Ustinov Global Citizenship Programme

Scholars and Volunteers 2017 – 2018

Iqbal Ahmed

PhD Human Geography

Café Politique

My name is Iqbal Ahmed and I am a PhD candidate in Human Geography from Bangladesh. I am investigating the lives of the urban child workers in Dhaka, the capital city. I truly believe in advocating for change in people’s lives through developmental interventions. Although my work focuses on a specific city, the issues – health, education, nutrition, security, etc. – of urban child workers are global. As much as these issues are personal to the children, they are also inherently political.

Through my research I hope to utilise my experience and knowledge to engage with Café Pol to foreground debates and discussions that affect our lives. I believe Café Pol is an excellent platform of introducing issues that we sometimes neglect to discuss. To this end, my intention is to work with other Café Pol colleagues to introduce and engage with issues that would bring together various constituents and stakeholders. To me, Global Citizenship means being part of a community that cares about issues that are not just near and similar to us but those that are afar and asymmetrical. This also means global citizenship is about taking collective actions, both locally and globally, to bring about positive changes.

Faryal Arif

MA Visual Arts and Cultures

UIF (Ustinov Intercultural Forum)

I am Faryal Arif and I am from Karachi, Pakistan. I research and travel in the Northern Areas of Pakistan that have communities settled between world highest mountain ranges. My love for travelling and exploration brings me to Ustinov Intercultural Forum as a GCP scholar, which  will give me a better opportunity to build dialogues, understand and make new friends with people from various cultural backgrounds and thoughts.

Enrolled as a postgraduate in Visual Arts and Cultures program, I’ll get to exercise some of the practical aspects of my degree through the Global Citizenship’s provided platforms. I am hoping to be a GCP scholar will play a defining role in sculpting my career and personality. I Look forward to my academic experience at Durham to be one of the most memorable and productive times in my life.

Faizan Awan

MSc Management

Café des Arts

My name is Faizan and I study MSc Management (International Business). My academic background prior to Ustinov College was at King’s College London in Economics and Politics. My extra-curricular experience is mainly within King’s respective Politics and Economics & Finance societies as well as leading the performance-based Battle Rap & Spoken Word Society.

In my view, Global Citizenship in the university context involves establishing independent platforms for unbiased and distinct dialogue between all individuals at Ustinov College regardless of ones heritage and socioeconomic background. For any arts, politics or interdisciplinary GCP event suggestions email me at:

Victoria Baker

MA Visual Arts and Culture

Café des Arts

My name is Victoria Baker and I am currently studying for an MA in Visual Arts and Culture. This is my chosen area of academic study as I truly believe in the power of art and the visual, and how different platforms for art-whether that be performance, fine art, spoken or written word- can provide a forum for sharing values and beliefs, and make a genuine difference to our local and global communities.

Throughout the coming year I am excited to put my theoretical knowledge of art and its impact into practise with the café des arts, and work on projects which bring the international Ustinov community, and the wider university community together with the local residents of Durham together. To me, Global Citizenship means understanding that we live in a connected global society and that our actions have an impact upon those who live in different parts of the world- it relies upon an appreciation of and respect for our world, and those with whom we share it. This goes hand in hand with the power of art, and its ability to unite.

Chi-Hsun Chen

MA Politics and International Relations

Café Politique

My name is Chi-Hsun Chen. Taiwan, my hometown, is a small nation and is usually excluded from the international political society. Sometimes people in Taiwan don’t even regard themselves as Global Citizens. The same situation might take place in many countries which are not willing to participate in global issues, but I don’t agree with this passive view of denying Global Citizenship. In fact, all of us are ALREADY GLOBAL CITIZENS, regardless of what we have done for the globe. Global Citizenship is about mankind, just considering the human rights and justice within one’s hometown is already an act of Global Citizenship. What we do in Ustinov College and the Global Citizenship Programme is to share our experiences and thoughts with each other.

