Ustinov Global Citizenship Programme

Scholars and Volunteers 2018 – 2019

James O’Neill

PhD History/Modern Languages and Culture

Café des Arts lead


Hi I’m James O’Neill from the UK. I’m stuying in the third year of mu PhD in history on themes of the metamorphosis of identity in early renaissance Italy through the lend of one text, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. I was a member if Cafe des Arts team member last year where i began to focus on community engagement and building relationships with local artists and this year look forward to continuing this. I hope to see some of you there at out next event or exhibition seminar! 



Sam Bannister

PhD in Law

Café Politique lead

Hello! My name is Sam, from the UK. I am a first year Law PhD student, studying property disputes on relationship breakdown between unmarried cohabiting couples, particulary over the family home. This is an important social problem, given that cohabitation is becoming much more of a norm for relationships in society. Politicallt, howvere, the Government refused to legislate on this area, leading to the possibility of vunerable people exiting relationships with nowhere to live.

I am acting as this team lead for Cafe Politique this year. The GCP is an inportant part of College life, as it supports a wide array of academic discussions and talks, allowing Ustinov to embrace the diversity of research and scholarship going on within the college. It also creates a way for members of the college to meet new people from all across the world, and therefore adds to the diversity which Ustinov prides itself on. Café Pol will be putting on events this year on the war on YeGCPmen and Brexit, amongst other topics.

Giorgio Manzoni

PhD Physcis

Café Scientifique lead

Hi there! I’m Giorgio, I come from Italy and I’m doing a PhD in Astrophysics. Studying the Universe is just one aspect of my curiosity. In fact I love studying social psychology and learning how much our choices are driven by the country in which we have spent our childhood.

As the leader of the Café Scientifique, my aim is to share my curiosity with you all. Sometimes science is mostly a matter of asking the right question rather than giving the right answer. Everybody can help in this and the Café Scientifique events will provide you with the opportunity to join a convivial atmosphere while wondering about big, ansolved and puzzling questions!

Matthew Roberts

MAR Anthropology

Ustinov Intercultural Forum lead

My name is Matthew Roberts, and I am the UIF lead this year. I originally joined the GCP as a volunteer, previously helping with the Ustinov Intercultural Forum and the Media Team. I am a Masters by Research student studying in the Department of Archaeology, and I originally came to Durham University to pursue a taught masters in the Computer Science Department. My area of focus is the application of digital imaging and computer vision to museum collections and cultural antiquities. I am originally form the United States, and prior to moving to the UK for postgraduate study I worked for twelve years as a software engineer doing contract work for NASA. There I was given the opportunity to work with a diverse and amazing group of people from all backgrounds and nationalities, all working towards a common goal we believed in. It was this experience which most inspires me, the ideal that I believe is the greatest potential of a global society.

Marianna Iliadou

PhD Law (Human Rights)

Seminar Series lead

My name is Marianna Iliadou and I am from Greece. Since October 2016, I am a PhD Candidate in Law and Part-Time Tutor at Durham University. Passionate about human rights, biolaw and bioethics, my thesis project is titled ‘Surrogacy and the European Convention on Human Rights’, where I attempt to provide a solution to the problem of cross-border surrogacy through the human rights lens.

For me global citizenship is closely related to globalisation, coexistence, exchange of values, perspectives, ideas. In my view, the concept of global citizenship involves a specific mentality, a mentality that does not necessarily require mobility. We do not need to leave our country to come across diversity and the mentality needed is, beyond tolerance, openness and interchange of different ideas and lifestyle. We soon realise we are part of a wider community which is interdependent and each of us has an important role in shaping it.

Xiaoxiao Ma

PhD Economics



Xiaoxiao is a 4th year PhD student studying Economics at Business School. She is the lead of SUCCESS (Shaping Ustinov College Careers and Employability Success for students). SUCCESS team organises career-oriented workshops and panel talks to help students with their career choices. This year, we plan to organise panel talk on “how to apply for a PhD” and we will also invite many successful alumni to talk to our students about their career experiences.


Trishla Singh

PhD English Literature

Ustinov Conference & Art Exhibition lead

My name is Trishla Singh, and I am pursuing a PhD in English Literature. I have moved to Durham from Delhi, India. I am  passionate about stories and feel that story telling is an essential part of being human. I believe that art, in any form, is an exploration of the self/society and that it creates a space for critical thinking. As a part of Café des Arts, I aspire to explore this dimension of art through various interactive events. I also firmly believe that as human beings, it is our responsibility to constantly strive towards building a better world. I often emphasise the importance of critical thinking and the necessity of being able to question and re-evaluate one’s position. I feel that literature and art provide a wonderful platform for this. I also enjoy reading, swimming and running. 


