Global Induction Session

This Room contains all materials, announcements, and discussions related to the Global Induction Session which will take place on Tuesday June 9th at 3PM BST. 

Introduce yourself here!

Started 4 months ago

Hi everyone,

Please introduce yourself to the global Laidlaw community in this thread - let's get to know each other better ahead of the Global Induction Session!

Here is a template you can use to tell us a bit about yourself:

My name is: ______ (pronouns)

I study _______ [course/major] at ________ [university]

I am from: ______

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: _______

My research is about: ______

I chose this research topic because: _______

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: ________

One thing about me that surprises people: ________

My 'leader crush' is: _______ because ________

Ask me about: _________   I'd love to connect with someone who: __________

If you are an alum or already completed your first research summer - share some advice! What do you wish you knew before starting your research? What is the most valuable thing you learnt from your experience? 

I'm excited to meet you all and hear your stories! 

Not a scholar, but here is a mine to get the ball rolling!

My name is: Nikol (she/her)

I studied BSc Human Sciences at UCL (graduated in 2019)

I am from: Almaty, Kazakhstan

My university dissertation was about exploring the effects of hospital design on patient discovery. I chose this topic because I am passionate about design and I wanted to investigate how it can be used to improve the healthcare system.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: listen to podcasts (faves: Design Matters with Debbie Millman, Reply All, Philosophize This, StartUp), swim, take photographs.

One thing about me that surprises people: I am quarter Korean

My 'leader crush' is Liv Little because of her work with gal-dem.

Ask me about: the Laidlaw Scholars Network, design, anthropology, the faraway unfamiliar land of Kazakhstan, LGBT+, RuPaul's Drag Race :)

Hi!

My name is: Matthew  (he/him)

I am studying Anthropology & Sociology (BA) at Durham University, UK (2019-2022)

I am from: Bristol, UK

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: March 2020

My research is about: Oral histories; primarily on the process by which events (in this case geological) have been accurately recorded through spoken word over up to 10,000 years - before the earliest writing systems.

I chose this research topic because: I am fascinated by literature and language, particularly early Anglo-European tales from Beowulf to Chaucer; many are supposed to have continued as 'campfire' stories or similar, with 'legend' evolving from 'worth writing down' - researching further the mechanics and neurological processes behind communication is intriguing to me! I am also interested in the application and further development of this research, for example in digital media exchanges and narratives, political discourse, and human-machine interaction. 

When I'm not studying/working, I enjoy: Hiking and travel, rowing, reading, and sketching (also interested in mixing social science with architecture and design)

One thing about me that surprises people: I am a qualified lifeguard.

My 'leader crush' is: Honestly I'm unlikely to idolise any single leader, but many fictional leaders have traits that are worth developing - Jean-Luc Picard would be a good example.

Ask me about: Anthropology, Social & Cognitive Science, design, collaborative work, current affairs - and the UK

I'd like to connect with someone who is: creative and interested in research, whether interdisciplinary in nature or considering a similar subject from a new angle.

 

My name is: Josh/Joshua (he/him).

I study Chemistry at Durham University.

I am from: Sheffield, UK.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020.

My research is about: The attempted transamidation and/or cleavage of amides with amino anions.

I chose this research topic because: Amide bonds are notoriously tough so finding something that can break them is quite challenging. It will be cool if these methods can be used for protein synthesis as this will have loads of real-world applications for everything from medicines to polymer synthesis.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Organise events for my student societies, watch documentaries (and re-watch Peep Show), and make memes.

One thing about me that surprises people: I got my own name tattooed on me.

My 'leader crush' is: Nelson Mandela because after all that he went through he chose to work to make the world a better place for others rather than hide away from it.

Ask me about: Chemistry specifically or the other sciences in general; or if you would prefer something a bit more out there, ask me about my theory of how the universe only exists as a concept. I'd love to connect with someone who: Has experience with chemical synthesis.

Hey everyone! Thanks for starting this Nikol. 

My name is: Jude (he/him)

I study Psychology at Durham university 

I am from: Liverpool, UK

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: March 2020

My research is about perceptions of gender identity and gender stereotypes in transgender people, and how these perceptions correlate with their wellbeing levels. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to draw, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, and travel.

One thing about me that surprises people: I worked as an ESL teacher and in mental health care, before coming to university.

My 'leader crush' is Rocco Kayiatos- an activist, educator, and community builder for transgender people. He started 'The Intentional Man Project' which builds community for trans and cis men. Rocco inspires me on a personal and professional level.

Ask me about: cool artists to follow on Instagram, being a trans ally, collaborating, or what it’s like to teach.

I'd love to connect with someone who is doing research in Psychology or, a bit random, someone who knows how to code- as I would love to collaborate on an app idea I have!

My name is: Emma (she/her)

I studied LL.B in Law at Durham University (graduated in 2019), and am now studying the Legal Practice Course in preparation for starting a training contract in London later this year.

I am from: Bergen, Norway.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2017.

My research was about: Business' requirements to disclose their efforts to fight modern slavery in supply chains, and whether these disclosures have any impact on the prevalence of modern slavery in supply chains.

I chose this research topic because: I'm a firm believer in purpose as well as profit in business, and wanted to see whether the legislative frameworks we have in place to help consumers identify responsible businesses are fit for purpose.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: visit historic buildings, bake Nordic bakes, and spend time with my beautiful nieces.

One thing about me that surprises people: My first job was as a clarinet teacher, where I taught 7/8-year-olds enough clarinet to be able to play in the local marching band.

My 'leader crush' is: Sarah Gordon, Chief Executive of the Impact Investing Institute because she has used her expertise from several fields to make a positive impact in another.

Ask me about: careers in commercial law, sustainable business, growing up in multiple countries, podcasts (I really recommend Harry Potter and the Sacred Text) and making greener fashion choices.

I'd love to connect with someone who: is passionate about business doing good, interested in using data to effect change, and wants to lend a hand to help others.

My advice to new/current Scholars: Think big when considering how you would like to use your research and experiences in the future. Where can you leverage your research and leadership capabilities to make the biggest? What format will your outputs need to be in to be most digestible to your target audience? Which skills will you need to develop to reach your goals? Bear these things in mind when making decisions on which opportunities to take and how to manage your projects.

Hi everyone, my name is: Giammarco (He/him)

I study Psychology at Durham University

I am from Rome, Italy

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020

My research is about our social identities and the way they interact with our possible selves to drive our self-control.

I chose this research topic because I hope to find out the origin of the underachievement observed on a global scale among children growing up in children’s homes.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: read, take photographs, walk in the wood, and spend time with my beautiful friends.

One thing about me that surprises people: my first job was a dental technician.

My 'leader crush' is: Mother Theresa for her strong sense of care and compassion towards whoever felt unwanted, unloved, and uncared in their society, and Martin Luther King for his courage for his ability to educate, inspire and inform unborn generations.

Ask me about: photography, indie rock bands, meditation, Psychology, diversity and inclusion.

I'd love to connect with someone who: is a passionate dreamer, committed to make this world a better place.  

Hi everyone,

My name is: Yibin Liu

I study Economics at University College London

I am from China

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020

My research is about: student satisfaction

I chose this research topic because It's closely related to my life. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to travel, cook, and hanging out with my friends.

One thing about me that surprises people:  I am a qualified boxing judge and I was also in the teenage shooting team in my city. (I always look tiny and quiet so that surprises people hahahahaha)

My 'leader crush' is Enlai Zhou because of his passion and love for bringing us out of war and poverty.  He is knowledgeable but he is always humble.

