Nikol Chen (she/her)

Digital Content Manager, Laidlaw Foundation
Kayla Kim

Marketing Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! I was Laidlaw scholar in 2019, and I studied national, regional, and local identity in northern Tajikistan through the lens of women's fashion. 

For a year after graduating, I worked for the UN Mine Action Service which removes landmines from conflict and post-conflict regions. Now I have returned to the Laidlaw Foundation!

Please feel free to get in touch. I'm always happy to meet new people and chat, especially about nationalism/politics of gender/Central Asia/demining/UN/writing or even ballroom dance :)

Andrew Hill

Student, University of York

I am studying BSc Archaeology at the University of York. My primary interests are working on a ‘large scale’: archaeological field survey, GIS and digital methods, and utilising landscape and multiperiod approaches. Accordingly,  my research combines field investigation and digital analysis in a multiperiod study of the Mid-Cheshire Ridge, testing the potential contribution of comparative viewshed analysis to understanding past reasoning and change in the landscape.

The University of Oxford was a part of the Laidlaw Scholarship programme from 2016 to 2019. In 2020, Oxford's Saïd Business School became a partner of the Laidlaw Foundation's Women's Business Education Scholarship Programme. The Oxford SBS Laidlaw Scholars will be joining over 300 Laidlaw Scholars from Columbia Business School whom the Laidlaw Foundation has supported to earn their MBAs; and Scholars at London Business School where the Foundation launched a Women’s Movement in 2019.
Alvalyn Dixon-Gardner

Student, Tufts University

I am an aspiring Clinical Psychologist, a second-year Psychology student at Tufts University, and a devotee of the arts. My interests consist of aiding in the destigmatization and reformation of mental health within Black and Brown communities. Another passion of mine is fighting for the prevention of child abuse as I continue to intern with Masskids, the Prevent Child Abuse chapter of Massachusetts. As a Laidlaw Scholar, my research coincides with my interests as I focus on how stereotypes, misrepresentation, and instances of erasure within the media impacts the socio-emotional and mental health of adolescents. The goal of this research is to further understand the problem then understand and navigate solutions. I hope to work with non-profits and other initiatives in the fight for mental health in underrepresented communities and would love to be contacted in support of these efforts.

Michael Officer

Student, Trinity College Dublin

Hello, my name is Michael and I'm a third year zoology student at Trinity College Dublin.

My research will investigate factors contributing to the transmission of avian influenza to farmed poultry. I'm delighted to be a part of the Laidlaw community and am really excited to get in touch with many of you! I hope to specialise in zoology, and my current interests are in rewilding, phenological responses to environmental change and behavioural ecology. But really anything!

Bryley Williams

Student, Columbia University

Hi! My name is Bryley (she/her), and I am a second-year student at Columbia University. I plan on majoring in History, and I am deeply interested in memory, religion, and the preservation and adaptation of culture. As a Laidlaw Scholar, I am researching Khmer Buddhist revival in post-genocide Cambodia, looking especially at how social, spiritual, and moral orders were and are intertwined in processes of reconstruction.

Iman Lalani

Student, University of Toronto Mississauga

Hello! I am a Lester B Pearson Scholar in my second year at UTM. I am majoring in Environmental Management and Geography and minoring in Environmental Policy and Law. Having grown up in the U.K., Pakistan, and Kenya, I have had the opportunity to work on various volunteering, afforestation, and educational projects which sparked my interest in sustainable development. I am particularly interested in learning about how to decolonize the ways in which we achieve environmental justice. This summer, I will be conducting research on how the post-colonial context of Sub-Saharan Africa has impacted the region’s ability to tackle climate change. 

Meegan Worcester

Student, University of Leeds

Hi! My name is Meegan and I am in my industrial placement year working as an Air Quality Research Assistant for the NHS, and I am on the Sustainability and Environmental Management degree programme at the University of Leeds. I am also the UK Chapter President for the Laidlaw Foundation, and I am looking forward to working with the other Chapter Presidents to organise and host social and career-related events throughout the year! I love the outdoors to go for a hike and wild camp whenever I get the chance. I love promoting sustainability, and I volunteer at the local charity Development Education Centre in Leeds to help local schools engage with the Sustainable Development Goals and environmental/human rights issues in their curriculum.