Emine  Gürbüz

PhD Psychology

Café Sci

My name is Emine Gürbüz. I am a second year PhD student in Psychology and I am from Turkey. My PhD research focuses on the social and academic experiences of university students with Autism in UK. I am a member of Café Scientifique and this is my second year in Global Citizenship Programme (GCP). In addition to my particular interest in autism, I try to contribute to projects where I could disseminate science to anyone with a professional or personal interest in science. This creates a platform where people could come together, share their experiences, and discuss about science. Science outreach projects with local community schools are just one example of this platform where we both learn from each other via sharing experiences and thoughts in science. GCP, Café Scientifique in particular, has given me the opportunity to be a part of an inspiring group of people from all different age groups and backgrounds. I am looking forward to the new experiences of being a GCP member this year!

Nadin Hassan

MA Museum and Artefact Studies

Café des Arts

My name is Nadin Hassan. I am Egyptian-Canadian, and have been fortunate enough to experience both worlds growing up. This along with my studies in humanities and history have sparked my curiosity towards different histories, cultural practices, and religions, along with their cultural representations. This year I am studying an MA in Museum and Artefact Studies, and I am passionate about learning how to play a role in education and public programming. I believe in using museums and cultural heritage sites as platforms to introduce the public to different perspectives and encourage open dialogue about contentious histories and cultural assumptions. These could be powerful tools to discuss the effects of colonial ventures, the experiences of marginalized communities, the formation of identity, and the implications of shifting international relations.

Kunyang He

MA Creative Writing

UIF (Ustinov Intercultural Forum)

Hi, I am Kunyang He. I am studying a master’s degree in creative writing here at Durham University. I am a Chinese writer writing in English, passionate about teaching, filmmaking, and bridging different cultures and people together. My last published novel was about an overseas Chinese students in an imaginary university town in the United States.

I think Global Citizenship Program strikes a blow for a much-needed change in the international community. Though the world is increasingly connected in terms of economy and politics, culture assimilation is largely left behind. The lack of a common culture is one of the major causes for ethno-national and cultural conflicts. The GCP provides a platform where active members are welcome to participate in and create intercultural events and team projects. Through these themed activities, we bring understanding and diversity to our original communities, helping us recognize bigotry, prejudice, and exploring new ways of enriching our humanity.

Marianna Iliadou

PhD Law (Human Rights)

Café Politique

My name is Marianna Iliadou and I am from Greece. Since October 2016, I have been 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. I like to consider myself a global citizen, because of my experience from studying and living in different countries. I am fully aware though that not everyone has the chance to travel and ‘explore’ the world. 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 that each of us has an important role in shaping it.

Connie Kwong

PhD Geography

UIF (Ustinov Intercultural Forum)

After completing BSocSc and MPhil in Geography at the University of Hong Kong, I am here in Durham to pursue my PhD in Geography, focusing on the geography of responsibility and volunteer tourism in Asia. My other research interests include everyday practices, construction of identity, tourism and development in Asia, and host-guest relationship and cultural issues in sustainable tourism development. I am looking for opportunities to work with NGOs for community development. I am also very passionate about food, cooking and travelling. Global Citizenship is not static for me; it’s rather fluid. It’s a process of understanding, searching, developing and recognising the identity or associated roles and responsibilities. It undergoes negotiation, and embraces diversity and differences. Everyone can be a global citizen, but it should not be an identity imposed by others.

Giorgio Manzoni

PhD Astrophysics

Café Scientifique

Hi there, I am Giorgio, I am from Italy and this is my first year PhD in Astrophysics here in Durham. I am part of the Global Citizen Program (GCP) because I want to fully exploit the multicultural environment that the University and College life may offer in this beautiful city.

My life is driven by curiosity; beyond my career in astrophysics, I love social psychology. I love wondering about human behaviour and to consider which is the main driver of our choices. Does society have a dominant role in what we are? Why do we behave differently at different ages? I would love to discuss with you all about it!

