MCR Committee Positions 2016-2017

Stephen Zhao – MCR President

london eyeAs MCR President, I chair the MCR Committee and represent the interests of graduate students when college decisions are made by senior members in Governing Body and General Purposes meetings. In addition, I endeavor to foster a social and active MCR where students from diverse backgrounds are brought together and friendships are forged for life. It is my job to ensure the MCR runs smoothly, and it matters to me that everyone’s perspective is considered. The welfare and quality of life for graduate students at St. Hilda’s College are especially important issues to me. You can bring up any concerns with me, for the committee as well as for the College.

I’m in the second year of my MPhil in International Relations, with a research focus on climate change policy. Outside academia, I enjoy playing tennis, writing fiction and poetry, and kicking back with a stiff drink in front of a good fight.

Hannah Bower – Secretary

Hannah_BowerHi everyone! I’m Hannah and I’m the MCR Secretary this year, which means that I keep a record of all the goings-on in the MCR. I also try to make sure that everybody is aware about what is happening around the college, university and city in general, by sending out weekly emails about fun events coming up.

I’m a second year English DPhil student, but I also did my master’s degree at Hilda’s, so have been around a little while! I’m very happy to answer any questions you may have about St. Hilda’s, studying English, or Oxford in general!

Nafisa Sharif – Treasurer 

I’m a second-year DPhil student at Hilda’s, and this is my third year in Oxford. My work focuses on applying machine learning methods to drug discovery problems. Aside from my role as MCR Treasurer I row with the College Boat Club and I enjoy dressmaking in my free time. It’s great fun working with the rest of the Committee to bring the MCR as many exciting events as possible!

Amy Orben – Welfare Officer

Version 2I am Amy Orben, one of the MCR Welfare Officers and a DPhil in Experimental Psychology. I am responsible for all things to do with graduate welfare, mostly organizing bi-weekly welfare brunches and providing one-to-one personal support. During your time at Oxford there may be moments where you will come across challenges, either personal or study related. If you are stressed, worried, sad, anxious, need support of any kind (mental health, physical health, sexuality, stress, or just a need to vent about your course/supervisor) or just want a chat I am always available. As a welfare officer and trained peer support, I am here to provide the support you require, whether it is a friendly and confidential ear or a source of information to direct you to further support within St. Hilda’s or to professional services in the University; please feel free to contact me at any time.

Katie Pratt – Welfare Officer

IMG_1140 (1)My name is Katie Pratt, and I am one of the MCR’s Welfare and Equality Officers. I am currently a student in the MSt. in English Literature, focusing on material from 1900 onward. I’m originally from upstate New York in the United Sates, but I did my undergraduate degree in Boston at Simmons College, graduating in May of 2016. Getting involved in the MCR at St. Hilda’s is a great way to connect with other postgraduates in college, and my number one goal as Welfare Officer, along with Amy, is to continue to foster a supportive, social, and open environment within the MCR. Our aim is to represent the welfare and equity concerns of graduate students at St. Hilda’s so that we can make this college the most comfortable and friendly environment it can be. Feel free to get in touch if you have any welfare related concerns or if you just want to have a chat. Our door is always open!

Alice Kelly – Disability Officer 

ceildhshotHi, I’m Alice and am here for a one-year masters in Musicology (ft. much Postmodern Jukebox, because why not). Fun fact! You can’t actually necessarily tell if someone is disabled by looking at them, which is why most of you will have not clocked that I have multiple (mild) disabilities. The Equality and Discrimination act uses a pretty broad definition of disability, which, amongst more visible disabilities, includes special learning difficulties, chronic illnesses and chronic mental health conditions. It’s fine if you’ve never considered yourself ‘disabled’ before (or don’t plan to in the future); as long as you fall under this bracket, you’re eligible for all the support/tea/cakes/sympathetic ear(s) I can provide. I’m always happy to talk about the Disability Advisory Service, Oxford Students’ Disability Community and other such cool things you should keep an eye out for – I have finally succeeded in getting the endless DSA paperwork through so have much time for complaining about that/helping out with advice. If you ever need someone to argue for the  welfare of disabled students in college meetings, I’m definitely your gal because arguing is like my second favourite pass-time (right behind listening to terrible pop music).

Johanna M. Schnurr – Women’s Officer

Kayla Schulte  – Domestic Officer

07cae6fHello everyone – my name is Kayla and I am co-Domestic Officer alongside David Cheifetz. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns regarding the atmosphere in your living situation, as well as that in the MCR facility. A bit about me, I am currently working on my MSc in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance (environmental policy mixed with some philosophy). I am so happy to be a part of the Hilda’s community, and I look forward to an exciting year with you all!

David Cheifetz  – Domestic Officer

IMG_0287 (1)



MCR Domestic Officer and Canadian import reading for MSt Legal Studies, Faculty of Law.


Giovanna Di Martino – Academic Officer


My name is Giovanna and I am a DPhil in Classics at Hilda’s, working on the reception of Aeschylus in Italy from the sixteenth century onwards. I have always enjoyed organizing academic events as a unique possibility of dialogue, which has always revealed most productive in gaining new knowledge, no matter how closely related someone else’s research is to mine.

Julia Heitmann – Social Secretary

IMG-20161017-WA0003 (2)My name is Julia, I am 28 years old and I am reading for a MSt in Global and Imperial History. Originally I am from Hamburg in Germany and have also lived in London and in South Africa. Besides being a history student I am also a trained publisher and journalist. Before I came to Oxford I had been working part-time in the German press and events team of the global brewery group Carlsberg. I learned a lot about organising events and sponsoring and am now bringing this knowledge into the team of social secretaries within our MCR committee, where I am responsible for all the fun things like dinners, wine and cheese exchanges, and parties.

Holly Armstrong – Social Secretary

David Ewing – Environmental Officer

Sophie Maskell  – OUSU Rep

Hi all, my name is Sophie and I’m your OUSU Rep. It’s my job to bridge the gap between you and the wider university. I will make sure you know what’s going on at OUSU and will represent the views of the MCR at OUSU’s meetings and votes on proposals. I can also work with you on any motions that you wish to bring before OUSU council so please feel free to get in touch! A bit about me, I’m studying for an MSt in Women’s Studies so if I’m not crying into Judith Butler you can probably find me at the pub or watching too many Louis Theroux docs on Netflix

Carolina Bax – Fourth Year Rep



I’m Carolina, and I’m in my fourth year at St Hilda’s, studying Modern Languages. My role as Fourth Year Rep is to liaise the MCR with the JCR, and to ensure all fourth years that hold double membership remain informed of all going-ons

Sarah Grunnah – Library Rep

sarah headshot wa (2)Sarah Grunnah is a second-year DPhil student in Spanish. Before Oxford, she taught English and theatre in Chicago, and worked as a theatre director and dramaturg. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy (Theatre) from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and a BA in English literature from the University of North Carolina (Charlotte). As an undergraduate, she held office for three years in her university’s Student Government Association, and has since served on a variety of committees, including those established for arts councils, technology, and international exchange. At present, she is also an invigilator in the St Hilda’s Library.

Christian Goulart Mc Nerney – Sports Officer

Anna Chamberlain – Admiral of the fleet


My name’s Anna and I’m in my second year of an organic chemistry DPhil. This year I’ll be the ‘Admiral of the Fleet’ (aka MCR rowing rep) and my main job is to aid communication between the boatclub and the MCR. I’m also keen to increase graduate participation. I learnt to row with Hilda’s last summer and am absolutely loving it. Let me know if you’re interested in giving rowing a go, there’s no better time or place to try!