Medicine & Health Subject Lead, the University of Hong Kong

Hi, I am an undergraduate student at the University of Hong Kong. I have some research experiences in heritage imaging, genome engineering, nanoparticle drug carrier, and surgical augmented reality. And I am currently learning more about computational bio-molecule stimulation and screening model for further studies. I'd love to communicate, share, and build wholeheartedly about the past, present, and future stories.
Inkindi Mutoni Sabine

STEM Subject Lead, University of Rwanda

I am a final year student at the University of Rwanda, studying Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering. I am also the STEM Subject Lead. My project is about bringing a system that could help in minimizing the number of high-school and primary students who bring cell phones at school since it's one of the major sources of distraction. I am very interested in IoT (Internet of Things) related fields. I enjoy challenging myself because it always helps me to step out of my comfort zone. 

Maria Valenstain

Student Researcher, University of York

I am an undergraduate Laidlaw Scholar studying Philosophy and Politics at the University of York. I am very interested in the climate education. My project investigate collective responsibility regarding climate change in the primary years of school.

Brandon Yu

Medicine & Health Subject Lead, University of Toronto

I'm a student at the University of Toronto interested in neurological and ocular health, immunological mechanisms and self-immunity, as well as innovations and leadership within health care. I look to empower the aspiring youth through limitless, accessible education, and foster positive change in our dynamic reality!
Cath Brislane

Subject Lead/ Undergraduate Scholar, University of York

I am a final-year undergraduate scholar pursuing a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Linguistics at the University of York. Besides being a scholar, I am the Arts and Humanities Subject Lead on the Scholar's Network and the 2020-22 Arts and Humanities faculty rep at the University of York! My first summer of research was based in phonetics, entitled 'The untapped potential of human language: Investigating the perception of typologically unattested and rare sounds'. In it, I get to look at phonemes that are not commonly found in speech, if at all!

My Leadership in Action project was based around the experiences of students with disabilities and long-term health conditions when accessing Higher Education in the UK. I'm currently creating teacher training based on the paper I wrote for this project, and working with UCAS to help inform UK university admissions policy. 

Susanna Kempe (she/her)

CEO, Laidlaw Foundation

A graduate of Cambridge University, Susanna’s professional experience includes over 15 years in senior leadership roles in international B2B and learning businesses. Susanna began her career at the Institute for International Research (IIR) where she first worked with Lord Laidlaw, rising to Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). When IIR, which was the world’s largest organiser of commercial conferences, was acquired by Informa plc in 2005 Susanna was appointed CMO of the enlarged group and also led the public company’s investor relations programmes. She subsequently joined Emap Ltd as Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer and CEO of Emap Networks, that group’s conferences business. Later she became CEO of the fashion industry forecaster WGSN and was latterly Group Content and Marketing Partner of the leading strategy consultancy Brunswick Group. A German-American raised and educated in the UK and a committed internationalist, Susanna has been involved in globally trading businesses throughout her career, directing activity in the Americas, across continental Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Susanna has been extensively involved with education and professional development over many years. She was Head of Group Training and led the commercial acquisition and integration of a portfolio of corporate training businesses whilst at IIR; and created learning academies at both Informa and Emap. She believes experiencing and appreciating different cultures promotes better global understanding, creativity and leadership. She is passionate about the power of education to transform lives; and believes that we need to develop a new generation of diverse leaders who are curious, bold and devoted to decency, truthfulness, and innovation. Susanna is committed to diversity not only as a societal imperative but as a critical component of commercial success. As an advisor to the trustees of the Foundation, Susanna first learnt about its purpose and programmes before becoming its Chief Executive responsible for the Laidlaw Schools Trust, the Laidlaw Scholars and its other education programmes. Susanna read English and Philosophy at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She has five half blues in swimming and water polo; and played netball and rowed for Newnham.
Rhys Anil Madden

PhD Student, The London School of Economics

I completed the Laidlaw Programme in Summer 2016 while studying for a degree in Social Anthropology, looking at Bemba pottery in the University of St Andrews ethnographic collections. This led to an interest in material culture which I followed up on through an MA in the Arts of Africa Oceania and the Americas at the Sainsbury Research Unit (UEA), as well as a number of volunteer and paid museum positions. In September 2019 I began a PhD in Anthropology at the London School of Economics. My project is entitled 'Ambivalence, uncertainty and doubt: Exploring responses to oil and flooding in an ‘Indo-Guyanese’ rural coastal village', and will draw on ~18 months ethnographic fieldwork taking place from 2021-2023.
Joshua William Dexter

Chemistry Student, Durham University

About Me

Currently about halfway through my Chemistry MChem at Durham University (graduate 2023) and I still love every second of it. I am conducting research into amide bond breaking and forming reactions, and similar mechanisms to try to solve fun and tricky synthetic issues (thanks to Laidlaw).