I also love outreach and the challenge to make astronomy understandable to people who have never studied it, but just wonder about the sky. If you don’t like numbers but you think that the Universe is fascinating, you are the right person to come and have a chat with me!

Ayten Oyku Okumus

MSc Educational Assessment

Café des Arts

My name is Ayten Oyku Okumus. I come from Turkey and I am studying for an MSc in Educational Assessment. I taught mathematics in high schools before undertaking my Master’s degree. My particular interest as an educator is to provide an environment within which all of my students have equal opportunities. This interest has led me to doing a Master’s degree so that I may learn methods of and provide a basis for evaluating students in a more fair and transparent way. 

I think of global citizenship as an extended version of being part of a classroom (in teaching setting). In the classroom, it does not matter about your students’ nationalities, their economic statuses, their race or their colour. All of the students must have the same rights and opportunities, independent of their backgrounds. Global citizenship works in the same way as my classroom metaphor. Global citizenship and the rights and responsibilities of global citizens comes from being the part of the world we are living in without leaving nationalities and values behind. I want to be part of GCP, Cafe des Art in particular, this year in order to learn more about global citizenship, and to be able to use what I will learn in my small classroom setting in the future.

James O’Neill

PhD History/Modern Languages and Culture

Café des Arts

Hi, I’m James O’Neill, from the UK. I’m studying in the second year of my PhD in history on themes of the metamorphosis of identity in early renaissance Italy through the lens of one text, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. I was the Café des Arts team lead 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 our next event or exhibition seminar!

Matthew Roberts

MAR Archaeology

GCP Coordinator

My name is Matthew Roberts, and I am acting as the Global Citizenship Programme Coordinator 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.

Farah Naureen Samuel

MSc Energy & Society

Café des Arts

I am Farah Naureen Samuel from the land of hospitality – Pakistan. Am a nature enthusiast who believes everything surrounding us is a well thought through, epic piece of creativity. I am studying Energy & Society at Durham and am a Commonwealth Scholar. Being a part of the Global Citizenship Programme, I look at myself as an agent towards the desired change within communities that will come about through collaborative thinking and a progressive approach. Through GCP, I aim at working closely with other scholars from different parts of the world to build synergies, to become support systems for each other and to build on each other’s strengths and complement weaknesses.
In the past, I have worked as a development practitioner in Pakistan and have a strong experience of 6 years in events organisation and management and outreach programmes. I will be representing the social media for Café des Arts and will be closely working with the team to mark its social media footprint. I look forward to making Durham my second home and to become a progressive leader in the years to come.

Trishla Singh

PhD English Literature

Café des Arts

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. 

Ayako Terui

MSc Marketing

UIF (Ustinov Intercultural Forum)

Hello all! I’m Ayako Terui, a student of MSc Marketing. I have lived and studied in Tokyo these last four years, and now I’m very excited to live in this beautiful city. As for my masters here, I’m interested in international communication, environmental issues, and data analysis for marketing. Since my passions spread to such broad themes (and marketers need to have a wiser perspective), I believe volunteering with the GCP will give me value beyond my school lectures. Moreover, I hope to make a lot of friends from all around the world, hoping to enrich my life experience. Japan is such a beautiful country, but I would say lacks this diversity, and is part of the reason why I am happy to participate in the Global Citizenship Programme. Apart from my academic history/interests, I enjoy sports (jogging, tennis, badminton), coffee breaks, and films! I hope to see many of you in Durham.

Jarno Valimaki

MSc Arab World Studies

Café Politique

I am Jarno, born and raised in Finland, where I used to think I knew English language and culture. Moving to London in 2013 taught me how little I actually understood. Getting immersed in the language and culture opened countless of new views and possibilities, and altered my identity. I am currently studying Arab World Studies, the process which is again providing me with similar opportunities. This is the major part of what Global Citizenship means to me. It is not about travelling extensively nor is it about having a ‘global identity’. It is about embracing the pluralism in the world, and the willingness to learn from others and critically reflect one’s own being in the world. The same inspiration can be seen in my studies, as I concentrate on identity politics and Islamic political thought in the Middle East, which helps me understand myself as much as those I study. In GCP, whether it is facilitating global interaction through Matariki Student Forum, or organising events with a wide range of topics in Café Politique, I wish to offer everyone a chance to reconsider their assumptions and world view through glimpses into this pluralism.

