WCR Committee 2022-2023
Meet the recently elected WCR Committee for 2022-23. The WCR committee deals with the College and wider University community on behalf of graduates and strives to ensure the welfare of its members. The WCR also organises social events including parties, theatre and orchestra trips, exchange dinners and quiz nights.
President – Michael Hutchinson (He/him) (2019, DPhil in Statistics and Machine Learning)
Originating from East Anglia and having made a way stop at the “other place” on his way here, Michael is now a third-year DPhil student in Statistics and Machine Learning here at Univ. Having previously been a social sec and vice-president, he hadn’t quite had enough of committee life and is the WCR President for this year. Outside of academic life, he enjoys rowing, hockey, playing music and hanging out at whichever WCR event is currently happening. As President, it’s his job to make sure that the WCR runs smoothly, and provides a supportive and vibrant social scene for all our WCR members to engage in. If you have any comments, suggestions or concerns he would be very happy to hear them!
Vice-President/Treasurer – Naroa Ibarra-Aizpurua (She/her)
(2019, DPhil in Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics)
Naroa is a second-year DPhil student in Neuroscience (DPAG). After completing the BSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of the Basque Country, she moved to Oxford to study the MSc in Neuroscience. Her love for Oxford and college formal dinners made her stay here for her DPhil (okay, the fact that her dream lab is here had something to do with it too). When not in the lab, Naroa enjoys doing yoga, reading, listening to ridiculous amounts of Taylor Swift (and many other artists), and drinking overpriced coffee and matcha lattes.
After being the WCR Secretary for one year, Naroa is back for more, this time as VP/Treasurer. With her role, she hopes to make good use of the WCR money, and she will do anything in her power to help WCR students and make your experience at Oxford and Univ the best possible!
Secretary – Ethan Petrou (He/him) (2018, DPhil in Earth and Environmental Sciences)
Ethan is studying for a DPhil in Earth & Environmental Sciences. Originally from the southern countryside, he was an undergrad and Master’s student at University College London, before jumping ship to continue his studies at University College Oxford. Ethan spent two years working as a geotechnical engineer and has spent some time working offshore. When not in the lab, he enjoys singing in Univ chapel choir, reading and cooking with friends. Previously. As WCR Secretary, his role is to keep records of meetings at univ, responsible for the graduate student portion of the univ website and other internal digi-comms, and assisting the President and VP.
Welfare Officer – Emily Rowland (she/her)
(2020, DPhil in Clinical Medicine)
Emily is currently a second-year DPhil student in structural biology/neuroscience, having previously completed her Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry/neuroscience at the Australian National University in Canberra (but she’ll forever be a South Aussie at heart!). When she manages to dodge the clutches of lab work, you’ll likely find Emily playing Aussie Rules footy in Uni Parks, attempting to row on the Isis, or curled up somewhere with a good fantasy novel.
As one of two Welfare Officers (along with the lovely Leonie), please feel free to contact Emily with any questions/concerns or just for a chat – just beware that you may find yourself recruited into her footy team in the process!
Welfare Officer – Leonie Defonteyne (she/her) (2018, MSt in Classical Archaeology)
Leonie is currently studying for the MSt in Classical Archaeology and hopes to pursue a DPhil next academic year. She did her undergrad at Univ as well, so knows the college inside out. Besides looking at ancient Greek pots in the Ashmolean Museum, she enjoys going for long runs and spending time with friends in cafés.
Leonie will be a welfare officer alongside Emily this year. She is passionate about mental health and hopes to keep up Univ’s reputation as the friendliest college. Please do get in touch with her if you have any welfare-related questions or just fancy a chat! As a true Belgian, Leonie always has a large supply of chocolate (or vegan alternative) to share!
Social Secretary – Adam Tappin (He/him) (2018, Mst in Global and Imperial History)
Having previously completed his undergraduate at Univ, Adam decided to stay at Univ for a master’s in Global and Imperial History and is currently researching neoliberalism in the postcolonial world. Adam was one of the WCR social secretaries in the previous year and is thrilled at the opportunity to continue for another term. He will be working with Nicole and potentially other members of the WCR as the social sec team this term and hopes to see everyone at some big WCR events in the near future!