Kristine Kivle

MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy

Volunteering lead

My name is Kristine, I am an international student from Norway doing my MSc in Defence, Development and Diplomacy. I am currently the Head of the GCP Volunteering Team. I am honored by the position which has already allowed me to take part in exciting opportunities. I became part of the GCP because it is an amazing opportunity to get involved with the local community, develop as a global citizen, meet new people and challenge myself. The GCP is a great program to accompany my academic studies.”




Songping Li

MSc Management (HRM)

Volunterring team member


Hi everybody, my name is Songping Li, but you can just call me Tina. I’m currently doing my master’s degree in management and i’m originally  from Beijing, China. I love making new friends and I am very passionate about volunteer work with an experience of international volunteering in Iceland. I am looking forward to spending a meaningful academic year with great GCP members and ustinovians!





Ben Ceaser

MA International Relations (Middle East)

Cafe Politique team member

This scholarship has made it possible for me to be able to pursue my MA International Relation (Middle East) fully without financial constraint. I was financially the unlikeliest of candidates for a scholarly position at Durham University, and the Global Citizenship Programme made it possible for me to commence studies here. As a Café Politique scholar; I have been hugely impressed with the level of engagement with both the student body and the local Durham community. Contrary to thinking, Café Politique is not just about ’Politics’ – instead, events and activities include but are not limited to current affairs, controversial topics (nationalism vs patriotism), lectures by experts on challenging issues, e.g. Ocean plastic waste. The GCP has given me the confidence to feel a part of the fabric of Ustinov College genuinely.




Hannah Crichton

MA Museum & Artefact Studies

Ustinov Conference & Art Exhibition team member 

My name is Hannah Crichton. I am originally from New Zealand, where I studied history and classical studies. At present, I am studying an MA in Museum and Artefact Studies.

I have a passion for material culture, and have largely focused on Greek antiquity. Since moving to the United Kingdom, I have enjoyed examining the material culture of Britain, and am finding it diverse in terms of the historical periods and peoples it encompasses. The past, I believe, can teach us a great deal, and heritage is an important subject that deserves the correct attention. I am looking forward to partaking in the Art Exhibition and Annual Conference projects. I believe cultural heritage is very important and am interested to see how it will be discussed in relation to the Global Citizenship Programme.

Ines Pandzic

MA International Relations

Ustinov Intercultural Forum team member

Hi, my name is Ines and I am from Croatia. After obtaining my BA in French and Italian at Trinity College Dublin, I decided to come to Durham University to pursue a Masters degree in International Relations. My main interests revolve around cultural diplomacy and nation branding through popular culture. This year I am also looking at the relationship between national myths and national identity as well as the moral psychology behind political ideologies.

I am very grateful to be part of Ustinov’s vibrant community and especially of the Global Citizenship Programme. For me, Global Citizenship is not about eschewing our national identity, but about fostering understanding and coexistence with people from other nationalities. It tries to bridge and build, rather than deny; it highlights the common, rather than the different. These are the ideals I am hoping to share as a UIF scholar and I believe this experience will be one of my most enjoyable and formative ones on both academic and personal level.”

Sanjukta Nair

MSc Economics

Ustinov Intercultural Forum team member

Hello there! I am currently pursuing my Masters in Economics from the Business School. The reason why I wanted to join the GCP was to get the opportunity to interact with international students outside my course, to pick up skills on how to organise events, to get myself to approach others and to learn how to work in a team. I applied to join the Ustinov Intercultural Forum due to my love for learning about different cultures, and I am glad to be a part of a team where each of us come from a different continent!
About me, I enjoy cooking, reading, writing, walking and trying out things I normally wouldn’t do (including Quidditch!) I prefer long conversations over a nice cup of coffee instead of over a device. As a person who loves reading about different cultures and cuisines, I wish to travel the world as part of my work. I am also a self-proclaimed cat lover and wish to explore the field of international trade.

Rosa Roman

MA international Relations

Cafe Politique team member

This scholarship has provided me the opportunity to enhance my postgraduate experience, taking on a leadership role in my field of study. Having the platform to put on politically relevant events, I can share my growing wealth of knowledge through engaging activities. Working with a team, I’m able to collaborate with other scholars, making all the difference in our end results. The funding has also made a material difference in my financial obligations. As a self-funded student, the burden is substantial, but through the college’s generous support, it’s now lighter.  Overall, this experience has been rewarding, to say the least.   

