr Palmer specialises in the history of early modern popular politics and religion. He holds a PhD in Medieval and Early Modern Studies from the University of Kent, and has subsequently researched and taught a range of topics surrounding provincial political culture during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. He will also be serving as a Cambridge Foundation Year Programme Teaching Associate. Passionate about widening access to higher education, Dr Palmer previously worked as Sidney's Schools Liaison Officer.

    Dr Bond is a Senior Research Associate (X-Ray Crystallography) in the Department of Chemistry, and his research interests include structural chemistry and crystallography. He is also a college lecturer in Chemistry at Gonville & Caius, where he directs studies and teaches Chemistry (Part IA) and Diffraction Methods in Chemistry (Part II). He recently served as Admissions Tutor for Science at Caius.

    Director of Development and Alumnae Relations, Fiona McWilliams, has recently left the Natural History Museum where she was Executive Director of Development since 2015. During this time, she oversaw a step change in the capacity and ambition of the Development (fundraising and advocacy) function, building a new team and leading the fundraising and launch plans for significant projects. The £13m fundraising target for the new Hintze Hall was exceeded. Dippy on Tour - sending the Museum's much-loved diplodocus around the four nations of the UK - was fully funded, and the Museum’s ambitious Urban Nature Project is set to exceed its £19.6m target. She was responsible for key Museum relationships including Sir David Attenborough and the Museum's Patron, The Duchess of Cambridge.

    Fiona joined the NHM from SOAS University of London where she was Director of External Relations and Development, responsible for fundraising and alumni relations, marketing, communications and student recruitment. Her achievements there included signing the biggest single gift in SOAS' history at £20m. Fiona began her fundraising career at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This followed a career in public relations and marketing in international television where her clients included HBO, National Geographic, Brook Lapping, Wark Clements, Tiger Aspect and Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson Productions).