Ask me about: traveling, cooking, culture.  I'd love to connect with anyone who is friendly!

 

Hello everyone and thank you Nikol for preparing this!

My name is: Chaima (she/her)

I study Politics and Sociology at UCL

I am from: Turin, Italy 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: March 2020

My research is about: foreign language structures and reforms in European countries and how speaking foreign languages impacts our political behaviour and choices, making us feel more European.

I chose this research topic because: I found the correlation between foreign language learning and a more pro-European and open mindset really interesting.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: travel, take photographs, debate, organise events, and swim. 

One thing about me that surprises people: I have three nationalities and can speak six languages (hence also why I chose this research project).

My 'leader crush' is: I don't think I have a specific 'crush' but rather a lot of models to follow, ranging from my teachers to more popular people. 

Ask me about: traveling, politics, debating, European and foreign affairs, the European Youth Parliament, and much more – I'm open to everything!

I'd love to connect with someone who: shares my interests but who can also give me a different perspective from my own.

Hi everyone,

My name is: Roisin (she/her)

I study Neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin

I am from: Rural Ireland

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2019

My research is about: The benefits of exercise on the brain with a particular focus on the role of inflammation

I chose this research topic because: I am really fascinated in the bidirectional communications between the immune system and the nervous system. My project allowed me to combine this interest with my passion of exercise/sports (predominantly horse related sports), to investigate how regular exercise can modulate these two systems and influence behaviour as a result.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Ride horses, read and watch far too many films/series.

One thing about me that surprises people: I never studied biology before my second year in university.

My 'leader crush' is: I look up to quite a few people for different aspects of their leadership style. I really admire those with passion, a strong work ethic and most importantly good communication skills.

Ask me about: Questions on any topic are welcome, however, I neuroscience and horses are what I know the most about. 

I'd love to connect with someone who wants to teach me about something they are passionate about. I'd also love to connect with people who share similar interests.

As I completed my first summer of research last year I would be more than happy to answer any questions new scholars may have. I can say without a doubt that The Laidlaw Scholarship has been the best part of my college experience to date. The amount I have learned has been phenomenal. The friendships I've made are incomparable. The personal development I have experienced is beyond what I ever imagined I could achieve.

My advice to new scholars would be to throw yourself into the whole experience. Remember that no one is expecting you to have all the answers. This is a timeframe in which you have the very best people around you all dedicated to supporting your learning. Just take in as much information as you can and enjoy the experience. 

My name is: Sebastian (he/him)

I study Biochemical Engineering at UCL

I am from: Trinidad & Tobago (Caribbean)

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: Growing Mesenchymal Stem Cells

I chose this research topic because: I'm interested in making stem cell therapy (and medicine in general) cheaper and gaining practical research skills

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Read and walk outside

One thing about me that surprises people: I have a black belt in karate

My 'leader crush' is: Nelson Mandela because when he emerged after 27 years in prison he had the power to take revenge into his own hands, but he chose to operate by principle over human emotion, and birthed a better South Africa for all.

Ask me about: Politics. I'd love to connect with someone who: is passionate about public health (especially in the developing world).

 

This is my first summer as a Laidlaw scholar - really looking forward to what the future holds!

Hey!

Thanks so much Nikol for putting this together.

My name is: Maria (she/her)

I study Philosophy and Politics at the University of York (2019-2022)

I am from: Greece

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: Incorporating existentialist ideas into climate change policy 

I chose this research topic because: Climate change is one of the most severe issues of our generation and the choices we'll make now will affect future generations. We have to take collective action and think of different ways to make climate policies effective.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Play the cello, swim, take long walks, read, listen to music

One thing about me that surprises people: I was a synchronized swimmer for 10 years

My 'leader crush' is: I don't have anyone specific in mind, I see people all around me who make very significant positive contributions to our society, small or big.

Ask me about: Environmental issues, Philosophy, films, music etc.   I'd love to connect with anyone who is interested in sharing ideas and likes good conversation.

 

Really looking forward to meeting everyone!

 

My name is Preksha. (she/her)

I study BE Mechatronics and Robotics at University of Leeds.

I am from Bangalore, India.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020.

My research is about creating a careers app for physics students to explore the range of careers and opportunities they can pursue with their degree.

I chose this research topic because I enjoy programming and wanted to help students better understand their options and be prepared for life outside of university.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to read novels, watch anime, spend time with animals, listen to music and hang out with friends.

One thing about me that surprises people: I used to volunteer at a veterinarian clinic.

I don't particularly have a single person for my 'leader crush', but I admire Sudha Murthy. She was the first female engineer hired by TATA and is the chairperson and founder of Infosys Foundation. She is also an author.

Ask me about robotics, coding, fiction/fantasy novels, anime and much more. I'm open to anything!

I'd love to connect with someone who is passionate about robotics, sustainability, biomimetics or anyone who would like to share ideas and enjoys an engaging conversation.

My name is Gwendoline (she/her) and I study Philosophy and German at St Andrews in Scotland. 

I am from Hong Kong and moved to London in 2013. 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020. 

My research is about how German colonialism has been publicly remembered. 

I chose this research topic because of both personal and academic motivations. Unlike other Empires, the German Empire has not been as well-researched for a multitude of reasons. I was curious to explore why this was the case, and the implications of these factors on current German identity politics. 

When I'm not studying, I love to dance, cook and garden.

One thing about me that surprises people is that I'm a big ice hockey fan.

My 'leader crush' is Michelle Obama for her empathy and grace.

Ask me about the NHL, Chinese food, ballet and my papaya trees! I'd love to connect with fellow hockey fans and anyone who's willing to share some recipes with me! 

My name is: Miriam (she/her) and I study Psychology BSc at the University of York (2019-2022). 

I am from: North Wales. 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: Autism Spectrum Disorder in females and the role that other mental health problems play in the diagnosis journey.

I chose this research topic because: It is a subject both personally and professionally that I am interested in due to having seen an effect of other mental health problems on the diagnosis of ASD in some of my female friends. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: play my instruments (the flute and saxophone) in a variety of bands, cook, and also walk my dog. 

One thing about me that surprises people: is that I can speak three languages. 

My 'leader crush' is: Jacinda Ardern at the minute because of the way she has dealt with the global pandemic. 

Ask me about: psychology, music, dogs and cooking. I'd love to connect with someone who: is passionate about their subject and willing to hear about mine, and who shares similar interests. 

My name is Pierrick (he/him).

I study Biology MBiol at the University of York (2018-2022).

I am from France and Singapore.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020.

My research is about testing new drugs for Huntington's disease.

I chose this research topic because there are currently no treatments for Huntington's, even though it is one of the most common and devastating neurological disorders out there. I hope that my work will help strengthen efforts to reverse disease course for Huntington's patients and help them to avoid the worst.

When I'm not studying/working, I'm usually playing college sports, reading modern classics, marching for Fridays for Future, volunteering at a food bank or out clubbing with friends.

One thing about me that surprises people is that I'm half Asian. I know it doesn't seem like it, but I swear I am.

My 'leader crush' is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because she isn't afraid to stand up against the status quo and confident in bringing about real change and fresh leadership, even if, to many people, that seems too hard. Her drive to do things right is inspiring, and it's even more impressive given the fact she has managed to get herself to the top despite the obstacles of having grown up poor and being a Latina woman in America.

Ask me about neuroscience, books, Extinction Rebellion, and world politics.

I'd love to connect with someone excited about bringing about bold positive change in their field through research.

My name is: Yuki (she/her)

I study Psychology and Economics at the University of St Andrews.

I am from: Munich, Germany

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: music psychology. I'm investigating different attentional techniques to find out which allows for the best musical performance.