Prior to a Chemistry degree, I worked as charity fundraiser/team leader for 7 years. I have personally raised over £1mil for various charities, and have a huge amount of leadership experience (training and management).

I am super friendly, love to learn, happy teaching, and I am keen to make the most out the Laidlaw Foundation. So, feel free to get in touch about anything; whether you are looking to support, be supported, or just discuss.

Always on the lookout for good research opportunities and ideas. Main interests include synthetic peptide,and organocatalytic chemistry. Nearing the point where I will start applying for doctoral candidate positions. So, if you think you can offer or direct me to a good fit, I would be very happy to hear from you.

Laidlaw Research

My planned Laidlaw research aimed to develop a series of trans-amidation reactions using azanides (amino, R2N- anions) to cleave/trans-amidate at amide bonds. During lockdown, these reactions were independently developed elsewhere. I am happy the reactions work, even if someone else got to do the work. Feel free to compare the proposed reactions in the research proposal, published on my profile, with the article they published. [M. Fairley, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 6500.]

Due to Covid, the time spent familiarising myself with this very niche set of reactions afforded a sensible option with an easy transition into a literature review of novel reactions that could be used to solve the synthetic peptoid (R3N-amino acid molecules and polymers) formation issues when bulky/electron-withdrawing residuals on N are used. I had great fun trying to think my way around the problem and the lit. review was passed onto my supervisor and his team to (hopefully) produce literature worthy solutions.

Happy to discuss, share findings and collaborate. Just, get in touch.

Other Interests

I was doing outreach work with children through the university pre-Covid and I am really looking forward to being able to help out again soon. I am a huge sci-fi nerd. I also run 2 student societies and organise events, socials, talks, etc. for each. Both societies have a broad range of aims with activities that support community inclusion, safeguarding, wellbeing and harm-reduction.

Future Plans

I made the tough choice to suspend my university studies for the 2020-21 academic year as I feel ensuring access to the full MChem experience is too important to miss. I have been taking the opportunity of spare time to engage with private study and develop some peripheral skills to compliment what I learnt in the first 2 years. I will start 3rd year in October. 

My second summer with Laidlaw will now be in 2022 and I am hoping that international collaboration will be possible by then.

Seeking doctoral training or relevant internship possibilities to start summer 2023. I am very comfortable being contacted to you are welcome to get in touch, and feel free to pass my details on.

Research Interests

- Innovation of synthetic mechanisms.

- Peptides and peptidomimetics.

- Organocatalysis.

Giammarco (he/him)

Student, Durham University

I think that happiness is about being committed to something that helps and supports others, and this is why I am so fascinated by research and leadership. They give us the opportunity and responsibility to support and protect our people, especially the most vulnerable. I began my journey in children's homes back in Rome, in Italy. Since then I have been volunteering with children and young people trying to facilitate resilience and recovery from early adversities as my main focus point. My Laidlaw Scholarship research project is all about our social identities and the way they interact with our possible selves to drive our self-control and school attachment. The ultimate aim is to be able to design, implement, and evaluate an effective intervention to enhance the academic achievements of children growing up in alternative care, and conclusively reduce the achievement gap between them and other children. If you have any questions about my project, if you think that your research and mine somehow overlap or are committed to solving similar issues through different disciplines, or if you just want to chat, please drop me a message! :)
Jude Hanlon (he/him)

Research Scholar , Durham university

Hey! I'm a second-year scholar and psychology student at Durham University. My research investigates transgender identity narratives, gender stereotyping, wellbeing, and community. I'm also one of the Directors of a non-profit education project founded by Laidlaw Scholars, 'Learn With Us Summer Camp'. Besides studying, I like to draw, travel and listen to podcasts and audiobooks. I'm so excited and honoured to have been given this opportunity and I'd love to get to know other scholars to learn more about you and your research. Feel free to get in touch at

Neely McKee

Student, Columbia University

Interned at the Columbia University Sabin Center for Climate Change Law in Summer and Fall 2020. Columbia Class of 2023.

Pierrick Roger

Student, University of York

I am a Singaporean French second-year biology student studying at the University of York hoping to specialise in medical biology. My research project looks into novel therapies for a neurodegenerative disorder which there are currently no treatments for, Huntington's disease. I am excited to embark on the Laidlaw Scholarship and to connect with as many young leaders in my field as I can.