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About / Committee

Here you can meet the MCR Committee and get to know a little about them and their responsibilities, along with their email addresses for contacting them. You can view the minutes of all our committee meetings here.

View the MCR Constitution here.

Sarah Paris

Welcome to Catz! I'm Sarah, one of your MCR Co-Presidents for 2017/2018. I am a third-year Biological Anthropology PhD student. Catz has a great grad community and is a really enjoyable place to be. This year's MCR Committee are looking forward to continuing the good work of previous committees, we have lots planned for the year ahead!

Having been part of the MCR Committee last year I learnt a lot about the needs and concerns of graduate students and how college accommodates. I hope to work closely with college this year to further communication between the Grads and College. As Co-Presidents mine and Charlotte's main responsibility is to represent you in meetings with the College and the University, addressing any concerns you may have and voice your opinions, as well as supporting the rest of the committee in their roles.

The Committee are here to help and would love to hear your feedback or ideas, feel free to email or say hello in person!

Charlotte Kenealy

Hello and welcome to Catz! My name is Charlotte and I'm one of your MCR Co-Presidents this year. I am a third-year PhD student at the Faculty of History, studying world war commemoration and the politics of the union in the United Kingdom. I've been at Catz since 2011, when I started my undergraduate degree in History, so I understand that while it is an amazing place to live and work it can also be demanding.

Having been at Catz for so long, and as part of the MCR Committee last year, I understand both how college works and the various issues faced by graduate students. As Co- Presidents one of mine and Sarah’s main responsibilities is to represent you and the graduate community in meetings with the College and the wider university and to address any concerns you may have. It is also our job to work closely with and support the other members of the MCR Committee.

I look forward to meeting you soon, and in the meantime please feel free to email me or any other members of the committee – we’re here to help!

Helen Wilkes

Hi everyone and welcome to Catz! I'm Helen and I will be serving as your MCR Secretary for this academic year. I came to Catz in 2015 to study for an MPhil. Now I am a 2nd year PhD student, working on the identification of sites where human DNA replication starts.

My role to as secretary is to prepare and circulate agendas and minutes for the committee and open meetings. I will write and edit correspondence/documents sent by the MCR Committee, and generally assist the co-presidents and committee.

I am also responsible for preparing and circulating the weekly newsletter during term time. So, watch out for information about interesting things to do and know! And as you get more involved with college and university life, send me anything you'd like me to include in the newsletter.

In the meantime, feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions.

Fynn Krause

First of all: Welcome to Catz!

My name is Fynn, and I am the MCR's treasurer for this year. I have just started the second year of my PhD in Biochemistry, looking into adipose tissue thermogenesis as a treatment for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

As our treasurer, I am responsible for managing the MCRs finances - that involves paying our bills and keeping college updated about our expenses, but also making sure that we do not run out of money before the end of the year. To put it in more interesting terms: I will work together with the other members of the committee, to make sure that we get the best out of this year!

If you have any questions about the MCRs financial situation, or suggestions regarding how the money is spent, feel free to send me an email or ask me in person. In the meantime, enjoy your time at Catz!

Frances St. George-Hyslop
Welfare Officer <mcr.welfare@caths.cam.ac.uk>

Welcome to Catz! I'll be serving as the Catz MCR Welfare Officer for 2017/2018! I'm a second-year PhD student studying neuroscience, where I'm using stem cells to understand the genetics of human brain evolution. This will be my third year at Catz after completing an MPhil in Clinical Science in 2015-2016. My first two years at Cambridge have been amazing! Like any graduate program, however, my time here has not been without the occasional bump in the road. I want to give back to Catz to help those going through stressful times (personal or academic in nature).

As Welfare Officer my responsibilities are your well-being and happiness as a member of the college. No problem is too small, and I encourage you to contact me if you ever need someone to chat to. I can be contacted via the Welfare email address, the welfare pidge in college, or 24/7 by phone for emergencies. Both Catz and the University have many pastoral services available to you, and it is my job to point you in their direction.

My other duties include acting as the de facto LGBT+ and Women's Officer, where I liaise with the respective CUSU officers and campaigns. I am also in charge of ensuring the MCR have adequate resources for practicing safe sex. You can find a bowl stocked with free condoms, dental dams, and lube (and free candy!) in the MCR. Finally, I plan to hold Welfare events throughout the year including mindfulness sessions, ice cream socials, and puppy therapy visits.

Alessandra Cabassi
Education Officer <mcr.education@caths.cam.ac.uk>

Hello and welcome to Catz! I am Alessandra, a second-year PhD student at the MRC Biostatistics Unit. I am Education Officer for next year.

If you have any concerns related to your studies or undergraduate supervisions, I am responsible to guide you seek help from the departments and graduate tutors. I will set up some drop in sessions for you during term time, but please feel free to contact me at any time.

Moreover, I am in charge of organising bi-weekly mini-seminars on Sunday afternoons and a Graduate Symposium during Michaelmas term. They are both great ways to find out what the Catz fellows and alumni do and I strongly encourage you to participate. If you want to present your research at one of the mini-seminars or help me organise the symposium, just drop me an email.

Souradip Mookerjee

I'm Souradip and this is about to be my fifth year at Catz - I'm on the MB/PhD programme which means that I was here for undergrad and I'm now studying for a medical degree and a PhD (in haematology and stem cells) at the same time. I've had a great time so far and I hope you do too!