Social Secretary – Nicole Szekeres-Tapp (She/her) (2018, MSc in Biochemistry)
Nicole is a fourth-year biochemist, who this year is completing her master’s research project in the Oncology Department. When she’s not in the lab, Nicole enjoys wine tastings and rowing with UCBC – two hobbies that can definitely conflict at times (NB the former tends to negatively affect the latter and not vice versa). As one of the new social secretaries, she is excited to bring bops, formal exchanges, wine and cheese nights, garden parties and more to the social scene next term!
Environment and Hall Officer – Jacob Ridley (He/him) (2021, DPhil in English)
Jacob is a first-year DPhil student in English, with a BA and MSt from Magdalen. He was born and bred in Southampton but has now spent half the year in Oxford for over five years. He tried to move away by applying to University College London but by a cruel misunderstanding, the universe sent him to University College Oxford instead. He’s on the committee of the Society of Bibliophiles (look them up) and enjoys history books, drinking, and playing squash and tennis. As your Environment and Hall Officer, Jacob is looking forward to doing something about the guest formals and helping to make Univ more sustainable. If you have any suggestions or concerns about this, he would love to hear from you!
LGBTQ+ Officer – Flora Waller (She/her)
(2021, MPhil in Greek and/or Roman History)
Flora grew up in West London and is in the first year of an MPhil in Greek and/or Roman History. After completing an undergraduate degree in Ancient and Modern History at St John’s, she jumped to both Univ and exclusively ancient history for her MPhil. When not buried in books, she enjoys hiking and watching dubiously accurate period dramas.
Flora is passionate about creating a welcoming environment in the WCR and in Univ at large. Feel free to come and have a chat about anything LGBTQ+ related, or about life in general!
International Students Officer – Carlos Gonzales Perez (He/him) (2021, MPhil + DPhil in Economics)
Carlos is a first-year MPhil + DPhil in Economics student, so yes, he will be around for a long time at Univ. Born and raised in Valladolid, Spain, Carlos holds a double major in Economics and International Studies from UC3M (in Madrid). During his undergrad, he spent some time abroad at the United States, China, and Italy. As an experienced international student, Carlos is looking forward to empowering the International Community here at Univ. Whenever he is not talking about Economics or Statistics, he likes talking about hiking, rugby, chess, or Atletico de Madrid. His inbox is open to anybody who has any concerns regarding international matters, but in particular, if you are an International Student, he is really looking forward to hearing from you!
Disability and Accessibility Officer – Rebecca Colquhoun (She/they) (2020, DPhil in Earth Sciences)
Rebecca Colquhoun is a second-year DPhil student in Earth Sciences studying the physics of earthquakes. Rebecca did their undergrad in Earth Sciences at Worcester College until they saw the light (/followed the funding) and moved to Univ, where they are now the Students with Disabilities and Accessibility Officer for the WCR. They are passionate about improving equality and diversity in Oxford and in STEM, and as part of that sit on many committees in the wider university! They are always happy to chat about disability, EDI or general life, and you can contact them on:
Women’s Officer – Lovisa Reiche (she/her) (2019, MPhil in Economics)
Lovisa is in her second year studying for the MPhil in Economics. Before coming to Univ, she studied at the University of Aberdeen and the Chinese University of Hong Kong and worked at the European Central Bank. She is one of the Convenors of the Martlets Society in College as she is passionate about interdisciplinary exchange. As Women’s Officer, Lovisa hopes to create a lively and supportive community at Univ. Please get in touch if you have any questions, concerns or just want a friendly chat.
Ethnic Minorities and Racial Equality Officer – Alizeh Paracha (She/her) (2019, DPhil in History)
An international student from Karachi, Pakistan, Alizeh is a second-year DPhil student in History (South Asian Intellectual History). Prior to her DPhil, she completed an MSt in Global and Imperial History, also at Univ. This was a drastic change from her undergraduate experience at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States. As the Ethnic Minorities and Racial Equality Officer this year, she is responsible for promoting the interests and welfare of black, minority ethnic, and visible minority members of the WCR. She is also one of the Junior Deans on the main site. In her free time, she enjoys binge-watching TV shows, reading Fantasy fiction, and complaining about the weather.
Find out more about the Weir Common Room here.
Published: 12 April 2022