I chose this research topic because: it's something very personal to me as a piano player, and was generally a topic I found very interesting.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: do sports, particularly Basketball, or practice my Spanish.

One thing about me that surprises people: I've been playing piano for over 12 years.

My 'leader crush' is: I don't necessarily have one specific leader crush, because as some of you have pointed out there are so many leaders in various communities that are influential in their own way. I would say the leadership style I most admire (and want to emulate myself) is one that can ensure the optimal outcome of a task while still maintaining the wellbeing of everyone in the team.

Ask me about: Germany, my research, moving to a different culture, or Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience! I'd love to connect with someone who: is also learning Spanish, or whose research is in a field I'm totally unfamiliar with.

My name is: Areesha Imaan Siddiqui (she/her)

I study a double major in Psychology and Anthropology with a minor in French at the University of Toronto

I am from: Ascot, England 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020. This is my first year as a scholar and it's pretty exciting!

My research is a qualitative study and policy review of homelessness for women in Toronto. Homelessness is prevalent all over the world and is applicable to so many without discrimination and yet, a lot of the research and media focuses on only male homelessness. Women have a shadow existence in homelessness that isn't talked about and because of this, they don't get as much support, help and funding. My research aims to create an archive of articles, media, research studies and government policies to raise awareness of female homelessness but, also, to understand the social and cultural process that make their re-integration into society difficult. 

I chose this research topic because this is something that I see in every place I visit and it hurts my heart to not be able to help. I chose this research topic to increase my own knowledge of the subject but, also raise awareness so that the people can get the help they need; whether that be in the form of more donations or, policy changes. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to paint (any type of art really), read (read so much), watch TV/movies whilst quoting them randomly and bake! 

One thing about me that surprises people is that I have a black belt in karate. 

My 'leader crush' is: Emma Watson because she's just an inspiration in all her social justice and equality movements. I have many people that I look up to, some of them fictional but, I still think that they embody qualities that that I strive to have. 

Ask me about: Books or any TV shows/movies, languages (esp. French), travelling, psychology or anything really! I'd love to connect with someone who has similar interests or someone who's area of expertise is different from mine. I would love to learn something new about all the many amazing subjects out there. 

My name is: Amy (she/her)

I study Computer Science at Durham University.

I am from: Leeds, England

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: Spring 2020

My research is about: developing a piece of educational technology using an adaptive hypermedia system. The system will be implemented using augmented reality.

I chose this research topic because: I have always been interested in education, particularly Computer Science education and the use of technology in education. This kind of educational technology has the potential to have many real world applications.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: read, sew and knit. 

One thing about me that surprises people is that I have played Bridge at the House of Lords.

My 'leader crush' is: Ada Lovelace because she fought for her right to be educated in maths and Computer Science. As well as making advances in her field, she arguably paved the way for Women in Technology and there are many awards and events in her honour. 

Ask me about my research, my hobbies or anything Computer Science related. I'd love to connect with someone who is passionate about their research. There are so many fascinating projects that I'd love to learn more about.

My name is: Zsófia Benedek (she/her)

I study Film and Television Production [course/major] at York [university]

I am from: Üröm, Hungary

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: March 2020

My research is about: How memories and stories are shown in cinema and TV and how the audiences opinion can be manipulated by audio-visual creative choices.

I chose this research topic because: I strongly believe that film-making has the ability to change the world by opening up humanity's eyes to the stories and the lives we like to ignore. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: listen to music, explore new places, read, do parkour and have interesting conversations with anyone who's up for it

One thing about me that surprises people: 

My 'leader crush' is: Giles Campbell-Longley because he managed to build a life on his passion while contributing so much to the ever-growing community of parkour and helped others to achieve what they dreamed of that would've been impossible otherwise.

Ask me about: languages, exercise, photography, motivation, travel, positivity

I'd love to connect with someone who: likes to travel and get out of their comfort zone to experience and see more of what's there to life.

My name is Ed/Edward (he/him).

I study Biological Sciences at Durham University.

I am from Cardiff, Wales.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in March 2019.

My research is about the potential of global climate change to affect the nature-based income of developing countries in the tropics.

I chose my research topic because of my passion for the topics of conservation, conservation management, and global issues concerning biodiversity protection, including climate change. Wildlife-based tourism is essential in providing for the conservation of biodiversity alongside the maintenance of local communities in developing countries. Hence, I am also fascinated by the use of climate change projections to provide important, pre-emptive, information for developing countries to apply in order to endure, or even profit from, its effects.

When I am not studying, I really enjoy running, hiking and anything nature-related! I also spend a lot of my time reading and have been recording these books for the last few years (here: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/68948740-edward-hart)

One thing about me that surprises people is that I have an outdoor first aid qualification (specialising in mountain injuries).

My ‘leader crush’ is Chris Packham because not only does he instil his passion for nature in others, he also strives to overcome his disabilities in order to be a leader in his field, inspiring me to overcome mine as well.

Ask me about being a disabled student (physical disability), hiking, books, environmental issues (I know most about those relating to ecology, such as climate change and deforestation), natural history or long-distance running.

I would love to connect with someone who has a similar interests and a passion for the environment and people that would like to teach me what they are passionate about!

My name is: Isaac (He/Him)

I study Philosophy and International Relations at the University of St Andrews

I am from: Cambridgeshire, England 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: The construction and role of political identities, especially in those not engaged in mainstream political activity. 

I chose this research topic because: Unfortunately there are too many people who choose not to engage in traditional politics (take voter turnout as an example). Understanding this disengagement in terms of political identities could be an important step in fixing this.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Read, run and watch films

One thing about me that surprises people: I was a cathedral boy chorister for five years as a child.

My 'leader crush' is: Sir Simon Rattle. There are so many types of great leader in so many varying contexts but I think a musical director like Simon Rattle most clearly demonstrates an ability to cultivate passion in a team whilst working towards specific goals. 

Ask me about: Political philosophy,   I'd love to connect with someone who: has an interest in political identities or has any expereinces of/about political disengagement. Also anyone with interests in other areas of philosophy.

Hi everyone :)

My name is: Joel (he/him)

I study Ethics, Law and Society at the University of Toronto. 

I am from: Toronto, Canada

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: March 2020

My research is about: the American media portrayal of veiled Muslim women from 2001 and onward. 

I chose this research topic because: I've always been interested in the construction of stereotypes and social identity. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: take photos and play the flute

One thing about me that surprises people: I was born in Italy!

My 'leader crush' is: I've never had a leader crush, but I tend to admire leaders that see the value in their team and prioritize a high degree of engagement. 

Ask me about: political science. I'd love to connect with someone who is interested in art and society as well as English literature. 

My name is Nathaniel (he/him).

I study Classics and Philosophy at the University of Leeds.

I am from Cheshire.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020.

My research is about the historical impact of EU membership on British foreign policy and diplomacy.

I chose this research topic because I am fascinated by international relations and aspire to do a masters in diplomacy, followed by a career in the diplomatic service.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to spend the evenings at live music events. I have a number of jazz bars and venues that I like, but I also have a soft-spot for classical music.

One thing about me that surprises people is that despite acting like one at times, I am not actually a 40-year-old man!

My 'leader crush' is currently Jack Welch because of his emphasis on candour and integrity as key elements in good corporate leadership.

Ask me about politics/diplomacy/history/philosophy, or let's just have a chat about music and the rugby!

I'd love to connect with someone who is fired up about their project just like me.