Who can imagine university life without their computer these days? Picture this scene. Your phone isn't set up to get your university emails. You miss an important one from your supervisor. You find out a week too late to do anything about it. Terrible, right? But fear not, this year I'll be your computing officer - which means I'm happy to help get your technology to work for you instead of against you!

I'll be maintaining the website and other equipment like the TV in the MCR! Let me know if you need any help, especially if it involves connecting your phone/laptop to the university's email and file space! I'm also involved with the university student-run computing facility so let me know if you need any help running your own website or mailing list!

Dermot Trainor and Julien Mahin
Social Secretaries <mcr.social@caths.cam.ac.uk>

We are the MCR social secretaries for 2017/2018! It's our job to organise social events for you throughout the year. In coalition with those in charge of Formal Hall and Food and Drink, we plan to bring you wine and cheese, games and quizzes, big parties (or bops) and much else besides! We'll be here to provide the light relief away from the treadmill of work, and we'll strive to make it a fun year for the MCR. We are always open to suggestions so if you feel like you have a great idea for an event please feel free to drop us an email!


I will be starting my PhD in History in Michaelmas 2017. This will be my second year at Catz, after completing my MPhil in American History in 2015/2016. I've always enjoyed the friendly feel of college life and feel passionate about the place in no small part because of the get-to- togethers organised by social secretaries before me. I'll try to continue on this fine tradition. I'm from the emerald isle across the water, the one that prides itself on its 'craic' and good spirits. I'll try and bring some across!


Hello everyone! My name is Julien and I am originally from Belgium. I've started my PhD in Chemical engineering in April. Moving to a new place is always a bit scary but don't worry! Catz is a very friendly college and we've got plenty of social events planned for you to meet your fellow MCR members and make new friends. In no time, you will feel at home in Cambridge! I'm looking forward to the beginning of the academic year and particularly Freshers week since technically I will be a fresher as well.

Conrad Watt
Food & Drink Officer <mcr.fooddrink@caths.cam.ac.uk>

I'm a 2nd year PhD student in the Computer Science department. I did my undergraduate and masters at Imperial College London, so I'm fairly new to Cambridge, but I've never found a more welcoming environment. A big part of this is the MCR, and a big part of the MCR is eating and drinking together.

My role as the Food and Drink officer is to get all of you eating and drinking as much as possible. I'm responsible for the pre-drinks at every MCR formal hall, organising wine and cheese social events, and other food (and drink) related events that you'll see throughout the year.

One college tradition that I'm going to be paying particular attention to is treats in the MCR. Every term-time Sunday, after the chapel service and the free brunch(!) which follows, we gather in the MCR to sample a range of cakes, biscuits, and other sweet things. If you're interested in contributing your home baking and being compensated for the cost, please get in touch with me!

Jonny Davidson
Formal Hall Officer <mcr.formalhall@caths.cam.ac.uk>

Hello and welcome to Catz! My name is Jonny and I'm a second year PhD student in Chemistry. I've been at Catz since 2012 and hope you'll enjoy your time here as much as I have!

Formal dinners are an essential part of the Cambridge experience, providing a great chance to socialize and catch up with fellow MCR members. You'll read plenty more about formals further on, but to summarise: The MCR holds weekly dinners during term time, with 4 courses and pre-dinner drinks included.

I look after booking and scheduling, as well as acting as a point of contact for any issues involving catering. I'm also assisted by Conrad, our Food and Drink Officer, who provides pre-dinner drinks and port for the cheese course. Aside from that I also organise formal swaps which provide an opportunity for small groups of 10-15 people to attend formals at colleges other than their own. I'll also be working with Dermot and Julien to organise some of our larger events and dinners (Halloween, Christmas, Burns night).

If you have any questions then don't hesitate to drop me an e-mail, or catch up with me in the bar after dinner. See you all at formal!

Iacopo Russo

Hello everyone and welcome to Catz!

I am a 2nd Year PhD student in Engineering. Originally from Milan, Italy, I then completed my undergraduate studies in Materials Science & Engineering at Imperial College London. I am an engineer passionate about environmental issues and eager to make a difference both at the community and at the global level. My PhD is looking at ways to increase the material efficiency of the steel and aluminium industry.

This year I will take the role of MCR Green Officer in order to ensure we and the college are doing all we can to respect and protect the environment as well create an environmentally sustainable community. I plan to do this by continuing participation in the university-wide Student Switch Off campaign; promoting and campaigning for greener food options in hall and at formal dinners, including vegetarian and local food; improving recycling in all graduate residences; and coordinating with the Gardening Team to organise a number of outdoor activities and socials.

I wish you the best and greenest time at Catz and feel free to approach me with any green or non-green idea or opinion you may have!

Joe Cooper
Accommodation Officer <mcr.accommodation@caths.cam.ac.uk>

Hi everyone, my name is Joe and I’m a 3rd year Chemical Engineering PhD using MRI to study gas transport in industrial applications. I studied Chemistry at Catz from 2011-15 too so I’ve been in Cambridge a long time! As Accommodation Officer, my responsibilities include assisting the MCR committee with rent negotiations, facilitating communication between the college and MCR on accommodation matters and representing the MCR in college meetings. If you have any questions about accommodation or any complaints you’d like to register anonymously then do get in touch!

MCR, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge CB2 1RL, UK
Email: mcr.secretary@caths.cam.ac.uk