Benjamin Alexander Southwick

EDI Chair, Music Durham, Durham University
  • Music Durham, Durham University
  • People
  • United Kingdom

I was fortunate enough to conduct academic research under the supervision of Stephen Gethins (former MP; Professor of Practice in International Relations at the University of St Andrews). Stephen introduced me to a truly fascinating yet often overlooked area of International Relations: sub-state and regional actors and their place in global politics. Through my work with Stephen, I have developed an interest in Scotland's place in the world as a nation without an independent foreign office, but as a nation with rich international influence and a unique connection to Europe and the rest of the world. In addition to my interest in UK foreign affairs and domestic politics - not least my interest surrounding the Scottish constitutional debate - I intend to explore this area of interest throughout my academic career.

Through my time studying International Relations the University of St Andrews, I have developed a keen interest in: Terrorism Studies, so-called 'Sub-Saharan' African Politics and IR, Postcolonial Theory (among other critical theories), and the role of identity in international relations and conflict. It must be noted however, that my interests are ever-changing, and I am still exploring the vast and rich discipline, discovering new interests every year of my degree.

In my second year of university, I founded The Drew, an online student publication based in St Andrews which publishes articles on Scottish politics and culture. There was an unfortunate lack of Scottish issues being discussed in St Andrews (despite bearing the name of Scotland's patron saint and being home to Scotland's most ancient university), and so The Drew was set up to foster more discussion. 

As far as my academic interests are concerned, I am quite frankly a sucker for all things politics, history, and philosophy. Although an International Relations student first and foremost, I had the joy of studying Ancient History and Classics alongside my degree. If I were to ever win the lottery, you would find me endlessly cycling University, spending my remaining days studying Ancient History and Philosophy, Politics, Egyptology, Theology, Theoretical Physics and Maths, or whatever subject I develop an interest in down the line.

I am always down for a discussion and chat about my areas of interest - so never shy away from reaching out if we have any interests in common.

Isabella Whitney

Student, Barnard College of Columbia University

Stephanie Ormond

Student (she/her), Durham University

I'm currently a second-year history student at Durham University from West Sussex with a particular interest in connections between the modern and medieval worlds. For my research, I will be looking at the use of the Crusades within far-right organizations and what it reveals about the readings of crusade history. Also, I like music and photography.

Nikol Chen

Design and Development Manager, Laidlaw Foundation

Hello! I have been with the Laidlaw Foundation for over 2 years, helping us strengthen the global Laidlaw community and expand our programmes to break the cycle of poverty, reduce inequality, and develop a new generation of leaders.

I am originally from Kazakhstan and I studied Human Sciences at UCL. I am a fan of all things human- and design-related, as well as an avid swimmer, obsessive podcast listener, documentary enthusiast, and film photography fan.

Drop me a line if you'd like to chat and let's connect on LinkedIn! 💬👀

Charlie Greenall

Student, Durham University

I am aspiring for a career in Clinical Psychology. I am currently a first-year BSc Psychology undergraduate at Durham University. At the forefront of my desire to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology is the want to help those who have not been given their fair chance in society. My range of experiences has enabled me to interact with people of many different backgrounds and allowed me to adapt my view of society, which I hope will aid me in my future career direction. My primary interests in the field lie within the study of eating disorders and the impact of trauma.

Lucy Morris

Laidlaw Project Officer, Durham University

Daniel Taylor

Student, University of Leeds

I am a first year student at the University of Leeds studying Civil and Environmental Engineering MEng.

Pearls Eddo

Law LLB, University of Leeds

Hi, my name is Pearls (She/Her); I am a second-year Law LLB student at Leeds.


My first-year research measured the impact of gamifying learning on improving the attainment score and content retention levels of ethnic minority and socio-economically disadvantaged students at Multi-Academy Trusts. 

I co-founded the Leeds University branch of the 93% Club and acted as its Schools Outreach Officer for nearly two years. In recent years I have volunteered at my local Citizens Advice. I will be tutoring primary level English as part of the Laidlaw Foundation’s tutoring initiative with The Tutor Association.

This June, I will be embarking on a year-long placement as a Contract Management Intern at The Walt Disney Company.

Keir Spring

Student, Durham University

Student of Chinese Studies interested in linguistics, government and international affairs, and anything jazz!

Madeleine Atkinson

Undergraduate Scholar, University of Durham

Student at Durham University studying Social Sciences. Staff-Student Representative. Undergraduate Laidlaw Scholar.

My research interests include gerontology, dementia, the social model of disability, and the epistemology of health.

In my spare time I enjoy creative writing, poetry, and queer literature.

Zulfi Heydon

Student , Durham University

I am an undergraduate at Durham University studying History. I grew up in Oxford but come from an Anglo-Pakistani family - hence the name. I am interested in thinking about issues on a global scale and my research project reflects this: focusing on understanding the global rise of Islamist violence in the last three decades.