Using the generic template provided for the most part,

My name is: Darsh Manoj

I study Computer Science and Mathematics at University of St Andrews
I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2019
My research is about: looking at performance optimisations and how they affect run-time performance of applications (most likely to go multithreaded this summer!)
I chose this research topic because: I like benchmarking and the art of measuring performance of a system, and low-level, systems programming, architecture and operating systems.
When I'm not studying/working, I like to: read a lot and do competitive programming.
One thing about me that surprises people: If you know me very well, I'll send you a birthday challenge on your day. And many get surprised when I say that I did not use a smartphone till I went to university.
My 'leader crush' is: No one in particular because each person is unique.
Ask me about: anything CS (especially low-level and algorithms) or maths.  I'd love to connect with someone who: likes CS or Maths or competitive programming (but anyone really!)

My name is: Molly Chung (she/her)

I study Mathematics at the University of St Andrews.

I am from: South East England

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2019

My research is about: Investigating mathematical patterns in music - more specifically, looking at twelve tone music from an abstract algebra perspective.

I chose this research topic because: I've always enjoyed analysing music with the aim of understanding it on a much a deeper level, and ever since I listened to twelve tone music for the first time, it has always been something that I've wanted to take more time to understand rather than brush off as 'music that's not for me'. Looking at this from a different perspective, which uses the maths I love working with, has been really rewarding, so I hope that it will encourage others to gain an appreciation for it too, despite it not exactly being listener-friendly!

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: play the piano, play tennis, draw/paint, and listen to music (classical and jazz in particular).

One thing about me that surprises people: For the majority of my life, I thought I'd end up studying illustration at university, since I used to think that maths was boring (I was wrong!)

My 'leader crush' is: I've never had a particular 'leader crush' since there are so many leaders out there who demonstrate different qualities and tackle things in different ways, all of which I really admire, but I really look up to any leader who dedicates time to coaching and inspiring their team to achieve amazing things on their own.

Ask me about: My research, maths, music, tennis, why I like pineapple on pizza or anything else you're curious about!

I'd love to connect with someone who: shares the same interests as me, studies maths, music and anything related, is willing to talk about their research (and explain in very simple layman's terms!), or simply wants to have a chat.

Hi everyone!!

My name is James Samuel (he/him)

I study Medieval History and Art History at St Andrews.

I am from Maidstone, England

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020

My research is about the history of a local church near St Andrews in Fife. The custodians of the church commissioned a pamphlet history of the church, so I will be writing that using the primary documents held in the university library.

I chose this research topic because it offers the opportunity to use primary documents that undergraduate historians do not normally have the chance to see. I want to use the history of the church as a springboard towards a local, social history that the people of the village can engage in, both so they can understand more about their past and to expand the profile of the university in the local area.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to read, listen to music and go to art galleries and exhibitions!

One thing about me that surprises people: Until I was about 17 I planned to study physics at university! I changed my mind because A-Level physics was too difficult.

My 'leader crush' is: my old manager at the coffee shop I worked at on my gap year. This is because she used her leadership role to develop everyone on our team in a hands-on way. Her leadership style shaped my own ideas about what a good leader is more than anyone else.

Ask me about my research project, music, football (Chelsea FC) or art! I'd love to connect with someone who has different views on those things to me because I love hearing diverse opinions!

I'm excited to meet you all and hear your stories! 

Hi everyone :)

My name is Chloe (she/her)

I study Psychology at the University of Leeds. 

I am from East Sussex, England. 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020. 

My research is about Psychological Literacy - a method of teaching psychology that focuses on the real life applications it can have, not just on the theory. 

I chose this research topic because I think that teaching psychology in this way can have a huge positive impact on the lives of not only the people who study it, but also greater society as they apply what they have learnt to whatever career path they decide to follow.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to garden and grow veg, and spend time on the beach and kayaking. 

One thing about me that surprises people is that when I started university the first time, I dropped out. 

My 'leader crush' is Jacinda Ardern because I really admire her work in New Zealand, particularly the way she has dealt with the pandemic. 

Ask me about: psychology or the link between the environment and agriculture! I'd love to connect with someone who wants to talk about their research, or just fancies a chat!  

My name is: Susan (She/Her)

I study Geography (BA) currently on my Year in Industry both at the University of Leeds 

I am from: Yorkshire, England 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: May 2018 (I miss those times!)

My research was about: How do we use our time during journeys? I travelled to Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels to conduct ethnographies on trains. I travelled on buses around Leeds to continue this work. I then held 3 focus groups and conducted a survey. I attended the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) conference at Cardiff University in August 2018 and presented my poster at the same conference held at the RGS/ Imperial College in London in August 2019. 

I chose this research topic because: I am a commuter student and spent a lot of time on trains and buses before lockdown so wanted to explore this topic further. I also believe more people should switch to using public transport for environmental reasons and to make use of travel time activities. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: do karaoke, experiment with makeup, attend concerts/festivals and eat lots of food.  

One thing about me that surprises people: I did the Access to Leeds scheme. 

My 'leader crush' is: Professor Yuval Noah Harari because he writes my favourite books Sapiens, Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. His insight about the world is amazing and I truly believe in his philosophy. He has also created a social enterprise called Sapienship which advocates global responsibility. I find his books so enlightening, exposing the myths, lies and fake news that humanity has created.  

Ask me about: Anything about Yorkshire because I love it! or Human Geography, Politics, Travel/Transport, Makeup, Food and Drink. Research related you can ask me about methods and transport projects, especially ethnographies. Leadership related you can ask me whatever you want. 

I'd love to connect with someone who: People who have interests in politics, equality, human geography and the future of humanity. 

If you are an alum- share some advice! What do you wish you knew before starting your research? What is the most valuable thing you learnt from your experience? 

I have completed the Laidlaw leadership and training in August 2019, so I would say to those embarking on the journey make use of all the opportunities and networks this brings. Throw yourself into the training (we went caving and ghyll scrambling) overcome your fears whether it is claustrophobic spaces, dogs (like mine!) or public speaking. Feeling nervous is totally normal, everyone does when starting something new, so don't be afraid to ask for help from your supervisor or other scholars. The most valuable thing I learnt from my experiences was realising I could do it. I could travel to 3 foreign countries alone aged 19 without doing anything like that before. I could public speak. I could hold focus groups. I could network with University alumni including a BBC correspondent. I had long suffered from `imposter syndrome`, from being a commuter student and having done the access scheme,  prior to getting involved with Laidlaw scholars. The Laidlaw community at Leeds and beyond has been so supportive and I can't thank everyone enough, including Lord Laidlaw and all the staff for putting together this scheme. 

My name is: Cath (she/her)

I study English Literature and Linguistics at York!

I am from: Bournemouth 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about the production and perception of typologically rare sounds

I chose this research topic because it is really cool to think about the sounds we do not use in conversation every day

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Take part in trampolining, play my ukulele and work as part of a crew in theatres and shows (as well as tending to way too many plants) :D

One thing about me that surprises people: For some reason, liking country music has always surprised my friends

My 'leader crush' is: Grace Beverley because it has been amazing to watch her build two business from the ground up and create her own future in the process.

Ask me about Linguistics, books, pets and plants!  I'd love to connect with someone who is working to better themselves every day!

My name is: Mikayla Barreiro (She/Her/Hers)

I study History and Classical Studies at Tufts University

I am from: Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2019

My research is about: The English Investiture Controversy, a 12th century conflict between English King Henry I and Pope Paschal II and an important predecessor to the English Reformation. 

I chose this research topic because: This topic has been studied very little, and I wanted to bring to light what I knew was an important moment in English history. What I've found is that it really illuminates the way peacekeeping and diplomacy worked in the Middle Ages, something I'm passionate about. It also involves a lot of really cool medieval women!