Jiunn Wang

PhD Economics

Café Politique

I am currently working towards a PhD in economics. My research interests lie between macroeconomics and public economics, especially in the topics of government policies and social welfare. My PhD thesis mainly explores the theories behind taxation and health related policies, and the optimal policies for the government to improve the levels of both welfare and population health. Globalisation has affected the world in so many ways, including the process of policy making. Implementing the idea of global citizenship could be a way to respond to globalisation, but it is definitely not the only choice for policy makers. I would like to broaden my knowledge to other disciplines and to learn more about the interaction between policies and globalisation from different perspectives.  

Jessica Watters

MSc Paleopathology

Café Scientifique

My name is Jessica Watters. I chose to be a part of the Global Citizenship Program having spent some of my gap year travelling which took me around the world meeting people from everywhere around the world, something which I want to carry on into my time here at Durham. I have a real passion for community and skills outreach coming from a community background in archaeology, something Cafe Sci is aiming to carry on again this year. I’m really excited for the year ahead and can’t wait to see what the GCP can achieve. 

Jacqueline You

PhD Management

UIF (Ustinov Intercultural Forum)

My name is Jacqueline You. My research interests primarily include strategic alliance, inter-organisational relations, organisational culture and identity, and organisational resilience, in particular as concerns global supply chains. My research draws on critically oriented theoretical traditions, including critical discourse analysis, open system theory, resource-dependence theory, and institutional theory, in order to theorise and empirically investigate how inter-organisational relations and organisational culture interact, in shaping resilience in global supply chain networks. 

Prior to my PhD, I worked for multinational corporations in a variety of positions in China, The United States, France, Canada and The United Kingdom. These wide-ranging personal experiences including working, travelling and living in different countries and cultures, have influenced the way in which I perceive ‘Global Citizens’ as being the outcome of interactions of social actors across national borders and through the sharing of language, culture and power, either broadly-based or more selectively.  

Shilu Yu

MSc Finance (Accounting and Finance)

UIF (Ustinov Intercultural Forum)

Hi, I’m Shilu Yu and I’m pursuing my Master’s degree in Finance (Accounting and Finance) in Durham. I like running, reading and travelling. I’m very glad to be a volunteer in the UIF (Ustinov Intercultural Forum) team because I want to help (even if a little help) build a more inclusive and multicultural environment for the College and even the University. It is here that students including me can obtain more opportunities to communicate with others from different cultural and academic backgrounds, having a better understanding about other regions, cultures, and the world that we’re living in.

From my perspective, global citizenship means that everyone is part of our globe, regardless of his or her nationality, race, color and other factors that make a person unique. Every global citizen should be given equal rights and has to take corresponding responsibilities. As students, we should realize that we’re all global citizens and find ways to improve our understanding about the words “global citizenship”. We should treat people in an equal, harmonious environment and analyze problems from global perspectives.

Leah Zou

MSc Management

Café Politique

My name is Leah Zou, and I am pursuing MSc Management after graduating with LLB Law from the University of Leeds. In my perspective, being a global citizen is not simply about having the awareness of global issues. It requires understanding of the role’s purposes, and possessing the willingness to promote both development and equality in the modern world. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I have actively volunteered in assisting the people who are underprivileged in the justice system, and reviewing cases of convictions for prisoners who have claimed to suffer from miscarriages of justice. This year, I look forward to further my belief by being a part of the team to cultivate and advance global citizenship with the wider community. I sincerely hope that we can all make a difference to the world through empowerment – believing the power within ourselves, as well as empowering others to join the initiative.