Diana Martinez-Trejo

PhD Engineering

Cafe Scientifique team member

My name is Diana Martinez-Trejo and I’m from Mexico. I am a PhD student in Engineering focused on Blockchain and Energy Smart Grids. I have a background in Computer Engineering and Mechatronics applied to Robotics. In my free time I enjoy cooking, photography and learning Japanese. I am also President-elect of the Mexican Society (2018-19).

This is my first year as part of GCP. I am particularly fond of the cultural and intellectual diversity aspect of student life at Ustinov. In the same vein, Café Scientifique will be organising various events this year to promote discussion and a sense of community.

Pattaranun Chaisudhiophongskul

MSc Marketing
Marketing & Communications team member

Being part of the marketing and communications team in Global citizenship programme has provided many opportunities for me to make friends from different parts of the world, develop myself personally, improve

my communications skills, improve my project management skills and I can use my knowledge in marketing class to run GCP project. Moreover, the varied range of outreach project in which I can take part also provide great opportunities to gain work experience that can enhance my future career prospects. It is these experiences that give an extra dimension to College life and make your time at Durham University so unique


Sirapat Saksawat

MSc Management 

Seminar series team member


My name is Sirapat Saksawat and I am from Thailand. I am a postgraduate student in Management (finance) at Durham University Business School and keen on expanding global knowledge, event planning, volunteering and social action. As a global citizenship scholar in seminar series team, this programme offers the opportunity for me to understand wider global contexts and different ideas from fellows diverse in cultural background and interest.





Ioannis Triantafyllidis

MSc Marketing

Seminar series volunteer

I am a postgraduate student at Durham University Business School, who wants to gain advanced-level training in contemporary marketing and management. I also possess a degree in Business Administration, great IT skills and deep knowledge of many Marketing tools such as Adobe Photoshop.

Event planning is something that I really enjoy of working with. Rather my age I have participated in a number of big and small events and studied even more. Measuring customer experience is another field of interest to me. I keep on creating state-of-the-art questionnaires that work efficient on market analysis. In the future, I want to integrate marketing techniques with event hosting and customer satisfaction.

Linda Zhang

MSc Conflict prevention and Peacebuilding

Volunteering/Communinity Engagement team member


Hi everyone! I am Linda! I come from China and I’ve studied across countries and culture since the age of 16. I finished high school in Singapore and my undergraduate degree in Illinois, USA.  I am here in Durham for my Masters in Conflict prevention and peacebuilding. 

I am so happy to be part of volunteering team for GCP! I have done a lot of volunteering work in the past and I am excited to  do more volunteering via GCP programme in the year to come.





Teodora Nikolova

MA English Literary Studies

Cafe des Arts team member

My name is Teodora Nikolova and I am enrolled on the English Literary Studies taught MA programme. Before coming to Durham I graduated Lancaster university with a BA in English language and Creative writing. In September I spent a month in the Can Serrat writing residence in Spain, working on my poetry. My love for all things creative, and the many ways in which they can be interpreted brought me into the GCP programme as a member of the Cafe des Arts team. 

I have done work on creative translation, as well as worked with the Richardson Institute of Peace Studies. I hope that as part of the GCP I will be able to present new and interesting ideas, as well as participate in global discussions around art and creativity. 

Yu-Hung Tien

MA in Romantic and Victorian Literary Studies

Cafe des Arts team member

Hi! I am Yu-Hung Tien (Henry). I am at present doing a Masters in English Studies here and just graduated from National Chengchi University back in Taiwan. I love travelling, and that’s why I have spent a summer in UC Berkeley and a term in Shanghai to explore different cultures and meet people from all around the world. 

Photography is also my life! So whenever you need someone to go for a photo trip, just feel free to let me know!

I am really happy to be a part of GCP during this academic year and I am looking forward to providing new insights into art with the College in the year with all of you!



Phoebe Coles

MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy

Cafe Politique team member

Hi my name is Phoebe and I study the MSc Defence, Development and Diplomacy programme at Durham University. As an addition to my studies, I am also a Café Politique scholar for Ustinov College’s Global Citizenship Programme. I help organise events related to the political field; for example in the Michaelmas Term, we hosted a successful event regarding the United States Midterm Elections.
This position is very rewarding as it acts as a supplement to my studies, and I help encourage the pursuit of world affair and political knowledge. Moreover, through the programme we aim encourage students to think about what it means to be a global citizen and how one can contribute to society in their own way. Additionally, our team is multi-disciplinary which allows for varied interpretations and insight of political issues. I studied my undergraduate degree in law and I feel that those who do not study politics or international relations will also enjoy and benefit from attending our seminars.

I look forward to seeing you at our next seminar series event!