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Write fantasy novels and sing.

One thing about me that surprises people: I was partially-deaf for the first three years of my life, and only learned to speak by copying Harry Potter. 

My 'leader crush' is: Queen Matilda of Scotland because she, in the 12th century, overcame massive barriers to earn the respect of not only the male members of her family, but of the entire European elite. She was also firmly committed to peacekeeping, deeply intellectual, and not afraid to use her femininity as a strength, not a weakness. 

Ask me about: ancient and medieval history, fandoms and fanfiction, writing novels, and learning languages. 

  I'd love to connect with someone who: Wants to develop ways in which history can truly help create a better future.

If you are an alum or already completed your first research summer - share some advice! What do you wish you knew before starting your research? What is the most valuable thing you learnt from your experience? 
The most valuable thing I learned during my first summer of research was to be unafraid of questioning the 'experts'. No one else knows quite what you do about your topic, so don't be afraid to stand up for your findings. This doesn't mean you don't listen to the opinions of others, but also don't be afraid to challenge established 'facts'. For example, one of my main sources is by a prominent 20th-century historian, but his misogynistic view of the women involved in my topic has to be challenged before any new research can be conducted.  

Hi everyone :) 

My name is Luke (he/him).

I study Politics and Sociology at the University of Leeds. 

I am from Dorset, England. 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020. 

My research is about understanding inclusive learning spaces. 

I chose this research topic because I am passionate about researching inequality and this project offers an excellent opportunity to envision a more inclusive university to which everyone will experience a sense of belonging regardless of their intersectionality. 

When I'm not studying or working, I like to spend my time outdoors (if it's nice weather) going on walks, gardening or just relaxing in the sun with my friends. I also like to go to music festivals and have recently rekindled my love for baking. 

One thing about me that surprises people is I can knit jumpers.

My leader crush is: Marsha P Johnson, her courageous role in the stonewall uprising that paved the way to establishing the LGBTQ+ rights that we have today is absolutely monumental and incredibly inspiring. 

Ask me about: mental health, queer activism, social justice, food and movie/TV recommendations (mainly netflix and disney)!!!

I'd love to connect with someone who wants to talk about their project or wants to discuss mine. I would also like to connect with people who enjoy talking about equality and diversity and/or who just wants to chat! 

Hello!

My name is: Sam (he-series)

I am studying International Literary and Visual Studies at Tufts University.

I have moved around a lot and don’t have a proper homeland, but I do consider North America’s Pacific Northwest to be closest to home. Currently I live in Massachusetts.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: April 2020

My research is about the indigenous peoples of North America. Specifically, I am attempting to challenge the narrative of their inevitable conquest by examining the geopolitical, sociological, and general circumstances surrounding some specific historical turning points that could have easily variated in their historical outcomes, and whose momentary pivot could have significantly altered the state of indigenous societies into the modern day.

I chose this research topic because I am writing what I hope to be a uniquely North American epic fantasy novel series that draws from all peoples, rather than simply repeating the trite paradigm of utilising primarily European mythologies. One feature of this series is to conceptualise alternate history scenarios to imagine very different kinds of civilisations. Thusly, I hope to utilise this research as part of that broader ambition.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to design table-top games that focus on building friendships and community, as well as those that aim to cultivate empathy by placing players in various mind-sets that are different from their own, including historical mind-sets. I also like to play the games I design, reading, writing, and also spending time with my wife and cats.

One thing about me that surprises people: I can initially appear to be rather shy and without much to say. However, this is because I am often listening empathetically. I also thrive in smaller group settings, and when given an opportunity to speak on a subject for which I am passionate, I can talk at great length.

My 'leader crush'es at the moment are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders because they speak the truth when it is unpopular to do so and fight tenaciously on principle for those whose voices are disadvantaged under the current societal system without any compromise to their integrity.

Ask me about subjects including but not limited to: North America, East Asia, current affairs (both global and local to North America), storytelling, table-top games, history, as well as anything that has been listed above or below.

I'd love to connect with someone who writes, and/or knows history. In particular, I am always fascinated by histories that are more accurate to the truth but run counter to popular narrative. Research on religion is also interesting. I’m also studying eleven languages simultaneously, so anyone who has done something similar and could offer unconventional insights on the matter would be someone with whom I would like to connect. Those are preferences, but I also love seeing a variety of perspectives, so I'm actually not too picky.

Hello!

My name is: Alex Lea (he/him)

I study Physics and Chemistry at Durham university.

I am from: Derbyshire, England.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2019.

My research area is cellular biophysics. More specifically, I am investigating the interactions between organelles (i.e. compartments) within living cells. This is being achieved using a joint approach of mathematical theory and computational modelling.

I chose this research topic because I enjoy working at the boundary of physics/chemistry/biology. Moreover, this research will aid in the understanding of cellular functions and in the development of a number of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: listen to music, play board games and go hiking. I also love maps (maps are the best).

One thing about me that surprises people: Although I love analysing data/information from a scientific/mathematical perspective, I also love analysis books and characters. Part of me wishes that I had taken English Literature at a higher level!

My 'leader crush' is: I've never had one! There's so many people who have achieved amazing things in such a wide range of fields that it's impossible for me to choose!

Ask me about: My research and board games. I'd love to connect with someone who is passionate about their research.

I learnt that starting research takes time, so do not worry if you think that you have not done much in the first couple of weeks. The most valuable thing I learnt was the importance of collaboration. Talking to others and working as a team makes researching much easier!

Hello!

My name is: Shauryya Vira (He/Him)

I study Economics [course/major] at Durham University

I am from: India

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: March 2020

My research is about: Whether coding and broader digital literacy can help bridge the socio-economic divide for underprivileged students, through examining case studies of two economically distinct groups in the city of Udaipur in Western India.

I chose this research topic because: There is a need for greater research into whether education opportunities involving technology can help enhance job opportunities and better the economic opportunities available to disadvantaged students. The increasingly online world and greater reliance of technology as a driver for economic growth has made me realise that this aspect needs to be further researched, else we risk greater global inequality and deprivation.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Watch and play football, read, cook with my family, and catch up on Netflix!

One thing about me that surprises people: I fell off an 8-foot high hillock on a high school rural sensitization trip and, luckily enough, didn’t get hurt at all. This surprises people as, on other occasions, I can trip over my own shadow!

My 'leader crush' is: Jacinda Arden! And I am probably among millions here, but her calmness and decisiveness in dealing with terrorism and then the pandemic, and her leadership of New Zealand, is an exemplar for the world. She represents the principles of acting in accordance with sound moral values and for the benefit of all sections of society, even under pressure and when your decisions may not be the easiest policy choices to make.

Ask me about: Economics, psychology, India, sport, music, interesting reads, and movies

I'd love to connect with someone who: Shares similar interests and is passionate about their views and perspectives, which may differ from mine and that I may not have previously thought of. I also love people who are excited about what they are doing and are willing to share what it is that interests them with me!

 

hey everyone!

My name is: Marika (she/her)

I study Medicine at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

I am from: Nova Scotia, Canada.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020!

My research is about the use of corticosteroids to improve the outcomes of adolsecent patients with e-cigarette and vaping associated lung injury (EVALI).

I chose this research topic because I've always been interested in public health, young people, and how we can improve patient outcomes!

When I'm not studying/working I like to hike, surf and make hummus.

One thing about me that surprises people is that I'm a certified SCUBA diver, and for a while I was spending almost as much time under the water as above it. 

My 'leader crush' is Sylvia Earle because she was an incredible force in the world of marine protection and females in science, and she's just super cool. Check out Mission Blue on Netflix!

Ask me about the shift to preventitve medicine or acess in rural Canadian communities.

I'd love to connect with someone who went to a United World College (UWC)!

Hi everyone!

My name is: Cherry (she/her)

I am studying BSc (majors in food & nutritional science and molecular biology & biotechnology) at the University of Hong Kong (2018-2022).

I am from: Hong Kong, China

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: phenolic compounds in potato skin, the source of variation and prebiotic property.

I chose this research topic because: Potato is one of my favourite food and a staple for a huge global population, while potato skin is eliminated during preparation in some culinary practices. Taking the opportunity, I would like to raise the awareness of the issue of food waste in the aspect of potential nutrient loss through food processing.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: immerse myself in all the kindness, especially those I miss during my hard time (e.g. nature, music, craft, family…)

One thing about me that surprises people: when I first entered the university, I joined over 10 student societies/ clubs!

My 'leader crush' is: all those benevolent people who have created positive impacts on humanity eventually via any innovative/ social/ spiritual pathway.

Ask me about: Hong Kong culture, food science, nutrition, biological science…

I'd love to connect with someone who: is affable, courteous, open-minded, willing to share and like interdisciplinary networking.

Feel free to contact me anytime for an easy chat!

Hi everyone! Here's my introduction:

My name is: Asma Behery (she, her)

I study Biology for Health Sciences and Psychology at the University of Toronto Mississauga

I am from: I was born in Mississauga, Canada and my cultural background is Egyptian/Palestinian

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: The Synergistic Effects of Mindfulness Meditation and Relaxation Response Meditation on Perceived Stress Levels

I chose this research topic because: My research topic stemmed from both my interest in psychology and health sciences as well as the challenges and stress that came along with being a first year student at UofT. I was really interested in further exploring the nature of stress and what can be done to contribute towards improving stress coping and mental health, especially among students. Meditation was something that helped me cope with stress throughout my first year, which is why my research topic looks at both meditation and stress.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: read, spend time with family and friends, etc.

One thing about me that surprises people: I really enjoy learning different languages! I speak English and Arabic and learned French and Spanish in high school, while also attending two summer french immersion programs!!

My 'leader crush' is: I don't have a specific "leader crush" but I really admire individuals who are really passionate about their work and use that passion to drive positive change and help others!

Ask me about: health sciences, psychology, Fun Facts about the French language (and Quebec slang!)   

I'd love to connect with someone who carries similar research interests (psychology and health sciences based research)! I would also love to connect with someone who is knowledgeable about pursuing careers in Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, and medicine, especially anyone who can give any advice on gaining volunteer experience, as I am hoping to also combine a clinical component into my research career.

My name is: Michael Sutherland (he/him)

I study Mathematics at Saint Andrews University

I am from: The Highlands of Scotland

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: Classification, enumeration & symmetry of fractal carpets

I chose this research topic because: I enjoy studying pure maths, and, in particular, fractals.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: I enjoy reading and doing material arts - namely Ju Jitsu and Judo.

One thing about me that surprises people: I can play piano

My 'leader crush' is: Someone who gives a strong presence, and is passionate & kind - being humble enough to admit mistakes. Calm and collective are also qualities I admire in a leader.

Ask me about: Mathematics, science, economics, material arts, politics,  - I would pretty much be interested in discussing anything   

I'd love to connect with someone who: Open minded, likes hypothesising about different scenarios, problem solvers, someone with passion in any area, someone who could show me something new, 

 

Hello, everyone!

My name is Steven Zeldin (he/him).

I study Neuroscience and Behavior at Columbia University.

I am from Brooklyn, New York.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in the spring of 2019.

My research focuses on ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a paralyzing neurodegenerative disease.  I specifically look at mutant forms of the FUS protein, a major factor in the disease's onset and progression.

I chose this research topic because, in addition to letting me learn more about the nervous system, researching ALS contributes to the wellness of a patient population with a thought-provoking and often overlooked disability.  Some great books and short stories (like "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly", "The Count of Monte Cristo", and "William and Mary") previously introduced me to the plights of the completely paralyzed, so studying ALS let me engage with a disease I had found impactful for quite some time.

When I'm not studying or working, I like to read and write science fiction, rock-climb, and play board games (I'll never get tired of Catan).

One thing about me that surprises people is that I am a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

I don't really have a single "leader crush": I tend to look up to specific characteristics in people I overall might not consider role-models.  I greatly admire Elon Musk's vision and commitment to science, as well as Ben Carson's resilience and commitment to medicine in the face of adversity (politics and other views aside).

Ask me about neuroscience, science fiction, astronomy, and marine life.  I would love to connect with someone open-minded and up to a fun debate or two!

For anyone looking for some research advice, I have this to say: don't worry about setting your interests in stone before you have exposure to your field!  I originally worked in an Alzheimer's lab—but, after volunteering in a Neuro-ICU, interacting with some paralysis victims, and some reading, I found ALS far more personally gripping.  Explore your interests even as you hone in on one to focus on!

I look forward to meeting you all.  Stay well and see you soon.

Hi everyone,

My name is: Siddharth (He/Him) 

I study Economics and Finance at University of Leeds 

I am from: Mumbai, India 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: March 2020 

My research is about: The change in the Poverty profile of UK post the Financial Crisis

I chose this research topic primarily because it contains a great deal of development and macro-economics, which thoroughly passionates me. It is by monitoring such topics that we can ensure growth and societal welfare at the same time which is what I strive to do. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Swim, Trek, Read, Watch Movies/Shows, Engage in some political news. 

One thing about me that surprises people: I have been an actor for Disney India 

I admire quite a few individuals for their diverse range of leadership qualities but if I had to pick one, I would go with Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam who was a scientist and the 11th President of India. He was regarded as the people's president and got a great deal of welfare and growth in the nation. 

I have a diverse range of interests going from Economics and Finance to Physics and Religion. I love mathematics and engage myself in philosophy as well. I'd love to connect with anyone who has an interest in Economics, Finance, Politics, Philosophy, Mathematics, Physics and Religion. More generally I would love to connect with anyone who has a strong sense of passion for their subject! 

I'm excited to meet you all and hear your stories!

Hi there! 

My name is: Ben Xu (he/him) 

I just finished my 2nd year in Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto 

I am from: I grew up in Shenzhen, China and then moved to New Brunswick, Canada. One might have heard of Shenzhen because of WeChat, the social media app super hot in China that people also use to make payments. New Brunswick is one of the Maritime provinces on Canadian east coast next to the Nova Scotia/ Newfoundland area which features delicious lobsters, tight communities, Arcadian culture, and scenic coastlines. 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: Utilizing CRISPR gene-editing and human pluripotent stem cells (growing them into lung cells) to understand the role of a compensatory gene in Cystic Fibrosis disease. Further knowledge of what this gene does in the lung would help develop mutation-independent treatments for Cystic Fibrosis. 

I chose this research topic because: In the past thirty years Cystic Fibrosis research has greatly improved patient life span yet CF is still difficult to treat because different CF mutations make each patient’s case different, some mutations still don’t have an effective treatment. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: Read, write, listen to podcasts, spend time with friends, run science outreach. I also do olympic style fencing (foil), which is a super fast and tactical game that is often overlooked. 

One thing about me that surprises people: I was once almost lost and trapped in a marshland in Scotland on my birthday. 

My 'leader crush' is: I have been inspired by many individuals who have their own approach to leadership. If I have to choose from historical figures it might be Sir Winston Churchill for his leadership in WWII. 

Ask me about: the magic of stem cells and how to work with them, genetics, diseases, Chinese food and culture, Mandarin, aviation, history, philosophy, movies, fencing, basketball (Go Lakers!!), travelling, culture and of course science memes! 

I’d love to connect with people who are: anyone interested in sharing their passion and work. Many problems today are touching upon many areas and truly require interdisciplinary solutions. 

Can’t wait to meet you all and learn about your stories. Until then, take care!

 

Hello everyone!

My name is: Vamika Jain (she/her)

I have just completed my second year of studying International Relations and Contemporary Asian Studies at the University of Toronto.

I grew up in India but moved to Canada in 2016!

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020.

My research is about Access to Legal Rights for Refugee Populations in South Asia. 

I chose this research topic because a lack of universal laws and accountability to international norms has resulted in some highly differentiated and arbitrary treatments of different refugee groups across South Asia with little to no conversation in academic or popular discourse.  

When I'm not studying/working, I like to run, read, spend time with friends, make new playlists and participate in student government. 

One thing about me that surprises people: I have an absolute love for tea and am a classically trained Kathak dancer. 

My 'leader crush' is: I've never had a particular 'leader crush' and continue to be inspired by many admirable individuals globally and in my personal life. Most recently, I was struck by a close friend's ability to instantly and easily get people to lower their guard and engage in productive conversation. 

Ask me about global news, South Asian politics, global security issues, historical TV shows, tea, and the law. I'd love to connect with anyone and everyone who is passionate and excited about the work they're engaging in!

Looking forward to speaking with you!

Hi, folks

Name is Xiaolou Feng

A drama student from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

I am from Chongqing, China and became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020

My research discusses the possibilities of combining game and theatre - 'game theatre' - and use this model in theatre education for young students. I love game, theatre, and children - that is why I do this research.

When I'm not studying/working, I teach theatre in summer schools or hold theatre-related club events.

One surprising thing about me: I used to be an economy college student but I dropped out of my former college because I don't like talking about money every day.

My 'leader crush' is my dad because his passion can always bring people together.
Ask me about theatre, game, or anything you find interesting. Let's make friends!

Hi everyone,

My name is: Julian (he/him)

I currently study economics at the University of Hong Kong. But I am originally from Graz, Austria.

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in March 2020.

My research is about the the development opportunities and sustainability challenges of the Rwandan metal endowment.

I chose this research topic because I am very interested in trans-disciplinary and empirical questions in development economics, particularly in the context of natural resources, social justice, and international trade. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to play ultimate frisbee, cycle, go on hiking trips, dance Salsa, travel, read, and, most importantly, take extensive afternoon naps.

One thing about me that surprises people: Usually people are surprised when I start conversing in Chinese. And maybe also that all my possessions fit (more or less) neatly in a suitcase and do not have a driver's license. 

I do not really have a 'leader crush' per se, but I do have people that I find inspiring such as Waris Dirie, Sophie Scholl, and, more recently, Trevor Noah perhaps. In general, I am inspired by those who bring bring out the good in people, are perceptive, and stand with both feet on the ground while letting their minds wander.  

I would love to engage in discussions about economics, languages, politics, literature, or philosophy; and connect with anyone who has may forms, who can tell me about galois theory and knitting socks, global issues and local peculiarities, you get the idea.

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Ciao everybody!

I am Lucia (she/her).

I am an Art History major at the University of St. Andrews going into third year.

I live in Salerno, Southern Italy (near Naples).

I am part of the Laidlaw 2020 cohort.

My research investigates artistic translations of literary classics, with a focus on Dante's Inferno and how it has been represented in modern art. The main aim is to understand how 13th century literature has been manipulated by contemporary artists, keeping the core meaning intact but also adjusting it to a modern public. Indeed, it could be classified as an interdisciplinary research of how contemporary art can provide new ways to explain literary classics to a wider, non-expert public. 

I feel very close to this research because I intensively studied the Divine Comedy for more than 10 years as it is a pivotal part of Italian literature curriculum; moreover both my grandfather and my great granduncle were highly recognised Dante's scholars. I am happy and intrigued by keeping up their legacies in a novel way, integrating literary studies with my immense passion for modern and conceptual art. 

In my free time I love experimenting new recipes as I am an addicted foodie, travelling around (literally everywhere from Europe to Costa Rica as long as there are some museums and/or heritage places to visit) and I have a true addiction for Argentinian telenovelas (they are like my guilty pleasure). I am also studying to gain the proficiency level certificate for Spanish. 

Usually people are surprised that I studied ballet for more than 16 years and I have a ballet diploma. Also, virtually none seems able to understand I am Italia. as everyone mistakes me for Brazilian/Argentinian. 

I don't really have a leader crush, but I highly admire Anna Wintour, who has completely revolutionised the fashion industry and has given it the aspect we all know today. She has been deciding trends for the past forty years and she is one of the most powerful and well-established CEOs in the private multinational realms. Moreover she gave new visibility to the Metropolitan Museum becoming the undiscussed godmother of the infamous gala, showing how museums have much more to offer than just artworks on display!

Ask me about anything related to food, travel, fashion, art (non classical art please!) or cinematography and I'd love to connect with someone who has experienced living in different countries or is very passionate about any field in humanities, particularly South American Studies, Sociology and History of Art (of course).

I hope to get to know most of you! See you soon x

My name is: Lottie Doherty (she/her)

I study Art History and Philosophy at the University of St Andrews

I am from: a little village in Kent

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2019

My research is about: War and religious change in the ancient Middle East, in particular in relation to goddess worship. There were a few goddesses which were central to religion and worship in ancient Mesopotamia, Palestine and Israel, which have over time disappeared from religious texts and practices, even though they were a central part to precursors to Christianity. 

I chose this research topic because: Although theology and ancient history are not my majors, they are key areas of interest for me. I've taken several theology modules previously, and was really interested to look at a feminist reading of some of the earlier books of the bible, and see how language has been manipulated to remove the goddesses, specifically Asherah, from these texts. Additionally, I'm interested in archeology and have experience of visual analysis from my Art history studies, so wanted to use that to examine the archeological evidence for goddesses and examine how they were worshiped.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: wander around art galleries and museums, watching documentaries or reading books about art, aesthetics, feminism, queer theory or politics. 

One thing about me that surprises people: I'm not sure if this is that surprising, but it's something a lot of people don't realise when they first look at me; I have 10 tattoos 

My 'leader crush' is: Munroe Bergdorf because she's an amazing and committed LGBTQ+ and intersectional feminist activist, who has inspired millions of people through her activism, both online and in person. She is a strong voice for underrepresented and minority communities, and is not afraid to call out individuals and organisations on their sexism, racism and homophobia. 

Ask me about: modern and contemporary art, or christian iconography   I'd love to connect with someone who: has some good suggestions for documentaries about art and design, and suggestions for galleries and museums I should look at online, or visit once it's safe to do so!

My advice is to take time to plan! Break big tasks down into manageable sections, write to do lists and tick things off when you're done. Also, take lots of breaks and don't be hard on yourself if you don't get everything done that you wanted or had planned to do. 

Hi, everyone!

My name is: Emel (she/her)

I study MSci Psychology at University of York (2018-2022)

I am from: York 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: The role of the superior temporal sulcus (a brain region recognised in the perception of facial expressions and integrating contextual and facial cues) in the Kuleshov effect (where it has been found that people rate the emotion of an emotionless face based on the context provided, so if the context was food, a coffin or a cute animal, the same emotionless face would be perceived as hungry, sad or happy respectively).

I chose this research topic because: it's a relatively new field of research that I am passionate about and don't think has been explored to it's full potential. I also have other studies in mind, involving other aspects of the Kuleshov effect that I wish to explore. Investigating this topic could provide findings that could be applied to neurologically atypical cases perhaps providing insight into coping strategies that may improve quality of life.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: read, watch shows, play games, write, dance and play guitar

One thing about me that surprises people: I can speak Turkish (I'm half-turkish and was born and raised in Marmaris, Turkey until I was 7) 

My 'leader crush' is: someone with good intentions who sees failure as an opportunity to learn, takes responsibility for their choices/actions and someone who values integrity because honesty and trust allows for better communication. I think a good leader is someone who is optimistic and ambitious, someone people believe in, trust and choose to follow because they provide hope (like Michelle Obama, what an icon). If a leader believes in their followers then the followers will also believe in themselves possibly having better self esteem which leads to a positive environment for growth.

Ask me about: psychology, my research, collaborating, LGBT+, books/TV shows/games, (Disney, marvel, Westworld (the HBO show) and Hamilton the musical are topics I'm known for passionately rambling about so... be warned, but if you're also a fan then let's geek out together!)

I'd love to connect with someone who: is passionate in their interests and what they believe, is patient and willing to listen, is interested in sharing their experience  

My name is Freddy (he/him)

I study History at Durham University

I am from Hertfordshire in England 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020

My research is about the causes of the collapse of the East African Community and how this collapse affected the relations between these countries, with a special focus on how the collapse was reported upon within the countries and internationally. 

I chose this research topic because, as with most African history, its study has often been neglected despite its importance and, with the EAC set to be reformed over the next few years with far greater responsibilities in the form of the East African Federation, a study into why the original EAC collapsed is incredibly important.

When I'm not studying/working, I like to read books on history or politics, go hiking or running, play games, and listen to a lot of music.

One thing about me that surprises people is that one of my legs is longer than the other.

My 'leader crush' is Julius Nyerere, as he was able to take Tanzania from independence to being one of the most stable countries in Africa while promoting self-reliance and unity. While not all of his policies were successful, he ultimately led for his people, not for himself. 

Ask me about basically anything. More specifically modern history, politics, books, games, and music (specifically punk and hip-hop).

I'd love to connect with someone who is passionate about their work, is friendly and talkative, and, of course, anyone who has similar interests to me that we can chat about :)


Hello Everyone!


My name is: Ellen Yang (she/her)


I study Education Studies & Psychology at Durham University.


I was born in Beijing, China and moved to London when I was 12. 


I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020.


My research is about investigating the impact of digital literacy on older people's social wellbeing in the context of Covid-19.


I chose this research topic because I strongly believe in the importance of looking after older generations in the ever-changing society. The current digital development often ignores the needs of older people, which ends up excluding this population as referred to as the "digital immigrant". In light of the Covid-19 outbreak, digital literacy has become increasingly useful and important for keeping in touch with others while practising social distancing. I believe that my research will highlight the voice of older people online and help to improve their digital experience in the future. 


When I'm not studying/working, I like: reading ( esp. Harry Potter and the Lord of the Ring infinitely!), ice-skating, playing piano, horse-riding.


One thing about me that surprises people: I had been a Peking Opera Singer for six years back in primary school. 


My 'leader crush' is Michelle Obama because she has always held a high level of self-respect and respect for others. She advocated that "leadership is not limited to Age or status of life" (Huffington Post, 2011) but it is about taking up responsibility and solving problems.


Ask me about: digital literacy, older people's social wellbeing, music, ice-skating, HP and LOTR!  


I am looking forward to speaking to everyone at the networking event!


My name is Joe (he him)

I study PPE at Durham University

I am from Essex in England

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in 2020

My research is about how anti-slavery charities might be influenced by external factors to enact policies that actually hinder the people they're supposed to be helping.

I chose this research topic because the research is this interdisciplinary mix of politics and economics and sociology that I find fascinating and I think critically examining how we can better solve the world's problems is so important.

When I'm not studying/working, I love to write. I'm planning to write a novel about Hamlet this summer but I've just started a little poetry blog at oneelevenoneleven.wordpress.com where I've so far written about my gay alien husband, my pyromaniac wife and an adolescent crush, so yeah lots of variety! Music is my other passion - I listen to pretty much everything, but some of my faves at the moment are "Donuts" by J Dilla, Jai Paul, "Heaven or Las Vegas" by the Cocteau Twins, and "Bee Thousand" by Guided by Voices. I recently organised an album exchange where I matched people with similar music taste to discuss their favourite albums with each other, and I'm planning to do another one later this month, so if anyone is interested let me know. I also love maths and physics, especially particle physics, although my knowledge of both doesn't extend that far haha. 

One thing about me that surprises people is that I was born in Scotland, cause I never got the accent :( I also met the queen when I was 4 when she came to Aberdeen to open a leisure centre, but I can only remember her knees? Lol #besties

My 'leader crush' is probably anyone involved in the gay liberation movement in the 60s - if it wasn't for them and their leadership and courage I wouldn't be able to be openly bi in 2020. Also, along the same lines, a more recent leader crush of mine would be Frank Ocean. While he's not a leader in the sense of being the head of any particular group of people, his bravery in expressing himself openly through his music in his general vulnerability and openness has had a huge impact on me and the way that I think about art and life.

Ask me about music, writing, your favourite books or poems, economics, languages, politics, literature, maths, particle physics, philosophy, pretty much anything!

I'd love to connect with someone who is interested in any of the above stuff! 

My name is: Sukriti Mathur (She/Her)

I study: Bachelors of Biomedical Science (minor in Genetics) at The University of Hong Kong (HKU)

I am from: India 

I became a Laidlaw Scholar in: 2020

My research is about: Long-wavelength light triggered drug delivery for Cancer Therapy. Through this research project, we aim to use different wavelengths of light to activate the synthesized drug carrying photo-responsive nano-particles and identify the best suited wavelength to deliver drugs for cancer therapy. Our project aims to develop Near Infra-red light (NIR) which is not harmful, to be a stimulus for the nano-particle that we synthesize in the lab. 

I chose this research topic because:  Throughout history, cancer treatment has had variable success. There have been triumphs in decreasing mortality rate of specific cancers such as breast cancer and achieving remission, however, these successes have been marred by serious side effects caused by current treatments. After watching several TED talks on nanotechnology, I became interested in this line of research and wanted to explore its possibilities of use in curing diseases. Hence, my interest was piqued when I saw that researchers were trying to create nano-particles for cancer drug delivery, and I really wanted to participate in such a revolutionary project, which could help millions of affected people globally. 

When I'm not studying/working, I like to: listen to music of different genres, play badminton with friends, go for a swim/hike, recreate arts and craft from Pinterest and read books (usually fiction). 

One thing about me that surprises people: I am fascinated by Korean culture which I discovered through the sensational K-Pop band BTS. I taught myself how to read and write in Korean (Hangul) by watching videos on Youtube.

My 'leader crush' is: I do not have a single person who I think is an example of the perfect leader. Instead, I admire different qualities that I see in different leaders that I have read about throughout history. I also believe that our parents, teachers, people we interact with on a regular basis can also be leaders, and we can learn from each and every one of them. 

Ask me about: The meaning of life, role of genetics in different life forms, development of new medicines, and anything else relating to the biomedical field. I like to keep myself updated with the latest research by going through different scientific journals.

I'd love to connect with someone who: would like to talk about their research project or any interesting topic, as I am curious about different fields and type of research happening globally. Anyone who would like to discuss abstract things like life and the importance of our existence.